December 30, 2011

It's Been A While

A soapy line up in the winter sun.

It's been a while since there has been even a semblance of soapiness on this blog and I apologize. I did take just a bit of time today to play with a new prop I recently received- it's a very cool wine crate don't you think? You might just see it around on my market table here and there.

December 24, 2011

A Happy for You on Christmas Eve

 Enjoy! Feliz Navidad!!!

December 23, 2011

A Christmas Wish from Me to You..

Even the Grinch caught on to the meaning of Christmas-

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?" Dr. Seuss~

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year full of peace and light....

December 18, 2011


Recently, the folks over at Tiny Texas Houses hosted an essay contest-the grand prize=a Tiny Texas House of course! Tiny Texas Houses link the future to the past by utilizing materials from salvaged buildings to create new and sustainable tiny houses.Tiny Texas houses are about so much more than the obvious,they are about keeping American craftsmanship and ingenuity alive, self reliance, reclaiming valuable resources,affordability, and kindness to our planet through a more sustainable way of life...

I thought I would share with you my submission. I put a lot of thought into what a Tiny Texas House means to me-and some day I know I will make one of these lovely abodes Home.

 "Upon first reading about the Tiny Texas House concept, I’ve felt a magnetic sort pull to a more authentic lifestyle. A genuine lifestyle connected to the simple things; like the land, the trees, and the sky above. I long for the chance for time to slow down, to experience the wonder of a sprouting seed transforming into an edible delight. I love that I can put this beautiful abode, in the perfect spot where the dappled sunlight greets the dewy morning grasses and the evening sky signals a hush over the land. While clearly a Tiny Texas House is small in stature – it’s big in ways that can’t be bought. A Tiny Texas house is not a ball and chain that tethers itself to its owner. A Tiny Texas House is symbolic of less means more-more freedom to live the life I was meant to live – with more time to explore the world around, more time to give to others, more time to contemplate my purpose. Day by day, I feel the layers of years of responsibility evaporate until they are but a light and gentle mist. I flourish within the aged walls as they insulate me from the noise of the world outside. The floor beneath my feet grounds me with its past. The simplicity of this life nourishes my soul. I feel at HOME."

December 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

" We do not go to work only to earn an income, but to find meaning in our lives. What we do is a large part of what we are." Alan Ryan~

December 9, 2011

DAM-(Downtown Art Market-that is.)

Lots of these lovingly handmade soaps and hand balms will be with us at the -
Downtown Art Market-tomorrow 
Dec. 10, 9-3 p.m.

Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps will be participating in the Lubbock Downtown Art Market (DAM) at 1820 Buddy Holly Avenue from 9-3 p.m. The weather promises to be a bit chilly starting out, but come early for the good stuff. I've even heard that Santa will be making an appearance, so you can place your order with Saint Nick himself and then shop handmade and local for your loved ones.

If you should miss picking up some Tierra Verde goodnesss at the Downtown Art Market- don't worry- you can always head on over to Hodge Podge Design at 26th and Boston for a wide range of artisan made Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps and all natural hand balms in Citrus Honey, Lavender Honey and Lemon Honey.

December 6, 2011

Feedback Favorite

As posted yesterday on my Facebook page- a kind comment that made my day!

"I love your soaps. Every time my husband showers with the vanilla-patchouli in the morning, it makes me smile. I loooove the gentle smell of the patchouli. Very gentle and warm instead of overpowering." ~ SR

Don't forget to leave feedback for your favorite artisans-it can make someones' day. :-))

December 3, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done."
~ Lucille Ball

November 29, 2011

What DOES Handmade Mean?

I recently interviewed an artist friend of mine, for an artist profile type blog post that I help out with from time to time. The following is the answer she gave to the question "What does handmade mean to you?"-I thought her answer was perfect.

What does handmade mean to you?
"I think of a "handmade" item as something that is infused with the spirit of individual people. Whether an item is made through an individual or small group process, there is an extra care given to detail. There may even be some machinery involved in its making, but the mechanical processes are individually governed by the human heart. There is a saying that "God is in the details," in a similar line of thought, I think that the human soul is in the handmade."

On the Fifth Day of Giveaways...

You can win a $20 Tierra Verde gift certificate...over at IndieSpotting. Stop by and check out the IndieSpotting "12 Days of Giveaways" where you can win a $20 dollar gift certificate from two new handmade shops each day.

November 27, 2011

Mixed Bag of Nuts + Cyber Monday

"Holiday Blend" Artisan Blended Potpourri- $15.00

Introducing my new "Holiday Blend" artisan blended potpourri. A blend of mixed nuts,star anise,Mexican cinnamon,nutmeg and cloves-scented with a traditional"Holiday Blend"of essential oils. This blend conjures up memories of cozy fires,family,Christmas trees and the anticipation of Christmas morning. Potpourri comes beautifully packaged in a 1 pint mason (product wt. approximately 8oz.) jar with bow. This potpourri will be a "limited edition" available only online or at market. $15.00- This item is not yet listed-please drop me a line if you are interested in purchasing during our Cyber Monday sale.-These will go quickly and there are only a few.

Oh! and by the way  please enjoy 10% off  your total order along with our already great offering of $7.00 flat rate shipping for November 28-Cyber Monday!! Use discount code cybermonday to receive 10% off. Shop Now!

November 25, 2011

Saturday Nov. 26-Shop Small

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. On November 26, make a pledge to shop small on Small Business Saturday. If millions of people shop small, it will be huge."

Help small businesses flourish. Shop small-November 26 and every day...

If you're looking to pick up some Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps, don't forget you can show some love by picking some up at Hodgepodge Design. Love your community.

On The First Day...

" The 12 Days of Giveaways"
Nov. 25-Dec. 6

Enter to win a $20 gift certificate-two new artisan shops will be featured daily.

Hint-Keep an eye out each day for a little something soapy...

