Thanks for visiting with us. Have fun looking around and feel free to leave us comments.
I consider December the open door month. At the end we get to walk through the door not only January but a new year - at least in theory. I celebrate two new years. One on December 31st of each year and what I call the "real new year" on the first day of spring. I could never figure out why a new year would start in winter. Spring with its new life appeals to me for starting anew. A number of ancient cultures agreed and made spring their new beginning.
I hope you will celebrate two new years with me. Meanwhile I wish yuo a Happy "January" New Year and may 2014 bring you joy.
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ANY TITLE YOU ORDER - FROM THIS BLOG, OR EARLIER ONES OR ANY TITLE YOU NEED.
LACE: THE DELICATE ART BELOVED
"The beauty of lace is an intangible thing. The laces have a
a strange quality, hard to catch and hold. But once this
quality is perceived and understood it enlarges and enriches
the mind and life of the one who has come to love them."
- Marion Pwwys - Lace and Lace-making -
Lace is beloved around the world. It's history as a needle art before machine-made lace in the 19th century came into being is unique. Wearing lace was a sign of status and people went to great lengths to obtain it including smuggling it from one country to another. According to Marian Powys in her classic, Lace and Lacemaking, the old family of laces are generally classified into three groups: the needlepoints, the pillow laces, and the decorated arts. Each have their lovely, unique characteristics and, as it says in the old catalogue, Lace from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, "many of the details of how the laces were made were kept secret, just as they are today in some lace-making centers, and the sources of fine materials were jealousy guarded." The types of lace and their patterns that were made fill volumes. The lace produced was unbelievably fine; the patterns so lovely and complex, I think the first time anyone looks through plates of lace, their first , must be the same as mine was, "How did the lacemakers in the 16th through the 18th century ever create the complex, delicate designs and turn these designs into the beautiful antique pieces before us! Day after long day in poor lighting, poor working conditions and poor pay, lacemakers fingers turned thread into true works of art . No room for error as all work was frequently checked. We don't know their names. Their only true reward was their pride in their work. Looking at the above picture of The Lacemaker by Vemeer, I can fell those bent backs, aching fingers, and tired eyes as I look at each lace design. It is said a number of lacemakers sacrificed their eyesight for their craft. I wish they could know how appreciated their lacemaking is by today's needleworkers, I think they would be surprised and pleased there work is known and loved around the world.
Whether hand-made or machine made, lace will always be part of fashion. I doubt there is a woman alive that hasn't had some article of clothing decorated with lace. I remember in my senior year of high school I bought a white lace dress for a special outing. I spent all by babysitting I was seventeen but felt so grown-up wearing that gorgeous dress. Many years later I can't remember what happened to that dress but I am checking through old family pictures to see if any photos of me wearing it come to light. I also have hankie trimmed in lace given to me by a little boy I tutored when I was twenty years old. Whenever I see pictures of lace I think of those two items. What items of lace are in your past? What items of lace do you still tuck away in a drawer or proudly displayed. I'd love to hear your stories.
Introducing Heather Toomer's New Lace Book
Jeri Ames is an expert on lace and I always love to have her imput on a new lace book. She kindly gave me permission to include her review of Heather Toomer's new "White-embroidered costume accessories -1790s to 1840s."
"White-embroidered costume accessories - the 1790s to 1840s".
By Heather Toomer, drawings and patterns by Elspeth Reed.
Published by Heather Toomer Antique Lace, 2013, paper cover.
198 pages, cover price in USA $44.95, ISBN 978-0-9542730-3-3.
Book has limited distribution.
To put the book in context, Jane Austen (author) lived from 1775-1817. Princess Victoria was
This is a sequel to "Embroidered with White - the 18th century fashion for Dresden lace and other whiteworked accessories", 2008 (Arachne review Aug, 27, 2009). As before this is original research resulting in detailed text. Drawings and text by Elapeth Reed are admirable.
Heather's photographs are presented for each item discussed. Color fashion .are lovely, and they prove depicting fashions on very slender mannequins is not a new phenomenon!
Collectors will find identification of unusually-shaped accessories invaluable. Costumers receive guidance for making accurate recreations. Historians acquire expanded knowledge. Then, there are lovers of all things LACE. They may require more detailed information about lace made during this period for this purpose, and may need to see exactly how the laces were attached to accessories.
