How Did Teddy Bears Get Their Name?

I have often wondered why a teddy bear is called Teddy, and not Anton or something else, and now I know.
Also how these cuddly creatures happened to be made.

For the story of the teddy bear we have to step back in time.
In 19-century Germany and the town of Giengen lived a girl Margarete Steiff.
When she was born, she was a frail girl, who suffered throughout her childhood from polio
But she wasn’t the sort of girl to be beaten, and in time she grew up to be a success full seamstress,  making dresses and employing other seamstresses in her own sewing department.
Old knitted teddy bear
One day, when Margarete was looking for a present for her nephew she found a pattern for a toy elephant, which she made out
of soft felt.
The other children in the neighborhood marvelled at the toy she had made, and they all wanted a one.
Margarete started making toy elephants and they sold like hot cakes, and before long she was making other toy animals as well.

In time Margarete’s nephew, Richard, came to work for her.

Richard had been studying art in Stuttgart, where he visited the Zoo and sketched the bears.
This inspired him to design the very first teddy bear.

But the story doesn’t end here.
How did these cuddly bears become teddy bears?

This part of the story starts in USA in 1902.
The president of USA was Theodore Roosevelt, and he was called Teddy.
He went hunting bears one day, and as they couldn’t find any bears, somebody tied a bear cup to a tree and said: “shoot this one”.
Theodore Roosevelt said: “no, I cannot do that, that’s not sportsman like, it is impossible
for me to do that.”

This incident was reported in Washington Post as a political cartoon, showing the president “drawing the line in Mississippi” and a little scared bear
A local toy shop decided to produce a little toy bear and call it Teddy, so that is where the name
comes from.

teddy bear tea party

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Homemade Shelves for Whiteboard Markers

A month ago we got a new entrance door, which meant that the containers with markers I had hung below the white board suddenly were to deep (or wide? )

The white board I had in our small entrance hall started out as a place where I could write what to buy. It also also served as a reminder for birthday wishes (do you know the feeling when asked about your birthday wishes, and you KNOW you had a great wish the other day, just cannot remember now?) – and it ended up being a perfect place for all the grandchildren to make drawings together when they visit me.

shelves for markers

So I definitely had to have somewhere easy to place the markers.
I thought about buying a picture shelve in IKEA, but it was 10 cm deep, and the entrance door only left room for a shelve 9 cm or less.

I found an old picture frame, sawed it into appropriate lengths, painted two of them, hemmed them firmly – and I had two great shelves for whiteboard markers!

It was easy for me, because I have so many old frames lying around, but I am sure you will be able to find one very cheap at a flea market, or even thrown away somewhere. Just make sure it it a picture frame that kind of “bends” like the one you can see here on these photos:

old picture frame sawed up            painted shelve for markers

So here is what it looks like now. These two shelves don’t interfere with opening the door, and it will be easy for the kids to take the white board markers and put them back, even when they are a bunch of kids in front of the white board.


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Huge Soap Bubbles

All my grandchildren love blowing soap bubbles, and the other day when I went visiting a friend of mine he showed me how to make a soap bubble mix that allowed us to blow these huge and awesome soap bubbles you can see on the photos here.

Huge soap bubbles

My friend hadn’t prepared anything for making the bubbles before I arrived, so he made a steel clothes hanger into a circle with a handle, and wrapped the steel circle with thin cloth, to use for making these huge bubbles.

soap-bubbles-2  huge soap bubble floating

When I tried that later with a couple of my grandchildren they couldn’t handle this clothes hanger thing, so instead I bought some soap bubble gear in a toy shop, and that worked well with them. After blowing soap bubbles for an hour I had to persuade them to stop and go inside, and it only worked because there almost wasn’t any soap bubble water left.

Here is the recipe for the soap bubble mix:

5 dl water
4 dl soap bubble water you can buy
½ dl dish soap (Fairy Ultra Original is what works best, as far as he knew)½ dl glycerin

Distilled water should be the best, but we used normal tap water, and as you can see it worked fine.

Mix the ingredients calmly, don’t make too many bubbles in the water.

