Sep 18

Kunstglaser: Stained Glass Meets Modern Art

Kunstglaser: A Breakwater Original

…You have to love your work. And when you don’t love, don’t do it. And when somebody says, ‘Nobody can do this,’ then I say, ‘hey, my name is Nobody.’

Norbert Sattler is a master stained glass craftsman living Pleasantville, Nova Scotia who creates amazing modern glass pieces in conjunction with artists.  In this film Sattler shares his work space with us, discusses working with glass, and we get to see how he collaborates his craft with Toronto artist Sue Obata.

The short film was directed by Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios with cinematography by David Bolen.

Jul 08

Easy DIY Playdough Recipe That is Safer for Kids

Did you know that boric acid may be found in some recipes for homemade playdough, putty, slime and modelling clay? Found naturally in the environment, boric acid can also be used in common consumer products like toys, cosmetics, cleaning products and pesticides. Although natural sources of boric acid in food are considered safe, Health Canada recommends reducing exposure from other sources to avoid overexposure — especially for children and pregnant women, as it can cause developmental and reproductive health effects.

The concern related to boric acid is one of overall exposure rather than an immediate risk, but you can make playing with goo and slime safer for your little ones with this recipe for homemade dough.

Easy DIY Playdough Recipe


• 1 cup water

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• 1/2 cup salt

• 1 tablespoon cream of tartar

• 1 cup flour


1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan on low heat. When dough looks like mashed potatoes and pulls away from the sides, remove from heat. If dough is sticky, keep cooking until dry.

2. Wait until dough becomes cool enough to touch and knead until smooth.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container or resealable bag.

Tip: If dough starts to dry out, knead in some water to soften.

You can find more information online at

Feb 04

Make This Birds of Paradise Tropical Soap for Valentine’s Day

Birds of Paradise Tropical Soap

Here’s a functional and whimsical gift idea for your loved ones – Birds of Paradise tropical scented pure coconut oil soap!  The fragrances in this soap combine sweet and tangy fruity scents with island hibiscus, making for a true tropical getaway.

This is another one of my favorite superfatted pure coconut oil soaps – I explain why I like these so much in my instructional for making pure coconut oil soap.  This one also has coconut milk, which makes the soap extra moisturizing.  I turns out a bit softer than the pure coconut oil soap, but I actually prefer this blend.

Here’s how to make it.

Remember, before handling the lye, that lye is very caustic and dangerous.  Ensure that it does not touch your skin directly while you’re making the soap – it will burn if it does! Always wear safety gloves and goggles when using lye, and do not breathe in the fumes.


  • 30 ounces pure coconut oil (the kind with a 76 degree F melting point works best – the packaging will usually tell this)
  • 4 ounces lye
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1 ounce of CandleScience’s Island Hibiscus fragrance oil
  • 1 ounce of CandleScience’s Passionfruit and Guava fragrance oil
  • 3 ounces of coconut milk
  • 10 drops red food coloring

Swirled top of the soap before cutting.


  1. Wearing plastic gloves and goggles, measure the lye in a Pyrex bowl and set aside
  2. Measure the water in another Pyrex bowl and set aside.
  3. Still wearing protective gear, slowly add the lye to the water while stirring.  Never pour the water into the lye! It will cause a caustic lye volcano.
  4. Let the water/lye mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Melt the coconut oil and pour in a mixing bowl.  I like to use a KitchenAid for my soap mixing.
  6. Start mixing the coconut oil and slowly pour the lye in the oil while mixing.
  7. Add the coconut milk while mixing.
  8. Add the fragrance oil and keep mixing.
  9. Mix until it forms a nice trace.  A good soap “trace” means that the oil and lye have successfully mixed and the mixture will look like pudding with no evidence of separation.  In the KitchenAid, this takes about 45 minutes for me.
  10. Pour 2/3 of the mixture into a soap mold.  I love using a silicone soap mold because the soap comes out easily after it has hardened.
  11. Now add about 10 drops of red food coloring to the remaining 1/3 of the soap mixture and mix until the color is well blended.
  12. Pour the remaining pink mixture down the center of the mold in one long line.
  13. Now take a toothpick to make swirls, then take the toothpick in a line down the center for effect.
  14. At various intervals between 12 and 24 hours later, check the soap to see if it is cool enough and hard enough to cut. You don’t want to wait too long or it will be too hard to cut, yet you don’t want to cut it too early while it is still soft. This part is tricky as cutting times can vary based on how the soap turned out and on the humidity and temperature of your house.
  15. If it appears to be ready, go ahead and cut your soap. My favorite tool for cutting is the Multi-Bar Cutter from Bramble Berry. It is a bit expensive, though, so if you don’t make soaps all the time like I do, then a smaller cutter works just fine.
  16. Let your soap sit for about a week to let it fully harden.

