Posts tagged Houston

2014 Houston Day 2


Last week was International Quilt Festival — one of my favorite events ever. I wrote in my last post about the Winner’s Circle — but I wanted to share some pictures from the next day when we had the Luncheon and Preview Night.

Sadly, the day after Winner’s Circle, the floor with the quilts and the vendors is closed until Preview Night starts at 5pm — but the 2nd floor has these cool portholes that overlook the vendor floor. I wish my arms had been longer so you could see the full porthole. At this point, I’m just in time for the Luncheon.

me at IQF

I didn’t take any pictures at the luncheon. When I arrived, I was the last of the winners to go in — and everyone else was let in soon after — so I was caught in the mad rush to find a seat at a table. The winners have their own tables, but it became clear that the signs on the tables weren’t going to keep anyone else from sitting there. The first table I went to, there were four empty seats and I asked one of the women if a particular seat was taken. At first she said no, and then started screaming at me that she was saving seats and I could take the far one over by the strange man (a spouse, obviously, who had zero interest in being there or being social). I was so surprised. Quilters are always the friendliest people and this is the only time I’ve been confronted by such a rude person at IQF, so I told her that that was fine — I would find somewhere else to sit. There is nothing worse than being with people that don’t appreciate you.

I found another table with an open seat — but just barely. I was luckily seated next to Patty Kennedy-Zafred, and next to her was Sheila Frampton-Cooper. I had a wonderful time talking with them. Patty gave me some ideas about using Lesley Riley’s TAP transfer paper that I’m considering using in one of my abstract pieces. I tried to buy some later in the day, but the only vendor that had it was Artisan Artifacts — and they only had the very large pack. Since TAP has a shelf life, I think I’ll need to start small.

This was my name tag that I received in my packet the night before. I added the show pin to the top for flair, and this is what I used late in the afternoon to get into Preview Night when the show floor finally opens.


This piece was heavily thread painted and won first place in my category, People & Portraits. The artist, Lea McComas, also won the Master Award for Thread Artistry for her piece Bike Boys.


Panning for Gold by Lea McComas

When I got in line for Winner’s Circle, Masanobu Miyama came and stood with me. I had met him last year when he won the Master Award for Thread Artistry in 2013. This year, his entry Chasing Bubbles was made with his wife and won 2nd place in my category, People & Portraits. Masanobu was so sweet and wanted his wife to receive all of the praise.


Chasing Bubbles by Hiroko Miyama & Masanobu Miyama

This fish piece by Elizabeth Dillinger was stunning. I’m not sure the picture gives grace to the intensity of the quilting. It was all freeform spirals and swirls.


Fintastic by Elizabeth Dillinger

This piece by Sandi Snow won 1st place in Art-Abstract Small. From the color to the shapes to the quilting, it is a striking piece.


Dotting Inside the Box by Sandi Snow

I know my pic doesn’t do this one justice. It was constructed with 3,300 1 1/8th” circles in 8 values of fabric. It has a luminosity that I found impressive.


Fireball by Candace Phelan

Another abstract, this one by Sandy Clark. I loved the quilting on it.


Cosmos by Sandy Clark

I am not normally drawn to traditional quilts, but this one by Colleen Wise was so visually captivating. I found myself staring at it for a while.


Hudson Trader by Colleen Wise

I loved this piece for many reasons. Not only am I partial to animals, but the reflection, all created in threadwork — and the immensity of the dense background quilting was nothing short of glorious. I did wonder why the artist chose to go by only Ferret — no first name. I remember a fiber artist several years ago that made monochromatic nudes with that last name and wondered if it was her. (I found her website — it is her.)


Seneca by Ferret

I was so excited to come across this silk piece by Christine Alexiou. I had met her last year when she won one of the Mastery awards. I hope you can see the quilted dragonfly in the bottom portion.


Bijou by Christine Alexiou

As I said, I’m partial to dogs, and I loved this one by Carol Cote.


Droopy Dawg by Carol Cote

This was a huge piece by Helena Scheffer and Marion Perrault. It was too hard to get a straight on picture of it with the crowds, but I loved it.


Royal Thistle by Helena Scheffer & Marion Perrault

This was a small piece that captured me — I couldn’t figure out how she made the reflection work so perfectly.


