Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chritmas In Germany

Hi everyone! Finally after 30 odd hours I made it back to Germany and have been reunited with my darling Axel. It´s kind of weird seeing him after 5 months. You go from kind of being single to being part of a couple in a flash. Very strange for the brain to get around but lovely for the heart!

Anyhow after a nice long sleep in Axel and I went to Öberhause for some Christmas shopping and lucky for me there was this great Christmas market next to the shopping centre. I remember going to a Christmas market in Berlin when I first came to Germany in 1999. I was worried I was going to miss out because I was coming so close to Christmas time and most close just before Christmas.

Here is a photo of some yummy potato fritters we had with apple sauce and the famous Gluwein! It tasted even better than I remember it. Hmmmmm Gluwein.... I also got to have this yummy cheesy potato pizza thing and some cooked mushrooms with herb sauce and fried onions, what an awesome dinner!

There was also some winter fun to be had with this snow slide set up and another section for kids to ride snow mobiles. We decided we will wait till we get to Berlin to have a go.

Anyhow today Axel and I have the honour of decorating the Christmas trees and then we are off for dinner in Xanten with his family, the dinner will be our engagement dinner and so it´s going to be quite a special event.

So if I don´t add another post before Christmas I will take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. May you all be blessed and surrounded by loved ones and good health.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gingerbread Men

More gingerbread men madness! It's a great way to spend a wet Saturday afternoon, especially when you have babysitting duties!

Eliona adding a lovely blue icing suit to her gingerbread man!

And here are some of our decorated men! They not only look good they taste good too. Yes the kids' dinner was spoilt, I am a bad babysitter!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You're Invited!

Ok I know the wedding is like a million years away but you can't give me a design project and not expect me to jump to it and spend all my free time fussing over it. So having said that 16 months to go and I've pretty much finalised the design for our wedding invites. I'm now in the process of designing the Save the Date cards and RSVP cards which will just utilise the same design elements but different sizes and compositions.

For those of you in blogland here is a sneak peek at the invite.

It's not a very fancy invite, i.e no frills and ribbons etc but I have tried a few different types of paper and this one is printed on a lovely 250gms textured white card. I tried to print on some of that lovely metallic paper in an ivory colour but the ink didn't stick. I will see if I can get some that is printer friendly because ultimately that's what I would like them printed on, just to make them a bit 'weddingy' and a bit of shimmer did no one any harm! Even though I've been designing them Axel has been part of the process and it's his choice to use blue in our wedding. So I am not being a bridzilla in any sense. He also agreed on all the other elements so is just as happy as I am with the results. I just have to wait until he comes in February to show him the different papers and then he can choose which one we will use.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

November and December Swap Blocks

I can't believe it's been just over a year when I first joined the block swap. It's been a great experience making very different blocks for 12 different ladies around the world. I've seen this block swap as a great way to experiment with colours and new block designs. As you can see below I've even had a go at a log cabin style block! I've also used my 'blanket' stitch on my machine for one of the other blocks which was the first time I ever did any applique.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the women who have participated in the swap and who have sent me the most wonderful blocks ever! I am thinking about putting all the blocks together to make a small quilt that I can either hang or drape over the couch. I will be in Germany for most of next year and without a sewing machine so I must remember to let the administrator know that I won't be swapping next year. I'm quite sad about that, it has been lots of fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's Starting to Taste a Lot Like Christmas!

Well there is only a week and a half of this term and we are making the most of it by packing in as many Christmas activities as possible. This week we've already started on the Christmas baking and turned out a batch of yummy gingerbread men and Christmas cookies. The kid's had a great time putting their 'play dough' skills to good use and I let my creative side get the better of me and four tubes of writing icing. In the afternoon we also settled down with a Christmas D.V.D 'Elf' which the kids thought was a hoot!

