Seamingly Crafty

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Having A Fun Frugal Halloween

So my intention was to get on here and share all of my money saving tips for Halloween!  Of course around here, I sometimes get so busy, I barely have time to breathe 😉

Well I decided that even tho I didn’t share my Halloween throughout October, I’d share what I did to save money this season, still have a great party, great decor, and amazing costumes on a dime!

The Decor

We are a Halloween loving family! We literally could transform our home into a haunted house inside and out every year.  Although we don’t go quite that far we do decorate a lot.  This year we made a trip to the dollar store and grabbed some cool murals to decorate the walls with.  These added so much more depth to our house and just some clear tape and a couple bucks and we had a spooky backdrop on several walls.  These did double duty when we had our party cause they gave our guests several options for photo ops. 🙂

This one we taped onto the brick right outside our front door. *TIP* Dollar store boxing tape stuck and stayed on the brick! Be sure to tape all around to keep the wind from getting under it and ripping it off the wall.

We hung up several different jointed life sized cutouts as well.

these make fun decorations, and fun for party pictures when they are posed 🙂

DON’T THROW AWAY THAT BROKEN BATTERED HALLOWEEN DECORATION!!

As with most years our decorations get roughed up outside from the wind.  This year one of our decorations was in desperate need of some TLC.  Most people would just toss them out when they get as battered as this guy was!  Since I don’t have a picture of him I can explain what we did.  He started as a 2′ hanging skeleton reaper.  He has plastic hands and foam head and originally was draped with a greenish soft papery type fabric and a cheese cloth over that.  The green papery fabric (I don’t know what else to call it) was torn up really bad and since it wasn’t really a fabric more like a glorified paper towel there was no way to doctor it up with matching material.  So what we did was used some scrap black fabric, and black creepy cloth from the dollar store to replace his existing fabric.  We kept the cheese cloth as that was real and the older it is the spookier it looks 🙂  We used hot glue to attach the fabric and creepy cloth and I used a wire hanger cut and bent into a new hanger for him which I attached securely.  We now had a new from old decoration.  If you don’t want to re-do your similar decoration that is too battered to use simply cut off the re-useable parts.  In this case I would have saved the head and hands along with the cheese cloth for a different project.  Any decoration for outdoor can be upcycled or recycled into something new or updated.  Don’t toss it out save $$ 😉

We used the cheese cloth we took off of the decoration to wrap around 2 large dollar store skeletons we painted green to make mummies. 🙂

Creepy cloth can be purchased at the dollar store.

A must! It comes in black and gray.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR CEMETERY WITH FUN IDEAS

We had to touch up some of our outdoor headstones too.  This just required paint which I had on hand and some outdoor clear coat spray which I also had on hand.  We made a couple of new headstones this year.  We are scary movie buffs 😉 so of course our cemetery reflects that.  On our headstones we have:

Fred E. Krueger  his headstone is dressed up with a hand painted Elm St. Street sign and of course his razor knives glove laying on the grass in front of the headstone I made it with an old winter glove spray painted brown and cut out of foam board the knives.

Micheal Myers  his headstone is dressed up with his iconic butchers knife purchased from the dollar store it came white glow in the dark I painted it with silver and blood red.

Jason Voorhees his headstone has his iconic hockey mask screwed to the top corner and his iconic machete screwed to the other side.

Jedidiah Sawyer I haven’t come up with a way to incorporate his iconic chainsaw but I did lay some severed body parts from the dollar store by his headstone.  I’d love to hear chainsaw ideas!!

I made a small coffin a couple years ago to cover our fog machine. I also had purchased after Halloween a couple years ago 3 small headstones with tubes that attach to the fog machine.  even tho they were made for the machine I have, the machine melted the attachments.  I have yet to come up with a way to fix it but still put the headstones out.

Here’s a link to my Instructable on making the coffin.

NOTE* Please follow your instructions that came with your fog machine.  My dimensions were cut to fit a small fog machine and I was sure to keep the end protruding out to keep the fog end cool.

SPEAKING OF CEMETERIES…

My daughter and I love these little headstones at the dollar store.

We grab one or two every year.  They make a nice mini cemetery for the mantel or coffee table etc.  We added some mini plastic skulls and mini skeletons from the dollar store.

While browsing Pinterest I came across this amazing life size spooky tree at 102 wicked things to do blog. I knew I didn’t have time to make it for this Halloween but as my daughter and I were cleaning up after making a Halloween wreath I thought Hmmm…. how about a mini spooky tree for our mini cemetery! YES!  So I kept the cardboard rolls from the dollar store ribbon we used on the wreath and followed most of the her instructions and created my mini spooky tree!  I LOVE IT!!  I added some purple spider LED lights also from the dollar store.

WHILE WE ARE ON TALKING ABOUT MY TREE FIND

Also on 102 wicked things to do blog I found a tutorial on how to make candles that look real but use cardboard tube and LED tealight candles from the dollar store.  We made 5 of them 3 for our candelabra and one for the bathroom candle holder.  She hit it on the head when saying you don’t want anyone catching on fire at your Halloween Party.  I actually had someone almost catch their hair on fire on my toilet… yes… toilet…. I had a tealight burning on the back of it thinking it would be safe. yes I thought it would be cause I don’t sit back and relax on the pot lol so these candles were an awesome SAFE way to spook up the commode. Find the tutorial HERE.

For the Halloween Party Costume contest I used her idea for the trophies!  They turned out great!

We also made 2 extras that weren’t featured in her tutorial.  Our categories were:

Best Costume

Most creative

scariest

funniest

best couple

most original

sexiest

penny pincher

party pooper

We purchased several skeletons from the dollar store. Some wood bases from the craft store some creative props a small piggy bank from dollar store a candle holder and we used a small skeleton we had already.  On Avery.com I chose small mailing label size labels I printed on 6 labels

The Austin’s Halloween Party
BEST COSTUME
2014

I made one for each.  On the Penny Pincher tag I added “start saving for next years costume” and put a penny in the bank. On the party pooper (the little skeleton) I added “next year wear a costume”

I made the background a goldish color on the labels. Printed them out on plain paper, cut them out and used mod podge to attache them to the bases of the trophies.  My daughter and I had so much fun making these!  And even more fun awarding them to the winners!

