January 30, 2012

This is What Happens When I Can't Sleep

Well, here it is 12:30 a.m. and I'm wide awake, so I thought I'd share yet another excerpt from "100 Simple Secrets of Successful People" with you. This excerpt comes from Chapter 75 entitled-"If You Doubt, You're Out" this particular chapter must have been written just for me. I recognize this oh so familiar pattern that I've been caught up in for YEARS, but the good news is that Im'a working on it.

"Confidence is like a helpful virus spreading throughout your body. If you have it, it will infect everything you do in a positive way. If you don't, it will undermine everything you do. 

People who lack confidence not only fear doing things they are not good at, they actually start to fear performing tasks in which they excel because they question whether they're all that good at anything. 

Confidence spreads from successes, and lack of confidence multiplies with failures. If your confidence falters, turn to what you do best, and then take on more challenging tasks."

It helps me to see the analogy of self doubt being the petri dish for fear to grow and fester, and I love the imagery of confidence being a "good virus" or the super hero that fans out infecting and taking over the evil cooties of self doubt. Mwahahaha!


January 27, 2012

Freckle Soap ?

Guess which one is "Freckle Soap?"

Seems I've had a special request by the cutest little guy ever, to rename the Clove Shave Round-"Freckle Soap"-what do you all think? lol! I love it!!

Exposing my Nerdism

Earlier this week, I was approached about being the subject of my friend Donniece's blog post for this week. I was both flattered and  honored(and a little mortified) as she gently nudged me in the direction of a photo of myself for her blog.Ugh! A photo was not a requirement,but it was instead a very gentle nudge towards stepping outside my box. I am by nature a very humble introvert happy to work quietly on my art behind the scenes. I knew the day was coming that a photo would be necessary-all my soap blog buddies are out of the closet and I knew there would come a day that I could no longer hide behind my passion-I would have to come out...what I'm saying is "thanks Donniece" for the gentle nudge.

My name is Michele, and I am a NERD. Yep, ask my kids they'll tell you-I've developed a voracious appetite for all things soap- I spend untold hours reading soap blogs, researching the latest trends, looking at beautifully photographed soapy images, I often lie in bed awake pondering the intricacies of my next creation...I've got it baaaad folks.My friend describes my nerdism(bless her) in the kindest of ways, read on as Donniece goes a bit more in depth in this week's blog post The Art and Harmony of Soap.

Thanks Donniece, for taking the time to write this fun blog post and even more for nudging me to stretch myself.

January 25, 2012


Me January 25, 2012 the day before my 21st wedding anniversary-yep 21 years. It's hard to believe. I've earned every gray hair and wrinkle on this face-it's who I am and nothing more, nothing less.

I've fought tooth and nail to avoid a photo of myself appearing anywhere in the remote proximity of my blog/Facebook etc,but well sooner or later it's bound to happen. Right? So, in honor of my new life mantra -here ya go-there now, somehow this is terrifying and liberating all at once.

My new mantra-
"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you!" Christian D. Larson~

January 21, 2012

Lavender Rustica and 2.26 Minutes of Fame

 Lavender Rustica in review

So, this review is kind of a crazy story. I don't submit my soaps for review-not because I don't fully believe that I have a very nice product, but because well opinions are very subjective (you know to each his own.)

If your wondering about placing your first order of Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps-here's a few unsolicited and gracious words about my product.

Branching Out

I'm very happy to announce we are branching out, for those of you who live up north closer to the Green Bay Wisconsin area-now you can pick up a variety of Tierra Verde bar soaps, shave soaps and hand balms from the Soaps by Nature Handcrafted Skincare Emporium. Soaps by Nature features a collection of natural skin care products handcrafted by small business;small batch artisan soapmakers. I'm very happy to be included in this fine online venue. For those who might be interested in a little about how I got started, and my soaping philosophy-here is a link to my artisan interview.

January 20, 2012

Failure is a Funny Thing (well sort of...)

