DIY Paper Hydrangeas

Aimee from Twigg Studios made a bunch of beautiful paper hydrangeas in blue- a craft I just couldn’t resist!

I love Hydrangeas. Back in the dreamy hill days, hydrangeas frequented our little beach themed cottage in brass flower pots or bright cups if it were to be put in the porch. We grew with them and also grew them from cuttings, and they were everywhere! In shades of pink, lime green and pale pink. You know…happy days!

In Bombay, I’d sell my soul to you if you can make them survive. From dipping cuttings in rooting hormones to trying to make it grow roots in water- I’ve tried and miserably failed. Apart from short lived blooms (which came with the cuttings) I’ve had nothing. Them blasted hydrangeas…

This was a great way to have them- Forever!

Aimee in her blog has done it in a slightly different way- you can see it all here.

I (the lazy bum central) chose an easy way out and it worked just fine. Here’s how:

Supply

Parchment paper

Scissor

Wooden Skewers

Fake leaves

Water colors if you want a colored one

How

Cut strips of parchment paper- about 3″ wide and 30 cm long

Fold them in squares (Follow the collage above)

Once if you have fold them in squares, draw flowers- 4 petal or 5 petal, up to you. Draw the flowers on the center and cut them out- remember, we want individual flowers, not connected to each other. So keep some margin.

Once you have lots and lots of flowers, string two in each skewer.

Pierce the centers of each with the sharp end and pull them towards the base end. That way you’ll have a concave structure too.

Repeat the entire process until you have a bunch you absolutely adore!

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Tuesday

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty
Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesday 

 
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Sunday

The Scrub that’s got everyone talking!

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So yeah! a very happy sunday to you all! I am here to talk about a scrub that got quite a bit of attention over the past few weeks!

You see, much as I would love to say that after a 10 hour-full time job, after managing laundry and dishes, and a husband who demands all my attention, and a rabbit that gives me look when i give him spinach I just do not get time- truth is I am lazy. I just do not want to step out of the house on a Sunday unless this 28 year old kid I call husband takes me out on a date or drives me. I mean I don’t know how to drive because I always thought if I knew how to they’d make me drive relatives and friends and family around. For the longest time I avoided cooking too for the same reasons 🙂

Look at me shameless and alright!

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So it all happened, this way, the scrub-

When  I expressed my ardent displeasure in my jiggly thighs- the princess of Egypt AKA Eman Sayyed Fathy gave me a solution that she thinks is common science and I think is stolen from Cleopatra’s tomb! Coffee beans are natural skin exfoliator and work on cellulite like wonder. What’s best is – throw in some sugar and some olive oil and you have a body polishing scrub that work 3 ways-

a) reduce cellulite

b) hydrates your skin

c) Prevents body hair from coming back

What else would you need from a scrub? You tell me.

IMG_0898So here goes the recipe!

Coffee beans residue

Olive oil (I freeze and keep in cubes)

Cocoa powder (for a hint of smell and color)

Sugar (Brown/white)

IMG_0899Mix it all up and scrub your body thrice a week while bath.

When you see the difference- come and let me know!

update: this scrub actually is Eman’s German roomie’s beauty tip. Apparently, some Brazilian guy is also involved in making this scrub effective saying brazilian coffee works best. So yeah- authenticity is pending. The result though is unmatched!

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Tuesday

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
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Wednesday

Primp – Primp Your Stuff Wednesday

Wow us wednesdays- savvy southern style

Thursday

Beyond the Picket Fence

From My Front Porch To Yours – Treasure Hunt Thursday

Friday
The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday

Show and Tell Friday

Merry Christmas: Christmas Home, Christmas cake and 70’s pop art!

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♥ Sparkly corners, little things, joy and sunshine

Smiles. Gingham cloth on breakfast table. Freshly baked bread

Pear tarts.. Yum.

Family time, love time, under the holiday sun

The man in the kitchen, grilled fish over lemon grass

That little black dress, red wine, Christmas pudding, fairy lights

Quiet corners to dream away, Hot chocolate, Polar express, flannel pajama with teddy bear on it.