November 22, 2011

Handwashing 101

With flu season right here upon us, handwashing is an important and vital step in the fight against that nasty flu bug. Here are the steps as recommended by the CDC for proper handwashing technique.

What is the right way to wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them.

Scource: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

November 20, 2011

Six More Days......

Until the IndieSpotting 12 Days of Giveaways begins - for 12 days beginning November 26 there will be a $20 gift certificate given away from each featured indie artist. Featured artisans include-Horsefeathers Gifts,Beadsphere,Lil Burrito,June Shin,Zoe Girl Designs, Pressed,Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps and many, many more.... Don't miss this chance to browse the shops of talented artists before the Christmas rush begins

Help support indie artisans this holiday season- buy handmade!

November 18, 2011

PSA- Fires and Winter Chill

I'm not really sure why such a burden has been placed on my heart for the past month or two, but I can't seem to just go about my merry way without sharing this with you.

Some of you who know me, know that my husband is in a line of work in which he sees a lot of senseless tragedy occur. As he goes off to work yet another tragic event-I would like to appeal to you all to take care of your neighbors. You see, for the second time this month a child has died in a fire within just miles from our home. Often times a fire is preventable, if we take extra vigilant measures. We can service our heaters, make sure our portable heaters have 3' of clearance and have auto shut off, we can make sure we don't overload power strips/circuits and all those sorts of things,but what if you're living in poverty? What if using the oven as a heat source is your only means of heating your home at night with below freezing temps, what if  a frayed extension cord is all you have to run to an aged portable heat source,what if you had to make the choice to put food on the table or buy batteries for the smoke detector? These are the choices some people have to make.It is our responsibility to take care of each other and in this depressed economy it is dire that we look out for each other.$20 can buy a very effective space heater with auto shut off-and often these tragedies occur in smaller older homes or older trailer homes in which a good space heater could easily provide heat.

Not always, but often the common thread in these senseless tragedies is poverty. If you know someone who is struggling with making ends meet-please be extra vigilant. Be aware that often people who are struggling are forced to take dangerous measures just to stay warm. Please look to see if they are running dangerous extension cords to older space heaters, or if perhaps they are using a oven to heat the home(or even an outdoor grill-this is a very dangerous thing due to the threat of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning) and lastly, please look to see if there are working smoke detectors in the home. Obviously, a smoke detector does not prevent a fire,but it does make a difference in the time allowed for egress. Almost always in the course of investigating these horrible tragedies the common denominator is the lack of a  smoke detector. So, it is with a very heavy heart that I plead for you to check on your neighbors-make sure they have a safe way to stay warm and if you do not have a smoke detector or you haven't changed the batteries out in quite awhile please, please, take the time to obtain and to service your smoke detectors-they can save the lives of the people you love most-your children.* note- if you do not have a smoke detector, please contact your local Fire Department/or Volunteer Fire Department often they have smoke detectors available to give out to people in need-if by chance they do not have detectors available they can instruct you where to get one.

On a different note-please remember it's the time of year in which the elements can be very harsh for the homeless. Things we take for granted like a warm coat, blanket or sleeping bag can make a big difference.If you are blessed with the basics of a roof over your head and a warm bed-please think about donating blankets, coats that are heading out to donation, sleeping bags etc. These items can make a big difference to those who are in need. If you are local and would like to donate time,money,clothing,sleeping bags,coats etc. please contact

 I'm sorry, I know this was a pretty "heavy" blog post today,but occasionally there are things more important than soap.

November 17, 2011

It was 1970 Something


Haha! Get a load of the terry/velour short set and braces. Generally, I don't like to post photos of myself-I don't consider myself very photogenic, but this just cried out to be! Seems my cousin was going through some photos and ran across this one (that's my cousin in my lap-she's grown with two precious boys of her own.)

November 16, 2011

Coffee, Wine, Conversation and the Arts...

Coffee,wine, conversation and art come together this Thursday night-head on over to the The Buzz Coffee and Wine Bar  606 West Loop 289(westbound frontage road between 4th street and Frankford Ave.) This Thursday marks the beginning of a new and unique art venue "The Third Thursday Thing" - where featured artists will showcase their original handcrafted works of various styles and mediums. Each month featured artists will change bringing a wide range of talent and handcrafted works to you.

This Thursday Nov. 17 from 5-9 P.M. features the inspirational paper art by Dollmark, crocheted items by The Dapple Apple, and amazing shaving gift sets for men by Dirty Deeds Soap as well as works by Patches of Peace.

Also of note - The Buzz is a big supporter of local musicians featuring live music most weekends. See their  event calender for more information

Keep the Faith and Shop Handmade.

November 14, 2011

Pink Grapefruit and Ginger- Wash Away Those Winter Blues!

Pink Grapefruit and Ginger

Pink Grapefruit and Ginger

Fresh clean Pink Grapefruit complimented with the earthy goodness of Ginger equals a great pick me bar of soap! These bars will be read to go just in time to wash away those winter blues. Pink Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter making it a great choice for those cold, wet days of winter. The sweet pink color is derived from Aussie Pastel Pink clay-a perfectly fitting color choice.

November 7, 2011

It's Time to Load Up

Citrus Honey Hand Balms - 1oz. $7.00 in re-usable metal tin

A pile of fresh all natural hand balms ready to go! These all natural hand balms come in four delicious scents- Lemon Honey, Citrus Honey, Lavender Honey and Honey. Give Santa a hand by taking advantage of our $7.00 flat rate shipping.

Hand Balms are made with fabulously moisturizing and nutritive ingredients to take care of hands in urgent need of moisture and repair.Great for travel, the office or your purse. Simply warm between hands and apply to areas that need special attention-beeswax forms a protective seal to hold in moisture.These balms are also great for your lips, elbows, feet and cuticles.

November 3, 2011

The Money Tree

One of the fb pages that I "like" posted the following on their status. I wanted to share it with you.

