Author Archive | Karly

Sam’s Avocado Fiasco


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!



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.

black rasp vanilla final

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



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
12 Bar Square Silicone Mold


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 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.

collage 9

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.

12. 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.**

collage 1

collage 2

collage 4

collage 9

collage 8

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

collage 3

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

collage 5

collage 6

collage 7

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!


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.




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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