Inspired by…Grain Mill turned Farmhouse

My mom is really going to LOVE this post 🙂 Pretty sure her dream is to turn an old barn into a home. Or at least into an event venue that she can run a business out of. Well mama, here is your inspiration! This is a 161 year old grain mill that was bought and remodeled by a couple of antique dealers, obviously they knew what they were doing.

The first image is the before…and the transformation is just magic. Now let’s go find a barn to buy mom!

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Original article from Country Living

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Nursery Crib

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Someone contacted me asking about some of the furniture details in Landon’s nursery and I realized that I never shared the finished crib! No time like the present…

I remember sharing a while back that I was having trouble finding a crib that I liked. I wanted white distressed wood. Everything I was finding in white was smooth finish and everything in a distressed finish was off-white or almost yellow. Of course, I have no problem painting a piece of furniture 🙂 but if I was going to put work in to it, I didn’t want to spend a lot. I searched some thrift stores but there’s not a lot of cribs out there. Enter Wayfair.com.

I went on Wayfair.com just to see what they had. I had purchased my office chair from Joss & Main, which is a sister company of Wayfair.com, and loved it so I thought I’d check it out. Turns out, there are a lot of options under $250! The crib I chose is by Viv & Rae, called the Rocco Kokopelli Convertible Crib.

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What I loved about this crib was the “shutter-like” look on the endcaps. I knew the raised edges would give great texture when I distressed it. Unfortunately, this crib is sold out 😦 However, if you go on Wayfair.com and search cribs, there is an option on the left side of the screen to select “cribs under $200” and there are lots of options to choose from.

My favorites, to get a similar look to what I did would be…
Camden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft
Harbor Lights 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Graco
Watterson 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft
And, the first 2 options come in multiple finishes, in case you don’t want to refinish or paint.

To refinish the crib I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode. Heirlooms Tradition, as most chalk paint, is non-toxic and safe to use on furniture that a baby may put it’s mouth on. You just want to make sure to let the paint cure for a few weeks before baby would have it’s mouth near the furniture. The thing you don’t want to use in this case, is the soft wax. I didn’t use the soft wax this time and it didn’t really affect the distressing. The biggest benefit of the wax is that it seals the paint, protecting it from chipping and stains.

*Quick tip: assemble your crib before you paint it!

There are so many nooks and crannies and areas that will not be visible and therefore don’t need paint, you will save so much time if the crib is assembled first.

Once painted, I used 100 grit sandpaper to sand the edges. I used a coarser sand paper because I really wanted the dark brown to show through. I didn’t sand any flat surface, just ran the sand paper along each edge.

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That’s all folks! Pretty simple transformation. And for those wondering, the crib bedding is the Vintage Ticking Stripe and Vintage Washed Percale Collection from Restoration Hardware.

Vintage Scoreboard was made by me and you can find the instructions here.

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Breakfast Nook Table

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So it’s been a month since I’ve posted 😦 #1 I can’t believe it has been that long! #2 That also means that this pregnancy is moving along insanely fast! In just 1 week I will already be 24 weeks!! I’m starting to panic about all the things I haven’t even begun to tackle in the nursery yet, not to mention finishing my registry, researching daycare/nannies, take some baby classes…the list just keeps piling up!

I’m beginning to get the nursery design underway. I have my design scheme and have picked out a crib, chandelier and rocker with glider. Good start, right? The biggest project in the nursery is going to be designing to closet layout which I’m going to start tackling in the next week or so.

In the meantime, I finally finished the table and chairs in my breakfast nook! We won’t talk about the fact that I started this project when we got back from Hawaii (also about the time I found out I was pregnant) and my projects all went downhill from there. It feels good to complete some things that have been sitting for so long, I feel so accomplished!!

You might recognize this table from my entry way. When we first moved into our house, I found this table at a thrift store for $40 dollars and painted it white. The chairs came from my old dining table and were black before. I painted them with 3 coats of Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode. I put on 1 coat of Heirloom Traditions soft clear wax and then lightly sanded the edges so the black paint would show through a bit.