Both the biscuits and gingerbread men turned out so well that I'm now thinking I should make some myself for gifts. I used the gingerbread man cutter and gingerbread recipe I received as part of a swap package last year. Makes me wish I was part of a Christmas swap this year!
Anyhow I hope you are all well and enjoying the lead up to the holidays, baking your own gingerbread men and other Chrissy delights!
Update on the wedding planning... the dress has been ordered! I'd love to blog about it but I know my fiance reads this blog so I'm afraid I can't mention it here as I'd be giving it away and I want it to be a surprise on the day.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Engagement Ring, Part 1

I looked and looked on the Internet and in every jewellery store in my area and after I looked some more and went through the 40+ pages of google images I ended up finding the inspiration for my engagement ring in my mother's humble stash of jewellery. It is a man's ring from the 70's shipped over from Greece by my dad's grandmother, a wedding gift in fact. From the moment I first saw it I thought that is it, that's my ring! The intricate star design and the filigree on the band I find divine. Being a man's ring it is quite large and bold so I am getting the jeweller to make a more 'feminine' version of the ring. To do so I am combining my fathers ring with this one.
This is my father's ring with the star design that I love so much
Here is a quick sketch of the way I want to combine the two rings together. The top will be exactly like my father's and the band just like the first ring.
I have found a jeweller who will make the ring for me we just have some design issues that we need to work out. Because I want the ring smaller and the diamond smaller the star shape might have less detail and not look exactly like I want it. Anyhow we have about 5 weeks to get the ring made, 3 before I go back to Germany for Christmas and 2 before Axel returns to Melbourne. As the title suggests this is the first part to the engagement ring saga, stay tuned!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Been A While

Hi everyone, yep it's been a while since I've written and a lot has happened since. There's some good news and some bad news to share today. First the bad/sad news... Our friends' dear baby boy Eli passed away last weekend after numerous complications related to his bone marrow transplant. Baby Eli was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 4 months old and had been battling the disease for another 9 months before he left us. He got a transplant and everything was going well, but then other complications occured as they do when one's immune system is down. You can read about little Eli's story at http://www.eli-simpson.blogspot.com It is truly and inspirational story! I never got to give Eli his cross stitch present. I am not sure what to do with it now, should I still give it to his parents?

On the flip side I got engaged a few weeks ago. It was very romantic...not!!!! Axel and I set a date over a visa application form 4 am in the morning! So I've put on my wedding planer hat and at the moment I am running and ringing around to find a suitable venue for the reception and trust me I'm already over it. People just charge so much for a wedding and then there's all the extras! Also we are looking at 80 guests so most places are too big for us and restaurants are just too small. We have heaps of time to organise other parts of the wedding but for the reception we are limited. We only have 4 weekends together in Feb/March 2009 where we can both look at places in Melbourne then we won't be in the country until 5 months before the wedding which is really too late to book a place. One thing that is really peeing me off too is going to see places that look great in their website photos and you turn up and the place is a dump! As I said, I am OVER it already.

Anyhow at least I've decided on my engagement ring and finalised the design I want. I modeled it on a ring my father got from his grandmother. Its quite funky indeed. I'll post some photos when I get it.

Hope you are all well and happy crafting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Framed Goodies

Yes I've been to the framers! Above is a print by Ashley from Kitty Genius which I bought for my sister and her fiance for their engagement, but then the party didn't happen so I didn't bother with getting the print framed until recently. Since I've already given her her wedding present, (deposit for wedding photos) mum said I can give it to her for her kitchen tea, great idea mum that I will do! I am so jealous now, it looks so good in the frame that I wanna keep it. Ashley has some other brilliant prints so I'll just have to buy some more, once the bloody Aus dollar rate picks up!

As you can see I finally finished the cross stitch for our friends dear baby Eli, mind you it took only a year and a half to complete... According to Eli's blog they are back in Melbourne so I should go and give it to them soon before they head back home to Lakes Entrance. I am quite please with both frames and I hope that their new owners like them too.

Hope you are all well in blogland.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Crocheting up for the Winter

I am going back to Germany for Christmas and the whole of January so I've decided to make a few scarfs and beanies to take with me, keep me warm while I'm walking around Berlin, gallery hopping and scouting the local op shops, second hand book stores etc. (Ahhh man I can't wait) Anyhooo this is the first scarf that I am working on. It is an idea I stole/borrowed from another blogger Inkberryblue who took the idea and pattern from an other blogger Crochetroo who originally wrote the pattern as a bookmark. Click on Crochetroo for pattern. Just like Inkberryblue's mine is also pulling a bit because of the weight of the yarn but I am ok with it, I jusr pull it back into shape every now and then.