Moody Beach, Maine, 1957 by Margot McDonnell

This piece was made by Patty Kennedy-Zafred who I sat with at lunch. This is all screen printed and hand dyed fabric. She walked me through the process of making it, which was just fascinating. I love when an artist is willing to talk about her process, and I greatly enjoyed getting to know her.


Shared Destiny by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

I knew when I saw this that it was Marilyn Wall’s piece since I had seen her post pics of it in progress.


The Water Boy by Marilyn Wall

This piece by Shannon Conley just made me smile. I loved the colorized pups and the extension of the faces into the quilting on the right hand side on the black.


The Dogs by Shannon Conley

Nancy Sterett Martin‘s work is always stunning.


Serenity by Nancy Sterett Martin

This is another piece that I had to study for a while (by Andrea Brokenshire). It is so realistic and the quilting only added to the life of the piece.


Dazzling Dahlia by Andrea Brokenshire

I loved this snow leopard by Jan Reed.


Out in the Open by Jan Reed

This is a piece that had to be experienced in person. A camera is just not equipped to handle what this woman was able to achieve. It is covered in tiny crystals and metallic thread, so when the light hits the front, it sparkles with a life of its own. It won 1st place in Art-Naturescapes.


Fuji and Sakura by Masako Sakagami

I was charmed by this quilt by Sandra Leichner. Though rooted in the tradition of a wholecloth quilt, this one was covered in surprising details. From the quilted flowers to the golden dragonflies, it was truly special. I was surprised that this was Sandra’s piece as it doesn’t look like her usual work, but over the years, I appreciate the fact that we all (should) reinvent ourselves and work in new directions.


Vivaldi by Moonlight by Sandra Leichner

Masanobu & Kiroko Miyama also made this charming small piece Drifting Bubbles for the IQF Silent Auction. I knew when I saw it that it would be one of the most fought for pieces of the night.


Drifting Bubbles by Hiroko & Masanobu Miyama

Who couldn’t love this face? Having done a bull dog myself, I couldn’t help but appreciate what went into this one (by Cindy Garcia).


You Dirty Dog!!! by Cindy Garcia

At the back of the hall was the What’s for Dinner? exhibit. I had seen it last year and decided to enter this year. All of the pieces are placed flat on a long table — as if each one is a place setting.

This is my piece Dolce Far Niente (The Sweetness of Nothing).


And this was Karen Ponischil’s — I also met her last year.


Mater Sandwich by Karen Ponischil

I loved this one with the lobster by Jeanelle McCall.


Lobster Night by Jeanelle McCall

Towards the end of the night, I drifted back to my piece since I had forgotten to take a pic of it with it on the wall with the surrounding work.


I ran into Patty and she took this one of me with my piece. (I know — I was tired at this point.)


I was wearing sensible shoes. I had debated wearing something cuter, but I was told that at Festival, fashion stops at the knees. I’m glad that I heeded that advice. I was able to go the full five hours and then was still okay waiting in line for the bus back to my hotel.

I sprinted through all of the quilt exhibits. Then I ate and spent some time walking through the vendors. I had a plan of a limited number of booths I wanted to see. I spent too much time talking though and didn’t get to everything. There were only a couple of places I was tempted to spend money though. I am blessed to live in Atlanta, and most of what was available I can find locally. I was fascinated with Artistic Artifacts, though — and am now regretful that I didn’t buy some of the hand carved wooden stamps from India (another day — and they have a website!) And Superior Threads — I love their thread. I only bought a thread stand though. I have an old one that constantly falls over, and Superior has a new one that they’ve designed — I can’t wait to try it out.

I actually ran into a couple of people I know — Diane Schultheiss, who I know from the Fiber Art Fusion group in Atlanta (she was hanging out next to the Artistic Artifacts booth) — and Victoria Rondeau, one of the current reps for SAQA-GA (although she just moved & is stepping down at the end of the year). I had so much fun talking, the clock ran out and it was soon time to go.

This was the point at which I regretted not staying at the Hilton. I knew that they would close the hall at 10pm so I left about 20 minutes so I wouldn’t be in the crush to get on a bus. Even then, I had to wait and the bus went to the Hilton last — so the process was about 45 minutes.