Source-"Life Set to Words" on fb  
"How often do we not even notice the gifts and abundant blessings right in front of us? Watch this and be inspired to stop and take notice of the gifts all around you today..."

You'll be surprised at how the people responded to a blessing placed right in front of their eyes! Sometimes blessings don't come in a large or grandiose package-but they are right there in front of us.

Have an abundant day!

November 1, 2011

Just Listed!

Tree Hugger - 4.5 ounces $6.00

Tree Hugger- an arboreal blend of eucalyptus and cedar perfect for any tree hugger. This blend smells like cedar after a rain; smoky, spicy and slightly sweet with a hint of camphor.Unisex

 Barley and Hops-Fall Edition 2011 4.5 ounces $6.00

Barley and Hops- Fall Edition- Autumn-the season for tailgating, football games, the glowing orange orb of the Harvest Moon, bon fires that light up the West Texas sky, and the crackle of fallen leaves. The nutty maltiness of a fine Nut Brown Ale is complimented with an earthy yet zesty blend of  Lime, Patcholi and Clove- a perfect expression of Autumn.

Cinnamon Cajeta-4.5 ounces $6.00

Cinnamon Cajeta - a rich caramelly goat's milk base with a decadent speckling of vanilla bean aromatically complimented with hint of cinnamon. Perfectly delicious!

Just listed and there are only a few! Pick yours up today-remember that now through January we have $7.00 flat rate shipping making it easy to load up on bar soaps, shave rounds and all natural hand balms! Shop now!

October 29, 2011

Not Quite as Proud as a Peacock

Thursday, I was prowling around at the blogs I like to read when I happened upon Amanda Griffin's blog Lovin Soap if you haven't checked out Amanda's blog you must-it's full of great tutorials and fun swirling techniques etc. Anyway, back to Thursday-I was prowling around and stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of  Amanda's beautiful Peacock Swirl, and I new had to try it. Amanda was using a slab mold for hers and so I knew there would be some tweaking to translate it over to my long narrow log mold,but I just had to see if  I could make it happen. I also had a concern about how much work time I would have with my formula as she suggests a formula that allows plenty of open time to work and I didn't want to change formulas.Turns out the open time was fine, but I need to rethink my peacock swirls, we initially started out with our loops too tight - so no real peacock effect, we then loosened them up, but they still aren't loopy enough. I still think it's very pretty even though it didn't come out as planned-I'm still pondering and will post the next trial batch.

For my colors I used-bamboo charcoal, cocoa and titanium dioxide over a pale yellow base-I had also intended for the base to poke through some,but it didn't so there are only 3 colors showing with a pale yellow base underneath. The scent is a lemongrass with cedar it smells fantastic and I think it will still be a looker.

October 28, 2011

Fir Needle

Fir Needle - 4.5 ounce $6.00

Fir Needle - Bring the clean, fresh aroma of a coniferous forest to your morning shower. I just adore the smell of this soap-colored with wheat grass this soap is as natural as the great outdoors.

A Cathartic Letter to Early Morning Theives

To the individuals that broke into vehicles up and down our street - at first I was very angry that you would destroy and steal property that clearly didn't belong to you. You shattered glass and took things that weren't yours -  that's what thieves do. I wonder if you ever see beyond the loot you take in such a cowardly manner? Do you stop to think about the middle class American that goes to work day in and day out to provide for his family? Do you see the nice vehicle parked in his driveway that he has worked overtime to buy, the vehicle that takes him to work each and every day, or the vehicle that takes the family on their much anticipated annual vacation that has been tightly budgeted for- the vacation that you have now compromised? Do you see the child that is now afraid to go to sleep because you have threatened his world? Do you see my neighbor that has to call the insurance adjuster and pay a deductible that may mean less food on the table this Thanksgiving? Do you see the dismay, the anger, the fear you caused with your actions? Probably not-because you think only about you-how sad.

Even though ours was one of the vehicles you made your mark on-I'm sorry for you. Even though I will undoubtedly have trouble sleeping tonight-I feel pity for you. I feel sad that you weren't snug in your bed in the wee hours of the morning. I feel sad that you thought it would be a great idea to take from others for your gain. I feel sad that you don't have that moral compass that tells you stealing/vandalizing is not right. I feel sad that you thought you had so much to gain by taking random useless things that meant nothing to you. I feel sad that you stole the wistful innocence away from a child - shattering the security of the place that is home. I feel sad that you don't feel....

October 27, 2011

Trying Something New = $7.00 Flat Rate Shipping!

 Citrus Honey Hand Balm in metal re-usable tin -1 ounce $7.00

With Christmas fast approaching it's time to finalize and tie up loose ends in the area of Christmas gift ideas. Beautiful cold processed handmade soaps and all natural hand balms make great gifts and stocking stuffers too! So, with that in mind we are trying something new-from now through January we will be offering $7.00 flat rate shipping - this is a great value that allows you to load up on several products to fill in those Christmas gift voids. Keep soap and  hand balms handy for teachers' gifts, parties at Church, office parties etc.Shop Now!

Shampoo Bar Challenge - Six Month Update

I was thinking yesterday that it's been six months since I began on the Fourteen Day Shampoo Bar Challenge. I have to say that in the beginning I was very skeptical as to how my hair would respond to a "shampoo bar." I had doubts that I would be happy with it. I had the same questions that I think most people have 1) would it lather enough to be satisfying 2) would I be able to get a brush/comb through it if I don't use silicone laden product on my hair 3) would it be too harsh. Well, six month later I am happy to say that my hair loves it. My hair is soft and manageable-every bit like my hair prior to the switch and maybe even better. I use strictly shampoo bar with a vinegar/water rinse. I never ever deviate I am very consistent,and my hair is totally adjusted and loving it.;-))

For those of you who have been brave/curious enough to try it-what has your experience been like? 