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I searched FOREVER for these chair cushions!! I couldn’t find anything I liked. Then, one day, when I wasn’t even looking, I spotted these at Home Goods and had to snatch them up! They are actually outdoor cushions but this area gets direct afternoon sunlight so outdoor cushions are actually great because the fabric won’t fade from the sunlight.

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White pitcher: Homegoods
Faux fiddle fig leaf stems: Z Gallerie
Wood Tray: Target

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Honeycomb Chandelier: Cost Plus World Market

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Last things to be done in this area are crown molding, a new exterior door and hardware to the deck and new flooring. I’m hoping the new flooring will happen in the whole house in the next year…it will really change the look of the house and complete many of the rooms. Stay tuned!!!

How To: Adjust Chandelier Height

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Before baby came to be, the room getting all my attention lately has been the kitchen. Now, I’ve realized my bedroom and the nursery need to be ready in just 6 short months. That may seem like a long time, but, I tend to move at a very slow pace. I’ve really done nothing to our bedroom since we moved in other than painting the walls that same color as the rest of the house. The thing that really drove me crazy was the huge Tommy Bahama style ceiling fan that just didn’t go with any of my décor. So, I decided that would be the first thing to go.

I bought this Rustic Wire Chandelier light fixture at World Market yesterday, and it happened to be great timing because they are having their Friends & Family event with 30% off your purchase through Monday 5/2.

When I got the light fixture home, removed the ceiling fan and took the new fixture out of the box, I realized the chain/cord on the chandelier was so long that the fixture would basically be sitting on my bed if I hung it as is. Now, could I hang the fixture at the right height and somehow drape the cord around the top of the fixture? Yes. Am I too much of a perfectionist for this? Yes. Since I’ve had to adjust the chain/cord length on every hanging light fixture I’ve installed, I decided to show you all how to adjust to the proper height.

Step 1
The first step is to figure out how long you want the chain to be by determining the height of the bottom of the chandelier. For a chandelier hanging over a bed, the bottom of the fixture should be approximately 7 feet from the ground. My bedroom ceiling is 9 feet high so that means the bottom of the chandelier to the ceiling  should be 2 feet. However, that actual chandelier is almost 2 feet tall so the fixture ended up hanging about 6 1/2 feet from the ground.

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Step 2
Now that you’ve determined how long the chain should be, it’s time to adjust the length. The electrical cord can be fed through the ceiling cap and adjusted in step 3. For now, you will focus on the chain (if there is one). I pulled the electrical cord through the ceiling cap until it was the length I wanted. The excess chain should be hanging around the bottom of the cord. Starting at the bottom of the chain, I pried the bottom chain link open and removed it from around the top of the chandelier. Every 5 links or so, the chain will be attached to the electrical cord. I worked my way up the chain links, unattaching them until the chain was the same link as the electrical cord. Once you have the desired length, you will need to reattach 1 chain link to the bottom of the chain and to the top of the chandelier to reconnect the two.

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Step 3
Now that the chain is the correct length, you have extra electrical cord above the ceiling cap. You should have the ends of the white, black and copper wires exposed to connect to the electric box in the ceiling. (that additional white string you see in my photo is just that, a string that you cut away) You only need a few inches of this wire exposed so you will remove the outer layer of the electric cord (the black plastic outer layer) by making a tiny cut vertically, without cutting through any of the internal wires. You’ll be able to pull the wires apart in order to remove the outside layer down toward the ceiling cap. Remove the outer layer until you are approximately 2-3 inches from the ceiling cap.

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Step 4:
Now that the outer layer of the electrical cord is cut away, you can shorten the wires connection wires. Each wire has a colored covering protecting it and also distinguishing which wire is for which connection. You need about 1″ to 1 1/2″ of copper wire exposed from under the wire covering. About an inch from the end, use a wire stripper to remove the outside layer. A wire stripper will allow you to do this without cutting any of the actual wires. (I did this with scissors, but if you do this…be very very careful to not cut through any wires). Once cut the covering, you should be able to pull it away to exposed the end of the interior wires.