I had such a great time in Houston. I had a mountain of work to do when I got back home, but it was worth it to take the mental break. Ideally, another day would be best — an entire day to cover the exhibits and vendors.

Houston Winner’s Circle 2014


Every year, there is a little slice of heaven on earth for quilters — or anyone so inclined to love fabric. It’s the International Quilt Festival in Houston and it’s one big party that lasts a week. Quilt Market starts the week before — but that’s for people in the biz with tax ID numbers (have to get one of those) — and I hear that they have a ball too — but for me, the time starts at Festival — and what a good time we had.

I thought I would take a few posts to walk you through the experience. I shared a lot on Twitter and my personal Facebook (I should have turned Twitter to my business page for the duration — but I didn’t think about it until I was there, and the mobile version wouldn’t let me flip the switch.)

I flew out Tuesday morning — butterflies flitting around my stomach — after a couple of nights of not much sleep. I’m prone to anxiety, and winning a ribbon at Houston and being summoned for its presentation is about as anxiety inducing an event as I care to endure in any one year.

I flew Southwest this year. Last year was Delta — and they were not missed AT ALL. I spoke with a very nice man on the airplane whose wife and sisters all quilt. We all deserve a spouse that will support our sewing habit.

On the shuttle ride in from the airport, I was lucky to be seated by Bobbie Korengold (to the left) and Ellen Newsom (to the right). One thing that you find in Houston is that everyone is friendly (well, except one person that was very rude at the luncheon — but I just walked away her.) Ellen was meeting a bunch of friends from out of town for the show — and Bobbie had received THE CALL. That’s the call that tells you that you’ve won one of the big 8 prizes — a Mastery Award or (heaven forbid) Best of Show. IQF paid for her trip for a week, and she was there with her husband.

IQF van ride

This year I didn’t stay at the Hilton attached to the Convention Center — I decided to venture out to the Hyatt. There’s a bus that runs between several downtown hotels and the Convention Center during Festival and I thought I would give it a try. I was really excited about all of the restaurants around the Hyatt — until I went out that night for dinner and realized that they ALL closed at 2pm. I did get to walk around downtown some — and there were lots of banners welcoming the quilters to Houston.

IQF sign

At least the Hyatt has a 24 hour Einstein Bagels — it was my saving grace on several days. After choking down some chili early in the afternoon, I headed out for the bus to go to the Convention Center for the Winner’s Circle.

I stood in the Winner’s line behind Hollis Chatelain and Sheila Frampton-Cooper. Then a Japanese family wandered over and I remembered that the man, Masanobu Miyama, had won the Mastery of Thread Artistry award last year. After a short and awkward conversation between his broken English and my complete ignorance of Japanese, he told me that he and his wife, Hiroko Miyama, had entered a piece in my category. Knowing that Hollis was more than likely also in my category, I knew at that point that I was probably looking at third place — happily — and wondering how I managed to be invited.

Patricia Smith sat to my left. Her piece Caesar and Me won third place in the Art-Painted Surface category.

IQF Circle left

Laura Joy sat to my right. I distinctly remember her standing for a second place win but I can’t figure out which quilt was hers (sorry about that). I think she must have given me her nickname.

IQF Circle right

My new acquaintance Bobbie Korengold won the Founder Award for her piece Zeruah’s Legacy.

In the end, Worry did win 3rd place — and I was happy to receive it.


In my category (People, Portraits & Figures), 1st place went to Lea McComas for Panning for Gold (she also won the Mastery of Thread Artistry award this year for her piece Bike Boys), 2nd place went to Hiroko & Masanobu Miyama (winner of last year’s Mastery of Thread Artistry award) for Chasing Bubbles, Hollis Chatelain won an honorable mention for Source of Life (she also won a Judges Choice award from Paula Nadelstern for Healing Waters), and Megan Farkas won an honorable mention for Sakura II: Picnic at Naruko.

I was in excellent company and am honored to have placed among so many talented artists.

You can see of the winner’s piece on the IQF website here (they’ll keep the 2014 winners up on this page until next year — I think, but it’s a static page so I’m not positive.)

And the Best of Show went to the two women seated in front of me that began freaking out as the Master awards were counted down — Nancy Prince and Lisa French for their piece On This Winter Day.

