Why Do We Love Stationery So Much?

Hello Everyone and Welcome Back

Hope you’re all enjoying your week – Unfortunately I’m ill with a cold so I’m drinking fluids like no tomorrow and I’m trying to rest up as much as I can.  As well as that, I have finally pulled out a beautiful little notebook I purchased a while back but never really felt I could write in it as I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

This morning while resting on my sofa with a green tea, I decided I finally had the topic for it.

I’d love to earn some more money and I’ve seen my friends on Facebook getting involved with sideline projects and promoting the brands they’re working in conjunction with.  I watch youtube vloggers like this beauty that have their fingers in loads of pies and I wonder to myself – HOW THE HELL DO THEY DO IT?

So, I’m using this little A5 Beauty I’ve found in Homesense to help me potentially earn me a little bit of cash 🙂


As I pulled the pretty little notebook out, I wondered to myself, why is it we love stationery so much?  Why are we addicted to purchasing those gorgeous little notebooks and fancy pens and beautiful stickers and labels and diaries so much?

Part of me things that when I write, I place down part of my soul.  My writing is as unique as my fingerprint, it reveals something about myself.  I want my writing to be perfect – I can’t stand to see my writing turn to rushed scrawls that are barely legible.  My writing is my stamp; my mark on the world.  It reveals more of myself than any typed word could ever do.

I sometimes think my writing is not fancy or neat or I don’t have such interesting things to write about in some intimidatingly beautiful notebooks.  Some notebooks look to me like they intend to hold manuscripts, rather than Christmas wish lists or scribbled notes from a meeting.  I feel I do not hold a manuscript in me, so I pass over those fancy notebooks.  I wouldn’t want to spoil such a perfect notebook with my jumbled thoughts.  Obviously I need to change my opinion on that, but at the moment, I feel there are “purposeful” notebooks, and “everyday catch all” notebooks.

To me, writing is nostalgic.  When I receive a handwritten note, I know the person has gone out of their way to take time out of their busy schedule to purposely write to me.  And that makes me feel so special, especially as we live in a world where we are typing our “I love you”‘s on our iPhones while running around the supermarket or out at a bar with friends (which is a pet peeve of mine, apart from to take a photo, I generally leave my phone in my bag during social events).

I’m a dreamer and can be rather whimsical at times, old fashioned even.  I hear about a time when things went at a much slower pace, that news didn’t get plastered everywhere until a day or two later, and in some cases, even longer.  Sometimes I love the convenience of technology but I love the luxury of the written word.

Case in point; the man I have been seeing for a fair few months now lives maybe 70 miles away from me.  Even though its perhaps 1 hour on the train (not including travelling to the station and waiting for the next train).  We see each other every other weekend usually.  When we are not seeing each other, we use WhatsApp to communicate usually on a daily basis.  It’s perfect for general messaging, screen shotting our travel information to each other so we know when our trains are arriving to meet each other at the station, pasting links to events or bars or restaurants to organise our visits together, creating groups to organise a larger group get together, recording and sending little voice or video messages to say “Buenos Dias!” (he’s Spanish) first thing in the morning, to send little silly photo’s throughout the day to ease the stressful working day…  and I like to utilise technology to take photo’s of little post it notes I scribble little notes on for him, or send a photo of a steamed up mirror after I’ve just taken a shower with a little silly note on there for him.  Sometimes I write a letter to him and scan it into my mac, and send it over on e-mail to him so that it has that handwritten look still but with the convenience of technology.


So yes, dust off that old pen and write your aunt a thank you note or draft your lover a sonnet, it’s more appreciated than you may realise!

Until next time…

Kel

x

Trialling “The Little Black Book”

Good Morning Everyone!

So, I succumbed to the charms of the Moleskine Notebook.

Traveler’s Notebook and Filofax users, please don’t be disheartened – I haven’t left you! I’m just trying new ways to streamline things.  See, this is the problem.  I want EVERYTHING together – my calendar, my bills information, my cash envelope system, a place to keep receipts, my passwords, my cards, my notes, my spending tracker… it’s proving to be rather difficult!