October 26, 2011

Phew! That was Close

So sorry for the interruption. Seems it's very important to back up your template if you make any sort of change to the html code.duh! Anyway, the long and short if it all, is that I almost lost my entire content - over a years worth of blogging and photos.Ugh! As you can see, my dear husband was able to save the day,but in the attempt something went awry with the header. Oh well! We'll just have to live with it awile until we have a chance to re-work something - maybe it was time for a change anyway.

October 20, 2011

12 by 2012

So, I saw this on my favorite blog Modish,who saw it on Indie Pretty, who saw it on Oh Hello Friend -that built the house that Jack built-oops! wrong story line. Anyway,I thought it was great motivation to get some looming things that I've been putting off out of the way, and also a way to build some momentum to start 2012 off in a productive way.

My list consists of things I've been dreading that would be "oh so satisfying" to get out of the way, as well as habits I want to instill for 2012 sprinkled with a few things I want to do for me as sort of a built in reward system.

1) Pull all the ahem "stuff" out of the garage - categorize as either stuff to keep or garage sale. Sweep and clean garage thoroughly and pack all the keeper "stuff" back in.
2) Walk daily and  enjoy the feel of sunshine on my face
3) Drink water daily - unfortunately I have to make a conscious effort to make sure I do this
4) Go on picnics with my mister
5) Take time out for "date night"
6) r & d  on new product - so fun!
7) Market, market, market those soaps and hand balms.
8) Lose 10# before 2012 (is it possible with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner?)
9) Think about and make handmade gifts this year for Christmas
10) Paint and freshen up the kids bathroom
11) Take time to read real books
12)  Learn to step outside my box to purposefully do things I'm not so comfortable with - face fears head on setting a new precedent for 2012.

The sky is the limit, what would you like to achieve before 2012?

October 17, 2011

West Texas Dust Storm - It's a Brown Out Folks

View out my backdoor - oh, and it's only 5: 40 p.m.

Ummmm, we're having a bit of dust + 60 mph. winds! :-(( The dust completely devoured the sun.
I told you I'd get picture of a really good dust storm.

October 15, 2011

Soap - Good for What Ails You

Today is Global Handwashing Day-washing hands saves lives...
"Handwashing with soap is the most effective and economical way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections which take the lives of millions of children every year.Turning handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter."

October 13, 2011

Cinnamon Cajeta - Rich and Creamy

Cinnamon Cajeta - 4.5 ounce bar $6.00

 Cinnamon Cajeta- will be ready mid Nov.

After a bit of a re-work Cinnamon Cajeta is cut and on the curing rack. Cajeta is a creamy rich caramel sauce typically made from a base of goat's milk - it differs from dulce de leche in that it is usually goat's milk and not cow's milk.

Cinnamon Cajeta - a rich caramelly goat's milk base with a decadent speckling of vanilla bean aromatically complimented with hint of cinnamon. Perfectly delicious!

October 12, 2011

A Penne for Your Thoughts

So sorry to be a day late and a dollar short,but I wanted to post a note about yesterdays delicious lunch. Enjoy!

Penne Pasta with Bell Peppers and Leeks

1 box of Penne Pasta
1 leek cut into rings
2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
1/3 cup of organic chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chives, minced

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute leeks for 5 minutes
  3. Stir in bell peppers, and 1/3 cup of organic chicken stock(if you are a veg that doesn't use chicken stock you can do a dressing of olive oil and lemon as a substitute-it's good stuff too!),season lightly with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 6 minutes. Then add chives.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions (about 12 minutes.) Drain and toss with sauce.

October 6, 2011

"You've Got to Find What You Love..."

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech

He was an innovator that changed the world. Listen, as he talks about how nearly dying taught him to live.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle." -Steve Jobs
 R.I.P. Steve Jobs-1955-2011

October 4, 2011

Happenings in Lubbock

Looking for something fun to do this Friday night? Head on out to the First Friday Art Trail- on the first Friday of every month, galleries, restaurants and businesses open their doors in support of the local arts. This event is free to the public you can drive to each venue on your own or take the trolley for a guided tour. How fun is that? This Friday night as an added extra-the Lubbock Downtown Art Market will be participating meaning extra handmade goodness will be available BONUS! Please note the Downtown Art Market part of FFAT is dependent on nice weather.

My friend, Donniece Smith will be selling her beautiful jewelry at Ron Simon's studio over at the Underwood Center's Studio Flats 1010 Mac Davis Lane- from 6-9 p.m. Admission is Free.

October 3, 2011

Some Deliciousness for Fall

A sneak peek at Cinnamon Cajeta-coming soon!

Synonymous with the scents of Fall, are all the spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg. I wanted to incorporate a scent in conjunction with the theme of Cajeta- a caramel like sauce typically made from goat's milk, and cinnamon seemed the perfect accent. I've been dreaming of this soap for awhile, and finally things came together so that I could make a sample batch. I think it came out brilliantly-can't wait to cut it. I'm thinking things will darken up a bit, the white will hopefully go a bit towards a caramel color and the swirl a darker brown. (fingers crossed) The above photo was taken prior to gel-so I expect it will go through quite a change.
Cinnamon Cajeta -a creamy,caramelized goat's milk base with a sprinkling of brown sugar thrown in-finished off with a tantalizing hint of cinnamon. Delicious!

October 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

"To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart."
 Thomas Watson Sr. ~

September 28, 2011

Rosemary Citrus Shampoo Gets a Thumbs Up

Amy, over at Great Cakes Soapworks posted her review of the Tierra Verde Shampoo Round-you must pop by and read it. There is quite the humorous story associated with a hair appointment and the shampoo round. lol!

