Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Year, New Works

As the old year is fading out, I have managed to stay busy beading. The first picture is a pin/pendant I made with a polymer clay face. I love the colors. The second picture is also a pin/pendant of a fossilized stone. It is unusual for me to work in this colorway, but it was a challenge I set for myself.

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as I did. Our family gets together on Christmas Eve to visit and open packages. I received many of the things I had asked Santa for. I am a big Il Divo fan and received their new CD. I also received an 8GB flash drive for my laptop. More than the gifts I received, I was able to spend some quality time with my grandsons. As they get older, it's harder to catch them all in one place. They are 10, 15, and 19 now. Such handsome boys. Of course that could just be Grandma talking, but I don't think so.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want from this coming year. As an ex-military wife, I wish for peace all over the world, so our men and women can safely return home to their families. They sacrifice so much to keep us safe.

I wish for good health for my family and friends. Too many of them have serious health problems. I complain about my little aches and pains, but I have to remind myself, there are many with much more serious things happening in their lives.

I wish for many beads and projects for my beady friends. I know the joy I get from beading and I wish that same joy for all of you.

May the New Year find you all happy and healthy.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Season

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, I wish you all a happy holiday season. I count my many blessings regularly, but especially so this holy time of year. I have a wonderful extended family and my three grandsons are the joy of my life. They are 19, 15, and 10 now and growing up way too fast to suit Grandma. It is a pleasure to watch them grow and develop their own separate personalities. I'm very proud of all three.

Fortunate woman that I am, I have my beady family also. There is a group of about a dozen of us that hang out and teach at our LBS. They have become my sisters in truth. We laugh and cry together, bead together and travel together. How blessed I am to have these women in my life.

Lest I forget, I also have my online friends. It is a treat to exchange ideas and patterns with this knowledgeable group of beaders and crafters.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Starr

This is a picture of my December doll for Beaded Art Dolls Calendar Challenge. Her name is Christmas Starr. She is the fourth in a series of twelve dolls I am making for the challenge.
I have continued to bead daily for the past two weeks. I borrowed my friend Lynn's NCIS DVDs for the first four seasons. I put those on and had a veritable orgy of NCIS and beading. LOL I have made over twenty pin/pendants in that time. Most of them are going for Christmas gifts, but some I am keeping for myself. I really enjoy threading a chain through them to wear as pendants. Next, I am going to do much the same with stone donuts.
I am a bit behind in the BJP right now, but I will catch up when the mood strikes me. Right now, all I want to do are the pendants. Soooo....
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Been a little busy

I've been mostly lurking on my groups this past week. Not much work on the computer. This picture shows what I have been doing. I am absolutely fascinated by these little artworks. They take relatively little time to make and can be enjoyed by wearing them as a pin or as a pendant. The fun part is I get to teach how to make them for my Bead Society in January and then we will have a challenge. However, they tell me I can't be in it. Not fair I say! Actually, I don't mind. My goal this year is to show as many people as possible the joys of bead embroidery.
I actually have created a monster. I showed a friend how to do the stitches and she has just finished her second piece. Both her cuff and the necklace frontpiece are gorgeous! She definitely has an eye for color combinations and her beading is exquisite. Can't ask for a better student than that.
Guess I'd best get back to beading. Have lots of Christmas presents to make yet.
I hope everyone has a fun, joyful Thanksgiving.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Day of Sharing of Words

As part of A Day of Sharing of Words, I offer this poem I wrote some years ago. It is called "A Soul at Rest".

I hear a soft whisper of sound
That repeats itself endlessly.
The wet sand is firm,
But my footprints soon disappear,
Fading into nothingness.
Down the shore, the sandpipers step quietly
Looking for food.
A wave comes in, frothy with white foam.
As it sneaks back into the ocean,
It leaves half buried bits of pearlized treasures.
A distant headland juts out into deep water, impossibly blue.
As a soft breeze drifts through the cypress trees,
My soul rests.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Goodies from BABE

These are a few of the new goodies I brought back from my trip to Oakland and the BABE show. It was a great show; 30 more vendors than last year. What was nice is they opened up a larger area so it wasn't crowded. Of course, these stone cabs are marvelous and I can't wait to use them. I found a wonderful variety of stones this year. In the second picture are lampwork beads by Grace Ma. In addition to being exquisite, they are flat on the back and perfect for bead embroidery. Wish I could have bought more. Of course I bought the requisite seed beads by the tube-ful. I found wonderful mixes at Whim and Glass Garden and I surprised myself when I bought so many neutrals this time. I also bought a ton of vintage at Empyrean Beads.

