September Blog will publish September 9th 2015 late evening. See you then!
AUGUST BLOG 2015
I find August one of those months that seem to sit there waiting for something to happen. School starts (not in my day which was after Labor day) so the summer feels over already since August vacations are cut short. Poor August! It has no holidays. We have to wait for September - Labor Day - for the next holiday.
But I love August as two of my favorite people celebrate birthdays this month - my son, Ken and his son Garrett, both born on the same day - August 19th. With the kiddies and grandkiddies back in school and summer vacations over, there should be time for more stitching and reading. I'm taking advantage of reading time and heavy into "If Walls Could Talk" by Lucy Worsely, the British historian and curator, I wrote about in July. No disappointment. She uncovers what went on inside the walls of medieval English homes. Absolutely fascinating.
Join me with a cup of tea, goodie and peruse all the neat books I've included here. I hope you get inspired to stitch more.
NEEDLEPOINTING WITH TONY MINIERI
I've met Tony at many needlework seminars since he always visits the book shop. He's a whirlwind of energy and passion for needlework and books. I can't think of a better combination of loves. This is a man of many talents and interests he shares with all of us needleworkers. Or at least most of them. I'm not sure how many of us know he how musical he is. He is a bass/baritone soloist for the New Jersey Choral Society. In fact, as he says, "since I started stitching I have always felt there is a correlation between music and art, and needlepoint is certainly an art form." He's been doing needlepoint for 30 years so I would definitely agree with him on that observation. By the way, certain music evokes certain colors to him. I'm not musical in voice but I have to say great writing put me into a trance and I do see colors.
Color is life in Tony's world and it works into all he sees. His designs reflect that; he finds his inspiration everywhere; architecture, nature, history, shapes of all kinds, and of course among a myriad of other things. Tony is a walking inspiration for all us needlepointers and for life. If you haven't had a class with him you should seriously consider it. But let me warn you, Tony is habit forming - fun is his middle name - and his classes are fun, fun, fun.
What did Tony do before needlepoint called to him? He was a chemistry major and a math minor. Since geometric shapes are prominent in needlepoint and counted stitches are uses this past has been very helpful in new stitch designs. Although he has no formal training in art, he has developed into an artist of some note. He also tried his hand at hair dressing and was introduced to needlepointing from a customer who taught him to basketweave. That episode proves a valuable point I know is the first rule of being creative: creative peoples eyes are wide open to something new; they are always interested in what's happening. They always see lots of stuff many many others would miss and make what I call great "connections."In other words they see how so many things are connected.
I've been thinking a lot about Tony while writing this. I've closed my eyes and tried to picture him in the bookshop at a seminar. I came up with this image: Tony does what he loves. He is singing, needlepointing, and designing through life. Let's join him.
Tony has a "classic" needlepoint project book available. This consists of twelve squares each based on a traditional star quilt pattern. This design is a study in color, texture, stitch, and
thread and is totally counted, but gives us a chance to express ourselves through color and thread choice. Each star pattern is named after a movie star from Hollywood's Golden Age. Each star is linked by a movie in which they both starred. Of course, Tony includes all directions, information, and graphs to make this needlework project fun. $48.95. (Psst! - Don't forget your 20% discount on this book or any of the others. (This month's discount code is Ken15).