Rosemary Citrus Shampoo Round $5.00

Also, note that Amy uses a bit of commercial conditioner after using her shampoo round. Her hair is color treated and mine is not. I am not sure if this is the factor or the difference in water. She has soft water, we have hard water here in Lubbock. I find that an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (I have adjusted my rinse out to about 1 part ACV to 3 parts water in a plastic squeeze bottle to use in the shower)works really well for me. My hair is every bit as manageable and quite shiny with this process. I have been using shampoo bars since April of this year, and am totally sold on them-they are easy to use, less packaging, they travel well, I get prolific lather and clean shiny hair. Love them!

September 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."~ Dr. Suess

September 23, 2011

Just a Reminder-Link Party Tonight-Sunday

Are you a Texas artist or crafter with an online shop? Don't forget the link party over at Handmade in Texas tonight-just mosey on over, and leave photo + a link to your Etsy, Zibbet, Artfire,Ebay, Big Cartel or Indie shop. It's free, and you might end up in the Lonestar Showcase for the week.The participation has grown every week, and you can also end up on the Handmade in Texas Pinterest board!

I Love Fall Sale!

The first day of Fall is finally here-so to celebrate the changing of the seasons Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps is having a sale. Save 23% on all product for the day of September 23, 2011 and to sweeten the pot we are trying out $7 flat rate shipping-making it a deal to buy all the soaps and hand balms you've been dying to try!

September 22, 2011

Meet "Tree Hugger"- An Arboreal Delight!

Tree Hugger-an arboreal blend of eucalyptus and cedar perfect for any lover of trees. This blend smells like cedar after a rain; smoky, spicy and slightly sweet with a hint of camphor.

This soap is colored with cocoa powder, a bit of  td and the real experimental part was the wheat grass powder. In my head the plan was to have the green be a bit more green, but I think the pea green still works.

This beauty will be ready around October 20-and there are only a few. If you'd like to reserve one-drop me a line. :-))

September 21, 2011

Delicious Autumn + A Sale!

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." George Eliot

I couldn't have said it any better myself. I love Autumn, and if I could live in a perpetual state of Autumn-maybe I would. I love the subtle change in the earth's light-warm and slightly orange, the glowing orange orb of the Harvest Moon, crunching leaves beneath my feet, the slight crisp in the air,warm apple cider, bonfires and pumpkins... so to herald in my favorite season I think we'll have a sale. Friday, September 23 is the first official day of Autumn, so in honor of the first day of Fall please enjoy 23% all Tierra Verde Handmade Products.

September 20, 2011

"Deep in the Art of Texas.."

Just in case you're in Texas, and you haven't heard Handmade in Texas is a blog promoting the talented artists and crafters of our great state.You can join the Handmade in Texas fan page,join the flickr group,follow along on the blog or twitter. You may also be featured in the weekly showcase on the Handmade in Texas YouTube Channel-the weekly showcase features a short video with your creations and link to your shop.

The Handmade in Texas blog features mini marketplaces for shops affiliated with Etsy, Zibbet, Artfire, or your own Indie shop also-from time to time the Handmade in Texas blog runs a feature on a Texas artist. The   Handmade in Texas Catalog features links to shops under many categories of interest.Every Friday Handmade in Texas hosts a link party where any genre of Texas artist may post a photo with a link that may be selected to be featured on the Handmade in Texas showcase video on YouTube.

Cindi, of Rustique Art provides all of this for free. Her goal is to"remove the affiliation and promote for all "Handmade in Texas" artists." Cindi gives a great amount of time maintaining all of this and only asks that you "like" and post freely on the Handmade in Texas fan page and by utilizing all of the various venues you promote your work for free and promote the artistic community of the Lonestar State.

September 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Buddha

September 15, 2011

Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps + Hodgepodge Design

If you live in Lubbock, you're probably familiar with the fun and funky shopping district at 26th and Boston. This historical Tech Terrace neighborhood houses a variety of local businesses such as; J&B Coffee Co. (part of the FFAT venue), Alternative Food Company-a natural food health/market, Boston Wellness and Hodgepodge Design-just to name a few.

Hodgepodge Design, is a Boutique/Studio specializing in gifts, jewelry and an eclectic mix of home decor ideas, and now, if you are looking for a place to buy Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps and Hand Balms you can swing by to pick some up. Hodgepodge now carries a wide assortment of Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps and all natural Hand Balms. Yes, I'm so excited! Also, if you are looking for a custom touch with invitations, announcements and stationary they do beautiful work.

2703-B 26th
Lubbock, Texas

photo source: Hodgepodge Design

September 12, 2011

Save the Date

Save the date - September 14, 2011 Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps will be participating in the Homespun:Houston Handmade Marketplace (see this post for further information) fundraiser for which donations will be made to the  American Red Cross of  Central Texas in an effort to assist those affected by the devastating wildland fires of Central Texas. I hear the art is ranging from the "fine to crafty to quirky." Sounds like a fun time all the way around, and your purchase goes towards an area of great need-that my friends is a win/win. So, don't forget to pop by the marketplace on Wednesday September 14, 2011 to check things out.

Oh!and if you are an artist/crafter with an online shop of any kind whether it be Etsy, Zibbit, Artfire, Big Cartel or your own Indie shop-please consider joining us. To get in on this fun and eclectic one day marketplace  you can contact Bri at Homespun:Houston Handmade for further details.

September 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."             Harriet Tubman~

September 7, 2011

Spread Kindness Like Wildfire

Chances are you've heard the news about the devastating wildfires here in our great state of Texas. The area around Austin in particular is suffering major devastation with thousands of acres burned along with many homes. Bastrop County alone, has suffered a loss of  34,068 acres with only 30 percent containment. A confirmed 1023 homes have been destroyed and there is a report of two deaths.

Help spread kindness like wildfire by donating a percentage of  proceeds from one day's worth of sales. If you are an artist/crafter you can make a difference. For the duration of September 14. Homespun: Houston Handmade will post a blog that features All artists that are willing to donate a portion of their proceeds from their sales for the day to the The American Red Cross of Central Texas. A link to your website will be posted along with a description of your shop and the amount you are donating. For full details please take a moment to check out the Homespun: Houston Handmade blog post linked above. Also, don't forget to help spread the word.  

source; Texas Forest Service update of current conditions.

