29 December 2012

Quilting Secrets are coming out.

Wow this sounds wonderful!  It's a blog hop!
6 wonderfully talented quilters are going to share a few of their Quilting Secrets !
Christine from Quilt Monster in My Closet 
Melissa from Sewbittersweet designs
Barbara from CatPatches
Sharon from Vroomans Quilts
Sue from Quilt Times
Hayley from Mrs.Pickles Garden

Wow! Wow! and Wow!

So they said to share and I am more than happy to share, I can't wait it starts on Monday, December 31st till January 6th.
Sounds like a lot of fun, if you want to learn more you can go here.

26 December 2012

A trip to Trikala

Today we took a little trip to Trikala and it just made me so thankful that we live in a fairly small town, there was so much SMOG from all of the people keeping warm with wood fires.  I would say it looked even worse than Los Angeles and I think that is saying something.  Not very many people can afford the governments taxation on the heating oil for the house, the price is 1.40euros (from 1euro last year), about $8 a gallon.  We filled up our 500 litre tank at the beginning of the month and hopefully it will last us about 2 maybe 2 1/2 months.  So a lot of people are using wood stoves to heat there homes, I am so glad we don't have to do that, because Greek concrete/brick homes are very cold in the winter.
We went out to eat while in Trikala, I ate a cheeseburger and Arthur and the kids had a Gyro and fries, we had leftover piggy at home but I can really only eat it one day so Arthur's mom is going to have to get creative with the leftovers.
Here are some pictures of our absolutely gorgeous sunny but cold winter days.
Click on this picture to see the snow on the back mountains

St. Nikolaus

A view of the rocks

both kids completely excited about petting a cat

we are way up there, both kids have no fear of heights.
Our monastery trip yesterday was really nice, we met 2 of the resident monks, they were praying when we came in but either the kids were squealing so much over the cat (that let them pet it) or the prayer time was over, because they came out and the older one had a little chat with Arthur.  They really are very friendly up there in their little worlds, when I was in Varlaam one time a monk gave me a little tour of the monastery, very neat, and it still makes it my favorite monastery.

25 December 2012

Opening Christmas Presents

My poor kids only got 2 presents, 1 "Cars" car each and some Micky and Minnie play dough.  It was so funny because Arthur came home one day and told me he had bought the kids a present and it was downstairs.  So while they were napping I went to go check out what he had bought, 2 play dough sets, ha so funny I had bought the same thing a week before.  They are less than 1 euro at the grocery store and the week before they had the toy section 35% off so I got mine for .65cents.

Why did they get only 2 toys, because they have no respect for what they get, all toys are thrown around and well I am tired of picking everything up.  Katerina is happy with her babies and plays with them pretty much all of the time, so maybe when the sales come I will get her a new baby doll.

Nik though won't be seeing anything with a price tag on it until he starts respecting his toys, his play dough from this morning already has all of the colors mixed up and now he is using it as a ball and bouncing it everywhere.

For Christmas lunch we enjoyed a 1/4 of a little piggy with potatoes, in the oven.  This is the typical Christmas dinner for Greeks.  We then went on a drive around the  monasteries and even went inside of Agios Nikolaus Monastery, a first for all of us, I will talk about that more in another post.

22 December 2012

My son asking for his Christmas present

So Nik just randomly asked for fabric for Christmas, I thought it was so cute so I asked him to repeat his request while I videoed him.  This is something I will keep for 30 plus years and show his future wife.

16 December 2012

My Christmas Present

Arthur's present to me via Amazon UK was a pair of Organic Timberland Jeans and a Bra (that fits) with matching underwear.  The Jeans were on sale for 16 pounds so like $24 a really sweet deal.  He is also getting my sewing machine transformer fixed (or I should say a brand new one) since I blew it up using my slow cooker from the States, trust me I won't be doing that again.  We will be staying close to home for Christmas and Nik will return to school after the break.