My classes were terrific. I took an all day class from Christi Friesen working on necklace components. I always learn so much from her and we laughed all day long. I also took a Jewelry Photography class that was so interesting that even though I promised myself I wouldn't buy a Cloud Dome, I did anyway. So much for will power.

Several of us got together for dinner on Thursday evening before the show. We had lots of giggles and fun catching up with each other's lives.

When I got home, I found several packages waiting for me, too. Things I had ordered before the show. Lots of nailheads and other new beads. I also received some great face molds from Sweetbriar. Can't wait to get the clay out and play.

One of the nicest things to happen at BABE is that I was able to finally meet my friend Doris in person. We met online and have corresponded for the better part of a year now. We were able to have lunch and get to know each other better.
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Fire is Finished

I finished Fire last night except for the edge and that is started already. This was a particularly satisfying page to work on. I love the outdoors and dread the coming of fire season every year. Too many trees are lost to carelessness and the loss of homes and lives is tremendous. Thousands of people's lives are changed within hours when one of these firestorms starts. This past year has been particularly bad in California with all the lightning fires. Our firefighters are overworked and exhausted, but they continue to forge ahead with each new fire that starts. Just when the summer fire season is over, the Santa Ana winds start in southern California and we are off again. This page is meant to represent the tragic losses suffered due to fire.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oct. page continued

Here is the third in progress picture of my October page. As you can see, the fire is larger and consuming the tree on the right. The cabin is half finished now. I used some clear plastic with orange marker on the back for the windows so they would seem to reflect the fire. More on this page when it is finished.
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Oct. page in progress

This is my October BJP page in progress. I found the fabric in my stash of batiks. After the summer spent watching all the fires in California, I knew I had to do this page. Once again, in October, the fires started. What better time?

This is one of the few pages I do each year that I actually have a plan for. As you can see, the A-frame cabin is in danger. I love the skeletonized trees in this fabric. and the orange patch as well.

The trees have been fleshed out a bit here in the second shot and the fire has started. It's pretty amazing that as I bead this page, it actually feels like the fire is growing and destroying the trees. I haven't decided exactly what to do with the cabin yet.

The fires have devastated our beautiful state this year. As more people build out into the wilderness, I'm afraid it will only get worse. Most of these fires were started by lighting, but unfortunately many were started by man. It's sad that more do not care that they cause great loss of property and life by their carelessness and deliberate acts.

I will post another picture of this page, as it disappeared from this blog.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Relaxation Time

Just got back from a relaxing two days at the coast. I went with my friend, Heidi. She took this pic of me in front of Morro Rock. We did a little bead shopping in San Luis Obispo, picked up my GS and went to Morro Bay for an early dinner on the wharf. It's always a treat to
spend time with my GS. He goes to college in San Luis Obispo.

We had a leisurely drive back to Cambria and got back just in ti
me to take this picture from in front of our motel. It was wonderful listening to the surf all night. We spent most of our time beading. I taught her how to do bead embroidery and to do peyote stitch around a cabochon. She caught on very quickly and had finished a bead embroidered cab pin/pendant by Saturday.

My project for the week was my November doll for Beaded Art Dolls. She is called Cranberry Crush. I was also able to get some work done on my October page for the Bead Journal Project. It is going well so far, and I will post it soon.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Double Tagged

Okay, I've been double tagged by AJ and Doris. Sorry, but you are only getting 7 of my deep dark secrets.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now to the facts about me:
1. I have an addictive personality. Not drugs or alcohol (waste of time and money), but for beads, fabric, and online friends.
2. I'm becoming a computer junkie.
3. My favorite color is purple, but earthtones are a close second.
4. I was a majorette for 5 years.
5. I enjoy writing poetry.
6. I get a sense of serenity by going to the coast or the mountains.
7. I like doing scenic photography.

The seven people I'd like to tag are:
1. Timaree
2. Monica
3. Kelly
4. Jackie
5. Liz
6. Aryd'ell
7. Karen

Have fun with this!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Pin/Pendants

Beaded my little fingers off yesterday! Really made some productive use of my time for a change. These pin/pendants were made primarily for a challenge/swap on BeadDreamz on Yahoo. I love the flexibility of doing these. They are small enough to wear as a pin, but large enough to wear as a pendant. I put a finding on the back which will allow both. Like most of my bead embroidery, I never know exactly what it will look like when I'm finished with it. The top picture is called Desert Sun and the bottom one is called Earth. Not sure what the stone is on that one, but it reminded me of the earth from space, thus the name.

