Blog

April 19, 2021
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A Brilliant Re-Start At Eau Brink Studio

Wow what a time we have had. Just like to thank everyone who has visited and supported us opening again.

We started with Progression in Textiles. It was so lovely to meet everyone again in person and not on a screen. Cake and hot drinks were the order of the day with a little bit of business thrown in too.

Fabulous items stitched by our members ready for our exhibitions. So looking forward to them. The first being in June at the Forum in Norwich. Then excitingly the NEC also in June.

We then had a social Wednesday which was just lovely to sit, Sew and chat. The next one is Wednesday 28th April from 10 am. You do not have to sew you can do anything you want just bring your work along with you.

Making friends and learning new skills is what we are about so come and join in.

 

Thursday the children’s art club started again and we had a great time over hot chocolate and cake practicing our drawing skills using shading. Next week we will be planning what we are going to put into our concertina sketch books. All materials are supplied for this group.

The weekend we spent with Melanie Missin from Mellymade designs learning how to make a tree hanging using machine stitch and transfer paints. It was a great weekend full of fun and even those who have never used their sewing machines for embroidery produced great results. Mel will be returning to Eau Brink in the near future for another great two day workshop.

Of course I decided not to make a hanging with  mine but to put them in frames.

So what’s next then?

This Wednesday (21st) we have Experimental Wednesday where we are pressing fruit and veg using a heat press so we get fabulous designs on our fabrics. We do still have space in you fancy giving this a go.

Just click onto the link above for more information.

Then the weekend is going to be spent with Amanda Hislop working in Concertina sketchbooks but not necessarily with drawing. This workshop was full but unfortunately two ladies have had to isolate from today so will not be able to join us.  That means we have two spaces available now.

 

We have another social Wednesday on the 28th and that is it for this month. Our next big workshop is with Nodeen Salmon on may the 8th and 9th.

Nodeen will be showing us how to stitch trees with our sewing machines. You can be a complete beginner and Nodeen will help you achieve a great picture and learn a new skill. Two days learning and making new friends with refreshments thrown in.

To book just follow this link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/trees-with-nodeen-salmon/2021-05-08/

What Else?

The seeds set for the dyers garden are growing well but are still too tender to go in yet.

The wild bee meadow is starting to grow too. I have also planted a fig tree in the hope that the figs are lovely and we can get some sort of dye out of the leaves.

The puppies are of course naughty which is expected and growing well. They are a lot bigger than this now.

 

John has started the PAT Testing year off with the studio items and can fit anyone in if they want their items tested just bring them along. He is very reasonable. John is also happy travel to you if it is easier.

The shop in the Emporium at Long Sutton is open again and the fabric is a hit not to mention other items in there. Including Johns 3d printed animals and dinosaurs.

Take Care Everyone and thank you once again for your support.

Anita

 

 

 

 

 

 


April 2, 2021
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April Holds So Much Promise

We are able to visit others, shop and eat outside in other venues. The pubs are opening , The chickens are free to roam as well as us. And of course it is spring. All good.

At Eau Brink Studio we are planting many plants including the dyers garden, vegetable patch, fruit trees, wild flower meadow and flowers. Although I am very sad we no longer have our sheep I am very happy we can have our garden back. though the chickens are very interested in all we are doing. We are looking at increasing hives this year too hopefully to four. Lots of fabulous honey.

What’s this got to do with stitching and creating I hear you ask? April is the time we can open our doors again with limited numbers. If the weather permits we can all stroll around the grounds and take a look at everything growing.  And many of us will be thinking of the promise of dyes from everything. Any flower, leaf, fruit or vegetable will be viewed as potential dyers material as far as I am concerned. The dyers garden may take a year to fully mature but other items growing can produce great results too.

With this in mind we are experimenting with this on Experimental Wednesday on the third Wednesday of April. Using the heat press so we will have to take it in turns.

This picture is using Cherries. Sliced and placed under the heat press between two pieces of cotton fabric. No mordant. Also two pieces of parchment paper to protect the heat press. I have to say I love it. I will also try with different mordants and we will see what comes of it. I am excited to try the iron as that will bring black into it I hope.