Fluffy blankets, movie time, secretly watching stars at midnight!

A glittering Christmas tree with hopes for a better world on its branches.

Wishing you a thoughtful Christmas if you are reading it and all the things above ♥

IMG_9801Now, for the super easy Christmas cake Recipe:

In a sauce pan, put to boil brown sugar, raisins, grated ginger (1/2 teaspoon), cinnamon (2 teaspoon) and Jack Daniels Whiskey

In another bowl, cream 2 eggs and 3/4th cup sugar. When fluffy and doubled, add dry mixture (1 and a 1/2 cup flour, 3 heaps tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt)

Fold it in nice and easy and add chopped almonds.

Bake in 220 (centre rack) for 10 minutes, turn down to 180 and bake for another 20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs attached to it.

This is a dense cake and should be like it. It’s not light and airy and decadent at all. Your cake should have a packed, dense base.

Enjoy with coffee or cocoa.

Merry Christmas all!

Christmas

Love & Christmas tradition

Cyber Monday is gone and I didn’t buy anything online. Makes me feel so poor! I’ve been eyeing a teaset for one on Amazon.com but didn’t buy. Not that buying on Cyber Monday is a tradition in here; in fact I have never bought stuff online on Cyber Monday anyway. Just a passing thought and an excuse to buy stuff I guess…

But what is tradition in this hot and sunny corner of the world, is to sit by the air condition on the night before Christmas, sip wine and decorate the Christmas tree together. This is also where I’ll talk about love.

Not so long ago when I dated this man in this house, we use to frequent a slope. It was our favorite spot. You see, we were not the “happening” couple, frequenting discs. We both love our beer with Smashing Pumpkins or Devendra Banhart, lying down on the slope, as the sun goes down and as the stars starts twinkling. We both appreciate silence, deep breaths and recollecting thoughts. So on one such occasion, I expressed my sadness about being away from family and not getting to celebrate Christmas, not having a tree. Those days I used to share a room with a roomie. This man gets up and tells me, well, why not? “We can buy the tree and deck it.” I was not ready for it. I was absolutely not sure what to say considering I shared a room so, I said, “Well, I don’t have a house of my own and I’m sure you would not do this for me every year so I should get used to it”. He took out a piece of paper and wrote these lines down:

“I will be there for Christmas every year. When you have a home for yourself, I will buy you 1 new tree every year, each tree bigger than the year before and we’ll celebrate it just like you used to. If by passing year the tree gets too big and we can’t buy, I’ll make it for you. I’ll come from office, take out 2 hours everyday and make you a tree to the roof”

After all these years, he still keeps his promise every year. We have negotiated a bit on the tree height but there is never a Christmas that he is not around and we are not sipping wine by the cooler, decking the tree up, the night before Christmas. This guy’s love is for real. I now share a beautiful house with him which we call home.

I have put him through a lot. I whine, I cry, I am overtly emotional at times, I pretty much torture him. But he never walked away. He never gave an excuse, never lied.

He may not be the romantic guy who gets you expensive gifts. He is definitely not the one who surprises you with breakfast in bed. But hey, he is the guy who buys me pink roses, 2:30 at night and tells me whenever he passes this flower shop, he thinks of buying. But the traffic doesn’t allow! He is the one who keeps a record of the most minute things I like and I dislike and sorts me out. He is the guy who once told me that down the line your life will be divided in two parts: one that do not have me and the one that does. I now see the difference.

That’s us on two wee hearts! We drew them with markers and we dangle on the tree, very close to each other. Another tradition that we made up. Writing our names on ornaments, and hang it the last on the tree, beside each other. Lets see who else makes it here.