Plans are ongoing for my trip to the coast next week. We are staying for two nights so should have lots of beading time.
The weather should be in the 60's; nice and crisp. Great walking weather. We plan to hit the boardwalk on Moonstone Beach for a walk. I may even get some pictures taken this trip. I'm taking several projects with me and I will be teaching my friend, Heidi, how to do bead embroidery. Should be lots of fun.

The first week in November is the BABE show(BayAreaBeadExtravaganza) in Oakland. I'm spending five days up there this year. Taking classes, shopping, visiting with friends, making new ones and just generally having a good time. Can't wait!
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

September Finished

Finally finished my September BJP page. Not much beading here, I know, but that's how September was for me. I had almost totally lost my muse. This page will be officially called "Lost Muse". Fortunately, I seem to have found her again. I think I was falling into bad habits. When you have all day to work on things, it's too easy to say "I'll do it later". After a while, that nasty little habit snowballed and I found myself either reading or playing on the computer. All day, every day. Not a good thing when you want to accomplish things.

Now, I do most of my computer work in the early mornings and won't let myself pick up a book until after 4 pm. At least this way, I get some beading done everyday. Still haven't figured out how to get myself to do house****. LOL

Took two
marvelous classes from Liz Smith this past weekend. Her enthusiasm and energy was definitely contagious. We did her Twist and Swirl class on Saturday and her No Calorie Donut on Sunday. Both classes were fun and kept your interest throughout. Those are two projects which will be finished ASAP.
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Friday, October 03, 2008

Swirling Leaves

This is my October doll for BAD. We have agreed to do a doll a month for the next year. Not too bad a deal until you mixed it with BJP and Beaddreamz various challenges as well. Oh well, it's only time and beads. LOL
In truth, I love having all the different projects going on at the same time. It keeps the creative juices flowing. I always did work better under a deadline. Not for me the ordered existence of doing one project at a time and finishing it before starting the next one. Now I just have to come up with some new classes for the LBS. Maybe I will do a class in doll pins. Hmmm. In January, I'm teaching a beaded brooch
class for our Bead Society. That should be fun. We have some very talented ladies in our group.
Off to the County Fair tonite. Our Bead Society has a display in the Gem and Mineral Bldg. All of our pieces use gemstones of some kind. It looks really nice. Get to see Gretchen Wilson tonite. Sure hope it doesn't rain. The weather has done a 180 turnaround in the last 24 hours. It was up in the high 90's yesterday and today our high is supposed to be 70. Should be comfortable walking weather for ambling around the fairgrounds.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Grape Day

As many of you may know, the San Joaquin Valley in California is known for it's wonderful table grapes, as well as wine grapes and those dried for raisins. This is my September doll for the Beaded Art Dolls Calendar Challenge. She was fun to do and went together really fast. I made her this afternoon. I put a pin/pendant clasp on her so I can wear her either way. Only eleven more to go this year. LOL

I am slowly catching up with all my WIP's. I hate it when I get in a slump. All I wanted to do was read or play on the computer. At least I'm getting back in gear now. Won't let myself pick up a book until after 4 pm. I am determined to catch up and stay that way.

Lots going on this next week or two. Going to see Gretchen Wilson Friday at our County Fair. Saturday and Sunday are two classes with Liz Smith with our Bead Society. Should be great fun. Then next Friday (10th) I'm going to see Randy Travis (also at the Fair).

BABE is getting closer all the time. I love going to Oakland for BABE. I get to see friends that I don't see but a couple of times a year, and if I'm lucky, I get to meet other online friends for the first time. I enjoy visiting with vendors who come every year and of course, checking out all the goodies. I might just buy a few too. LOL
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Went on a Binge!

I was a bad girl last week. Not really.

Last Thursday my friend, Lynn, and I went to the coast to relax and take a class. On Friday, we picked up my oldest GS, David, and went to Grover Beach and Pismo for the day. We shopped for beads (of course) and books and then went to dinner. Yum! On Saturday, we took a class from Teri Dannenburg at Naturally Jennifer's bead store in San Luis Obispo. We learned how to make a bracelet called Acropora (a type of coral). It's very organic looking. Did more bead shopping! We had to leave for home right after the class so we would be ready for the CCBS Annual Bead Show on Sunday. Did I buy more beads? You betcha! The top picture is my stash for the three days shopping. The bottom picture is just the seed beads I bought. Did I need more beads? Nope! Did I want more beads? Well, of course! Our show is not too large; about 30 vendors this year. However, we always have fun.

