Get Your Margaritas Here

November 19th, 2013
Margarita for drinking

rings-things.com Margarita for drinking

No, not that kind of margarita…

These crystal charm designs are so easy to make!

Grab a tasty beverage and a friend or two and have a good time making margarita trees all evening.

Margarita Tree Variety

A variety of tree styles you can make with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS from Rings & Things

So… why am I calling them margarita trees?

The “branches” of these sweet tree designs are made with the Swarovski sew-on stone Article 3700, known as the Margarita (or Marguerite).

margarita variety

The margarita crystal is available at Rings & Things in up to 5 sizes, and various tree related colors

The colors in the above picture, clockwise from the top, are emerald, crystal AB, fern green, dark moss green, and Crystal VM.  These tend to be the most popular tree colors, but you can also make trees in Crystal, Peridot, and a variety of non-traditional colors.

So… what do you need to make your own Margarita Trees?

Headpins

Earwires

Margarita crystals in at least 3 sizes (6, 8, and 10mm are the minimum for the “tree” look)

Small beads for the “star”

Round Nose Pliers

Cutters

minimum tree components

Purchase margaritas, “star” beads, headpins, earwires, and tools at rings-things.com

This is the basic tree with the minimum components as shown above.

simple tree earrings from Rings & Things

These trees are made with just the minimum components and are cute and unobtrusive.

If you want a fancier tree, add a few more layers:

cube beads for tree trunks

even bigger sizes of margarita to make a grander tree

chain nose pliers

tasty beverage  :)

larger margarita tree components

These parts from Rings & Things will make a more lush margarita tree design.

To construct your margarita trees, first decide if you want to have a tree trunk.

If so string a 4mm crystal cube #5601 onto your headpin.  I tend to gravitate toward using mocca, light colorado topaz, or crystal bronze shade for the look of wood.

Next decide on the number of layers for your tree.

Add #3700 crystal margaritas in descending size order to your headpin.

And decide how to top your tree.

I usually use a 3mm xilion crystal bicone #5328 in a metallic or bright color.

larger margarita tree stack

This fuller margarita tree style includes two more “branches” and a “trunk”.

Finish this off with a simple or wrapped loop.

larger margarita tree looped

This larger completed margarita tree design is ready to attach to an earwire.

If you are making earrings, repeat the process and then add your earwires.

Margarita trees make fantastic earrings, precious pendants, and adorable additions to a gift wrap.

They can also be constructed for strung jewelry, like the Christmas Tree and Light Necklace.

So,  how do you like your margarita trees?  TraditionalBright and ShinySnow Covered?  or even turned upside down to be an icicle?

finished large margarita tree

Larger Margarita tree earrings with components from rings-things.com

~  Rita

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Embellish Jewelry Blanks with Crystal Chatons

November 11th, 2013

It doesn’t matter if you’re a rhinestone cowgirl or an urban fashionista – dressing up belt buckles and other jewelry blanks with sparkling crystal chatons is just plain fun!

Use the steps below to either recreate the Zen Yin belt buckle by Jan or to embed you own designs in a wide range of jewelry components including bezel cups, bottles caps, and more.

supplies

1. Gather your supplies.

Supplies:

To make the exact belt buckle pictured in this blog, see the “Zen Yin” belt buckle full parts list in our Design Gallery.

tools

A Crystal Katana makes it easy to set chatons in your jewelry clay.

Tip: A jewel setter makes it much easier to set small objects into the clay! While bare fingers can hinder your field of vision and upset other elements of the design, jewel setters provide a wax tip to lightly pick up and place small objects in just the right spot.

plan

2. Plan your layout.

Plan your layout before you unwrap the clay. This allows you to tinker with design options without the clay drying prematurely. This is especially important on large objects like a belt buckle.

Form two equal balls

3. Measure equal amounts of clay.

Wear vinyl or latex gloves to protect your hands.  Measure equal amounts of “A” and “B” types of clay, and form each material into a separate ball. If the clay sticks, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil.

Mix the clay

4. Combine.

Combine the two balls together until they are well blended and uniform in color.

