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SUOC14 – You’re still Wonderful

SUOC14 – You’re still Wonderful published on 10 Comments on SUOC14 – You’re still Wonderful

Thank you to the team at Creative Sketches for choosing this as their winner for the week!  Make sure you go see their latest challenge and design team call!

Over at SU Only Challenges, we are asking you to show us your favorite retired Stampin’ Up set.  You KNOW you have one…it’s the one you turn to when you are out of ideas, need something fast or just want it to be right.  For me, I have a couple but one of my very favorites is Wonderful You.  Those leaves have made a lot of cards for me and I’m always happy when I’m done.  It is especially useful when I need the ever-challenging masculine card.

I started with a great layout from a new-to-me challenge, Creative Sketches (CS22).  Since this is a retired stamps challenge, I also pulled out the recently retired Deck the Halls DSP…another favorite.  Paper this pretty shouldn’t be hoarded and demands to be used!  The colors in the DSP are Crumb Cake, Early Espresso and Always Artichoke so my palette was chosen for me.  If you click to expand the picture, you can see that the base layer DSP looks like Always Artichoke was sponged on it.  I matched that by inking the solid leaf in Crumb Cake and sponging on a little Artichoke with a sponge dauber.  The line image leaf was stamped over it in Early Espresso and I added the sentiment from the set.  An Antique Brad seemed like the perfect final touch so I secured it around some Early Espresso Satin Ribbon to finish the card.  This phrase is a favorite too because I can use this as a birthday card, an anniversary card or even a Father’s Day card.

So run right over to those craft rooms and get to stamping!  I can’t wait to see which retired sets you love most.  I’ll be back on Thursday for another ColorLab Challenge.  Until then, I hope you have a great week.

Stamp:  Wonderful You (retired); Paper:  Deck the Halls DSP (retired), Early Espresso (119686), Whisper White (100730); Ink:  Crumb Cake (121030), Always Artichoke (105219), Early Espresso (119670); Accessories:  Antique Brads (117273), Espresso Satin Ribbon (119753), Sponge Daubers (102892), Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049), Dimensionals (104430)

ColorLab 31

ColorLab 31 published on 11 Comments on ColorLab 31

Today’s ColorLab Challenge brings us another taste of spring!  These colors are going to make you smile.

Aren’t they pretty??  Maybe it is just because Virginia has started having little signs of spring but I immediately thought flowers for these colors.  In fact, I thought that the new Blossom Petals Punch needed to be put to use!  And what comes with blooming flowers?  Butterflies!!  I love butterflies!  So out came my Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die and my Beautiful Wings Embosslit too.

After playing around with some variations I finally realized that Clean and Simple (CAS) would be best…specifically a one layer card.  I stamped the punched petals and the Pink Pirouette butterfly with images from the Bliss SAB set and added Basic Pearls to finish the look.  The sentiment is from Elements of Style and works perfectly here.  All of the edges are sponged with their respective colors and I added a little Baja Breeze sponging on the white too.

I hope you like this one and have a great time playing with these colors!  Thanks for stopping by today.  Don’t forget to go see what the other Color Chemists made for you this week!

Stamps:  Bliss (SAB), Elements of Style (118611); Paper:  Baja Breeze (111352), Pink Pirouette (111351), Peach Parfait (119794); Ink:  Baja Breeze (111833), Pink Pirouette (111838), Peach Parfait (119783); Accessories:  Big Shot (113439), Beautiful Butterflies Die (114507), Beautiful Wings Embosslit (118138), Blossom Petals Punch (121808), Neutrals Buttons (119743), Basic Pearls (119247), Sponges (101610)

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Clear Block Brayering

Clear Block Brayering published on 4 Comments on Clear Block Brayering

I hope you enjoyed the Stampin’ Addicts Birthday Blog Hop over the weekend!  As promised, I am back with some more details on using your clear blocks as a brayer.  You may remember that I made my “First Edition Valentine” a couple of weeks ago and told you that I had not used my brayer for the edges.  Instead I used my clear block there, too.  I used this technique with my Hostess Club members and they loved it as much as I do!  They, too, appreciate that you don’t have to have another tool and can use something you already have in your stamping repetoire.  It is amazing how much this distressing adds to an embossed area for almost no additonal work!  And, contrary to what you may see in this post, I promise it works on paper other than Cherry Cobbler.  *smile*

