May 20, 2012

Like Riding a Bicycle

Olive Oil and Goat Milk Shave Rounds-creamy and luxurious goodness for your skin.

Ahhh, I made a batch of shave rounds today-the first time I've soaped in probably a month and the longest break I've taken from soap in 4 years. I was a bit worried that after my bout of soaping issues I would struggle a bit with making a batch after what seems like forever, but as it turns out it's like riding a bicycle.  My hiatus has been a good thing for the first time in a very long time my mind went to other non soap related things. I took time to see the world around, I took time not to obsess about all things soap related-mostly that urgent need to "market" it, and you know what? I have had  a few good things come up behind the scenes in my soaping world all while I wasn't worrying about it all-good things I never expected. So, just when I was about to "throw in the towel" I think I'm finding a second wind to push on ahead to see where it takes me.

I  totally enjoyed making a simple batch today. No pressure, no worries, just a peaceful pleasure. It turns out that for me a break was a very productive thing. I've learned that it's very important for me to take time to do things that fuel my spirit, and I've learned that all the obsessing was counter productive to abundance. So if you're ever stuck and things seem to be an uphill battle-I highly recommend a short break. ;-) It'll do you good.

May 17, 2012

Exquisite Epiphyte

While there are plenty of soap related tasks going on behind the scenes at Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps, I don't have any new soap images to share. I did want to share this photo taken yesterday of a gorgeous Orchid - to see more Exquisite Epiphyte images hop over to my photo dedicated blog.

May 12, 2012

A Place of Their Own

Now non related photos have a place of their own over at- Borrowed Camera Studio-"Follow along, as one newbie photographer with one borrowed camera discovers the extraordinary in the ordinary world around her."
Be sure to stop by and say "hello"- I think I hear crickets chirping over!

This means soap related business will resume here as regularly scheduled. I'm not sure when I'll have something new, but I'll be around.;-))

May 11, 2012

Cactus Graffiti

For your Friday lol!-While out scouting photos the other night my husband spotted this "graffiti cactus." Notice this particular prickly pear happens to be blind-making the graffiti possible. lol!

May 10, 2012

A Peek at our Beautiful Campus

The East Bell Tower of the Administration Building

Light and shadows in front of the Chemistry Building

Will Rogers and Soapsuds riding off in the sunset

and more beautiful ironwork..

May 9, 2012

A Change of Pace

Beautiful Ironwork

Some sort of  beautiful & wonderful smelling conifer..smelled like a Christmas Tree lot.

Salmon colored Prickly Pear blossom-this particular cactus was "blind."

My first silhouettes <3- in the beginning I was slightly annoyed that these people stepped out into the archway just as I was about to hit the release-just goes to show that sometimes serendipity plays a beautiful hand.

Part of growing and learning anything involves stepping off outside your comfort zone, so last night I struck out to work a bit on "freezing motion" and to see what else I could find other than flowers. I found plenty of subject matter in the most ordinary of places and it struck me how magical photography really is. 

To realize that photography documents a very specific moment in time that can never ever be duplicated  again-the elements of lighting, subject, timing and photography need to be congruent before a desired image can be achieved-it's magical.

May 8, 2012

Nature's Tie Dye

Evening sun shining through a Canna leaf-nature's vividly wild tie dye.

