Tuesday, March 12, 2013

toolin around tuesdays: if debi doesn't know...

in case you're just joining the party...i recently celebrated my first-yet-fifth bloggy birthday, and to make up for all the missed opportunities, i'm giving away a new tool each week for the next five weeks in my toolin' around tuesdays series.

meetups, meetup, MEETUPS.  five days of meetups, yo!  sorry for the lack of  virtual visiting, i've been a busy bee. recap, responses, and lots of chatting at your place, let's say around cocktail hour tomorrow?  bien?  i'll bring the luxardo cherries!

but for now, let me introduce you to a tool that reminds me of another brilliant sewcialisin' sewists sewjourn... when debi came to town for the new york sew weekly adventure.


during her time here, as you may recall, we were able to grab a class with gretchen, of gertie's ...everything.  (she is taking over the world, yo!)  we decided to get some hands-on crash coursin' in buttonholes and draping.  a drunken combination, but fitting considering the students.

now, you might say, but oona, i totally know what an invisible ruler is.  so does gretchen.  i've loved them for years.  but, seriously y'all, i've called her out on it before but it bears repeating, debi had never used one in her extremely detailed and gorgeous sewing life!!! 



when gretchen handed her an invisible ruler to assist in perfectly marked buttonholes, the debster looked at it like it was tofu.  our teacher was at a loss for words.  in fact, i think by the end of our class, she wondered how the duo before her made anything that actually stayed together.  but, much like the barrelfull of meetups this past weekend, we had a brilliant time, and managed to hold onto a bit of new information.

(though i still cannot make a bound buttonhole.)


so this toolin' tuesday brings you something you might already have, but in my opinion, you can never have too many of these babies.  i've got six.  if you haven't got one in your arsenal, they are the absolute BOMB for marking seam allowances, making perfect lines for self made bias tape, i'll even throw one down atop the other for a T square.  they come in a multitude of proportions, and for this giveaway, you'll get two different sizes.  mine are in inches, but if  a metric lovin' sewist wins, i can be strongarmed into finding a suitable mate...

to enter, just leave a comment and let a girl know your favorite method of measurement.  you are encouraged to be naughty in your answers.

and now for the winner of last week's giveaway, the magnetic bobbin holder.  out of 72 comments, 63 wanted in...



numero 34, kristin of sew classic!  NEW YORK IN THE HOUSE!  girl, where were you at the meetup???  looks like we'll need to have another one...how very fortuitous.  i swear it ain't rigged, maybe it's karma for the new zealand shipping i'm about to do.  (i love ya NZ!)  now, don't fret,  if you didn't win and want one, you can find it online or in person at the fashion design bookstore.  no compensation provided, just enabling my sewists...

holler!

update: giveaway closed-arooni! i'll be back in a flash with the random numbered winner, and the fourth tool up for grabs...

72 comments:

  1. Oona I'm a ruler fanatic of sorts, and would love to win one of yours. My favorite all time measurement tool is the seam gauge - I must own 8 to 10 of them.

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  2. Oooooh I like the look of these. I usually walk around with a tape measure round my neck like the coolest of scarves. Though sometimes I just use stretched fingers to measure things. Naughty. Thanks for the giveaway oona!!

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  3. My favorite method of measurement must surely be the eyeball method. Quarter inch? Close enough! I do love a good invisible ruler, though. I have one and I'd love another!

    The meetup was amazing. You seem just as wonderful in person as you do on your blog -- and your speaking voice is so lovely! I hope we all can meet up again sometime. :)

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    1. it was so good to meet you too, allie! i've always hated my speaking voice, so that's nice to hear :)). we shall definitely do it again!

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  4. I currently use my old studio ruler but it is covered in paint, so measuring is really an estimating exercise. I also really love my tape measure and hanging it around my neck!

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  5. Yes, those invisie rulers are great ... use mine all the time. I also like those long, stiff rulers that snap back, too! Love your blog!

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  6. Oh, yes please! I get all fancy like and use an old wooden ruler from primary school. I live on the edge.... of 1988 apparently ;)

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  7. i confess that i eyeball alot as well. I'm usually pretty close and i don't know where my darned seam gauge ran off to. Please count me in on the giveaway! I do have one of these rulers, but it's not quite the same: http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-832-Styling-Design-Ruler/dp/B001BDEOVG

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  8. I always eyeball my seam allowances. But I love my clear ruler.

    I have a few wooden yardsticks and when I have a new blade in my rotary cutter, the wood gets shaved so that the ends are much narrower than originally. Luckily I have not yet managed to cut a plastic ruler, but I'm sure I could find other ways to damage it.