For voting I used 3×5 cards cut slits down one side to make 9 tabs, I decorated paper lunch bags and taped them to the wall around the voting table.  Taped up simple rules for voting (ie. only vote once for each category) and left the cards and several pens on the table.

——>Click Here to go to 102 wicked things to do<——

SPEAKING OF COSTUMES

This year I spent a lot of time on my daughters costume leaving very little time for my own.  So I decided to go simple and be a Witch.  All I did was make a simple tutu skirt out of tulle and ribbon.  I purchased a hat from the dollar store.  Used some scrap black fabric and the extra tulle and modified the hat to fit my liking. I wanted it to be crooked and longer.  I used floral wire glue and grocery bags to form the end.  Here is what I made for a buck and some free colorful leaves from my yard 🙂

THINK FRUGAL! PARTY TIME!

To keep the food cost down, we chose to do a taco bar.  We purchased taco meat from our local GFS store along with taco shells and a big bag of shredded lettuce, cheese sauce and tortilla chips.  I diced 5 medium tomatoes 2 large onions and served shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives etc.  I kept the meat and cheese sauce hot in crock pots laid out the spread and done.  I also made some witches hats zombie fingers and even put out some powdered donut holes covered with a couple black spiders (spider eggs) 🙂

I bought a few different flavors of 3 liter pop and made fruit punch and iced tea.

All our supplies were purchased at the dollar store.

That was some of our 2014 Halloween!

To wrap up this post I’ll leave you with a few pointers and must haves list for the dollar store.

MUST HAVES:

skeletons large and small

wall murals

party supplies

mini skulls

mini headstones

spiders

crows

creepy cloth

ribbon

LED candles and mini string lights

TIPS/POINTERS:

The dollar store stock sells out FAST!  I missed out on a couple of things I really wanted cause I waited to buy them.  Start shopping for Halloween at the dollar store at the end of August.  The items that don’t sell out too fast are skeletons crows and spiders these they seem to re stock or over stock.

SHOP FOR HALLOWEEN CANDY AT 5 BELOW if you have one near you.  I try to avoid the dollar store for this because although you think you are getting a deal in some cases you aren’t. By the time you purchase enough bags of for example charms suckers to equal the amount you get in a grocery store bought bag you are paying the same price if not more.  Certain candies are ok to purchase at the dollar store like dum dums and pixi stix.  You can always price and weight compare before you buy.

SHOP NOW! Halloween clearance is up to 75% off right now!  You can get ribbon, decorations, etc. at a fraction of the cost! Even the dollar store clearances their Halloween stock.

Think simple for party food!  Stick to one theme. example tacos.  This will keep your cost low.  You can also make it a pot luck ask your guests to bring a spooky dish.  And always do BYOB (bring your own booze)  We do offer what we have to all our guests but I always throw BYOB on the invites so the guests know they are welcome to what we have but any special drinks they should bring.

Think simple for your decor if you host your party out in the garage or a tent.  We put up black poly plastic on the walls and over our not so sightly garage junk hung up some caution tape all around. DONE!  Our guests were welcome inside or out.

If you have your party outside or plan on having any outdoor activities ALWAYS have a back up plan.  We had intended to have spooky stories and pass the story game by the fire pit.  Hot apple cider by the fire pit, and Halloween movies on the back of our house using a friends projector for fire and a movie after games and stories for the kids.  However, the wind was horrible so we couldn’t put up the party tent and couldn’t safely have a fire and since it was so cold and windy we couldn’t do the movies either.  So instead we hung apples on strings for no hands apple grabbing game.  I printed out free coloring pages from crayola.com  and my daughter offered several board games for indoor activities.  I would have done more but I didn’t have a back up plan. 😛 the weather changes like crazy here!

That about wraps it up for this Halloween Post!

Until next time… Keep it Frugal!

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Custom Chandelier

As promised in Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 1 I am sharing how I made this custom chandelier.

I would suggest reading this entire post before going at this on your own.

It is always best to consult a professional.

I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU INJURE OR ELECTROCUTE YOURSELF OR A FIRE IS STARTED IF YOU ATTEMPT TO MAKE THIS.

Be sure to read and follow all instructions contained in your light fixture kits you purchase.

Now with all that out of the way, I used parts I had left over from 2 previous light fixtures I either made or altered.  If you make this project I have listed the parts I used, some of them may come in kits or can be purchased separately.

For this project I used:

  1. Two cluster fixture socket (pictured)
  2. swag light kit (pictured)
  3. electrical tape
  4. electric wire nuts
  5. wire strippers/cutter
  6. screw collar loop kit w/swivel crossbar (pictured below) you may also need to pick up a longer nipple (which is the tube in the left picture below with the threads on the outside)
  7. round box plate with center hole (pictured below)
  8. Two wire wreath forms I used 14″ (cheapest found at Walmart under $3)
  9. Pliers
  10. heavy duty wire cutters (to cut hanger)
  11. 3 wire hangers
  12. scissors
  13. 1 yard choice of fabric
  14. hot glue and gun
  15. beads of choice (Walmart cheapest)
  16. floral wire (thin gauge to affix beads)
  17. 4 yards ribbon (possibly less)
  18. jewelry Chain & jump rings
  19. rivet gun and rivets med. to large

To start out I opened the wire holding the circles on the wreath.  I used the outer and inner circles.  Those where not welded to the holding wire.  And were the perfect size for the chandelier I had visioned.

Next Icut wire hangers to get 8 pieces.  I bent the ends as seen in picture.

I attached 4 to the small rings and 4 to the large rings.

Before crimping I had to make sure the rings sat straight and even.  After fighting with it, I finally got it somewhat straight.

as you can see there was still one or two that just wouldn’t stay straight but that was fixed while adding the fabric and ribbon.

Taking the larger shade and the swivel crossbar I found my center, placed the center hole of the swivel crossbar on my center mark (this can be done on the floor or table by taping a piece of paper down, putting something on 4 sides of the shade to hold it in place then marking the center on the paper).  I measured the distance between the holes at the ends of the swivel to the shade added 2 inches cut 4 more pieces of hanger, made a loop on one end and crimped the other around the top of the shade. I then used the rivet gun to attach the other end to the swivel crossbar.

