Easy DIY Sharpie Mug

From craft fairs to Etsy shops, everyone is loving on the Sharpie Mugs. Often sporting quotes from some of our favorite TV shows, movies, and books, Sharpie Mugs are a fun and easy project for anyone to do (and they make great gifts for pretty much every occasion)!

sharpie-mug

But first, a lesson.  Let’s talk tools.  The two things to keep in mind when creating your Sharpie Mugs are A) quality of your mug and B) types of markers you use. These two things will insure you have great results every time!

First off, the mug. For this project, the cheaper the mug, the better! You don’t want a mug that’s glazed beyond belief, as it will be hard for the markers to set on this surface. Shop the dollar store for cheaper mugs that don’t have layers of protective coating on them. You can always add coating yourself once your design is set.

Second, the markers. Though these are called Sharpie Mugs, not all Sharpies work here. The regular Sharpies will not last and will easily rub off your mug with a sponge or a run through the dishwasher. What you want are OIL-BASED Sharpies…these are like paint markers that will set and ensure long-lasting results. You can find oil-based Sharpies at almost any craft store.

Finally, I also suggest hand-washing these only for best results. Supposedly these mugs will survive washes in the dishwasher, but they’re sure to last longer if you take the time to just carefully wash them by hand.

So for my first Sharpie Mug project, I decided on this quote from Peter Pan. I really like how it turned out and can’t wait to create more mugs to add to my already large mug collection!

 

Easy DIY Sharpie Mug

Materials:

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  • Plain ceramic mug
  • Graphite Paper
  • Quote printed on computer paper
  • Scotch Tape
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Sharpie Markers (make sure they’re oil-based…regular Sharpies will wear off over time)

 

Instructions:
The graphite paper step is optional, but I love using it because I’m not artistically gifted when it comes to hand-lettering…so the graphite is an easy way to transfer your design onto the ceramic mug without having to sweat the details!

  1. Tape the graphite paper to your cup following the instructions on the package (I carefully ripped my graphite paper to a more workable size).
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  2. Tape your quote over the graphite paper.
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  3. Using the ballpoint pen, trace over your pattern.
  4. Remove both sheets of paper from the mug.  Your outlined quote will appear on the mug.  This is washable and will come off easily if you accidentally mess something up.
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  5. Once your design is how you want it, simply color over it with the markers.
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  6. After I colored in my quote, I wanted to add a few more details, so I threw in some flower sprays, just for fun!
  7. Once your design is done, let your mug dry a good long while…at least 2 hours, if not overnight.
  8. When it comes time to bake your mug, there are several schools of thought.  Here’s my way:  Place your mug in a cold oven (I put mine on a baking sheet for stability).  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Let the mug sit in the oven for 30 minutes, starting from the time you put it in the cold oven.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the mug in there until the oven has cooled completely.  This process will help prevent cracking, since the ceramic slowly gets used to the changing temperatures.
  9. Once your mug is cooled, you’re all done!  If you really want to set your design, you can repeat the entire baking process, but keep in mind the coloring of your design may change with further baking time.
  10. If you still have graphite paper trace marks on your mug, you can remove them with an ear swab or cotton ball dipped in warm water.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Write the Other Way

fahrenheit451

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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8 Game of Thrones Recipes

SUMMER IS COMING.

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In all honesty, I never find myself looking forward to summer…but summer 2017 is going to be EPIC.

If you’re not caught up with Game of Thrones, you have about 6 months to binge-watch before season 7 – the FINAL SEASON – airs on HBO.

It’s going to be hard letting this show go…I’ve come to love so many of these characters and, as any fan will tell you, no one is safe under the pen of George R.R. Martin. But let’s be honest…there’s only one character that just HAS to be safe…

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or else riot will ensue…

So, to prevent myself from falling into a depressive state over losing all my favorite fictional characters, come summer 2017 I’ll be drowning my sorrows in food and wine.

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Oh HELL F&*KING YES.

Though it may be hard to cook up some Dothraki horse meat or dive into a bleeding heart, there are a few recipes you can make that are pulled right from the pages of Game of Thrones, and will certainly help comfort you as we all power through these final episodes together.

From Sansa’s lemon cakes to Tyrion’s leg of lamb, this collection of 8 Game of Thrones-Inspired recipes are sure impress any Stark or Lannister royalty. So get out that flagon of wine (and perhaps some chocolate)…while 2016 may have been the Battle of the Bastards, summer 2017 is sure to become the Battle of the Bitches. TEAM DAENERYS ALL THE WAY!