The fabric was dry and unwashed. Egyptian cotton from Empress Mills. What can I make with it? Well it is asking to be quilted to me or beaded. Or maybe both. Will make nice cushions, book covers, needle cases or if your brave enough a larger quilt. Who knows.

This months challenge is called Reclaiming Memories. How you decide to do this is up to you but here are a few suggestions. Using a favourite piece of costume jewellery that is past its best revamp it into a brooch using Powertex, Use a piece of treasured old linen to make a new item, Use cards sent to you by others to make a collage picture, Repurpose a piece of clothing.

You can only use reclaimed items even threads if sewing and fabrics. Lace, buttons and other embellishments.  Of course where you reclaim it from is up to you so go to your family and friends, even neighbours to raid their saved items. And of course on the 12th of April the charity shops will be opening again.

Please do remember to send me your pictures of what you make and if you want to what memory has been your inspiration.

Stay safe everyone

Anita

 


March 30, 2021
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Last days of Scrap Bag Challenge

As we approach the end of the month we are rapidly running out of days to finish our challenge. Many of you have said you will send in your pictures over the next few days and I look forward to seeing what you have manged. I must confess to not finishing mine as yet but will do and get it onto the social medial pages for you to see.

When this idea was first suggested to me I was a little unsure that anyone would want to do these but now I see how it has been helpful to keep us all going whilst housebound. I have also been made aware that it will be something we can all do whilst the Embroiders Guild is morphing into  small groups as it is no longer running. Such as shame.

This months exercise has made me look at how much scrap I have. Far too much as I do not like to throw anything away in case I need it. This means I have a lot of scraps of fabric, paper, specialist papers and pages from old books and maps.  Not to mention wools, fleece and other materials.

The upshot of this has been a major clear out. Being honest and looking at the items and deciding on what really is needed and what can go. Local residential homes have once again received a little gift. This time I have packaged the items up and given them as craft packs for their fund raising.

Amongst the scrap I have found some fabulous packaging from a firm who sell lovely bath products. Each item arrives wrapped in a concertina of thick paper to protect it. When opened out it looks like honeycomb. I have used this for one of my challenge pieces. Just need to add a few beads to finish it. I have to point out that my lucky man of the moment was sitting shaking his head when I became more excited about the packaging than the bath products.

Next months challenge is called Recycled Memories.


March 25, 2021
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Ready and Waiting

The studio is ready and waiting for your return. The kettle has been replaced, the cups washed to remove the dust again. The cupboards cleaned out again. And I have been ploughing through  all my unfinished items to get them out of the way.

The studio has had a move around so that the side door is now usable and the plan is to have a big outside space. A covered patio is planned just need to get it done now. This will increase the capacity of the studio during the summer months and on the less cold and wet days too. Depending on what we are doing. I may invest in a heater if needed.

The gardening has started and the first seeds are poking their heads out of the compost for the dyers garden. so excited. Hopefully you will see it growing fairly quickly. The planting area has been rotavated ready for planting.  I have two Aloe Vera plants too but am not sure if we can plant them outside. However if I can I will  try and then we will see what we can do with them. The plan is to also plant a few camomile benches in case we need something calming when things do not go to plan. We have also planted a wild meadow for the bees. And of course I will be encouraging visitors to go and pick the flowers and grasses for their work.

During March we have been working on using our scrap bags in the scrap bag challenge. Already one piece has been finished and the picture uploaded onto the social media sites. As they come in I will post them.

For inspiration pop over to my YouTube channel and take a look at what I have been up to with my scraps.