IMG_5635  Your chandelier height should be adjusted! Now time to remove the old fixture and install the new one for an updated look! See my post How To: Change A Light Fixture for those steps.

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Room Makeover…Home Bar

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Last week when I was sick, I started re-watching the Gossip Girl series on DVD. It helped pass the 4 days I spent in bed. The problem…now I can’t stop watching episodes…back-to-back-to-back. It is making me completely unproductive. All I’ve gotten accomplish today is eaten 2 meals, watched 4 episodes and styled the new little bar area of our dining room.

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I’ve had this buffet for a few years and wanted to give it an update. There is a new trend in furniture called cerused wood. You use white or light wood filler against a dark stain or paint, cover the surface with filler and wipe off the excess so that the original paint or stain shows through and the wood grain is emphasized by the filler.

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This technique came around in the 1950’s and is coming back in a big way. I sanded the edges to distress the piece a bit and removed the nickel hardware and spray painted it gold.

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I found this cutie little mirrored tray at Homegoods and the even cuter lit “Bar” sign from Michael’s.

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These shelves and brackets are from Lowe’s. The brackets are plain pine wood that I painted with Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in Black Bean, topped with clear wax, then sanded the edges. The shelf is a pre-cut piece of pine that I stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. The cocktail tools, corkscrew, topper and bottle opener, are from the Nate Berkus collection for Target.

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These birch blocks are some of my favorites. So cute and rustic paired with candles.

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Time for a drink 😉

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How to: Change a light fixture

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My friend, Janine and I made a trip to Ikea the other day. On the way, we decided to pull off the freeway in search of a cute little café she had heard of. We didn’t find the café, but we did find THE BEST home store I have found in Portland to date. It is called City Home and it is the most amazing mix of vintage & new, rustic & eclectic. It really has something for everyone. I just know I am going to be back again and again, especially after bringing home this light fixture that I am absolutely obsessed with. And don’t worry, I did get some cute little faux herb plants from Ikea as well, those will be used in a later post.

I wasn’t really planning on doing a blog post on my light fixture but when my husband was so surprise that I was going to change out a light fixture, I thought, many people might be too afraid to do this themselves because they don’t realize how simple it is and what a quick and easy way it is to update to look of your home. I’m thinking this “How To” type of post might become a new thing for Just Like Playing House. Let me know what you guys think and if you like it, I’ll keep ’em coming.

Let’s get started!

Here is the light fixture that was originally in the space.

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Don’t mind the plaster on the walls, just patching some nail holes 🙂 I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture but whoever installed the light had left the wiring hanging down around the fixture. This light had been driving me crazy for so long.

Step 1: Turn off the electricity to the light. Go to your breaker panel and shut off the power source to the right part of the house you are working on. Before getting started with step 2, test the light switch to be sure you turned off the right breaker.

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Step 2: Unscrew decorative cap from light fixture to expose wiring. You should find 3 sets of wires twisted together and topped with plastic wire connectors. The wires will most likely be black, white & copper. When your power source is shut off, you can safely unscrew the wire caps and untwist the wires to disconnect everything.

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Step 3: Your wires are now disconnected and your light fixture is attached to the ceiling by light mount plate screwed into the electrical box. When you are ready, you can unscrew the light mount plate to remove the fixture. If you are working with a heavy fixture, you may need a second person, 1 to hold the fixture while the other unscrews the light mount.

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Step 4: Attach your new fixture to the electrical box with a light mount plate. Again, you might need a second person to help hold the fixture up while you attach the mount plate. New fixtures should come with a mount plate that is already threaded on the wires and ready to attach. Your fixture wires will not look as long as mine do. This fixture was actually wired as a lamp, with a wall plug on the end, so I had to open up the cord to expose the wires. Normally, a ceiling mount fixture will have just enough wire exposed to connect the ends together.

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Step 5: Connect your wires together, matching up the wire cover colors, white with white, black with black, and copper with copper. Take the ends, twist them together clockwise and top with a plastic wire connector.