Groovy Patchouli

Vanilla Patchouli– Release your inner hippie; experience a blend of dark sultry Indonesian Patchouli warmed with a lashing of rich warm vanilla creating a delectably earthy unisex scent. 4.50 ounces $6.00

Earthy like cedar with it's soft mottling of grayish brown-this soap is for those with a "hippie" soul. This is a soap that I've made from the beginning of my passionate journey with soap, it's definitely a unisex scent and in fact my husband's stand by favorite(although many of my friend's think it's groovy too!)

Peace,love and Patchouli...

September 3, 2011

Heart Handmade Feature

I just stumbled upon this feature minutes ago- so funny how I often just happen across them without even knowing they are out there. Such a nice surprise to run across. A big "Thanks" to Mandie over at Heart Handmade. <3

Heart Handmade

September 2, 2011

Friday Night Fun - Lubbock,Texas

Looking for something fun to do this Friday night? Head on out to the First Friday Art Trail- on the first Friday of every month, galleries, restaurants and businesses open their doors in support of the local arts. This event is free to the public you can drive to each venue on your own or take the trolley for a guided tour. How fun is that?

One of the special features tonight will be works by Donniece Smith, you may remember she was mentioned in this post awhile back. Donniece is a multi faceted artist that has her hand in many forms of creative expression - her talents seem endless. Tonight, Donniece will be participating in her first First Friday Art Trail of the year-what an exciting and exhilarating night for her.You can meet Donniece and see her work at the Alderson Mercedes building located at 1702 Texas Ave. Donniece's work combines her love of jewelry with her passion for fiber to create wearable fiber jewelry with bling. Each one of Donniece's jewelry pieces is a celebration of color with touches of shimmer that bring interest to each piece.

Also, you might want to check out Donniece's blog Thirteen Threads from the Wild Heart- "a journal of adventure that explores the ties that bind our creativity, life, and hearts together in a beautiful weaving of love. It's about Living the Creative life!"

Be sure to stop by and like the Thirteen Threads Facebook page too.  

Photos used with permission and are courtesy of Donniece Smith.

August 29, 2011

Big Talent in Texas- A Lonestar Showcase

Featuring Big Texas Talent-

Lonestar Showcase

Orange and Brown the Colors of Fall

Spiced ValenciaA blend of evergreen beneath juicy sweet layers of sweet orange and cinnamon this soap is mouthwateringly good – a spicy bright citrus you’ll love. Unisex

Spiced Valencia has a new look, with a splash of seasonal orange and a contrasting swirl of cinnamon brown thrown in- the perfect look for this spicy orange number.

August 23, 2011

I've Been Spotted-Indiespotted That Is

Check out the totally unexpected feature I just stumbled across on Indiespotting. What a fun surprise! A big huge "Thanks"  to Erika at Indiespotting.


August 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!"
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

August 19, 2011

Beautiful Thing Friday

Dotted across the West Texas landscape are signs of life- even in drought conditions the Yucca stands a proud sentry over the flat arid plains. Many Yucca plants bear edible parts including fruits, seeds, flowers,flowering stems and more rarely roots.One type of Yucca is known as the "soaptree"-inside the stalk and roots of the plant is a soapy substance known as "saponin" commonly used as a substitute for soap. I'm sure that to the American Indians and pioneers the Yucca was a beautiful and welcome site-standing tall and proud against the horizon.

August 16, 2011

Working on New Product Pics

Upper left-a trio of shave rounds,upper right- Lavender Honey Hand Balm,lower left-Fresh Lemon bar soap, lower right-Orange Honey Drizzle with Oats bar soaps

 I've been working on new product pics- just to freshen the ol' website up a bit, here are a few of them so far. I think it's nice to go out with the old and in with the new-just to keep things fresh!
What do you think?

August 15, 2011


"Sometimes you have to toot your own horn or someone will use it as a spittoon."Anonymous

I'm not generally the kind of person who is comfortable taking credit for accomplishment, but I thought I would take just a moment to toot my own horn err, I mean reflect. Today is one of those days that I am just basking a bit in how far I've come. It wasn't but a few years back that I had no idea how to integrate color let alone a swirl into my soap. I desperately wanted to use essential oils only and "blending" wasn't as easy as I thought. I was naive and thought that if I used "sweet orange" somehow the soap would smell deliciously mouth wateringly orangey - boy, did I have a lot to learn. I wondered if I would ever figure out how to make a scent I could be proud of. Historically- I have had trouble in the past sticking with something that I couldn't get perfect the first few times-it's an issue I have,however handmade soap seduced me, and the ensuing love affair still continues. While I still feel I have miles to go to be in the same league with Patti Flynn or my friend Erin of Inner Earth and the other soaping greats, I'm pleased with my progress and feel I've made great strides in the right direction.

Today, one of my soaps from a few years back was featured on "The Soap Bar" and- well it just feels good. Thanks Joanna!

Also, if you're on the fence about picking up a few Tierra Verde products yourself and need a gentle nudge - here's a few kind words from friends of Tierra Verde...
"I put the bars of soap on my bathroom shelf and the room smells like heaven!"

"I am in LOVE with your soap, seriously. I always buy handmade soap and yours is most definitely some of the best I've ever used- it's so foamy and rich. I'll be back for more once my little stash runs out! haha!" Portland, Oregon-

"Thank you for the lovely soaps and balm. They smell amazing!" Lubbock,Texas-
"I have purchased soaps and balms from Michele and they are wonderful! I highly recommend purchasing her unique soaps and balms! They smell so good and I love giving them for gifts and using them for myself! The quality and packaging is wonderful and I always receive my orders prompt and in perfect condition! "Frisco, Texas- 
"Wow! I just received my order and they are fabulous! Love the little something. My husband has laid claim to the Vanilla-Patchoulli. Wouldn't you know? I will be back to order more." Ingleside,Texas
I know that if you make soap, and truly love it like I do - this kind of support means the world to you. Thanks so much!