The next step was adding the fabric and the ribbon to the shade forms.  This was a daunting task.  I first measured then measured again then cut the length and width I needed leaving plenty on the length to fold a nice hem.  I then began gluing.  and.. gluing and.. yep you guessed it gluing some more.  It looked hideous. However the ribbon was intended to cover the wire form and hide the hideous glue 🙂 So I began to glue again first inside then out.

Next I assembled the light.  Using the kits and various parts I had from other projects.

I used screws to attach the wall box plate to the swivel crossbar.  This was to insure the chandelier wasn’t applying any pressure on the wires while hanging.

I ran the wires through the nipple and the swivel and plate. I followed the instructions that came with the swag kit and strung the chain and attached the switch.  Then I  attached the wires from the fixture to the swag with wire nuts put elec. tape over them just to be extra safe. I made sure everything was tight and in place.

I then measured the chain and attached it to the top cross bars and the bottom shade poking the jump ring through the fabric around the wire.  You can see it in the above photos.

Finally I decided on how to place the beads used the floral wire and poked it through the fabric where I wanted it to hang.

I plugged it while my husband held it up and turned it on to test it.  everything seemed to be in order and functioning properly.  We hung it up with the hooks that came in the swag kit.

For my second light fixture I made from scratch I’d say it turned out pretty good. 🙂

I did have a little pinspiration.

After completing this light I found that there were other light hardware pieces I could have used as opposed to riveting and cutting hangers.  But over all this was pretty cheap to make.

The one pictured above on ebay was going for $100

Mine was a fraction of that.

Until next time!

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Repurpose an Old Furry Coat Vol. 1 Furry Leg Warmers

Furry Leg Warmers

Whew Halloween is over…. Wait that means its only 55 days till Christmas!

Before we start really thinking about that…

My daughter has this furry black hat with red devil horns on it.  This year she decided she wanted to be a devil girl for Halloween.  We love making our own costumes… they are much nicer than most store bought.  I remember a few of my old costumes from when I was a kid… There was the witch… it was by far my favorite!  The only thing I had store bought for that was the hat and the broom.  We had found a long black skirt turtle neck and this awesome black cape! it was satin with  silver stars on the trim all the way around the cape.  My mom had these really cool vintage owl necklaces which added that last touch I needed to make it perfect!  When I got older I had put together a punk rock costume out of 80’s clothes I found at a thrift shop.  Now I love making costumes. My fave is a couple years ago my husband and I were alice and the hatter from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Alice in the Um Dress and the Mad Hatter. I created my costume from scratch. I had to order the white material and I painstakingly added the black stripes and hearts to it. My husbands costume was a mix between homemade repurposed and altered thrift store finds. The top hat was made from scratch along with the hat pins. I even made the arsenal of thread from scratch.

Last year I was an Umbrella Corp. Chief Scientist in the Bio Organic Weapons Dept.

I found the skirt and shoes at a thrift store. My husband was working in a hospital and salvaged the coat and I made the name badge and used iron on transfer paper and printed out the umbrella symbol.

So anyway, My daughter needed some leg warmers to complete her costume.  I had this old vintage furry coat in the closet not being used and I thought I could use this for those leg warmers :).  Now you may be wondering what the Vol. 1 is all about.  Well I will be making more stuff with the remains of the coat. For now here’s how to make the warmers.

What you will need:

Furry Coat

Seam Ripper

Needle

Thick thread in the same color as the fur

Scissors

Measuring Tape

Jump rings

Ribbon

elastic

Step 1  turn the coat inside out and remove the lining from around the sleeve.  Next detach the sleeves using the seam ripper.

Next you want to remove the rest of the lining from the sleeve by cutting it off around the bottom of the sleeve leaving enough to tuck under and slip stitch in place.

Lay the sleeve flat with the bottom seam up and cut even across, as seen in photo below.

cut across where the scissors in the photo are.

Measure your leg or the leg you are making this for from the bottom of the knee down to the ankle. In my case it was 15 inches.  fold down the top of the sleeve to so it measures all the way around the measurement you came up with.

Next take the elastic and put it under the fold leaving the ends hang out.

Over stitch around the fold taking care not to go through too much of the sleeve.

when you get almost all the way around tie the elastic making it so it tightens a little. you dont want it to cut off circulation. Then finish stitching.

Next take your jump rings out and decide how many to use.  I chose to use 5, placing them 2″ apart.

Find the seam and lay the sleeve flat with the seam up.

Line the jump rings on either side of the seam. This will help you decide how many to use.

Sew the jump rings in place.  I looped around them twice and tied them really tight.

Last step..

Thread the ribbon through the rings.

and enjoy!

the kitty loves them too! 🙂

Until next time Keep it Crafty! 🙂

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Ugly Chair Facelift

photo ©Stacey Austin

While shopping for antiques and collectables I came across this ugly chair.  It was good price and I instantly visualized how beautiful it could be 🙂

I purchased a few things for the facelift.  But still keeping my cost low.  I am going to walk you through step by step on how to give an old ugly chair a facelift!

Materials Needed:

The chair of course

flat head and Phillips screwdrivers

drill (may not be necessary)

drill bit (may not be necessary)

stapler & staples

rubber mallet

Krylon Fusion no sanding needed spray paint in your choice of color

1½-2 yards of fabric

cushion and batting (may not be necessary)

scissors

fabric paint for tufting buttons in matching color with material

hard bristle paint brush

tufting string and needle

chair sliders

Let’s get started.  The first thing you want to do is check the stability of the chair if there are any loose arms or legs you will want to tighten the screw in them.  My chair had a loose arm so this is where the drill came in because the screw was under a plug that was flat to the surface of the arm rest.  I drilled out the plug carefully and used the screw driver to tighten the screw.

Next you will want to pop off any plugs on the back of the chair that hide the screws holding the back cushion on.  Do this with the Flathead screwdriver.  If any of them break or will not come out you may need to drill them out.  Save any or all of the plugs that were not ruined, you will need them later.  Now remove all the screws holding on the back and bottom cushions.  Set these aside.  I am very clumsy at times so I put all my parts in a Ziploc baggie for safe keeping 🙂

Be sure your chair is clean and free of any debris.