The Midori Regular was perhaps the closest I could get to what I wanted. But it was NOT streamlining at all, it was heavier, bulkier, and I couldn’t even fit my notes notebook into the elastics as it was so full!

Next was the Midori Passport – which was actually perfect… for my cash envelope system, and as a basic purse/wallet function.  But I couldn ‘t carry my notebooks with me.  I got a lot of compliments on the Passport whenever I went to stores – nobody had ever seen a purse/wallet like it.  I’d hold up the queues explaining the brand and that it was primarily used as a notebook but you could switch up the inserts and completely customise to meet your requirements.

I was browsing Pinterest for more information on the Traveler’s Notebooks and how others utilized their Traveler’s Notebooks – call me curious, but I get so many ideas from others, and I customize them to suit my needs. One thing that had been grabbing my attention for a while was this thing called a Moleskine.  Sure, I’d seen these overpriced notebooks in the likes of Paperchase, WHSmith and Waterstones, but I just couldn’t justify spending over £10 on a notebook.  Sure, they have diaries, but they also have blank, sketch, lined, dot and grid paper too.  The things some of the more creative people had done with their Moleskines had me lost for words.  There are many, many talented people out there.  I wanted in!

I thought long and hard, and came across a web page documenting how to create credit card inserts to place on a page in a Moleskine (or any other notebook). I wondered if I could do a similar thing but over 2 pages of a pocket size, to create the cash envelope system.  But I’m a very curious cat… so instead of thinking very long, I bit the bullet, jumped in my car and shot over to my local shopping centre.

I purchased my pocket blank notebook for £9.99 in Waterstones. I decided on the blank because it meant that I could use the book for anything I wanted – I could create a calendar, I could doodle, write notes, create templates, glue things in… basically I could freestyle whatever I needed to.

I had also read that the “unofficial” pen of the Moleskine was the Pilot G2, which I found in Paperchase also. In fact, I found the mini/pocket size.  I purchased a black and blue.

Getting back home, I sat at my table and looked a bit daunted at the prospect of having to completely begin from scratch.

The first thing I wanted was to put the cash envelope system to use. I cut the back of my required amount of envelopes off and left a little lip to glue onto the pages, staggering each one slightly lower until they filled the pages.

Next, I needed a pen loop. I ripped an elasticated pen loop from and old La-De-Dah scrapbook that I’d never used and pretty much just taped it into the back of the book.

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I placed a 2016 year overview calendar, a pocket size printable taken from Wendaful Designs printed out and glued into the book.

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Then I started working on the calendar. I decided I only wanted one for the next few months, as who knows, by the new year I might be using something else, or I may have stuck to the Moleskine, loved it so much and need a new one!

In the calendar, I wrote my monthly bills in the dates they were due to come out of my account, I wrote any social events, holiday days, days my manager was not in the office, appointments and general things to remember. I colour code highlighting these events.

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After the calendar, I glued my monthly bills excel tracker in. Then I added tabs using labels that I’d got left over.  Got a sharpie marker and coloured the labels in black, then used a white gel pen to draw tiny little symbols to notify me what section is where.

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After all of that, I felt that the book was a little too “serious” still, and needed to inject a bit of colour, a bit of “me” into the whole thing.

So, this is where my Pinterest and Google searches came in handy. I’m a lover of anything vintage inspired, or anything whimsical, dreamy, bohemian.  They are my favorite type of photographs I love searching for, looking at and wishing I could take a photograph just as fantastic.

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I printed out a lot of photographs found mostly on google, creating photo collages and printing on normal printer paper to keep the book thin, and then cutting out and affixing to the pages using corner adhesives I’d purchased from Paperchase. I also used a photograph on the front of the notebook to give it a more personal touch.