Your Birds of Paradise soap is now ready!  Wrap it in pink and white tissue paper for gifts or treat yourself to a tropical spa!


Jan 22

5 Knitting Accessories You Need to Have

With knitting being a very popular hobby in many countries around the world, there is a huge number of retailers all offering various thicknesses of knitting yarn, along with a variety of knitting accessories that are claimed to be more or less essential for various projects.

Knitting Bag

One of the first accessories that will become invaluable for you as a knitter is the knitting bag. This type of accessory does not only provide the perfect place to store your unfinished projects, your yarn and your knitting needles, but it will also allow you to transport your materials with you without worrying that they are going to become damaged.

Many specialist knitting bags are also designed to specifically cater to knitters, with inner linings that are tough enough to resist damage from knitting needles or scissors being kept inside. Popular brands of knitting bags include methane, Namaste and Bergere de France, but there is a huge range of stylish and practical designs on the market from many different manufacturers.

Chart Keeper

Another very practical item to invest is a chart keeper, which is tool that can be used to keep and display patterns and charts, all whilst working on a particular project. The chart keeper can be opened out and stood up to place patterns in for easy reference when working on a project, and then folded up and stored away when not in use.

One top brand that manufactures this accessory is Knit Pro, and this particular manufacturer supplies it chart keeper to retailers around the world, making it easy to get hold of. Knit Pro also has a number of other accessories that knitters might find useful, ranging from sock blockers to needle sizer.

Blocking Mat

The blocking mat is another accessory that can be extremely helpful for the knitter or crocheter, or even for those who enjoy sewing and quilting. This mat serves for pinning the project to its surface, making it very easy to line up the project, keeping straight edges, hems and seams.

Many of these mats on the market are coated with heat and water resistant material, allowing for steam, wet blocking and pressing. Many mats on the market can simple be rolled up when the user has finished working on their project for the time being and then be stored away safely and securely.

Stitch Markers

Other smaller accessories that can be particularly useful when working on a knitting project are stitch markers, which can be used to mark particular points in a pattern that you are working on. These often come in the form of small rings which can simply be slipped onto your knitting needles as you knit.

Other types of stitch markers on the market today can be clipped onto you project when needed, and then clipped as required. These allow the individual who is working on the pattern to come back to a certain place in the design later in the project, leading to a great deal of precision in the creation of the project.

Knitting Needle Caps

Finally, one essential accessory to keep your equipment safe is a set of knitting needle caps, which are designed to be placed over the end of your needles when they are not in use. As mentioned above, needles can cause damage to bags that they are kept in, and can even prove a safety hazard, especially if they fall into the hands of children.

Keeping caps on the ends of your needles can therefore prevent accidents and injuries, as well as avoid causing damage to other material sand objects. From a KnitPro chart keeper to a blocking mat, there are a number of great tools to assist you in your knitting projects; ask a trusted retailer for their own suggestions of tools that can make your hobby easier and even more enjoyable for you.