This is a good time to pull off any pads from the bottom of the chair legs.

photo ©Stacey Austin

Now comes the fun part! 🙂  I normally do not think spray painting is fun BUT with this amazing new product, Krylon Fusion, it makes painting virtually any surface so much easier by eliminating the need to sand!!  I mean look at the chair, I would need a Dremmel as well as a sander to do this, making it cost more $$ and that is not what I like! 🙂  I like green and frugal projects!

So using this wonder product spray the chair.  Keep in mind you will get a better finish if you do multiple thin coats as apposed to one to two heavy coats.  Also spray those plugs you removed.

photo ©Stacey Austin

While your chair is drying lets get to the next step!

Using the Flathead screwdriver remove the staples from the back cushion and carefully pull the fabric away from the batting.  If your chair cushion has tufting buttons cut the strings before pulling back the material. Do the same with the bottom cushion but take care not to damage the cover (if one is on it) unless it is in bad shape then you will need replace it. This material is cheap but you may also use the material you purchased to cover the cushions.  Or none at all, no one is going to be looking under your chair. 😉

photo ©Stacey Austin

Once you have finished the daunting task of removing the staples inspect the batting and cushion.  If they are stained or smell or are falling apart you will want to replace it.  It is a good idea to bring the wood in with you so the employee at the fabric store can cut the foam to fit.  Unless you choose to cut the foam yourself. OK so lets move on.

lay the bottom cushion on the wrong side of your fabric taking care to keep the nap in the correct direction.  We wouldn’t want horizontal lines on the bottom and angled lines on the back cushion :S  Cut around the cushion leaving enough material to fold over the cushion.  Do the same for the back cushion then flip the material over the back of the back cushion and carefully cut out around the cushion this layer will be stapled to the back of the back cushion because it can be seen… we can’t leave this part exposed.

In this next step I chose to re use the tufting buttons that I took off of the chair.  I did not see a point in making another purchase if I could make due with what I had.  So, I used black fabric paint and a stiff brush and painted the buttons black.  Worked out pretty well!

photo ©Stacey Austin

photo ©Stacey Austin

Using your stapler starting with the bottom cushion fold up a corner and secure with a staple, follow the lines left from the staples you removed to ensure you don’t staple too far from or too close to the edge.  Next pull and fold over the opposite corner and staple.  Make sure the fabric is taut.  Repeat on the last two corners.

photo ©Stacey Austin

fold over the material close to the corners and secure with a staple making the corner look nice. I like to flip the cushion over to see how the pattern looks.. it may be necessary to pull tighter in some spots than others to make sure the pattern is nice and even.  I put in a few staples and check the pattern, pulling tighter where needed.  Once the material is secure trim the excess material away.  Lay the cover on and staple in place.

Follow the same process to cover the back cushion.  Before you put the cover on the back use your tufting string and needle to put the buttons on.

photo ©Stacey Austin

Start in one of the upper holes on the back of the cushion and secure your first button.  Do this by pushing the needle through the hole then through the back of the button then back into the cushion and out of the back.  Remove the needle  and pull the string tight and secure with a staple, pull to the side slightly and secure again two more times or so.  Do not staple the string straight, you want to zig zag the string and staple this will keep it from pulling out.

Photo ©Stacey Austin

Photo ©Stacey Austin

 

Now cut excess material cover with the piece you cut out and staple in place then trim excess.

Photo ©Stacey Austin

If you have not taken a break, now is a good time.  Do some stretches or have a cup of coffee! 🙂  Laundry.. YUK! lol anyway you should step away if you find you are having difficulty throughout the project.  I find that if I do this when I come back to it, my head is refreshed and I am ready to get it finished!

Little side story… I did not have my proper stapler at first so I thought maybe using my hubby’s hammer tacker (stapler) would work out just fine… WRONG!  Yeah.. this girl… hammer tackered her thumb!! OUCH!! poor thing is all bruised and swollen and unable to hit the space bar as we speak… and it is awkward not using it for the space bar. lol  So please do not attempt to supplement the proper stapler for this project.  SAVE A THUMB! 😀

Alright we are ready to get the cushions back on! wohoo! So if you listened to me your screws will be all secure in a baggy. grab them out and re screw them into the cushions.. Don’t over tighten them.  You want them tight then a quarter turn.

If you saved the plugs using a rubber mallet pound them back in.

Last step before enjoying your new old chair.  Flip the chair over onto a table if it has not been at least 4 hours since you sprayed the chair put it on top of a towel or two to ensure you do not chip the paint on the arms.  Using your rubber mallet pound in the super sliders onto the bottom of the legs.

Photo ©Stacey Austin

DONE!

photo ©Stacey Austin

NOW YOU CAN ENJOY!

If this was your first recovering of a chair pat yourself on the back! My first time sucked 😉  and it looked horrid!  This was my… well… heck I don’t remember how many recovers I did on chairs and stools etc. 🙂

Till next time, Keep it green, keep it frugal and keep it CRAFTY!

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Hand Painted Signs and Potato Stamp How-to

Well I have been MIA for some time now.  There has been so much happening in my life, it’s taking a toll on me.  I have been taking a mental break so to speak. 🙂

I have found a little time to work on a few projects.  One of them is these signs.  Another thanks to Pinterest!

My husband brought home a few big boxes of these pieces of wood.  They look to be sides of drawers.  I instantly had ideas floating through my mind.  I am a big fan of these cute signs you see all over the net.  I think they look amazing with decor.

I tried giving them a distressed look.  The sign above I used a potato stamp for the small stars.

Here’s how:

Materials:

Potato

pencil

stencil (optional)

paring knife

paint

How to:

Cut the potato in half.  Using the stencil and the pencil 😉 trace or just draw out the shape you want to stamp onto the cut end of your potato.  You may need to scar the potato if it is really wet the pencil may not show up.

using your paring knife carefully start cutting away the potato around your shape.

once finished dab the the potato on paper towels to dry.  Dip into paint and stamp away!

The above sign is my favorite!  It represents these tough times in my life that at times seem unbearable but through the grace of God, my will to push on and great friends and family (anchors) I have remained sane.

Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time!

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Throwback Thursday!

So I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a topic.  What’s better than a Throwback Thursday!