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I’m not finished with the set up yet – I need to create an template and an area for writing out my spending and tabbing out dedicated sections for that and my notes etc…

All in all, I’m really happy with the notebook so far – it’s small, it’s thin, it’s portable, it’s sleek, it looks pretty cool, it holds almost everything I need (I just need to find somewhere to hold my cards still as I’m unsure that the Moleskine will still be as neat with 10+ cards in…)

The paper feels sublime, very smooth and easy to write on – I love the cream colour of the pages, and the cover feels soft and slightly grained, very tactile! I chose the non-hard cover as I wanted the cover to be able to mould to the shape of the book and get that thumbed through, weathered appearance rather than it being rigid.

I’ve been using this system for almost a week, and while it’s early days, I get really excited when I have to pen an appointment in or take it out for “something”. The only thing I am a little more “shy” about is taking it out for my money at the cash registers.  There is every possibility that I may need to remove my envelope system back into my Mulberry purse/wallet…

The planner peace continues!

Have you ever used a Moleskine to plan/track/place notes/journal/as a purse (wallet) before?

Kel

x

Back to Midori/Travelers Notebook we go!

Hello everyone!

Perhaps there is something magical about seeing the sun shining after days and days and days of unpredictable weather here in the UK. As we look forward to the summer and slightly warmer weather (I say as I am still tucked under two goose feather and down heavy duvets and wearing a fleecy robe! In MAY!), most Britons begin to daydream of summer adventures, travel, holidays, festivals and yes… The beer garden.

For me, it awakens my whimsical bohemian spirit once again after laying dormant for months, cooped up inside and forced to endure dark, cold early mornings and equally dark, rainy evenings. As much as I adore Autumn and  the opportunity to parade around in knee high and thigh high boots (but only ever over jeans, I’ll have you know!), after the January and February slump I yearn for the long dreamy evenings on the patio drinking a glass of wine or two surrounded by fairy lights and family/friends. I yearn for the early Sunday morning road trips going Antique Shopping in quaint little villages. I yearn to see the sea, to feel sand beneath my toes, to feel the sun on my back, to shut the world out and lose myself to the songs on my iPod.

And most of all, I crave the summer romantic bohemian fashion. The delicate crochet waistcoats, the floaty long dresses, the gold bangles, the ethnic inspired prints, the Indian sandals, the beach hair, the sunkissed tan. The cross body vintage bags… Holding cameras and a journal.

The Travelers Notebook, to me, is the most bohemian journal – it’s so simple yet functional and doesn’t look out of place on a beach in Australia or in a coffee shop in the UK. Travelers Notebooks are so versatile: they hold what YOU want them to hold. The booklets, interchangeable, are able to be personalised as much as you like, through the use of your own doodles, or by use of stamps or stickers or washi tape. The sturdy cover, made of leather; held together by a simple elastic band, ages so perfectly, over time developing a beautiful patina along with scratches… And every scratch tells a story. It’s journey really does merge with your own.

So… I recall two years ago, I purchased my own travelers notebook, made by Ray Blake of the website My Life All In One Place but after a few weeks of using it, I moved back to Filofax because I’d been so used to the system, so used to the ease of being able rip out a page or insert a page should I need to, that I could not seem to get used to the “restrictive” booklet style. 

But I continued to be in awe of them, admiring them. It wasn’t until I was travelling last year that I pulled it out again, and enjoyed the system, the idea of keeping everything together, flight tickets, passports, insurance documentation, currencies, something to note everything about my adventures down and an area to stash momentos ready to incorporate into my journal. 

When I got back home to the UK I immediately hopped onto Amazon and ordered the passport size Midori Travelers Notebook, with a few accessories. I used the system on and off for a good few months, but something about the size bothered me. It was perhaps too small for me.

Fast forward to last Wednesday night, browsing The Journal Shop and realising they provide a discount with your first shop, making the TN cheaper than Amazon, I hit the checkout button faster than I could talk myself out of it. Even though I selected the free delivery (stated up to 7 days), the TN arrived on Friday morning, much to my very happy suprise (I was recovering from an ear infection). And so, I’d like to welcome you to my journey with my new TN…


Have you got a Travelers Notebook yet?

