Friday, December 21, 2012

Not an Octopus and a Very Merry Christmas to YOU!

Where has the time gone? 


I’m not an Octopus - I could sure use the extra 6 arms these days.  I feel like these elves (this silly little ornament is at my Mr’s school and each year begs me to take a photo and add some funny captions)  I feel like time is out of control.  So today I protest - put my foot down and just spending an hour with YOU before I sign off for the holidays to enjoy with my family. 

Every time I turned around to post here I found another kind deed to do, another event to take part in, another friend to be spending time with.  Here’s an overview of what I planned to blog (and perhaps will have an opportunity to re-visit in January)

1-Osoyoos Times Concert 2012


Thats my Mr performing at the event my church hosted this past Sunday night.  It was an excellent event, not just bragging here - but it was because of all of the 8 musicians who blessed us with their talents.  We did something unique this year by inviting people from the community to bless us with their own choice of songs so there was great variety of styles!

1-Christmas OCC 2012

Sonny Black performs “Blue Christmas”

We were all treated to everything from Jazz, Rock, Folk and Blues.  We had a full house of 100 people!  Thank you to all those who made this possible and for YOU who braved the very snowy and icy conditions to make it here.  It was totally worth it and we are thinking of repeating this venue around Valentines (I’ll keep you posted!)  Thanks so much to the Osoyoos Times Newspaper for coverage of our event!



One has to go jump around in the snow and stay fit especially when we are busy so my friend Janice and I went “Dashing Through the Snow” on Wednesday. 


I tell Janice - “Suck it up, Buttercup! (or cupcake)”

I have been blessed to mentor to Janice over the past couple of months.  I could not ask for a more wonderful and joyful person to “pour into”.  Janice is a delight to be around.  We do things like pray together - for our church, our lives, our husbands.  We work out. We bake.  We craft.  We learn to be frugal.  A huge part of our time together is marriage oriented and I find as I mentor to her, I’m being mentored back.  I’m a far better one-on-one mentor than any group setting.  I think I can sew more value into one person than groups. 


She ASKED for it!

I like Janice’s terrific sense of humour.  So when she and I wriggled out of a big workout last week at the gym, we only clocked about 3/4 hour at the gym, this week I not only made us run “the loop” (one hour) - I fashioned festive bells for us as an additional audio incentive for our run and I included some hill runs.  I think she actually appreciates my torture!

And by the way, Janice TOTALLY blogged me on her last post as well….

Like Janice, I’m surrounded by good friends, like my friend Mel O who is like a sister to me.  I don’t know how I would have made it through this season without her love, support and help.  I ♥ you with all my heart.

My sister Nina - you rock my world.  You are part of me.

Judy, thank you for all your ♥ and encouragement. 

I thank all my online friends too - you know who you are!  Debbie, I’ve loved hearing your voice in “real life” and Valinda I don’t know what I’d do without your constant companionship online. Janmary and Eileen  and Kelly I could go on and on!

Thank you to the Silhouette Plus Forums, I  LOVE you people and hope to spend loads more time with you in 2013!

1-Hannah Montana Skates

I wanted to blog my Thrift Shop buys, the latest of are these Hannah Montana skates, BRAND SPANKING NEW with the sticker still underneath.  Ok, nobody is going to see them way out here, and besides they were $5 and are way better constructed than my old white ones!

1-Rosehip Tea (6)

I wanted to blog my handmade gifts.  Two of my favourites (which I only just got blended and packaged) are this Rosehip Tea which is made of hand harvested wild rosehips, apple bits, marigold petals,clove, dried pineapple, peach, plum, ginger, lemon and orange zest.

1-Vanilla Sugar (2) 

Vanilla scented sugar!  Its super simple to make this, just takes time for the flavors to meld. 

And I really wanted to share a bit of inspiration with you. So this is what is laid on my heart at this time:

Great blessings belong to those who work to bring peace.
God will call them his sons and daughters.

Matthew 5:9

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

AND I wanted to tell you I’m now listed in the blog directory of FANCY LITTLE THINGS


A warm and wonderful, inspiring and uplifting blog - just click the preview to be transported there.  Why not consider joining up, its FREE and a beautiful place to visit!

