Friday, August 29, 2008

Interview with ThatSomething

The wonderful pieces found in ThatSomething’s shop are either pure vintage pieces or new pieces made from vintage parts. Her eclectic, fashionable jewelry is to die for and is sure to become a constant in your collection, and a conversation piece whenever you wear it!

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My names Kim, im 26 and graduated in January from Temple with a degree in American Studies. I love to travel, drink good coffee in the morning and great wine in the evening, and nothing is better to me than a meal shared with a few close friends.
Where/When did you learn how to make jewelry?

I taught myself how to reconstruct jewelry out of my own dissatifaction with the jewelry I would buy. Before i had the appropriate tools I would use my fingers to pry apart jump rings! The day I bought pliers at Joannes, life got a little easier!

What inspires you in your work?

Im inspired by the human connection and sentimentalism an object can carry for people. I have a ring that was given to me by my mother and i am the fifth generation in the family to have it. Vintage and antique items remind me of how big the world is, how small i am, but that we each are intricately connected in some way.
When you are not finding pristine vintage pieces or making new jewelry, what can you be found doing?

I am also a freelance photographer for Educational Testing Service, so out taking photos. I love to cook not bake and I never use recipes, i like to read, and I sporadically write.

If you had to choose another way to expend your creative juices, how would you go about it?

I have thought about being a fashion designer, interior designer, poet, photojounalist, singer, actress, writer, painter and more. So I guess if I had to expend my creative juices some other way it would be to find a way to focus myself!

This wonderful shop can be found here:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Have I Been Up To Recently?

The past few weeks have been busy ones, or at least the last week. Classes started back up again, a lot of moving is going on, and of course, a lot of knitting. I have a few projects that I finished recently and will periodically post on Etsy.

The first is a thick, grey wool cowl that has two red ribbons to tie it around your neck. The ribbons are different from each other upon close inspection, but the shades are the same and this difference was intentional:

I also recently finished a matching set of Green and Black fingerless mitts and a beanie which will be listed separately because they can obviously be worn separately:

And I am currently working on a lacy, girly shrug which should be finished in a few days. It has a picot edging and some cool little details on the border of the shrug before it puffs out into a lacy pattern. It is being knit with an awesome variegated yarn containing shades of purple, green and cream:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Custom Order For My Friend Jenna

I made Jenna the first of the flower beanies. I found a gorgeous green wool to make the majority of the hat out of and soft creamy wool to make accents (like the picot edging). Jenna has thick, gorgeous, curly hair and the first hat I made would not fit right so I quickly made another that looked mostly identical just larger so she would be comfortable in it. And she looks fabulous :D

I also made an orange, lacey beanie with earflaps and a thick, bright, deep turquoise mohawk for another friend of mine. As soon as I get adequate pictures I will post those as well. I almost didn't want to give that hat away, it was awesome!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Interview with remixstudios

At reMixstudio, you can find purses, laptop sleeves and passport sleeves made out of recycled tshirts, and the occasional graphic designer banner and a few prints. The multitalented designer takes her creations from unwanted, old, possibly loved-too-much tshirts to chic, ecofriendly and stylish bags for the women of the world.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Liz; at my “real” job I’m a graphic designer. I grew up on the scenic banks of the Mississippi in western Illinois, moved to Des Moines, Iowa for college. Moved out of state after graduating, and realized I loved Iowa, and moved back six months ago.

I’m really big into travel, and would love to find a way to do that for a living. I live with my younger sister (which is an interesting dynamic) in an adorable 1920’s apartment.

It says in your profile that you miss Africa, did you live there or visit or something?

In college I had two friends who were from Ghana. They made jokes that everyone always said they would come home with them to visit, but never would. A few of us actually took them up on the offer over a winter break.

That obviously was a pretty life changing experience in many different ways. I also was heavily involved with the social justice organization Invisible Children (who advocate for youth in Uganda effected by the civil war in the northern portion of the country) and so Africa is pretty close to my heart.
When did you start sewing tshirts into other useful items?

