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Resolution Check In – Fire & Ice Massage Oil

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If you haven’t been following our blog recently, our New Years Resolution was to go to the gym a few days a week & live a healthier lifestyle. Of course getting to the gym is hard when your life is always so busy, but we have still managed (as best we could) to get there. I will admit we have slipped up a bit and eaten Goat Mountain Pizza a few times, but we can honestly say we’ve done a good job at staying away from Rocket Donuts! And that’s tough when you work right across the street. :)

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Everyone knows that going to the gym and working out means sore muscles. We have come up with what we like to call Fire & Ice Massage Oil for those sore muscles!

What You’ll Need:
20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
5 drops Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
5 drops Clove Leaf Essential Oil
0.5 oz Jojoba Oil
1.0 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
1. Mix all of your ingredients together in a small container with a spout. We used a ceramic coffee creamer dish.
2. Pour your mix into a 2 oz glass dropper bottle.
3. Apply as needed for sore muscles!

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Sam’s Avocado Fiasco

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As Otion’s newest employee, I sure have some big shoes to fill. Learning all about the different products we carry and their many uses has been a wonderful and sometimes overwhelming journey. After a couple of months of learning the ropes, I decided to dive in and make some Cold Process Soap. As a thank-you to my Dad for painting our lovely store for us (free of charge!), I decided to flip through Anne-Marie’s book, Soap Crafting, to find a recipe just for him. I found  a wonderful recipe for Avocado Moisturizing Bars, and then  tweaked it to be more specific for my Dad, who prefers more natural ingredients. I therefore switched the colorants from oxides to natural colorants, and the fragrance oil to an essential oil blend Karly and I made. I also eliminated Palm Kernel Flakes from the recipe and replaced them with Castor Oil, Hazelnut Oil and Shea Butter to make it even more moisturizing. Due to these changes, I of course entered my recipe into Bramble Berry’s lye calculator to ensure I had the correct water and lye amounts.

What You’ll Need:

5 oz Sodium Hydroxide
12 oz Distilled Water

11 oz Avocado Oil
2 oz Castor Oil
10.5 oz Coconut Oil
5 oz Hazelnut Oil
3.5 oz Olive Oil Pure
4 oz Shea Butter

4.2 oz Avocado Slurry (2 oz ripe Avocado, 2.2 oz Distilled Water)
1/2 tsp. Spirulina
1 tsp. Purple Brazilian Clay

0.4 oz Litsea E.O.
1 oz Clary Sage E.O.
0.6 oz Clove Leave E.O.

All right, time to make some soap! I got all of my ingredients ready to go: I even pre-separated out the essential oil blend into three containers to maximize efficiency. I weighed out all my oils precisely, heated them up to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit, waited until my lye solution had cooled to 100 degrees, and then combined them. What a perfect soap consistency! I separated the soap into three containers, and added the Spirulina to one, the Purple Brazilian Clay to the second, and the Avocado Slurry to the third. The Spirulina colored soap was thickening up nicely, so I poured it into the mold. Looks beautiful! This is going to go wonderfully! But wait, why is my Avocado Slurry soap so thin? I figured it would thicken up after a while, so I went ahead and poured it on top of the first layer of soap. Apparently as I was trying to thicken up the Avocado Slurry, the Purple Brazilian Clay soap was thickening up all on its own! So when I went to pour the Purple Brazilian Clay Soap on the Avocado Slurry, it just plop, plop, plopped on down through it!

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So what went wrong? I forgot a crucial step from Anne-Marie’s book; I was supposed to add the Avocado Slurry to the entire soap batch, before even adding the Spirulina and Purple Brazilian Clay! So the Avocado Slurry layer had way too much water in it. Even now, a week after I made the soap, it has not hardened up at all. Luckily Karly helped me realize my mistake, and I was able to try again the next day with fantastic results.

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This time, I added the Avocado Slurry to the entire batch and THEN I separated it out into three different containers. It worked wonderfully! Once I made my layers in my 3 lb silicone mold, I was able to make the soap beautiful by spooning the soap towards the middle, and then making figure-eights down the middle with a skewer.

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It’s funny, but because my first attempt was such a colossal failure, it made the successful soap that much more satisfying. So for you first-time soap makers out there, or even soapers that have been doing it for years, know that even us ‘trained professionals’ sometimes make fantastic mistakes!

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Black Raspberry Vanilla

My very first batch of cold process soap was made in a column mold, and to date it is still my favorite one! You never know how its going to turn out, but no matter what happens it always looks good! I haven’t done a column mold since my first batch of soap almost a year ago, but I decided to give it a go once again! This time, using Black Raspberry Vanilla Fragrance Oil. We love the smell and it is definitely one of our top ten here at Otion!