Game of Thrones hbo dragon emilia clarke daenerys targaryen

Until summer 2017…

8 Game of Thrones-Inspired Recipes

Direwolf Bread
bonappetit.com
direwolf-bread

Sansa’s Lemon Cakes
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“Sansa was so stuffed that she could not manage more than two little lemon cakes, as much as she loved them.” — A Game of Thrones
lemon-cakes

Beef and Barley Stew
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“’Maybe they don’t have sheep and cattle,’ Bran thought. He commanded the serving men to bring them mutton chops and a slice off the aurochs and fill their trenchers with beef-and-barley stew. They seemed to like that well…” -A Clash of Kings
beef-and-barley

Honeyed Chicken
feastofstarlight.com
“‘Hungry again?’ he asked. There was still half a honeyed chicken in the center of the table. Jon reached out to tear off a leg, then had a better idea. He knifed the bird whole and let the carcass slide to the floor between his legs. Ghost ripped into it in savage silence.” -A Game of Throneshoneyed-chicken

Salad with Apples and Pine Nuts
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“Cersei set a tasty table, that could not be denied. They started with a creamy chestnut soup, crusty hot bread, and greens dressed with apples and pine nuts.” -A Clash of Kingssalad

Hot Spiced Wine
food52.com
“The Old Bear was particular about his hot spiced wine. So much cinnamon and so much nutmeg and so much honey, not a drop more. Raisins and nuts and dried berries, but no lemon, that was the rankest sort of southron heresy.” — A Clash of Kingswine

Roasted Leg of Lamb
seriouseats.com
“A leg of lamb would be nice… Perhaps a dish of peas and onions, some fresh baked bread with butter, and a flagon of mulled wine to wash it down. Or beer, if that’s easier. I try not to be overly particular.” – A Game of Thrones
lamb

Baked Apples
natashaskichen.com
“Later came sweetbread and pigeon pie and baked apples fragrant with cinnamon.” — A Game of Thronesbakedapples

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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16 Books You Can Read in 2 Hours or Less

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  Some of us, though we would LOVE to, just don’t have the time to dive into huge novels like A Game of Thrones or the Harry Potter series…but that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from reading entirely!

Even the busiest people have a little time here and there to spare…and in those moments, if you want to get lost in a book, there are stories you can read that will take little to no time to finish…and I’m not just talking about children’s books.

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These are books with substance…books with a plot and moving storylines.  They may be short, but their messages pack a punch; and honestly, having read them all, a good chunk of these are on my list of books that have changed my life.

It’s a new year, people…you CAN make an effort to read more and you CAN make time in your schedule to get lost in literature…starting with this list of short and powerful quick-read books.

*Quick disclaimer…I know everyone reads at different speeds, so some may finish a book on this list quicker than someone else.  Personally, as someone with an average reading speed, I was able to finish all of these books in one sitting, so let’s say 2 to 4 hours, depending on how dedicated you are! 😉

16 Books You Can Read in 2 Hours or Less

The Little Prince
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The story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behavior and emotions along the way.

A Monster Calls
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A monster teaches a little boy about love, acceptance, and the things we can’t control or change.  This is a tear-jerker for sure.  Do yourself a favor and read the book before seeing the movie that just hit theaters.

Letters to a Young Poet
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A young poet writes to Rainer Maria Rilke asking his advice on some poems.  The ten letters that make up this collection are brilliantly crafted and contain some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read in a long time.

Night
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A candid and horrific account of his survival in the Nazi concentration camps, Elie Wiesel’s Night is a masterpiece in Holocaust literature.

The Old Man and the Sea
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A story of an old Cuban fisherman and his struggle with the giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.  A powerful book about personal triumph and courage.

Of Mice and Men
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A story about friendship, jealousy, and understanding, Of Mice and Men is a compelling story of two outsider striving to find their place in an unforgiving and cruel world.

Big Fish
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Big Fish is the story of a man’s life, told as a series of legends and myths.  Through these hilarious and tender tales, we begin to understand the great feats and failings of a man facing his own death.

Nine Stories
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This book is exactly what it says, nine short stories written by J.D. Salinger.  These stories will stick with you and remind you what an amazing writer Salinger was in his day.

The Phantom Tollbooth
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When a mysterious tollbooth shows up in Milo’s room, he embarks on a series of adventures that teach him just how exciting and amazing life really is.

