Special Guest Blogger: Mandy Douglass

04/02/2010 at 8:10 am | Posted in fonts, General Inspiration, guest blogger, Holidays, How-Tos, product, technique, Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Hey all my favorite CK Readers! It is me, Mandy Douglass! I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for this upcoming Easter holiday weekend. Now that I have two little boys, it just keeps getting more and more fun each year. I love easter egg hunts, easter baskets, easter bunnies, and those little peeks from the tulips that will soon turn into beautiful flowers.

Last year was the first year my son, Bryson, could start to understand the whole easter egg hunt idea. So today, I thought I would share a photo tip and a ribbon tip with you from this fun new page I created about his first hunt!

The Race is On by Mandy Douglass. Supplies: American Crafts.

Photo Tip:

Bryson was just learning to walk, and he really didn’t have enough balance to pick up eggs, so crawling was his only way to get those funny looking round things! I thought this photo was perfect to use on my layout, because it captures his perspective on the easter egg hunt. There weren’t a lot of kids around to “race” him for the eggs, but the faster he got them, the more excited he was. I challenge all you CK readers to get down in the grass this weekend and get some true perspective photographs!

Ribbon Tip:

Next is a fun tip a friend taught me a while back. I often find it hard to punch through a page or get a knotted ribbon to stay in place without gargantuan amounts of glue! So here are a few steps to show you how to get that cute ribbon knot to stay in place and avoid getting sticky.

First cut a piece of ribbon about 3″ long. Then staple it to the area of the page you would like the ribbon to be.

Then simply tie the knot (I usually only tie one knot and it stays in place).

 

Then cut off the remaining ribbon.

Simple, huh!

Bonus Gift-Bag Topper Tip:

I decided to use the same technique on some cute treat bags for Easter. (Not only did I get a cute bag out of it, but it also gave me a great excuse to open those Cadbury Mini Eggs that have been staring at me for a week!)

To make the bag topper, I made a simple flap using Sizzix’s scallop square die cut, then I folded it in half. I added some darling egg paper from the Dear Lizzy line by American Crafts and stapled the decorated flap to close the bag and keep the ribbon in place. 

Last, I made a cute little tag using a Quickutz oval die, some scallop scissors by Fiskars, and Dear Lizzy Dimensional Sticker. Then knotted it all in place! 

Such an easy way to do lots of Easter treat bags.

“Hop” that you all have a great holiday weekend!

Mandy Douglass, CK contributing writer

P.S. Don’t forget to download today’s font as part of Free Font Friday! This weeks’ font is CK Day Dream. Download it today at Creating Keepsakes.

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Holiday Trimmings—Which Trimmer Do You Choose?

12/16/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in product | 156 Comments
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In the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, you learned tips for cropping photos in the “To Crop or Not to Crop” article. But when it comes time to crop, which trimmer should you use? Consider these factors when selecting the perfect model for your holiday trimmings.
* Length of the Cutting Area. Some trimmers have a 12″ length between the ends of the blade track. That length works fabulous for cardstock, but it can be difficult when your patterned papers have the extra border strip that contains the manufacturer’s information. If you like to keep those borders intact, look for a trimmer with a 12.5″ length instead of just 12″.

Notice how the manufacturer strip on this paper still fits within the blade track because of the 12.5" track length.

* Interchangeable Blade Styles. If you love the look of scalloped or pinked edges, look for a trimmer with interchangeable blades. If you frequently cut long edges, using these blades will save you more time than always pulling out decorative scissors or punches.

Many manufacturers offer a variety of interchangeable blade styles that come with the trimmer or can be purchased separately.

* Blade Types. Factor in the price of replacement blades. Or look for trimmers with titanium blades or self-sharpening blades that won’t need to be replaced as frequently.
* Visible Cutting Area. Before you buy, try out the blade. Picture where your photos or cardstock will be placed in the trimmer. Will you be able to see where you’re cutting, or will you have to guess what part of your photo is approaching the cutting area if that area is covered around the blade? Some trimmers offer extra guides to help you see where the photo or paper will be cut, like a laser or wire guide.

Check out how the wire guide on this trimmer helps you see exactly where your cut line will be made.

* Clear Measuring Guides. Most trimmers have a base with marked guides to help you identify inch marks, but some guides are easier to read than others are; find a style that suits you. Also look for guides marked for basic photo or card sizes, like 4″ x 6″ and 5″ x 7″, for quicker measuring.
* Swing-Out Ruled Arm. If your trimmer base has a width less than 12″, look for an option with a swing-out arm that will allow you to measure long lengths on 12″ x 12″ sheets.
* Cutting Style. Watch for safety features, especially if you have young kids around. Look for guillotine blades that lock down and blades that remain covered when they’re not in use.

