Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out With The Old and In With The New Blog Hop - Day 1

Welcome to the Out With The Old and In With The New two-day New Year's Blog Hop! We're so happy you could join the Made Especially For You design team in celebrating the new year. Day one of the hop will feature some of our favorite projects we've created this past year, and day two of the hop will feature a New Year's themed project. If you've come from another blog in the hop and are looking to start at the beginning of the hop, you're in the right place. :) 

Since I've only been blogging since June and just got my Cricut last week, it was hard to choose a few favorites since my card making has improved a lot since I first started over the summer. After taking a quick trip down memory lane, I found a couple of cards that I remember feeling really proud of after making them.

This card was made using inspiration from a Mojo Monday challenge sketch and was created especially for a design team application. I love the colors and the simplicity of it. It's one of the few cards I've made that I felt turned out almost perfect.

 This card was made just for fun, and is also one of the only cards I've ever decorated the inside of just for fun. Normally I only decorate the inside of the card if I'm actually giving it to someone, but I liked the idea of finishing the quote on the inside for this one. The front of the card reads 'shoot for the moon' and the inside says 'even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.'

There you have it! Two of my favorite cards from 2011. I hope to have many favorites in 2012. 

What fun is a blog hop without blog candy? I'll be giving away the following crafty goodies:
- 1 spool of pink ribbon
- 1 clear stamp set
- 1 set of gold/silver rhinestones
- Assorted chipboard pieces
- Paper Bliss scrapbook accent frame
- 1 package of green, wooden buttons
- 2 pre-made cards and envelopes
- 1 rubber stamp

Entering to win is easy! Here's what you have to do:
   1.) Become a follower (if you aren't already)
   2.) Comment on a post either day of the hop (you'll be entered twice if you comment both days) 
   3.) 'Like' the Made Especially For You Facebook page

The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Tuesday January 3rd

Your next stop is Jamie's blog - she has some wonderful projects to share with you! Make sure to stop by for the second day of the hop, too! :) 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas & Exciting News!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a great holiday with your loved ones. My family celebrated with our extended family on the 23rd and the 24th, so today we're just relaxing around the house. Well, they might be, but I'll be playing with my brand new Cricut Expression! :) My camera isn't charged and I'm too impatient to wait to take pictures, lol, but here are the cartridges I got with it:

- Winter Lace
- Luau
- Happy Graduation
- Father's Day
- Mini Monsters
- Groovy Times
- Winnie the Pooh Font Set
- Destinations

I can't wait to get started on all of my upcoming projects. I've been holding off on making them in case I got a Cricut for Christmas, so I'm glad the waiting paid off. It's been nice taking a few days off from crafting, but I'm ready to start playing again!

I hope Santa was as good to you as he was to me, enjoy the rest of your holiday! :)


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gift-Wrapped Envelopes

Hi everyone! I can't believe there's only 5 days until Christmas - time has gone by so fast! My family starts celebrating Christmas on the 23rd, and it's even harder to believe that it's only 3 days away. The weather here in northern Illinois hasn't helped much either, we've had temps in the 30's and 40's lately and with barely any snow, it sure doesn't feel like Christmastime. Today I'd like to share with you the envelopes I made for my coworkers that contain their Christmas cards. I've been working on this project since October, and it feels so good to finally have completed it.

I handmade the 5 in x 5 in envelopes using papers from the SugarPlum Recollections paper pad (the cards are made from these papers also). I tried to make sure that the same paper on the card wasn't used for the envelope, and if there was more red on the card to use more green on the envelope, you get the idea. I then created tags (with a glitter border) and chose a bow and ribbon color for each card based off the colors on the envelope paper. Here are a few samples:

The envelopes were made using a 5 x 5 envelope template, a scoring tool, two-sided tape and glue dots. They're super easy and fun to make! 

I made a total of 21 cards/envelopes for my coworkers this year. I put them in their mailboxes last night, and I'm excited to hear what they say about them. I loved the idea of giving the envelopes a gift-like appearance because it makes receiving only a card more exciting than just receiving a card in a plain envelope, at least in my opinion.