POTPOURRI OF NEW NEEDLEWORK BOOKS
Agosin, Marjorie - Stitching Resistance: Women, Creativity, and Fiber Arts - This book contains a collection of multidisciplinary essays written by distinguished scholars, visual artists, and writers. The common thread of these essays addresses the ways in which fiber arts have enriched and empowered the lives of women throughout the world. $49.99
Battle, Susan - In Stitches: Susan Battle's Introduction to Needlepoint - This thin book is for beginners and includes basic stitches, include neat tips to keep you from going wrong. Susan is a well-known stitcher who took first place at the prestigious Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Show. She designs too and owns The Point of it All in Washington D.C. $18.00
Fall, Cheryl - An Embroidered Christmas: Patterns and Instructions for 24 Festive Holiday Stockings, Ornaments, and More - Decorate your home with colorful stockings, embroidered tree centerpieces, and playful ornaments. Wine presented in a hand-stitched bag makes a thoughtful gift, and felt peppermint candies draw the eye. She also includes Nativity figures, a napkin ring, "Noel" banner, Christmas star, a "Wish You a Merry Christmas" sampler. There are 24 Christmas embroidery patterns with step-by-step instructions, complete stitch guide for all of the stitches used in the book and all the basic information you need to get started with embroidery, including fabric choices, needles, threads, and finishing. $21.95
Diaz, Maria - An Embroiderer's Garden: Floral Collection for Hand Embroidery - This author is well-known for her stitching designs that she shares with us in this sourcebook of pretty florals in a variety of sizes. The designs can be used to adorn table cloths, towels, cushions, and clothing. Each pattern has a color key and stitch suggestions indicated. All embroidery techniques used in this book are clearly explained, and drawings that show the type of the embroidery for each part of the pattern. $21.95
Gayle, Judy - Needlework Patterns in the Era of Jane Austen: Ackermann's Repository of Arts - What would Jane Austen have stitched while seated in her drawing room? (By the way, she was a needleworker.) This book is a great source for the needlepoint patterns published in her time - Ackermann's Repository of Arts. These patterns were published in black and white and so are these for experienced needleworkers. $18.95
Penn, Gail - Patchwork Loves Embroidery: Hand Stitches, Pretty Project - Australian designer Gail Pen presents a wide assortment of whimsical projects for quilters, crafters, and hand embroiderers of all skill levels. Create wall hanging, table runners, and more. $24.99
Schlee, Jerima - Take a Tea Towel: 16 Beautiful Projects For Your Home - The projects in this book are based on the simplicity of Shaker design. Use easy-to-follow project templates and quickly sew a bathroom window panel, a chef's apron, padded coat hanger covers, and workroom essentials like a knitting needle roll. Learn a variety of interesting and attractive ways to adorn fabric. $19.9
A LITTLE BOOK SALE
At the end of seminars I have a number of books I used for display copies - in other words, these titles each had a display form on it. These books are new and the display form is gone so they are in excellent condition. Since they were displayed I always sell them for 30% off cover price. So peruse these titles and hopefully there is a book or two you would love to own at a great price. LIMITED COPIES
Armstrong, Carol - Cats in Quilts: 14 Purrect Projects - Our author includes 14 wallhanging projects that showcase realistic cats in lovely garden setting, No templates are required and you can change individual pattern pieces or mix n' match parts from different patterns. $23.95 now $16.77.
Brown, Marcia S. - Distinctive Presentations in Needleart: A Complete Guide to Professional Finishing for Your Needlework - This book has 22 chapters full of individual techniques and color photos and graphic aids to assist in helping even the beginner to professional finish your needleart project in it's best form. Great reviews. $59.95 now $41.97.
Burr, Trish - Crewel and Surface Embroidery: Inspirational Floral Designs - A great designer presents a selection of stylized floral bouquets for embroidery inspired by the work of master decorative painters in the United States and Australia, and by the Zhostovo folk art style from Russia. Her skillful blending of wools, silks and cottons, many of these threads space-dyed, will guide the beginner and inspire experienced stitchers to create this unique style of embroidery. $24.95 now $17.45
Cogswell, Margaret Couch - Book Play: Creative Adventures in Handmade Books - Learn the way a book can take shape with more than 20 unique forms for your own projects. Create a beginner-friendly accordion fold book, oversized travel journal, an unbound book in a box. a roll of tape that dispenses a story.
The author walks you through all the fundamentals of bookmaking as well as creative techniques like sewing, painting, and working with tin. $19.95 now $13.97.