August 14, 2011

Don't Forget - We Have Hand Balms Too!

 Honey Hand Balm 1oz. $7.00

A hint of Fall will be in the air soon, and with Fall comes the need for a little more moisture on our skin. Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps Hand Balms, are made with fabulously moisturizing and nutritive ingredients to take care of hands in urgent need of moisture and repair. Tierra Verde Hand Balms come in 4 great scents; Honey(unscented but with the delicious aroma of honey), Lavender Honey, Lemon  Honey and Citrus Honey too!

Hand Balms are great for travel, the office or your purse. Simply warm between hands and apply to areas that need special attention-beeswax forms a protective seal to hold in moisture.

These balms are great for your lips, elbows, feet and cuticles too!

August 13, 2011

Clove Shave Round - Is Spicy and Traditional

Clove Shave Round is more handsome than ever-3.75 oz. $5.00

Shave soap trio from foreground to background- Lavender, Clove 
and Olive Oil and Goat's Milk-3.75oz.ea.

 Clove Shaving Round 
Simple, Clean, Traditional...

Clove Shaving Round – Hints of clove warm and spicy in a traditional shave round. Olive oil nurtures your skin while castor forms a satisfying lather that is given a fine slip with the help of kaolin clay. The results are a clean, aromatic shaving experience.

Look for our Tierra Verde Shaving Rounds to come in a variety pack of 3 soon. The shave round variety pack will come with 1) Olive Oil and Goat's Milk Shave Round 2) Lavender Shave Round 3) Clove Shave Round- all beautifully packaged for gift giving.

August 12, 2011

Great Shampoo Bar Exchange-Great Cakes Soapworks

It is important to note, that I have very thick hair that is untreated-no color, no perm. I wash daily, dry and flat iron-my hair goes through a bit of abuse. I find it is most important to be able to comb through my kind of hair easily due to the thickness factor.Also, here in Lubbock generally water is quite hard-a factor to consider when looking at how a product rinses out of your hair.

The first package I received, was Amy's from Great Cakes Soapworks, many of you know Amy for her generous feedback relating to her soapmaking experiences. She is a gifted and talented maker of several Bath and Body products and even more importantly a very kind person. 
First Impression-
My first impression of Amy’s shampoo bar was how nice the size seemed to be. I thought it must be perfect for the nimble dexterity needed to work up a generous lather for hair washing. The next delicious noteworthy quality was the beautiful aroma emanating from the bar-right off I detected lemongrass, but with a subtle zip of mint in the background delicious! I love the idea of something citrusy for my hair.

The shower-
Amy’s shampoo bar did not disappoint. The size was just a perfect fit for diligent lather action-lather was vivacious with a creamy conditioning feel to it and still my favorite element the scent is fresh and appealing. As I do with my shampoo bar- I used a rinse of Apple Cider Vinegar and water so as not to skew any results and because I find that is the secret to a clean rinse and easy comb out.

The comb out-
During the comb out/hair drying process I noted some areas of resistance. The comb did not go through my hair with the ease I have gotten used to. My hair seemed to revert back to the way it was in the beginning of developing my shampoo round-I believe this is not a formulary issue but perhaps a super fat issue. I found with the experimentation that I did regarding shampoo that a low super fat (even though it seems counterintuitive) is best for my hair.

Please understand that reviews are always very subjective and never the final word on how wonderful or not so wonderful a product is. I have come to the conclusion in participating in this review process that different shampoo bars meet different hair needs much like commercial shampoo products-there is no "one size fits all" formula out there.

August 10, 2011

Barley and Hops- Fall Edition 2011

  Barley and Hops- Fall Edition 2011

Autumn-the season for tailgating, football games,the glowing orange orb of the Harvest Moon, bon fires that light up the West Texas sky, and the crackle of fallen leaves. 

Actually, after using a tiny scrap of Barley and Hops-Fall Edition 2011-I would like to recant the previous description. Made with Nut Brown craft beer, this soap greets you with a definite note of zesty lime followed by a bit of sweet pipe tobacco in the background.(keep in mind this is still a very young soap and that I had to add a bit of water to my formula to work with the clove-so it will be evolving for just awhile longer than most.) My nose does not separate out the patchouli at all, but instead I think it melds with the clove and maltiness of beer to create a sweet pipe tobacco background note. Also, I noticed that this is most definitely a very bubbly brew that won't disappoint in the lather department. This soap will be ready after Sept. 6, 2011.

Now Listed-Rosemary Citrus Shampoo Rounds

Rosemary Citrus Shampoo Round-3.75 oz. $5.00

Rosemary Citrus Shampoo Round-Featuring wholesome ingredients that simply clean and nourish your hair. This solid shampoo is a special blend of oils infused with Chamomile and scented with the refreshingly clean scent of Rosemary Citrus.

We recommend a vinegar rinse to go along with the use of your Rosemary Citrus Shampoo Round -the recommended rate of water to vinegar is 1/3 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 quart of water. You can then store this mixture in a plastic bottle and keep it in the shower ready for use. I keep my vinegar rinse in a plastic squeeze bottle purchased at the dollar store and find it is perfectly easy to use. I apply the vinegar rinse each time I shampoo and rinse completely (or if you prefer) you can use a rinse only a couple of times a week to keep your scalp pH balanced.People often ask,"does your hair smell like a pickle or salad?" and the answer is "no,once your hair dries you will not smell the vinegar."

New to solid shampoo? You may find that you hair needs an adjustment period. Don't give up after 2 or 3 days-the switch from commercial to handmade takes a bit of time.