I actually spent a bit of money this time and bought the most beautiful Jo Sharp wool which is also 5% cashmere and 10% silk and boy can you feel those two fibers in the mix! At our local wool and tapestry shop there is a lot of tweed yarn and I am not complaining because I love that look. This one has spots of cream and black through it which I really like. So far the scarf has cost 20$ in yarn I hope this ball is going to see me though to the end because I don't think I could justify another 10$ for another ball. 30$ scarf, hmm a bit much don't you think? Anyhow see how we go!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Personalised Wedding Toppers

My middle sister Stefanie is getting married in March next year and she asked me to make the wedding cake toppers. With the some help from my younger sister Annie we came up with these two figurines. The wedding dress is made to look like the actual dress my sister is wearing and being a huge comic fan we decided to give her fiance a superman t-shirt as a shirt. I must say after working out how to sculpt these little people making them was a whole lot of fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sewing Shirts for My Man

I have nearly finished sewing my first male shirt! Just some cuffs and buttons and it's done. This one is of course for my darling Axel, although after our discussion tonight sounds like the sleeves will be too short for him, and maybe the length of it too. Damn 6 foot 3 inch men, just make sewing life more difficult hehehehe! Anyhow I told him I'd finish it and send it to him, he can try it on and then tell me if it needs longer sleeves etc.

I have to admit it's been tricky sewing this shirt. The collar was easy to make but hard to sew onto the actual shirt. The shirt has a double yoke as well but that wasn't so hard to work out actually. Putting the buttons on the collar and on the cuffs has got me worried, actually just doing button holes on the front makes me nervous. I have an automatic button hole maker on my machine but sometimes it stuffs up so that doesn't help me much.

I've bought some other shirt material, more 'evening wear' material. The top one is for me quite expensive 18$ per meter and I needed 3 because it's narrow. The other stuff was on special 6$. I'm saving the expensive stuff until I'm more experienced. The shirt above is actually made from fabric that was on sale, down to 3$ per meter so all up including thread and buttons, interfacing it will cost about 16$ a bargain hehehehe.

Anyhow I sent Axel these photos and he likes the fabrics very much which is good to know. We will just have to see how the top one fits before I go and make the others. Will keep you all posted!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Block Swap, I'm finally up to date!

Here are just some quick pics of two blocks I finished for my block swap partners. I'm actually about 4 months behind and have just finished catching up. I had two other blocks that I finished ages ago but haven't gotten around to actually posting until now. The two themes for these blocks are red, white and blue and earthy tone stars. I hope that my partners like their blocks.
I will have to post a photo of the blocks these two lovely ladies sent me, they are really quite lovely. Thank you both!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Onion Paintings!

This is what I do at 4.30 am when I am depressed and have been sleeping all day to keep bad thoughts out of my head. True art therapy!

Axel wanted a photo of me at the exact time, I tried to smile so he doesn't think I'm too depressed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Been 7 Odd Years...

I did something today that I haven't done in about 7 years... yep I made an oil painting. It's not very good and it's not exactly exciting or inspiring but it is still an oil painting. I don't know what possessed me, well actually I've been fidgety all day, ok, ok, ok all week and I've been doing some sewing, no luck there really, and trying to think of something amazing to make for Axel's birthday and christmas present, again no luck so at about 11pm I get out an old tube of brown oil paint and a small canvas I bought at the 2 $ shop and start sketching an onion.
I must admit I was so scared to start because I didn't know if I would remember how to paint after so long. Anyhow I must say I sure am rusty, there are so many problems with this painting but meh... it's alright for a quick painting of a sprouting onion. Picking up the paint brush again made me realise that I've been running around trying to learn all sorts of new skills that I've forgotten some of the others I have. I used to just paint and draw once upon a time, now it's the last thing on my mind. I think I have to change that. If I loose this skill then I don't think I could forgive myself.

