The 2012 Euro Cup is Half Empty

Well, that didn’t go so great. The 2012 Euro Cup Group of Death continues, and the Dutchman is an unhappy Dutchman at the moment. However, all is not lost. The Oranje play Portugal on Sunday. It’s time to settle the score after the Battle of Nuremberg in 2006. This is the famous World Cup match in which a record four red cards and an unprecedented 16 yellow cards were issued between the Portuguese and Dutch teams, thus setting a new record for number of cards shown during a FIFA game.

Disclaimer: Now before anyone actually thinks I know anything about soccer, let me go ahead and clear that up. I don’t. I mean look at me, I refer to it as “soccer,” not “football” or even “voetbal.” It’s just that when you are married to a Dutchman, you kind of need to learn these things: Like how to make kroketten and bitterballen, how to get used to Dutch “directness,” how to make a sprinkles sandwich, and how to accept the color orange when you previously thought it was such an awful color that only tacky Florida Gators wore it with their jean shorts ensemble.

This two-year-old kid knows more about Dutch soccer than I do. The poster of the Dutch National team poster has only been hanging in cute little Noah’s room for two days, but he knows all of the names of the players:

I think I need to take a lesson or two from him. In the meantime, I am sticking to the things I do know: I started a new sewing project. I am making taggie blankets for some friends with new babies.

While Bert and the boys get ready for Sunday, let’s all enjoy some moves by my favorite player, Wesley Sneijder.

Oh yeah, please wish me luck. I am going back to Georgia to surprise my Dad for Father’s Day and hang out with my family for a couple of days. So in other words, I am going to attempt to watch the Netherlands vs. Portugal match with my parents (two people who even know less about soccer than I do). This means I will be the soccer “expert.” What a scary thought.


Halloween Felt Garland

We are getting ready for some visitors around here!

It was a bit trickier this year to figure out how to decorate our front door for Halloween. We moved in to an apartment building that is painted sherbet orange. That may sound a bit strange, but living on the coast invites people to paint buildings a wild array of colors. It’s actually a lot of fun to drive around and see all of the pastel blue, yellow and even pink houses that brighten up the scenery.

However, having an orange building with a black door made it a perfect combination for Halloween decorations. You have to let the kids know you are open for business on Halloween, right? I did have a couple of challenges. I couldn’t nail anything in the door or the walls, and I couldn’t go crazy with decorating on the ground or around the door because of restrictions put in place by the property managers. So a door decoration it is!

I made a felt garland to drape around the door and tied a cute sign to the door knocker with orange baker’s twine. I’m sure anyone walking by our building at 2 a.m. would have wondered what the heck I was doing on a step ladder hanging our decorations, but I just had to see the finished product!

The garland was a lot of fun to make, and took only about two hours to construct and sew.

  1. Cut assorted shapes from felt. I doubled-up on the pieces of felt when I cut out the shapes. I free-formed my shapes for the most part and made three sizes of circles and a star, but I did make paper patterns to follow when I was cutting the felt so that the shapes were somewhat uniform in size. I also used pinking shears for variety.
  2. Layout your felt pieces in the order you want, and make sure you vary the sizes, shapes and colors to make for an interesting pattern.
  3. Using a straight stitch, stitch down from the top of the felt through the middle. Near the end of the first piece of felt, add the next piece of felt right next to the bottom of first piece so that you can make one continuous stitch. This is how you create your chain.
  4. Back-stitch over the first piece of felt over to the next piece of felt so that you don’t have to worry about the thread breaking when you hang in your garland.
  5. Stitch together all pieces of your felt garland. You can stitch on ribbon or baker’s twine at the ends of the garland for a nice finish. I used orange baker’s twine (I can’t get enough of the stuff). Now you are ready to hang your Halloween garland and welcome visitors on All Hallow’s Eve!