Nancy Prince & Linda French

After all of the awards were given out, I met Betty Hahn. We had actually met last year when she won first place for a piece now hanging in Pokey Bolton’s dining room. This year she won Judge’s Choice (Katie Pasquini Masopust) for her piece Escape II. We had such a good time talking about creating illustrative work — and then creating abstract work. We both agreed that we would cause a lot of problems if we lived in the same town. We are definitely twin souls.

IQF Betty Hahn

Afterwards, I could finally let go of the stress and sleep. I slept for hours and hours.

In another post, I’ll tell you about the Luncheon and then show you some quilts from Preview Night.

Around the World


Last year in Houston at Quilt Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn Wall. I had admired her work for some time and was excited to meet her. She was attending with an old friend of mine, Denny Webster, who had recently moved from Atlanta to North Carolina.

Marilyn asked me recently if I was interested in participating in the Around the World blog hop. I’ve never done one of these before, but it’s essentially a way for bloggers to promote each other. Marilyn nominated me and another blogger — and I’m supposed to nominate a couple of other bloggers. Hmmmm. Most of the bloggers I know have already participated in this blog hop — and quite frankly, life has been very full around here recently.

BUT — what I CAN do is introduce a few things about me that you might not know.

What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

If you follow my blog at all, you see what I’m working on. Right now, in my studio, I’ve been cutting out a portrait — I’m working on the hair right now. I’ll blog post about the face later this week. It’s my intention to enter this one in the National Portrait Gallery competition and hope it at least makes it to the semi-finals. Hope springs eternal. And in a little over a week, I’m traveling to Quilt Festival in Houston to step out in the Winner’s Circle and find out what my prize will be. I’m starting to feel butterflies in my stomach.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is an interesting question. I started making representative patterns because I enjoyed the process, and my first series of portraits were all monochromatic color studies. Once I moved to Georgia and no longer had a wet studio, I was forced to begin considering commercial prints in portraits, and in this, I was definitely influenced by Deidre Scherer. I studied how she used patterns to her advantage rather than seeing them as an obstacle. I also studied Charlotte Warr Andersen, although all of her faces were made with solids. In the end, I made what I wanted to make. The norm at the time in fabric portraiture was not detail but rather obscurity — the side of the face or the back of the head, a closed mouth, a limited value range. I challenged myself to do teeth, to suggest the gum line or the tongue, to add the intention of the ear. I also made surprising fabric choices, not shying away from patterns, and learned how to make them work for me.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I create what I do because it makes me happy. It’s challenging, and I enjoy a challenging puzzle. I remember taking a picture of my daughter and making it into a pattern — and I loved to see the light of her eyes shine out at me from the design wall. I loved taking the impossibility of a waving flag and successfully presenting it within the confines of my 2D fabrics and the sculpture of my quilting thread.

How does my writing/creating process work?

Now this is a really long thing for me to answer succinctly. I have a picture for inspiration (usually one that I’ve taken but sometimes one that I’ve asked permission to use) and from that, I make a value painting in Photoshop (which means that I draw all over it because pictures are only the beginning and will never give you everything that you need because they are not as good as the human eye). From that, I make a pattern. From that pattern, I create fabric templates that I collage together (cutting and fusing — this is secretly my most favorite part). I then stitch it all together through raw edge appliqué, and then I quilt it.

That’s my story. I’ve had my website since April 2005 because I have always enjoyed computers and it was a way for me to stay connected when I lived in a small town in Alabama (particularly when I became a stay-at-home mom), and I started the blog in September 2007. I had been a writer in my youth, and I have enjoyed adding writing as an expression of my creative intentions. I have enjoyed my journey — and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with anyone that has cared to read it and follow it here.

Hoping for Fat


Back when all exhibit notifications were mailed, you knew if a piece was accepted by the size of the envelope — a skinny one was a rejection — a fat one was an acceptance (brimming with forms and instructions). Now we get email — which is faster — but I still think of them as fat or skinny. (An irony given that our culture values skinny over fat — and in this ONE case we hope for fat.)

Yesterday, notifications were scheduled to come out for the International Quilt Festival: World of Beauty show in Houston. Due to technical difficulties, they did not come out until today.

And the news is . . . . . . . . . . . . . One fat — and one skinny.

Worry was accepted.


Golden Moment was not.

Golden Moment

Although I’m not sad, I was surprised. This piece recently won first place in an art exhibit.