Its been 6 years that I am dating him and I just cant get enough of this man and his ways. As I took out our holiday decor accents, I couldn’t help but do this post. I assure you there is love. Just believe.

toodles XO

P.S: Do not forget our Enamel sign Giveaway 

Hutch Reveal, How to fill scratches in wood & What’s coming up this week

Hutch makeover story, folks, hutch makeover story is what we have here in this teeny apartment. From rags to riches, from zero to hero- come on, have a look, darlings, come on now.

haha, much as I want to sound like a professional hawker, the fact remains unaltered that I suck at it. But what I really don’t suck at is reusing things! The carpenter gave up on it and told me to put sun mica sheet worth 500 bucks, the paint guy refused to paint it and some advised to change the whole panel because the “scratches are too deep”.  No scratch in this world is too deep to not heal- you hear me?

In fact, making a wood plank or piece look like new is surprisingly easy. All you need is sand-paper, putty and lots of patience.

Remember the hutch I made last week by assembling a shelf and a cabinet? It had just one flaw. The wooden doors beneath the cream and gold cloth were completely abused- it had ugly scratches which apparently came from attaching sunmica on it- when I first bought it, not to mention, the cabinet came with an ugly sunmica sheet which was uggs as hell.

Denied help from pretty much everyone, I remembered my late uncle’s word: “Putty can heal hearts too”. He was from the airforce and did pretty much everything till the day he passed away- from cooking to sorting cracked ceiling. He was a genius.

So I went to the hardware guy, asked for a can of putty, putty knife, water paper with 3m grits, a can of white paint and 2 medium brushes. And with this as my arms I began…

Top left is where I started.

Step 1: How to remove dendrite/adhesive off the wood

Best is if you use a thinner but warm soapy water and sand paper will do the trick. Just let it stand wet for about 10-15 minutes before scrubbing

Step 2: How to fill in gaps or scratches

PUTTY. woodwax is good if you are working small scale. If you are working with more scratches per square centimeter than wood, you better go with putty. With a putty knife, apply putty on all the scratches and then strike smooth. a putty knife is a square tin plate than helps you even the surface.

Step 3: How long should the putty stay before I paint over

A day or as much time as it takes to dry completely

Step4: smoothing the putty

take water paper and soak it in water. Rub it over the puttied surface in circular motion to smoothen any bumps. If required fill in any gaps that has not been done and wait for sometime

Step 5: Painting

Once the putty is dry, paint it over with a rolling foam. If you want a shabby texture, give strokes of light blue first and paint with white over it, when its 75% dry. This will give you a worn off look and give a lovely hint of tones, once sanded

Step 6: Sanding the paint

With a sand paper (light grit), sand it over for a smooth surface and a distressed look

can you see the texture?

There are 2 tiny holes, which needs to be filled with white cement but I have plans for it 🙂

This is my final hutch reveal- the baskets are coming for insides!

Here’s how my tiny room looks with everything in place.

I know its small and nothing but hey, that’s the challenge!

Likey or no likey?

The light were really low today so the yellow wall is seeming a little whiter. the wall is yellow 🙂

have a great week ahead

COMING UP THIS WEEK

French pots & growing microgreens for decor

How to make vintage look alike tin boxes under 10$

Some knobs I ordered for cabinets

Easy Coconut macaroon recipe

An antique find

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Wednesday

DIY: Kitchen Shelf to Beach House open Hutch

Morning people! A warm hi from the wannabe beach house and we have a beachy hutch in white and Robin’s Egg blue! Cool or cool no! Oh and do you think I should change trumatter to The wannabe beachhouse as my blog name? Do let me know your thoughts!

Now, onto the beachy hutch that I am oh-so-loving!

You see, like most of you I am not fortunate enough to have my own house. It’s been 5 years that I am making peace with the fact that I stay in a rented apartment and that I cannot alter lay outs or drill walls and fit things. I have to live with fluorescent green as my living room wall color and bad, black cheap granite as my kitchen counter top. There is nothing I can do about it.

Because of such limitations my stoneware and crockery was stashed away below my kitchen counter all this while- I cannot install open shelf and I hate glass cases for my stoneware. It just doesn’t cut for me. I used to take it out from time to time but there was no way I could display it and also have it at hand when needed. No way, until I discovered that my spices can actually go below the counter and the shelf can be fit on top of a 2 door, half length dresser! What on earth! Why didn’t I think of this before??