I started sewing the bags about a year ago. One of my friends had made something similar, but didn’t have time to make one, so I sat down one afternoon and hand sewed one. I got a lot of compliments, and started making more once I got myself a sewing machine (which certainly sped up the process quite a bit.) And within the last month or so, I’ve started making other things like laptop sleeves and passport sleeves.
Where do you get the tshirts?

The first bags I made were from old tshirts of my own, that were either in too bad of shape to wear, or that I didn’t really want anymore. For Christmas, I was given a large bag of shirts, and recently friends gave me some as well, so I’ve never yet had to actually go out and get shirts specifically for my shop. However, that stash is starting to run low, so I may have to in the near future (then again, I have a birthday coming up soon, so maybe a family member can help me out again!)
If you had to express your creativity in another manner, what would it be?

I’m really into just about every creative endeavor to some degree (movies, music, art, etc.) However, I would love to get more into photography. It is something I’m into pretty casually now, but could for sure go further with. I’m actually shooting my first wedding for a friend next summer, so maybe that will be the start there!

This supercool shop can be found here:

Her blog can be found here:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Donating Percentage of Profit to Charity

Beginning the month of September I will donate a portion of my sales every month to various charities. The percentage each month will likely change, but will not be less than 10%.

September's percentage will go to The Elephant Nature Park. I have always had an afinity for elephants (ask my friends and family!) and this organization has helped over 30 elephants by providing a sanctuary. Located in Northern Thailand, the Asian Elephants here aren't the only ones who benefit from this program. Rainforest restoration and cultural preservation are also goals of this unique group.

The website for this group can be found here:

I will donate 15% of all my profits the entire month of September to this organization!

This is my elephant tattoo that I have on my upper back, I drew it myself. This is how much I love elephants haha!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Interview with kimforbeads

Kimforbeads’ shop is full of colorful, unique, handmade jewelry. She has a lifetime of experience under her belt and it shows in the quality of her work. I have asked this artist to please answer some questions for us, so that we may get to know her better!

Please, tell us a bit about yourself:

I have been beading for about 18yrs, I love it. Some people can go thru there whole life and never find there passion, I have found mine. I actually do all kinds of crafts besides beading, I do embroidery, cross stitch, crochet, some sewing, card making, and many other things, but I always come back to beading. I love it with all of my heart.

Where and When did you learn how to make jewelry?

I have always lived in Washington. I was crafty as a child, my grandmother and I would always make different things. Later when I was a teenager I worked in a rock shop & got into all of the minerals. That is when I started making jewelry, but I didn't start selling it until about 18yrs ago and the response has been great.

Your shop is very colorful, which colors do you enjoy working with most?

My favorite color is red, but I probably bead with purple, blue & fall colors the most. They turn out wonderful, and everyone seems to love these colors, I also find myself wearing fall colors a lot so most of the jewelry that I make for myself I also do in that color range.

What do you enjoy most about beading?

I love the creativity to explore the beauty in colors, beads, and design. I love the way sometimes things just come together when you don't even plan them out all of the way.

If you had to express your creativity in another manner, what would it be?

If I could sing, I would, I love to sing & write poetry & lyrics. But I keep them mostly to myself. I do not have the best of hearing and I guess others don't appreciate my singing ability as much as I love doing it. I have many poems & songs that I have saved that I wrote as a teenager, and someday I may publish them, we will see. I have a lot of ideas in my head, but never enough time for all of them, that is what makes life so fun. Always thinking of new things to create and new challenges to overcome. Thanks for taking the time to allow me to share a piece of myself with you. I feel as an artist every piece of art (jewelry) that I make has a small piece of me with it. Enjoy.

This wonderful shop can be found here:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Interview with Annlee Designs

AnnleeDesigns offers a range of wonderful, luxurious knitted accessories and tops. All of her designs are stylish and fun, perfect for the young, trendy girl, or the older chic woman. I have worked with AnnleeDesigns before, helping her to translate her patterns into English, and she is so gracious and kind! Ann very gracefully answered a few questions I thought my readers would like to know:

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself:

A bit about myself... My name is Anniki and I'm from Estonia. Usually people don't know where Estonia is- it is a small country under Finland and next to Russia.
In my "real life" I'm full time journalist and newspaper editor.

When/where did you first learn how to knit?