Since this is so easy, I didn’t really take a lot of pictures.  Here is my embossed panel during the process of working on it.  Simple take one of your smaller clear blocks (smaller is easier to control) and ink up one side with your Whisper White Craft Ink.  Rub the inked side on your embossing.  If the middle of your panel needs to be “clean” of ink, just use a scrap piece of paper to mask it while you work.  I did that on my butterfly card but not on my First Edition Valentine since the middle was covered up.  Just keep inking and applying until you have the desired effect.  It is really that easy!!

I actually used this techniqe way back in the Stampin’ Addicts Holiday Mini Blog Hop on this card.  After embossing, I inked up my clear block with Basic Black Classic Ink and added the touched of color on the background layer.  So to answer questions before they are asked, both kinds of ink work.  There is definitely a randomness to this kind of application because the ink will not be even.  I actually got this idea when I was watching a video produced by Stampin’ Up on the Distressing Essentials Kit.  They used a flat stamp in the same way. 

I hope you have fun using this!  Please let me know what projects you make because I can’t wait to see them!  Because the butterfly card uses that amazing SAB set Bliss (Joie – French), it qualifies for the So Shelli challenge this month.  I continue to be thrilled with the coordination between the SAB sets and the mini/catalog sets!!  Thanks for dropping back in today.  I’ll see you again soon!

Butterfly card

Stamps:  Clearly For You, Bliss/Joie (SAB), All Holidays; Paper:  Basic Gray, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White; Ink:  Whisper White Craft Ink, Basic Gray, Cherry Cobbler; Accessories:  White Organza Ribbon, Basic Pearls, Clear Blocks, Heat Tool

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Stampin’ Addicts Birthday Blog Hop

Stampin’ Addicts Birthday Blog Hop published on 30 Comments on Stampin’ Addicts Birthday Blog Hop


Welcome to your next stop on the Stampin’ Addicts Birthday Blog Hop!!  I am in the middle of the hop so if you want to start at the beginning, simply click on the banner above for the list in order.  I hope you are enjoying this birthday celebration featuring techniques!  If you have been following the hop, you just came over from Debra Burgin’s Heartfelt Inkspirations.  Her polished stone technique is really fantastic (okay, everything she does is really fantastic)!!  Did you see that clock…oh my!!  My job today is to show you clear block stamping.  I was a little slow to get on board with the clear mount stamps but now I LOVE them!  I love the storage, I love the price and I love the clear blocks.  The best part…these clear blocks can be used as a stamping tool along with their “real” job of holding stamps.  You can click on any of my pictures to see them larger.

My first card shows how to use clear block stamps to add dimension.  I inked up my Block C with a Soft Suede Ink Pad and stamped it onto some Naturals Ivory paper.  I followed up with the airplane from Plane & Simple (Occasions Mini) over the center block in Early Espresso.  A little Linen Thread cinched with an Antique Brad added just the right touch.  I love this border stamp and the words from the stamp set are perfect to finish it off.

For my next card I wanted the clear block to add a little color as a background.  It looks alot like reverse masking without having to cut a mask and sponge.  I inked up my Block D with Daffodil Delight and stamped it off before stamping it on Whisper White.  I stamped the flower from Every Moment over the yellow and then again onto another piece of Whisper White.  The top of the second flower was colored, then cut out and the stem on the clear block stamped piece was colored with Pear Pizzazz (direct marker to paper).  By cutting out the flower and placing it right on top clear block stamped stem, I have a faux outside the box look.  The sentiment for this card comes from Teeny Tiny Wishes…a set that covers almost any occasion.

Hint:  Put your card stock on a surface with a little give to it in order to get your best image (I used a pad of notebook paper).