ANDANDAND (like one of the kids being annoying and trying to fit it ALL IN AT ONCE) - I am buying Margaret Feinberg’s Wonderstruck book today - its my gift to myself!  If you do one good thing for yourself, this should be it.  I’ve previewed a goodly section and it had the effect of re-awakening my joy!   RIGHT NOW is the time to purchase her book as you will also qualify for $300 worth of “extras”.  Just click HERE to check it!

AND finally. 

I could not leave without blessing YOU, dear blog readers, without giving you a FREE GIFT from my heart to yours!  So I am releasing my Festive Doodles for you to enjoy.  These are for your personal use - they are beautiful “digital stamps” or elements!  These could easily be “traced” for use with your Cameo or Silhouette SD  Enjoy!



Please don’t share the direct download link, but have your friends

come here to download!


personal use only

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Cute Snowman Card FREEBIE!

SQUEEEE - It’s SNOWING here in Osoyoos!

Time keeps getting away on me….

I have so many posts I’ve written… in my head!  Seems the days keep ripping off of the calendar, I’m sure you can identify. 

I desperately want to share some of the miracles I’ve been experiencing lately in my personal life.  Seems to me ever since I read the first portions of Margaret Feinberg’s newest book Wonderstruck, I’ve become ultra-aware of God’s hand upon my life.  I plan to buy Margaret’s book for myself because she has a SUPER deal on right now which you can find HERE!  I will save my personal posts about the anointing in my life for the very near future but will post a sweet freebie here for you so that you can enjoy it before the opportunity to use this festive freebie is over. 



I “hand painted” this sweet little snowman several years ago in honour of my friend Gina.  I think this feller is the CUTEST guy I’ve painted.  I decided I’d adapt him to be able to cut on the Silhouette.  He is also available in my Archives as a png free download too anytime, just look up at the tabs top of this post. 


I added some black gems onto him for “coal” buttons and I also flicked white acrylic craft paint all over for snow.  I have included a cut for the snow on the base of the card - I used a glitter white paper for this cut and on some versions of this card (because I made a second version of card with a light blue background) I added more acrylic paint in dabbles.  This card is darling in real life! 


Personal Use

svg - png

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

CHRISTmas Craft Project DIY using Recycled Greeting Cards

I am sneaking in here to share a super quick post - I am filling a few custom card orders today and am looking forward to a wonderful Women’s CHRISTmas get together tomorrow. 

1-1-Osoyoos Craft Fair December 1, 2012_DSC0009

The last craft sale this past weekend was fabulous.  I’m not referring to sales, they were more than the previous weekend, but it was that so many people who visited my table really “got” what I have been doing!   I will share bits over the coming days of the items I had and some reflections. 


1-photo (1)

Card Cut by Debbie at Paper Pulse

I had quite a few people take a nice rest in front of this beautiful card which I created using a cut from Debbie at Paper Pulse.  This cut is really something gorgeous - I liked the dramatic look of the black against white, and had the idea to place a flickery battery operated candle behind the front.  There is a beautiful golden star affixed to the backdrop as well - its obscured by the top of the stable in this photo.  I want to thank Debbie for her generosity and to acknowledge her huge talent! 


Discarded Book and Recycled Greeting Card Garland

This item is one of my own experiments.  I recently found a big fat discarded children’s book at the thrift, Paddington the Bear, to be exact.  It had some damage so was not suitable as a “read” however I felt like I struck treasure.  Firstly, I cut out all the pages with illustrations as they are simply DARLING and I hope to use them for cards in the future.  They are lovely little sketches, just aching to be coloured by hand by me, right? 

Next, I gathered all the CHRISTmas Cards I had about.  I had lots from my own family, but plenty from people who regularly donate to me.  I love how that happens, mention it around and people are really delighted to save for you.  Often they are just ecstatic, saying things like “I just couldn’t bear to throw these out, I’m so glad they will get used for something”  I’m the same, I often sit and read the sentiments and hand penned notes inside and its like a little peek into someone’s life.  So many people use their CHRISTmas  cards as a time to catch up, there is news of births and deaths, joys and sorrows, health issues etc.  It tugs at my heart that each is penned by hand by someone that cared enough to send one.  Thats really something these days of email etc.  So to find a use for these is wonderful!