Adding clay to your blank.

5. Press clay into jewelry blank.

Press the clay into your jewelry blank. You can smooth it out by adding a little vegetable oil on top. If it gets too sticky, dust it lightly with baby powder.

Embellishing jewelry clay

6. Place large objects & focals first.

Place larger objects and focal points into your clay first. Tip: To save time, you can leave strung beads on the string, rather than placing them individually in the clay. Trim excess string once the beads are in place.

crystal katana

7. Fill in remaining clay with crystal chatons.

Next, fill in the remaining exposed clay with sparkling crystal chatons. As mentioned above, a jewel setter can make this task quicker and easier. When you are placing your chatons into the clay, be sure not to press or tap them in to deeply. The clay will rise up a little bit around them particularly when it is very wet.

finished_belt_buckle

8. Allow clay to dry and you’re done!

Set aside your design in a safe spot and allow the clay to thoroughly dry, based on the manufacturer’s instructions. EnviroTex Jewelry Clay fully cures in 24 hours to a hard, durable, and shock resistant substance with a smooth, porcelain like surface. It does not shrink as it cures!

Below, check out more fun designs Jan made with EnviroTex Clay and crystal chatons.

donuts

These chunky donut beads are held fast in the crystal clay,
demonstrating how strong EnviroTex clay is!

Homer Simpson wouldn’t be able to resist this whimsical bit of bling! It’s made with donut beads, aurora borealis crystals, and a square bezel-cup pendant blank.

heart key chain

EnviroTex Jewelry Clay is durable enough for heavily-used objects
like key rings. Add heart to designs with heart bezel cups.

Heart-shaped bezel cups add an extra bit of love to jewelry designs. Additional supplies used to make this heart key ring include a beadable key ring blank, a lampwork glass heart bead (reamed to make the hole larger), and a hammered pewter heart charm.

seashore

Go nautical with embedded scallop shell beads and freshwater pearls.

Rectangle bezel-cups provide a great shape for custom pendants with a touch of bling. The design pictured above is adorned with shell beads  and freshwater pearls surrounded by blue zircon and aquamarine crystal chatons.

three-rings

Adorn your hands with bezel cup ring blanks!

Bezel cup ring blanks come in several colors and shapes. Some styles are exclusive to Rings & Things, and all styles are adjustable to fit any ring size. They’re perfect for making blingy costume jewelry.

bear

You don’t have to use crystals.
This polar bear ring has seed beads embedded in the jewelry clay.

Embed seed beads and other objects in the crystal clay to see what other effects you can achieve! This winter-themed ring has a polar bear bead and a “Snow Ball” seed bead mix embedded in the clay. Let your imagination be your guide as you have fun making mosaic jewelry and a whole lot more! :)

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How to Make a Metal Box

October 28th, 2013

Make A Metal Box

A small metal box was turned into a framed reliquary, containing an antiqued frozen Charlotte doll. Create your own metal box that can be transformed into memory jewelry, a tiny shrine or used for some other whimsical (or practical) purpose.

Free jewelry project from www.rings-things.com by designer Sondra Barrington features a verdigris frozen Charlotte nested inside an antique brass framed reliquary box.

To make a metal box, first decide on the type of metal, and the size of the box you want to create. I recommend using 20 gauge sheet metal for strength and durability. Copper or brass sheet metal are nice choices as they are inexpensive and they antique nicely.

Anneal the metal before cutting so that it can be manipulated more easily. Heat it with a torch until it is glowing red, let it cool naturally and clean thoroughly.

Anneal the metal for malleability.  Be sure to clean it thoroughly afterward!

Cut the metal to size. This box was 1-1/2″ long and 3/4″ wide. It is 3/8″ deep. Draw lines of box using a Sharpie pen.

Draw lines for the metal box using a Sharpie pen.

Cut one line of each corner to the point where it intersects with another line. Using wide flat nose pliers, bend the ends in, and the sides up, to create the box shape. Carefully fold each end of the box into place, making the corners square and secure. File if needed to remove any uneven edges.