To be honest, I don't know how I learned how to knit. I know my mother have been knitting as long as I remember, that means forever :) I and my sister learned the basic stitches from our mother, but we also had compulsory craft lessons in basic school. After the school I made a break and didn't knit for years, started again 4 years ago when I was pregnant. And won't stop any more!
When you are not knitting, what can you be found doing?

If I'm not knitting and not working, I'm usually in swimming pool. I'm a former proffessional swimmer and although I don't compete any more, I enjoy water and swim 6 times a week. Water is very big part of my life, I live near the beach, swim a lot and go to sailing once in a while.
I also enjoy photography. Nowadays I do more photo journalism, but if I have more free time, I always go to and try to take some nature photos.

If you had the chance to learn another craft, what would you choose?

I definitely want to learn how to sew. I know the basic things, but I'm not good at it and I can't sew clothes myself. I admit I'm very attached to things I do (knitting and crocheting) and don't dream very much of learning new crafts. I want to do knitting and crocheting as good as I can and improve my skills without changing my passion.

Her wonderful shop can be found here:

And her blog can be read here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Interview with MovetheNeedle

A fellow college Etsy-er, MoveTheNeedle is multitalented and very ambitious. Her shop sports handmade journals, cards, and boxes. I was intrigued by this eclectically organized shop and asked MovetheNeedle to answer a few questions for me:

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I'm Anna. I'm 19 years old and currently a sophomore at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. I love all types of arts and crafts. I've always been really artistic. Besides craft making and bookbinding, I love listening to music, reading, writing, movies, cooking, etc.

How did you get started making journals?

I actually started making journals this summer. I wanted to start a shop on etsy and sell my crafts, but I didn't know what I wanted to focus on. I made a journal as part of a craft swap on another site and I enjoyed making it, so I decided to learn more about bookbinding. I used some tutorials online and also found a few books, which have been really helpful. I'm definitely still learning though.

How do you balance college and craft? (I sometimes find it hard to do!)

Since I opened my business just this summer, I actually haven't had to balance my college and craft yet. But I know I'll probably be making sure I'm giving myself some time each day to devote to my business and craft. I'll prioritize my tasks and make sure I'm still having fun with my crafts and giving myself enough time to relax.

Where do you find the supplies for your journal making?

I buy most of my journal supply tools (binder board, glue, bone folder) and some of my decorative paper online at a shop called Hollander's ( I use mostly Alexander Henry fabric and most of my decorative paper is from Paper Source ( I love shopping for decorative paper and fabric, it's one of my favorite parts of the whole process.
If you could learn any other new craft, what would you choose to learn?

There's so many other crafts I would love to learn. I recently picked up a screenprinting book, so that will be fun to try out. You can use screenprinting in so many crafts - on journals, clothes, bags, etc. I've always thought it'd be fun to be able to make my own clothes. I don't think I've ever made my own top from scratch before and that would be great to learn. I've also experimented with polymer a little bit lately. I love the cute and detailed items people can come up with. As you can probably tell, I am always learning and experimenting with new crafts. I would also like to keep learning new journal stitches and bookbinding technique.

This wonderful shop can be found here:

Her blog can be found here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some Items I Have Knit in the Past

Lately I have been conducting a lot of interviews, but wanted to take some time out to show some things that I have created in the past. These items are not for sale on Etsy, but if you see something you like don't hesitate to convo me via Etsy and we can work something out!

This is the Original Reptile Hero Hat! Made for my older brother for his 20th birthday. Clearly these hats come in a wide range of sizes. I just made another one for my friend who has already graduated from college. They seem to be very popular!

I made this hat for my friend, it is my first attempt at adding a brim straight onto the hat and clearly there is room for improvement, but I think its a good first try, I just hope he likes it!

I made this cabled clutch based on a pattern that I found in One Skein Wonders and I actually used this for prom! I absolutely love it, don't get to use it often, but love it

I use this bag every single day. It is my going everywhere, doing everything bag. Its big, sturdy, stretchy, colorful, and just plain awesome. I put a small pocket on the inside to keep it more organized and I can fit everything I need and then some in it! I get compliments all the time.