For my last project today, I used the clear block in a totally different way.  One of the hardest things as a new stamper is having enough tools to create different looks.  Vintage and distressing are very popular now and your clear block can help you out.  You see all the white on the Framed Tulips border, I used a clear block to put it there!!  No brayer required!!  I will be back on Monday to show you more details on how to do this.  I love the Clearly For You set combined with the Sale-a-bration Set Bliss (mine is actually the French version, Joie).  My Organza Ribbon was curled a bit using a heat tool after the bow was tied (be careful…it doesn’t take long).  The very talented Lyssa over at Song of My Heart Stampers shows all the details on the ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by today!  On your next stop, Rhonda Griffin over at The Stampin’ Bunny is going to show you the Baby Wipe Ink Pad technique.  She even uses a clear block with her baby wipe on one of her projects!  Have fun on the hop and don’t forget to come back next week for more details and recipes.

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ColorLab 30 – Happy Birthday!

ColorLab 30 – Happy Birthday! published on 10 Comments on ColorLab 30 – Happy Birthday!

Spring is in the air…at least over at the ColorLab Challenge this week.  It was even in the air for a while here in Virginia but winter decided to make a return.  Oh well, soon enough I’ll be planting my garden!  Take a look at the wonderful colors we have for you:

Around this time of year, whenever I see pink and green as a color combination I think of cherry trees.  I LOVE cherry trees!  I have one in my front yard and it is spectacular when it blooms.  In fact, the blooms on my tree are pretty much Pink Pirouette.  With that on my brain, there was no avoiding the fact that I had to pull out my retired Branch Out set.  It is one of the all time great sets, in my humble opinion! 

It is so easy to give the “cherry tree effect” with this.  I inked up the tree in Crumb Cake, the stamped on the leaves in Wild Wasabi and Pink Pirouette.  The Crumb Cake  patterned paper might look familiar since it is from the recently retired Deck the Halls DSP.  The bow is my first attempt at Sharon Field’s Double Loop Bow Method.  While I do like the end result, trust her when she says to start with a wider ribbon (Satin Ribbon would be my suggestion).  This has a different look than my typical double loop bows and I think it is pretty for this card.

You want to know who this birthday card is for??!!  It is for Stampin’ Addicts, one of my very favorite sites!!  They are celebrating their 2nd birthday and I am participating in a virtual card shower.  You can see some other fabulous birthday wishes on the Virtual Card Shower Thread.  But just wait, starting tomorrow (Feb 25th) there is a Techniques Blog Hop to continue the birthday celebration.  You won’t want to miss it!!


Stamps:  Branch Out (retired), Teeny Tiny Wishes; Paper:  Pink Pirouette, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Deck the Halls DSP (retired); Ink:  Crumb Cake, Pink Pirouette, Wild Wasabi; Accessories:  Crumb Cake Seam Binding, Glue Dots, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Dimensionals

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Sweet Summer Photo Book

Sweet Summer Photo Book published on 13 Comments on Sweet Summer Photo Book

As promised in yesterday’s post, I am here with some more specifics on the Sweet Summer Photo Book.

I started this with the tutorial posted by the talented Sarah Wills for her Scallop Square Die Mini Scrapbook.  I used the same method as for her smaller version but changed measurements a bit.  My goal was to be able to make this using 8.5″ x 11″ paper.  I am going to give some of the basic measurements here and, using Sarah’s fantastic instructions, you will probably be able to figure this out.  However, I am also creating a Word Document tutorial and will be happy to e-mail it to you.  Simply leave a comment requesting it and I’ll get it out to you as soon as possible (I don’t know how to link it here…sorry).  Yes, you club members don’t need to let me know…yours will be out the minute it is finished.

I started with On Board Chipboard Sheets cut 4″ square.  The Tabletop Paper Cutter is really great for this!  Cut 4 pieces of Baja Breeze Card Stock 4″ square.  These will cover the chipboard.  As noted on Sarah’s tutorial, make sure you leave one side of one piece of chipboard uncovered for ribbon attachment.  I cut 3 pieces of Soft Suede Card Stock to 3 5/8″ square.  Two of these are the “attachment points” for the center sheet and one is to decorate the front.  Cut one piece of Crumb Cake Card Stock to 3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″.  Score this Crumb Cake piece at 3 1/2″ and 7″.  The rest of the decoration is really up to you.