As you all know, I am in the midst of reading "The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People" by David Niven-it's an easy read as each chapter is one tip-so the chapters are something you can easily read just a snippet of and move on to other tasks. I like to do it this way as I have found these little nuggets of wisdom to be quite thought provoking. I want to take the time to let them "soak in." Last night's little snippet was Chapter 63 (the 100th champter isn't too far away now) entitled "Failure Is Not Trying."

Hmmm, now personally I have some issues with the fear of failure,(a fear that on occasion has kept me from jumping off of the precipice of life) so I devoured this chapter and let it soak and this is what I took away from the following excerpt.

 " The fear of failure is powerful.(Really?) Nobody wants to reveal to others, or to themselves, that they were not capable of doing something they tried to do.

This fear can be used as a source of motivation to keep you working hard toward your goals. Yet this same fear offers a convenient escape clause.You can never fail if you don't bother to try.

Not trying is, of course, the ultimate failure, for it means you can never make the progress toward your goals."

This got me to thinking how about what strange thing the fear of failure is-if allowed to run rampant and take over your thoughts fear defeats you before you even have a chance to fail at all.  The fear of failure is that powerful and failure is not failure at all if you try and learn something from your mistakes. Thomas Edison once said "I failed my way to success" and we all know about his amazing contributions to the world today. Where would we be without his "failures?"-(most likely sitting in the dark, without audio or video...)

Failure tricks you into thinking that if you try and it's a flop you have failed-it's insidious that way-when in reality the only way to truly fail is not to try at all.

January 16, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I'm currently reading "The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People" by David Niven in which each small chapter is a tip or "key to success." Now, by nature I am a list maker; grocery list,daily to do list,goals and dreams list and calender keeper-oh, how I love a brand spanking new calendar.(they are right up there with new school supplies, new crayons, new office supplies-right?) I often make lists in my head-lists of things that need to get done today, who needs to go to the Dr., which kid needs lunch money, birthdays, ss # etc. I've even filed away my phone number and address from 1st grade(just in case I need  it), but oddly enough I don't write them all down-they seldom make it to paper (with the exception of grocery lists.)

Today, I was reading along when tip #12 jumped right out at me- hmmmm, really I should write my goals and plans down. According to tip #12 a chapter entitled, "Write Down the Directions"-

"If you were taking a complicated route out of town, you would write down the directions. But if you were considering the future path or your life, your goals, and what you needed to do to achieve them, you probably wouldn't write any of it down. Think of it-the most significant journey of your life,and your probably won't put a word of the directions on paper.

Writing down your plans, goals, and ideas makes them more real for you. Every step you take to define what you want and what you need to do to get it increases the chances that you will actually pursue these goals and someday achieve them." Really??

"People who regularly keep a journal or some kind of written record pertaining to their aspirations, are 32 percent more likely to feel like they are making progress in their lives."

Wow! those are pretty good odds-I'm off to the office supply store-got to get my hands on a brand new journal...

January 13, 2012

Romantic,Clean and Classic...

Lavender Shave Rounds-Romantic,Clean and Classic...

A few new batches of Lavender Shave Rounds will be ready to go by market time. Lavender is a clean classic scent for men or women (remember ladies, shave rounds aren't just for the gents.) Look for Lavender shave rounds, as well as Olive Oil and Goat's Milk, Clove Shave Rounds and New Aloe Shave Rounds to be abundant at next month's market.Next market day is Sat. February 11 from 9-3. Hope to see you there.

Just a Reminder

Hey all, just a reminder that there will be no The Downtown Art Market this month-but it will resume in February (right before Valentines Day) Feb. 11. This will be a great opportunity to pick up a very special handcrafted gift for the one you love. ♥ ♥ We'll look forward to seeing you there-be sure to stop by to see what's new.

January 11, 2012

I've Been Busy

While my posts have been somewhat erratic, it only means that things are going on behind the scenes that are keeping me pretty busy.  December marked the very first Lubbock Downtown Art Market for Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps,and having done lots of research on what to expect and what to have ready was a huge help.My only regret is that I didn't jump off into markets before now. I think I kind of let the idea that I needed to have the "perfect table" and market set up intimidate me all this time,but in the end I just decided to "go for it" with what I had available to me and make the best of it and in the end I have no regrets-we had a great time.