Upon my browsing of Pinterest I came across this photo of an old barrette… I thought to myself.. “I still have mine”  My Great Aunt made all of us girls these in white and red with bells on the bottom for Christmas one year way back in the 80’s.

Photo credit: Kid Giddy  Click Image for how to on Kid giddy

The image below is closer to the ones I have from my childhood.

Photo Credit: Agape Love Designs Click image for the how to.

There are so  many really neat throwback ideas on Pinterest!

These ties would make a nice gift!

tetris and pong Photo credit: Pinterest

Who can forget the friendship bracelet?

Were your wrists covered in them?  Mine were at one point.

Click the pic for a how to at The Purl Bee

photo credit:The Purl Bee

Here is a link to a how to for these friendship bracelet gifts!  I would turn these into end of the year gifts!  Or grad gifts/party favors!!!

Photo Credit: dandee

Well that about sums it up for this post.  I’m thinking we have a Throwback Thursday once a month.?  Maybe.

I do have an idea for my next one.. Yummy fondu! 😉

Till next time… keep it crafty!

 

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The Big Day… A Sweet 16 to Remember.

I do hope everyone is enjoying this weekend!  Well the big day came and went and I am satisfied with the results! It was a great party!  I am going to share all of my prep and party planning.  I saved big money on my daughters sweet 16 party by cutting a few corners and doing the work myself.

We started the day finishing up food prep and getting all the snacks ready. The menu was simple, I didn’t want to have a ton of leftovers and I didn’t want to over spend on food, too much food means too much time away from doing other important things.  So we kept it very simple.

MENU:

  • sub sandwich
  • mostaccioli
  • garlic bread
  • strawberry cheesecake salad
  • frozen grape kabobs
  • assortment of chips
  • crackers and cheese
  • salsa
  • water
  • assortment of soda
  • sweet tea
  • pink lemonade

For starters we ordered a 6ft sub from the Walmart Deli.  We had ham, turkey and American cheese on the sub and had all the condiments on the side so everyone could choose how they wanted their sandwich.  I found that it is much cheaper to order a full sub as opposed to ordering individual sandwiches or even a cut sub.  It is so simple to just cut it yourself.  The sub can be divided and wrapped in saran wrap and put in the fridge until it is ready to be cut later in the day. I cut the sub into individual sandwiches and arranged it on a large platter.   I made a large pan of my ‘famous’ mostaccioli.  ( I have several people that ask if I’m making it for every party, I think they secretly only come for the cioli.. lol) 🙂 I can make a large pan of it for as little as $10.  The most expensive thing in it is the cheese.  The mostaccioli was prepared the evening before and cooked in the oven the day of so it was a very quick and simple dish. For garlic bread to go with the pasta I used 4 cans of biscuits cut each one in half and stretched each piece a bit then sprinkled with garlic powder and oregano and baked as directed.  I made frozen grape kabobs the day before the party.  These are simple and easy to make and cheap if you get the grapes on sale.  Because they are frozen they keep for a while in the freezer!  Trust me this will be the first dish to go.  🙂  I found a recipe on Google for a strawberry cheesecake salad. Sounds yummy right!?  It is!  And very simple to make! Most of the prep for this salad can be done the day or night before the party.  I mixed the liquids and powder the night before and also cut the strawberries and sealed in a Ziploc.  The only prep that can’t be done before hand is the cutting of the bananas because they will brown if they sit too long so those get cut just before serving!  Check out the recipe below!

photo and recipe from food.com click here for recipe

I put out a tray of assorted snack crackers and a cheese spread.  Potato Chips, pretzels, tortilla chips and salsa were put in bowls and all set out on tables for a simple snack item in reach.  For beverages I filled dispensers with Country Time pink lemonade and homemade sweet tea.   I also had bottled water and 4 3 liters of soda.  I wanted to make sure we had a nice assortment of beverages.  Remember not everyone drinks carbonated drinks!

Our total cost altogether for our entire food and beverage menu was just about $75.  I purchased as much as I could from the dollar store and Aldi and I made sure to grab what I needed in advance when there was a great sale and I had a coupon.  By making my own large pan of pasta I saved $40.  Compared to our local caterer.  So any entre you can make, like baked or fried chicken etc. that is simple for you do it yourself!!  You will save big $$!

The next step of day was putting up decorations.  The party colors were black and purple so all of our decorations were those colors.  We found this neat ceiling decoration on Pinterest and did it in the party colors.  We also used streamers.

photo from pinterest

We had plans to set up a large tent in the driveway where the dance floor would be however due to high winds we were unable to use the tent.  But the birthday girl didn’t seem to mind.

We put black and purple table cloths on all the tables.  Using Avery.com I made coordinating signs for each table.  On the gift table we placed a sign with the signature pillow I created a while back.  The guests were able to sign it when they placed gifts and cards on the table.

The sign reads: Sign my Pillow Pick a spot, and write a note, over time I’ll enjoy reading what you wrote, please be polite and leave some room for others.

I created a nice candy buffet in rainbow colors.  The birthday girls favorite candy is skittles.  We put another sign on the buffet table along with some bags and ties that had a little thank you card attached.  The candy buffet had skittles, the dum dum tree, marshmallow horns (unicorn horns), life savers, gummy bears, pixie stix, Twizzlers and gourmet marshmallow pops.  I used black and purple ribbon and circle tags that coordinate with the signs also made on avery.com as seen in this post for the sweet 16 invitations.

We left a space on one side of the candy buffet table for the cake.  A friend of mine volunteered to take on this cake my daughter wanted.  She had several different cakes she liked and my friend put all three of them together and came up with this gorgeous cake design.

We put together matching plates, napkins and silverware with coordinating circle cut outs for the cake.

I set up a photo booth for the guests.  My daughter and I spent 8 hours creating photo props.  We wanted to have a large assortment.  We also spent a few bucks at the dollar store for some neat glasses and a few other props.  I made signs for the booth explaining how to use it and also one for props and one explaining the photos will be mailed out after the party.  I also made a little sign for the entrance saying open on one side and closed on the other.  The booth wasn’t open the entire day because I of course needed the camera to take pictures.

we had a ton of props!

This is how the booth was arranged.

After the party we sent out the guests photos on these neat photo strips I created using adobe elements.

