“Chalk It Up” is a new collection of Close To My Heart products featuring great new paper patterns, stamps, accessories and even an awesome new Picture My Life Package. I decided to design this month’s Scrapbook Workshop pages from the Close To My Heart “Chalk It Up” Workshop On The Go Kit because you get some of all of these fantastic new pieces to work with. I had so much fun creating with all of these coordinating materials. The “Chalk It Up” Workshop On The Go Kit includes a fantastic stamp set with great journal boxes, a full set of number, cool titles, and fun accent images in addition to the terrific paper, accessories, and ribbon.


Chalk It Up WOG


Here are the pages I designed with the Chalk It Up Workshop On The Go Kit. The first layout is actually made from the instruction guide that comes with the Kit. I made a couple of modifications, but the base is from the layout shown in the package.


Chalk It Up 1 PM


Chalk It Up 2 PM


Chalk It Up 3 PM


With a new color combination, including the new color Flaxen, “Chalk It Up” is ideal for many different types of photo ops and storytelling. It has a school theme emphasis, however you can see in my scrapbook pages I did not do anything with school. If you have back-to-school photographs you are ready to scrapbook, “Chalk It Up” is perfect for those pictures. My kids are grown, but I love the colors, patterns, and accessories, so I just scrapbooked a fun day with Sophie, my Yellow Lab, and my daughter’s birthday. There is so much you can do with “Chalk It Up.”


These were fun pages to embellish along the way, too. I really like the new Striped Twill Ribbon and the fantastic accessories that come in the Kit. The Chalk It Up Accessories are puffy adhesive-backed stickers with all four colors of designs to choose from. With a sort of whimsical, sketchy feel to it, embellishing kind of felt like when you used to doodle on your Pee Chee folders and book covers. I really like the journal box stamp that looks like a composition book, as well. To tie it all together, I used a Black Journaling Pen to add some squiggly borders, doodles, and journaling throughout the layouts. So much fun.


Chalk It Up Collage PM


The way Close To My Heart is able to package these Workshop On The Go Kits you not only get a bunch of great products, you also get a really great value. The cost of the Kit is only $29.95, however it comes with over $41 is products. That’s awesome!


You can make all three of these scrapbook layouts by attending one of my September Scrapbook Workshops or by ordering a Workshop Kit To Go. If you are in the Boise Area, check your calendar and reserve a date to come enjoy some create time. If you are not in the area, or the dates are not good for you, I am happy to put a Workshop Kit together and mail it to you.



Workshop Packages – $29.95

(plus tax and shipping)

The workshop package includes everything you see in the picture above, plus a little more paper to complete all of the pages.

If you are ordering a Workshop Kit To Go and plan to create your pages at home, you would also need blocks for your stamps and ink pads in Black, Flaxen, and Sorbet for the stamping.



Workshop Dates: 

  • Friday, September 19 at 6:30 PM

  • Saturday, September 20 at 1:00 PM



Contact me at


or (208) 713-2940

to reserve a workshop spot

or to purchase a Workshop Kit To Go.



You can also see all the complete “Chalk It Up” Collection and order items directly from my website. Just click here to shop and enjoy all of the possibilities.


Here’s a peek at the “Chalk It Up Picture” My Life Package. It is AWESOME! Whether you have children back in school, have photos of your children in school 20 years ago, or just enjoy creating with fantastic ready-made cards, this in one of my new favorites. Happy creating!

Chalk PML




Simply Inspired Blog Hop Logo


Welcome to the Simply Inspired CTMH Blog Hop celebrating National Stamping Month with artwork featuring an exclusive new stamp set called #30yearsofhappy. This special stamp set has been designed as part of the on-going celebration of the 30-year anniversary of CTMH’s founder and CEO, Jeanette Lynton in the the scrapbooking and stamping industry.

This is an exciting year for Close To My Heart as they celebrate 30 years of creative inspiration and the #30yearsofhappy Stamp Set is full of creative possibilities. With 30 different mini images and sentiments the #30yearsofhappy Stamp Set is perfect for oodles of stamping fun.

If you have come here from Margi Gilbertson’s Blog  you are on the right path to enjoy some creative inspiration and fabulous project ideas as we celebrate National Stamping Month. The blog hop is one big circle, so you can start here and work your way around to see all of the fantastic project ideas. If you get lost along the way, you will find the complete list of participating Consultants here.