Durant, Judith and Jean Campbell - Beadwork Inspired by Art - Art Nouveau Jewelry and Accessories - Weaving with your own "canvas" of beads and a variety of techniques from stringing to weaving, you'll learn to create the colors, textures, and forms of the Art Nouveau movement, an art style known for its graceful flowing curves and natural shapes. These projects were inspired by the artists favorite masterpieces by some of the world's finest artists. You'll find the historical photo that inspired each project and detailed step-by-step instructions and drawings for beading all twelve projects. $19.99 now $13.99
Halpenny, Sandra D. - Beaded Bracelets Pattern Collection - If you love bracelets you will love making these 14 beaded patterns using the beaded net weave stitch. Most bracelets can be made in a couple of hours. Step-by-step instructions are included. Don't be afraid - try this! $29.95 now $20.97
Hanham, Clare - Beginner's Guide to Silk Shading - Learn how to transfer a design, prepare the fabric, frame up and then work silk shading. You are now ready to create four exquisite designs, featuring climbing leaves, tulips, a butterfly and dog roses. This is for both beginners and experienced embroiderers. $15.95 now $11.17
Haxell, Kale - Super-cute Pincushions: 35 Adorable pincushions all stitchers will love - work with a range of materials including seed beads, buttons, rick-rack, ticking, felt and ribbon to create the cutest pincushions you've ever seen using hand-sewn and machine-stitching. $19.95 now $13.97
Montano, Judith Baker - Free-Form Embroidery - This author, designer, teacher has sold over 775,000 of her books. Wow! She definitely has something to say needleworkers want to hear. In this book she takes you step-by-step of turning your favorite snapshot of any landscape or seascape into fiber art. Learn to create lifelike trees, flowers, ocean corals, and more with 60 stitches and 67 stitch combinations and learn artistic embroidery techniques for building layers, creating dimension and perspective, and blending shapes. $27.95 now $19.53
Roberts, Michele - Needlework Birthstone Jewels - Michele is a wonderful needlepointer, teacher and designer. I love her choices of needlepointed jewels - inspired by the famous jewels of history. She includes lots of information on each stone and a famous jewel is included with each project. Absolutely fascinating. Great graphs and directions. $39.95 now $27.97
Stevens, Helen M. - Embroidered Birds - This is one of Helen M. Stevens' wonderful embroidery books. Who doesn't love our feathered friends? She includes over 20 inspirational studies from nature brought to life in pure silk threads that includes five practical masterclass embroidery projects with step-by-step color photos showing the work in progress. Some of the birds include: the mallard drake, the hummingbird, the green woodpecker, the spectacular bald eagle and the bright vibrant bluebird. $24.99 now $17.49
Wells, Carol Wilcox - Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loon Stitches - Learn the classic techniques of weaving beads together without a loom. This classic book takes you through each stitch step-by-step to create not only jewelry but bowls, baskets, vessels, handbags and 3-dimensional instructions for the most popular off-loom stitches - peyote stitch, brick stitch, right-angle weave, square stitch, African helix, netting and chevron chain. Includes 200 step-by-step illustrations and 20 great projects to make as well as a full-color gallery of some of the best bead weavers. $18.95
Michler, J. Marsha - Crazy Quilting: The Complete Guide - This great book is spiral-bound for easy use. Learn 10 different methods for piecing, more than 100 embroidery stitches for ribbons, flosses and threads, techniques for dyeing, painting, stamping, printing, and embroidering on silk, cotton, instructions for adding buttons, beads, tassels, cording and other dimensional embellishments and tips for finishing your quilts. $29.95 now $20.97
Stanton, Yvette - Elegant Hardanger Embroidery - Learn how to create the stitches of hardanger, how to work those harder stitches, hints and tips that you normally only learn in classes, how not to be afraid to cut the fabric threads, how to fix mistakes and do some projects. $19.99 now $13.99
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE
CLASSIC NEEDLEWORK BOOKS - One Classic Author, Many Great Books
I've known Jane Zimmerman for years. When, 25 years ago, I set up my first ANG seminar Jane entered the book shop and got acquainted. I soon learned she had a sharp wit and a reputation as a masterful needlework teacher and designer. Mark, my husband is also very witty and over the years they had a great time together matching wits. He loved her visits. Jane has been teaching for over 40 years and has an encyclopedic knowledge on needlework, even its history. She no longer travels to seminars to teach but she does still teach both in person and on-line. Take a class if you can but as a needleworker you will definitely want her books in your library. Below are a list of her classic titles.