Assuming all goes well we can open in April and will start with our social Wednesday where you can pop in for refreshments and a chat. Bring along something to do but do book in please on https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/social-wednesday-2/2021-04-14/

Children’s art club on a Thursday evening. https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/art-club-11yrs-and-older-2021-01-28-2021-02-18/2021-04-15/

Then we have our Experimental Wednesday. This will be a planned day to experiment with fruit and veg under the heat press with man made fibres. We have to hope for a nice day so we can have all the doors and windows open. I have been playing with this and the results are varied. The aim is to get prints from the organic matter and for the man made fibres to shrink to create new shapes. In some cases you will just get the colour from the organic matter which may spread over the fabric. https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/stitch-and-create-2020-01-15-2021-04-14/

The First workshop is making a woodland hanging just like the one Melanie has made in this picture. For  more information follow the link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/woodland-art-hanging-with-melanie-missin/

On the following Thursday Ruth Holmes will be here making Machine Applique postcards. To book just go to  https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/machine-applique-post-cards-with-ruth-holmes/

The Following weekend we have Amanda Hislop and only two spaces due to cancellations. So if you fancy it just go to https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/line-colour-texture-in-landscape-exploring-concertina-books/2021-04-24/

 

We have moved the Pauline Wrighton workshop to August so if you wanted to book but couldn’t make the date try the new date and see if that fits in with you. Just follow the link on Pauline’s name. This workshop is all about learning how to use the various feet for your sewing machine. This is the second one but it is okay if you missed the first as Pauline will help you.

So we are hopefully at the end of many of the restrictions and have all been at least offered a vaccine if not had them.

Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Anita

 

 

 


March 7, 2021
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Challenging Times means Challenging work

 

Our monthly challenge is under way. We are working with our scraps to create a piece of art. This can be a picture, functional piece or anything you want it to be.

Challenging ourselves to move out of our comfort zones is a good thing and as we are confined to our homes we have time to experiment and have a go at new things.

This week after sorting out the scraps to be used I have completed  video’s on YouTube for you about Appliqué using a cutting machine. These shapes can be used on card stock, paper and fabric which means we have a fair amount of choice for our art.

The first video is live now called Any Old Scrap – Machine Applique. As usual I have recorded this in real time. warts and all. It is just one way of using your scraps of course and it is up to you what you do with them. Here is the link for you. https://youtu.be/25Ea3KGtlLo

The second video will be using hand stitch for Applique. Demonstrating the Tent Makers way of using scraps of fabric and traditional ways for rolled edges with applique but of course with a little cheat by ironing first.

I am not always a purist when it comes to some techniques and am quite happy to use a machine or cheat to get the results I want. As in this case.

It is good for me to be going over techniques I have not used for some time as it makes me think and at times I could do with the practice of course. Especially Applique as I have not used it for a very long time.

Of course you may not want to use your scraps for this process but do not worry I have other ideas to show you and am recording the video’s all this week. I will not bombard you though they will be uploaded gradually so you have time to think about what you want to make.

One will be a mixed media picture. Using stamps machine stitch maybe a little hand stitch into the scraps to create landscape or other scene. And maybe a bit of abstract too.

This would fit in with the Amanda Hislop workshop which is on the 24th and 25th of April. Of course this will depend on the opening of the next stage in the roadmap on the 12th of April. As numbers are limited we do only have two spaces now available so booking quickly will ensure your place.

This abstract piece was completed at the last Amanda workshop and we will be using a similar technique for the coming workshop. Those of us who attended do have scraps left over from that workshop to use and Amanda will be bringing her pieces for use too.

If you would like to be part of the workshop just go to https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/line-colour-texture-in-landscape-exploring-concertina-books/2021-04-24/

Before Amanda’s workshop we have Woodland Art Hanging with Melanie Missin on the weekend of the 17th April. Again it is over two days and we will be able to complete our piece in that time.

With Melanie’s expertise we will learn how to use shear fabrics and a soldering iron to create a hanging with machine stitch. Of course a few embellishments too if you want. I would have to add a bead or two. This is a great workshop for both beginners and the more experienced textile artist. For more information just follow the link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/woodland-art-hanging-with-melanie-missin/

All our workshops commence at 10am and end at 4pm for all day. Bring your own lunch but refreshments are provided with hot and cold drinks, home made cake and a fruit bowl.

We are working on an outside patio area very soon. It would be fabulous if we can get it finished in time for our programme to restart again. Fingers crossed as this will increase our work space when the weather permits.