Why use a solid shampoo?

Packaging is minimal and ingredients are simple and wholesome.

Rosemary Citrus Shampoo rounds contain only natural ingredients.

Solid shampoo is very convenient for travel, camping, or the gym.

Solid shampoo is completely bio-degradable and earth friendly.

Refresh Mint Redo

Refresh Mint-Rustic and Clean 4.5 oz. $6.00

Refresh Mint-Feel refreshed with a perfect blend of cool clean Spearmint and Japanese Peppermint- this soap is brisk, fresh, and rejuvenating - a great choice for a morning wake up soap or as an end of the day pick me up. Unisex

I've decided to discontinue beveling my bars for a couple of reasons- 1)the customer get's a little more bang for their buck 2) the crisp edges fit my packaging much better. The result is a slightly more rustic look that I like-how about you?

August 9, 2011

Fresh Air in Blue and White

 Fresh Air in Blue and White-the new look 4.5 oz. $6.00

Blue and white represents the clouds and sky. Imagine a beautiful day-a walk amongst majestic conifers.

Fresh Air-a breath of fresh, clean evergreen craftily mingles with a hint of peppermint giving this soap the refreshing, aromatic scent of coniferous forest carried on an early morning breeze. Unisex

August 6, 2011

Oh Happy Day

To celebrate Lucille Ball's 100th birthday the Hallmark Channel is having a "Birthday Bash" = "I Love Lucy" all day. Hot dog!!! So if you are an "I Love Lucy" fan like me-I know what you'll be doing all day. : ))

August 2, 2011

Drumroll Please......and the Winner Is

 Barley and Hops- Nut Brown

Remember this little contest to see who could recommend the most interesting "Fall blend" for the latest version of beer soap.After much debate, I have decided that perhaps the blend that I think would be most complimentary with beer for my Autumnal beer soap is Cocobong's suggestion of Patchouli,Lime and Clove Leaf. I currently have a summer soap with a blend of Lime, Clove Leaf and a touch of Patch-but the appeal of having Patch in the lead with zesty notes of lime and clove has won me over-I think this is a superb blend for the nutty, malty aroma of beer.

I want to genuinely thank all those who offered suggestions-there were several fabulous ideas-it was very hard to choose. I think I may actually end up trying a few of these ideas before all is said and done. Thank you all so much!

A Port - in the Storm of Life

Life has been busy and full of unpredictable ups and downs. I'm so glad I have soap to come to-when I need to find my center. Soap, a predictable reaction that unless effected by human error will always perform the same way. Essential oils calm and soothe me. Soap is my comfort food-it feeds my soul.

August 1, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit." Lillie Langtry ~

July 28, 2011

"Summertime... and the Living Is Easy" Lemon Penne Pasta

This is what I've had for lunch a couple of times this week-I love this recipe-it's perfectly summery and oh so easy (Two qualities I love when it's my turn to cook.)

1/4 virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove of garlic minced or put through the press
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper

1 Package of Penne Pasta
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1 package of baby spinach

Top with Parmasan Cheese

You could also add:
Pine Nuts
Arugula (in the place of spinach)

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt,garlic and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10minutes(the pasta I buy says 11 minutes and in my experience 11 minutes is perfect.) Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Simmer until foamy. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a caramel color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, spinach, petite diced tomatoes. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.Top with Parmasan cheese and pine nuts if desired.

July 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.
- Bill Cosby

July 19, 2011

Paying It Forward

My blogging/soaping buddy and all around good friend Amy-over at Great  Cakes Soapworks has honored Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps with "The Versatile Blogger" award. If you make soap and read soapy blogs-you probably know Amy-she is known for her generous sharing of information and techniques. Her soap is always beautifully executed and most definitely a testament to her own unique style, but most of all Amy is a lovely person that I am honored to know.

I borrowed this information regarding the award from Amy's blog.

The concept behind the Versatile Blogger Award is to follow a few rules and then pass it on to whatever blog you think deserves it. The rules are:
1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award and contact them to let them know they have won

Now on to the 7 random things, hmmmmm

1) I am a huge "I Love Lucy" fan-I love that era-the clothes, the humor, the writing-it's all so innocent and genuinely funny with out being torrid.

2) My husband is 2 years younger than me.

3) I've read all of "Gone With The Wind."

4) One of my favorite movies is "The Sound of Music." Yep, I'm a bit of!

5) I used to have a crush on Cat Stevens.

6) I was THE swim team in high school.

7) I was five years old when we had a devastating tornado here in Lubbock-and I remember bits and pieces of it. I used to be mortified of thunder,lightening and storms-but I have since overcome that fear and now I love storms.

Now to pay it forward-because I think this is a fun way to learn interesting tidbits about my blogging buddies. I would like to nominate the following blogs.

Inner Earth Soaps
Jenora Soaps
Joyful Soaps
Revive Bath and Body
Two Blooms Design Studio
Simply Soap

July 15, 2011

Fresh Lemon Has a Fresh New Look

Fresh Lemon - Garden fresh lemons; Sunny and bright with a note of earthy green, a perfect way to revive and refresh your senses. Pure essential oils provide fabulously fresh scent and a happy yellow color to the soap while olive oil infused with calendula calms and soothes your skin.

Fresh Lemon has always smelled fabulous now she has a fresh new look! The newest edition of  Fresh Lemon will be ready  Aug. 11. 2011-until then there are still a few bars of the previous edition left. Pick yourself a Fresh Lemon today!

So, this photo is the first taken on the manual setting. I find yellow a very difficult color to get right-it washes out very easily looking almost white(hint-white balance is your!) I wasn't able to get a good yellow via manual-this is a photo my husband took. I am going to work on learning the manual side of photography, mostly because I've noticed that when you do get a feel for the settings-the colors just come alive in a way that Auto photographs just do not. I think it may be a long journey for me, but in the end so worth it.