This is my rainbow-esque hat. My friend is modeling it on the left (her hair is considerably bushier than mine!) and my wonderful beau is modeling it on the right. I wear this hat when I go snowboarding, or just generally when its cold outside. I thought about selling then realized that I would just make more haha, as I love this one too much!

This is one of the first bags I made, I haven't gone to sew in the ends yet, but the yarn is so soft and gorgeous, and I found matching buttons! It's actually quite cute.

Interview with theknittingsiren

The phenomenally colored yarns found in theknittingsiren’s shop make me drool. Her yarns vary from cotton, wool and linen to my favorite: bamboo. She carries patterns, accessories and sometimes destashes commercial yarns. I absolutely love her shop and she graciously allowed me to ask her a few questions:

First off, would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Melanie, I'm the mom of 3 very busy boys and am the keeper of 1 dog, 1 cat, 17 chickens and 3 Pygora goats.
Where/When did you learn how to knit?

I learned how to knit after while pregnant with my second. I already knew how to crochet but everything I wanted to make was knit. There were no classes or LYS's in my area at the time so I just bought a book, some yarn and some needles and knit a baby blanket. I've been obsessed ever since.

How long have you been dyeing yarn?

I started dyeing with Kool-aid about 3 years ago but it was just since this last winter that I finally delved into the world of commercial dyes and am so glad I did. There is a much wider range of colors I can create.

What do you enjoy most about knitting/dyeing?

Knitting is my wind down, it's the best way to relax. I also love that I can create a work of art that I can wear. Knitting is so versatile as well. If I can think it, I can knit it.
With dyeing, I love the unexpected. So many of my favorite colorways have been complete accidents. I like to call them "Happy Accidents." There are so many colors, so many possiblities, so much fun.

Because you get to dye yarn, I have to ask, what is your favorite color?

Purple! All shades of purple! I have a hard time dyeing other colors because I love purple so much.

Theknittingsiren’s shopcan be found here:

Theknittingsiren also has a children’s store,

And her blog can be found here:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Interview with wyredonwire

The very talented and very generous wyredonwire is offering a 30% discount to all of my readers for the week that her interview is featured! So go have a look-see and find something special for yourself or a friend, all of her things are divine!

How did jewelry making come into your life?

When I was 8 my grandparents gave me a beading set for my birthday and from that time on I saved allowances bought all the jazzy jewelry sets. As I grew up so did my materials. I started selling jewelry while I was in High School I made hemp jewelry at the time it was very popular in my school, after high school I discovered wire and all the many possibilities it had and I've never turned back.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I'm asked this question so many times and it really has to be the hardest question. I find inspiration everywhere and no where, I know your probably thinking well that doesn't make sense but it's true. I will be sleeping and wake up with an idea that I have to try right then or I can't go back to sleep, or I will be walking down the street and see an outfit on a stranger I think of a peice to go with that outfit. I do find that there are times I am more easily inspired than others but there is nothing in particular that brings that inspiration on it's really random.

When you are not making jewelry, what do you fill your time with?

Well I have a wonderful fiance and two amazing children they pretty much take up any extra time. I also have a casual job that I love, working with special needs adults. So when I'm not spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, working on my business, or working at my job I'm sleeping...

If you could learn any new craft, what would you choose to learn?

I really have always and still do occasionally do other crafts but if (and I will learn it one day) I were to learn a new one it would be Metalsmithing and glassblowing. They just won't let me play with fire yet, but one day!

Wyredonwire’s shop can be found here:

And DON’T FORGET about her wonderful 30% discount to all my readers! Just be sure to tell her that you read about her on my blog!!!

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Interview with SweetBody

The sweet, girly aura of SweetBody’s shop is only the beginning of the awesomeness that is inside. Soaps, scrubs, and lip balms of all scents and appearances can be found, beautifully photographed and lovingly made. I asked SweetBody to answer some questions so that we could get to know the mind behind this artwork better:

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself:

I live on the coast of Maine, USA. I'm 21 years old. I love soap.

When/How did you first come upon making soaps and bath products?

It started in 2004, Christmas, I was making sugar scrubs for my friends and family, as gifts, and just got hooked into the whole world of handmade bath and body products.

Which scents are your favorites to use in your home?