It’s easy to hop along with us – just click the link at the end of each blog post to move to the next one. Enjoy.

Hip Pics Standing PM



I chose to make a mini-album for a collection of our “selfies” from some of my adventures with my daughter. With cell phone cameras making it so easy to snap quick photos anywhere and everywhere, it has become the day of the “selfies.” My daughter and I take lots of these pictures when we travel or are jut out-and-about. I love them. Sometimes they are silly and quite candid, but I love the way they capture an instant and preserve whatever fun thing we are doing.The #30yearsofhappy Stamp Set was perfect for embellishing a quick album with fun icon and message accents.

For the base of the album I used the Close To My Heart Hip Pics Album. It has a sturdy kraft chipboard cover with 16 spiral-bound pocket pages. The album comes ready to decorate and slip photos into the pockets for simple storytelling. It’s so quick and easy. I used 18 different designs stamp images from the #30daysofhappy Stamp Set in this album. Below are pictures of some of the pages so you can get a feel for how it all came together.


Hip Pics Collage 2 PM

Hip Pics Collage 3 PM


You can see where I have sponged Dimensional Elements in Honey, Cranberry, and Lagoon to have bright colored accent pieces. Then I stamped black images from the #30daysofhappy Stamp Set on top of those accessories for a really crisp contrast. On some of the pages I stamped images directly to the pages, alternating images stamped in the bright ink colors and images stamped in black. I used Topiary Striped Washi Tape for borders and another splash of quick color. A simple outline frames the picture window and is made with the same Black Journaling Pen that I used to add notes about the pictures. I printed my photos in black and white to give some continuity to the pages.

These little albums are terrific for special little keepsakes, teacher gifts, birthday party activities, and so many other treasures. I keep them simple, no pressure, casual journaling, and picture highlights of memory making moments. (They even fit in your purse or backpack so they are terrific little brag books for Grandma’s, too.)


Here is a list of supplies that I used to make the album.





You can join in our celebration during

National Stamping Month.

Get the #30yearsofhappy Stamp Set FREE

when you order $30 of current retail-priced

Close To My Heart stamps in September.


Contact your Close To My Heart Consultant to see the wide variety of CTMH stamps sets available and place an order today so you can get your #30yearsofhappy Stamp Set FREE. If you do not have a CTMH Consultant, you can visit my website to view all current CTMH stamps and order at your convenience. Just click here to visit my website and shop online.


Are you ready for more creative projects to expand the possibilities for this great stamp set? Hop on over to Melissa Laverty’s Blog and enjoy the delightful artwork she has created to share with you. The sky’s the limit for this stamp set so be sure you continue hopping through the Simply Inspired CTMH Blog Hop and visit all of the Consultant blogs for lots of project inspiration.


Thank you for visiting my blog and have a fabulous National Stamping Month.

Michelle Snyder




Sunflowers are so cheerful with their bold, bright golden petals. They are my daughter’s favorite flowers, so we have many happy thoughts and memories connected to them. I have taken pictures of sunflowers in many of our travels, including these from Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington and the outdoor market in Nice, France.


Nichole Sunflower Seattle 2 PM


Sunflowers in Nice PM


This summer I have been inspired by these beautiful flowers and have been creating a lot of different projects with a sunflower theme. There have been scrapbook pages, gift boxes, cards, banners, treat bags, bulletin boards, and more.

Close to My Heart’s Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge has made it really easy to create cardstock sunflower images in a size range from 1 1/2″ to 10 1/2″.  No matter what size sunflower a project needs, the steps are the same. I have had quite a few requests for tips on how to make these sunflowers, so today I am posting the steps I use. I hope it is helpful and that you have lots of fun accenting your paper crafting projects with sunflowers.


SUPPLIES:  (All of the supplies are Close To My Heart products.)


Step 1:

Sunflower Steps Collage 1 PM

Begin by cutting out the flower and scallop cirlce die-cuts from the CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge. I use the <Flower 1> shown on page 21 in the cartridge handbook and the <Circle 2> shown on page  .