The colours are darker in this photo than in real life. The onion is quite redish purple not so blackish. It's also quite a small canvas, about 15 by 20 cms.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's New Pussy Cat?

It feels like ages ago that I last posted an entry. I've still been sick, every week it's something different, stomach bug, runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains, sinuses then stomach bug again. It has been never ending this term! I am just waiting for the boss to call me into his office and say, 'Kathy you are too sick, you are costing us too much in sick leave so I'm going to have to let you go!' then I imagine myself breaking out in tears and crying 'oh I'm sorrryyyyyyy... boo hoo' Ah thank God for school holidays which start this Friday at 2.30pm!! Two weeks of relaxation, sleep and warm cosy indoors without having to come within and inch of a school kid with runny nose. If I don't feel better by the end of the two weeks I will be feeling pretty close to jumping off the Westgate bridge!

Anyhow some crafty news... I've finished sewing my first shirt! I started one for my sister who then decided she hated it and wouldn't wear it, so it didn't matter when it didn't work out. Then I made one for myself with cute bumble bee material and it turned out perfectly! I was so pleased but disappointed that the pattern was so dodgy, short and tent like. I've decided that I need to add pleats at the back to give it some shape. I'll post a photo once I've done the adjustments.
I also finished the baby cardigan that I started a while back, adding the buttons last night. I've decided to give it to our neighbours who just had a baby boy called River. I haven't seen him yet because I don't want to share my sick germs.

I can't wait to make more of these, it was so easy to make and so cute. I hope baby River likes it!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another Crochet Baby Jacket

Here is a photo of the finished crochet jacket that I was working on. I think the yellow star buttons finishes it off quite nicely. I've started a new jacket but this time using nice pure wool with a 4mm hook instead of 4.5mm. I am getting nicer edges without wholes just by ch2 instead of ch3 to make a dc at the start of a new row. I also have realised that quality yarn is the way to go and that $2 yarn looks like $2. So I've gone and bought some pure wool yarn for $5 for 50 gm balls. I must say I cannot wait to use the stuff. In this jacket below you can see some of the orange yarn I bought. I am going to make the rest of the sleeves orange and brown stripes. I am also thinking of putting teddybear buttons on this one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Finished Sewing My First Piece of Clothing

I finally finished sewing my first piece of clothing. As you will see if you go through my blog I do sew a bit but only quilts. I've always wanted to sew clothes because most of the time I think the stuff in the shops is either crap or just don't fit me. And so here after my third lesson I've finished sewing a hoody with zip.

I've made a lot of mistakes while sewing this hoody but I'm glad I did because I've learnt so much from those mistakes. I now know how to use my zip foot and to use and adjust different stitches. I also now know what those nodes are for on the patterns.

I wore the hoody to work today and all day I was trying to put things in the front pockets but of course there are none on this. I think I will go back and put some on so I'm not forever feeling for pockets that are just not there.

My next project is a short sleeve blouse for my sister in some nice blue cotton material, which she just told me is the same material that the cleaners wear at her work. Oh dear I guess she won't be wearing it out then. Still it will be good for practicing and I'm sure I'll learn lots from the experience. Collar and buttons and interfacing oh my!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Afghan is in it's New Berlin Home!

I just received some photos from Axel depicting the afghan I made for his apartment set out on his bed. I think it looks kinda neat. I do think his room needs a make over though. Something for me to do when I go over there for Christmas. Axel will be at university so I think it's safe to say I can do what I like to the apartment, deco wise.

I am nearly finished sewing the jacket I've been working on in sewing classes. I just need to heme the bottom. I am going to try and make a shirt next for my little sister, she's probably the only one out of all of us that will wear it. We shall see but I get the feeling that most of the stuff I'm going to make is never going to be worn.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New projects, Making Clothing for the first time!

