I’VE MOVED!!

 

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Hi dear followers! I have moved to my own domain. And just so you know, the creative juices are free flowing once again! I am a mixture of excited and nervous and anxious -all those things that usually make you want to throw-up! I would love it if you would come over and follow me there.  *You will need to hit the Subscribe button to continue to get my posts!  My latest project is ready for your critique.

See you on the other side!

Extra! Extra! Read All About a Creative Slump Here!

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Feel free to hum the “Waiting For An Answer Song” from Jeopardy while you read this post.  It’s pretty much in my head a lot these days.  Team, I seemed to have hit the preverbial brick wall in the creativity department. The above pic is my creative imagination. Sad. Dry. Cough.

But! I have great hope that it will be a short- lived dry spell, and I’m also hoping that maybe, you my friends, might have some slump crushing ideas or projects you want to see done.

In the meanwhile, I will post a cute minor project I did thanks to the generous donation of this sweet little number from my good friend L.

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Adorable, no?  And though I know mint is a trending colour currently, I prefer a little more, well, colour, in my colour.  I had lots of vinyl dots left over from my bathroom project, so I slapped those babies on the chair, front and back,

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took it outside and blasted it with the best Dry Spell Buster colour I know…

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peeled off the vinyl dots before the paint dried, and ended up with this!

IMG_2420 Peachy!

Ok, so it’s not as time consuming or labour intensive as some of my projects, but maybe what I need right now is some instant gratification. The mint green dots look more white than green with that psycho lemon yellow around them and I love the “Woo Hoo look at me!” vibe it gives.

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Let me know some of your tactics for getting over the slump. So far, mine has just been to do something, ANYthing with paint.  Of course!

Diamond Girl

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Here is my husband’s grandmothers little dresser. All fancy schmancy like.

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Lots of dust, grime and chippy bits that are NOT in a good shabby chic way. So how to update it, without just painting it top to bottom? Lika this! (and no, that is not a pot plant you see beside it so never mind even wondering for a second.)

IMG_2198Tape off the shape you want, and paint, paint, paint until you’ve disguised the chips or scratches, (or both).  I used the last of my Pocket Watch by Ralph Lauren. I painted the negative space, leaving the handles that get handled (ha) still the pretty wood. I thought the wood could take the manhandling better than the painted finish, even though I gave the painted parts a good minwax rub.

I painted it first with the drawers in place, then removed the drawers, painted the edges and smoothed out the bits that bled under the tape.

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I did a little reverse on the top for fun. Because you know I’m all about the fun….a couple of hours total and I’ve got a new look to a sentimental piece.

Since the rest of the bedroom is light and beachy feeling, the dresser felt too heavy in just the wood finish. Had it not been chipped and scratched and faded in spots I probably wouldn’t have painted it…okay, I would have still done so, but now it was done with a clear conscience!

FYI – Artwork of Sophia Loren from Ikea (“storing” for my middle daughter) and the Paris street scene is from my fave thrift store.

So yes, or no to the painted wood?

 

Let’s Polka!

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When I was much younger, my parents decided my older brother and I should take music lessons.  My brother got a brand new shiny black and white electric bass guitar.  I got my grandpa’s accordion…. true story.  And maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had learned some romantic Parisienne melodies or even  some funky zydeco, but this was not the case.  Jaunty Polka.  Oh the injustice.

But polka also refers to dots, and polka dots always make me happy! I don’t care if they are on clothes, home accessories, artwork or food, I am a big fan. Good segue, no?

You’ve all been so patient about the washroom transformation, so here it finally is!