Now that you know the factors to consider when searching for the right trimmer for you, check out these four fabulous options.

The Laser Trimmer from X-acto features a laser guide for cutting, a self-sharpening metal blade, non-skid rubber feet, and a locking blade.

The Premium Crafter’s Trimmer from Fiskars Americas offers a 12.5″ length on the blade track, a wire guide to help you see exactly where to cut your photos and paper, rubberized feet, and a swing-out arm.

The 12″ Titanium Personal Trimmer with Cut & Score Blades from Westcott comes with scoring and cutting blades, a swing-out arm, a titanium blade, and a 12.5″ length on the blade track.

The Ultimate Trimmer from Purple Cows features 11 blade styles for creative crafting.

Win a Trimmer
Let the Creating Keepsakes team help you add to your holiday trimmings this year. Leave a comment on this post by December 19, and tell us what your favorite trimmer is. We’ll randomly select three winners to receive a portable trimmer from Fiskars Americas or Westcott. Check the Giveaways tab on our blog next week to see if you are a lucky winner.

—Brittany Beattie, online senior editor

Announcing Our 2010 Dream Team Members

11/04/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 60 Comments
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meganWith our December 2009 issue already out and our January 2010 issue right around the corner (can you believe that?), it’s time to announce our 2010 Dream Team. This talented group of 10 women will bring you fresh designs in every 2010 issue of our magazine, as well as act as stellar magazine representatives at various events and activities.

Let’s get to their names and faces (and a few get-to-know-you questions), shall we? Drum roll, please . . .

Congratulations to the following 2010 CK Dream Team members:

Cindy-TobeyCindy Tobey

1. How long have you scrapbooked? 12 or 13 years now.

2. What is your favorite technique? Stitching, either by hand or machine. A close second would be painting.

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Buttons or decorative brads. It would be so hard for me to choose just one type, though.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Junk mail, catalogs, home decor, book covers, clothing tags . . . everywhere, really.

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? This is always a hard question for me to answer. Organized, quirky and ever-changing.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? The creative process. I love that I’m preserving family memories, but it’s the process that keeps me coming back. I LOVE it!

Deena-WuestDeena Wuest

1. How long have you scrapbooked? I started paper scrapbooking in 2000, shortly after my first daughter was born. I was actually one of those people who swore I would never try digital scrapbooking. Ha. Can you imagine? It was five years later when I realized I was drafting every layout on the computer and using it to design and print my text. Piecing everything together manually turned into the last step, as if it were almost an afterthought. Finally, when my toddler ate half a layout and repeatedly date-stamped his shirt, I reluctantly walked through a Photoshop tutorial. I completed my first digital layout in 2005, and I was completely and utterly in love. I still thank my then-destructive two-year-old son for helping me find my passion.

2.  What is your favorite technique? I don’t know if it’s officially a “technique,” but I love using bold typography on my layouts. The fact that you can create art using just letters and numbers is so fascinating to me. Honestly, I get excited over the placement of text. (I’m still not sure if I should be alarmed by that or not.) While I love fonts and have over 1,000 of them on my computer, I use the same journaling font on around 90% of my pages. At first, I seriously thought I needed a support group. I’ve since embraced it and actually found that using the same font provides a sense of continuity in my albums. Hmm. Who knew?

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Interesting question. Since most of my layouts are digital, I am going to claim the “digital brush” to be an embellishment. Brushes add so much to a layout and can range from graphic and bold to soft and subtle. I love the flexibility and freedom they provide. You can adjust the color, size, opacity and blend mode. You can combine them, delete portions . . . the list goes on. It’s complete creative control. I love that!

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Everywhere. While I love to be inspired by clever design found in advertisements, books, billboards, movie posters and CD covers, I also find myself being inspired by the small things. An unusual color scheme found on a candy wrapper, the texture of a blanket or a spoken phrase heard over the radio have all sparked scrapbook layouts.

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? Simple. Clean. Graphic.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I love the fact that this amazing hobby allows me to combine my passion for my family with my passion for design. I love that it provides a creative outlet where I’m free to try cool, new things, to experiment and to play. But mostly, I love what it allows me to leave for my family. It’s more than documenting what they wore for Halloween or what they received for their birthdays. Granted, that’s important information. But even more so I want them to know how much they are loved. I have always considered each layout to be a “love note” that just happens to contain a sprinkling of life events. To me, that’s what scrapbooking is all about. And that’s why I love it.

