Jude's Visit to Teach at Bramble Berry's SWI

Jude's Visit to Bramble Berry in the US

Many customers were interested in hearing about my visit to the USA and meeting Anne-Marie and the staff at Bramble Berry as well as my teaching at their retail store, Otion. So, here's the story, via the Blog posts for those who have asked to follow the trail!


This is the Otion Store.
Classes are held on the mezzanine floor, above the store.

Otion, Bramble Berry's retail store holds a Soap Intensive Weekend once a year, (also known as SWI) and as I was visiting Bramble Berry, I was asked to teach Cold Processed Soapmaking, Beginners and Advanced. I was so thrilled to be asked. All things soapy are covered, Melt & Pour Soaping, Cold Processed Soaping, Liquid Soap making and there's a Lotion session too.

I've finally had time after my return from visiting Bramble Berry in beautiful Bellingham, USA to upload the links and some photo's. It was such a great week in Bellingham, so much soaping, so little time!

Bellingham, downtown from Otion

This is downtown Bellingham, just outside the Otion Store.
A lovely town, with so much character and charm.


This is the Otion retail store, lots of things to sniff!


This = Happy Soapers! Erin's MP workshop in progress.


This is Erin taking photo's of my White Tea & Ginger Soap, capturing beautiful texture, tone and colour - the shooter shot :)

Norman (who handles our pallets and shipping) showed me around Bramble Berry's warehouse, Bellingham, treated me to waayyy too many calories over several days, and generally mixed hospitality with business! It was great to get a handle on how our pallets of Bramble Berry goodies are shipped to us. Soooo how many bottles of Fragrance do Bramble Berry sell do you think? Well, my camera couldn't quite fit the store room in one shot!

Amber Bottle storage at Bramble Berry!

Amber Bottle storage area at Bramble Berry, well, some of it!

I also had the pleasure of attending Anne-Marie's Liquid Soapmaking Workshop and some of Erin's Melt & Pour Workshops too. So great to be with other soapers for a while. We'll soon be offering Liquid Soap Paste for those who don't wish to make it from scratch, or purchase the liquid. This way you have more control over the thickness and how concentrated you use the Natural Liquid Soap.

In the SWI links below is one for "The Soap King" Blogspot which is run by Erik, who manages the Otion retail store, and there's a few updates there too. Keep your eye on this Blog too as there are projects on there as well as Soap Queen.

I've posted some photo's from my trip below after the links to the Blog Entries outlining my time in beautiful Bellingham and the SWI 2010.

Erik from Otion announcing 2010 SWI

A spot of Lunch on Saturday between CP Classes

A round up by Anne-Marie of the Weekend

Liquid Soap on the Go

Erik's Wrap up of the weekend's projects

Erin's Blog Article with some of her fab photo's

Jude teaching at the SWI

Yep, that's me, just finished making some
yummo White Tea & Ginger CP at the advanced class.

Jude and Anne-Marie teaching at the SWI

Not a great photo (by a long way!), but you get the gist, it's a really nice way to absorb lots of soapy info from experienced soapers all in one weekend.

CP Soap from the SWI

Some of my CP soaps from the weekend. It was awfully hot and I had some trouble controlling gel in the afternoon heat.

Bellingham is a lovely spot, quite close to Vancouver Canada, so I was totally spoiled with a side trip to Knight's Inlet Lodge in British Columbia, Canada to go Grizzly Bear Watching. If you are ever there, and are the outdoors type, I highly recommend it!

For all the bear info Knight's Inlet Lodge Websitetells you all! It was totally awesome, seriously. It's a floating lodge, well out in the wilds of British Columbia, and I was thrilled by the Bear Watching, Salmon jumping, staying on a floating lodge, hiking through the forest, bear tracking and tree house sitting! If you are ever up there, I rate it as an absolute highlight. In Canada, I've seen Grizzlies, Black Bears, Bald Eagles, Mink, Salmon (biggest Salmon spawning in 100 years), Orca Whales, Beluga Whales (though not in the wild for these ones), Raccoons, Elk and more!

Here's a few non-soapy photo's from British Columbia and my "bear thing". (Please excuse the quality - I don't have a el-fabbo camera with a telephoto lens!):

In the Cockpit

Yep, up front with the Pilot in the floatplane - so exciting!

There's a bear in there!

Young grizzly bear, just across from the Lodge

Bear and Twins

One of the many Grizzly familiess, this one with twins, just having their breakfast. More breakfast

Another family group at water's edge.

More breakfast

This fab picture was taken by one of my travelling companions with a much better camera!

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