Discarded Book and Recycled Greeting Card Ornaments

These ornaments are a bit time and labour intensive but SO worth it.  Here’s how I created these items:



used book pages

used greeting cards

sewing machine

crochet cotton




Cut the pages and card graphics out using either a circle cutter, punch or your Silhouette SD, Cameo or Portrait.  I made mine 1.5 inches.  Next, sandwich 6 of the book pages between two pieces of the greeting card circles - I faced them inward so they will show when you fluff your ornament out. 

Run the circles through your sewing machine - for the garland leave about 2 inches of thread between each ornament.  I made my garlands 8 and 10 feet long. 

There is a danger of getting tangled up when doing the garlands, so I opened a door and draped them over.  I felt the thread was not substantial enough so I used some white crochet cotton and ran it along the garland with a line of glue right where the sewn seam was.  Let it dry for a day.

For the ornament I cut a length of crochet cotton and then tied a loop in it to the length I wanted it to hang - then I glued the “tails” along both sides of the sewn seam and ran glue along and dried it for a day. 

When they are completely dry, “fluff” the ornaments out as best as you can by bending the pages about. 

These look so vintage and beautiful .  I think they would be a fabulous way to keep your own family greeting cards, like a tradition.  Also, if you’re newlyweds, this would be a terrific way to make a tangible memento of your first CHRISTmas together!

Thanks for visiting me today! 

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I’m WONDERSTRUCK - a new bible study by Margaret Feinberg

My friend, Margaret Feinberg, has a new book and 7-session Bible Study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God  (releasing Christmas Day)a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. Wonderstruck will help you:

· Recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine

· Unearth extraordinary moments on ordinary days

· Develop a renewed passion for God

· Identify what’s holding you back in prayer

· Discover joy in knowing you’re wildly loved

To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video, here:

I’ve had the privilege to delve into the first part of Wonderstruck so far and it has stirred me.  I’ve been so busy that I admit at times I’ve allowed familiarity stand between myself and the AWESOMENESS of God.  I hope you might consider pre-ordering Wonderstruck in anticipation of this being a very important gift you give … yourself!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Craft Sale update & a Pretty FREE Paper and Lace Christmas Tree Template

I’m SO GLAD to be back here and blogging, I’ve really missed sharing my little corner of the world with YOU! 

If you’re a regular visitor here then you know I’ve had my head in a creative cloud in preparation for the two craft sales I take part in here in beautiful Osoyoos BC.  How I wish you could all get sucked through the airwaves to visit my craft table this coming weekend, we would have a grand time talking about making lovely things and DIY. 

Before I go a step further, I have to stop and say how utterly blessed and grateful I feel to be able to use my talents and gifts to bring joy to others (and a little additional income into our home) while doing something I’m passionate about. 

As I was working on some of my crafts, my thoughts were drawn to Irene, my friend (and church family with me from Osoyoos Christian Centre)  who is on a mission of her heart over in Africa near Kampala and is doing the very things I am doing and yet teaching marginalized women how to do this to earn a living.  Irene inspires me because she has health issues of her own to contend with, she often is not well at all - yet she felt called by God to meet this challenge. 

She is teaching women how to sew crafts.  This is an excerpt from her last communication:

“After the first week of being very ill, I am now working hard.  I have had to go around all over the place looking for supplies.  The traffic in Kampala is a grid lock nightmare.  What could take 15 minutes at one Rona store there can take all day long to get here.  Something as simple as sewing needles are hard to find. 

I finally got all the things we need and have started to work.  At the end of each session all the supplies are hidden so no one can steal it. 

I am so blessed by the mainly Christian population.  People are very friendly.  FRIENDS, not THINGS are the treasure people have here.  Even though most are so poor, people still take in those worse off than themselves and just pray and trust God to provide for them all. 