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Here’s how I got to this point:

IMG_1979  I bought a Fiskars circle cutter and some black vinyl used to laser cut quotes in one of those cutting machines crafters use. I tried the giant circle squeeze punch Fiskars also makes, but after about 3 sharp cut circles, they were raggedy and unusable. The circle cutter has directions you download from their website.  They really need to reconsider those directions.  Not so good.  But I figured it out and blew through that vinyl roll in no time. These dots are 2″ in diameter. The vinyl and cutter came in at around $50.00. There is a company called Urban Walls where you can purchase pre-cut dots and other shapes who have a great website, but I really wanted to give DIY it’s fair shot. In hindsight, I don’t know that I saved much money my way, but it was fun doing it, so whatevs.

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Next was figuring out how many circles, how far apart and how to apply them straight and in corners, etc.

You would have been so proud of my math skills on this one! Or maybe I’m just finally getting the hang of math. Or it was just a plain old miracle. ANYway, I measured out the first wall, and taped off the size on my floor.  This allowed me to play around and see how it would look without any commitment.

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As I started transferring them to the wall, I only peeled back part of the backing, so I could move the dots how I needed without having to fully peel them off constantly. Under the picture of the single dot you can see a light purple line. That’s water colour pencil I used as a guide to line them up properly.  It wiped away with a damp cloth when I was done.

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After the first wall, I was able to go around the room with the pencil lines as my guide and BAM! it was completely finished in about an hour.

The finishing touches:

IMG_2064 I forgot a before pic, so this is as good as you’re getting, but you get the idea anyway.  Teal ceramic stool.  Gold spray paint on the top portion, high gloss white on the bottom, sealed with spray high gloss sealer.

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Next, the dilemma of what to put over the toilet to hold T.P., soap and washcloths. I looked for ages and although I never found exactly what I wanted, I found exactly what I already had.  It’s a planter from outside, spray painted gold and will do just fine until I happen across the ideal piece. The art above it is a vintage flash card from the 70’s. (Are things from the 70’s vintage?) The chandelier art was moved from the front entry.

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So there it is in all it’s polka dot glory. I will say here and now, there will be no accordion music to accompany whatever goes on in there, unless it’s playing on Songza, and I guarantee it won’t be a polka

Cheap Wallpaper comes from the Devil.

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And Bouclair Canada sells it. And their customer service doesn’t care. #LAME

That said, it looked good for about a minute. I look back at my blog post about using that wallpaper, and there’s a whole lota foreshadowing going on.  I wish I had taken my own advice.  If you want to see, click here.  In the end, all the flaws did end up driving me crazy and I was always worried people who had to use this washroom were playing Spot The Flaws, and so it HAD to go.

See this wall? 3 hours of peeling teeny tiny pieces of wallpaper. IMG_1986  IMG_1990 This small. Three bags full. A total of over 9 hours. Nine. Hours. But I have learned my lesson and also the lesson for you. Pay for the better stuff. Just do it. Don’t be dumb.

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Does this one look a little like Italy? I was ready to go to Italy by the time I got to this point. I like Italy. I don’t like peeling this wallpaper.

Ok so enough whining. The job got done and I gave the walls a nice fresh coat of Ralph Lauren’s Pocket Watch. A creamy white.

I also painted the brown vanity white, but made the Pocket Watch into chalk paint.

Half a cup of plaster of paris, half a cup of warm water, one cup paint.  Mix well.  It goes a long way.  Once you paint the amount of coverage you want and it dries, some people sand away edges and corners to give a weathered, antique look.  I kept it solid. I then gave a good rub all over with a little clear furniture (I used Min) wax to protect it and give it a good hard shell. Like an M&M!  yumm. Don’t forget the coffee…

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I will show you the finished cabinet in the bathroom reveal… And let me show you my inspiration for my new bathroom:

My friend’s glasses!!

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Can’t wait to show you.

 

The Writing’s on the Wall

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I made this headboard a few years ago.  The fabric was an attempt to just get the darn thing done, and I never liked it.  I covered over it a few times with this and that, but none of them seemed quite right either.  I thought I might tackle it again, and on a trip to Homesense, I thought I might have found an answer with these tablecloths:

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I draped each one on the headboard:

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Nice pattern and colour, but horrible polyester and too narrow.