15 December 2012

And we are back

We spent 5 nights and 6 days in Thessaloniki, we arrived on Sunday and Nik had his operation on Monday, it went fairly quickly.  This will have to be his last surgery the doctor's say that they can not do any more, his colon will have to remain the way it is, if he has constipation issues they will be dealt with the way everyone else does (i.e. enemas, cod liver oil, etc.).
I think Nik behaved fairly well and it really helped that we had the computer with us and he was able to watch Cartoons while on bed rest.  Katerina is a true nurse and gave her brother many hugs and kisses and helped push his drip system around when he went on walks.  She actually wanted to give all of the babies "huggies" and I had to point out that they had daadaas (greek baby word for ouwies(sp?)  It was also very helpful that the hospital had a small school the kids could attend in the morning hours from 9-12, the teacher's were very nice and had projects for the kids to do, Nik excelled at painting and Katerina at taking care of the animals and cutting paper.
Kat did not want to be separated from me at any time, and the 2 times that I sneaked away with out her looking she ended up throwing huge fits and the last one she threw up all over the hospital room.  I am so glad that this time Nik was a little older and he let me go out, on the visits before he was the one who wouldn't let me out of his sight.
Things have not changed much in the almost 5 years that we were in the hospital, the doctors still do the majority of scheduled surgeries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  They make 2 group rounds 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening, the parents are sent out of the room while the doctors visit the patients, most kids cry because they are afraid of the mass amount of blue and white coats in the room.  Even the roads have not changed much, just a few blocks from the Hospital they still have part of a road blockaded and it was that way 5 years ago also, I think it is supposed to be a future entrance to the underground metro system that they are slowly, very slowly making in Thessaloniki.  P.S. if you don't know, in Greece, when they say something is going to be completed multiply that # by 10, so if they say 5 years expect it to be more like 50.
Some things have changed there were a lot more Albanians in the hospital this time around and they decreased the amount of rooms used (-3) so our room was full a lot of the time and they even had girls in our room, that has never been the case before.  A lot of shops in Thessaloniki are closed and you can see rental signs everywhere, even the McDonalds closed that was next to IKEA (so bummed about that).  Hotel prices are cheaper, the room that we rented about 4 years ago was half price, so if you are looking for a good travel deal you can probably find it.  And one other change that I kind of like and wish we had was that the parents look after the infants in this wing of the hospital.  When Nik was an infant the nurses looked after him and we were only allowed to visit twice a day, that was super hard, now the parents and infants stay together there are 3 infant beds and a few rented lounge chairs in the room.  I feel that this arrangement is better for both child and parent, because before the babies are just left alone except for when a nurse goes in to feed and change the baby otherwise it could be very lonely for the little infant.
Okay that's enough about that, we are just so happy to say that Nik should be fairly healthy now and he will go back to school after Christmas and hopefully like school better.

08 December 2012

Vote For Me

Okay total Self Promotion and only 1 day left.
On my Meteora Greece, Roka post over at my Travel Thru Greece blog I showed you an English Paper Piece that I made and now they are voting on the best one, it might not be the best one but it is fun.

But right now they are voting on the Travellin' Pic Stitch over at Quokka Quilts, I am of course in the Europe division.  You can also check out the ones done in Australasia and Americas(#27).  SO GET ON OVER THERE AND VOTE FOR #17.

Thanks Mara

For the "In Your Words" blog hop I hope to make something a little special using these words.
Keep your eyes peeled for the reveal, of course this is all dependent upon my getting my sewing machine back in working order.

06 December 2012

St. Nikolaos Day

We spell Nik's name like this (Nikolaos or Νικολαος) and today they celebrate his name day World Wide.  He is named after his Papous and the Saint day is after the Nikolaos of Myra a Greek Bishop who did many good deeds.  My favorite tradition is the one that they do in Germany, you can get all of the details here and as for our family I am sure you remember when Mom did it for us as kids.  So this year, since Nik is older, I decided to resurrect the family tradition.

We got "rods"/sticks in our boots
That one is yours!

Checking out each others gifts.
They also got a bar of chocolate, I would have put an orange (mom you'll understand) but Nik is not allowed to eat them so we just stuck with chocolate a toy and a stick because trust me they have not been all good and need a little reminder of when they are naughty.

01 December 2012

Darn Update

Okay, so we stayed in the hospital 3 days and 2 nights, on the 2nd day they took Nik up and basically did a Colonoscopy (he was knocked out). 
The Verdict: an operation set for Dec. 10th, they will remove a little more of his colon and will staple it up, I think this should resolve any issues that we have been having.
Here's a couple of pictures taken at the hospital.
Sleeping beauties

The hospital has this nice horsey that Katerina spent hours on.