Both right and wrong sides of white embroidery are sometimes shown, which helps determine how a stitch was made. Embroidery and lace travel together through the pages.
Austen could identify a buffon, pelerine, canezou, schall, or pelisse. Can you? Have you seen a shirt handkerchief? These "handkerchiefs" had a quiet different purpose and shape then pocket handkerchiefs; dress kerchiefs had a different purpose and shape than today's head covering. The distinction are interesting.
Have you seen a muslin accessory with a button-holed edge to which a bobbin-made picot edging has been attached? Effective. Delicate. Several are shown in photographs.
Much is to be said for design inspiration. The little fancy apron pockets on page 60 reminded this reviewer of patterns and cuffs, and some collars, illustrated by Elspeth Reed, Then came the thought that this would be an interesting subject for a Lace Guild contests - pockets inspired by historic cuff and collar shapes.!
Many designs are suitable for lace or muslin embroidery (or both) on today's special occasions.
For more information about muslin, see reviewers Jan. 19, 2013 review of "Muslin"http://www.mail-archive .firstname.lastname@example.org/index.html.
Jeri Ames in Maine USA
Lace and Embroidery Resource Center
Thank you Jeri for a great review.
We carry Heather's latest book and other great books by her.
This is the companion book to Jerry Ames review:Enbroidered with white: the 18th century fashions for Dresden lace and other whiteworked accessories. Along with wonderful information on the lace of this time period she includes 20 patterns. The photographs show a wide range of of original items, with details of the embroidery stitches, portraits and costume illustrations. Tips are given on washing, conservation and where original items may be studied in public collections.. $44.95
This lovely book by Heather reviews the history of christening and other decorative baby robes through the 19th century. The first section uses dated examples and contemporary illustrations to show different styles in vogue and compares them with adult styles. The second section celebrates the exquisite workmanship in these robes. She also includes how designs and stitches changed from 1710 to 1800. Much valuable information included such as measurements and patterns for those involved in accurate reproductions for stage, screen, etc. $44.96
If you want to get a marvelous overview of all major laces of Europe and its colonies from 16th century to early 20th century, this is the book. In an organized fashion and interesting to read she covers needlepoints, bobbin laces, crochet, tatting, embroidered nets, and other minor techniques, giving identifying characteristics with detailed photographs and drawings. Comparison between hand-made and machine-made laces helps you correctly identify the differences. $49.95
Something Old ............
CLASSIC NEEDLEWORK BOOKS
Thousands of books are published every year but many go by the wayside within a year or two. But there are some books that become "classics". These books stay available for many years. Needlework books are no different. I keep those books available for needlework lovers as well as stocking harder-to-find titles, foreign titles, and self-published titles. Below I've listed a number of the "classics" that remain forever popular. Call us at: 1-800-429-5075 if you can't locate a title you are anxious to get. CODE: RKBD13 On to some classics.