Jen-JockischJen Jockisch

1. How long have you scrapbooked? 6 years.

2. What is your favorite technique? Anything using foam adhesive. I love the depth and dimension it adds to pages.

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? The one thing I can’t do without is patterned paper. I love mixing different colors and patterns and finding funky combinations.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Home-design blogs and ads on Nick Jr. (Seriously, there is some great stuff there.)

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? Layered, fun and a little whimsical.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I like that I’m not only doing something I love, but I’m actually being productive by documenting my family’s story.

Kim-WatsonKim Watson

1. How long have you scrapbooked? Nearly five years. I started when my little boy was six months old. I wanted to journal his life in a creative, meaningful way.

2. What is your favorite technique? Coming from a fashion background, I love stitching and using fabric. Paper crafting and creating my own embellishments also make the list.

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Alphas, definitely alphas.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Fashion, craft world, photography and interior design.

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? Feminine with a touch of whimsy.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I love that it satisfies me on so many levels: my need for a creative outlet, my love of writing and my interest in photography. Above all, the most important reason is to leave a legacy for my children.

Laura-VegasLaura Vegas

1. How long have you scrapbooked? I have scrapbooked for about 14 years now. I started a year before my oldest daughter was born.

2. What is your favorite technique? Collaging is a technique, right? I love to collage my layouts together–whether it’s making photo collages or just arranging my photos and patterned papers into a collaged look to fill up the page. It’s like piecing together a puzzle, and I just love arranging things until they fit together to my liking.

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? This really isn’t fair to all the other fabulous embellishments out there, but I would have to pick ribbon. The majority of my layouts have ribbon used in one way or another. Since ribbon can be used in so many ways, I never get bored with it.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? My main inspiration comes from either my photos or product. Great photos can be the starting point for so many layouts. If the photos don’t inspire me, then most likely product will. I’m very product driven, and I will often create layouts just because I want to use certain products or papers, without even knowing what photos I am going to use. So my layouts have been known to start with photos or end with photos. Both ways work for me.

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? My style is definitely clean and linear, with a lot of straight lines. I gravitate toward bright, fun colors, and I love to use many photos on my layouts. I’m also a big fan of embellishments, and I love to find the perfect amount of fun “stuff” to complete my layouts.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I love that I’m recording memories and events. Just by looking at their scrapbook albums, my girls will always know what happened in our lives. But I think what I love most about scrapbooking is the creative release it gives me. I spend most of my days doing mundane, everyday things over and over. So I feel my happiest when I get some creative time every day to play with paper and embellishments and to have something pretty to show for my time at the end.

Maggie-HolmesMaggie Holmes

1. How long have you scrapbooked? I started back in high school and have been hooked ever since!

2. What is your favorite technique? Right now my favorite technique is color misting. I love to use masks, stencils and anything I can get my hands on that will combine with the color mists to make a cool effect!

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? My first answer would be patterned paper, but I guess that isn’t really an embellishment. Assuming I can’t use patterned paper, I would say chipboard. You can do anything with chipboard and customize it to work with any layout.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Everywhere! Seriously, I am always thinking in creative mode, and I see everything around me—nature, fashion, type, ads, magazines, home decor, photography, etc. Somehow it all mixes and combines in my head and eventually translates into what I create.

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? Eclectic for sure. I love to mix things–different colors, different patterns and different mediums. I hardly ever use items made to match. Instead, I use bits and pieces from different lines and manufacturers. Combining everything together is where the magic happens for me.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I love two things about scrapbooking. I love that I’m capturing and recording our family story. Our lives pass by so quickly, and I can’t imagine not having all my albums to look back on. The second thing I love is the creative process and the fulfillment and joy I get from scrapbooking. It just feels great to pull all these beautiful products and mediums together to make something that is so unique and meaningful to my family and me.

Sara-WinnickSara Winnick

1. How long have you scrapbooked? I’ve been scrapbooking since my daughter Anna was born in 2002–seven and one-half years!

2. What is your favorite technique? It’s impossible to choose just one!  I have a thing for clear embossing, but I also love piecing together various elements to create cool titles.

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Only one? It’s a toss-up between chipboard hearts from Heidi Swapp for Advantus and Flair from American Crafts.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Real Simple magazine never fails me. 🙂

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? I love bold colors and stripes, so I often use them on my pages.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I love creating new pages, but there’s nothing quite like flipping through old layouts remembering.  I scrapbook for so many reasons, but to remember is the biggest reason I love this hobby.