Little Hound ales Knits is an Aladdin’s Cave for knitters, with a huge range of amazing yarns, premium branded knitting needles and fabulous patterns from some of the biggest names in the hand-knitting industry. Established in 2010 in the Yorkshire Wolds, Little Hound ales Knits was inspired by a passion for knitting and the desire to make ‘proper wool’ available to knitters around the UK. In addition to its range of exclusive Little Hound ales Knits yarns and other luxury wool products, the store also stocks a popular selection of bags, accessories and knitting kits. Little Hound ales Knits also has gift vouchers available for the perfect birthday or Christmas present, and offers free UK delivery on orders over £20. Visit Little Hound ales Knits at:

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Dec 28

Simple Winter Craft: Winter Table Centerpiece

Winter Table Centerpiece

This is a simple way to bring the natural outdoors inside; celebrate winter with this easy to make centerpiece.

What you need:

  • small branches
  • pine cones
  • a nice vase or jug
  • a winter-themed ornament


  1. Attach the pine cones to one of the branches by tying them onto the branch discreetly.
  2. Arrange the branches nicely in the jug
  3. Adorn one of the branches with a winter ornament.

Now you have a naturally simple winter table centerpiece!

Aug 03

How to Make Your Own Soap Molds

Soap MoldWhen it comes to soap mold making the possibilities are endless provided the container you choose is able to hold hot water. Many soap makers prefer to buy pre made soap molds but personally I prefer to make my own, depending on what type of soap I am making and what sort of design I think will showcase the soap to good effect.

Some people would say that your soap is only as good as the mold it is in and to some extent I would agree with that. If you are making soaps to sell at a market or Craft Show, then appearance is everything because potential customers will be drawn in if your soaps look visually appealing as opposed to the soaps looking as if they have been carelessly cut into random sized blocks and thrown onto your table!

If you want to try soap mold making at home, then the materials you use for your mold will be dependent to a great extent on what type of soap you are making. With a hot process soap you will need to source heat resistant glass, or if using plastic then look for something that is microwave friendly. If using a cold process then you are not so restricted and you can choose a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, PVC piping and silicone.

Silicone makes a great medium for soap mold making because it is heat resistant, flexible and non-stick, so the soap will pop right out of the mold when it is set, without any problems. Another benefit of making your own silicone mold is that you can choose more or less any object to replicate in soap. For example, if you wanted to make “dog” soaps you could use a china model of a dog from which to make your mold. I will just point out here that your object needs to have a hard surface in order to make a decent mold.

This is how you can make your own silicone molds:

1. Thoroughly clean your chosen object by brushing all over with a firm paintbrush, paying particular attention to any crevices or indentations

2. Mix a two part modelling compound, such as Silicone Plastique, which is available in most craft shops. Simply knead the two parts together until the colour is uniform and the “dough” feels pliable. You will have to be fairly speedy with this next part because the dough will begin to cure within 10 to 15 minutes, making it impossible to mold.

3. Apply a thin layer of the modelling material to your chosen object, completely filling any crevices and working it really well into the shape.

4. Then before this layer has a chance to start to harden, work another layer over the top of the first thin layer. This layer needs to be at least one quarter of an inch thick and smooth on the outside. The two layers will only stick to each other if the first layer has not begun to cure – so time is of the essence!

5. Let the mold stand for at least an hour at room temperature.

6. When the modelling material is completely dry to the touch, you can carefully remove your primary object and, hey presto, your silicone soap mold is ready to use!

As with any soap mold making, you must put aside the molds and keep them solely for soap making to avoid risk of contamination.

Well, now you know how to make your own unique soap molds, you need some soap recipes and I have just the thing for you.


Whether you are looking for fresh soap recipe ideas for your hobby or looking to generate a much needed second income, then I have just the product for you. I have written an informative e-book which contains all the information you need to be successful at selling your products, plus it contains over 80 different and original recipe ideas. So if you want to learn more about soap mold making and how to make spa quality products then visit my website at There is also a wealth of information if you are looking to set up a small home business.