Playing Legos a good way to pass the time.

Notice Arthur's Frappe in the upper left corner
The first night we shared the 6 bed room with 3 other families, but on the second night we had the whole room to ourselves.  When we first arrived there were 4 boys but one left after we got there, the crazy thing is that they all had peeing issues (1 had ball problems) very interesting.
Of course what Thessaloniki trip is complete with out going to the mall, we ate KFC and brought a bucket home.  Nik's diet for the next 10 days is to be meat and milk products, definitely not a vegetarian's dream diet, lucky for us the kids love meat.

27 November 2012

Darn, Darn

We are taking Nik to the Hospital on Wednesday, we don't know what will happen but it looks like he might have to have an operation.  Just wanted to let you know in case you are looking for us.

23 November 2012

Nik's first baby tooth was pulled

 The tooth was loose for about 2 weeks, we went to the dentist on Tuesday and he said it would come out on it's own.  Now you maybe wondering why we would go, well Nik really really wanted to go, he loves going to the dentist and has been about 4 times in his short little 4 years, a whole lot more times than I have been while living here.  He hops right into the chair and opens his mouth wide, of course his favorite part is having the water pour into the little cup next to the chair.  He was very upset that the dentist did not pull it out and pretty much refused to leave the Dentist office (read here, I had to drag him out screaming and kicking).
His other bottom tooth is loose also I predict another week before that one comes out.

21 November 2012

Congratulations Nikolaos's Donkey

"Kamaki Ass" here visiting from Travel Thru Greece to say Congratulations to Nikolaos's Donkey for winning a prize over at the Donktober Fest.
A Hug from Kamaki
He won best looking donkey and got a $20 gift certificate to Marmalade Fabrics, now Mara can get more fabric to feed her addiction, maybe she will get us a girlfriend.
"Nikolaos's Donkey" Well Thank you Kamaki you are not such an ass after all, I wouldn't mind having a girlfriend also, what can you do about that Mara?
"Mara" I will work on it!  Thanks for the gift certificate Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics.

20 November 2012


I made 4 Christmas Stockings, 2 for the kids and 2 to donate.  I would like to make more but we will see how the time goes, they are for Hopeful Threads November Project.  You can find the button to the right.  I particularly like this project because Nik spent so much time as a baby in the hospital, lucky for us not on Christmas but for Thanksgiving and his 1st birthday.  We also fear that he will have to again have another operation but the doctors would like for him to be older and that will make things so much more difficult.
So here's some pictures, of the ones I am sending, Nik and Kat's were prototypes and not as pretty, I think I did a better job the second time around.
The Cars material and buttons are from Rhonda and Dad.

a little button detail on an otherwise plain stocking.
I didn't have any Christmas fabric so I had to make due, I like the girly one and made it really easy, in fact I was thinking of making a tutorial, what do you think?   
French Seam Flannel Christmas Stocking Tutorial?
I am also making Nik a placemat for school out of the Cars Material, that should be done by Christmas, hopefully.

14 November 2012

Pin It Win It! Fresh Squeezed Fabric

Once again Fresh Squeezed Fabrics is having a Pin It Win It! Contest.
This time I picked Berry Patch to help me make a Travelin' Pic Stitch.
Berry Patch
If you have Pinterest can you come pin it, the rules are here if you want to join in on the fun.
And this is my Pin.

Donkey for Nik

If you are looking for the UR Priceless post it is the one just below this, I want to thank everyone for the sweet comments.  I started responding to each and everyone but I have to do it the old way (press, click, copy, open new window, etc. etc.,) if anyone knows a better way to respond to comments please let me know.

Nik was a little jeaous of his sisters dress and purse and wanted me to make him one, I tried to explain that dresses are for girls but that didn't go over so well.  So I whipped up this little guy in about 30 minutes, I had wanted to make one as soon as I saw it.
Sock Donkey

You can find the tutorial over at Missy Mac Creations (Sock Donkey) she is having a Donktober fest and you can make one of these by Friday you will be entered in a contest.
All you need are a pair of
Old socks, thread and needle a sewing machine if you want and a few buttons
The socks are at least 5 years old, both gifts, the one on top from my brother Jon with little individual toe socks, love these but they got holes in the toes.  The bottom ones came from my Grandma Doris, she passed away this year and I think she would have loved what I created with them, she was very crafty, they had holes in the soles, hehe, that rhymes.
Yes, he is holding a sewing pin, both kids want to help and "work" with mom, ? the help part.
 If you can't tell from the picture, Nik loves his donkey, it turned out bigger than I thought it would, but I loved making it.  He still wants a purse so I will have to think of some manly fabric to make one up, or I can just copy the awesome Batman one made by Carolyn over at Sew Darn Quilt, of course Nik would want the bad guy in the jail, so I will have to see if there is any joker fabric around.