What you have here, you share.  For me, that means giving and giving and giving more.  God has given me grace and this is what a person in missions is called to do.  It is hard work but God is faithful to provide the grace.” 

So, as I host my own craft sales here, I’m donating a percentage of my profits to Irene’s missions and my Mr. is meeting my donation as well.   Can you please pray for Irene as she carries this good work on?

If you live anywhere nearby - the next craft sale is the Kiwanas at the Legion in Osoyoos BC - directly next to the Canada Post building.  The sale runs from 9 - 3.  A portion of the proceeds the Kiwanas charge for table space goes to the local food bank.  This sale coincides with the Osoyoos Festival Society’s Light Up - so lots going on.  You can click HERE to see the pdf poster about all the festivities!


photo (5)


The first craft sale took place this past Saturday at CASI (the local senior’s centre) here in Osoyoos. 

I’m going to share out photos over the coming days of some of the items I’ve made for the sales.  Today I am featuring my Christmas Tree Cone project which I’m providing as a FREE template so might make one too! 


Pretty Paper and Lace Christmas Tree



Designer Paper -

My Mind’s Eye -  Kraft Fun Day - Happy Days “Icing” Paper (stars and cone)

Trimcraft UK - Boho Chic by Kristin Cronin Barrow (trunk)

Glitter Paper - forevermore (stars)

vintage buttons


random ribbon

paper tube (could be paper towel, I used one from the vinyl I order)



I have supplied YOU the free file for the cut for this tree - also a printable one in pdf.  With the cut I’ve given for Cameo and Silhouette sd you will get a perfect size tree to perch on a regular paper towel roll - (cut down of course to the size of “trunk” you desire”  If you use the pdf printable one then you will have to trim out your tree first and then see how big of a trunk you desire and go accordingly. 

I ♥ the designer papers I used here.  The My Mind’s Eye Kraft papers are very toothy and vintage look and perfect to make new projects yet appear vintage.  I cut the tree shape and then thats when the fun starts.  I chose to SEW my lace right onto the cone shape, its easy to put it where I want it.  You could also hot glue the lace on too, I suppose.  My auntie gave me a BIG BIN of lace and I dive into it without having to wonder! 


Paper Cone 2_Barb Derksen


After sewing, I folded the cone and glued it into shape.  Next I added the thinner ribbon on, here and there using a hot glue gun.  Next, and again with glue gun, affixed the vintage buttons and the little stars which I had punched out of glitter paper.  I cut a larger star from the My Minds Eye paper, added a small glitter star in the middle for a tree topper.  I did doubles of it, glued them back to back with a stick pin inside and then pushed that through the top with a dash of glue at the bottom to anchor it. 

Paper Cone 3_Barb Derksen

Lastly, once my tree was trimmed, I eye measured the trunk and used my rotary cutter (you could use a ruler and exacto) to cover the trunk with paper.  I was SO EXCITED to use some of my dear friend Kristin’s REAL paper - like printed out designer paper, from her Boho Chic line.  I have an entire pad, I’ve already completed another upcycle DIY item I created in the near future.  This wood grain look was ideal, ya think?


So, without further ado - here is this oh so fun Christmas Tree project FOR YOU!  Go forth and make trees.  I’d ♥ to see what your trees turn out like! 





svg, pdf, png & .studio files

personal use

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

One Snowflake - Two Cards, FREEBIE, An Honourable Mention, and a GIANT Rolling Pin!

Hello, anybody still out here?  If you’ve had  your nose pressed against my window you’d think I was an elf in a festive workshop because I’ve been working from sun up to sun down on crafts crafts CRAFTS! 

Let me clarify something - there has been no “sun up” and “sun down” because it has been dull, bluh, yuk outdoors.  I’m not complaining, every time I look out at YOU through the window I am grateful to be all cozied indoors with too much to do. 

And every hour I say,

Noting my step in bliss,

That I have known no day,

In all my life like this.