All 21 of the cards. I couldn't find a good place to take the picture other than my bed, so I apologize for the poor quality. :/ One new year's resolution I'll definitely be working on is taking better pictures! You can at least see the variety of paper/ribbon combos used. 

Thanks for reading! :)


Saturday, December 17, 2011

**Sponsor Call!**

Have a digital stamp store, etsy shop, or simply want to show off your own handmade talents? Become a sponsor for the newest feature of Made Especially For You - weekly challenges! Made Especially For You now hosts weekly challenges that ALL bloggers are welcome to enter.

Our design team is looking for sponsors for 2012 to provide a sponsorship for one or more of our weekly challenges. 

What exactly does being a sponsor entail?
  - Offering a prize for the winner of the challenge (the prize is 100% up to the sponsor, they can choose whatever they would like to give away, whether it correlates with the challenge or not)

- Promotion of the sponsor's blog through the challenge, Made Especially For You's Facebook page and also through the blogs of the other ten design team members

- The design team is also willing to incorporate your offerings into the challenge, for example if you own a digital stamp store and are giving away a particular set of digital stamps, we would love to use those in our design team challenge sample creations!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? We'd love to have you! Send an e-mail to regarding this post and I'll go ahead and send you the available challenges that you can choose from as well as answer any questions you may have! :)

Made Especially For You DT Leader

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Photo Inspiration by Perfect Sentiments

I just drank my first cup of hot chocolate of the season and am ready to settle down and write this post. :) Tonight I'd like to share with you the card I made for this week's Perfect Sentiments challenge. 

The flowers look coral-colored in the picture (I'm so sorry!) but they really are pink like the flowers in the inspiration photo are, I promise. 

The challenge was to create a card reflecting an anniversary sentiment based off the following picture:

When I first saw the picture, I automatically knew I wanted to use the colors in the photo, white and black with a hint of blue. I also knew I wanted to use some form of lacy ribbon to match the curtain, but then I didn't know where to go from there. After contemplating for a while, I decided to use the flowers in the picture and found the 'perfect sentiment' (no pun intended) to match the card. I handmade the flowers using a flower punch and watercolor paint, and added the pearls around the border of the die cut shape. I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out! :)

Thanks for reading! :) 


Monday, December 12, 2011

'Happy Birthday' Snowflake Card

Happy Monday, everyone! :) The weekly challenge here at Made Especially For You this week is to create a card or scrapbook layout featuring snow or snowflakes - my favorite! The timing between this challenge and my cousin's birthday worked perfectly, she had a sweet sixteen party over the weekend that was decorated with snowflakes, penguins, etc. I made her a birthday card featuring snowflakes to match the theme of her party: 

The card is 5 in x 5 in.

The card was also based off the same Mojo Monday sketch that the card in my previous post is based off, which you can view here. For those of you who saw the exploding box I created for a challenge a while back, these are the same winter papers from Little Yellow Bicycle that I used to create the box.

Materials Used:
~ Winter papers by Little Yellow Bicycle
~ Green ribbon by Studio G
~ 'Happy Birthday' clear stamp with black ink
~ White cardstock
~ Silver glitter
~ Glitter snowflakes and a white button
~ Pop dots, double-sided tape, tacky glue and glue dots

Make sure to check out the weekly challenge if you haven't already. Our sponsor, K 'n K Designs, is giving away the winner's choice of three digital stamp sets! 

Once I'm finished with my last two finals tomorrow, I'll have an entire month to catch up on crafting and regular posting - I can't wait! :) I'm looking forward to having time to craft without trying to make a card in a time crunch, it'll be so nice.

Have a great week! :) 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Perfect Sentiments Challenge Entry

Hi everyone! I'm super excited I have time for a post during the actual week this week, lately it's come down to posting my weekly challenge entry on Mondays and occasionally a card post here and there. Today I'd like to share with you a card I made specially for the Perfect Sentiments challenge - to create a Christmas card and make it sparkle! I'm a total glitter girl, so this challenge was a lot of fun for me. :) There's glitter on the border of the ribbon, in the cardstock and also around the sentiment. 