I also splurged on a new 19" monitor for my computer and if that wasn't enough, I bought a small laptop that only weighs 3.2 lbs. Can you tell I finally received my retroactive retirement check from the County? After buying clothes and paying bills, I even have a bunch of money left. It's going to stay in the bank, too. I've had my spending spree and I am a happy girl.

I'm finally getting back into the swing of beading. I was in a funk for a couple of weeks, but I'm gathering up steam to meet all the obligations I've signed up to do. It feels good to know I can do all these things without having to worry about finances anymore.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008


Where were you?
There are two times in my life that I will always remember; when JFK was shot and 9/11. I know there have been many tragic events in my lifetime, but those two struck a chord within me.
How sad it is for our whole nation and for the world, that there are people still in the world who have so little respect for life. There is no political regime or religion that can justify slaughter of this scope. There was no war; though war does not excuse the killing of innocents.
My heart hurts for those who lost loved ones in 9/11. It hurts for the rest of us who thought it could never happen here. It can, and it did.
I will never forget.

Friday, September 05, 2008


I just was walking to the bank this morning. That's all. All of a sudden, I found myself in a nearby shop buying clothes. How did that happen? I haven't bought clothes in forever. I basically live in jeans and teeshirts. What a treat it was to just go in and pick out some new things. I still want to get some sweaters for this winter, but I'm pretty well set for tees now and I bought a couple of pair of jeans too.

If this sounds pretty mundane, consider I have been living on a very limited income for the past six months (Soc. Sec.). My county retirement just kicked in with a very nice retroactive check. Makes me feel rich. Not really, but it's nice to be off such a tight budget again.

I have signed up for BJP 2008 and am looking forward to a productive year. I am also in two other year long challenges, as well as a couple of swaps. Have I lost my mind? Probably, but I don't care; I'm having fun.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Time to Contribute

As of August 1st, 2008, donations are being accepted for a drawing to take place on October 15, 2008. This drawing is for the Pink Artist Doll "Love Squared" which is featured in Art Doll Quarterly Magazine currently on the stands. This beautiful creation was organized and made by Monica Magness,a renowned multi media artist. "Love Squared" is approximately 30 " tall. Her gown is made up of 182 2" squares contributed by artists all over the world to help combat Breast Cancer. Monies will go to the Susan G. Komen Cancer Research Foundation.

In addition to having two chances/$10.00 donation to win "Love Squared", contributors also have a chance to win several prizes donated by various artists. For more information please go to :

Please contribute what you can. The cause is a worthy one. Few families are not touched in some fashion by breast cancer. Research is essential to erradicate this terrible disease. Give to save lives. It may save someone you love.
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Published Online

Okay. I'm jazzed! Received a phone call from a Tierracast Rep to get my okay to give me credit for another bracelet that is on their online catalog. Like I'm going to say no. Sure! I made this bracelet a few years ago using their product in return for a stash of their goodies. It can be found on the bracelet page of their Design Ideas. If you scan through the catalog you will also see the freeform peyote bracelet I made. It has been in the catalog for a couple of years now. I'm not sure exactly when my name will go on the Garden bracelet, but I was told it would be soon.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Latest Work

Finally finished my BFAC doll, "Fire Dancer" She goes off in the mail tomorrow. I'm rather sad to see her go even though I know she is going to the best of causes. Layne's Legacy or Beading for a Cure is a yearly auction that raises money for ColoRectal Cancer Research. I'm very proud to have been a part of it this year. Hopefully, she will raise a good amount of money for our cause.
This is the second soft cuff bracelet I've made. This one is for me. I love working in these colors as they have a rich, sumptuous look to them. I'm much happier with this one. I have several others planned already.
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Monday, June 30, 2008

New Project

I am in total shock! I was contacted this morning by the company that sells this bag and others. They asked me to do a bead embroidery piece to be inserted into the clear pocket of the bag. They are sending me a bag just like this one. When I get the piece done, I'm to send it to them for photography and then they send it back for me to keep. It will be published on their website, put in news releases and perhaps even be offered to a magazine. I will get full credit for my design and be linked on their website as well. After several emails today, the bag is on its way to me.
This came right out of the blue. I have no idea where they even saw my work. I must have angels sending the word out for me. Amazing!
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Latest Class Samples

This first picture is a a soft cuff I just finished as a class sample. Pastels are not really my thing, but the LBS owner wanted a summe bracelet, so this is what she got. It's done on EZFelt and backed with the same. There is no metal insert so it fits snug around the wrist. It's very comfortable and lightweight to wear.
I saw a picture in a book and modified it somewhat. I will be teaching this next month at our LBS. It's called Topaz Treasure.