Once all the party preps were set it was time to party! 🙂

The festivities started with the birthday girl being crowned, My hubby and I found the this beautiful tiara at The Icing in the mall.

Her Daddy is so proud.

Opening the gift from us. I couldn’t book her favorite band for her party but I did the next best thing and bought her 4 tickets to see them next month. She was totally not expecting them especially having this big box to open. 🙂 She was so happy she cried.

That is it.  The day was absolutely amazing and I am sure it was extremely memorable for her!

Coming up I’m going to be posting info on how to make the food and a how to for the photo booth.

until next time..

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DIY Address Book & Freebie

I believe I made a promise to upload a freebie! 🙂

I finally got it done and all worked out!

This is a Tutorial and freebie in one.  I had been shopping for a new address book for some time now.  I didn’t like what I found for the price that was on it!  So my imagination gears were spinning and I came up with a way to make my own address book.  Not only is it cheaper for what I want but it is also customizable to my liking and can be made customizable to your liking as well!  I was annoyed by my old address book because of a few reasons.  1. There wasn’t a section for websites.  I started forgetting my passwords and such cause of so many so for my address book there is a section just for websites!  Of course you can leave this section out or make a separate book for that. 🙂 2. I have like a bazzillion A’s and No Z’s in my address book, there was just not enough room for my A’s and A’s and B’s were together so my B’s would get lost in the A’s.  Now I can print as many A’s as I need!  3. When people move I can just simply print up a new page No more white out! 🙂 Or strike outs. 🙂  4. I now have a section for just birthdays! no more being a day late! 😉

So lets get started shall we?

First the FREEBIE I created!! 😀  Let’s get the files we need.  I have below links to download each of files you will need including a file with instructions on how to change colors and print the documents.  You don’t have to be a pro at word and I am here to answer any questions.

Address Book A to Z

Address Book Websites

Address Book Birthdays

Address Book document instructions

*note these documents were created from scratch by me!  Please do not claim them as your own.  If you use them in your own blog please provide proper credit and a link to my blog.  Please read my full disclaimer and copyright page. 🙂

Now that you have the documents downloaded lets get them printed up.

I wanted to make this as simple as possible.  If you are ok with the color they are then all you have to do is follow the instructions on changing the Letter and the Months.

Get your pages all printed out.

Here is a list of the materials you will need to do this project.

  1. all the printed pages from my documents
  2. 1″ binder
  3. Material of your choice
  4. A paper cutter with ruler
  5. cardstock
  6. 3 hole punch
  7. a page divider (this is just for measurements)
  8. clear tape
  9. ½” letter stickers
  10. hot glue gun and glue sticks
  11. box cutter
  12. hole punch reinforcement stickers

Sorry for the jumbled mess lol 🙂

First we will need to prepare the paper.

So on a nice large and clean work area get your cutter and print outs.  As seen in the photo below you are going to measure the left side of your page to 7 inches and cut.

Next turn the page so you are cutting on the opposite side line up to 6 inches and cut.  As seen below.

Do this with all of the printed pages.

Next we are going to punch the holes on the right side of the pages.

Your pages should look like this.

This is a great time to take a break.  Yes that took some time.  Unless you have one of the awesome cutters the schools have and where able to cut multiple pages at a time!  Sweet! Lucky you 😉

Next step we are going to start making the dividers.

take one of the dividers and line it up on a piece of card stock as seen in the photo below.  Use a pencil and mark a line down the card stock. This section should be ½” wide.

Now affix the uppercase letter A at the very top right of the card stock.  Using scissors make a horizontal cut under the A to the line you marked in the last step.  Using your cutter or scissors cut off the strip you marked.  If you use the cutter make note of the measurement for the cut this way you can just use that for the rest of the tabs instead of marking each piece.  Your alignment for it should be 8″ so you are cutting off a ½” strip.

Line your Letter A tab card stock up onto another piece of card stock and affix the Capitol letter B just below the A.  Cut horizontally on the top and bottom of the letter B ½” in close to the letter.

Cut off the strips as you did with the Letter A tab.

Depending on the size of your letters you should have Q at the very bottom when you get to that letter.  If not that is fine. Just continue the last steps until you get to the bottom.  Your next letter will be at the top of the next card stock page in my case it was the letter R. Continue on to Z.

Next using your lower case letters turned sideways stick the word “web” just under Z tab you just made.  Cut horizontally as you did for the letters and cut off the strips.  Do the same for birthdays.  I made my tab say “b~days”

Next step can be tricky.  We are going to cut the dividers to fit.  Turn the dividers so the tab is on the left side of the cutter and line up to the 6″ mark.  DO NOT measure the tab!  See the photo below for proper measurement.

Cut each divider then punch in the holes on the opposite side of the tabs.

Now we are going to move on to the binder.  So put all of your paper aside clean up your space so you have a nice clean area to work in again.

Take a break if needed and have a glass of wine or stretch 🙂

Open your binder and using your letter A piece of paper put it in the rings.  Use a pencil and mark the edge of the paper on the top and bottom on the right side onto the inside of the binder.  Measure from that to the right another ½” or so make a straight line and carefully cut off the end using your box cutters.  (you want to leave enough of the binder to cover the tabs when closed)

Close the binder and using the cut side as a guide cut the other side off of the binder.

Open your binder and lay it on the wrong side of your fabric.  Cut the fabric leaving about 2″ all the way around the binder.

fold in the 4 corners hot gluing them down trim the point off.

Run a bead of hot glue down the side from corner to corner and fold the edge in half. NOT over the binder yet!

this will make a nice clean edge.

Now run another bead of hot glue this time fold over the binder.

Do the same for all 4 sides making sure you pull the material taut so there are no wrinkles and it is nice and tight to the binder.

You can also spray glue the material to the binder if you like.

Make sure the edges are glued down good adding more hot glue if necessary.

Next step we are going to start filling our binder!

Before putting pages in put the reinforcement stickers on the front and back of your pages. These will help your pages last a long time. 🙂  You can put them on one side only if you like. Or not at all!  Remember the best part of this project is you make it your own!

I liked having the pockets inside so I left them. I sometimes get letters from people and I rip off their address and stick it in my address book so I can write it in later. lol I also sometimes like to keep important business cards in my address book and they usually fall out so I kept the pockets for this purpose! 😀

As you can see I only put my reinforcements on one side but I am going back to add them to the other side too because I have plenty left over!