Here’s the shelf and the dresser individually:

Phew! Now that I think about it, I wonder how I pulled it off, considering I am supra lazy.

Here are the gross steps:

Day 1

First, I washed the shelf thoroughly (lots of grease, seeds and stuff to clean) and took out its extensions on the base. (See photograph below)

Next I put it on top the dresser and drilled 4 holes through the shelf base.

Step 3, I secured the shelf with the dresser top

Step 4: I gave it 1 coat of pure white and let it dry.

Day 2

I gave the rims and the dresser top 2 coats of Robin’s egg blue or you know what, you can call it trumatter’s beach blue because I mix it up myself with 1 can of pure white and 2:1 ratio of blue and green. Feel free to call it what you like.

Next, I opened up the doors of the dresser and attached a cream and gold fabric on it- This is temporary and you shall see new doors to this very, very soon. This is simply “kaam chalau” 😛 which means “for the moment”

Step 3 of day 2: I stud it with my stoneware and china and put an “ocean” sign on top which I made myself. The conch is a gift from ma from Orissa.

Although there are a lot of changes that need to be done in terms of decorating and I’ll hang teeny jam jars from its sides but the improvement was too large to not put it up. Or maybe let’s call this Part 1 🙂

I am loving the change, the color against yellow and everything that came together as one.

What do you all think about this? Suggestions welcome!

Linking up @

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty
Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesday 

 
Wednesday
Thursday
Sunday

DIY: Beachy Planter from nail box & Tropical House plants

Afternoon lovelies.

It’s 3:06 here in India, lunch has been had, the air-conditioner is making me sleepy, I’m at work but I have no work so yeah, perfect time to blog about a recent addition in my wanna be beach home- a super white, chippy little beachy planter that’s gracing my end table at the mo!

But she was not a beautiful beachy planter when I found her. When she was rescued day before yesterday evening, she was just a scared tattered, beaten, battered and sad with time nail box. I wonder how many tears she’s shed!

So I picked her up and fixed her up.

First, she needed to be washed. That evil carpenter kept her under shackles in a dim corner, unwashed, unfed. Here she is~

She was numbered – 922! God only knows what evil number that is.

After a good wash, it was time for some for some body polishing and nutrition-WP (White paint. Ya, you guessed it right)

I gave it a good sanding and 3 coats of paint, white, beach blue and white again. I let it rest for 2 days and sanded again to chip.

Step next was a message I’d like to have.

I taped two sides to keep my alphabets in line and wrote: “Nurture”. I wanted to write “Beach” or something beach house but somehow the word nurture really appealed to me. Or maybe its the subtle quality, the attribute I’m intrigued about. What may look like a lifeless bean is actually an entire tree- all it needs is suitable conditions or nourishment. We are but a clump of cells if not for the nourishment of our our mother’s womb which put life onto our wee bones. The barren open plot opposite my window is now full of trees- it’s been raining for a while. The monsoons nourished the grounds. I keep looking out at the field everyday and each day i see something new. It’s a miniature ecology system, mushrooming right infront of my eyes. Today I saw 3 marigold plants in full bloom. Who put them there? The wind. Who nourished them? The earth. It’s magic. I sound like I’m stoned, but I am not. We see a lot of things everyday but we don’t look. If you look carefully, you’ll see tiny developments in everything, everyday and it will befuddle you. That magic within that makes it happen is “nurture”.

Once everything was completely dry, I sprayed it with a coat with clear varnish and let it dry for another 6 hours before planting the shade loving coleus! Love the bright red leaf with green rims + it takes one very little to keep them happy!

So, what do you all think? I’m going to heaven or no?

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

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Goa

 So this explains why I was missing.

I took some days off and ran to Goa with Ro and couple of friends- a place I always think I’ve had enough of but always fall in love with.