~ Robert Bridges

Before I go on I want to say THANKS to the  “Always Playing with Paper” blog gals who awarded me and Honourable Mention for my snowman card in a recent post which I entered into their Merry Monday Challenge.  I’ve placed my badge in my sidebar and wear it with pride!

And and AND I have to show you what I found at my favourite store, the thrift.  One can find the most unique and fun items there. 


Yes, the metal one.  It towers over my regular rolling pin.  I know I KNOW - its ridiculous big, must be a commercial item.  Its very lightweight and wieldy.  I carried it around the store six loops and could not let it go, even had it been just for conversation sake. 



I made my Mr a pie.  THIS pie in fact, a delicious concoction of lemon and butter and fresh apple-y goodness.  My Mr picked these gargantuan Granny Smith apples up special for it. 

Lastly, last bit of chatter here:



I’ve mentioned its brrrr… well. 

This poor lil critter was paralysed by the frigid clime and sat just outside the door looking at us EVERY time we came in from outside. I felt sorry for it.  Now that’s normal.  I tend to think of it as a female nurture thing.  But then, my Mr and I were talking about it and he said he felt sorry for the fly.  So it’s our pet, for as long as it can survive.  Have YOU ever had a strange pet?

Some of my projects are going to remain top-secret for now - I’m shy and also want to see what works and does not.  My first sale will be held Saturday, November 24th at CASI (senior’s center) 17 Park Place here in Osoyoos.  The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and I hope to see you there!  There will be crafts, baking, art, jewellery and good food!  Call 250-495-6925 if you need more info!

At any rate, I made a couple of cards recently using just one cut file of a snowflake.  Here are the two different versions:



can you see the SPARKLE paper under here?


I used some elegant patterned designer paper under this one. Basically I created the file to be a “face” for the card with the snowflake shape punched out.  Very simple!  I embossed the cut after to have a pebbly, hopefully suggestive of snow, appearance.

So, after this I was left with the positive shape of the snowflake so I made another design using it, too!



Shhh don’t tell, this tinsel was something left over from a pretty Easter basket our daughter gave us.  I could never throw it away, glad I did not now. 

I used  a random Designer paper and once again used the embossing folder.  I used glue dots to hold this snowflake in place nicely.  I said BEHAVE snowflake!

So here are the files for you to download and cut for your own pretty cards:


Personal Use


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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembering - November 11

I don’t know what you went through,

Or what you’re going through yet,

But I know it bought my freedom,

And I shall not forget.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

LISTEN UP - a FREEBIE, vintage gramophone silhouette for YOU!

Moving right along with new creations for my upcoming craft sales I’m going with whatever hits my brain at any particular moment.

I got it in my head I wanted a vintage gramophone for a card design.  I located a nice gramophone silhouette at an online store but it was for personal use only and I need it to be on cards that I’m selling so I had to go hunt down my own photo on the internet, bring it into my vector program and trace and tweak it.  So I figure, if I’m going through all this work it might be a blessing to YOU too.  I’m putting this out here as a personal use element but if you would like to use it for craft sales or commercial, you just need to contact me and we can discuss that. 

I was tickled that my sister Nina said she’d also give my file a “test run” so we are both posting today so check her version out HERE. 


I wanted this to be suitable for masculine or feminine so i felt the canvas background is masculine, yet the lace softens it.  I made a batch of four and I already have one picked out for someone dear to me and I went ahead and added some stamped flowers on the top left and again bottom right.


And I love to get my hands on a vintage typewriter and tap out my greetings.  I put these on a nice hand-made paper. 



personal use

Thanks for visiting, your support of my blog and creations and leaving a comment!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Merry Monday # 40 Card

I have been resisting making festive cards this year - I’m not quite sure why but all of a sudden I find myself in the mood so here am I, taking part in the oh-so-fun Merry Monday Challenge hosted by the Always Playing with Paper website

Merry Monday Challenge #40




I couldn’t resist using this fun Wal-Mart Stamp,  from the Holiday Stamp Set which was one of the FIRST stamps I ever got as a gift from my sister Nina who lured me into the world of card-making.  I used Wonder&Wishes Designer Paper by Little Yellow Bicycle - and then I used some transparency paper I was given on the other side, because it supplied a “third” different panel without taking away from the nice pattern.