Save any you have left for future use if you ever need to add pages to your address book!  They also come in handy when doing your own manicures.. but that is a totally different post! 😉

Here is my finished book!

As you can see I added an embroidered patch to the front of my book that says Addresses. You don’t have to do this or you can! It’s all customizable to you!

The final step is to put write in your addresses and enjoy your custom made address book!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and the freebie!

Till next time.. Keep it Crafty! 😉

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Sweet 16 Invitations

It has been a while since I’ve posted on the blog.  I have been so busy working on my spring cleaning amongst many other projects!  I did get the invitations done today! Woohoo!

My daughter and I went up to Party City to get invitations for her party.  When we got there we were very disappointed.  The selection was disappointingly small, and the prices were outrageous!  We found one Sweet 16 invitation and it was not in her colors.. it was of course frilly pink and poofy.  So we decided instead of paying $9.99 for 8 invitations we would head out to Joann Fabrics and check out paper and card stock.

To our surprise the scrapbook paper crafts were all 50% off!

So we grabbed:

a box of 36 A2 4.25″x5.5″ glitter cards $5

a package of white card stock $2

8 feet of decorative ribbon $2

Our supplies we used at home:

2 inch circle punch

paper cutter

scissors

glue tape (double sided sticky tape or dots etc.)

printer

I used this amazing ‘design and print online’ at Avery.com I absolutely love this!! It helped me for invites and decor at my sons grad party!

For these cards I used the 2″ circle template, avery product #22824

and for the inside of the card I used #18664

I made a  line design and used the gorgeous Bella Donna font (the site offers many options for fonts and creating)

I used the hole punch for the circles and the paper cutter to get a precise line for the inside of the cards.

This is what we came up with…

Outside of the cards. The ribbon was stuck on using glue tape and the circle was punched out using the circle punch then glue taped onto the ribbon.

 

And the inside we typed out the party info.  The Avery site also has this option to carry your design onto another template with the click of a button!  I know like I said AMAZING! 🙂

And there it is!

So these cards are frugal and creative. not to mention sentimental because they are created by us! Caitlin is so excited to hand these out to all her friends!

I added up our savings…

The invitations at Party City were $9.99 for a pack of 8. We would have needed a minimum of 3 packs.  And I say minimum because we always end up needing more for those we had a duh moment and forgotten about. Take no offense to these moments because it happens to everyone. 😉  But I am going to add up the total for 36 invites which is what we got from the craft store.  So we would have needed 4.5 packages and since we can’t just buy half the package we would have had to buy 5 packages and the other half would have gone to waste.

For our invitations we purchased supplies for at Joann Fabrics we got at 50% off.  We only needed the one box and a few other supplies.

 Party city invitations   $50.00

Our own invitations supplies purchased at Joanne Fabrics $9.00

a total savings of $41.00

We made our invites for $9.00  and actually less than that because we only used 23 of the cards and they are blank so the unused cards can be used for other things 🙂  I like that savings! Even if the supplies weren’t 50% off we would have paid $16.00 for 36 invites as opposed to $50.00.  So sale or not it was big savings!  And that makes me smile!  $41.00 is a lot of money these days. That is more than what it costs my daughter and I to have lunch at our favorite restaurant!

Joann Fabrics also has 50% off coupons and you can grab them from your phone and have it scanned right off of your phone at the register.  click here to check it out!

I hope you enjoyed the savings and creativity in this post!

Till next time… 😉

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Dum Dum Tree Tutorial

I finally got the Dum Dum Tree done.  I seen a post on Pinterest that had a sucker topiary tree and I wanted to have one on Caitlin’s sweets table at her party.

After trial and error I finally got it done.  My first attempt was a total fail!  I tried using a small cone for the suckers and found that when I got to the top there was not enough room for the suckers to fit and the cone was breaking apart.

As seen in the failed attempt above the cone did not make for a good base.  I tried only pushing the Dum Dums in halfway, well I actually had no choice in the matter because that is as far as they’d go without getting crowded even at the bottom.  So with that said, I’m going to move on.

I am all about being frugal as most of you know, and I enjoy seeing what I can make and how awesome I can make a party on as little cash as possible!  It is like a challenge for me!  I love to entertain but I don’t love the bill that comes with it. Luckily the cone above came from the Dollar store and it will not go to waste still because I will break it up and use it as stuffing for my next project that requires to be stuffed. 🙂

This project was made with 95% materials purchased from my local Dollar Tree.

:)

I added the push pins to my project as I was moving along on it.

Supplies:

  • 3 foam cubes (Dollar Tree)
  • 1   2″ foam ball (multi pack Dollar Tree)
  • approximately 265 Dum Dum Suckers
    (I had some on hand and bought 5 additional bags at the Dollar Tree)
  • 4 large thumb tacks
    these come in a variety of sizes shapes and colors I had these on hand but I did purchase them at the Dollar Tree a few years ago
  • A scrap piece of felt
  • A larger piece of scrap fabric
  • wooden dowels (Dollar Tree)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • coping saw or other serrated cutting utensil
  • 3½” circle template (I cut out from a cereal box)
  • scissors
  • sharpie
  • colored pencil or chalk (not pictured)
  • a clean large work space

Lets get started!

Open the foam cubes and trace the circle onto one of them. (photo 1. below)

Using the coping saw carefully cut straight down around the circle. (photo 2.)

Once you have the circle cut out flip the cylinder over and place the 3″ circle template on it. If you haven’t cut straight down evenly you will get what you see in photo 3 below.  Hold the template and carefully shave off the excess foam using the coping saw.

Repeat this for the second foam cube. Next put a good amount of hot glue on one of the cylinders and stack the other on top. you should now have a nice tall cylinder as seen in photo 4. below.  Do any more trimming needed. however as seen in my photo it doesn’t have to be perfect because it is going to be covered.

A side note: use one of the larger foam pieces you cut off to test the glue on the foam. You want to be sure it isn’t going to eat through the foam! If it does your glue may be too hot.  And you may need to use a cooler temp hot glue.