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I love the idea of this one, but overall it’s just too much.

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Love the drama, but again just too too.

I reverted back to my roots: IMG_1212

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I admit I would have preferred the colour to be less taupe and more cream, but the price is right (door number 3, please) $14.00 – and I could do whatever I wanted to it.  And what I wanted was peace and solace at bedtime when all the worries of my life tend to bombard me, so I turned to scripture. If you don’t dig that, you can quote Dr. Suess, song lyrics or 50 Shades of Cat Dander.  Whatever you want.

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You can do the math and figure out where to start, where it will end and how big you should write. You know I didn’t bother, don’t you?  And yet, it finished at the end of the passage. Meant to be.

Let me interject here. You will not see all the writing, EVER.  You can write it so you have a border to staple and not miss the view of the words, but the pillows will be in the way at the end anyway, so if it isn’t as perfect as you might like, (bad spelling, drips and blobs, crooked lines) no big deal, it can still look great when you make up the bed real purty like.

I just used craft paint watered down a teeny bit to make the writing more fluid. It takes a bit of time to go over the letters, but I worked on it here and there when I had some time.  Overall, not Rocket Science (or math, MY way anyway – Hallelujah!).  And a side note to the dropcloth fabricators out there – should the paint have leaked through to the table?  I think not.  BUT IT DID…you failed your only real job, dropcloth (but I still love you).

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Make sure, if your headboard has cleats like my headboard, that you place the headboard on the fabric facing the right way before you start stapling. And miracle of miracles, I noticed mine was upside down before the first staple.  Though, I would have still rocked it!

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I lowered the cleats on the wall about half a foot to give a different feel to the overall look.

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If you are interested in the Board and Batten wall technique I used, click here, if you are interested in how I made the rope lamps, click here or the potato print bench at the end of the bed, click here and if you want to see how I gathered silk worms, collected the silk and wove it into my bedspread, click here – just joshing- it’s from West Elm!

 

 

 

Cross Stitch on Steroids

 

 

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If you’ve ever done cross stitch in any form, you’ll understand how fun it can be, how relaxing and mind numbingly TEDIOUS!

I saw these :

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I thought to myself, how do I do these in giant form in less time?? Ceiling grid tiles came to mind, but they are plastic and flimsy at best.  And then it hit me! Peg Board!

IMG_1827 It has holes that can join up to make the x’s needed in cross stitch, it’s bigger than any cross stitch canvas and it’s cheap at $8.00 for a 2’x4′ sheet. (which let me interject here is a double edged sword as I’ll explain shortly).

I have used peg board to make a fabulous headboard, and now it could make a piece of art.

After deciding on the retro girl, I had to figure out (CURSES! Math!) how to draw it on the board and how the stitches would fall and how to position it.  After a few false starts I got it figured out.  I drew out a grid and then x’d my pattern on the backside of the board, in chalk, which was great to erase and start over when I needed to – more times than I’d like to admit actually. Ok, I’ll admit it was 4 times, or maybe five….I quickly saw that because of the size of the pegboard and the number of x’s in the actual pattern, I wouldn’t get the whole picture on the pegboard.  If a seam would not bother you running through your cross stitch, you can attach pegboards together to get the size you need OR you could separate the pegboards and make a cross stitch tryptic (Ha! say THAT 3 times fast) which then I would be jealous I didn’t think of that until now.

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Tip number 1: Unless you want it opposite to the actual picture, remember to flip the original so that when you start your stitches on the back side it will translate properly ( I didn’t do that since I really didn’t give it much thought, and it took me awhile to realize why I wasn’t seeing the results correctly. Duh.)

Tip number 2: Because the holes are large, you could use ribbon, thick string, or like me, left over wool (thanks, mom!). Another blogger who is a knitter, suggested getting bits and bobs at thrift stores, which of course is genius.