Lady into Fox
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When newlywed Sylvia Tebrick suddenly turns into a fox, it’s up to her human husband Richard to protect her from the dangers of the outside world.  This is a little gem of a book with a sweet message about love and acceptance.

Love Letters of Great Men
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Inspired by Sex in the City, Love Letters of Great Men contains just that.  Read some of history’s most romantic letters from Beethoven, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin and much more.

Half-Minute Horrors
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This little gem of a book holds more than 70 30-second ghost stories written by some of the biggest names in literature today, including Lemony Snicket, Margaret Atwood, Michael Connelly, Gregory Maguire, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, R.L. Stine, and many more.

Bill Bryson’s African Diary
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Fans of Bill Bryson are sure to enjoy this little easy read.  This diary recounts Bryson’s trip to Africa at the invitation of CARE International.  In his own wry style, he comments on some of Africa’s greatest attractions and the struggles plaguing the country to this day.

The Prophet
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A collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and inspirational, this book covers such topics as love, marriage, children, work, friendship, beauty, religion, death and much more.  Though it’s technically a short read, you might want to take your time with this one…there’s a lot to take in.

The Last Lecture
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This is an account of Professor Randy Pausch’s last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University before leaving to take care of his health.  A brilliant education on achieving your childhood dreams, The Last Lecture is both inspiring and brilliantly sad.

The Alchemist
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This is a love story for the ages!  Evocative and deeply humane, The Alchemist is a testament to the power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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25 Fun Facts About The Big Lebowski

Get in your comfy clothes.  Pour yourself a White Russian and lay out on that rug that really ties the room together…because today, we’re diving into 25 fun facts about The Big Lebowski!

dude-big-lebowski

Named to tons of top 10, top 100, and even top 1,000 lists, The Big Lebowski is easily one of the best comedies of our time.  Directed by The Coen Brothers (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, Raising Arizona, True Grit, Burn After Reading) and starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Elliott, and John Turturro, TBL has not only given birth to an amazing and loyal cult following, but has inspired an international Lebowski Fest and has even resulted in the creation of a new religion.

the big lebowski philip seymour hoffman brandt

Not too bad for a movie about a rug!

Even if you haven’t seen the movie all the way through, chances are you’d recognize some of the popular lines or scenes from the film.  I mean, who doesn’t start dancing like this when “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” comes on the radio?

the big lebowski

So whether you think The Dude is a prophet or a bum, you’re sure to get a kick out of these 25 Fun Facts About The Big Lebowski!

 

25 Fun Facts About The Big Lebowski

In December 2014, The Big Lebowski became one of 650 movies preserved for future generations in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.  Saving Private Ryan, Rosemary’s Baby, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are a few of the other films that share the same honor.

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The Dude (Jeff Bridges), or the essence of The Dude, is present in EVERY scene in the film, including when the Nihilist crew are ordering pancakes (The Dude’s van can be seen through the diner window in the background).

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The Big Lebowski is one of the few Coen Brothers movies that does not feature Frances McDormand.  McCormand is married to Joel Coen and has appeared in seven Coen Brothers films to date.

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If you’re obsessed with The Big Lebowski, you’re in good company.  Several other celebrities have named it as one of their top five favorite films, including:  Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jane Lynch, Eva Mendes, and Nick Offerman, to name a few.

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Not surprisingly, The Big Lebowski is one of the most f-bomb-laden feature films ever made, with the f-word being uttered, in a variety of variations, about 292 times throughout the film.

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The word “Dude” is not too far behind, being mentioned a total of 161 times.

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The Dude says the word “man” about 147 times throughout the movie.

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The Coen Brothers have said that The Dude is based in part on Jeff Dowd, a film producer they met while working on their directorial debut, Blood Simple.  Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) is also based on writer/director, John Mulius, who had a hand in the making of Dirty Harry, Apocalypse Now, Jaws, and many others.  He sports glasses, a beard, and a figure similar to Walter, and claims to even be obsessed with the Vietnam War.

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The Big Lebowski has spawned its own festival.  Starting in Kentucky in 2002, Lebowski Fest has been held in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, London, and Edinburgh.  John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, and Julianne Moore have all attended at least one Lebowski Fest.

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The cult film has also given birth to a religion:  Dudeism.  It has ordained more than 130,000 ‘Dudeist Priests’.

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Despite being part of the bowling league, The Dude is never actually seen bowling throughout the film.