This is very messy!! Use a cloth to cut on so you can easily dispose of all the foam you cut off.  Pay no attention to my un manicured nails 😉

We want to make sure that glue cools completely before we attempt to start poking at it so set it aside get rid of all the foam that is now covering you and your entire work space and floor.  Grab your large piece of fabric and lay it flat with the wrong side up.  Take your 3rd foam cube and place it in the center of your fabric and using your chalk or colored pencil trace it 9 times as seen in the photo below.

Cut out the entire combined square leaving at least ½” extra material all around.  This cut does not have to be perfect just as long as you leave enough material to fold under.  Next you want to cut from each corner in stopping at the center square as seen in the photo below.

Still working from the picture above put some hot glue all around one side of the cube and carefully put it in the center square.  Next put some glue in the square just below the cube. you don’t need a large amount but enough to be sure it sticks. Pull that side up snug and press and smooth it to the side of the cube.

Turn the cube counter clock wise and carefully put some glue on the piece of fabric that is like a triangle now folding it over snug smoothing it out as seen in photo 1. below.  cut off that little part that is hanging over the side.  Turn the cube counter clock wise again and put glue in the square and pull that side up taught and smooth it. Next turn the cube clockwise put some glue in the triangle and smooth it over the one you have glued down already as seen in photo 2 below. Cut off the extra piece hanging over the side.

Turn the cube all the way around to the opposite side of the triangle pieces you glued down and glue down the triangle pieces on this side. Don’t forget to cut off that extra piece that hangs over the side.

In photo 3 below you can see I am cutting off part of the triangle piece, the first thing you want to do is fold the triangle in and then fold up the side to be sure you have a nice edge lined up then cut the excess off  put a small line of hot glue to hold the fold over.  Do the same on the other side. Put hot glue in this folded edge square pull it up taught and smooth out see photo 4 below. Repeat on the opposite side.

take care in step 4 to make it pretty, this part of the tree will be visible.

Flip the cube and glue down the edges on the bottom.

Your cube should look like the one above at this point. Next put a little hot glue on the tacks and push them into each corner on the bottom.

Cut little squares out of your scrap felt and put a bead of hot glue on them and press onto the tacks as seen below.

These would make really cute jewelry displays too I think 🙂 so adorable!!!  IF you can’t find decorative thumb tacks at the Dollar store try Wal-mart or an office supply store!

Now we are going to move onto the 2″ ball.  cover the ball with fabric gluing and working the fabric in small sections cutting excess fabric off along the way once you get down to the bottom of the ball cut off all excess fabric. Next cut a circle out of the same fabric and glue it onto the bottom of the ball covering up the gathered fabric taking care to glue down the edges of the circle! Be careful not to burn your finger!!  I’m a daily cook at home and I craft a lot so my fingers are used to the heat but it will still burn the day lights out of my fingers if I don’t let the glue cool a bit before pushing down.  I also use the stand part of my glue gun to push down small parts of fabric.

once the glue is cooled you can rub at the glue that is exposed to get it off. But if there are stubborn pieces that can be seen (if using black fabric) you can use your sharpie on them to blend it in.

Using your coping saw cut a wooden dowel in half.  Next take your scissors and poke a small hole through the fabric on the bottom of the ball. Put some glue on the end of the dowel and insert it into the ball taking care not to go through the top!

My daughter said this looks like a cake pop.. she is addicted to starbucks birthday cake pops 🙂 Styrofoam everywhere still 🙂

This would be a great time to take a break and stretch, do yoga, take a brisk walk… whatever makes you centered 🙂 Or you can switch over your laundry… yes unfortunately it is a chore that we have to do! UGH! My least favorite chore!  You will never see me get excited to wash clothes.  I must have been one of those people that did nothing but wash clothes all day in a past life… like down in the basement of a castle!  Or I could have been the princess and never had to wash clothes… either way I think I’d dislike it no matter which I would have been lol 🙂

Now that you have centered or done a chore lets get on to the fun part!!!

start pushing the Dum Dum’s into the cylinder.  I suggest pushing them in all the way as seen in photo 2 below.  For 2 reasons 1. you will use less suckers to take up space and 2. the tree will be much more stable.

The only uniform I used in putting them in was in the first row. after that just start pushing them in working your way up to the top.  You will see in photo 3 below that there are some spaces between some suckers.  This is ok we will be going back filling them in later.

Once you get to the top push your dowel that was inserted in the ball down into the center of the cylinder.  Take care to go down straight, pull back out and put some glue on the dowel and push it back down into the hole.   If you didn’t get the dowel to go straight down you can use another piece of dowel and push it in next to the ball as seen below to straighten it out.  Add some glue around the dowel. You will want the ball to be about 2″ above the cylinder.

yeah yeah, I should have taken a break I stuffed the stick in crooked lol

Start filling in the rest of the way with the suckers going all the way up to the ball. Then go back and fill in any gaps between suckers.  I used approximately 265 suckers.  You can cut your cylinder shorter if you like so you don’t need to use as many suckers.

Once the suckers are all packed in push in on them all the way around making sure they are all snug.  Then gently lay the sucker tree on it’s side.  Cut another dowel in half and poke each half into the bottom of the cylinder as seen below.

Using your colored pencil or chalk heavily color the bottom of the dowels as seen below.  Carefully pick of your tree trying to keep it centered on the fabric cube press the dowels onto the fabric. The lay back down on it’s side.  This will transfer the color onto the cube so you know where to poke through the fabric.  If it didn’t work scrape more color onto the dowels and try again.  If it did work use your scissors and carefully poke through the fabric.

Remove the dowels and put some glue on them then push them back into the holes and allow a few minutes to dry a bit.

Put some glue along the dowels and on the top of your fabric cube, carefully push the dowels into the holes you cut in the fabric and down into the cube. make sure it goes all the way down it should with no problem.

Allow the glue to dry completely and sit back and admire YOUR Dum Dum sucker tree!

I am going to be adding rainbow ribbon around the bottom and the tag will be black, purple and white! I am also going to pin a purple number 16 to the top of the ball.

I hope you are as excited to try this as I was to make it!  This can be used at any kind of party and it will be amazing!  Boys parties too!  I think it would look awesome with camo material!  Or even cartoon theme!

So grab your reuseable bags and head up to your local dollar store and get started! 🙂

Until next time stay Crafty!!

Word.. 😉

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