You have until Friday, November 16 to make one of these Donkeys and you can join the Donktober Festivities.  It was super easy to put together and would make great Christmas gifts, so check it out.

13 November 2012

UR Priceless

Hello, Welcome to my blog, my name is Mara and I live in Greece.
I completed many first with UR Priceless
  1. First time participating in a Blog Hop
  2. First time using a PDF tutorial and pattern (UR Priceless Coin Purse)
  3. First time using a paper pattern (Little Girl Dress)
Thank you so much Katherine and Madame Samm for giving me the opportunity to join in this hop, without any experience and limited sewing skills.  I was afraid for a moment that I would let you down when the purse frames hadn't arrived, but they made it safely and you can read that story here.
And let me tell you I love, LOVE getting a pattern over the internet, Madame Samm has created wonderful instructions for making the coin purse but the best part is all of the pictures, for me a picture is worth a thousand words, you can buy the pattern here. I made several mistakes on the dress I made for my daughter because there were no photos, but I bet if I had the pictures to go with the words it would have turned out just as wonderful as my purse.

I followed the instructions but had to make a few changes, it's hard enough to find cotton fabric let alone any type of batting or fusible fleece here in Greece.  So I worked with what I had and used Fast 2 Fuse on the front and back panels only, it's very stiff and I didn't want the purse to be completely hard.  I sewed my Ladybug Button Mad button on first and then did a little stitching following the already marked antennae and squiggly line behind.  Then I stuffed my fusible inside and steamed both sides so it would fuse, then I added the purse frame.
Close up of the Ladybug
 The hardest part about making this purse was finding where I put the red thread, I spent at least 3 hours looking for the special thread I had bought to sew the frame on, when it only took me about 30 minutes to get it done and that was with 2 kids jumping around me ( I think they hid my thread but they won't fess up).  I finally borrowed some from my MIL and it's not quite red but you can't really tell in photos or in person it looks okay.
The inside and sides are up-cycled from a shirt of mine.
Now the reason I made this UR Priceless purse is for my Priceless Treasure, my little Ladybug and companion, my precious daughter, Katerina.
Not only did she get a new purse today but she also got a new dress.

Me: "What's inside honey?" Her little voice :"Nut-thin" , awe, we will have to work on that!
Where we live, Kalampaka, Greece, surrounded by rocks.
Please hop around to my fellow bloggers of the day and if you haven't already you can see the rest of the schedule here.
Day 7 - Nov. 13

Julia P
Dachsies With Moxie
Marci Girl Designs
The Sunflower Patch
Wish upon a star
Mary on Lake Pulaski
Greco Mara - You Are Here
Linda M
Mack and Mabel
Dreaming in Patchwork
Judith Handmade Treasures
Caesarea Scrappers
Patchouli Moon Studio
Sew We Quilt

Also make sure you visit sew darn quilt, she moved to this day.

I don't necessarily have a giveaway but the lady I bought the frames from sent me a glue in one (picture here) and I have no plans on using it, so I saw that several people have used those and if you want it just e-mail me and I will send it grecomara at gmail dot com.
I am also doing a Pay It Forward and well no one has come forward for wanting  a homemade gift.  I know I am new to sewing so that means it might not be perfect but it will probably be awesome since there are so many things I want to make.  If you are interested come check this post out.
Thanks for stopping by today.