Vanilla, without a doubt. I'm truly baffled by people that do not love the scent of vanilla. It's such a sweet fragrance, but also so sensual, and mixes well with ANYTHING.
What do you enjoy most about making soap?

For starters? . . .Everything.
If you could learn any new craft, what would it be?

I'm honestly really content with what I'm doing now. It's not just soap-I also do lotion, bath care, etc. But within my business, I also need to learn things like graphic design, photography (to an extent), etc. I'm starting to get into the art of perfumery, which is really a whole other world.

If I had to choose something outside of all bath and body care, design would be (intensely) fun. Glass blowing would also be interesting.

I want to thank SweetBody for being so gracious as to give us an interview and I want to encourage you all to visit her shop:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Interview with MFIPC

MyFlatInParisCouture makes jewelry and accessories for the young, chic, stylish female on the go! She leads a very busy life and still has time to make her jewelry and promote her Etsy shop! I asked MFIPC to answer a few questions including how she got started with jewelry making, what inspires her, and how on Earth does she do it with 4 kids! This is what she had to say:

My name is Janie (aka Jaden) and I first learned how to make jewelry while I was a stay at mom when I had 2 kids. I would get really bored so I went to the library and checked out a few books on jewelry making and started from there.

I'm really into girly pink things. My creations sort of stem from bringing out the little girl that's still in our adult soul. I feel that focusing mainly in the European Parisian theme has done well.

After my husband was medically discharged from the Navy from Desert Storm, I started focusing on mainly a jewelry business rather than a hobby. VA disability isn't enough to feed a family of 4.

Then come the other 2 children (now a family of 6). Now that jewelry wasn't enough to pay the bills, I went out and got a 40 hour a week job while my husband stayed home with the kids. My boss is so nice that he gave me permission that when all my work is finished, I can work on my jewelry at the office. I mainly do all my jewelry at work so I can focus on being "mommy" when I get home and on the weekends.

I absolutely love what I do. Now that I'm working full time AND doing jewelry, I mainly donate my etsy profits to 2 charities that are Autism Research and Organ donation. I donate to these charities because my 7 year old son has Autism and my mother of 60 had a lung transplant. This is what inspires me to keep making jewelry.

This shop can be found here:
MFIPC's blog can be found here:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Why I Love Knitting Part II

This is the second installment about why I love my craft, who knows how many there will be!

Knitting for me, is like running for my dad, or writing for my mom, or reading for my older brother, and for my little brother it is skating. It is an escape from the stresses of everyday life. With needles in my hands my problems seem so much more….deal-with-able. It allows for my head to process things in a more organized and polite manner. I can plan my upcoming days, projects, and happenings better. I can contemplate the day’s events, I can determine my next course of action (usually knitting). It provides me with piece of mind, it is an instant bearer of much needed patience and seems to bring my bustling world to a much s l o w e r, calmer, relaxing pace.

I believe that everyone should have something of this caliber in their life. It doesn’t matter what it is that brings you down from your high-wire act of life, a cup of coffee, a boxing match with a kangaroo, taking your dog for a walk, picking the perfect dozen of eggs out of miscellaneous cartons at the grocery. If you don’t have something to calm you down, you will be too strung up to enjoy the tunes of life.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Interview with hilarycaroline

HilaryCaroline, a fellow member of EtsyU, is a jewelry artist getting her degree in Finance. With a history of entrepreneurial endeavors it is only naturally that this talented young lady would find her way to the Etsy grounds.

I asked HilaryCaroline if she would answer a few questions so we could all get to know her better…

First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself (you can say as little or as much as you please):

I am a 21 year old student going into my senior year at Lehigh University. I will be graduating next May with a major in Finance and two minors in Psychology and Entrepreneurship. I'm also a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and this past year held the position of Vice President Finance. I'm from a small, historic town right outside of Boston, and have lived in the same house almost my whole life. I have been crafty and entrepreneurial since a very young age and have run a string of small business since age 12. My most recent business venture was buying clothes wholesale online and selling them individually on eBay. I was very successful in this and enjoyed it very much as I have always been extremely interested in fashion. But, I had to end the business this spring in anticipation of living in New York City this summer with an internship, as I knew I wouldn't have the time (or space!) to keep it up. I also love cooking, and have recently become super interested in recreating some of my favorite recipes into healthier alternatives, so I've been doing lots of experimenting, which of course my friends and family are loving (especially my always hungry brother). Beyond that I like to think I'm just a regular college girl, I love hanging out with my friends and of course love a good party. :)

How did you hear about Etsy?