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Step 6: Test your electrical work by turning the breaker back on and flipping the light switch. If you light turns on…SUCCESS! You did it!! Turn the light switch off to finish the job

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Final step: Attach the decorative cover. Tuck the wires up inside the electrical box and attach the decorative cover. New fixtures will come with some sort of screws to attach this piece.

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That’s it!! Now sit back and enjoy your new light fixture!

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DIY Upcycled Frame

IMG_4730As I type this, I am watching Fixer Upper re-runs and the episode where Joanna created a wall sign with the saying “today is a good day for a good day” is on! It’s meant to be that I have this sign in my home and post it for you all.

I’ve had this frame in my garage for SO long! I got it about a year and a half ago and originally was going to turn it into a mirror, but kept putting off take it to a glass shop because of how huge and heavy it is. Then I saw a faux deer head in a frame backed by weathered wood at a vintage market and I got inspired. I thought about putting a faux deer head in the frame but my hubby nixed that idea…he’s not big on “dead animal décor”, even if it is pretty and fake. So much for that trend.

Supplies
5/8″ x 5 1/2″ x 5″ cedar flat-top boards
1″ panel nails
wood glue
paint of your choice

You could do this with any frame you have, big or small, with some paint and rough cedar.

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I started by taking the backing and picture out of the frame.

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I bought cedar flat-top fence pickets because they are cheap and have a rough grain for a good distressed look. I cut each board to fit just inside the frame and attached them with wood glue and 1″ panel nails.

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Once the boards were in place it was time to make the wood look weathered and to paint the frame…

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On the wood, I used Heirloom Traditions DIY chalk paint in Weathered Wood. I used a wet brush technique (dipped the paint brush into water, then into the paint) so that the paint went on very thin. Once the first coat was dry, I went over it with Dark Liquid Patina, which is a top coat/wax that adds a dark distress and brings out darkened highlights and accents in your wood. On the frame, I used A La Mode chalk paint and lightly brushed over the frame, avoiding pressing too hard to keep the paint from getting into the crevices. The frame and wood turned out EXACTLY how I wanted!! Final step was the print, I used A La Mode chalk paint and a small 1/2″ wide detail brush. I used a pencil to rough sketch the words and then went over it with paint a couple times. You could also use a stencil if that’s easier.

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DIY Menu Chalkboard

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I finally bought a fiddle leaf fig tree!!!! I have been wanting one of these for SO long but have been nervous to pull the trigger because they are spendy and I have what you would call a black thumb as opposed to a green thumb. Now, I didn’t re-pot the plant because as I was driving it home with a giddy smile on my face, my mom texted me and said “is it poisonous for dogs?” Well, crap! It is!! The woman at the plant nursery said it is only toxic if the leaves are ingested and not in a fatal way but that I can return the plant if it makes me nervous. I am going to talk to my vet today but I really hope I don’t have to get rid of my new favorite décor item!

I have also wanted a large chalkboard for my dining room for dinner party menus for quite some time and in this house, I have so much room, I decided to make it happen. I got the idea from my mama, of course, she turns old windows and doors into chalkboards for her store all the time. It is such an easy DIY, anyone can do this.

Supplies
old door or window
sandpaper
paint in color of your choice for the frame
black Chalkboard paint
old handle or hardware to cover the hole from doorknob (if using a door)
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Step 1: This is the door I started with, I wanted on with a beveled edge leading into one large center square with no other design so I could use the entire center space for the chalkboard. I get things like this from Habitat for Humanity Restore, it is a great resource for used EVERYTHING when it comes to the home.
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Step 2: I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode to paint the edges of the door. I decided to leave the old hinges on the door because they were so covered in old paint that it was going to be such a pain to take them off and because I knew they would be somewhat hidden by the plant where I was placing the door. You leave them on, take them off, add different old hinges to match the door knob, whatever you choose.