The card was based off last week's Mojo Monday sketch, which unfortunately I didn't have time to enter. This sketch is so cute, I'll definitely be using it as inspiration in the future!

Thanks so much for stopping by, have a fantastic Friday! :)


Monday, December 5, 2011

Ornament Challenge & My First Digi Stamp Card!

Happy Monday, everyone! Today I'd like to share with you the ornament I made for the weekly challenge here at Made Especially For You and also the first card I made using a digital stamp! :) 

The ornament I used for the challenge this week is actually an ornament I made last year. I made about thirty of these for my fourth-grade TA class last year for Christmas - they loved them! I bought clear candy bags and put them in there with some candy and tied them together with a ribbon and with a tag that had there names on it - I wish I had taken pictures so I could share them! :/ I ended up having an extra penguin ornament because one of the kids moved so I saved it for my own tree, and was able to take a picture of it this year. :)

The ornament is made out of wood pieces that I painted using acrylic paint and hot-glued together. If I remember right, I believe I used one large heart for the body, two ovals for the wings, two stars for the feet, one small circle for the head, and one small heart for the beak. I used pipe cleaners to make the candy cane and then a red pipe cleaner and pom pons for the earmuffs. I attached a red loop of ribbon on the back so it could be an ornament. I "scraplifted" the project idea from the Michael's store website, I tried finding a link but couldn't, I found it over a year ago so I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't posted anymore.

The sponsor the challenge this week is the super cute Digi Doodle Shop, and I couldn't resist using one of their adorable digital stamps. I found this cute penguin to match the ornament, and also realized there was an ornament on the card to match this week's challenge - how perfect! :) I colored him using colored pencils (I don't own any Copics, and this was my first time using a digital stamp) and made a really simple card.

I added some cotton to the fur trim on the hat to give it a more 3D effect.

Thanks so much for reading! Make sure to stop by the challenge page and enter an ornament if you haven't already - your creation will be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to the Digi Doodle Shop!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Warm Up With A Book!

Over the summer, I posted one of the bulletin boards I created for the children's department at the library where I work. It's definitely one of my favorite parts of my job, seeing as I get to put my craft side to good use. :) I put up this bulletin board a couple of days ago since the weather is getting chillier here and winter is fast approaching.

It's always fun trying to come up with an idea for a bulletin board and then utilizing the library's craft supplies to make it. For this bulletin board, I actually used the fire I used on the board I made over the summer (which you can view here). I like reusing creations myself or other coworkers have made because then they really get put to good use. The penguins are made from a clipart image I found online and colored with markers. I covered the background with blue paper and then added white paper on the bottom to look like snow.

Close-up of the cute snowmen border. The library has a really cute stock of borders to choose from. I'm still working on getting the paper flat, lol. It's a pain in the butt!

Close-up of one of the penguins. I tried my best to color well enough so the penguin didn't look like it was colored.

Close-up of the fire, made from tissue paper, gray construction paper and glitter. 

Thanks so much for reading, Happy Wednesday! :)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Easy As 1, 2, 3! Challenge Card

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday weekend! I certainly enjoyed my break from schoolwork, although I'm not thrilled to pick up where I left off today. :/ At least this week's challenge is here to cheer me up! :) 

The challenge this week here at Made Especially For You is to create a card or scrapbook layout featuring '3' of something, whether it be ribbons, colors, papers, brads, etc. Click here to view the DT's awesome creations and also enter the challenge!

I created a simple card for the challenge this week, with the end of the semester workload increasing, it's been harder and harder to find time to craft. I can already tell I won't be sleeping much this week because of all the things I have to get done. Anyways, enough of my rambling, here's the card I made for the challenge:

  Left: Front view of the card                         Right: Side view of the card
I'm glad I'm finally getting the hang of taking better pictures! The lighting in my bathroom is actually fairly decent, and using white cardstock as both a vertical and horizontal backdrop helps a lot. 

I absolutely fell in love with the background paper when I first saw it at Michael's. I love the fun colors and stripes! It's been a while since I've made a bright card, so I was excited when I got to use it for the challenge. I used three circles as well as three rectangles to comply with the challenge. 