Catch you later!

Kel

Xxx

Goodbye Filofax – Hello Midori!

Hello you!

I know I’ve been quiet lately, but I’ve been in Kefalonia on holiday!  After dodging my partners excuses, I finally managed to get him to book time off work and decide where we wanted to go.  Actually that’s a lie – after being fed up of waiting for the right time to sit down together and put some concrete plans in place, I booked it online and told him where we were going haha!

It worked out quite well because, thanks to my extensive research, our hotel was on the sea front and close to the bars and restaurants (and shops, of course!).  Our holiday consisted of sun drenched beach days and lilo’s in the sea… and relaxing evenings around the shops, retiring to a restaurant and sipping Robola Wine… and then having last minute cocktails and a pool match back at the hotel outside pool bar.

I miss it terribly already (I don’t miss the mozzie bites however – they’re seriously itchy!).

But anyway, you may ask – what has this tale got to do with Filofaxes – or Midori?!

Well I wanted something to take on holiday to sort of journal with and to write down my thoughts and feelings and things that happened while away.  Looking at my beloved Amazona, I thought “honey, you just don’t look like you should be on the beach”.  And so, my lovely Marilyn Amazona was dismissed to the cupboard for a break, with the rest of my collection.

I knew I wanted something that could withstand life on the sand and wouldn’t look too out of place – somewhere I could store our passports and flight tickets and hotel information etc…  my eyes settled on my Raydori I purchased about a year ago.

So on the run up to our holiday, I scoured youtube for ideas and pinterest for printables… and I ended up doing a half job on it making a couple of notebooks for it using A5 exercise books and trimming them down to size.  I also made a little Craft File using scrapbook paper.  It was all so badly done and rushed, I can’t even show it here haha!

My partner, not into Filofaxes/Diaries or planning tools at all, even commented on the Raydori several times (and several times since arriving back home, too), saying that it looked “cool”.  “Nice” was another monosyllabic word he may have uttered also (you know what guys are like when they don’t really know what they’re talking about).  So I took it that the Raydori was a success.

With all these youtube video’s in my brain, when I got back from too much thinking on the beach and not enough doing… I ordered myself a Midori from Amazon.  The Passport size.

On 12th June I ordered it.  It arrived today… 19th July.  From a Japanese company.  Seriously, I’m amazed.  I’m based in the UK, and I strongly recommend this seller:  Arigatone Fukuoka-Japan @ Amazon – I’ll be ordering from these guys again through Amazon, definitely.  I’ve never been one to order from Japan etc due to their shipping times.  I’m one of those brats that has no patience!  But if there are shipping times like these, I have no issue whatsoever.

Here are some of the photo’s of my unboxing 🙂

Such a cute little thank you note and origami present!  Perfect colours to match my new free spirited journal 😉

I love how Midori have wrote that this little notebook can totally change your life.  It brings me hope and anticipation – bring on the adventure!

A replacement orange rubber band, and the white muslin bag that contains the Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Ta Daaa!  It’s finally here!  

This is the back corner of the Midori  

Interior.  The Midori’s come with a black notebook inside.  

And the back of the notebook is like a passport – clever Midori!

I’m in love already! I recall a few other YouTube videos mentioning that they had white powder on their Midori’s when they arrived… And I’ve noticed the same thing, you know, just a few specks here and there!

And so, just like that, I’m now part of the Midori Revolution!

I shall update you very shortly on my progress, for this weekend it’s all about getting that old Craft Head on! Yippee, “Project!” (As Cher from Clueless would say).

Until then

Some of those dreams you have… It’s ok to follow them 🙂

Kel

X

The Diva Arrives…! Filofax Personal Amazona in Red

Hiya!

What felt like forever ago, a lovely lady on Facebook sold me her Personal Amazona in Red that I had been pining for. 