Traditional Silk and Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas - This classic published in 1995 is still a very requested book. It's 8 1/2 by 11 book, spiral-bound for easy use, 199 pages in length with over 320 stitch pattern variations that explore all facets of silk and metal thread embroidery of the past that are suitable for use in modern-day canvas. Instructions are included for the working of the samplers featured on the covers. $39.95
The Art of English Blackwork - This book was published in 1995 so it is celebrating its 20 year anniversary and still going strong. This book contains one of the largest selection of blackwork patterns - 1000's of possible variations. She also includes chapters on the historical development, and a selection of borders. $38.95
Canvas Work Bands and Borders - This book was published in the 90's - 157 pages of 551 bands and borders in easy-to-follow diagrams. The variations are based on Mosaic, Straight Goblein, Crossed, Plaited, Eyelet and Tied Stitch, with an addition to a selection based on Florentine work, Florentine and Pulled Work combined with Pattern Darning. $35.95
Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery - Vol. I - This initial volume published in 2005, contains 385 variations of Mosaic, Cashmere, Scotch, Gobelin, Eyelet and Plaited needlepoint stitches. Each variation in this 165 page book includes a photo of a stitched sample and easy-to-follow diagram. $44.95
Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery - Vol II - This was published in 2008, this second volume contains 433 variations of Diagonal, Crossed, Woven, Tied and Miscellaneous needlepoint stitches. Each variation in this 175 page book includes a photo of a stitched example. $48.95
Background Stitches - Volume 1 - The variations offered are not only suitable for backgrounds but also for the filling of elements within a design, a few for shading these elements and ones with horizontal or vertical united can be arranged as a band or border for the design. $19.95
LEA WAITE - SHE WRITES NEEDLEPOINT MYSTERIES FROM HER HOME IN MAINE
Writing needlepoint mysteries isn't Lea's first attempt at mysteries. She wrote the eight book series: Shadows Antique Print Mystery Series which was a finalist in Agatha awards. This historian and antique dealer also writes historical novels for ages 8 and up set in nineteenth century Maine. As far back as she can remember she wanted to live on the coast of Maine be a wife, mother and write. She adopted her four daughters, who came from Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong and India; as a single parent, in 1998. She married artist Bob Thomas in 2003, a man, she likes to say, she knew only 12,994 days. I've been reading
her book, Living and Writing on the Coast of Maine, and am finding it a delightful read and Lea a fascinating character with a neat story to tell. I would love to visit her house on the coast of Maine - it was built in 1774. If you want to read about an independent woman who is an inspirational model for creativity her book that I mentioned above is $9.00.
Her needlepoint mystery series, "A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery" takes place in a coastal Maine town call Haven
Twisted Threads - After leaving a decade ago, Angie has been called back to Haven Harbor by her grandmother, Charlotte, who raised her following her mother's disappearance when she was a child. Her mother has been found dead, but who did it?
Her grandmother has started her own needlepointing business with a group called Mainely Needlepointers. But a business
associate of the stitchers dies under suspicious circumstances, Charlotte and Angie become suspects. Angie goes to work weaving clues together and discovers this new murder may have ties to her own mother's cold case. $7.99
Threads of Evidence - In 1979 a teenaged girl whose family owned a large Victorian summer home in Haven Harbor, Maine, died suddenly. Was it an accident, as the police report said? Or does her deserted home, or the needlework inside, hide clues to what really happened at that Labor Day party? And why is a famous Hollywood actress now so determined to renovate the home and become a part of the Haven harbor community? $7.99
Thread and Gone - When a priceless antique is stolen, murder unravels the peaceful seaside town of Haven Harbor, Maine. Angie Curtis and her Mainely Needlepointers know how to enjoy their holidays. But nothing grabs their attention like tying up loose threads. So when Mary Clough drops in on the group's supper with a question about an antique she's discovered in her family attic, Angie and her revelers are happy to look into the matter. Angie's best guess is that the mystery piece may have been stitched by Mary, Queen of Scots, famous not just for losing her head, but also for her needlepointing. If Angie's right, the piece would be extremely valuable. For safekeeping, Angie turns the piece over to the family lawyer, who places it in a safe in her office. But when the lawyer is found dead with the safe open and ransacked, the real mystery begins. $7.99 DUE OUT IN DECEMBER.