What I Used To Make The Card:
~ Background paper (sorry, I forgot the name! It's made by Recollections)
~ Blue, light pink, pink, purple & white cardstock paper
~ 1" circle punch
~ 'Just For You' stamp with black ink
~ Cuttlebug with the 'Spots n' Dots' embossing folder
~ Glue dots, paper trimmer & scissors

Thanks so much for stopping by! We hope you play along with us! :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sparkly Snowflake Ornaments

The weekly DT challenge over at Becky's Sweet Creations this week was to create an ornament. I just happened to be at Michael's the other evening when they had their special 25% off your entire purchase (including sale items!) sale from 4pm-9pm. Let's just say I spent a little more than I should have... :) While looking for something to inspire my ornament I found these super cute wooden snowflakes for only $1! Well, technically 75 cents since I got them 25% off. :) I found some winter-colored acrylic paint (only 69 cents) and painted them and then spruced them up with a bit of glitter.

The paint on the snowflake looks grey, but it's really blue. Take a look at the pictures below if you don't believe me! :)

I actually used two different color silver glitters for this snowflake. It's hard to tell in the picture, but you can sort of see it a little bit. :/

Other than a paint brush and an Elmer's glue pen, here's what I used to make the ornaments:

For the glitter, I used the colors 'Silver', 'Ocean', and 'Bling' For the acrylic paint, I used the colors 'Slate Grey' and 'Winter Blue.'

Here's a close-up of the actual paint color. See, I told you it was blue! :)

I'm so thankful for the wonderful ladies on my DT and also anyone who has supported my blog over the past six months or so. It's hard to believe how fast time has gone, and I'm so happy with the progress my blog has made. Thanks to everyone who has helped it grow! Have a very, very happy Thanksgiving. :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

Education Cards & A Blog Candy Winner

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying the start of the holiday week! My creation for the Thanksgiving challenge this week was featured in the Give Thanks Blog Hop I participated in over this past weekend. You can view the card here. Unfortunately no more entries are being accepted for a chance to win the blog candy because... we have a winner!

Congratulations to Denise over at VinDeeLoo's This 'n That on winning 100 sheets of paper! I'll be contacting you shortly so you can claim your prize.

I recently participated in an Education Panel event at my college and was asked to make thank-you cards for the eleven teachers that were on the panel. I was so excited! Unfortunately I was asked a bit last minute and was in a time crunch, so I enlisted the help of my friend Tammy over at My Cricut Craft Chamber! Thanks so much Tammy for providing me with the adorable apples and chalkboards. :) Here are some pictures of the cards:

Close-up of the card. I found a black and white clipart picture of a ruler online and printed it on yellow-gold cardstock and then cut them all out by hand.

Side view. There's a typed thank you message on the inside with either red or green background paper, I didn't have enough of either to fill all eleven cards so I made half of each.

All eleven of the cards

Thanks so much for reading! If you haven't already, stop by the 'Weekly Challenge' page to see some fabulous Thanksgiving projects created by the DT and also enter your Thanksgiving project for a chance to win some super cute clipart sets from MyGrafico!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Give Thanks Blog Hop - Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of the Give Thanks Blog Hop! We're so happy to have you hopping along with us. :) If you came from Leah's blog, then you're in the right place! If you just came across the hop and would like to start at the beginning, please visit Denise's blog.

For the second day of the hop I created a simple Thanksgiving card. I normally don't use stickers or foam  pieces on my cards, but I couldn't pass up the bag of Thanksgiving-themed foam stickers at Michael's on clearance for only $1.50. Aren't they adorable?!

What fun is a blog hop without blog candy?! I'll be giving away the following 100 sheets of 6 x 6 inch assorted papers:

Top: 100 sheets of paper stacked
Bottom: Just some of the papers included in the 100 being given away!

Entering to win is simple! Here's what you have to do:
1.) Become a follower (if you aren't already)
3.) Comment on a post either day of the hop with your contact information (you'll be entered a second time if you enter both days)

Thanks again for hopping along with us! Your next stop is Alina's blog.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Give Thanks Blog Hop - Day 1

Welcome to Day 1 of the Give Thanks Blog Hop! We're so happy to have you hopping along with us. :) If you came from Leah's blog, then you're in the right place! If you just came across the hop and would like to start at the beginning, please visit Denise's blog.