One last thing is to remind you that we do have a shop in the Long Sutton Emporuim. 59 Wisbech Rd, PE12 9AQ.

The shop is called EBS Retail and stocks many of the items I make but also fabrics, quilting equipment and other haberdashery. Not to mention the items John is printing on his 3d printer. If you cannot make it to the shop then take a look at the on line shop https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/shop/    the fabrics are being uploaded as they come in as with the other stock. If you cannot see what you are looking for just drop us a line or call and we will endeavour to help you with your needs.

The teabag challenge was great fun and I thank you for joining in. We have had a number of requests for the Bister granules in brown. We are still trying to get them so please do be patient but we do have some ready mixed in our online shop.

We will keep you up to date when we have the granules in.

In the mean time please take care.

 

 

 

 


March 3, 2021
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Any Old Scrap

Experimental mixed Media

ANY OLD SCRAP is the challenge for March.
This months Challenge is to create a piece of art using only scraps. So what is art? This is from Wikidpedia.
Art is a diverse range of human activities involving the creation of visual, auditory or performing artefacts (artworks), which express the creator’s imaginationconceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
You can use fabrics, lace, wool, embellishment’s, zips, beads, old threads or ends of reels but nothing new.
If you do not have any scraps then ask friends who sew if you can delve into their scrap bags.
You can also use paper, card, old stamps, postcards, maps and pages from old damaged books.
There is no limit to size, colour or shape. It can be abstract or traditional.
The piece does have to be a piece of art. How you interpret that is up to you.
It can be 3d, framed or unframed.
Enjoy the process but do not over think it.
Anita always starts her projects with a pile of materials and then plays to see what comes out of them. No plan means no anxiety. Look at colour ways, how the materials you are using will work together, do you want your piece to be distorted, manipulated? What will it represent if anything? Will it have pockets and layers? What about sheer fabrics and using plastic? Will you pad it or areas of it?
If stitching will it be hand or machine stitch?
If not stitching how will you hold it together? Glue, tape?
Felting can mean using up old wool or wool given to you that so far you have not found a purpose for it.
The ideas keep coming so give it some thought and join in.
What about a Powertex piece? Powertex is perfect for using up old scraps of anything.
You can make your art piece as a picture, a useful item, or to upcycle an old tired piece.
There will be videos on my YouTube channel to help with ideas and techniques for this challenge. Including the use of Powertex.

February 21, 2021
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The Last Week for Time for Tea

Well I do not know where February has gone but apparently it has. We are now in the last week for Time for Tea.  So still time to have a go if you fancy it.

We have had a great response and some have already sent in their finished items. They are on the Facebook page.  I have been working on a book of samples until I finish my end piece. I have to admit I have still to decide what to make but am enjoying revisiting processes and generally exploring. Though the studio looks like a bomb has hit it.

Here is a little picture of one of my finished samples. It is teabag paper dyed with tea and Bister. Then I stamped the design onto it and machine stitched and hand stitched into it. Then the final finish was painting the sky.

I am thinking it would make a nice bag with a bit of acrylic wax added to help reinforce it. Or a book cover. who knows .

The threads are variegated as I like to see where the colours end up.

The next one is in March where we will be working with Any Old Scrap.

Update

As everyone I am waiting eagerly for the Government announcement to see when we can reopen. I just hope that this will be the last time we have to close. I really do miss having people in the studio. The interaction between friends and visitors is amazing and something I dearly miss.

I also miss the baking and have been baking for the workers in the hospital. I have key workers staying in our BNB rooms so send it in at weekends with them.  The day we can open I am inviting you all over for a catch up with tea and cake.

Many of you know that John infiltrated the studio with the 3d printer but now has his own space in the house so I have my glorious space with the heating blasting when I want it and my music up as high as I want it. Though I have to say he has left loads of mess for me to clear up.

Extra News

So what is planned now that the sheep have gone? Well we are currently planting a bee meadow for our bees the only problem we have had is the rotavator has a flat and John cannot get the wheel off but I am sure he will fix it.