But hindsight is another matter. I had originally made this piece for the special exhibit It’s Raining Cats and Dogs — also in Houston at the same time as World of Beauty. I have been in this exhibit the last couple of years and was caught by surprise when they added a virgin rule — thereby excluding my entry from consideration (I had already published in process and completion pics of it on my blog when the rules were published). I was sad — but decided that this piece was one of my best ones for the year — and entered it as one of my two into World of Beauty (no virgin rules for this exhibit).

In retrospect, I realize my mistake. Dogs and cats as subject matter would be among the first logical cuts made. As a judge, I realize you wouldn’t want the entries in World of Beauty to compete with the other special exhibit.

Or — I could be completely wrong and it was some other reason entirely. No worries. I’m already planning its entry in another show. Rejection is part of the process.

I did receive the good news lately that I was accepted as a Juried Artist Member (JAM) in Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). After seeing all of the SAQA exhibits at Houston last year, I definitely felt left out. I spent quite a while working on my resume and tracking down details I hadn’t included before (you’ll see a lot more detail on my Resume page now) to finish my application properly. After waiting several months, I was excited to receive my acceptance from Martha Sielman herself.

I continue to work on abstract pieces with Leisa Rich. I’m taking her the draft of the latest piece tomorrow. It’s her birthday and we’re planning to have lunch to celebrate. Good friends — a little art — a little food. What more could you ask for?

Houston Festival part 4


There were so many quilts at Festival — I thought I had seen them all, but reading the blogs of other visitors, I realize how much I missed.

Obviously, I loved all of the art quilts. I’m not as interested in the traditional pieces — although I love to marvel over the handwork and stitching of Sharon Schamber’s work.

I did, by the way, really REALLY wanted to take pics of some of the exhibits — I had security guards follow me around since I had a camera in my hand — but other than the World of Beauty, most of the other ones had signs up declaring no pictures allowed. I loved SAQA’s portrait exhibit — which has made me think about re-joining.

These are the pictures of pieces that caught my eye. I have given attribution to each artist and a link to their website.

Sandy Curran‘s Jack


Marilyn Belford‘s The Wrath of Poseidon


Jennifer Bowker‘s The Quiltmaker — I particularly love this piece — not just for the color — but for the teeth. Few people are willing to appliqué teeth — I love seeing how someone else would do it.


Jennifer Day‘s Boy and His Best Friend


Barbara McKie‘s Caught in the Act — the use of trapunto in such a non-traditional way made this piece really come alive and feel dimensional.


Jan Reed‘s Ancient Echoes


Jane Haworth‘s Brian the Basilisk


Honey, I Can’t Find My Earrings! by Maggie Stimson, Edith Harmer, Donna Parker, Diane May, Pat Durbin, Rosalinda Brainerd, and Gerry Smetzer — fantastic slice quilt!


A close up shot of Christine Alexiou‘s Septum Peccata Mortalia (Seven Deadly Sins).


Kathy York‘s Windows


David Taylor‘s Did You Wash Your Beak?


The quilting on this was so fabulous I had to take a close-up shot.

David Taylor's Did You detail

David Taylor‘s Cock of the Walk


I hate to say that this is the end — but it is. Houston was such a grand adventure and I loved every minute of it.

Houston Festival part 3


To continue from my last post, at this point in my adventure, preview night is getting ready to start.

TWEET: Preview night starts in 15 minutes.

5 hours of marathon-ing for me. I had high hopes. I knew that I only had 5 hours to see all of the quilts and then see the vendors with what little strength I would have left. After walking around the convention center yesterday, I had convinced myself that tennis shoes, however practical they may be, were going to be my shoes of choice. I admit to vanity — after seeing a certain someone looking incredibly fashionable in leather pants and low heels — I just couldn’t do it. I came to regret that later. This is the view of the vendor area from a portal on the 2nd floor before the show opened.


TWEET: Line to get to escalator to go downstairs to exhibit hall. Waiting for it to open. Quilters are such polite and friendly people. This was probably most apparent in the line of people waiting to go down the escalator to get in the show.