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Step 3: Use black chalkboard paint to make your chalkboard, I used Valspar Interior Matte Chalkboard Paint in Black. I’ve used this chalkboard paint before and it works really well, goes on smooth and levels itself out pretty well.

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Step 4: Add your hardware. I got this handle from my mom’s house, whenever I’m there I tend to go shopping in all the knick knacks and unpainted furniture she has waiting to be used. It’s a gold mine there! I’m not sure where she got this one but Hobby Lobby, Anthropology and World Market are great places to find cool old knobs and handles.

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Step 5: Just some basic chalkboard chalk and dream up your perfect dinner party menu. Enjoy and happy Saturday!!

Upcycled Queen Bed

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So it’s been almost a month and a half since my last blog post and I have felt like a part of my heart was missing! It has been an absolutely crazy past 6 weeks with work. And when I say work, I’m not talking about fun blog stuff in the works. I mean, my real-life, money making job. As much as I wish the blog could pay my bills, that is just not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my job, but blogging and DIY has really become a huge passion and I have felt a little lost without it.

The hiatus is over and I am so thrilled to be back at it. I also realized today that my blogiversary is coming up very soon, it’s already been 1 year since I started this crazy journey! (Did I just use the word journey? What am I, a Bachelorette contestant?!?!). On one hand it feels like I just started yesterday, and on the other, I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. Either way, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

On to the post…

We have a queen bed in our guest bedroom, that, for the longest time, has just been sitting on a boring metal frame. I forgot to take before photos of this room when we bought the house so I snapped a quick photo before I started painting.

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I bought this queen bed over a year ago. I was furniture shopping at thrift stores and came across it. I certainly didn’t need a queen size headboard/footboard/frame but I loved the look of it, it was super sturdy and very well built and was only $150, so I brought it home. And there it sat, in my garage, for all this time. My husband is a big fan of that, by the way, all the stuff I buy because I think I will use it someday that just sits in our garage or extra bedroom. Oops.

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I did a quick and easy update on this piece, just 1 coat of white chalk paint and then sanded it down to let some of the dark wood show through and get a worn look. When you paint a light color over dark wood, people think it takes a lot of coats. If you are going for a worn, antique look, 1 coat should be enough.  After just one coat, here is what the wood looked like…

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Don’t worry if the paint looks streaky or doesn’t completely cover the wood. When I sanded, I used a fine grit (220) sand paper and ran it all over the wood. As you come to a spot where the brush strokes really stand out, this is where a put a little more pressure on the sand paper and make that a “worn” spot. Ultimately, the key is to not worry too much as you sand. You can always go back and sand more or add another layer of paint in some spots if you need to but you don’t want it to look perfect.

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The bedding used in this room is from Pottery Barn, part of our wedding registry, so it isn’t available any longer but their Jessie Organic Duvet & Sham are a similar color palette and pattern.

Now that I have the bed done and in place, I can’t wait to finish painting and decorate the rest of the room. Stay tuned!

Antique Coffee Table

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My mom refinishes old furniture, which is where I got this DIY bug from. She had an upcoming show and was low on pieces and asked me to shop around some Portland thrift stores to see what I could find. I called her from the Habitat for Humanity Restore to let her know I found this amazing cedar chest that she had to have and it was only $40!!! She got just as excited about it after I sent her some photos. Unfortunately, this was the only piece of furniture I found for her that day, and even more unfortunate, I decided I loved it so much that I wanted to keep it for myself. Oops. Luckily I have a very understanding mom! And since then she has found plenty of furniture to refinish.

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This chest is so well built and sturdy, when I got it home I started researching it. I found an almost identical chest that originated in Mexico for $800! Did I mention I got it for $40?!?! Now for the refinishing…really simple this time. The wood was very scratched and banged but I wanted these characteristics to show through an almost white washed look. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White and just painted on one thin coat and let it dry. Then I took a very fine grit sand paper (220 grit) and sanded the surface so that the white still remained but so you could see each seam and scratch in the wood. Then I finished with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax to seal the wood and paint.

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Quick change! Now time to coffee table style…

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