Susan-WeinrothSusan Weinroth

1. How long have you scrapbooked? Since 2004.

2. What is your favorite technique? I love to machine-stitch and sew little tidbits to my pages.

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Hmmmmmm. That’s tough! I’d probably have to go with rhinestone brads from American Crafts–they are a current favorite of mine!

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Home decorating magazines, various favorite websites and storefront displays.

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? Clean and colorful with a few fun twists thrown in!

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I love that scrapbooking has become my “job” and that it allows me to stay at home with my toddler-aged son, while at the same time allowing me to preserve my family’s photos and memories.

Suzy-PlantamuraSuzy Plantamura

1. How long have you scrapbooked? I’ve been scrapping forever. I made scrapbooks in high school with memorabilia, cards, schoolwork, etc. The only difference was they didn’t have any pictures! Once I had Sophie (who is now ten), I started scrapping the way I do now, with lots of photos and journaling.

2. What is your favorite technique? Anything that includes markers–I love hand journaling, doodling, adding borders or coloring in stamped images. Markers are so much fun!

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Probably ribbon—I can’t seem to make a layout without it.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? I don’t spend a lot of time getting inspired. As soon as I see pictures and products, I feel ready to go! When I make the time, I find inspiration everywhere! Catalogs, magazines, books, posters, nature, fashion, home decor–it all speaks to me! If I really wanted to get inspired, I would blog hop more often. Again, time prohibits my ability to do this, but there are so many online resources available to inspire us scrappers!

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? I’d like to say whimsical, but I don’t always feel that from my pages. But I try! My mathematical mind wants things neat, tidy and aligned, but my creative side wants things messy and artistic. I struggle to balance the two. I wish I could scrap more freely without any constraints!

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? There is nothing I don’t like about scrapbooking. I like every little bit of it–from starting with buying products to taking the photos to designing the pages. It’s all soooooo fun! There’s nothing more fun to me than getting a new box of products (especially if they’re free!) and sorting them all and organizing them. It’s pure heaven for this girl!

Wendy-Sue-AndersonWendy Sue Anderson

1. How long have you scrapbooked? Forever! I remember helpling my mom when I was a little girl. We used rubber cement (yikes!!) to glue school papers, birthday cards, etc. into a big, green scrapbook. I made my own high-school scrapbook in a magnetic photo album (yikes again!). After I married, I discovered Pebbles in My Pocket on my lunch break one day. I’ve been scrapbooking (safely) almost every day since then!

2. What is your favorite technique? I love machine-stitching on my projects. My parents bought me a sewing machine as a college graduation gift. It’s my favorite scrapbooking tool!

3. If you were allowed only one scrapbooking embellishment to use on a layout, what type of embellishment would you choose? Hmmm, I would use buttons. Or ribbon.

4. Where do you look for design inspiration? Everywhere: catalogs, magazines, websites, blogs, picture books, shampoo bottles, junk mail, the grocery store . . .

5. How would you define your scrapbooking style? Clean, simple, cute, consistent.

6. What do you like most about scrapbooking? I really enjoy being creative, but I think my favorite part is seeing my kids enjoy the pages in their scrapbooks. I’m glad they’ll always have a record of the cute things, fun events and interesting family stories from their childhoods.

***

We’re thrilled to have each of these talented gals on our CK Dream Team for the coming year. They have already brought so much to our magazine and are sure to inspire you in the year to come.

Thanks to Our Dream Team Sponsors
To get their CK year off to an awesome start, we sent each of these gals a lovely welcome gift provided by our 2010 Dream Team sponsors. A great big thank-you goes out to the following incredible companies:

Adornit – Carolee’s Creations, Advantus, American Art Clay Company, American Crafts, Anna Griffin, BasicGrey, Bazzill Basics Paper, Bella Blvd, Bisous, Bo-Bunny Press, Buttons Galore, C.R. Gibson, Clearsnap, Close To My Heart, Colorbök, Core’dinations, Cornish Heritage Farms, Cosmo Cricket, The Crafter’s Workshop, Creative Memories, Die Cuts With a View, Dimensions, Doodlebug Design, Dyno Merchandise, EK Success, Elmer’s, Eyelet Outlet, Fancy Pants Designs, Fiskars Americas, GlueArts, Glue Dots International, Graphic 45, Hambly Screen Prints, Helmar Adhesives, Hero Arts, iLoveToCreate, a Duncan Enterprises Company, Imaginisce, Inkadinkado , It Takes Two, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Jillibean Soup, K&Company, Karen Foster Design, Krylon, Little Yellow Bicycle, Maya Road, McGill, Mimi Collections, Pebbles Inc., Piggy Tales, Pink Paislee, Prima, QuicKutz, River City Rubber Works, Sakura, Sandylion, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L, ScrapGirls, Scrapper’s Guide, SEI, Singer, Sounds Easy, Spellbinders, Stampendous!, Stampin’ Up!, Technique Tuesday, Therm O Web, Unibind, We R Memory Keepers, Zva Creative

mou-sahaA New Contributing Writer
In addition to announcing our Dream Team, we have a talented new contributing writer to announce. Mou Saha, a wonderful member of our 2009 Dream Team, has joined our writer roster. We’re delighted to have her working with us in this capacity next year! Congrats, Mou!

 

 

A Note from You
Now, please join us in welcoming our newest creative crew by leaving a comment. You’re welcome to suggest ideas you’d like to see them cover in the year ahead, or you can simply give them a happy e-hello. Either way, we know they’ll love hearing from you!

Cheers!
Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

Weekly Warm-Up: Raise Awareness through Cropping & Shopping

10/05/2009 at 3:27 am | Posted in weekly warm up | 92 Comments
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meganMy mom is fighting the good fight. Last October, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she’s been going through rigorous treatments, fighting for her life—fighting for multiple lives, really, as she is the nucleus of our family, the light at the center of it all! It’s because of support and research that my mom is here to fight. You see, she has an aggressive form of cancer that up until relatively recently made it next to impossible for those that had it to survive. Now, I’m delighted to say, there’s a special therapy that greatly increases the survival rate of this kind of cancer. Each and every thing we do to show support makes steps like this possible.

Hope_Oct09-EdNote

In the spirit of making strides, we want to welcome October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in a very positive way, by uniting in this good fight.  Like me, so many on our magazine team have first-hand experience with this common killer, just as, I imagine, do many of you. Rather than dwell on this sobering fact, let’s use it as a motivator that springs us into action. Deal? Deal!

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SHOPPING

Whether you need more everyday supplies or are looking to add a little something special to your craft collection, we’ve compiled a list of scrapbooking goodies which, when purchased, proceeds are donated to breast cancer-related causes.

BCprod

Adhesives

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L offers a full line of Nat’l Breast Cancer Foundation products, with 5% of each purchase donated.

BC-3L

Xyron designed its Create-a-Sticker machine in the shape of a pink ribbon, and $0.50 from each purchase benefits the Breast Cancer Research Center. Cute and cool!

BC-Xyron

Duck brand tape offers an assortment of breast-cancer specific products and donates $0.10 to $0.20 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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Tools

Slice it up, and Making Memories will donate a portion of your purchase to aid in the breast cancer search for a cure.

BC-MM

Support Susan G. Komen for the Cure with the Sizzix Scrap Pink Kit and 5% of your purchase will be donated.

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Organization

StoneCreek Creations donates $2 from the purchase of every Passion Pink Krafter’s Purse to support the cause and the totes even come with a special pink-ribbon pin.

BC-SCC

Put your stuff in the Neatnix Stuff Buckets; put your money towards a good cause. Plus, as a loyal CK reader, Neatnix is offering you a special 15% off discount. Simply type in “Creating” as your coupon code in the shopping cart.

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Stamps

Half of the money spent on the purchase of this beautiful Celebrate Life stamp set from Technique Tuesday goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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CROPPING

Since you’re already going to be out and about making new and wonderful purchases, why not visit a local scrapbook store participating in the Scrap Pink event? Find a complete list of participating stores and additional information on Scrap Pink here.

WINNING

BC-prizes

To start this incredibly moving month off right, we’ve decided to throw in a giveaway. Four lucky winners will receive an assortment of breast cancer products (assortments shown above). To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by Thursday, October 8. We’ll post our winners next Monday. We’d like to thank the following prize sponsors for donating their beautiful products: EK Success, Fiskars Americas, Per Annum and SRM Stickers.

Breast cancer is far too common, but we’re strong. Together we will find a cure. Together we will offer support for the millions impacted both directly and indirectly. Together we will fight the good fight!

Warmly,
Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

P.S. Don’t forget to check the Giveaways tab at the top of the page to see winners of our most recent giveaways.

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