The first market day was very, very cold-the fog was supposed to burn off and the temps. were supposed to warm up into the low 50's, but of course that never happened.(in fact many vendors didn't even show up and a few set up outside and left-it was just too cold.) Instead the day began with fog, moisture and below freezing temps. with even a few flurries and pretty much stayed that way minus the fog and flurries,however it didn't dampen our enthusiasm and we toughed it out for the day. Luckily we had a tent with sides and a small portable propane heater that saved the day and made it tolerable for us to be outside.Us being myself, the husband and daughter(who so graciously tolerated the freezing temps. in a show of support.)

It seems the timing for all of this was serendipitous too, as you can only imagine that right before Christmas is a great time to have handmade product for sale. I went to market with the hopes of at least recovering my booth fee,and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised at the interest there was in handmade soap. I guess it only helps that soap and hand balms are perfect stocking stuffer items.lol!

Initially, I was told that there were going to be 3 other handmade soap vendors,(at a fairly small market) so we knew we might be lost in the crowd, however as fate would have it we were the only ones crazy enough to set up. We didn't have high expectations that we would bring in loads of profit since the day was overcast and never above freezing, but somehow we ended up doing very well despite the weather and I'm sure a less than normal turn out.

The following are photos from the eve before market. I highly recommend setting up a mock table so you can get a good idea of how you want to lay your product out. This way you can see how how it will all play out instead of finding out the morning of.

What do you think of the funky table cloth? I picked it up at the Jackelope in Albuquerque NM. I love it!

At the end of the day-the lesson I took away from all of this, is that being intimidated by the whole "market" scene was a huge waste of time-just dive right in and tweak your table and set up as you go. Once you have a few markets under your belt you'll know just what you need to take in the way of change, supplies, product amount etc. Don't get bogged down by all the details and expectations you think are there-just get out there and do it. If you believe in your product you'll find you can easily talk about it to others. I am pretty much an introvert and yet I found market to be a great place to educate people as to the attributes of my product.

All this to say that now that markets have entered my life things are very busy. I'm also working on a bit of a tweak for my website-the updated version will have a space for announcements such as sales, shipping announcements etc. Duh! for some reason that was not a consideration on the website that is up currently. We are also working on getting some new product shots to populate the sight. Once all of this is in place, I'm looking forward to some kind of fun giveaway-so keep watching out for that.

The new product shots will be along the same lines as the one below. I really love the organic nature of these photos and hope you like them too.

January 7, 2012

I'm Grinning From Ear to Ear

A comment on the Tierra Verde Facebook page today from Sarah Reed of Sarah Reed Photography made me grin from ear to ear. Sarah does a lot of portrait work-if you are in the Flint, Michigan area and are looking for a stellar photographer-her work is second to none.

"I wish I had a way of sharing what all I am smelling right now! OMG, your soap smells amazingly clean and fresh. Crazy amazing and calming." SR~
I just can't seem to wipe the grin off my face. :-

January 5, 2012

A Little Something New

Aloe Vera Shave Round - $5.00 for a 3.75oz round-these beauties will be ready Feb. 2

While admittedly an Aloe Vera Shave round is a very simple thing - I'm finding it to be quite deliciously decadent. This shave soap has lovely lather with bubbles that start out large in order to create a creamy more dense lather in the end. The soap itself is smooth and easy to handle in your hands-great for shaving or for a skin soothing shower after a day in the sun. Currently this soap comes unscented, but I'm dreaming up a little something special in terms of a scented aloe shave round as well. Stay tuned....

My New Favorite Quote

I love this quote it speaks volumes to me. To some of you it may seem to come from an unlikely source- Steven Tyler of Aerosmith - I'm currently reading his memoir "Does the Noise Inside My Head Bother You?:A Rock N Roll Memoir." For some reason I find him very interesting-he's lived a life that many of us (including myself) just cannot imagine. This book is not for the faint of heart as he very vividly describes his "wilder days" of drugs, women and rock n roll-but somewhere in the midst of all the chaos there are pearls of wisdom too; as he speaks of his regrets-pertaining to the people he loves most-his family.

"Life is short. Break the rules,forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile." Steven Tyler ~