As I mentioned Lea Wait also writes exceptional juvenile fiction. Her novel, Stopping to Home, that takes place in the 19th century is now available in paperback. After losing her mother to smallpox and her father to the sea, 11 year-old Abigail must build a new life by herself and her younger brother, Seth. But carving a future in the harsh 19th-century Maine seaport of Wiscasset proves difficult. 8.99
Since I'm on the subject of needlework mysteries I'm going to add embroidery to the mix. Amanda Lee has an embroidery mystery series - number nine in the series is due in November of 2015 to good reviews. I've included the most current four here:
Cross-Stitch Before Dying - Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to find out that show biz and sew biz don't mix. Marcy's mom Beverly is the costume designer for a lavish, Bollywood-style production and she suggests Tallulah Falls as a great place to shoot part of the film. Everyone at the embroidery shop, and around town, is in a flutter that a glamorous movie production is taking place in their midst. But when the star of the film is found murdered, the police suspect Marcy's mom, who made it no secret she did not care for the diva's attitude regarding her wardrobe. Marcy might as well issue an open call for suspects, because the star had a long list of enemies. To save her mom's career and keep her from accessorizing with handcuffs, Marcy and her friends will need to stitch together the clues to catch one crafty killer who may have designs on Marcy next. $7.99
Thread End - Marcy can't wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her embroidery enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion. The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer. $7.99
Wicked Stitch - A grudge against Marcy and her shop lead to big trouble at the Renaissance Faire. Her nemesis, Nellie and her sister, Clara set up competing booths right next to Marcy's. When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth - strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting - Marcy becomes the prime suspect. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep her reputation from unraveling - and get to the bottom of a most deadly yarn. $7.99
The Stitching Hour - The future of Marcy's embroidery shop is dangling by a thread. For its first anniversary celebration in October Marcy's got all sorts of celebratory swag planned. Unfortunately, her new neighbors, might spoil the revelry. An eccentric couple has opened a haunted house next door, and all that screaming will certainly scare off customers. But there's even more to be frightened of after a local waitress is found dead on the sidewalk with mysterious markings on her neck and one of Marcy's key rings beneath her. $7.99 Due in Nov 2015.