Since I designed this for my club members, I wanted to leave them maximum flexibility.  I made the pages so that you can add only one picture on the front side and one on the back or add two pictures to both sides or any variation.  What I found works best is to size your picture first (you don’t want to cut off any of those precious details).  Measure your picture and add 1/8″ all around for your frame.

I used Sticky Strip on all the connection points that are likely to get stressed.  Let’s face it, once Grandma has this, it is going places with her!  The first version I made with Funky Four already has the Grandmom (my mom) seal of approval!

Once the photo section is attached and the front decorated, attach your ribbon to the back of the chipboard (this will still be undecorated!!).  You can align the ribbon with the front of your card if it matter for your design.  Once the ribbon is in place, glue on the final piece of Baja Breeze.  I used the Anywhere Glue Stick to attach the card stock to the chipboard.  I like that it allows you a little time to position the paper and then sticks perfectly.

I personally think that the success of this project comes in using Stampin’ Up’s beautiful designer papers.  In this I have used Elegant Soiree and the coordinating pieces work wonderfully together.  I also love that the style of the Sale-a-bration set Sweet Summer matches this paper.  Another well thought out combination!

Thanks for coming back by for the details today.  I’ll see you tomorrow with a new ColorLab Challenge.  Also, this weekend I will be participating in a birthday celebration for one of my favorite sites, Stampin’ Addicts.  We are doing a Techniques Blog Hop starting on Friday!  It is a birthday bash extraordinaire!  Until then…have a great week!

Stamps:  Sweet Summer (SAB), All Holidays; Paper:  Elegant Soiree DSP, Baja Breeze, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla; Ink:  Early Espresso, Baja Breeze; Accessories:  On Board Sheets, Sticky Strip, Anywhere Glue Stick, Crumb Cake Seam Binding (inside decoration), Very Vanilla Taffeta, Stamp-a-ma-jig

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SU Only Challenge 13 – Joie

SU Only Challenge 13 – Joie published on 7 Comments on SU Only Challenge 13 – Joie

Over at SU Only Challenges we are celebrating our favorite time of the Stampin’ Up year!!  Sale-a-bration!!!  Truly, the only thing better than new stamps is getting new stamps FREE.  I actually had a hard time choosing which of my SAB sets to use for this challenge but decided I wanted to show you something you might have missed.  If you look at the bottom of each SAB set with words, you get a choice of language. 

So as you look at this card and think, that looks like Bliss…it is…except in French!  I felt like “Joie” was a phrase I could find lots of uses for and this set has a French feel to me.  One of the best things I am finding with this set (especially in combination with the Framed Tulips Embossing Folder) is that a simple layout is best.  I stamped the flourish in Early Espresso and then put Joie in a place that felt like a continuation of the flourish.  Even with using a clear mount stamp, my Stamp-a-ma-jig was pulled out to make sure it was just right!  I inked up the butterfly in Baja Breeze and added some Early Espresso to the edges of the stamp with a sponge dauber.  After stamping, I cut it out and sponged a little more Espresso on the cut edges.  Additional sponging in Early Espresso was done on the image panel and on the embossed layer.  I used the thread pulling technique on the Baja Breeze Seam Binding.

Hint:  I find this works best if you simply leave the ribbon on the roll and pull the thread until you have enough scrunched ribbon.

The balance was a little off so I started looking at buttons and brads.  You know what I found??!!  This particular Antique Brad has a flower on it that is almost identical to the flower in Bliss/Joie.  And this, my friends is why Stampin’ Up products make me so happy!!  The type A personality in me knows that these items simply work….beautifully!!  This free set has just as much thought put into its design as any catalog set.  The attention to detail speaks for itself!

I wrapped the brad around the ribbon and attached it to the card with Mini Glue Dots.  Finally, I realized that Basic Pearls were “required” to complete the card.  The different sizes on the sheet really do make them a joy to use!  I attached one wing of the butterfly with Mini Glue Dots and let the other stay loose.  Finally, I popped the image panel up on Dimensionals.