    As for buttonholes, I just discovered the automatic buttonhole on my 1983 Pfaff, so I'm about to put bottonholes on EVERYTHING.

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  9. My son kept on breaking my rulers, and french curve. I love invisible ones! I now have to hide them, or.i wont be able to work on any of my projects. He uses them as extension to his toy train tracks. The last one was all scratched up that it wasn't 'invisible' anymore before its demise....

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  10. Dear Oona, you're too funny. "Looked at it like it was tofu" made my morning, so charming to imagine. I'd ask you not to count me in the giveaway, but I just wanted to say I love you!

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    1. always right back at you, lovely yoshimi!

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  11. I've got one in the standard measurements, but I'd love to have one in metric (because who has time to dick around with effed-up fractions?!) I might be the only American who doesn't hate metric...???

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    1. You are not! I work as an engineer and our company is metric, which I appreciate, and it drives me nuts when suppliers send me drawings in decimal inch and I have to figure out which fraction they're talking about and/or convert every single dimension.

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  12. I have two of these rulers that were my mothers, and I cherish them for their history. But honestly, one of the them is melted at one end (stored too close to a radiator?) and the other one has gouges in it from using it with my rotary cutters when I first got them (didn't realize those buggers were sharp enough to cut through a ruler...). So I could use a new one, or two. I love my seam gauge... again, old and bent, but still functioning.

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  13. i totally wont mind having one that's in inches, as long as i have a ruler.. any ruler

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  14. I have an invisible ruler, but not one that is made for sewing. Mine is one of those flexible rulers from the dollar store that kids used to pull back on and then let go to hit their friends with in elementary school. And because the dollar store is so high quality, I'm pretty sure it's not even perfectly straight. Ha!

    I also use my sister's L ruler that I borrowed in November and that has mysteriously not yet made it back to her....*shifty eyes*

    But for reals, that L ruler is huge and an invisible ruler (a small and straight one) would be hella useful!

    As for measuring and marking curves....don't tell but I definitely eyeball it. No french curve here. I'm too cheap to buy one yet!

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  15. Ooh, I love my invisible ruler, but now I want two to make a T-square!

    My naughtiest method of measurement??? Sometimes I eyeball it...

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  16. I was just about to buy one of these this week - no joke! Now I'll have to wait to see if I can win it instead :)

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  17. I don't think I have enough rulers, i want this one too!

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  18. How timely: my kiddo just broke one of mine (I usually have two on hand). Throw my name in the hat. Still sad about missing the meetup!

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  19. Indeed these have always seemed useful to me, but I have never used one!

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  20. I use this big old wooden ruler from my mom because I usually have lost everything else. I've been meaning to get one of these for a while now (I lost the last one!).

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  21. Ruler,yard stick,seam gauge, tape measure....I love them all. However it gets done, ha.

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  22. I'm eyeballing most of my measurements right now. I just bought a new to me vintage Morse button holer/sig zag machine and love it but there are no measurements on it at all! Other than that I use my cutting mat or my adhesive measuring tape to measure. A ruler would be super helpful! *sorry if this posts twice feel free to keep whichever you like more if it happens. ;)

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  23. My favorite method is eyeballing it. That's why I'd never be good a quilting. I'm to lazy to be that precise. And the one time I tried to make self-bias tape, it was a major (!!!!) fail. Maybe all I need is one of these magic rulers. All I have is a seam gauge, a blue 10" ruler with a built in hole punch (not so great for sewing purposes....) and a 6" clear ruler. Mostly I use the short clear ruler but close enough is usually good enough.

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  24. Oona - not entering - when you come over you will see why :-). At least this won't hurt the chameleon! It was great to see on you Saturday (albeit briefly).

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    1. Hi Rosie! (Becky from Seattle)

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    2. rosie! we missed you at drinks, woman!!

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    3. Beckyyyyy in da house with Ooona. LOL I bet you missed me :-).

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  25. I love my machine's 1/4" foot... Perfect for quilting and when I'm feeing lazy. :)

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  26. I feel like I'm at one of those AA meetings, but it's really a Sewer's Anonymous group. Ok, I'll go. I, Reana Louise, have never used an invisible ruler. Excuse me while I go and sit in the corner.

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  27. Ok, I have an invisible ruler... but only use it when grading. Methinks I need enlightenment! And I am a strange creature - I live in the metric world in everything I do, until it comes to sewing (and telling the hairdresser how much of my hair to take off) - then I am inches all the way. I grew up with it, so switching isn't alien. Just don't ask me about miles. Or pounds. Or feet. Only inches.

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  28. Alrighty, sign me up for that ruler please!

    My naughty measurement - let's just say lazy measurement technique is to cut a small strip of thin cardboard... 3/8 inch and 5/8 inch and use it for seam allowances.. mark dotted lines and freehand draw a curve joining them. It works!!