Yep this is the first time I am attempting to make something one can wear. The first item is a 6month old cardigan crochet from this wonderful rainbow yarn, cheap as 3bucks but looks so cute! It's from this book I think it was called 24 hour crochet projects, everything can be made under 24 hours. I changed it though didn't like the way the bottom half of the cardigan was designed so i continued with simple double crochet stitches. I'm going to put three yellow star buttons on it too. Don't know why I'm making baby clothes, I've got another year before I can even start trying to get pregnant. Oh well I'm starting early I guess. I just love babies in handmade knitted clothes.

I've also joined sewing classes, beginners of course. I've never made anything but quilts with the machine and the last time I tried to make a skirt it turned out 4 sizes too big and just completely wrong. I am quite proud that I have been able to sew sleeves to what will become a hoody. The classes are every Monday for 6 weeks at our local Spotlight store. I am learning heaps and very excited about it all. I think I might have mentioned before that I want to sew my own wedding dress. I've got about a year before I have to do that so with lots of practice I think I will be ready by then. My grandma and my mum made their own wedding dresses so I want to keep that tradition.

Anyhow must fly got to get ready for work. Oily bed hair is not a great look! Hope you are all well. Have a great Friday and weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Five Buck Shawl, and the Cat Loves it!

Just a little note about this wonderful crochet shawl that I found at a thrift store or what we in OZ call an Op shop. 5 bucks can you believe it? I can't even buy the yarn for that much. I think Puff the cat is also pleased with it too! I was acutally hoping I could use it to work out the pattern, I really like it and think it would make a great baby's blanket or wrap.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sick of Being Sick!

I have been really not the best all year health wise. I have had to deal with chronic sinusitis for most of the year, then that started to get better and I did my back by putting a dish in the dishwasher mind you! and then before Germany I got some stomach problem which lasted for a week, still don't understand what it was but the tablets worked. Then in Germany I get bronchitis get over most of it while I'm there, come back home get sick again with a virus and now not only do I have that I am also switching between that coming and going and the sinusitis sometimes mixed in with it. Also this past week it's been a date with the toilet every time I put something down my throat. At first I thought it was having eaten some bad cheese on Monday but nope it got better after two days, drank some milk then bam again for another three days. I don't have a problem with dairy so I have no idea why I am reacting like this.

I like my doctor but you know I want to know WHY I'm like this not just go home rest and drink plenty of fluids. Why does it come and go even if I am doing the same thing? Like I was great on Sunday except for the toilet running and then today again my body is hurting and I feel weak like I did on Friday when I was told I had a virus and just sleep, drink and rest etc.

I used to really understand my body, when I'd get sick I knew exactly why and what to do, I wouldn't bother with doctors now I'm getting sick in ways I've never been sick before and don't know how to deal with it, sometimes things I do work and then they don't. I hate the fact that I cannot control my body and the way it feels. Also it seems when I start doing one thing that works for one symptom then I create other problems. For example I've been eating lots of oranges and garlic, honey and veggies to boots my immune system, kept bugs away for a while but then created this acid problem and very painful stomach. Now I have to deal with stomach issues. The aromatherapy is keeping sinuses clean but now I can't sleep at night it seems to have stimulated my brain too much. Oh man I just can't seem to win!

Anyhow that's my whinny sad sod entry while I wait for 2pm so I can get my sorry butt to the doctors AGAIN! Hope the rest of you are feeling much better than I am and in controll of your bodily functions!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just a Not so Nice Note

I just want to say I am really angry that people are leaving comments that are not related to the posts but just attempts to sell stuff etc. I thought there was that code protector thingy when someone leaves a comment, isn't that supposed to help with spam crap???? Ahhh I am so annoyed. This is a place for crafters and friends to share not people selling cheap drugs and lottery tickets for lotteries that don't exist. Sorry but I could just write a whole string of nasty words right now, I am absolutely cheesed off about this. Does anyone have any ideas what I can do about it? Is there extra security that I can put on this blog? Anything I should click on or off in the settings section? If you are reading this and thinking of leaving a comment trying to sell me something or to link me to some viagra site GO AWAY. I don't want any, and I don't play the lottery anyhow even the legitimate one here. So stop wasting your time!!!!!! 