CLASSIC NEEDLEPOINT BOOKS
Christensen, Jo Ippolito - The Needlepoint Book - This is definitely the queen of classics in needlepoint books. Originally published in 1976, it was revised in 1999 and is still on top! This is the book to start with and to refer to. Jo includes more that 350 stitches, plus information on materials, designs and project with color illustrations. She includes how to chose the right project, transferring designs, elements of good design: color, proportion, and balance, left-handed needlepoint, finishing techniques, cleaning needlepoint and much more. $25.00
Golden Gate Canvas Workers Chapter - A Background Stitch Reference Book - This book has been through eight printings and has stood the test to time very well. The stitch charts were contributed by chapter members for a study program. The indexing and classification of stitch charts relate exclusively to their use for needlepoint background treatments rather that to focus on stitch structure. Great instructions, information and graphs. $30.00
Blackburn, The Reverend Robert E. - Father B's 21st Century Book of Stitches - This is the sixth edition of his 1982 stitch book This 6'x8" spiral-bound book with its lovely hunter green cover and gold lettering invites you to open it. It's 350 pages of lovely stitches Father B. included something about the history of each stitch, what it can be used for and graphing of the stitch. Some of the stitches might be familiar but many stitches are original and not available elsewhere, while some are very old stitches that needlepointers have forgotten. It's time to get newly acquainted with both the new and the forgotten. $29.95
Clarke, Gary, Embroidery Illusions - They are called illusions because these easy, elegant designs look intricate- as if they took a lot of time and talent to create. The illustrated instructions cover various needlework styles, including satin stitch, couching, beading, cross-stitch, stumpwork, and applque. Choose from nurery rhymes, landscapes, still life, sea creatures, and exotic scenes. Special tips show howto mix projects to make your own originals. $24.95
Paine, Josephine Ruth - Bargello Stars, Shells, and Borders - Published in 1995, this exciting book remains one of my most requested books. The author is one of the most creative needlepoint artists today. In this book she shares her original techniques for bargello, creating a raised scallop shell and more including the use of stars. In the center of the book are pages of the 50+ projects presented in this book. $40.00
Willett, Meredith Barnhill & Beth Robertson - Knots Fur & Turkeywork - First published in 2005 it was reprinted a few years ago to the joy of needleworkers. As the title clearly states, these three types of needlework are clearly examined with wonderful color close-ups and clear black and white graphed diagrams to learn these techniques in short order. $34.95
Zimmerman, Jane D. - Traditional Silk & Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas - This list of "classics" wouldn't be complete without Jane Zimmerman. She has a number of needlepoint books available but because of space, I decided to feature this comprehensive manual with over 320 stitch pattern variations that explores all facets of silk and metal thread embroidery of the past suitable for use in present-day canvas work. Instructions for working the two samplers are included. Gorgeous, large graphs of stitches and lots of valuable information. We do carry her other titles: her two volume set, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Work - volume 1 - $44.95 and Volume II - $48.95 and her Camvas Work Bands and Borders - $34.95.
Brenda Hart is a fabulous teacher, designer, and needlework author. She has a great series of needlepoint books that came out in 1994 and are still constantly requested. If fact, I just received a new shipment of them..
Favorite Stitches - These two hundred stitches are not only her favorite stitches but countless needlepointers too. Each stitch comes with tips on placement and or thread suggestions to make them work on any project. She says, "The majority of the stitch patterns diagrammed in this book can be found in a book, on a building, on a floor, or on a wall or anywhere.. Classy diagrams make following a stitch pattern easy. $39.95
Favorite Stitches Book II - You've probably guessed by now her first book was so well received that a second was called for. Many of the stitch patterns can be used for background stitching. She suggests turning the stitch patterns upside down, or sideways, or reverse the directions, stitch them larger or smaller or simply: Have fun! $39.95
Stitches for the Millennium - As Jo Ippolito Christensen writes in the forward, "So as the old saying goes, there is really nothing new under the sun. BUT Brenda has recycled these old geometric patterns into interesting needlepoint stitches . As I used Brenda's two volumes, I became fascinated anew at how minor changes in stitch length and stitch repetition can create new stitches. Most of the stitches are simple but not simplistic. The best things usually are that way." What better praise can a stitch designer get! $39.95
Jean Hilton books and patterns are true classics and constantly requested Unfortunately, Jean passed on a number of years ago but she was so ahead of her time that her beautiful needlework goes on as fresh and original as it always was. I've included only a few of her book here but we do carry all titles and patterns. One of her books, Unique Bargello, is out-of-print but there is hope it will eventually come back in print.
Stimulating Stitches - This was a follow-up to Needlepoint Stitches, and again, a much requested book. In this book, Jean takes you into her "what if" philosophy" and gives an illustration of this "what if" way of thinking as shown in the Double Fan Doubled motif. $29.95
Chapter Patches - She did these nine patches for the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG). Each design was taught as a program for a chapter's monthly meeting. Each patch has a variation from the original design foundation of a diamond within a square so each patch is different. Again, great instructions and diagrams. $30.00
I wish I could put all her work here But space is limited. The others are available with a call and all titles will eventually be available on our website: RuthKernBooks.com Stay tuned.
P.S. There will be more "classic books" in future blogs.
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CLASSIC EMBROIDERY BOOKS
There are a number of embroidery "classics" but I will include only a few today - more later. All of these books and more will be on my website in the next few months.