I use Honey Cardstock for the flower base and cut the flower shapes at 1/4″ graduated sizes for layering. For example, I layer a 3″ flower on top of a 3 1/4″ flower. When you look at a sunflower the petals are full and off set. Making the top flower just a little bit smaller helps to create a little more depth while keeping the petal placement full.

Sunflowers have larger centers than other flowers. A daisy has a much smaller center in proportion to it’s petals than a sunflower does. Because of this I cut the scallop circles a little bit larger to create a more clear sunflower. You will need to experiment a little bit with the size the center needs to be for your flower depending on the overall size of the flower you are making. For example, on the 3 1/4″ flowers I have a 1 1/4″ scallop circles cut our of Chocolate Cardstock for the center. In case you are wondering about why I used a scallop circle instead of a standard smooth edged circle, that is because when you look at the center of a sunflower it has a pretty bumpy texture. Adding the scallop the edge of the center helps to create that look and keep it from being too smooth.



Step 2:

Sunflower Steps Collage 2 PM

In Step 2 I am adding a little extra color to make the flowers even more vibrant and to create some depth in the petals and centers. If you look at my photographs of real sunflowers shown above, you will see that the petals almost have streaks of darker color where there are soft textures and highlights. There is also more shading as you move toward the center of the flower.

The tool I used to add the color to the flower pieces is a Sponge Dauber. I really like working with these little tools. The fit right on the end of your finger so it almost feels like an extension of your finger instead of holding onto a sponge. Sponge Daubers come in a package of three or packages of 12 and are really cost effective. They can also be washed out and re-used with different colors.

To create petals that have some shading and deeper colors I used a Sponge Dauber in Goldrush Exclusive Inks Pad to swipe color on top of the petals. The Goldrush color is just a shade darker than Honey so you have a little extra contrast. To add the ink sponge the dauber in the ink and then beginning at the center of the flower gently press down and pull the color out toward the ends of each petal, pulling up before you reach the tip of the petal. By starting in the center you automatically end up with more ink there which adds to the deeper colors you see in the middle of sunflowers. I hold the Sponge Dauber at an angle so that it makes a more narrow line.

Again, looking at the sunflower photographs above, you can see that the centers of sunflowers do not look flat at all. They have a lot of texture. I used another Sponge Dauber in Chocolate Exclusive Inks Pad to add some darker spots and a more porous texture to the Chocolate Cardstock. For this I held the sponge a little more flat to the paper. After sponging some darker color on the center I also ink distressed around the edge of the scallop circle to cover any white core edges that may be showing. This will also make the color in the center feel richer and have great contrast on the flower base.



Step 3:

Sunflower Steps Collage 3 PM

The last step is to put the pieces together. Using your favorite adhesive, (mine is Close To My Heart Bonding Memories), glue the smaller flower shape on top of a larger flower shape. I only put adhesive in the very center of the die-cut flower base so that the petals stay loose. Next glue a center on top of the middle flower, centered.

To finish it off I gently lift the petals of the top flower up toward the Chocolate center. I do not make a hard crease. I keep everything soft, just like real sunflower petals. By pulling those top petals up your flower will have extra depth and feel more dimensional.


That’s about it. Pretty easy, huh? Just a couple of quick easy steps and you can bring beautiful sunflowers to your memory making and memory keeping, classroom decor, and so much more.



All of the Close To My Heart products I use to make sunflowers are available to purchase on my website.

You can shop anytime by simply clicking here to order any of the tools you may need to create your own sunflower projects.



When you shop on my website, remember to click “join” button to attach your order to “Michelle’s August Online Gathering.” At the end of the month I draw a name from all of the orders placed on my website that are attached that that Online Gathering. The winner for the drawing receives a $25 CTMH shopping spree.


Here are some other project featuring the sunflower theme. If you are new to my blog, take a look around. There are posts with tips about making some of these other projects, too. And…be sure to add your email address to the “Stay Up To Date” box so that you can receive updates, give-away information, new artwork, and creative tips for paper crafting, scrapbooking, and stamping.


Sunflower 2 Collage


I will be posting other ways to use this same flower die-cut for Daisy projects later on. Thanks for visiting my blog today and come visit again for more project inspiration.


Enjoy your creative moments. Michelle





Close To My Heart’s new Annual Inspirations Idea Book has so many fabulous tools for adding creative details to paper crafting, stamping, and scrapbooking projects. Over the next few weeks I would like to highlight some of those products that I have been enjoying as I create.