I've been having fun coming up with new class ideas in between finishing my BFAC doll and several other projects.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Window to the Past

This is a window into our past. This picture was taken in a gold mining ghost town in the Eastern Sierras. It's name is Bodie. At one point in time, Bodie had a population of 10,000 people. Now it is run by the State of California as a park. It is kept in a state of "arrested decay". There are still many buildings standing, but you are able to enter very few of them. This is the General Store. The picture was taken through a dirty window.
There is a museum there with a myriad of items the miners used in their daily life. There was a bank, but all that is left of it is a wall and the old safe. There is a firehouse, a gas station, a mortuary, a schoolhouse and a church. Up on the hill above the town is the remnants of the old gold mine. They say there is still gold there, but it is too expensive to mine it.
At the edge of town is the cemetery. It has many fancy marble and granite head stones. Most of the inhabitants died very young. Outside the fence of the cemetery is a tall (5 ft?) obelisk with just the inscription " Rosa" on it. Rosa was a prostitute who helped nurse many of the miners when an epidemic hit. She is said to have saved many lives. However, due to her profession, she was not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground. I have been to Bodie many times and there are always flowers on her grave.
This is just a glimpse into the past of California. It is well worth visiting during the summer months. From mid-September to June the high mountain passes are usually snowed in. However, it can be reached easily from the Nevada side.
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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tagged for a Meme

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was working nightshift as an RN at our County Jail. Worked with a great bunch of Officers! I still consider them some of my favorite people. I was into rubber stamping and just starting to take some bead classes. One of my favorite things to do was to take off by myself and drive up into the Eastern Sierras to do scenic photography. Another was watching my grandsons grow.

2. What are 5 things on my to do list for today (need not be in order)?

Take a picture of my BFAC doll and post it.
Finish a bead embroidered soft cuff bracelet and write instructions for the class I will teach in two weeks.
Start my Sample doll for BAD.
Start cleaning the apartment (hate housework!!!).
Start bead embroidery on silk cord bracelet.

3. Snacks that I enjoy.

Unsalted nuts of any kind.
Chocolate (in limited quantities these days)
Sugar Snap Peas (Love these)

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire.

Set up trusts so my grandsons' college education was guaranteed.
Buy into our local bead shop so we could double the size and staff.
Spend money lobbying to improve mental health care.
Need I say it? BUY BEADS!!!!
Make sure all family members have what they need.

5. Places I have lived.

Born in Avenal, CA. Lived there until age 20.
San Luis Obispo, CA for 2 1/2 years. Worked as a Lab Tech.
Lawton, Oklahoma for 3 years. Married to an Army Officer.
Omaha, Nebraska for 9 months-Hubby taught at Creighton University.
Hawaii for 4 years. Stationed at Schofield Barracks.
Fort Ord, CA for 3 years.
Fort Knox, Kentucky for 3 years
Fort Leonardwood, Missouri for 1 1/2 years. Divorced.
Sanger, CA. Worked in a hospital.
Clovis, CA. Worked at Co. Jail for 16 years, then 6 years in Adult Day Health Care. Now retired.

6. Peeps I want to know more about.

Grace of GraceBeading
Bobbi of Beading at the Beach
Sandy of Focus on Fiber
Ellen of Dollie Beads
Jackie of Beading Gram

I will notify the above of their tags. Hopefully they will want to play too.

Thanks for the opportunity, Robin.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bountiful Harvest

Well, today is the end of one of the most challenging years I have ever had. I finished my September page a couple of days ago. It was the last of twelve pages that I have worried about, prayed about, and worked my fingers (old though they may be) to the bone for. Actually, that is at least a partial untruth. This year has been heart wrenching at times, but I wouldn't have traded it for any amount of money. I feel like I have learned so much about beading, and more importantly, about myself. It has been a voyage of discovery indeed. The joy I have received from sharing such an experience with my fellow beaders and artists is unmeasureable. To thank Robin for starting this project somehow does not seem enough. If you multiply all my questions to her by 200+, it's a wonder she even had time to bead or write her book. The friendships formed during this year, I hope, will continue for a long time. I know I have become hopelessly addicted to reading blogs and will continue to do so. Thank all of your for sharing your knowledge with me.
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