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Tip number 3: And speaking of the wool, cut longish manageable lengths so you aren’t continually reaching for another strand but not too long that it makes that frustrating knot mess that can happen. (Happened!)

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Tip number 4: Tape the end of the wool with any tape you have on hand. It makes a good needle-ish apparatus to jam through the hole and keeps the wool from fraying.

Tip number 5: I found holding the pegboard upright like how I imagine a harp player holds a harp was the easiest way to check out the back and front as much as I needed.  Maybe wearing something you don’t mind getting chalk on is a good idea too since you constantly come in contact with it.

And it’s off to the races.  Because the grid is drawn on its fairly easy to count where you start and switch.  I chose to keep it super simple since counting is still in the math family and I tend to get distracted easily.  The nice thing (think) is if you muck it up and the stitches are dropped and forgotten, it’s no big deal.  It can still look really cool and like you had planned it that way all along!

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I kept it simple with the black and red (a little wink of pink).

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I messed up the eye on the left a bit, but like I said above…and I love that she almost looks like Betty and Veronica. I love Betty and Veronica.

And there you go! I’d say it took about 3 hours of actually stitching – there may not seem like a lot, but it is a lot of work balancing the board and counting and stuff.

I think I may try just painting x’s on a canvas.  Could be x-citing…….

 

My Frankenstein Globe

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I have been on the hunt for a globe like the ones I’ve been lamenting (ok if you look up the definition of lamenting, perhaps I am being a bit over-dramatic ) on Pinterest.  I knew I could paint one up as good as the rest of them, the problem was finding one that needed rescuing.  Globes are hot right now and are not on the cheap side.  The painted globes I’ve seen around town are upwards of $250.00. Need I say more?

So imagine my delight when on a whim I stopped in at our local Homesense store and found this beauty:

IMG_1726  A bit worse for wear really:

IMG_1729 IMG_1730  IMG_1728  But I gleefully grabbed it and almost skipping, with a slightly crazy grin (not a picture you need in your head), I made my way to the checkout as fast as I could manoeuvre through the throngs of people all eyeing my amazing score…

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I almost made it uninterrupted to the till when a Homesense associate stopped me in my tracks.  “I’m sorry, dearie,” said the lovely little Scotts woman before me “did ya see tha it’s broken?” She asked with a look of dismay and pity. “YES!” I blurted. “Isn’t it GREAT?” I think my eyes may have rolled a little and I almost chortled at this point.  She backed away.  I made a football move and with globe under my left arm, right arm sticking straight out I barrelled forward as fast as I could, only to be stopped by yet another concerned citizen who thought I must be impaired in some way since I had this damaged world in my hands.

“Oh, it’s broken!” she said, sadly shaking her head at me expecting my exuberant thanks for saving me from this terrible monster I called MINE. I ignored her pity, still feeling a little high from the fumes of a great find and said. “I KNOW! I’m so LUCKY! She too, backed away. I could tell she was considering calling in the troops, but fortunately I made it up to the till without further incident.

I don’t remember the drive home, but I made it safely I’m assuming, and started working to piece together my Frankie.

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Since I had every intent on painting the entire thing I wasn’t too concerned about the broken-ness.

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First gold, then black.  I apologize to all those whose countries I have decimated in this process, but it was never to be a functioning geographical globe, as you have surely noticed.  I penciled in the phrase.

IMG_1776  There’s an old song by Jackie Deshannon that I’ve used some of the lyrics from: What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love. I thought it appropriate.  And if you’ll notice, the word LOVE covers the broken part of the globe. Awwwww!

For fun I added this glow in the dark product on all the dots.

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It actually works, they look like stars and would make a great night light for my imaginary grand-children…(no pressure, girls). I tried to take a picture but they did not show their glowing awesomeness. I’m pretty sure you can use your imagination though.

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From there I added this vintage from the 60’s hard covered suitcase and started to source some travel stickers.  I didn’t find what I wanted so I tried to make some myself.  Epic fail.  Dollar store stickers – good deal but I wasn’t willing to invest the time to do a really decent job on the copying part, so I took them off.