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Aug 02

How to Make Glycerin Soap

Learn How to Make Beautiful Glycerin Soap Bars for Holiday Gifts Using a Simple Glycerin Soap Base

Glycerin Soap

Glycerin Soap

I simply adore making soap and I think you will get hooked once you learn how to make glycerin soap. This is, in my opinion, the easiest soap of all for beginners and I tend to use this soap for making seasonal gifts for family and friends.

I know it’s a little early to be thinking of Christmas, but this type of soap is so easy to prepare and make ahead of Christmas, as it will last anywhere between 1 to 2 years if left unopened and you can have great fun adding Christmas smells and sparkle to your soaps well before the Christmas rush starts.

Before I teach you how to make glycerin soap, let me just run through some of the ingredients you are going to need. A lot of the ingredients can be found at local craft stores or, if you prefer, you can get just about everything online at any of the many soap supplies sites. When choosing your soap base you have several options to choose from. There is clear glycerin base, opaque (white) glycerin base, goats soap base and aloe vera, to name just a few. Clear soap is perfect for adding sparkles to and bright colors, whilst the goats soap base is ideal for moisturizing skin. You will also need some soap molds (again there is a huge choice) and some colorants that are liquid soap approved plus some essential oils.

When making Christmas soaps I think cinnamon,clove, and ginger essential oils all smell wonderful and Christmas-sy but really it is all down to personal taste. You may also want to purchase some additives such as body glitter, cocoa butter, oatmeal, and dried botanicals. Finally, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle is handy, although not essential, for removing any bubbles in your poured soap base.

As I said earlier, learning how to make glycerin soap is simple. You need to start off with a clutter free table, covered with a protective cloth, and also have your choice of clean soap molds ready and close to hand.

If you are making all one type of soap, with the same color and smell then you can make one large batch but if you are making several variations, then you will have to make several different batches.

Glycerin Soap


  • Glycerin soap base
  • Soap coloring
  • Fragrance oils
  • Soap molds
  • Additives as desired


Break off the amount of glycerin soap base that your recipe calls for and break it into small pieces that will make melting easier. Place the diced soap into a glass dish and put into the microwave. Proper melting of the soap is very important, so to begin with start melting in 30 second increments, stirring with a spoon after every 30 seconds.

Once your soap is completely melted and there are no chunks remaining, it is ready for its additives. Add the color first, starting with one or two drops and stirring well until you reach the desired color. Now is the time to add some lovely Christmas-sy smells! Start with a small amount of fragrance, adding a little at a time. You want a nice aroma but at the same time you don’t want to overpower the recipient.

Once you have finished added the fragrance, you can add any other additives such as glitter, botanicals or oatmeal, if you are making an exfoliating soap.

Give your soap a final stir making sure you stir slowly so as not to create any excess bubbles which will show up on the base of the soap.

The last step is to pour your soap mix into your molds, taking care not to overfill as this will mar the appearance of your soaps and make it difficult to get them out of the molds. Now is the time that you can spritz any bubbles with the use of a very small amount of rubbing alcohol.

Now leave the soaps to cool and do not move them for at least a couple of hours whilst they are in this liquid state.

Leave the soaps for 24 hours and then they should be ready to unmold.

Glycerin soaps need to be protected from prolonged exposure to the air so you need to wrap them. You can either place them in plastic bags bought at your craft shop or wrap them yourself with plastic food wrap. Make sure you keep the wrap tight and seal it with a piece of tape.

Then all that’s left to do is label them with a pretty label or tie a piece of Christmas ribbon around the bag with a gift tag.

Congratulations! You have just learned how to make glycerin soap and now you need some more recipes.

Whether you are looking for fresh recipe ideas for your hobby or looking to generate a much needed second income, then I have just the product for you. I have written an informative e-book which contains all the information you need to be successful at selling your products, plus it contains over 80 different and original recipe ideas. So if you want to learn more about how to make glycerin soap and other spa quality products then visit my website at You will also find a wealth of information to get you started on a small home business.