Below you will get a couple more recipes for soap bubble water, but this one worked well which I can personally guarantee. We had so much fun!
It’s best not to blow the bubbles indoor, because the soap water, when the bubbles burst, can ruin furniture and floors. Also it is so much better to blow the bubbles outdoor. Just hold up the soap bubble gear and let the wind make these incredible bubbles!

soap-bubbles-3 soap-bubble-2

Two more recipes for soap bubbles, but I haven’t tried them myself:

Good and cheap soap bubble water:

First one:

1 l water
½ dl dish soap (again Fairy Ultra is best)
1 spoon full glycerin


8 dl water
2 dl dish soap (yes, Fairy Ultra, and the firm doesn’t give me any money for mentioning them. Of course other dish soaps can be used)½ dl glycerin
pinch of granulated sugar

soap bubbles recipe

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How to Make an Easy Origami Rose

One of my friends has  asked me if I could make some origami roses for her daughters birthday party, I guess because she thinks that with all my drawing and crafting it would be peace of cake for me to do that.

She is actually quite wrong. I am not at all handy with these delicate paper things, my fingers are way too big and clumsy.
But for a friend like her I simply had to try.

I found some books at the library, and the design for folding the paper rose looked rather difficult, so I thought I’d better start using cheap white paper for learning.Easy origami rose folding

But after all it wasn’t that difficult, although the paper was too thick. Even the origami pager I finally used for the rose you can see above was too thick, because this folding is so complex.
I used paper 80 gsm (grams per square meter), almost the same as printer paper, but for the next roses for the birthday I will buy some thinner paper, 60 gsm or even lighter, if I can find it big enough.
I tried, and I learned, and actually I could make one acceptable rose it the first try, so I think it’s safe to say that it is not that difficult after all.
And – if I can do it, I’m sure most people can do it!

You start with a quadratic origami paper, size 25 x 25 cm (approx. 10 x 10 inches)  if you are used to origami folding, 30 x 30 cm (approx. 12 x 12 inches) if you are a beginner like me.

  1. Fold the paper in the two diagonals. Then fold the four corners into the middle.

Easy origami rose folding   artificial rose folding

2. For the second time fold the corners into the middle.

folding of origami rose   easy origami rose pink

3. And surprise – now for the third time fold the corners into the middle.

Now the folding is becoming more difficult, especially if the paper is not thin enough.
This picture may look the same as above, but actually the corners have been folded, as you maybe can see if you notice the fold lines.

pink origami rose folding

4. Each apex folds back. Difficult to explain, you will have to look at the picture. The apex should reach the edge of the folded paper, although it on the picture looks as if the apex goes further.

Easy origami rose

5. Now fold the paper in the two lines I have marked on the picture below. Don’t make the marking, it is just to show where to fold.

Keep the paper in one of the shapes.

How to make an origami rose              origami-rose-8

6. I hope you haven’t given up yet. I know it looks difficult, but actually it’s not that bad.

That said, now we come to the more complex part of making this artificial rose.

You have to kind of “open up” first the right part of the folded paper, then press with your finger to make it flat and go to the front of the paper.
As you can see on the photo, I end up with a folded paper that is slightly dented, but I still managed to make the rose – so go for it!

origami-rose-9  origami-rose-10-1

origami-rose-11  origami folding of rose

7. This is maybe where you should take a break and take a cup of tea or coffee 🙂

If you like, you can spend a couple of minutes to look at the pages on my website with roses, rose pictures and rose clip art.

8.  Now you kind of “open up” again, this time where the arrow goes, and then fold up the layer on top of that.

origami-rose-13    origami-rose-14

8.a. But – if you find it as difficult to do this as I did, you can “cheat” a bit. Let go of the paper, the do the folding, and put it back as it was before in your hand.
Now you can start to see that it actually will become a rose.

origami-rose-15 origami-rose-16

9. Fold the next leaves, as you can see on the picture below to the left, and the rose head is finished.

origami-rose-17    origami-rose-18

10. All there is left now is to fasten the four parts of the rose you are holding, and maybe add some leaves.
I used pink tape to fasten the rose, and have bought a lot of textile leaves as I am going to make a lot of these artificial roses, but you could combine the origami rose with the origami leaves you can find here on this blog.

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Happy Canada Day Card

Here is a Happy Canada Day card, to send to friends and family.

I thought about making a page with Canada Day clip art, because I found out that I have a lot of followers in Canada.

But this picture was the only one that popped up in my mind, so I ended up with making this card with a  beaver and a moose, celebrating Canada day with a little fire (which they of course remember to extinguish very carefully afterwards!!) and the beaver is making marchmallows for both of them.

You can send this card as you like: As snail mail, on the mobile, desktop and so on.
It’s free for you to use for your own personal use.

Click the picture here to come to the larger and better printable version, if you want to print the card.


happy Canada day cardThe size of the card, printed with 300 dpi, should be approx. 5 x 3,8 inches.

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