Quaint Portuguese homes, lots of old bottles on white fence that reflects sunlight, cheap booze, dreamy porches, lazy days, fantastic sea-food, outdoor lunches, soft grass and vehicles of perceptions- what’s not to like, eh! You see, in my heart’s heart, I’m a 60’s child- muted by this mundane modernism and “making it”. So whenever there’s a scope to go beyond what’s visible, I lap it up.

For all those who don’t know about this little state (apart from the fact that it shared the fame of being a hippie capital since the 60’s and continues to be) Goa is the smallest state in India which also ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators. You’ll know its true when you walk past the beautiful cottages of the locals- they are educated, they know how to do business, they hardly or never cheat, expect fluent English from even the fishmonger, they are polite, you’ll find most of them running small accommodation and food joints and chilling with a small hatchback, kids and dogs, there are no cops-no thugs, and most importantly- There is no running or queues!

There are silent roads, pretty white churches, Sunday mass, lots of flowers, sea, sand, hills and fabulous local sea-food.

In Arambol, one of the best places I have been by far! These rocks remind me of high seas, crashing ships, pirates and see if you can see something extra in there- on top! Some one cared to paint one of the peaks!!! Yay- now that’s crazy Goa!

It was raining all along- yes, this is the “off-season” but tell you what, this is when its real fun. No honey-mooning mushy Indians, no aunties and uncles to give you vibe, no whatever crowd, no blown out of proportion rates- its just perfect. We found a beautiful room for less than 10$ a day in Martha’s Breakfast Home- a home run bed and breakfast joint by Mabel, Martha’s daughter or like! Loved her home, the luscious garden, her sugar bags but not too much her dogs!

This is where we stayed!

But no trip in monsoon is complete without our amphibian friends and the karma chameleon. Is it?

I really had to go close enough to get this one- but I guess he was kinda okay with me. He even looked at me for a great pose- too bad i shook the cam!

Frogs I think for that matter of fact really mind being photographed. This wee one ran away before I could take a closer shot at his neon mid rib. Trippy, huh? Do frogs eat chikoo? Because if he does, he was definitely at the right spot!

We ate breakfast beneath the chikoo tree and lazed our afternoons beside the pool- this was a different kind of blue!

And of course there aint no chilling without some red wine straight off the bottle!

And some food- Deep fried king prawns with poppy seeds, Lady fish fried, crabs in Goan masala, and a burger from a friend we know, who is a chef for Bella Rosa, Goa!

That’s a lot of food yeah! But you know this would not have been possible without our ride and my so patient sponsor!

Love this ride! Light, peppy and perfect. I’m gonna buy one of these.

And….

My very cool fiance with extra ordinary amount of patience, of whom I’m a sidekick! The one who loves standing next to a blue bamboo fence…

Gopal Dadhich and Sareeta Meena.

A very comfortable pair to hang out with, with no tantrums what so ever. Gopal is a freelance CA and runs his own beach shack in Arambol called Maya. (Open from September to March). Sareeta is a designer who works exclusively with organic materials and fabric- her brand Maya Ethno was recently featured in Times and this 25 year old shows potential. She holds exhibitions, events and hand stitches every detail in her clothes.

🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed this bit

Have a great week ahead!

DIY Shabby Chic Hydrangea Vase with modgepodge from Wine Bottle

Hello Gorgeousnesses! How have you been rolling? I’m rolling in time ladies, rolling in ma-time.

Firstly, the man went on a small trip so that leaves me with a lot of time and comfort food (read: desserts for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Secondly, since time seems to be no issue I shopped my heart out at our nearest Hobby Ideas- modgepodge, embossing powder, gel transfer, canvas, name a craft and I’ll be able to pull it off. Thirdly, I have drinking ‘some’ wine lately and my new favorite is Golconda Port. It not only tastes like manna but also comes in a beautiful narrow neck glass bottle with a faint green tinge that is too darling to throw away! Thinking of throwing them away, thinking of their fate made me shudder…

 So fate (which in this case is me) had pity on them and decided that they will  be allowed to stay in this whitewashed house, somewhere near the bay as a vase- the one with hydrangeas in it. Fate also decided that they will be paired fantastically with a set of vintage China in classic blue and white and would grace the white center table in the living room. So what did the army of fate think? So be it!