Fold ends together, snugly into place to create each end of the box.

Antique and colorize all parts you intend to assemble.

Antique and patina the frozen charlotte doll, the ornate brass frame and the brass metal box to create the reliquary.

Fill back of frame with two-part epoxy. Center box over ornate brass frame and press into epoxy to place.

Fill back of ornate brass frame with two-part epoxy.  Attach frame to top of box when epoxy is nearly set.

Using a two-part epoxy, UV resin, jeweler’s grade resin or other strong, clear glue, embed your treasures into your framed metal reliquary. Small toys, souvenirs, images layered in resin and tiny mementos are all used in creating custom memory jewelry.

Once epoxy has cured, you are ready to embed your treasure into the framed metal box.

Use epoxy to attach a magnet, let it cure and you are done! (Note: You could also attach a pin back or changeable bail in the same manner for a DIY jewelry brooch or pendant).

Use epoxy to attach a magnet to the back side of your brass reliquary.

 

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How to make Lashed Kidney Wire Earrings – Featuring SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS

October 17th, 2013
Lashed Earrings with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS set rivoli stones image

“Shining Stars Lashed Earrings” are created with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS; bicone beads and rivoli stones add sparkle.

Learn this simple wire-wrapping technique and how to use pinch-style rivoli settings with this free jewelry-making tutorial from Rings & Things.

 

You will need these supplies to make lashed kidney wire earrings with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

Step 1: Gather together the supplies you will need to make lashed kidney wire earrings.

 

You will need these And gather together the necessary tools; we used Glitter Line™ tools from EURO TOOL® tools to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Swarovski Elements.

And gather together the necessary tools; we used Glitter Line™ tools from EURO TOOL®.

 

You will need the following tools and supplies:

 

Jewelry making how to--setting a Swarovski rivoli stone in an antiqued silver bezel setting.

Step 2: Insert a rivoli stone in a setting and use round-nose pliers to pinch the setting closed. Repeat with the second stone and setting. The pinch-style rivoli settings don’t require messy glue or drying time.

 

Jewelry making how to: make lashed kidney wire ear wires with Artistic Wire and Swarovksi bicone beads.

Step 3: Use nylon-jawed flat-nose pliers to straighten the bend in the ear wire tail, this will allow the beads to slide on to the kidney wire.

 

Jewelry making tutorial, how to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Artistic Wire and Swarovski bicone crystals.

Step 4: Cut a 4″ section of 26-gauge wire and make three tight coils on the kidney wire near the loop. Use semi-flush side cutters to cut the beginning wire section off flush with the kidney wire.

 

Jewelry making tutorial, how to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Swarovski Elements and Artistic Wire.

Step 5: Add a crystal bicone bead to the kidney ear wire. Pull the wire across the bead and add three more tight coils.

 

Easy jewelry making technique--how to wire wrap kidney ear wires with Swarovski beads and Artistic wire.

Step 6: Add a second crystal bicone bead to the kidney ear wire. Pull the wire across the bead and add three more tight coils.

 

How to make jewelry--wire lashed kidney wire earrings.

Step 7: Add a third crystal bicone bead to the kidney wire, pull the wire across the bead and add a final three coils.

 

Jewelry making tutorial, how to make lashed kidney wire earrings with Swarovski Elements and Artistic Wire.

Step 8: Use semi-flush side cutters to cut the wire’s tail off flush with the kidney wire.
Repeat Steps 3 through 8 to make the second lashed kidney ear wire.

 

Jewelry making tutorial--how to add a Swarovski rivoli setting to a kidney ear wire.

Step 9: Add the rivoli setting to the kidney wire. Use round-nose pliers to crimp the kidney-wire loop closed; use flat-nose pliers to re-bend the kidney wire tail. Repeat with the second earring.

 

A jewelry making tutorial--handmade wire-wrapped earrings with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

Your handmade “lashed” earrings are complete and ready to wear.