    Now about that invisible ruler....

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  29. Je t'aime these rulers. Being a quilter also, I have about 6, from 4.5" square right up to 24" by 6.5", and many in between. And my french cuuurve. And constantly converting more people to feeling the love too!

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  30. I want it! I discovered them at work and fell madly in love. However, being a cheapskate, I never got around to buying myself one. My favorite way to measure is to ask the person next to me, "This is 3/8, right?"

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  31. I have yet to see one of these around here. I may just be looking in all the wrong places, but I'm sure I'd have snatched one in the Koh-i-Noor shop in Brno if they had one. (Koh-i-noor makes the incomparable elephant erasers that are patiently waiting for Marmota to finally send you that infamous package; I also snatched some French curves while I was there. Which reminds me, do you have French curves? They have some pretty little ones. - So I'm sure I would have snatched these rulers with grids if they had them.)
    I have see-through rulers, but without the grid. (Seriously, why use any other kind than see-through? I only use my non-see-through Smokey Bear ruler, which my sister brought me from the US of A, when I need inches, which is not very often.) I combine them with a measuring tape. Two measuring tapes, come to think of it - I have one I inherited from mom, 1,50 m, with cms on both sides, and a narrower 1 m one that I keep in my pencase, so it travels with me almost evrerywhere - it's useful! It has cms on one side and a measuring system I have yet not cracked on the other - it's not inches, either! But I was saying - it's very narrow, so it wraps around things the wider one has some trouble wrapping around.
    Though I always just eyeball seam allowances. I work with the European system that has no seam allowances in the pattern, so I always think in a "pattern + some seam allowance = final measurement" way, not in a "final measurement - seam allowance = pattern" way. If that makes any sense.

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  32. I would really like to win this, I have been using an old metal meter rule but its very rusty now so not much use!

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  33. I'm all about eyeballing measurements...but it does make me feel slightly better that Debi didn't know about this kind of ruler either! I do love my seam allowance gauge, though, but I'm always wishing it was see-through or longer. I guess that's a sign...

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  34. I'm a huge fan of the pattern square and seam gauge, and would love to be a fan of the invisible (metric) ruler; please put my name in the hat.

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  35. In university we were constantly told to buy a pattern master for all our pattern and marking needs...

    I bought a grading "square". Which is a triangle. How that is a square I will NEVER know.
    But it works quite well mostly. I like that it's easy to make right angles with, since it was also drilled into me that RIGHT ANGLES RIGHT ANGLES RIGHT ANGLES OR ELSE YOU WILL FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIL.

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  36. Ooh count me in. I'm sure it'll be a great partner for my elephant tape measure where the tape comes out his... tail :-)

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  37. I have a lovely clear french curve plus another ruler, but my two most common ways of measuring are my arm span for the length/width of a piece of fabric, and can't be arsed for cutting things out. Which is why I cut out bodice pieces without remembering to add seam allowances a few weeks back. Oops. Some creative edits later and it almost looks like I planned it that way.

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  38. I am a measuring tape person but I would love one of these! Relatively new to sewing so would come in handy for me :)

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  39. hahahaha! you know what? I've still never made a bound buttonhole either. Poor Gretchen...I'm sure she's never seen a pair like us :-) Know what else? I still haven't gotten one of these invisible ruler thingy's!! I think it's about time!!! Did you know they are see-through? Still blows my mind!!! lol. Definitely count me in for the giveaway!

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    1. forgot to say my favourite measurement tool is are the little seam gauges...

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  40. My favorite method? I think the measuring tape! It's so versatie. I do have a clear french curve ruler, but it certainly doesn't bend and fold. It is dead useful for measuring seam allowances though!

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  41. I love my invisible ruler! I actually bought mine because an artsy friend sort of shamed me into it by telling me everyone had, but I really love and it's true- everyone needs one! And I can't believe I won last week's giveaway. Dropping you an email now! :-)

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  42. yes please! i think i have almost as many measuring tools as marking toools and i still eyeball a lot. naughty naughty.

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  43. I've been meaning to buy a clear ruler for ages! At the moment, my fave measuring tool is the double tracing wheel.

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  44. Another amazing giveaway. I recently purchased a rotary cutter and a small cutting mat, so this would be a great addition to my sewing supplies.
    My favourite method of measurement is ye old meter stick. I have one that folds up, it's very handy. Not too accurate for drawing straight lines though, unfortunately.
    And as with other commenters, I almost always eyeball hems, unless it's a wide hem.