What You’ll Need:
3.7 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
4.8 oz Avocado Oil
1.9 oz Castor Oil
12.1 oz Coconut Oil
7.2 oz Palm Oil
6.3 oz Rice Bran Oil
5.1 oz Sodium Hydroxide (superfatted at 5%)
11 oz Distilled Water
Column Mold

2 oz Goats Milk Powder
3 oz Distilled Water
2 oz Black Raspberry Vanilla FO
1/2 tsp. Titanium Dioxide
1/2 tsp. Activated Charcoal
1/4 tsp. Electric Bubble Gum
1/4 tsp. Merlot Mica

First and foremost, safety is key! Make sure you always are wearing long sleeves, closed toed shoes, goggles, gloves and are in a well ventilated area. You also want to be sure that there are no kids or pets around when making soap; especially when working with lye.

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1. Weigh out your distilled water and your lye in separate containers. Then pour your lye into your water and stir with a stainless steel whisk. Be sure not to do it the other way around, as it can cause a volcano effect. Label your lye solution then set aside to cool.

2. As your lye solution is cooling, combine all of your oils together in a large Pyrex container. Be sure you have completely melted the coconut oil and palm oil before weighing out.

3. Now, in a separate dish, combine 2 oz of the goats milk powder and 3 oz of distilled water then thoroughly mix together with Bramble Berry’s mini mixer. Set aside.

4. When you are premixing your colorants, add Electric Bubble Gum and Merlot Mica together, as this is going to make a raspberry pink color. Add a small amount of a fixed oil (we used apricot kernel oil) and mix with Bramble Berry’s mini mixer. Repeat with Titanium Dioxide and Activated Charcoal. You will have 3 separate colors in the end.

5. Put your oils in the microwave and heat until they reach approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your oils and your lye solution are both around 100 degrees (10-15 degrees of each other) you can then combine them together. Be sure to burp your stick blender before you start blending them together.

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6. Once you have reached a very light trace, you can add your goats milk slurry and mix it in. Stick blend until its mixed in but you are still at a light trace.

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7. After the goats milk slurry is mixed in, divide your soap into 3 different containers. You can then add your color and your fragrance oil to the containers and mix with a fork.

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8. Now its time to pour! Decide what order you’d like to go in with your colors then you can start pouring into the mold. I counted to 3 every time I poured so there would be a consistent amount of each colored soap.

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9. Because there is goats milk in this recipe, we put the soap in the freezer overnight. This is because there is sugar content and it gets very hot, and if it gets too hot the milk can scorch which leads to dark spots.

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10. Let your soap sit in the mold for 5-6 days. If you try and unmold it too soon, the soap will be too soft and will stick to the sides of the mold. Once you are able to pull it out of the mold, let is sit on the table and let the liner pull away from the soap on its own. This will only take a couple hours and a much less chance of your soap getting stuck to the liner.

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11. Once you are able to completely unmold it, cut into your soap and let it cure for 4-6 weeks. Then, enjoy! :)

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Palm Free Waterlily Orange

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We’ve been so inspired by all of the mixed media soaps happening lately, that we decided to do yet another! We did Melt & Pour Soap in Cold Process for Valentine’s Day, and then we embedded Cold Process Soap in Melt & Pour Soap with a fun planet/galaxy theme!

This time we were determined to take it to the next level!

**If you have never done Cold Process Soap Making, please review safety procedures before starting. There is a great tutorial where you can get all the information you need on SoapQueen.**

What You Will Need:

12.5 oz Distilled Water
4.7 oz Sodium Hydroxide (superfatted at 6%)
4.5 oz Avocado Oil
2.5 oz Castor Oil
11 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Jojoba Oil
10 oz Olive Oil Pure
3.5 oz Shea Butter
1 tsp Sodium Lactate

1/2 tsp. Ultramarine Blue
1/4 tsp. Hydrated Chrome Green Oxide
1 tsp. Aqua Pearl Mica
2 oz Waterlily Orange Fragrance Oil
Straws (different sizes in diameter, cut into 2.5 inch segments)
Iridescent Glitter

2 oz Clear Melt & Pour
1 drop Liquid Orange
Dropper
12 Bar Square Silicone Mold

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1. First we mixed our lye solution by adding 4.7 oz of Sodium Hydroxide to 12.5 oz of Distilled Water and set aside to cool.
*Always remember to label your lye solution so nobody gets into it.*

2. Next, we measured out Waterlily Orange FO. Then premixed our colors in Sweet Almond Oil. To achieve the blue we wanted, we mixed the Ultramarine Blue with the Aqua Pearl Mica. It turned out perfect!