Another area of the garden to get the rotavator treatment will be beside the shed next to the studio. I am going to plant it full of dye plants. I will be offering pick your own dyes.

This is still in the planning stage but fancy offering this by the weight of each plant matter picked but will be harvesting roots in advance if they are needed so as not to damage the main plants. But leaves, stems and flowers can be picked as required.

I already sell the mordants but will be offering help where I can with this and of course there will be workshops for it too.

Another new idea that is getting off the ground is a patio extension to the side of the studio where the pond is. This will have a roof and I will make sale curtain sides for the inclement days too. This means that we can work outside as well as in without the gazebo ending in the pond..

Workshops

It is hoped we can open bookings again once the schools fully open. With this in mind the first one may be with Ruth Holmes in

March where she will be teaching Hand Applique flower pictures. It will be nice for Ruth to have a full house but of course we may have to move it to another month. We will see.

In April we have a two day course with Melanie Missin as well as two days with Amanda Hislop.

If you are interested in booking pleas do book in but only pay a deposit of £10.00 per day. This will ensure your place on the workshop and I will let you know when to pay the remainder.

When going into the booking site and it asks you to pay change the amount in the box. It does let you. Any issues just email me.

On another note about payments we now have a QR Code for PayPal which you can use by scanning it with your up to date phones.

Shop

I am so excited as I have been purchasing fabrics for the shop and they have started to arrive. They are lovely and of course I will have to test them all.

I have also been purchasing quilting items and haberdashery items to fill the shelves in anticipation of opening. I will endeavour to get it all on the website. Some of the fabrics are on now.

As more arrive I will add them. The price is not too bad. This one is only £7.00 per metre and it is 100% cotton. Love this colour.

And Now

And now to get on with some more Time for Tea. I look forward to seeing your work

Take Care

 

 

 

 

 

 


January 30, 2021
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Are you ready ?

All you need is a few tea bags and a little bit of your own flair.

Make a cup or pot of tea using tea bags. Squash and squeeze them and leave them to dry.

Once dry open them up and draw, paint to dye them.

You can add them to Bondaweb and use them to bond onto paper, card and fabric.

Make a 3d item.

It can be anything from a simple card to huge piece of art. And anything in between but must be a 3d item so make sure you art piece is either free standing or has 3d elements on it.

If you are unsure about how to start processing your teabags go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1YXPFmEmofkIlAY9z9n8vQ

At the time of sending this blog out there are two videos showing you how to prepare your tea bags and another to go on. Throughout the Month of February there will be more videos showing you how Anita is progressing with her piece.

If you have any problems or questions just email Anita or message on the Eau Brink Studio Facebook page.

There is no charge. So give it a go and see what you come up with.


January 25, 2021
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BURSTING WITH IDEAS

Hardanger

Sipping my favourite tea with a head bursting with ideas usually results with me just putting one into action and the forgetting the rest.

But with all this extra time we now have on our hands my head is bursting with even more ideas and I am getting them down in a little book. Not only am I getting them documented I am planning how to make them a reality.

Bursting into your life now

The first one to be thrown out into Eau Brink World is a monthly challenge. Starting in February. I will run it along the lines of our Experimental Wednesdays. Each month we will work towards making a piece which can be adapted to most disciplines. This means that it dose not only have to be sewing related. It can be a piece of fabulous art, a Craft, a stitched item or glued. The aim is to get us all exploring what we can do with the subject. The only rule is that you follow the guidelines but you can be as experimental as you wish.

Each month I will post on social media and send out the challenge by email . I will be converting a page on the website for your information and to show the finished items. They will also be posted on social media and added to the news letters.

You do not have to pay to join in and I am going to try and keep the cost of making very low by encouraging you to use what you already may have or can beg off others. Though of course I will be putting kits onto the website shop just in case you fancy purchasing one for someone else to have a go.

I do not want to bombard you with all my ideas in one go so as I organise each thing I will let you know what to look out for.