 

Your handmade lashed earrings are complete and ready to wear.  To make the “Shining Stars Lashed Earrings” pictured in today’s blog post, visit Rings & Things Design Gallery for a list of the exact stock used. Or change the colors by choosing from the Rings & Things 46 colors of 14mm Swarovski rivoli stones and 46 styles of Rings & Things exclusive Crystal Jams™ Assortments.   A pair of earrings can be made in less than 30 minutes, so why not make a rainbow?

Make things!

Mollie

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Make Fashionable Ear Cuff Jewelry

October 9th, 2013

If you haven’t yet jumped on the ear cuff bandwagon, now’s your chance! Some ear cuff designs include an earring post to hold the design in place, but many of today’s styles work for both pierced and non-pierced ears, making them as versatile as they are trendy.

Customer service rep Tracy and Gallery guru Amy made the following Five Ear Cuffs to showcase some of the styles popping up.

Spikes Galore Ear Cuff

Handmade ear cuff featuring spike beads and sparkly glass.

Lightweight plastic spike bead assortments give this ear cuff pizzazz and drama!

The dramatic silhouette of this purple punk beauty is currently my fave! To make your own (in the color of your choice), you’ll need:

When creating the cuff base with your 20-gauge wire, start by forming a “hook” from the back of the ear to the top of the ear – this is what will hold the non-pierced jewelry in place!

Forming the hook at the back of a wire ear cuff.

Close-up of the “hook” at the back of your wire base. This one is covered with 1.7mm rubber tubing for a smooth finish.

Curve the wire around to the front top of the ear and work your way down, shaping the base to the curve of your ear. Once you get to the bottom, leave a few extra inches of wire (you will form this into a spiral later).

String on the beads from the bottom. Then, lash the beads with 28-gauge wire to help hold the spikes in place. Once the beads are in their final spot, create a decorative spiral with the extra wire.

Details of a wire ear cuff with spikes.

Once your beads are lashed, create a decorative spiral at the bottom of your base.

With a separate piece of 20-gauge wire, make a figure-8 (infinity) connector to attach a dangling spike to the decorative spiral.

Finally, slip the hollow rubber tubing onto the “hook” at the back of the cuff (illustration above). This covers up any rough wire end, which makes wearing your cuff comfy as well as stylish.

Floral Steampunk Ear Cuff

Wire-wrapped ear cuff made with genuine watch gears.

Genuine watch gears lend a steampunk edge to this otherwise feminine floral design.

To make this style of free-form wire-wrapped ear cuff, all you really need is wire and baubles from your stash! Here’s a list of components used to make the cuff pictured above:

As with the spikes cuff (above), extend your 20-gauge cuff base past the top front of the ear around to the top back of the ear and down. This is what holds this non-pierced jewelry onto your ear!

Option: You can add 1.7mm hollow rubber tubing to the back of this design for a comfy, professional finish.

A dab of Tenax Plus, or other super glue, can help situate larger beads and baubles that are difficult to hold in place with wire alone. In the example above, a dab of super glue holds the back of a flower petal to the wire cuff.

Sweet & Simple Wire Ear Cuff

Simple wire and crystal ear cuff.

This simple wire cuff sparkles with Swarovski crystal bicones and margaritas.

No need to get fancy! The elegant simplicity of this traditional-style ear cuff can become a base for various beads and sparklies. To make this lightweight wrap, all you need is:

Start the wire base by cutting a 2.5-inch length of 20-gauge wire. Divide the wire into thirds, and make a 180-degree bend at the one-third mark (so your wire creates two parallel lines at one end). Make another 180-bend at the opposite end. Curl each end of your wire (now in the middle of the design) into a small loop.

Simple wire ear cuff with crystals.

The ends of your wire are hidden under the crystal embellishments, leaving the cuff ends soft for comfortable wearing.

Now you’ve got your basic form. Use the center loops as a base for wire wrapping on beads and other sparklies. It’s easiest to lash these onto your cuff now while it’s still flat! (Or, for a basic wire cuff, just leave unadorned).

Once you’re done embellishing, use a pen, pencil, or mandrel to bend the cuff into a shape that will fit around your ear.