This hop is all about Thanksgiving and showing what we're thankful for! I created this 'give thanks' card for the hop and also for this week's DT challenge over at Becky's Sweet Creations. There's nothing like multitasking and killing two birds with one stone! :) 

The challenge was to use three buttons, ribbon, something gold and/or something Thanksgiving related. Perfect combination for this hop! :) The paper is 'Remember Souvenirs' by Recollections. The buttons are random buttons I chose from my mom's sewing stash, I thought they matched the color combo nicely. The gold border is a vintage cut for the cuttlebug, and the border of the card is twisted ribbon. It was too wide (I think it was two inches wide) to use as a bow for the card, so I twisted it tightly and adhered it to the border of the card using glue dots. The stamp is obviously computer generated and printed on cream colored cardstock, with a dark green layer of cardstock behind it. 

What fun is a blog hop without blog candy?! I'll be giving away the following 100 sheets of 6 x 6 inch assorted papers:

Top: 100 sheets of paper stacked
Bottom: Just some of the papers included in the 100 being given away!

Entering to win is simple! Here's what you have to do:
1.) Become a follower (if you aren't already)
3.) Comment on a post either day of the hop with your contact information (you'll be entered a second time if you enter both days)

Thanks again for hopping along with us! Your next stop is Alina's blog.

For a chance to win a free exploding box ornament kit from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff, create an exploding box and enter it into Made Especially For You's weekly challenge!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Exploding Box

The challenge this week here at Made Especially For You is to make an exploding box. You can enter the challenge by clicking here. I had never made (or even heard of) an exploding box before, and was actually really nervous about this challenge. I found this great tutorial that really helped me out. Thankfully, it was easier than I thought it would be!

Inside of the box. There are three different layers. I loved that the papers were so bold because then less embellishing was needed. When read clockwise, the inside says "snow."

This is what the box looks like all closed up. This is why I loved the double-sided paper! The outside of the box is different than the papers on the inside. Instead of using ribbon I tied the bow with lace, it gives it a more "wintery" feel. 

I made my first trip to the scrapbooking store Archiver's (aka: heaven) last week and found some really gorgeous winter-themed paper that I knew would be PERFECT for my exploding box. The paper is double-sided and fairly heavy. The papers are made by Little Yellow Bicycle. Here are the 6 (well, 12, if you count both sides) sheets I purchase to make my box. I was so excited about them I just had to make cute collages to show you! :)

Thanks for reading, we hope you play along with us! :)


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Epilepsy Awareness Blog Hop Winner

And the winner is... Sue from Sue in CT! Congratulations, Sue! I will be contacting you shortly, you will have one week to claim your prize before it is awarded to another participant. 

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our hop, it means a lot that you helped support such a great cause. Have a great night!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

16 Rubber Stamps for $5!

Hi everyone! Just a quick post today. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Epilepsy Awareness Blog Hop! I'll announce the winner of my blog candy on Monday. :)

Today I wanted to share with you a recent crafty purchase. I love doing reviews and wish I got to do more, but unfortunately my budget just doesn't allow for it. :( I was at Michael's the other night and couldn't pass this deal up - 16 rubber stamps along with red and green glitter glue AND ink for only $5!! It was originally $10 but on sale for 50% off. It's a Christmas-themed set made by Recollections.

This is the same set - notice the 8 different stamps on each side! The glitter glue and ink are on top.

Because they're usually so expensive, I don't have very many rubber stamps or ink. So when I saw this I definitely couldn't pass it up, especially since they can be used on Christmas cards I'm making for my coworkers. I also plan on making some fun, Christmas-themed tags with them. :)

Has anyone else seen or purchased this set at their local Michael's?