It is funny how my head only has ideas about my lovely studio and not about such mundane things as food shopping. Mind you that is just how I like it.

Smallholding News

Now for some very sad news. We have had to send our sheep to a lovely big farm. It was a hard decision to make but for their health and John’s safety we really had no choice. We have been told that they settled in well and are with a Tup so hopefully they will be producing lambs for the farmer.

We will keep our birds and really get going with the bees this year. Hopefully lots of honey to bake with at the end of the season and plenty to eat on my porridge too.

Covid update

As the lockdown continues and the schools are closed we also cannot open for groups or to teach. It is very frustrating but we need to make sure it is safe for everyone who visits Eau Brink Studio as well as for ourselves.

Of course as soon as we are given the green light we will get going again. If you have booked into a workshop and we have to move it or cancel it of course you can have a refund. If you have paid through paypal the refund will be returned through them. I am not sure what fees they take off it but you can challenge them if they do charge you. Any monies paid directly into my account will be fully refunded.

Most of our visiting artists are happy to move the workshop to a later date so you can still attend. I am offering you a way to secure your places by asking you to pay a deposit of just £10.00 per day. My booking system will permit you to pay smaller amounts until the full fee is paid. The box that has the fee in it can be changed to how much you are paying. If you wish you can just send me a cheque for the deposit and I will add it to the workshop for you.

And now my brain is bursting with the idea that I need more tea.

Stay safe everyone

Anita

 

 

 

 


January 16, 2021
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January 2021

Here we are January 2021 and we are in another lockdown due to the Covid-19. For each of us this means something different.

For us at Eau Brink Studio is means we have to close our doors to workshops until the schools are open again or maybe even longer. It all depends on the R rate of course. A number of people have contacted me asking if we are still putting on workshops but I am afraid not at the moment. We follow the Governments guidelines.

This means that there are no social Wednesdays, No Experimental Wednesday or Kids Art Club this month. however, we are looking forward to the rest of the year and have decided to move Suzette Smart from the beginning of March to October just to be optimistic we can go ahead further on.

Other workshops to be moved but as yet not confirmed for new dates are the Shibori style procion workshop and the Loom Beading in February. New dates will be added to the website as soon as we can.

So what have we been up to in the studio then?

Accounts of course have to be finalised by the end of this month so that’s ongoing.

Anita has been making loads of stock for the shop including cushions, bags and fabric boxes. the fabric boxes are pretty but take an age due to the cutting out.

Also writing up a notebook and sampling for a new project. Most enjoyable.

John has been getting to grips with the 3d printer and started to print out a few things including items to be made into pincushions.

Booking

A number of you have asked about booking and the system to spread the costs.

when booking go to the booking site as normal and in the little box with the price change it to what you are paying. In the notes box put something like deposit if its the first payment and then payment 2 or 3 which ever it is. you will see a running total going down on what is left to be paid.

A deposit secures your place on the workshop.

Smallholding

It is with deep regret and sadness that I have to report that we are selling our sheep. As John’s condition deteriorates he is unable to help me care for them to a high standard. It takes 3 of us to turn them just to clean and trim hooves. Also they keep escaping their enclosure and the fencing now needs to be replaced to keep them in. This is a big job and John will struggle to complete it so the decision was made to sell them on. They are going to a good home where they will be introduced to a flock and a Ram.

Once they sheep have left we will look at replanting the orchard and I look forward to sipping Gin under the trees. Bring on the summer sun.

We will concentrate on the bees, chickens, ducks, geese and dogs now as they are easier to care for.

It also means that I can replant the garden with herbs, dyers plants and maybe the odd flower too.

The pond may get a fountain or waterfall and perhaps a island to help keep the fox from the ducks and geese.

All in All

All in all we are planning and looking forward to the end of the Covid situation so we can sit in our lovely garden with friends, family and anyone else who fancies dropping in. We will always have refreshments on the go but cannot always promise it will contain alcohol.

Take care everyone.

Anita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our next event is Amanda Hislop - Texture in landscapes - Exploring Concertina Sketch Books Click here to book
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