Article Source:

Aug 02

How to Make Bath Bombs with the Wow Factor

Bath BombsI just love making skin and body products which I sell at a local Farmers Market and one of my most popular selling items is the bath bomb. I am assuming you know how to make bath bombs, but I will give you the basic recipe that I enjoy using with great success plus I will give you some ideas on how to make bath bombs with the wow factor.

For my basic bath bomb recipe I use the following ingredients:

  • 500 grams of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 250 grams of citric acid (granular or fine powder)
  • 100 mls of oil blend

This recipe gives a good bomb that fizzes well in the bath. You can add more citric acid if you want it even fizzier, but I think this amount works just fine. The tricky bit with making any type of bath bomb is during the stage of mixing the oils in as there is a fine balance to getting just the right amount of liquid absorbed, without setting off the chemical reaction that gives the bomb its “fizz.” I find it is best to put the oils into a plastic bottle with a trigger and then carefully spray, ONE spray at a time, stirring all the time. Spray evenly around the combined ingredients repeating the spray/stir action, stirring consistently and taking care not to over wet the ingredients. Once the mixture begins to hold together and will form a ball shape when pressed by hand, STOP SPRAYING. Think wet sand castles because this is the consistency you are aiming for. You then need to pile the mixture into your molds by packing it in as tightly as possible so you overfill each half. Then press the two halves together just the once. Do not twist or you will end up with 2 halves of a bath bomb. It doesn’t matter whether or not the two halves are lined up nicely or even if they are closed, at this stage you are simply encouraging the mixture into a nicely rounded shape. Remember, the more mix you pack into your molds, the fizzier they will be.

So, how to make bath bombs with the wow factor? To achieve this you need to be able to create good combinations of essential oils with different carrier oils, such as almond oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, to name but a few. Experiment with adding colours and glitter for a very pretty, girlie type bomb. One of my favourite bath bombs has to be a decadent chocolate bomb where I use 50g grated cocoa butter, which is combined with the other dry ingredients, and then I add a blend of almond oil and chocolate fragrance. I also colour it a chocolate colour and grate a small amount from a chocolate bar into the mold before I put in the mix. The result is a luxurious, moisturising bomb which has small flecks of cocoa butter showing in it and smells good enough to eat!

The heart shaped bath bomb molds that you can buy also produce a bath bomb with the wow effect since you can place a combination of rose petals or dried rosehips in the mold or alternatively dried lavender flowers look gorgeous if put in the bottom of the mold. Just be careful not to overdose on the extras like dried botanicals and glitter because obviously all of these things will end up in the bath water and not everyone likes to sit in a tub of soggy petals!

How to make bath bombs with the wow factor is all about experimentation and letting your creative juices flow. At the end of the day, the only limit is your imagination! Have fun!


Now you know all about how to make bath bombs, what better time to start a new and rewarding hobby. Did you know that the spa industry is the fourth largest industry in the States and you could tap into that market by making and selling your own spa quality products. Visit my web site at for all the information you need to start setting up a small business from home and begin to enjoy a lucrative second income.

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Jul 31

Soap Made With Milks, Creams, and Noggs

soap, cream and bath saltI have been making soap for many years and get pretty creative on occasions. I love milk and honey soap of any kind and have tried several different types of dairy products to make my soap. I find milk soaps hold strong scents well, but light scents can be washed out completely as the milk soap mixture really heats up during the saponification process. Adding herbs, flowers and colorants can add a lot to your finished product also.

Milk soaps are wonderful for people with skin problems as the soap is extremely moisturizing and does not irritate. It is also great for acne and to wash your hair with.

Of course we know about cow milk. Cow milk makes a nice soap, very light in color if unscented. There is no undercurrent of scent except for the honey you use in the recipe. The lather is not as thick as goat’s milk, but creates nice soft bubbles. Goat’s milk is my favorite. The goat’s milk creates a very thick lather that is rich and creamy, leaving your skin moisturized and soft. Goat’s milk can leave a slight scent, but it is not overwhelming. The under scent does not last and again may not occur at all.