Classic Ear Cuff – “Ode to Bajor”

Classic ear cuff made with pre-formed cuff blanks.

This classic-style ear cuff uses pre-made blanks.

This ear cuff takes me straight back to the 1980′s, when I first wore cuffs make from easy-to-use pre-made ear cuff components.

To make the rhinestone chain earring cuff above, use the parts list and how-to tips for the “Ode to Bajor” Ear Cuff Project in our Design Gallery.

While this particular example requires pierced ears to wear, it’s even easier to create a cuff that doesn’t require piercings. Just add dangles to the hole in the ear cuff finding and you’re done!

Bollywood Style Chain Ear Cuff

Bollywood style ear cuff made with chain, beads, and baubles.

This East Indian style ear cuff uses 3.3mm chain instead of wire to wrap around the top of the ear.

This sumptuous feast of dangles is inspired by Bollywood jewelry. Instead of a wire frame that wraps around the ear, jewelry chain drapes over the top of the ear and holds the dangles in place. It didn’t take long for us to realize that this style isn’t the best for a night of head-banging on the dance floor. For a candle-lit dinner, however, it’s just the thing!

To make the chain ear cuff pictured above, you’ll need:

Cut the chain to your desired length, add your dangles, and voila! You’re ready for a night on the town.

We’re going to keep watching this fun jewelry making trend. In the meantime, have fun making ear cuffs!

You can buy wire, beads, and components right here at Rings & Things (just click the links in the parts lists above)!

Create with confidence. :) ~ Melissa

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How to Make Resin Jewelry featuring Piddix Images and SuperClear Resin

October 7th, 2013
A heart-shaped bezel and Piddix image of music notes is featured in this cast resin necklace: Music Lover Necklace by Valorie Nygaard-Pouzar of www.rings-things.com

“Music Lover Necklace” by Valorie Nygaard-Pouzar features SuperClear Resin, a Piddix image, and an Amate heart-shaped bezel.

 

Resin jewelry is a great way to encapsulate an image; you can seal a Piddix image or even a photocopy of a cherished family photo under SuperClear resin.  To get started just follow these step-by-step instructions.

Why we love SuperClear Resin:

  • non-toxic formula
  • crystal clear jewelry-grade formula with UV protectant to prevent yellowing
  • bubbles easily dissipate
  • low to no odor
  • 20 minute working time
  • 6-8 hour cure time at room temperature
  • no shipping restrictions — This resin can be shipped worldwide!

 

Free tutorial from www.rings-things.com - tools and supplies needed to make a Super Clear Resin and Bezel pendant featuring Piddix images.

Step 1: Gather the tools and supplies necessary to make your SuperClear Resin pendant.

 

You will need these tools and supplies:

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com.  Cutting out the Piddix image.

Step 2:  Cut out the image to match the size of the bezel’s interior opening.

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com. Adding the image to the bezel.

Step 3: Place the image into the bezel, it should fit snugly. If desired, you can glue the image in place with a water-based adhesive such as “The Ultimate!” glue; the same glue can be used to seal the image by painting a thin layer over the image. Allow to dry thoroughly.

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com. Measuring the resin.

Step 4: Use the calibrated cups to measure the resin and hardener according to the manufacturer’s instructions: mix 2 parts of resin (part A) to 1 part of hardener (part B).

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com -- measuring and mixing the resin.

Step 5: Gradually combine the hardener and resin in a disposable plastic cup.

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com -- stirring the resin.

Step 6: Mix by “folding” the resin and hardener together for two minutes; scrape the sides of the cup as you mix.

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com -- mixing SuperClear resin.

Step 7: Let the mixed resin “rest” for five minutes.

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com. Pour the resin into the bezel.

Step 8: Pour the resin slowly into your prepared bezel. Add resin until the bezel is full and is gently domed. Working on a small elevated work surface makes it easy to pivot and move the piece.

 

Jewelry making tutorial: how to make a clear resin image pendant from www.rings-things.com.  Use a flame to rapidly raise bubbles to the surface.