I actually discovered Etsy while at one of my summer internships. As a buying intern, I was helping the small company I was working for research new brands for their retail site, and several times while searching for someone I would end up on their Etsy page. I became pretty fascinated with the site and spent a lot of time I should have been working poking around on Etsy. :) Then one day it clicked that I've loved making jewelry for so long but was losing money just giving items away to friends, and wouldn't it be great if I could try to sell some instead. A week or so later, I opened up shop and started making new jewelry!

Where/When did you learn how to make jewelry?

I've been making jewelry since a very young age, starting off with just plastic beads on string necklaces and bracelets and of course the ever popular colored string "friendship bracelets" with all those different crazy stitches. I started actually doing work with wires and metals probably 5 or so years ago, and I have been completely self taught. I have never taken a class or even read any books, however I would love to do this is in the future to learn some new things that I haven't been able to figure out on my own. But for the most part, I'm very good at recreating pretty much anything that I see, so I started off just trying to recreate some things I had seen and liked while shopping, and my skills have been growing ever since.

What aspect of making jewelry most intrigues you?

Well I love the fact that the possibilities with jewelry are pretty much endless. There are so many different colors and gemstones that can be used, you can never get bored thinking of designs! I love picking out color schemes for my designs and trying to put unusual colors together. I've always been a fan of colorful accessories and have been known at my school for having brightly colored shoes and handbags. I think it makes a really bold statement and can pull together an outfit if you wear just the right bold accessory. I try to create that with my jewelry, something that's going to catch everyone's eye and really make a trendy fashion statement for the wearer.

If you had to choose another medium to express yourself what would it be?

Hmm, there are so many! I used to take pottery classes when I was younger, and I loved the feeling of creating and molding something with your hands that could actually be functional as a vase, bowl, etc. I also really wish I could paint, I've never been that great at drawing/painting but would love to get better. And of course if I could sew or make patterns I would love to create clothes.

HilaryCaroline’s magnificent jewelry can be found in her shop:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Why I Love Knitting

I do what I do and I love what I do for many reasons. I love to create. I love the feeling of being productive, and especially when I am being productive at something I actually ENJOY! When you knit, everything you do helps to create the finished project; there is no “busy work.” Every stitch helps complete the design. Without even one stitch the hat, scarf, sweater, whatever will unravel and not be 100% finished. That is one thing I love about knitting, every little bit helps.

I also love the variety of yarns, textures, colors, weights, attitudes that comes with each shopping excursion. I have stated in interviews before that my mind associates most yarns with a certain beverage. This revelation came to me one night while sipping enchanting wine and knitting as my beau was engaging in his leisure pursuit of choice: guitar. Upon this discovery, I excitedly exclaimed my news to my unsuspecting Dominic and he peered at me as if I was a crazy person spewing out nonsense. I took a deep breath and tried again, this time he seemed to get it, if only a small bit. For example, mohair is the white zinfandel of the yarn world; wool, a rich, dark mocha; acrylic yarns vary as much as different soft drinks; cotton relates to a simple, yet delectable cup of tea. I assume that other knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists know what I’m talking about, but it could easily just be my train of thought. Perhaps everyone else has their own perception of what each yarn represents in the “real world.”

Friday, August 8, 2008

So I went down to Village Wools in Albuquerque today and picked up some yarn for two custom hats. One for a re-make for a friend who simply needs a bigger size and another for an adult size of the Star Baby Hat that can be found in my store. I also recently finished an adult version of a Donatello Reptile Hero Hat for a friend of mine. So lately I have been busy making custom hats. I am looking forward to making things for my store, but the custom jobs are very fun too.

This is my first attempt at a blog and I'm sure they will get better and much more interesting haha, sorry if you got conned into reading this first, boring, post :p
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