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I’ll keep looking.  If you know of a good source, let me know!

 

 *No staff or customers at Homesense were harmed in the making of this post

 

Does This Wall Make Me Look Fat?

IMG_1514Nice enough wall, but starting to feel insipid to me.  And this one, well, sad and pale.

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Time to give them a punch in the gut.  But how do you do that? you ask.  Taking a inspirational cue from this blogger’s post Making Progress (about his fabulous dining room), I saw black as my answer.

To make sure my new edges remain as crisp as the old, I taped off the edge and painted the inside edge with the original white.  If it bleeds, it will bleed the colour already on the wall. What? Genius!

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If you want a more detailed step by step, check this out.  Peel off the tape before the paint is fully dry.

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Just look at this edge. Seriously, sharp enough to slice a tomato.

Time to re-dress the walls.  But wait! There’s more!  After I put up the artwork on the big wall, I felt like it needed a little finishing touch.  Pulled out the level, measuring tape and chalk. With the chalk, I framed out the black panels with a double line. Yes, I could have used a paint pen or I could have painted it in, but I didn’t want it permanent just yet. Besides, I wanted a less formal feel.

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Don’t ask me if I removed the artwork before I drew in the chalk lines… you know I didn’t.

And no, I did not use blackboard paint to begin with, though you could.  I used basic flat black.  You can still draw with chalk on regularly painted walls, it still wipes off with a damp cloth.  Years ago I used to write phrases on my kitchen wall in chalk.  No one told me I couldn’t, so I am now telling you that you can! If it rubs off, put it back on. If you make a mistake, wipe it off and try again.  Sheesh, could it get any easier?

Next, I found an old frame, inserted wrapping paper into it that I held in place on the glass with this glue.

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Instant white board for messages, postcards, reminders, whatever! Black things got painted white.

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Black is so slimming.  Now, don’t get too fond of this set-up, I feel a change coming on…..

Merry Christmas, Dawg!

 

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My token Christmas post is done.  The thing is, I don’t think I’ll be showing you anything you haven’t already seen out there already. However, it’s my take on it, in my eclectic tightwad way.

DISCLAIMER: In my last post I stated that the 3M product I used was my best friend.  My HUMAN best friend had a problem with that statement, saying she had never found herself in the predicament of being replaced by a craft product before.  I would like to clarify that the 3M product is my BFF in my DIY life only.

Lampshades too expensive to replace for the Christmas season?  Use wrapping paper and Washi tape for a quick- fix.

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Washi tape and sticker dots sprayed gold:

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Father-in-Law’s intricate Christmas ornaments – my fave is the little birdhouse with lights, snow and bird peeking out.

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The upside-down vase with Epsom salt snow, pinecone tree and sequinned deer.

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The branch secured to the ceiling by another fabulous 3M product which is NOT any form of best friend, only a mere acquaintance. Just so we are clear I did NOT have any relations besides a working relationship with said 3M product. (which is actually made to hold your cords to the wall to prevent tangling).

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Add painted and/or snow sprayed pinecones, bits of tree, sparkly bits and bobs.

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The giant canvas turned from former Wedding seating chart to light-show at my exterior entryway.

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Draw on chosen word with chalk.

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Paint word in.

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Poke holes along word (I used a small screwdriver – we are old friends, nothing more.)

Add exterior Christmas lights. Push bulb through to front of canvas keeping the mess behind. Like so.

IMG_1553  I glue gunned a circle of glue around the front of each light to hold it in place on the canvas.  Some of the holes ended up being a little bigger than the light, so it filled the gap.  Make sure it works inside before you take it outside!

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Decorate your dog, but do not overly embarrass her. I may have crossed that line…

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And lastly, have the most beautiful, warm, loving, Jesus filled Christmas you can possibly muster!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

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