Burr, Trish - Long and Short Stitch Embroidery: A Collection of Flowers - I am an ardent fan not only of her books but her designs. In this book Trish selected beautiful flowers and has interpreted them in her own unique style. She brings each flower to exquisite life by the use of carefully selected threads and her intuitive use of carefully selected threads and simple stitches. She includes clear step-by-step instructions and full size templates and lots of great information about technique. $19.95
Mitrofanis, Effie - Casalguidi Style: Linen Embroidery - First printed in 1996, this wonderful book by a master stitcher has passed the tests of time. Effie gives us an historical background of the style as well as examples of traditional designs and motifs. All the techniques and materials, both traditional and contemporary, required to embroidery and make a treasure trove of delightful articles are described step-by-step along with numerous diagrams and over eighty photos in full color. $34.95
For all of you who love blackwork embroidery I have three classic titles to add here:
Perin, Laura J. - Blackwork Patterns - Although printed in 2005, I still have many requests for it. Why? This is a great reference collection of over 600 stitchery patterns showing one-color, two-color, and three-color variations, intended specifically for blackwork designs. She divided these patterns into three categories: Blackwork Patterns - Small; Blackwork Patterns - Medium; and Blackwork Patterns -Large. This book differs from other blackwork pattern books because it takes each pattern and expands its design by adding other thread colors, metallic threads and embellishments such as beads. The graphs are clear and easy to follow so have fun. Perhaps you'll end up creating some of your own patterns. $40.00
Soular, Marion - Why Call it Blackwork? This 35 page classic in blackwork embroidery is like taking a course without leaving your stitching area. Marion is a beloved teacher, designer, and author and this book is sought after by students of embroidery all the time. Great graphs and information. $17.00
Zimmerman, Jane D. - The Art of English Blackwork - Jane has taught this for years and this book has been available since 1996. She loves history (me too!) and gives a wonderful account of this embroidery before she acquaints you with the stitches and designs. This large, spiral-bound 187 page book is chocked full of patterns. $39.95
I've never done hardanger but I do admire it. When I think of hardanger two classic books in hardanger come immediately to mind:
Scoular, Marion - Hardanger - Marion has published a needlework book that takes you through the art of beautiful hardanger. Only 16 pages in length, this little book has been a classic since 1994 and is always snapped up at a seminar even when she is not teaching. This is a great place to begin a new needleart. $8.50
If you are like me you don't relish the finishing part of needlework. However, we nervous Nellies have two great classics to lead us through the process:
Higgins, Sandy - Sandy's Finishing Touches: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finishing Needlework - Available since 1991 this classic was updated and enlarged a few years ago. She starts with blocking, goes to Pillows, Other Edge Finishes, Pillow Stuffing and Closures, Christmas Finishing and all other kinds of projects and special effects. $24.95
Mazu, Patricia M. - Finishing 101: A Workbook of Techniques and Encouragement - Pat's wonderful book reflects her experience in custom embroidery finishing. Here she covers the creation of what she calls soft goods such as pillows, Christmas Stockings, Tote Bags, Purses, and Ornaments. Pat includes space so you can include your own notes and ideas and encourages her readers to go on and develop their own techniques as they become more confident and skilled. $39.95
FOR LEFT-HANDED EMBROIDERERS
The Left-Handed Embroiderer's Companion: A Step-by-step Stitch Dictionary - by Yvette Stanton came out in 2011 but by the number of requests I've received for this title it is already a classic.There is no other book out there, that I know of, that deals totally with left-handed stitchers. Yvette makes it easy to learn stitches whether surface stitches, needlepoint and counted thread in a simple step-by-step format that includes how they should look when finished. She nicely includes how different stitches can be used creatively in your embroidery with color, texture and different types of thread. $28.00
Something New ......