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  45. My measurement favorite is using one of my see thru rulers in combination with my grid cutting mat. When used together almost any alteration, new creation, or pattern adjustment can be drawn, measured or cut easily and accurately. Good tools can truly turn sewing from hard to FUN!

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  46. My measurement favorite is using one of my see thru rulers in combination with my grid cutting mat. When used together almost any alteration, new creation, or pattern adjustment can be drawn, measured or cut easily and accurately. Good tools can truly turn sewing from hard to FUN!

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  47. I love a good ruler! I had to borrow (steal) a clear one from work to compensate for my lack.

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  48. Genius! I never thought of using two clear rulers together to make a T square! My most used measuring device is a little 6 inch seam guage. I use it to fold up a lot of hems at the ironing board... I am also terrified of bound buttonholes.

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  49. I could use one of the those dudes. I keep eying it at the fabric store but then decide I need more ribbon instead. ALTHOUGH, guess who bought a Clover chalk pen yesterday? ME!

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  50. That is a great tool for your giveaway. Don't include me, I already have a few. Love them!

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  51. Hmmm, measuring tool... Either a 60+ year old yardstick, my Mum's treasured measuring tape (40+ years old, if one must know), or a metal mini measuring tape (say THAT 3 times fast, I dare you!) that I use as a keychain - if the men don't find me pretty, at least I'm handy! (thanks to "Red Green" for not really allowing me to pilfer one of his most famous lines) Booze bottles are usually too oddly-shaped, and can make a real mess if they roll away and hit the floor... :( Great for interestingly shaped appliques, though.

    Wow, never thought of "making" a T-square! Amazing idea, and 2 rulers would be terrific for that...saves me trying desperately trying to find a straight enough portion of my french curve ruler to make one...or using a sheet of paper...ahem...

    Thanks for all the chances at your give-aways - they've been amazing!! Very generous of you, dahlink!

    Love,
    Mugsy

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  52. My method is the eyeball kind. Not super accurate but fast!

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  53. I definitely need me some of those clear rulers - I used to have one in my quilting days but it has disappeared! My favourite ruler is my little seam ruler with the slider thing on it - use it all the time!

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  54. I just bought a super big clear ruler that actually has a special lip on one end so that it can be used as a t-square.

    As a former drafter, I love this. And it was a surprise, I thought it had the type of lip that is supposed to prevent your rotary cutter from jumping the edge and cutting your hand.

    I agree with the others that a hem guage is my favorite measuring tool, but one can never have too many rulers. Love my 6" ruler, love my 36" ruler, love my measuring tape, love my grid...

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  55. Heh, I'm afraid I don't own a clear ruler, and I do very little measuring. ;) If I do, I use a tape measure. My boyfriend gave me the cutest little Cath Kidston pocket sewing thingie, which included a tape measure with both cm and inches - awesome!
    I do use a... whaddaya call those triangular rulers you use for geometry? Anyway, one of that, sometimes, like for bias tape making.

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  56. This is one of those tools I love but never think to buy. Alas!

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  57. Happy Anniversary! I look forward to more fun posts!

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  58. Oooohh invisible ruler! I can't tell you how excited this makes me - the only ruler I have is a 30cm (12") wooden one from primary school (no idea how I still have it). I use it for sewing but somewhat ineffectively as it is really short and not at all invisible. I super love the idea of an invisible ruler and all the extra things you can use it for other than straight edges - but I strongly suspect I could end up being too lazy to utilise such features. I can't think of a sewing related favourite method of measurement (or a naughty one... too tired and not enough alcohol... yet)... I'm so lazy I pretty much just use my wooden ruler, a measuring tape or my best guess.

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  59. Wow, an invisible ruler? I have never seen anything like it on the European side of the pond. My eyeballs are used to metric guessing, but as a happy follower of the online sewing community I get confused by the seam allowances in inches that you guys talk about on the blogs.
    Hate sewing with a calculator,so would love to win those tofu-things!

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  60. My invisible ruler was broken by munchkins so I need one!

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  61. I don't measure, I guess. Although maybe measuring would be a good thing....

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  62. Love your blog! So glad I found it - following you on Bloglovin' now!

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  63. I work it out with my naked eyeball... In the nude. Okay not all the way but we are all naked under our clothes so... Kind of :) I do also use rulers. I do have an inherited ruler that I have a sneaking suspicion hates that it was passed on to me, therefore has switched it's markings- it is not accurate.

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  64. I love my giant invisible quilting ruler that I use for everything, but my favourite less well known measuring tool is this sucker. Besides looking like a Shuriken, it makes measuring hems sooo easy.

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  65. I have a measuring tape and a plastic ruler that is not straight anymore as I've managed to take chunks out of it with my rotary cutter. Oops. One of these would be handy!

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