This is the very first card I have made with this set but I think this will be a go-to set for a while!  Shelli Gardner, Stampin’ Up’s CEO, has a challenge on her blog this month for Sale-a-bration projects.  This card definitely qualifies so I am putting my name in the hat with it.   

Because I couldn’t quite make up my mind which project to feature today, I want to share this mini photo album with you too.  I had so much fun making the project for the Stampin’ Addicts SAB Blog Hop, I made another version using the SAB set, Sweet Summer.  I’ll post more details tomorrow since I changed the measurements on this one.

Thanks for stopping in today.  I can’t wait to see your Stampin’ Up Only projects using the SAB offerings.  Make sure you post them over at the SUO Challenge site!  Don’t forget to go see the fabulous things made by the rest of the SUO Challenge design team.  I hope you have a really great week!

Stamp:  Joie (French Bliss – 123242); Paper:  Baja Breeze (111342), Early Espresso (119686), Naturals Ivory (101849); Ink:  Baja Breeze Marker (120965), Early Espresso Pad (119670); Accessories:  Baja Breeze Seam Binding (122331), Antique Brads (117273), Basic Pearls (119247), Mini Glue Dots (103683), Dimensionals (104430), Sponge Daubers (102892), Big Shot (113439), Framed Tulips Embossing Folder (121809)

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ColorLab 29

ColorLab 29 published on 18 Comments on ColorLab 29

Razzleberry…hmmmm….what to do with Razzleberry??  This week’s ColorLab Challenge colors were interesting to me.  What do you think?

Now I must say that I love the idea of combining Old Olive and Pear Pizzazz since they are such sister greens so the Razzleberry became a little less intimidating.  When I am a little stumped with one element of a card, I usually go find a good layout.  For me, it helps me see what to do next.  Sure enough, there is a great basic layout over at Stampin’ 411 – SSC190.  Once I saw that I knew I wanted to use the Pear DSP from Greenhouse Gala for the bottom panel.  Putting Old Olive behind it looked great so then I layered everything with Rich Razzleberry.

  My image panel was completed last and I’ll admit this wasn’t the first panel created.  I was making it way too hard!!  I pulled out this wonderful flower from Friends Never Fade and inked it up with my Stampin’ Write Markers in the three challenge colors.  I knew I was on to something!  I added the phrase from Say It Simply (Occasions Mini) and was left needing one more element.  Given that I rarely use Rich Razzleberry, I don’t have any Taffeta Ribbon in that color.  But I can make any color I want!!  I dampened a piece of White Taffeta Ribbon and inked up the ribbon using my marker.  I then rubbed the color around a little to even it out.

Hint:  Unless you want Razzleberry fingers all day, you may want to use a paper towel or protective gloves when handling the damp ribbon (ask me how I know!).  For really saturated color, you may need to apply your ink twice.

Recently, I won some blog candy from Stampin’ Celebration and the little Olive clip was in my box of treasures.  I am so happy that I could use it for this!  I popped the image panel up on Dimensionals and I am happy with the result.  This is why you should try color challenges especially when one of the colors is “out of your box”.  You end up making a card you might never have considered.  Since I used my markers on both the flower image and the ribbon, this qualifies for Stampin’ Royalty’s Mark It Up Challenge this week.

Glad to see you today.  Make sure to check out the other fantastic work over at ColorLab.  I hope to have something else ready to post this weekend but I’ll definitely be back next Tuesday with the next SU Only Challenge.  See you soon!

Stamps:  Friends Never Fade, Say It Simply; Paper:  Greenhouse Gala DSP, Old Olive, Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White; Ink:  Rich Razzleberry, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive; Accessories:  White Taffeta Ribbon (dyed), Old Olive Library Clip (retired), Dimensionals

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Valentine-a-pa-looza!! published on 12 Comments on Valentine-a-pa-looza!!