Have a great weekend!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Epilepsy Awareness Blog Hop

Hello crafty friends! Thank you for joining for our Epilepsy Awareness Blog Hop. You will see great projects and read about some of our personal experiences with Epilepsy. Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces different types of seizures. Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide. If you would like to read more information about Epilepsy you can go to the Epilepsy foundation online at: 

If you came from Holley's blog, you're in the right place! If you just came across the hop and would like to participate, here's the complete lineup:

Holley @ Holley's Blog
Ashley @ Made Especially For You                 <---------- You Are Here
Jessica @ Can You Pixel This
Lora @ Notes From The Scrapbooklady
Michelle @ Crafty Chelle
Rexann @ I Be Circled
Lisa @ Scrapping with Lisa
Zenita @ Scrappin' with Z
Sher @ Patterns by Sher

While I personally do not have Epilepsy, I know of people who do, including a cousin who sometimes suffers from epileptic seizures. I joined this hop because I wanted to help promote Epilepsy awareness and felt this was a great way to do so. 

For the hop, I made an Epilepsy awareness card. If you couldn't tell already, the color for Epilepsy awareness is purple, so I made a primarily purple card.

The card is 5 in x 5 in. I embossed the border with the D'vine Swirl embossing folder and then went over the swirls with an Elmer's glue pen and sprinkled silver glitter, creating my own glitter glue. I also glittered the chipboard letters myself (which are actually a royal purple, not black) and added the purple awareness ribbon and a few rhinestones to match the silver in the border.

This pictures provides a much better perspective of the chipboard letters. You can actually tell they're purple and not black. 

What fun is a blog hop without blog candy?! I'll be giving away the following purple goodies:

What's Included: 28 sheets of 6 x 6 patterned purple paper (4 of each shown in the picture), 2 spools of purple ribbon, purple glitter glue and purple ink by Studio G, 8 adhesive border frames, 6 purple heart punches and assorted purple chipboard pieces. 

Entering to win is simple! Here's what you have to do:
1.) Become a follower (if you aren't already)
2.) Leave a comment on this post with your contact information

And that's it! The winner will be chosen via and announced on Monday November 14th along with the new weekly challenge. If you haven't already, stop by the 'Weekly Challenge' page and play along with us! This week's challenge is to create a card based off a PageMap sketch. We'd love to have you. :)

You're next stop is Jessica's blog! Thanks for hopping along with us and showing your support for not only our blogs but for epilepsy awareness as well. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tri-Fold Card

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great week. My stress level has been absolutely through the roof lately, so it's been hard to find craft. When I do have the time, though, it definitely makes for a good stress reliever. 

The weekly DT challenge over at Becky's Sweet Creations this week is to create a tri-fold card. I've only made one tri-fold card before, and that was for the Becky's Sweet Creations Boy/Girl Blog Hop I participated in about a month ago. I actually used the same template from that card to make this card, which you can view here. The only difference is that this time I made my tri-fold card horizontal instead of vertical, which is something I personally have never seen done before.

I had to put this card together rather quickly, as I've been swamped with everything and am slowly starting to fall behind my crafting schedule. :( The card was inspired from the polka dot paper that is used as the outside of the card. From there I just found whatever supplies I could that matched the colors of the polka dots, and just went with the flow from there. 

View of the bottom of the card. The blue paper is embossed with a mini flower embossing folder with my Cuttlebug. I left a blank yellow space at the bottom where a message could be written.

The letters are from a scrapbook kit I won a few months ago, unfortunately for the life of me I can't remember the name of it. It's a really cute kit that came with a lot of fun colored paper and embellishments. The flower stickers came from there as well. 

Outside of the card. I tied green ribbon around it to help keep it closed and to also give it a "present" appearance since it's a birthday card. I'm terrible at tying bows... I'm working on it!

I'm really sorry about the poor quality of these pictures. It's been non-stop cloudy for a few days now and because of that I havent' had any natural sunlight to take the pictures near. The lighting in my house is terrible for pictures and I take them with the camera on my iPod. Over winter break one of my goals is to come up with a spot for all of my craft pictures to be taken so that they actually look nice. Thanks for bearing with me. :) 

Thanks so much for reading! If you haven't already, take a moment to stop by the Weekly Challenge page to enter this week's PageMap sketch challenge. Our sponsor is giving away a great prize! 

Happy Wednesday! :)

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