Step 9: To aid in the dissipation of air bubbles, carefully hold a lit lighter above the surface of the resin; bubbles will quickly rise to the surface and burst. Once the resin is clear, set the pendant aside on a level surface and cover with an inverted container to prevent dust from settling on the resin. Allow to dry for approximately eight hours at room temperature.

 

If you would like to make the “Music Lover” Necklace, a list of the exact parts used can be found in the Rings & Things Design Gallery.  For other resin jewelry tutorials, check out the Design Gallery’s “Resin Jewelry Projects”.

Make things!

Mollie

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Free U.S Shipping on Orders $100 dollars or More

October 1st, 2013

Free Shipping Code Discount

You asked and we answered.

Now offering Free U.S. Shipping for orders over $100 using the code: FSPFREESHIP

Also $10 dollars off International Orders over $100 using this code: INTATEN

For all the fantastic details and exceptions just travel to this magical page HERE.

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Easy to Make Rubber Stamped Leather Bracelets

September 30th, 2013
rubber stamped leather bracelets

Easy to Make Bracelets

With the holidays fast approaching, why not make some simple handmade gifts for friends and family?

Using rubber stamps and permanent ink pads,  you can easily embellish ready-made leather bracelets to create fun and whimsical gifts in just a few minutes.

This DIY tutorial shows you how.

Supplies for DIY stamped leather bracelets

Gather your supplies

Gather your Supplies

You will need the following products and supplies:

 

Rubber Stamp Angel Policy

If you plan on selling your finished pieces, remember to check out the “angel policy” for the rubber stamps you choose. The manufacturer or stamp artist may have restrictions on using the stamped images on items created for sale.

 

Center the stamp on the leather bracelet

Plan your Layout

Plan your Design Layout

If you want a certain stamped image to appear in a certain location, like the center of the bracelet, you should plan your design layout.

Depending on the length of leather bracelet you choose, you can plan the layout directly on the bracelet.

Or use the bracelet as a template to trace its shape on paper.  Trace several, so you can practice. This is helpful when determining the spacing needed between individual letter stamps when stamping words or names.

 

Stamp several times so the stamp picks up the ink.

Ink the Stamp

Stamp your Design

Place the rubber stamp on the ink pad and press down so the stamp picks up the ink. Repeat several times. Use plenty of ink for a dark image.

 

Place inked stamp over the leather bracelet

Center inked stamp over bracelet

Press the stamp down on the leather bracelet

Press the stamp firmly

Press the stamp firmly on the leather bracelet and hold for a few seconds. Then gently lift off the stamp.

 

Let the StazOn ink dry for several minutes

Allow the ink to dry

To prevent smudging, allow the ink to dry before stamping the next image. It takes about 3-5 minutes for permanent ink to thoroughly dry, if you can wait that long.

 

Stamp another image onto the leather bracelet

Ink another rubber stamp and press it down on the leather

Use more StazOn ink for a darker image.

Different amounts of ink create a nice contrast

Use plenty of ink for a dark image.  Less ink makes for a nice contrast. Or use several different colors of the StazOn ink for your design.

 

Leather bracelets and StazOn ink make fast and scarey projects.

An easy to make spooky gift

 

Fixing Mistakes

StazOn ink is permanent. If you make a mistake, you can remove the image with StazOn All Purpose Cleaner.  But be cautious, as this cleaner is a solvent and will also remove the dye on the leather bracelet.

When you are finished, use the cleaner to remove the dried ink on the rubber stamps.

Since the StazOn ink is permanent, there is no need to apply a sealer to the bracelet.

 

 

Draw your own design on leather bracelets with Sharpies

Draw freehand designs with Sharpie permanent markers

Another fast way to make a bracelet is to draw your own design on the leather using Sharpie permanent marking pens.

 

DIY rubber stamped leather bracelets

These bracelets are great for all occasions from Halloween and Christmas to Queen for a Day.

With ready-made leather braceletsStazOn ink pads, and your favorite rubber stamps, you can start making your handmade holiday gifts now.

Amy

 

 

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