Today’s Terrific Tool Tidbit is about the Close To My Heart Score Board. It is light weight, portable, versatile, and has a built-in storage spot for the scoring tool so it is always handy. Here’s a quick highlight video so you can see how it is set up to add texture and patterns to your project pieces.



The Score Board is really easy to use and I love being able to create different kinds of patterns and textures on my projects with this great tool. I have incorporated the Score Board into this month’s Scrapbook Workshops and Kits with simple quarter-inch embossed lines to add texture to the pages. The finished pages look like this and the steps are shown below.


Sunflower Layout 1 PM


Sunflower Layout 2 PM



Here are the steps I used for adding the texture and distressing to the Kraft Cardstock for these Sunflower scrapbook pages. The Score Board makes it quick.


Score Board Collage


Use the scoring tool that comes with the Score Board and made lines all the way across a 12″ x 12″ piece of Kraft Cardstock that are 1/4″ apart. Using the ruler across the top makes it easy to see right where to place the scoring tool and then the grooves on the Score Board guide the tool all the way down the cardstock.

Turn the cardstock over so that that ridges of the scored lines are up and place it on a flat surface. Holding a Chocolate Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad flat to the page, swipe over the top of the cardstock. The ink makes the raised score lines darker giving the paper extra color contrast and a distressed finish. Then you are all set to incorporate your newly textured and distressed cardstock into your projects.


These pictures show you a little closer view of the texture created by adding the scored lines to the Kraft Cardstock and distressing them on top. For the first scrapbook layout the Kraft Cardstock became the page base and for the second layout I cut the cardstock into pieces to make a border across the bottom of both pages.


Sunflower Texture  Collage


Here’s a banner that I made using the same scored Kraft Cardstock that I cut to be the bases for part of the banner pennants. I alternated the Kraft banner pieces with simple pennants I made using the new Designer Creations Honey Paper Bags. I love these new bags. I’ll be sharing many fun ways to use those bags for party treats, decorations, and paper crafting projects later on.


Sunflower Banner



If you have not registered to receive my blog updates,

just add your email in the “Stay Up To Date” box

toward the top right corner of this page

so that you don’t miss anything. 


Creating texture and a variety of patterns is so quick and easy with the new Close To My Heart Score Board. You can order a Score Board on my website and enjoy making all kinds of terrific backgrounds and accents on your paper crafting projects. The Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations Idea Book is full of fabulous resources for your creating. You will find all of the products I have used for the projects shown above when you shop on my website. Just click here to shop now.


Come visit again for more Terrific Tool Tidbits and project ideas. Happy creating!



What A Hoot PM


Using stamp sets with a paper piecing technique can be a fun way to add color and texture to paper crafting projects. It can be a great alternative to coloring in stamp images with markers, pencils, or other mediums. You can see on the card shown above that each piece of the owl has a different Background & Texture Paper or Cardstock so fun prints and patterns coming together in the stamped image instead of just solid colored spaces. The look reminds me a lot of quilting with fabrics where you choose fabrics with different prints that have coordinating colors. Close To My Heart products make it really easy to coordinate colors, textures, and fabulous images for project focal points.


Here are the steps I use for paper piecing stamped images together. I begin by choosing a stamp set that has designs that are open or outline shapes instead of solid images. For this project I chose the Close To My Heart “What A Hoot” Stamp Set because it comes with two outlined owl images, two messages, and lots of accessory pieces. It’s kind of fun to mix and match the other stamp designs included in the set so that they owls can have different eyes, wings, hats, etc.



What A Hoot


Next I select a Close To My Heart Paper Pack that has the color palette I want to work with. One of the terrific things about CTMH Paper Packs is that they are put together with a variety of prints and patterns that have coordinating colors. You do not have to take time to try to find matching colors or prints that work together. It’s all done for you.

I remember going fabric shopping with my mom when I was a kid to find just the right pieces for quilts and other sewing projects. We would walk through the fabric store holding up swatches until we found just the right combination of patterns and colors. It was fun, yet very time consuming.