And then I played the waiting game. Not very well either, if you ask me. I would shoot back home from work only to be disappointed that it had not appeared. I tracked the Royal Mail and tried searching the USPS site, to no avail. I e-mailed Parcelforce, I called Royal Mail, I tweeted USPS… Nothing. I went to Cornwall and secretly hoped it had been delivered whilst I was away… No sign of it.

I was so upset as the Person I spoke with at the Royal Mail told me that parcels never usually take this long and that it should have been delivered by now.

Today was my first day back at work following my Cornwall Break (which was divine by the way, at least, when I wasn’t being pulled up rocks and steep hills and down harsh slopes. The fella even treated me to a total relaxation spa treatment which completely suprised me – especially as he isn’t one to usually book things in advance etc) and I dragged myself into my hallway after braving the wind and rain to get some bread and milk (not that any of this is even relevant but hey…)…

And there it was. The postman’s familiar more to get me know I had a parcel waiting in my “safe place”.

I was hardly daring to get my hopes up as I found the parcel. 

Low and behold, Marilyn the Red Amazona had arrived… Late, true to that ever so famous Marilyn Monroe form. What a Diva.



In the box, there were pens, notebooks, really really cool eraser tape stuff with patterns on I’d never ever seen before… And a lovely note from my Amazonian friend 🙂





And here she is:





I immediately got to work setting her up… Which turned into most of the evening.

Finally… Under the terrible lighting of my bedside table… Marilyn.







I’m loving the horizontal card slots, the enormous rings (I’ve been squeezed into compact rings in the Guinea, this feels like I can breathe!), the “leftie” pen loop (I’m a leftie and love this feature on the Osterley too) and the elasticated zip picked at the back.

I’ve never utilised a secretarial pocket before: what do you use yours for?

I think I’ll leave it at that… It’s a pretty big post enough as it is!

Catch you later!

Kel

X

Review – Temperley for Filofax The Guinea

Good Day to you all!

Today I’m not very well – please be gentle with me!  For the last week I’ve had a crushing headache which turned into a full blown cold… and then nausea and a ridiculous temperature.  Today it’s back to the crushing headache and sickness – perfect, huh!

While I didn’t want to do this review before I received some dividers (yes, I’ve purchased some instead of making my own this time…!) I also figured it I didn’t do it now… I probably never would.  And so…  with no further ado:

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Welcoming the Guinea into my home – here she is!  I think I’ll call her Jinny.  Jinny the Guinea.

Anyhow – outside appearances first – I’ll be honest I did not expect the exterior to be made of FUR!  I’ve read elsewhere (I can’t remember where) that the exterior is indeed, pony skin.  I have no idea why I expected this to be a soft supple leather at all but it was certainly a surprise!  The print is pretty and it looks glamorous.  I can imagine taking this to a cocktail party to vamp up a little black dress, or maybe to a lunch date to give a more glamorous edge to the jeans/t-shirt/boots/blazer/fedora hat look.  I can imagine taking this to an important meeting and taking notes in a steel grey office dress.

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Metalware is of a soft gold finish, rimming the binder and giving it a very high end clutch feel.  I love the little gold “Temperley” embellishment on the sturdy leather zipper tag – however the way that the fastener item is facing, when the binder is open, it is face down and you cannot see the pretty logo!

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The zip is large, fashionable, functional.  The zipper is smooth opening and then the binder lays flat (probably something to do with those weighted gold metalware trims).  The interior is, for me, aesthetically pleasing.  I love nude/blush pinks at the best of times – they make me feel very feminine (I’ve got Shellac – “Blush Teddy” from the Intimates Collection on my nails right now as we speak!) and paired with black leather with a croc look and gold rings…  it’s pretty high up there with perfection for me!  I thought the nude/blush pink corded cotton interior would bother me – but in all honesty…  it hasn’t.