3. Then we measured out the oils and butters and had them heated up to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s when we checked on our lye, which was at 107 degrees. Generally you want to soap between 10-15 degrees of each other. collage 1 4. Once our lye was cool, we added 1 tsp of Sodium Lactate. This helps produce a harder bar of soap.

5. Next, we combined our lye and oils and used the stick blender to bring the soap batter to a light trace. collage 2 6. We separated out approximately 8 oz of the batch into a squeeze bottle. We added our premixed green color to the squeeze bottle and added our premixed blue color along with our fragrance oil to the large batch. collage 3collage 6 7. Now we were ready to pour our blue layer into the silicone mold. It started to thicken up a bit, but actually made a really nice water effect. Then we got a little fancy and added glitter to the top by lightly blowing it over the soap. collage 4collage 5 8. Now we grabbed the squeeze bottle of green and made circles on top of each square of soap. Next, we took a skewer and drug it down the circle to shape it like a leaf. collage 7collage 8 This is a long process! But bare with us!

9. Next, we strategically and randomly pushed the straws of different sizes into the blue areas of the soap. We sprayed the top with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and let it cure for 48 hours.

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photo110. After 2 days, the straws were ready to get pulled out, and they left empty holes in their place.

11.We took 2 oz of clear m&p, melted it down and added 1 drop of liquid orange. We then took a dropper and filled those holes. This was slightly tricky, but once all of the holes had orange in them, we sprayed it down with alcohol again.

collage 1012. We let the soap sit for another 5 days before we popped them completely out to sit and cure on our shelf.

We LOVE these! And are so exited how they turned out. Come into Otion to take a look at them yourself and you can even purchase one to take home with you. :)

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Fun with the Girls

A few months back we had the pleasure of having Lindsey and Crystal come in for some private soaping fun! They were a blast to say the least, and the best part was they were able to make some fantastic soaps and bath bombs!

*Both girls had made Cold Process Soap before, but they wanted some help with color and designs.**

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Here the girls helped pour and swirl soap in a dream catcher design. It turned out beautiful and smelled heavenly with Lemongrass Essential Oil.

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After soap making, they dove into making bath bombs. They were not afraid of getting their hands dirty!

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Thank you Lindsey and Crystal for making the trip up to Bellingham and playing in the soap with us! Hope you two had wonderful Birthdays!

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Interested in taking a private class here at Otion? Check out our website for some basic information or give us a call and we would be happy to help answer your questions.

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Clay Cold Process

 I was trying to find a recipe for cold process soap using more natural ingredients.  I found the perfect recipe (Clay Spoon-Plop) out of Anne-Marie’s Soap Crafting book. A recipe using clay’s is exactly what I was looking for! It was the perfect soap to make for my Step Dad Mark,  since he helped us with the remodel of the store (Crafter’s Corner is Finally Here!). Of course it has to cure for 4-6 weeks before he can use it, but I loved how it looked and wanted to share it!

What You’ll Need:

5 oz Sodium Hydroxide
11.6 oz Distilled Water

11.2 oz Palm Oil
11.2 oz Coconut Oil
1.4 oz Castor Oil
11.2 oz Olive Oil
2 oz Sensuous Sandalwood Fragrance Oil

2 tsp Sea Clay mixed with 1.5 tbsp water
2 tsp Green Zeolite Clay mixed with 1 tbsp water
2 tsp Yellow Slit Clay mixed with 1.5 tbsp water
1.5 tsp Rose Clay mixed with 1 tbsp water
2 tsp Kaolin Clay mixed with 1 tbsp water
10″ Silicone Loaf Mold

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Goats Milk Class is BACK!

We’re so very excited to announce that the Goats Milk Class is coming back to Otion!

This Goat’s Milk Soaping Demo is open to soap makers of all experience levels. Here at Otion we will go over three different approaches to work with goat’s milk in your soaps, as well as address some of the common issues with milk soap.

This class is NOT intended to be a complete soap making class, but is offered as a supplement to our Basic Cold Process Class. Students will go home with a thorough packet of information as well as some previously made soap from the recipes demonstrated in class.  The goat’s milk soaping demo is limited to 8 people per class to ensure maximum one-on-one time with the instructor.

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Cost: $25 - includes all materials.

What to bring: For this class you need to bring safety goggles and a pen for note taking.

If you wish to sign up for the Goats Milk Class, head on over to Otions website and register online!

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Crafter’s Corner is Finally Here!

Thank You

These last few months, us Otion girls have been working non-stop at coming up with a plan for the store re-model and the Crafter’s Corner. We had people coming in daily asking to make lip balm, bath bombs, and other products in-store. And unfortunately we weren’t set up to offer that. We’ve always wanted to offer more then just melt and pour soap, and this was our chance!

