Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, With Soap!

We had SO much fun this afternoon with some soaperstars celebrating their friend's 11th birthday at Otion (birthday girl in the center!). While the bars hardened in the freezer, they had time for cake and presents. These are their favorite soaps they made, and later we cut into the glittery party loaf. Mom was super excited to not have any mess at her house, and it was our pleasure hosting such a well-behaved group. Thanks for coming and Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coffee Break

I think most female Pacific Northwest residents will agree with me when I say we love coffee, but we love coffee and chocolate even more. I happen to love it in soap, and so should you! (This is Kat posting by the way, in case you might have had a moment of confusion over Soap King).

We carry a fragrance called Chocolate Espresso, which I admit makes me want to eat a bar of soap scented with it, or drink it straight out of the bottle (don't do that). Thank goodness I haven't gone that far. I made some lovely soap with it today, and I think bathing with it is even better yet.

I started with some white melt-and-pour base and added fragrance and ground coffee beans. This is the soap for my embeds, which you can do any design you want. I made stars.

For the background, I used a clear base colored with cappuccino mica.

Pour a layer of brown and let it set up a bit to hold the embed. Spray both the embed and the layer with rubbing alcohol so everything sticks together nicely. Then fill in the rest with more brown.

Pop them out and try not to take a bite. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Glitter, Neons and Swirling, Oh My!

This afternoon we had a special guest Bramble Berry shopper who is in town visiting from Wisconsin. While her husband went golfing (thanks to course tips from Erik), Susie stayed with me and made soap! She loves cold process and fully took advantage of our huge fragrance selection. Bramble Berry shoppers LOVE coming into Otion because they can sniff as much as their noses can take. All those curiosities (like Ginger Fish... what the heck? It's actually amazing) are resolved.

We made a fun swirly melt-and-pour loaf at the Soap Bar using two pounds of Aloe MP and one pound of Goat Milk MP. She ingeniously blended Spellbound Woods and Lavender Chamomile Huggies Type for this batch, and of course we used glittery stars.

The final result is spectacular! I see a sunset over the beach in these bars. Talk about a great vacation!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blissful Bath Salts

I'm not exaggerating when I say bath salts and scrubs are the easiest bath product you can make (besides just pouring oil on yourself). In about fifteen minutes, I had three different scrubs with three different healing purposes: Energize, Refresh, and Sleepy Time.

In each scrub I used about 8 ounces of fine dead sea salt, one teaspoon additive (lavender buds, orange peel powder, shredded loofah), two tablespoons of liquid glycerin, and up to 2 ml essential oil blend for a heavy scent.

In my refresher scrub, I used lavender buds as colorful interest and fresh scent, and a blend of peppermint and lavender essential oils. This scrub feels amazing on tired feet and the essential oils have great antiseptic and cleansing properties.

In my Energize scrub, I used orange peel powder and a blend of Orange Valencia and Grapefruit essential oils. Citrus blends are known for their "wake-up!" qualities. This is my favorite combination and smells incredibly juicy and delicious.

In my Sleepy Time scrub, I used shredded blue loofah, Eucalyptus essential oil, and the Sleepy Time essential oil blend. The main fragrance components of this blend are Ylang Ylang, which relaxes and brings feelings of joy, Tangerine, which alleviates stress and anxiety, orange, which refreshes, and lavender, which is soothing and calming, and I added the Eucalyptus to soothe any aching muscles before bed time.

Packaging scrubs is as simple as making them. Use a clear plastic bag and tie off with a delicate ribbon or some rustic twine. They make fantastic customized gifts, but make sure to save some for yourself!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Private Class Soap Gallery

Take a break from your busy work day to rest your eyes on some artsy soap creations made in private classes with Kat this month.

Peggy's projects: First up is a Jelly Roll embed melt-and-pour project scented with the popular Summer Melon Spritzer. We also made a three color swirl (plus neutral) in cold process using lemongrass essential oil. We talked a lot about color and design and how to customize recipes.

Kellie's creations: This advanced cold process class was also a blast! We made soap for four hours and did three different swirl projects. Below is an advanced linear swirl in CP with Eucalyptus essential oil. We colored the majority of the batch with a light blue/green sage color and poured white and black lines into it.

We also made a bright neon in-the-pot swirl with Energy fragrance, just like the soap from this year's Soaping Intensive Weekend demo.

Last but not least, we made a swirled layer loaf with a charcoal vein. Each layer is neutral swirled with color (cappuccino mica on top, merlot and coral mica blend on bottom), paired with Black Raspberry Vanilla fragrance oil. Yum!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Favorite Summer Scent

Beat the summer heat with a refreshing watermelon slice... of soap! We can't get enough of this popular fragrance oil in these cute melt-and-pour loaf bars. Anne-Marie did a fun tutorial on watermelon soap here using the half round mold.
If you need ideas for summer craft fairs or farmer markets, make a whole watermelon product line! Lip balm is so easy with our pre-made base. Just melt and add 12 ml watermelon flavor oil per pound of base and color with Cellini Red lip safe mica, then pour into tubes or pots. Add the fragrance oil to bath salts tinted with red mica, or make aromatic soy candles using the watermelon candle scent.

What's your favorite summertime fragrance?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Advanced Cold Process Class this Sunday!

For those who are already familiar with basic cold process soap making techniques and are ready to kick it up a notch, we are offering this Advanced Cold Process class to explore more soaping techniques including "in-the-pot" and linear swirling. You will learn to work with micas, oxides, natural colorants, and fragrances to create swirls, blind swirls, and layers. Discover how to turn soap trimmings and botched soap projects into pieces that are pleasing and fascinating! This advanced class is 3 hours long and you will take home 2-4 beautiful bars of soap. Call (360) 676-1030 to sign up now!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Melon Spritzer Jelly Roll Soap

Looking for that edgy, eye-catching soap to add to your summer product line? Anne-Marie's jelly roll embed soaps are always a huge hit at Otion. I followed the Soap Queen T.V. video below but changed the colors and fragrance for a bright, summer melon fresh look. You can customize all sorts of projects by picking from the endless color and scent options out there. This is a really fun project that is sure to get a great "how did you do that?" response!

How to Make Embedded Jelly Roll Soap from Soap Queen on Vimeo.

Frefreshing Citrus Bath Bombs

Summer is here and all the poor sun-starved Washingtonians are outside savoring every minute of gorgeous weather. At the end of a long day kayaking, rock climbing, boating, hiking, biking, or ice-cream eating, a skin soothing citrus bath is the best way to wind down. Let's make bath bombs!

First, mix 1 part citric acid to 2 parts baking soda until all the clumps are out. Separate the batch in two to make different colors. I used yellow mica and coral mica. Scent with your favorite citrus fragrance to the strength you prefer. Try grapefruit, tangerine, orange, lemon, or a blend.

When all the lumps are out, start spritzing with witch hazel as you mix by hand. Not too much witch hazel or you will get a soggy mess.

This is the consistency we are looking for. As soon as the batch holds its shape in a squeezed handful, it's ready to be compacted in the mold.

Get your weight into it and push the mixture hard into the mold. The harder you compact it in, the firmer and longer lasting the bath bomb.

Hold a piece of cardboard on top of the mold and flip them over to get the fizzies out. Let them sit and harden on the counter (try not to touch them when they're fresh!). Drop them in the tub, relax and enjoy that citrus goodness.