On the inside front cover we have the black leather croc finish look first 2 pockets – one which supposedly holds a blackberry.  I have an i-phone and it doesn’t fit – but then again I have a phone case on mine etc.  It’s a great idea though!  There is a further 2 horizontal card slots and then a large pocket at the back.  For some reason, I thought it would have a similar feel to the other zip Filofaxes out there and have a wallet/purse feel to that area, but behind the large pocket, there is nothing else there.  It’s just a wide pocket.  Maybe I’ll put my iPhone in there 😉  And Compact, And Little Mirror, And Lippy…  And Mascara…. etc…  etc…

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On the opposite side, the gold finished rings are off centre and have the leather croc finish encasing part of the ring mechanism.  Placing the rings on the back cover means that the binder needs to be wider than a standard Filofax zip… and there is less room to accommodate side tabs.  The pen loop is fully elastic (it would been nice to see the croc theme recurring on this as a half elastic pen loop perhaps?) and there is a strap made of the black leather croc feel running across the back to hold in any notebooks required to slot in.  I have not tested this yet (I can’t find a filofax notepad or a suitable fitting notebook lying around) so I can’t really comment on it.  But personally I’d have liked to have seen something more going on with this back cover.

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And here she is – all moved in and ready to go!  The blackberry pouch is perfect for holding paracetamol or ibuprofen though 😉

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading up on my new addition!

Until next time…

Kel

xxx

Review – Filofax Personal Malden in Purple

Recently I got the chance to review a Purple Personal Filofax Malden.  I was not paid to write this review – all thoughts are completely my own.

Some of you may be aware that I used to own a Grey Personal Malden.  I loved it so much, I would moisturise it with Valentino so it would smell as well as feel good.  I kid you not.  The leather on it was to die for – the texture was so soft, supple and wrinkled, it reminded me of an Elephant.  It looked expensive yet accessible, well made; with that done-undone look I love so much.  You know – the business look with a slight casual edge.  Or vice versa.  For me, the only let down was the colour – it was slightly too bland for me in the end, and so we parted ways and my beautiful Grey left for the shores of America.

So when I received the Purple Personal Malden, I admit I was slightly shocked!

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It did not come in a beautiful black presentation box, but a clear plastic protector-sheath.  Although that’s not what I’m reviewing, I must admit that for the amount these binders are, I still think packaging is key.  But nonetheless, I figured Filofax must be undergoing a re-brand etc.

The one thing I did like about the packaging was that the back showed a picture of the interior, something the old boxes would never do.  

I quickly unwrapped the plastic to reveal the binder in all of it’s loveliness.  

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The colour was rich, the contrast stitching really noticeable, the all familiar Malden had seduced me once again.  As this is not a description review (you can find this as well as measurements etc on The Filofax UK Website – Malden Personal Organiser Details Page) I took out the inserts only to give you a quick idea of how the layout looks:

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As you can see, the stitching and the colour is absolutely divine.  The zip is smooth and easy to open even with just one hand (for those looking at utilising this binder as a wallet function), all credit card slots and pockets are very accessible – the leather is extremely soft and pliable.  

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This is the kind of organiser that looks like it can mix business with pleasure, depending on your mood, inserts, usage etc.  You can style it however you want and the Malden will still find a way to make it look good.  It’s eye-catching; that’s for sure, but it doesn’t have that ‘in your face’ bling about it (unless you want to fill it with bling!).  It’s refined, well put together, durable and not showy by any means.  It’s country-homely but it wouldn’t look out of place in the big cities.  

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While it certainly doesn’t feel as soft and supple as my Grey, the Purple Malden does have it’s own unique, smoother feel.  I would go as far as to say it is on par with the Ochre Malden’s smoothness.  Like all Personal Malden’s, it does lie flat and it’s just as floppy.  Getting a scratch or stain on a Malden seems to add to the rustic, casual, laid back, traveler style of the binder, so toss it in your work bag – be as rough as you please – the Malden is a real workhorse for real busy people.

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And just because I’m feeling generous, I’m going to love and leave you with more photographs of how I’m using mine!  How do you use yours??

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Don’t forget, you can get yours at the Filofax store on Filofax UK Website Malden

Until next time, have a good day!

Kel

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