Cox, Shelby - Bead Embroidery: The Essential Guide - Another book in the great series from the Royal School of Needlework this time by Shelby Cox. She presents an expert guide to all aspects of bead embroidery, including information on counted thread beadwork, bead embroidery, beaded surface embroidery, and fringing. You will find stitches and techniques for every sort of needlework that involves beads. Decorative effects are explored too, making this a fantastic source book and great reference book. $21.95
Crabe, Genevieve - How To Make a 100 Bead Embroidery Motifs - These motifs are organized by design category including: floral/botanical, abstract, geometric, and symbolic all presented with easy-to-follow photos and stitch diagrams. She also describes types of beads, needles, and beading threads as well as how to secure beads to fabric, including methods for single beads, beads in a row, stacked designs, fringes and more. $24.99
DeCoster, Marcia - Marica DeCoster's Beads in Motion: 24 Jewelry Projects that Spin, Swing, and Slide - This world famous stitcher has devised great projects that showcase dynamism and movement - from a simple drop that swings from chains to elaborate pieces with intricate components that spin around a core of beads or along a beaded base. $27.95
DeSousa, Karen - Braiding with Beads 2 - Braiding Solutions on the Kumihimo Disk - Karne tackles new ideas and enhances some old ones. New topics include how to braid with cores to get different effects, how to change color mid-braid, how to use cores to change the shape of the braid, how to solve common design problems, what to do when the beads you want to use have holdes that are too small for the desired fiber or the beads are too big for the disk. And tons more! I may have to return to kumihimo, $21.95
Nozue, Sanoko - Japanese Beadwork with Sozue - This book is like taking a fun class with a great bead artist but instead of one project she includes 25. In her first English book she highlights her signature melding of Japanese style with modern dramatic flair. $27.95
Sweet-McNamara, Amee K. - Soutache & Bead Embroidery - Amee introduces us to an old material in a new way, where they can practice new embroidery skills, and create gorgeous, unique pieces of jewelry. Her secret ingredient is soutache, a type of colorful cord that she winds, binds, and stitches into place. The first section teaches readers how to incorporate these techniques into beautiful soutache projects. With photos and illustrations taking the reader every step of the way. $22.99
Causee, Linda - Embroidery Stitch Guide - This guide contains clear instructions and step-by-step diagrams for 58 beautiful embroidery stitches for beginners or as a refresher course. It begins with a general explanation of the supplies and gives tips for stitching and finishing your projects. Each stitch is shown individually in a full-color photo accompanied by how-to illustrations. $9.99
Clouston, Jennifer - Foolproof Crazy Quilting: Visual Guide 25 Stitch Maps 100+ Embroidery & Embellishment Stitches - This maybe quilting BUT embroidery stitches are the stars. This gorgeously illustrated primer shows you how to make your own heirloom crazy quilts. Learn which fabrics, threads, and needles to use: how to piece crazy quilt blocks, how to embroider with thread, ribbons, beads, and other embellishments, and she includes complete instructions for over 100 embroidery, beading and embellishment stitches. There are full-sized patterns for 9 hexagonal crazy quilt blocks; and 25 stitch keys showing proper stitch placement and thread and needle selection for 25 different blocks. $27.95
Kettie, Alice - Hand Stitch, Perspective - This has been called an essential read and reference for any textile student, practicing embroiderer, designer and artist. Each chapter is written by an established maker, embroiderer, artist or academic, and discusses hand stitch from a different perspective. Wonderful illustrations of artistic hand stitch, both contemporary and historical, demonstrate this diverse and intimate craft in detail. (CODE: RKBD13.The contributors draw upon important collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, and the rich archive held by Manchester School of Art in this extensively researched and beautifully presented volume. $55.00
Maillard, Veronique - Ouvrages de Dames: 300 Grilles De Point De Croix - This book is in French but who needs a book of gorgeous lettering in English when the letters are really self-explanatory especially when each letter is graphed. I think this is the most beautiful book on letters to ever be printed. $55.00
Shaw, Mandy - Celebrate With A Stitch - Over 20 stylish projects featuring her unique motifs for births, birthdays, weddings, Christmas and other celebrations. Features bunting and pennant designs that can be adapted to suit any occasion. Perfect for all abilities, with clear step-b7y-step instructions and stitch diagrams for both right and left-handers. $22.99