Time seems to be one of those things I never quite have enough of these days. I love being able to grab a package of CTMH paper that has everything already put together with a beautiful variety of coordinating colors so I can get right to the creating part. For This project I chose the “Scaredy Cat” Paper Packet. In this packet you get six 12″x12″ B&T Duos Papers (2 each of 3 double-sided designs) and six 12″x12″ Cardstock Sheets in coordinating solid colors. Lots of options for paper piecing.



Scardy Cat Paper Packet


Once you have chosen a stamp set and paper you are ready to jump in and start creating. Select paper patterns for the stamped images and make multiple prints of each design on each paper. As you can see in the picture shown below, I stamped the body of the owl in Black Ink on two different B&T Papers. This makes it really easy to cut sections of the stamped images out and layer them together. I used the light, spotted paper as the base and then cut out the face of the owl from the Sunset B&T Paper to layer on top.


Owl Paper Piecing Collage


You can see where I also stamped two of the party hat images; one on Thistle Cardstock and one on the Sunset B&T Paper.  This gave me a Thistle Cardstock base for the hat with a Sunset B&T Paper Jack-o-lantern and pompom for top of the hat.

I followed the same steps for the mask that the owl is wearing. One mask is stamped on Thistle Cardstock and one on Colonial White Cardstock.  I cut out the Colonial White eyes and layered them on top of the mask creating the two-toned piece. Adding wings stamped on Thistle Cardstock creates a visual triangle of color around that main focus image.


I stamped the message in Black Ink on a piece of Colonial White Cardstock. The word “Hoot” in the message is also an outline image. Instead of trying to cut out such small, detailed pieced, I colored the letters in with ShinHan Touch Twin Markers. I started with Golden Yellow and highlights spots with the Marigold to blend the words with the papers in the card. If you have not tried these markers yet, they are fabulous. They are easy to blend and have vibrant full colors.


What A Hoot Message



To put the card together I layered Black Cardstock on a Colonial White Card Base with a splash of Honey Cardstock in a circle to make a moon highlight behind the owl. The message is layered on top of Sunset B&T Paper and Thistle Cardstock to keep consistent with the color patterns I had used with in paper piecing the owl together.The only accessories that I added to finish off the card were black squiggle lines made with the Black Journaling Pen and some Black Enamel Stars from the Scaredy Cat Assortment.



What A Hoot Card



Paper piecing is such a fun way to get a completely different look from your stamp sets. Simply change your color scheme and enjoy a fresh creative flair each time to put together a project. Here’s a picture from a project I shared with the same “What A Hoot” Stamp Set a few days ago. This card doesn’t look Halloween at all, however you can see that the paper piecing steps are just the same.



Whimsey Owl


You can read more about this project and the new exclusive CTMH papers that I used to piece it together by visiting this previous blog post. Just click the link below and it will take you right to it.

“What A Hoot” Stamp Set in Whimsey Paper Fundamentals


Do you enjoy owls, fun messages, and lots of creative options? The “What A Hoot” August Stamp Of The Month Set from Close To My Heart is fantastic for piecing together some creative fun for Halloween as well as many other special occasions. The stamps set is only available in August and you can get it for the discounted price of only $5. How awesome is that?

The stamp set retails for $17.95, however if you place a $50 order in August you can get “What A Hoot” for just $5 (a $12.95 savings.) Pick up a new paper pack and try some paper piecing on a new project. Click here to shop on my website and enjoy delivery to your door.


Happy creating! Michelle


A super cute stamp set. It's not just for Halloween. #somethingaboutsharing #CTMH #owls #InstaFrame


I created this card to show how much potential this fun stamp set has. While it is designed to have a Halloween flair, by changing the colors you can use these cute owls for just about anything. I think this card could be a thinking of you card, a baby shower card, a birthday card…just about anything.

This is the “What A Hoot” stamp set from Close To My Heart that is only available in August and it is a hoot to play with. It is a set of 17 images that can be mixed-and -match in different ways to create lots of fun projects.



What A Hoot




For the papers and colors in the card shown above, I used the new Paper Fundamentals Whimsey Assortment from Close To My Heart. Paper Fundamentals are available in different color schemes and come in a package of 20 double-sided 12×12 sheets (2 each of 10 designs). One side of each paper has a glossy pattern and the other side has that same pattern in white. I really enjoy the terrific color and texture options these papers bring to the creative process. I used the Whimsey Assortment to pull some soft colors into my card project.