Sitting at the Crossroads

Some of you may be wondering what is up lately with the lack of soap related updates, and well honestly I'm pondering the feasibility of continuing on. For the past four years I have put all my time and energy into making my product the very best that I could, we've spent endless hours on tweaking the blog, website, and packaging to be what it is, and now I'm left wondering if I have what it takes to keep on moving forward with all of this. I'm hoping I can find a second wind. I truly have a love for the process,and the ingredients, but I'm feeling a bit defeated. Some months back, I started having big issues with condensation forming between the soap and the mold, so I made the switch to a larger homemade wood mold thinking it would allow some air flow that the silicone liner did not-and still I'm having issues. The soap is perfectly fine to use, but lacking aesthetically on all of the outer bars-and now that I've gone to a larger mold that is 2/3 of my batch. Ouch! I've tried gelling and cracking the lid,leaving the lid off,not insulating at all along with a host of other "remedies" all to no avail-soooo I'm just at my wits end and unable to resolve these issues. Interestingly enough some of my batches don't suffer from this odd occurance-it seems if they have some additives that absorb moisture such as pumice or oatmeal there's no problem- those without an additive to absorb excess moisture  build condensation on the bottom and sides leaving unsightly pock marks as a result. Supplies are just too expensive to keep up the process of elimination in an effort to resolve the problem. I'm pretty much devastated to have come this far only to have this kind of issue and am trying not to make a rash decision, instead I am taking a sort of "hiatus" from soap right now. I am still selling off what I have in stock to wholesale and retail customers while I figure out a direction to take. I hope that if you have any words of advice you will chime in- I'm hoping that someone has a solution that would help me continue on-I'm truly at a crossroads here. I feel a real loss and without direction, not knowing what else I will do if I'm not meant to continue on this path I hope there will be an obvious direction soon. I've made a real effort to contribute to a community that I love with positive comments and assistance where I could and now I am only hoping someone holds the key-surely someone has had these same issues along the way.

* Note-This is not a formulary issue-soap poured in round molds does just fine(unless I group them close together and insulate.) This is the same formula I have used for years now. I've wondered if our humidity has changed a bit and so the soap is experiencing more ambient moisture and since it is a hygroscopic there is just to much moisture until it can't absorb it anymore between the mold and soap.

May 7, 2012

More Goodies

 Inhospitable beauty...unless your an ant.

  Pink cactus flowers

  Prickly pear beauty

"Red Velvet" Yarrow

May 6, 2012

My Morning

Clearly I have a "thing" for pods.

Glorious Purple Leaf Plum in the sun

I had a visitor this morning.

Obviously, I still need to work on placement of text. lol!

May 5, 2012

Evening Sun

So pretty!

 Aren't Poppy pods a thing of beauty?

What is this? It's not nice.

Brilliant Yellow in the evening sun.

and my favorite of the evening-a white Poppy -  so beautiful! 

Oy, there seems to be some technical difficulties- for some reason where font is saved and where Blogger puts the font are two different things-that aside these are some of my very,very favorite photos. I took many photos last night and overall there were many I was not satisfied with, but these were a few that made the cut and I love them!

May 4, 2012

Beautiful Photo(s) Friday

 My  sweet daughter loves this one.

 Always so photogenic.

 This is one I almost trashed before taking a good look at it..I'm glad I saved it from the brink.

This guy tried to follow me home. Here in Texas we call them Devil's Claws. Do you have these where you're at?

 I couldn't resist them-just look at those colors.

May 3, 2012

Hanging by a Thread

Isn't nature clever? Someone asked me last night; "where I  find bumblebees and cactus flowers and ladybugs on Forsythia?" My answer was-everywhere, all around- the truth is we are surrounded by these wonders every day-we just don't stop long enough to take a look.

Yesterday, while out taking photos the sun was just beautiful once it made it's appearance. I stumbled across this tree with beautiful leaves that seemed "left over" from Fall, so I  got on the side so they were back lit and snapped a few shots-I never realized until I got home that I had this beautiful and perfect heart. I tweaked the exposure just a bit so that the veining would show-it was a bit translucent originally + softened up the white space a bit-but other than that this is the original image.

I love how it has a slightly tattered imperfect feel, yet it's whole and intact, serene and calm yet seemingly hanging by a thread.

May 2, 2012

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning...

Who knew Garlic was so interesting?Interesting how the "garlic" form is utilized over and over-in the pod in the flower...

 Leaves taking in the sunshine.


I have no idea what this is other than... Beautiful!

Bees are so busy-do they ever take a break?

A leaf gently cradled in a Juniper bush-the sunlight streaming through.


May 1, 2012

New Listing, Re-Listing + All Product on Sale in Honor of Mom

Cleanse is now ready to go and has just been listed, Vanilla Patchouli has been re-listed and all product is 20% off thru May 9 in  honor of Mom. Handmade soap is a fabulous gift that Mom will love.