10 November 2012

Love getting mail

4 Packages in One Day
This came in the mail on Friday, 3 purse frames and 4 packages of 2 1/2 squares from the I Want Candy Swap.  I was desperately waiting for the frames I have to make a blog post on Tuesday about my so cute UR Priceless coin purse.  I ordered my frames from Etsy and the owner is very nice but it takes a while for things to get here from Hong Kong.
I was so worried that they wouldn't arrive in time that I contacted Celine over at Espritpatch, she lives in England and her UR Priceless day was Wednesday, she wrote on her blog that she ordered 3 so I asked if she wouldn't mind sending me 1 of hers, maybe it would get here in time and she so kindly did exactly that.  Thank you so much Celine.  Update: She shipped it out on Thursday night and I got it Tuesday morning so even if the above package hadn't arrived on time I would have completed it in time for the people in America to see.   I better thank my husband too, for taking the kids away for a little bit so I could get some sewing done.

04 November 2012

My first blog hop starts tomorrow

I am so excited I am participating in my first blog hop, we are making these totally cute coin purses.
Sew We Quilt's Coin Purse
Is that not the cutest purse ever, it looks like origami made out of fabric, such talent, I wish mine was going to look this cute.  I am actually crossing my fingers because I am still waiting for my purse handle to arrive, please please be here before my day, thank goodness I am on the last day of the hop.  Here is the schedule, try to check out a few and some might even be having giveaway's.

Day 1 -  Nov. 5th

Quiltin' Jenny
Hill Valley Quilter
Loopy Lou's Adventures Into Handicrafts
Just Let Me Quilt
Lixie Makes It
Sunshine, Handmade
Buzzing and Bumbling
Sew Much 2 Luv
Needled Mom
The Slow Quilter
A Quilting Sheep
I Have a Notion

Day 2 - Nov.6th

The Crafter's Apprentice
Jane's Fabric and Quilts
Rosemary B
Random Thoughts..do or "di"
Mary T.
Supermom No Cape
Lily Pad Quilting
Stitch, Stitch, Stitch
Rose Creations
The Treehouse
Gracie Oliver Arts
Quilting Prolifically
Grammie Q's

Day 3 - Nov. 7th

I Love Wool
I Like to Quiltblog
Keep Your Fork There's Pie
Retired to Quilt
From This to That
Jenny E.
Domestic Deficit Disorder
Pig tales and quilts
Count it all Joy!
Creative Notions

Day 4 - Nov. 8th

Stitchin By the Lake
as sweet as peaches
Deborah B
Birgit H
Fish Creek Studio
A Quilter's Table
Lily Patch Quilts
Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio
Mary F
Rose Prairie Quilts and Farm
The Desert Rat Chronicles
Sally K
Paris at a Certain Age
From Blank Pages
Quilt Taffy
Barb H

Day 5 - Nov. 9th

Polka Dot Classic
Geta's Quilting Studio
Busy Bee Free
Briarside Lane
Quilts and Dogs
Debbie R
suebee's World
Les passions de Cliodana
Colorpoint Quilter
On the Go Quilting
Personalized Sketches and Sentiments
Freemotion by the River

Day 6 - Nov. 12

Read, quilt, cook, pray...
The Learning Curve
Bacon Then Eggs
Nati's Little Things
by Mary
Feltfree på Åsly
El Patchwork de la Abuela
Amy's Crafty Shenanigans
Maryjo J
s.o.t.a.k. Handmade
Janice M
throw a wench in the works
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
A Stitch in Time
Sew Me Something Good

Day 7 - Nov. 13

Julia P
Dachsies With Moxie
Marci Girl Designs
The Sunflower Patch
Wish upon a star
Mary on Lake Pulaski
Greco Mara - You Are Here
Linda M
Mack and Mabel
Dreaming in Patchwork
Judith Handmade Treasures
Caesarea Scrappers
Patchouli Moon Studio
Sew We Quilt

01 November 2012

New Blog

Hi Family and Friends, I have a new awesome blog, please stop by and say hello, so I know that you saw it.
It will have some travel and craft post, also if you like you can become a follower so that it will show up in the reading list when you go to your blogger dashboard.  See you in Greece.

15 October 2012

A Lifetime of Fabric

How awesome would that be to win a lifetime (well 20 years) of fabric, 52 yards of fabric a year, SWEEEET!

Follow this link so I can get another entry and enter yourself.

I will share if you do, hehehe, Dad I used your address, hey we might be moving to the States soon anyways, things are looking pretty grim here.


Some videos

Here's Nik saying Thanks for the presents.
And here is Kat telling us her favorite place to be!  All planes go to America!