Paper Fundamentals


There are three other color schemes available in the Paper Fundamentals. They really are terrific for so many creative projects. You can see all three color packs on my website by clicking here. You can even order them online and have them ship directly to you. Wouldn’t you love a colorful package of inspiration arriving at your front door?


And while you are shopping, remember…

 “What A Hoot is the

August Stamp Of The Month Set

so it is only available this month.


You can order a “What A Hoot” stamp set retails for $17.95 on my website, however you can get the whole set for only $5 when you purchase $50 in Close To My Heart products. It’s a great deal and shopping online is easy. You could pick up some new Paper Fundamentals packs, a couple of other goodies, and get your fabulous owl stamps set for only $5.

Just click here to shop online from the new Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations Idea Book. It’s full of wonderful things and you can get the “What A Hoot” stamp set, too.




Simply Inspired Blog Hop Logo

Welcome to the Simply Inspired CTMH Blog Hop. There are so many exciting things about to come your way as Close To My Heart unveils their brand new Annual Inspirations Idea Book. It’s amazing and today you can see a few of the new products that will be available on August 1, 2014. If you have come here from Bren Yule’s Blog you are on the right path to enjoy the New Product Showcase. The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way around to see all of the creative projects. If you get lost along the way, you will find the complete list of participating Consultants here.

It’s easy to hop along with us – just click the link at the end of each blog post to move to the next one. Enjoy!


The new product I would like to share with you today is the Designer Creations Short Stack Album. This new mini album has a printed kraft hardcover with 10 wire-bound kraft pages inside. The pages are 5″ x 7″ so they are perfect for adding quick photos and journaling.


Designer Creations Short Stack Album


You can personalize the albums by decorating the front cover and the inside pages. The cover design can be something just for fun or it can be created to coordinate with themed parties, special events, or holidays. These fabulous little albums are also terrific as guest books, party highlight albums, teacher gifts, recipe books, and so much more. For even more photo and journaling options you can add Flips Flaps to the pages to create custom treasures everyone will enjoy. You will love their versatility.

In the photograph below you will see an album I designed to coordinate with a “Mom-To-Bee” Baby Shower. The album can be an instant keepsake from the celebration by adding a photograph and personalize note from each guest.


Bee Happy Album Cover


As I was designing the front cover of this album I could not resist using a couple of other new products, too. The new CTMH Honeycomb Embossing Folder is really fun. If you have tried Embossing Folders you will definitely want to add this texture to your creative resources. I’ll be sharing more ideas with this tool later, but for now, here’s how I added a little more color contrast to the honeycomb texture on the cover of my album.

First, use the Honeycomb Embossing Folder to add the texture on a piece of Honey Cardstock. Then, swipe Honey Ink over the top of the raised honeycomb texture, holding the ink pad flat and gently going over the top of the cardstock. The ink will highlight the embossed image creating a two-toned pattern.


Honeycomb Collage


Of course, all of the little details make a difference, and in the New Close To My Heart Annual Inspirations Idea Book you are going to enjoy so many wonderful new accessories. Here I have used Gold Bling Gems, Gold Sequins, and Chevron Printed Cork Circles. The white daisies and title words are die-cut shapes from the Close to My Heart Cricut Cartridges.


Bee Happy Accents Collage


As you can see there are many, many exciting things in store for you in the New CTMH Annual Inspirations Idea Book. It’s bursting with fabulous artwork, products, and resources for all of your scrapbooking, paper crafting, stamping, and home decor projects.


Contact your Close To My Heart Consultant to get a copy of Annual Inspirations for yourself. If you do not have a CTMH Consultant, you can visit my website to order a copy of Annual Inspirations, see more project ideas, and shop online. Click here to shop  anytime, 24/7 and have boxes of wonderful new things arrive on your doorstep. The New Annual Inspirations book and products will be available beginning August 1.


Now it’s time for you to enjoy more of the Simply Inspired CTMH Blog Hop by visiting Beckie Lehman’s Blog  to see the fantastic creative ideas she has prepared to share with you. You are in for a treat as you continue hopping through the New Product Showcase. Be sure to visit all of the Consultant blogs to see lots of new products and artwork.

Michelle Snyder




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