For the rest of you who have left genuine comments relevant to this blog I thank you, I love hearing what others think of my work and I also enjoy hearing about what you all are getting up to. Sorry that you had to read this. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Come all ye Crafty Melbournians

I've been thinking about organising a Melbourne 'meet and stitch' for ages but haven't been quite sure how to do it. I would love to meet new people that enjoy crafting and not just meet them here in cyberland but in real life. I thought I would start the process of organising something by firstly putting the idea out there to those of you who are local and read this blog. Maybe there already is a group of us that meets? If there is any you know of it would be great if you could let me know, no point in reinventing the wheel so to speak.

So for now, if you are reading this and you are in the Melbourne area or would be willing to make the trek to Melbourne for a 'meet and stitch' just leave me a comment and pass the word around to others you know who would be interested.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

In Keeping with the Quilt Swap Theme

Just thought I would keep my promise and post some photos of the quilts I've made for my June and July swap partners. I don't know if they visit this blog so I'm not sure if this is going to spoil things for them. Sorry if it does!

Tea Pot theme- first time trying the blanket stitch option on my sewing machine. It's actually not too hard to use and also gives a delightful effect. I just have to work out how to go around corners neatly!

My swap partner asked for a calico small print and muslin block, this is my interpretation I hope it's what she was looking for. There's muslin over the other print in some areas. I think it's quite subtle and works really well. I was thinking it would make a nice block to built a wedding quilt up from, adding more muslin in the borders too.

Quilt Blocks I Have Received From Swap Partners

It's been quite a long time since I last wrote about the quilt block swap that I am part of. I have been lucky enough to receive so far 7 lovely quilt blocks from my swap partners all of which I think will fit together to make quite a nice quilt. If I can remember correctly I listed as my theme, autumn colours and that I particularly like maroons and earthy colours. Here are some photos of my partners' interpretation of that theme.

There is another block that I have received that is not featured in these photos, I have left it at mums and need to pick it up and store it with the rest of the blocks. I did a bit of sewing these past two nights and can now relax knowing I am up to date (finally) with my blocks for the swap. I will send the two blocks out on Monday and hopefully post a photo of them in my next post. Hope you are all well and enjoying your weekend. It has been a restful and productive one for me, still battling coughy flu germs, and sinusitis but managed the two blocks and lots of reading for university assignment.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Rachel at Cornflower Blue Studio Thanks for the tag and here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers blogs letting them know they've been tagged

Ok so here are the 6 unspectacular quirks of mine

1. I am facinated by photos of biological mutations

2. I cannot function properly if it is hotter than 25-28 degrees celsius, very sensitive to hot weather

3. I had a crush on Astro boy when I was in kindergarden

4. I once had an imaginary friend living in my head, his name was Pete

5. When I speak to someone who has an accent after a few minutes I start talking in the same accent without meaning to.

6. Since starting preschool at age 4 (now 28) I've only had 1.5 years where I haven't been studying or attending school.

The 6 people I am tagging are ...
Eli Simpson from Eli Simpson's Blog
Carola from My Living Room
Ashley from Kitty Genius
Maizee from Fabric and Yarn Stasher
Emily from Inside A Black Apple
Michelle from Creative life

Hope I don't come across too weird but if I do then I guess that's nothing new! Hope the rest of you enjoy sharing your little quirks with us I know I have. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Visiting Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am see

Finally after 14 years of wishing and hoping I made it to the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am see! I first came across the artists Franz Marc in 1994 when I was studying art as an elective at highschool, and instantly I fell in love with his work and the artist himself. I must say that I thought the museum would feature photos and artifacts from his life but I was wrong it is a real gallery that feautres his work and that of other modern artists who were his friends or working around the same time. I think the house he had in Reid is actually set up in this fashion. I wish I knew where it was so I could visit it.

Here is the view of the museum from the carpark, the gardens are so beautiful as are the surrounding forrest and mountains.
Here is the view from the other side of the car park, the actual Kochel am see, ´lake Kochel´

And finally here I am standing outside of the Franz Marc museum. Thank you Axel for making my dream come true, driving me all the way across your country to see my beloved Franz Marc.