12 October 2012

A week of packages

I feel super loved this week, I got so many goodies in the mail, check it out.
Dad sent me a box of fabrics

These 2 fabrics would look great in an I-spy quilt(on my to do list)

These 2 maybe a dress for baby Kat?
Dad and Rhonda also sent a dress pattern for Kat, maybe I will use the fabric above.  They also sent a scarf that Rhonda had picked up on her trip to Italy and a little billfold purse, and some coloring supplies for the kids.  And not only did they send the fabric but they also thought about string and buttons, now I wonder who did the shopping Dad or Rhonda?  I also got a picture of Rhonda with her parents, but if it was Dad in the fabric aisle I would have loved a picture of that too!
 My friend Percy in Rescue California sent me a box of books plus my favorite candy "Hot Tamales" can't find those in Greece either.  She sent me a book that I have been wanting for a while "Your bodies many cries for water" and Arthur even snagged a book (rare occurrence) wanting to read "Creative Visualization".
12 lbs. of books
Both packages cost the same Dad's $63 and Percy's $69, Dad's weighed 2 lbs., Percy's 12 lbs.  I think you got ripped off Dad, sorry but the guy you go too should have put your stuff in the box that cost $45, I mean really when sending fabric you don't need half  of the box to be filled with peanuts whats going to break the buttons?
Plus I have heard that it is better to pack it yourself and in your own box. 
Thanks everyone for your gifts, I love them and the kids have even snagged a few things.

11 October 2012

Fabric Giveaway at 44th Street Fabric

Wow, there is a huge giveaway over at 44th Street Fabric, hop on over and quickly because it ends today the 11th of October.
Fabric Giveaway

Good luck everyone

09 October 2012

Fabric Swap

I am slowly getting into the swing of doing some sewing and hopefully will be making a quilt very soon, but I need a little more variety of fabric so I thought it would be fun to join in a fabric swap.

The basic details of the swap:
You will cut 5 stacks of 50- 2.5" squares. Each of those 50 fabrics should be different or no more than 2 of the same. So a total of 250 squares. Swappers will be assigned 5 partners to swap with and you'll receive 250 squares back in return.
Sign up deadline is October 21, 2012, all of the details can be found at Peach Patch Quilts.

And if you are wondering what you'd make with a bunch of 2.5" squares? Make sure you are checking out the Sweet Treats Blog Hop this week, a lot of the projects that they have shown so far are ones on my Pin It! Sew It! Pinterest Board.  I can't wait to start making some of the things shown.

On a family note, Katerina has decided against going to school, so not so much crafting getting done as I would have wished.  And here are Nik's sta'ts:
Number of Day's in School : 9
Number of Day's out Sick : 7
Day's refused to go to School : 3
Teacher's on Strike : 1
Stayed in School the full 4 hours : 0

The teacher's have called us early every day to come pick him up, saying that he is tired, does this happen in the States?

08 October 2012

Pay it Forward!

I was so lucky to win a prize that I would like to give a little something to you!

I was strolling around today and bumped into this amazing opportunity
courtesy of
and I wanted to share some blogger love with you!
I would love to Pay It Forward and send YOU a crafty gift...so, I'm asking three of you to sign up too...(If more than 3 people comment below then I will do a raffle) here are the details, please read the rules carefully before signing up! International quilters are welcome.

1. I will make a crafty gift for each of the first three people to comment on this post or if more than 3 then I will do a raffle. This little gift is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next 365 days.

2. To sign up to pay it forward, you need to commit to the project yourself... so you can pay it forward too! Just post this, or something similar on your blog so others can get involved.

3. You need to have an active blog of your own...{or some other way to post up your PiF info like a flickr, pinterest, or facebook account. Basically you'll need a place to announce your own PiF and to post some pics of the process.}

4. After commenting on this post, post something similar on your blog...so you can spread the pay it forward love. I will email you asking for your mailing address {and the online address where you are posting} so I can get your little treat in the mail. {Please make sure that your email address is visible on your profile or leave it in the comment.}

I am so excited about this opportunity and can't wait to send YOU a little gift.
If you are still interested after reading all of these "RULES", then please leave me a comment telling me your favorite animal and your favorite color.  I hope to hear from a lot of people to make it more fun, don't you just love paying it forward!