OTHER MYSTERIES FOR YOU TO PERUSE
Alexander, Ellie - A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery - Autumn in Ashland, Oregon, is the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family's beloved bake shop by competing in the Pastry Channel's reality show and win its cash prize. But as Jules quickly learns some people would kill for that kind of dough. Includes recipes. $7.99
Beaton, M.C. - The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin Mystery - When the town baker playing the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke, he doesn't reappear at final curtain. Agatha and her team have a murder on their hands- and the danger grows as they get closer to the killer. $7.99
Bonner, Brynn - Picture Them Dead: A Family History Mystery - In this third whodunit in the series, a professional genealogist duo searches for the link between a death from long ago and a modern-day murder. Could the clues to a recent murder finally help this soul rest in peace? $7.99
Budewitz, Leslie - Butter off Dead: A Food Lovers' Village Mystery - In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers' Film Festival. But when her partner in planning is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling. Includes recipes. $7.99
Burdette, Lucy - Fatal Reservations: A Key West Food Critic Mystery - In the latest Key West Food Critic mystery, the fight for Mallory Square has renewed old rivalries between Hayley's Tarot-card reading friend Lorenzo and a flaming-fork-juggling nemesis, Bart Frontgate. Things take a deadly turn when Bart is found murdered. Includes recipes. $7.99
Corrigan, Maya - Scam Chowder: A Five-Ingredient Mystery - Val Deniston is used to her grandfather's catastrophes in the kitchen, but not in the dining room where one of his dinner guests winds up face down in the chowder. The demised diner scammed Granddad's best buddy, and the police have all the ingredients to cook up a conviction for Granddad. Includes six five-ingredient recipes. $7.99
Furlong, Susan - Peaches and Scream: A Georgia Peach Mystery - When murder threatens her family's orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm's reputation. With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects before she becomes ripe for the killer's picking. Includes recipes. $7.99
Hamilton, Victoria - Death of an English Muffin: A Merry Muffin Mystery - Baker Merry Wynter finds a handful of renters eager to live in Wynter Castle, but most of them are crumby, tea-swilling old biddies led by the terrible nasty - and fabulously wealthy - Cleta Sanson. After the abrasive Englishwoman meets an embarrassing end, Merry must quickly find the killer before another of her guests gets greased. Includes recipes. $7.99
Harris, Sherry - The Longest Yard Sale: A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery - When Sarah Winston turns Ellington, Massachusetts into New England's largest garage sale for a day, a valuable painting goes missing, and the lifeless body of an Air Force officer is found in Carol Carson's painting studio. $7.99
Hechtman, Betty - Wound Up in Murder: A Yarn Retreat Mystery - Dessert chef Casey Feldstein continues to develop her hidden talents for knitting and solving murders. After her ex-boyfriend takes center stage as a prime murder suspect, Casey and her friends will have to stitch together the clues before the real killer pulls a disappearing act. Includes knitting patterns and a recipe. $7.99
Hyzy, Julie - Grace Cries Uncle: A Manor House Mystery - Grace Wheaton's beloved boss and benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, has finally gotten her to agree to a DNA test to establish if he is her uncle. If so, Grace would become his heir. And her duplicitous sister would be right behind her in the line of inheritance. $7.99
Lowell, Virginia - Dead Men Don't Eat Cookies: A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery - As the national bestselling Cookie Cutter Shop mysteries return, things are heating up for Olivia Greyson and the rest of the crew at The Gingerbread House - until a cold case puts their plans on ice. Recipes included. $7.99
McAndrews, Jennifer - Death Under Glass: A Stained Glass Mystery - When her best friend, Carrie, is robbed, and Carrie's ex-husband's office burns down, Georgia has to put down her glass and cutter to get to the bottom of the trouble. Carrie insists she doesn't have enemies, but Georgia is determined to find out who's targeting her friend and why. 7.99
Meier, Leslie - French Pastry Murder: A Lucy Stone Mystery - Beloved sleuth Lucy Stone is saying "Au revoir!" to Tinker's Cove, Maine, and "Bonjour!" to Paris. But her dreams of la vie en rose are put on hold when the City of Lights turns deadly. $7.99
Moran, Terrie Farley - Caught Read Handed - From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Dead, comes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore café. Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones. 7.99
Penny, Louise - Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel - With this award-winning first novel, Penny introduces Inspector Armand Gamache, who commands his forces with integrity and quiet courage. Locals are convinced a murder is no more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache uncovers something more sinister. $7.99
Reed, Hannah - Hooked on Ewe: A Scottish Highlands Mystery - In national bestselling author Reed's latest Scottish Highlands mystery, aspiring romance novelist Eden Elliott discovers the landscape isn't the only thing that's dramatic when a local woman is done in. $7.99
Wenger, Christine - Macaroni and Freeze: A Comfort Food Mystery - In the latest from the national bestselling author of Diners, Drive-ins, and Death, Trixie Matkowski finds herself in hot water after a killer gets cheesed off at a celebrity chef. Includes home-style recipes. $7.99
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