There were piles of notes and doodles to try and see if we could make everything fit in our little store. Not to mention trying to pick out a new paint color, how we were going to paint, and when! But we sat down (multiple times) and came up with a plan, and we did it!

If you stopped into the store in the last few weeks, you have seen small changes. New label designs, new paint color, shelves were no longer orange and yellow, etc. We had been trying to get the small things done before we were closed for the two days before the Grand Opening. We couldn’t have done any of this without the help of Samantha’s dad Geoff, Calie’s mom Kim and her step-dad Mark for all of their hard work! Geoff painted the store, Mark put all the backing on our shelves, and Kim cut out and helped put up the ‘Crafter’s Corner’ and ‘Soap’ vinyl decals in the store! And of course we couldn’t do this without the support from Anne-Marie and the whole Bramble Berry team.  Thank you ALL from the bottom of our hearts! We couldn’t have done any of this without you!

We have been taking pictures from the very beginning to the very end and wanted to share with all of you! We hope you enjoy the new Crafter’s Corner as much as we do! :)

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The first step was to paint! The girls started moving everything to the center of the store so Geoff could get his ladder and equipment in to paint over the purple for us! We sure do love the gray!

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Sadly we said goodbye to our beloved copper table! In order to make room for the four stations in the Crafter’s Corner it meant we had to get rid of the big copper table! We have done countless soap bars, projects and lunch breaks on it. We were very sad to see it go, but Bramble Berry has the privilege of having it now. ;)

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Slowly but surely we got our four shelves painted! If you remember, they used to be orange and yellow, now they are gray and match the rest of the store!

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You find the weirdest things when re-modeling. We found this cute little guy stamped onto one of our shelves!

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Calie’s mom Kim cut out vinyl letters so we could put up ‘Crafter’s Corner’ and ‘Soap’ on the walls! We love how they turned out and at some point, hope to put up a few more words. :)

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For the two days we were closed, you could hardly walk in the store! We had stuff EVERYWHERE! But we somehow managed to get around!

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Calie’s step dad Mark came in and attached painted boards to the back of our fixed oil shelves. We painted the backs with chalk board paint so we can put fun drawings for the Crafter’s Corner people! None of us are exactly ‘artsy’, so we’re still waiting to figure out what to put on it. ;)

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Sometimes its hard to tell who works at Otion when the store is full of people, so we decided to make matching shirts!

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The Grand Opening! We had people lined up at the door and all four stations in the Crafter’s Corner were filled in minutes! We even had a waiting list! We have heard nothing but positive feedback from everyone who came to the Crafter’s Corner and we couldn’t be more thrilled! It’s so exciting to finally have people see how hard we have worked and all the countless hours we’ve put into this! It sure makes it all worth it.

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Thank you all so very much for coming to the Grand Opening of the Crafter’s Corner and being so flexible with all the messes, being closed and the chaos! We have wonderful customers!
And a huge thank you to Bramble Berry for all of their support! For putting up blogs regarding the Crafter’s Corner and being there for any questions we had!

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DIY Air Fresheners

Does anyone else spend too much money on air fresheners for their cars? I know I can’t be the only one! I can’t ever seem to find the right smell, or if I do, once it’s in my car I don’t like it anymore! Well, I did some digging on Pinterest and discovered that it is a simple project to make your own air fresheners! And the best part is, you can pick any fragrance or essential oil that you’d like!

What You’ll Need:
Felt (one regular piece and one adhesive piece)
String
Hole Punch
Scissors
Stencil (optional)
Dropper
Fragrance Oil(s) or Essential Oil(s)

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1. Pull off the paper covering the adhesive on your felt, and stick it to your other piece of felt. The two together will make your air freshener more stiff and not flimsy.

2. If you want to use a stencil, trace the shape onto either side of the felt. (Using a pen works great) If you don’t want to use a stencil, you can freehand any sort of shape you would like. For my stencil, I printed out a flower.

3. Once you have the shape you’d like drawn on your felt, you are now ready to cut it out!

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4. Now you are ready to hole punch at the top of your shape and tie a piece of string through it.

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5. Once you have your string looped through the hole, now you can add your fragrance! Add 3-5 drops in each ‘corner’ of your shape. You do not want to over saturate your felt, as it will drip if you put too much. Less is more in this case. **Before hanging it in your car, pick it up and make sure it doesn’t drip. Because this is fragrance oil, it can stain.** If it does not drip and you’d like it a little stronger, you can definitely add more drops to your air freshener.

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6. There you have it! Now you don’t have to pay for expensive air fresheners, you can make them yourself!

**Add more drops or change out air freshener as needed!**