I stamped this guy onto a nice piece of 140 lb Arches watercolour paper.  Using quality paper makes for the wonderful way the paint applies.


I painted with pearlescent paints for the body and background and used regular watercolour paints for all other sections.  I added interest and elevation to the card by applying black gems as coal “buttons” on Mr. Snowman’s body.

Thanks for visiting!

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Monday, November 05, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Sister, Winner (signature sheet) and a FREEBIE!




Beautiful Patchwork of Autumn Orchards and Vineyards

Happy Birthday wishes go out to my sister Nina (Nov 6th in case its a miracle and I get to publish this a day early)  I ♥ you - you’re the whole reason I’m dreaming up all these creative things!  I hope you have a fan-tabulous (not AWESOME) day. I encourage you to jump over and visit Nina as her birthday is the reason I’m giving away a fun FREEBIE today! 

Congrats to Sandi who is the winner of a custom design for her own signature “stamps” which she can print and cut from her Silhouette software!  Please email me, Sandi and we can talk about the specifics.  Sorry it took me an extra week to draw names but I was healing up from oh - so - sore ribs (don’t feel sorry for me, horsing around with my Mr!)  and then it was also his birthday so…

I have been whipping up new ideas for the upcoming craft fairs - end of this month, beginning of the next and there are no holds barred!  I’m working primarily with paper and fabric for my projects and today I’m going to share my paper earrings and also give the pattern away AND the backing card.  I think many of you will REALLY appreciate the backing card for gifts this Christmas!  I will be making more backings, ones which can accommodate necklaces and I will post these as well, when I’m done.

I Paper-Earrings1_Barb-Derksen

Paper Earrings

I bought a few “cards” of stud earrings recently on sale and I’d set them aside thinking they might come in handy for a project.  It hit me yesterday - Paper Earrings.  Granted these earrings are on the “fragile” side - there are ways I am going to experiment in the future with various shellacs or sprays, but for now they are more on the “wearable art” side and will be sold with a warning to handle gently. 


I basically chose a double sided paper to match the stud and then cut both the flowers and card with the same paper.  It works out beautifully that the paper and earrings complement each other.  I bet you’ll make some wonderful “jewels” too.

But the part I’m most of all excited about is making the actual card for them to be displayed on.  I eyeballed the original package they came on and then modified what I saw to fit how I’d like to display these.  I included three sets of earring holes and you can also loop a necklace through the “flaps” if you wish. I hope you have fun!


Jewellery Display Card

You’re free to use this file for ANYTHING just don’t redistribute it as your own please - I will put it in the FREE Studio files Tab for always and ever if you should need.  Please send folks here to download for themselves.

PS - thanks for all of you who’ve left me ♥ comments ♥ on my files


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Friday, October 26, 2012

My latest card - Playing in Paradise Challenge # 90

It’s the PERFECT snuggle up inside and CRAFT day, so wet and cool outside.  Its calling for the same all week, I should get lots done! 

Shhhhhh, don’t tell, this card is for my Mr’s birthday which is coming up soon.  When I saw the nautical theme for Playing in Paradise  I just couldn’t resist!

Playing in Paradise Challenge # 90

PPC 90 - 1_Barb Derksen

ALL of this card is made from my scrap bin excepting the ribbon which I treated myself to when I visited Paper Nation recently.  So glad I found a use for it.  The stamp is from ditto. 

PPC-90---2_Barb-Derksen Blogger Labels: card,Paradise,Challenge

The sweet little sailboat is a ‘scrap’ of sorts too.  I am always playing with a lot of hybrid crafts so I ask all my friends and even the ladies at the local thrift store to save single earrings, broken necklaces etc and they’re glad to do it.  You never know when something is going to wind up being that ‘perfect’ touch to a project.  Remember, anything can be recolored using sharpies or nail polish! 

Perhaps you’ll be inspired to join in this week’s PPC challenge too!  If so, I hope to hit some blogs with comment ♥ so ‘spect me by if you do. 

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