But since this was my first project with modgepodge, I faced some pressure points that I’ll talk about in the direction section. But its nothing sort of disaster, so no worries. First up:

Supplies for Wine bottle Vase

Wine bottle (Clear)

Acrylic Paint in color of your choice

Modgepodge (I used matte)

A design, printed out in reverse with an inkjet printer or you can buy premade designs from your craft store

A brush

Water spray

Directions

I have assembled a small photo-instruction, I hope this helps. Read below for the pressure points and how to deal with modgepodge. Also what you absolutely must not do

hahaha. Okay, the don’ts first then:

1. I have seen a lot of DIY modgepodge ideas on the net and tried every single one of them. But can I tell you that it DOES NOT WORK. Buy modgepodge off your craft store for its chemically made to act as a building agent. If you make it at home, you wont be able to pull off the pulp that easy for plain white glue tend to dissolve in water unlike modgepodge.

2. 4-5 hours is not enough. Once set, keep your modgepodge overnight. Believe me, been there done that. It will be a disaster.

3. Be very gentle while rubbing out air-bubbles- if the paint is wet, it might tear

Now, for the Pressure points while using modgepodge

1. Once dry, spray your image with water and start rubbing off in circular motion first. When about 30% pulp is removed, rub off more gently in one direction.

2. Be patient. Yes, coming from me its kind of ironic but if you hurry burry, it will spoil the curry. You will rub off the image.

3. Once you have achieved the desired result, wipe it with a wet cloth and apply atleast 3 coats of modgepodge, sanding once in between with a fine sand paper. Again gentle is the key

If you honestly follow these, you’ll end up with a finely done modgepodged image that is uniform and looks like its a part of the base.

Also, if I can be patient, you can 😛

Likey or no likey?

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Sunday

DIY: Vintage French Bottles


As much as I like the beach house style, I like Parisian. From its history, culture, cuisine, style and steez- I am a French fan. And talking about countries that make me go weak on knees, Britain would be topping the list. Again! I’m fascinated by its history, the great poets that rose from its soil, the untamed meadows, cobbled roads, baker street, industrial docks, Hardy, Wordsworth and Coleridge, Thames, Hyacinths and of course, in terms of styling and decor, the English country style. Sometimes I am too lost as to how exactly should I style my house- all 3 appeals to me in equal intensity. But I guess it’s our old home palette is what constantly inspires me to keep it beach themed with touches of Parisian chic and hints of English Country. So far, so good!

My recent decor pang is French vintage bottles. The type that has old labels on it and are obnoxiously priced. But being me, quite obviously I would not spend money on it if I can achieve it. All it took was a beautiful bottle that Rohan saved from his trip, a couple of cartridge print outs, strong coffee concoction (roasted variety) and 2 minutes of microwave.

Ready for the Vintage French Bottle tutorial?

1st/: Brew yourself some coffee, pour in some in your cup and sip. Pour the rest in a wide basin with the broken seed powder.

2nd/: Take a print out of your favorite French label and get a print out

3rd/: Cut and trim your print out according to where you plan to place it

4th/: Soak your print out for about 6-10 minutes

5th/: Microwave your print out for 2 minutes (Note: after you have microwaved the paper, the texture will be quite crumbly. Handle with care)

(after microwave. Note the ragged edge)

The original

~~~

6th/: Gently brush modge podge or any other clear drying glue on both side of the paper and position. (I advice glue on flip sides because this will prevent your paper from wear and tear)

7/: Now, you officially own a vintage French bottle that cost $0. or if we critically evaluate including electricity and labour $2.

And with so many dreamy glimpses, I’ll give you a true glimpse of my desk in words:

It now has loads and loads of print outs in French I dont understand!!! Love words when I cant read them.

To laces and lavender then!

What is your favorite country? What is that French piece you own that you absolutely love? Tell me tell me.

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