It was a busy weekend around my house.  In typical style, I was working last minute on Valentine’s Day treats for my boys’ classes and their teachers.  Not sure why but this always seems to be something I put off.  I started out with the treats for the kids by pulling out an old set called Mini Messages.  This is one that I bought early in my stamping life and never knew quite what to do with it.  Inspiration hit and off I went!

I stamped the “my friend” script in Soft Suede on Very Vanilla and punched it out with a Large Tag punch.  I then stamped the heart in Cherry Cobbler and cut it out.  Yes, it would have been loads easier if I had used any of our large variety of heart punches but sadly, none live at my house (this WILL be fixed!!).  The Extra-Large Tag Punch was used on Cherry Cobbler paper and I just had to assemble.  I put some chocolate into Medium Cellophane Bags, punched a hole in the tags with a 1/16″ Circle Punch and tied them closed with Vanilla 1/8″ Taffeta Ribbon.  Easy and done!

Being a demonstrator has so many cool advantages and one was that we received a sample of the Love Impressions Rub-Ons as a free gift from Stampin’ Up!  Before I went to work on cards for the teachers, I wanted to make two Valentine’s for my sweet sons.  The front card is one of those.  It uses the FTL127 layout which seemed perfect for this.  There is absolutely no stamping on either of these cards.  It is all rub-ons (even on the inside of the card)!  I put the heart balloons on Whisper White card stock and cut them out so that I could pop them up on Dimensionals.  The heart paper is from the Play Date DSP set.  When I saw Stampin’ Celebration’s inspiration piece this week, I knew I’d use the XOXO balloon for it!  Don’t forget to take a look at all the cool Valentine’s Day goodies they created!

Both of the cards here were used for my sons’ teachers (of course some treats were included for them too).  All of these cards qualify for one of my favorite challenges, Stampin’ Royalty.  Their SR#58 is Hearts, Hearts and More Hearts and that sums up my crafting this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by to see my crazy Valentine-a-pa-looza weekend results.  I hope your day is a happy one!


Stamps:  None; Paper:  Whisper White, Basic Gray, Real Red, Play Date DSP; Ink:  None; Accessories:  Love Impressions Rub-ons (Occasions Mini), Dimensionals, Brights Buttons, Thread (non-SU)

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ColorLab 28

ColorLab 28 published on 10 Comments on ColorLab 28

What a great set of colors ColorLab has for this week…just in time for your final Valentine’s Day cards!

These are such classic colors for the season but I went a little non-traditional.  I didn’t use one of my heart images.  Instead, I wanted to play with my new Sweet Summer set.  I just love the flowers and all the little stamps that go with them!  I saw the Friday Mashup Sketch for this week and knew that was just what I needed to get started.

I stamped my little flower and stem in Basic Black using my Stamp-a-ma-jig to perfectly align the stem.  Even though I have the clear mount stamps, the Stamp-a-ma-jig is a great help when you want to stamp something “just so” (it was made for type A people like me!)!  I pulled out the Real Red polka dots from my Play Date DSP (your prints from the Brights Paper Pack would be great here too).  After I did a basic look at the layout, I colored the flower in Real Red and the stem in Crumb Cake using my blender pen.

Hint:  When coloring on Very Vanilla or Whisper White, think like you are placing color with the Blender Pen instead of swirling on the color.  If you want to really blend and mix colors, use Watercolor Paper instead.

The sentiment is from Short & Sweet, one of the best sentiment sets ever!  I tied my bow and wrapped the ribbon around the DSP layer, popped the image up on dimensionals and done with the front.  I didn’t take a picture of it but I used the little butterfly on the inside (colored red also), along with the “happy valentine’s day” sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  I’ll be making a few more of these and I think they are perfect for teacher Valentine’s from my boys.

So glad you joined me today!  I look forward to your creations with these colors and don’t forget to take a look at the other Color Chemists’ projects!  See you soon!

Stamps:  Sweet Summer (SAB), Short & Sweet, Teeny Tiny Wishes; Paper:  Play Date DSP, Real Red, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla; Ink:  Basic Black, Real Red, Crumb Cake; Accessories:  Real Red Wide Grosgrain, Blender Pen, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Dimensionals

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