I took a lot of pictures of quilts at the show. Immediately as I started taking pictures, I could see myself being a hypocrite. For years, I’ve been concerned with people taking pictures of my work at shows and not giving attribution — or giving attribution but then putting their copyright image on the picture of my piece (which then gets pinned somewhere & causes confusion about copyright ownership) — or not putting the right permissions on something posted in FLICKR that allows anyone to print mouse pads with my images. I really need to just take a breath. I will show some pieces, I will give attribution, I will give links if possible, and if someone is uncomfortable with that, I will gladly delete the piece. First of all, I had another piece in the show — The White Raven.


There were many other birds in the show. I have to say that there were so many well done birds in the show, I may be done with birds. To say that the work was fantastic doesn’t quite cover it. This is Barb Forrister‘s Sunrise Serenade. I had to take this piece at a strange angle so there is some camera distortion — but the colors and the threadwork on this piece are inspiring. Barb really knows how to bring a peacock alive.

Barb Forrister

This is Ricky & Lucy by Nancy Sterett Martin and Karen Sistek. It’s painted silk. It is fabulous.

Ricky & Lucy

TWEET: My piece Firecracker next to Barbara Beasley’s Best Friend. I love hers. #quiltfestival


Remember my new friend Karen Ponischil?


This is her wonderful piece Princess Daphne that won an honorable mention in the Art-Miniature category. LOTS of thread painting to get that wonderfully furry effect.

Princess Daphne

I don’t want to forget to show you Christine Alexiou‘s piece Seven Deadly Sins one last time — so you can truly see that there were multiple pages in her fabric book.

Christine Alexiou

I had a great opportunity to spend some time speaking with Thelma Bearden. Her piece, Very Berries, won 2nd place in Art-Abstract, Small. She is also a painter and has a wonderful grasp of how to make color work for her. I don’t think that my camera does this piece justice.


At the very end of the exhibit hall was the Healing Threads in Medicine exhibit, a group of quilts curated by the same people that curated Sacred Threads. I had two pieces in the Herndon, VA Sacred Threads exhibit but was unable to attend. They have since also traveled to the Sacred Threads-Omaha exhibit. It was wonderful to meet Lisa Ellis and Vicki Pignatelli and thank them for the wonderful opportunity to be included.

TWEET: Me with Lisa Ellis & Vicki Pignatelli.

Pignatelli_Ellis Pignatelli

At this point, I stopped and went back to my piece. Can you believe I only took this one shot of it with its blue ribbon? I didn’t even think about getting someone to take a pic of it with me and the ribbon.


Then I went to dinner with my new friends at the other end of the exhibit hall. When we were done, I wandered through the vendor area. It was completely overwhelming. There was stuff everywhere. I should have bought things — but I didn’t. I bought one Pashmina scarf. All of the fabric was either a novelty or brights so nothing really interested me — but I think also that exhaustion was starting to overtake me. I really wanted to find the Superior Threads booth because I love their thread — and I did manage to find them — but by that point, I was done. I was completely exhausted. I had almost an hour left before preview night closed down, and I just couldn’t do anymore. I did love this booth — it was full of the most amazing dolls. These are the dragons.

TWEET: Amazing doll patterns!

Dolls - Dragons

On the way out, I took one last look at the section where Lincoln was. I thought about getting a good group shot of the White Raven — but I just couldn’t make myself go backwards. TWEET: I’m exhausted — can’t do any more. Crawling back to my room.


Thank goodness the convention center is attached to the hotel. It was so easy to get back to my room. This is what the convention center looked like from my room.


And this is some of the skyline of Houston that night.


I had a fabulous time — but I was ready to go home. This shot was taken very early the next morning outside the front of the Hilton while I waited on my shuttle. TWEET: Houston — I’ve had a blast — but I’m heading back home to my girls.

Hilton: early morning

One of the items in my winner’s envelope was a  long list of awards sponsors to whom I was asked to send thank you notes. I have to admit that my first reaction was one of trepidation, but upon further reflection, I realized the wonderful extended opportunity it offered. I went home and ordered postcards from with Lincoln on the front. I am currently addressing them in preparation of sending them to all of the wonderful sponsors.

TWEET: I’ve ordered from MOO! Jealous? Get 10% off:  via @overheardatmoo

— It is now a week since I wrote this post. Unfortunately, server problems kept me from posting it.

I will have one last post on Houston — with the remaining pieces that I fell in love with.

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