Aames, Avery - To Brie or Not to Brie - Charlotte Bessette owner of the Fromagerie Bessette known to locals as The Cheese Shop has a lot on her plate setting a date for marriage, feeding the actors in her grandmother's production of Hamelet, and planning the menu for her best friend and cousin's upcoming wedding. At least her new creation - the delicious Brie Blueberry ice cream has turned out perfectly. But four days before the wedding a stranger is found dead in Igloo Ice Cream Parlor's freezer with his head bashed in with a container of Charlotte's ice cream. The stranger is more than he seems and his death threatens to unravel all that Charlotte has worked for. $7.99
Byerrum, Ellen -Veiled Revenge - Washington D.C. Fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian has always believed clothes can be magical but she's never thought they can be cursed until now. Lacey's best friend, Stella, is finally getting married and at her bachelorette party, fellow bridesmaid - and fortune-teller - Marie Lrgesse arrives with a stunning Russian shawl. A shawl, Marie warns, that can either bless or curse the wearer. When a party crasher who mocks the shawl is found dead the next day, the other guests fear the curse has been unleashed. But Lacey has her doubts, and she must employ all her exra-fashion-perception to capture a villian who has vowed that nodbody at this wedding will live happily ever after. $7.99
Connelly, Sheila - Monument to the Dead - The author of the best-selling Buried in a Bog, brings us a new Museum Mystery. As president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, Nell Pratt relies on the generosity of philanthropists. But when someone starts killing benefactors, it's Nell turn to come to the aid of those being murdered. But why are these elderly benefactors being killed? She is determined to find out before anyone else becomes a victim. $7.99
Craig, Elizabeth - Knot What It Seems - Dwindling membership in the Village Quilters is hanging by a thread and group leader, Meadow Downey is desperate to recruit some new blood. With Beatrice Coleman's blessing (she's a retired folk art curator) Meadow tries to get quilt show judge, Jo Paxton, into their group. Jo is a nosy town mail carrier and knows everyone's business and does deliver trouble wherever she goes - did Meadow make a mistake in asking her to join? When a car accident sends Jo to meet her maker, it is discovered someone tampered with her brakes so Meadow begins to believe someone is out to eradicate the group. $7.99
Hamilton, Victorian - Bowled Over - Vintage kitchenware and cookbook collector, Jaymie Leighton has been estranged from her high school best friend Kathy Cooper since they were teenagers, but she never knew what turned Kathy against her. After fireworks at a fourth of July picnic, Jaymie discovers the body of her friend in the park. On the ground nearby is Jaymie's own Depression-era glass bowl broken in two. Because of their tainted past, Jaymie finds herself in the center of a murder as a suspect. $7.99
Howell, Dorothy - Clutches and Curses- Life is looking good for amateur/professional/ fashionista Haley Randolph. She's even close to getting her hands on the Delicious, the season's hottest purse - until she's hit with a curse - from an irate customer at Holt's Department Store. When things go really wrong she transfers to the new store near Las Vegas - and promptly finds the body of Courtney Collins, an old classmate, sprawled across the floor of the mensware department. Now Haley is suspect number #1. $7.99
Madison, Ada - A Function of Murder - This is the fourth title in her Professor Sophie Knowles mysteries. Dr. Knowles is a math professor with a knack for creating complex puzzles that delight her students. At a math department graduation party Sophie hear heated arguments coming from the graduates about Mayor Graves and later on a walk with a date finds the mayor with a knife in his back. $7.99 The other titles in this academic mystery series are: The Square Root of Murder, The Probability of Murder, and a Function of Murder. Each 7.99.
McKinley, Jenn - Cloche and Dagger - This is the first in a new Hat Shop Mystery Series by a New York Times bestselling author. Not only is Scarlett Parkee's love life in the loo - as her British cousin, Vivian Trement, would say - it has also gone viral. Scarlett hops a plane to lay low at her cousin's in London and perhaps join forces in her ladies hat shop. Of course nothing is as simple as it seems. Viv seems to be missing. $7.99
Mayes, Casey - A Gridf for Murder - Savannah Sotone make her livng creating puzzles for logic lovers. But when a novice puzzle maker's number is up, Savannah has to fill in the blanks to solve a murder. Will the police consider puzzle envy a stone enough motive and think she decided to eliminate the competition? It's time for Savannah to sort thrugh Joanne's long list of enemies to find out who was bitter enough to poison the prospective puzzle makers. $7.99
There will be more mysteries in December with an introduction to a mystery author.
Until then Happy Holidays and a Great New Year!!
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