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A lot of The Dude’s clothes came directly from Jeff Bridges’ own wardrobe, including his Jellies sandals, which he still owns and uses today.  #thedudeabides

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When writing the script, the Coen Brothers created roles specifically for John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, but did not know who would play the leading role of The Dude.

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The coffee shop where The Dude and Walter discuss the severed toe is called Johnie’s Coffee Shop and can be found in Los Angeles, though it is only used as a filming location and is not a functioning diner.

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Donny (Steve Buscemi) gets a strike with every bowl in the film except the last, moments before he dies.

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The west coast chain, In-n-Out Burger is referenced in the film.  John Goodman actually did a radio advertisement for the brand as well.

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Jeff Bridges plays guitar in a band called The Abiders, named after the popular “The Dude Abides” line from the movie.

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In an early draft of the film, it was revealed that The Dude’s money came from his status as an heir to the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube; however the directors decided to keep the audience guessing as to the source of his money.

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When The Dude writes his check for $0.69, the date on the check is September 11, 1991, exactly 10 years before the US terrorist attack.  President George Bush Sr. can also be heard saying “this aggression will not stand” on the TV in the background.

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In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, John Goodman said that The Dude’s reference to The Big Lebowski as a “human paraquat” was the only improvised line to make it into the film.  Every other line, including every ‘man’ and ‘dude’, was scripted.

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The Big Lebowski is John Goodman’s favorite of his own films.

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In every bowling scene, Walter, The Dude, and Donny bowl in lane 23.

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Walter’s ex-wife’s Pomeranian’s name is Thurston.

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The gun Walter pulls out in the bowling alley is a Colt model 1911 .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was a standard US military side arm during the Vietnam War.

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And just in case you’re feeling a bit “un-Dude”, here’s the recipe for the famed White Russian/Caucasian:  2 parts vodka, 1 part Kahlua, 1 part cream.  Serve with ice in a low ball glass.

steve buscemi the big lebowski the dude the coen brothers walter sobchak

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Harry Potter Book Cover Charms

Looking for a cute and easy gift idea for the bookworm in your life? Look no further, because these little book cover charms are just the most adorable thing in the universe.

harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments

Everyone loves a gift that’s meaningful and budget-friendly, and that’s exactly what this Harry Potter Book Cover Charms Set is…

Made using a template and Polymer clay, these little charms can be used as ornaments, gift tags, or even wine charms for a literary party (I’m talking to you, book clubbers!).

I’ve attached the template I created to make these Harry Potter books, but you could make charms with any book covers you’d like! How cute would these look hanging from a Christmas tree or birthday gift? I’m just in love with them!

harry-potter-book-charms-hand

I used regular printer paper to create these little charms, but if you can print on stiffer paper or cardstock, that might work better. The printer paper was a bit flimsy and didn’t really stick to the clay, but that’s nothing a little Mod Podge can’t fix! I’m gonna try cardstock next time and see if that works any better.

I literally can’t wait to create more of these little book charms! I might even make a garland that I can hang around my bookshelves or around my Christmas tree next year!

OK, I need to simmer down…

Harry Potter Book Cover Charms

Materials:

  • Harry Potter book cover template
  • Scissors
  • Polymer clay, in color of your choice
  • Clay rolling pin
  • Craft knife
  • Mod Podge glue
  • Brush
  • Quick-Dry tacky glue
  • Baker’s twine

Instructions:

  1. Print out your book covers on thick paper or cardstock, if you can.  Regular paper will work, but the stiffer paper will work better.  Cut out your book covers.
  2. Roll out your clay to about 1/4 in. thickness.  Place your book covers on the clay and, using your clay roller, gently press the covers into the clay.  It won’t be a secure stick, but the paper will stick better as the charms bake.  Using the craft knife, cut out the covers.
  3. Using the leftover clay, create seven little discs, about the size of your pinky nail.  These will help secure the string to the back of the charm.
    harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments1
  4. Bake your covers and discs following package instructions.  Watch your clay, though.  It may bake a lot faster than you think!
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  6. Once cool, use a brush to add a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of each book cover.  This will give your books a nice shine and will also help secure the paper to the clay.  Let dry.
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  7. Turn your covers over and add a small amount of tacky glue to the back.  Cut a piece of baker’s twine, about 3 – 4 in. long.  Fold in half.  Place two ends in glue, making sure loop rises above your charm.  Secure twine with small clay disc.  Let dry completely.
    harry-potter-book-cover-ornaments5

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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The Power of Connection

oitnb

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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