Half and Half or real cream creates a soap with a very thick lather and a creamy texture as would be expected from cream. Same with evaporated milk because it is condensed. There is no under scent to these two soaps either.

Coconut milk is another great one. The coconut milk creates a soap that has a very thick lather with the delicate scent of coconut. Although coconut oils used in large amounts can create a soap that dries out the skin, the milk is the opposite. Very moisturizing and wonderful for your skin.

Eggnog. You’ve got to be kidding right? No, it is the truth. Eggnog makes a wonderful soap that has great bubbles and texture. You don’t smell the sweet “Eggnog” scent after the soap cures.

You can also add melted butter to your soap recipe. Add after you have combined the lye/liquid and oils to create a super fated soap.

My favorite way to make a milk soap is to dissolve the lye in a small amount of distilled water. Say 1/4 lb of the total weight of liquid in my recipe, then put the remaining measured milk or dairy product into the freezer until it is slushy. Immediately after you have stirred the distilled water/lye into the melted and cooled oils add the slushy milk and stir real well. I use a stand mixer for my soap making and add the honey while the soap is mixing. I add my fragrance a little at a time while mixing until the desired strength of the scent is reached.

Every soap maker has his or her way to make soap, but I have learned that I don’t want my milk soap to get to a hard trace before I pour it into my mold. When there is a slight but noticeable trace I stop mixing and pour into my mold. Since the milk and honey heats up the soap mixture you do not need to cover or insulate for those first 24 hours. The soap is easier to slice and does not chip or break and best of all I have not have any more honeycombs.


Visit to see all the wonderful products I make.

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Jul 30

2 Pampering Gifts to Crochet

Crochet Shower Puff

Crochet Shower Puff

I love to give my friends and family pampering gifts that I have crocheted.  Crochet the cotton bath puff and cotton face scrubbies found below, put them in a decorative basket with some great smelling soaps and gels and you have the perfect gift!



* H crochet hook
* Worsted weight cotton yarn (such as Sugar n Cream)
* Yarn needle
* Scissors


Round 1:  Ch 2, work 12 dc in 2nd ch from hook.  Sl st to first dc to join.  (12 dc)

Round 2:  Ch 3, dc in same st as ch-3.  Work 2 dc in next dc and each dc  around.  Sl st to the top of ch-3 to join.  (24 dc)

Round 3:  Ch 3, work 2 dc in same st as ch-3.  *Sc in next dc, 3 dc in next dc (shell made)*, repeat from * to * around.  Sl st to the bottom of ch-3 to join.  (12 shells)

To Finish:  Cut yarn and pull through loop on hook.  Weave in all tails.

Final Notes and Care Instructions:

* Finished size is approx. 4 inches across scrubbie.

* Wash scrubbies with like items (cotton shirts) in washing machine on gentle cycle in cold water.

* Tumble dry low with like items (cotton shirts).

* I do not recommend washing the scrubbies with towels because the lint from the towels will cling to the scrubbies!



* I crochet hook
* Worsted weight cotton yarn (such as Sugar n Cream)
* Yarn needle
* Scissors


Round 1:  Ch 6, join with a sl st to first ch to form ring.

Round 2:  *Ch 5, sc in ring*, repeat 27 times from * to *.  (You will find that the stitches get very tight in this round.  Gently push the stitches to the right to move them out of your way.)

Round 3:  (beginning of hanging loop) Ch 35, sc in ring.  Sl st in the first ch-5 loop to the left of the hanging loop.

Round 4:  *(ch 6, sc) 10 times in same ch-5 loop, sl st to next ch-5 loop*, repeat from * to * for each ch-5 loop.

Round 5:  (completes hanging loop)  You have now worked your way around the bath puff and are positioned to the right of the hanging loop.  Sl st in the first ch at the bottom of the hanging loop that is closest to your hook.  Sl st in each ch of the hanging loop.

Round 6:  Sc in the first ch-6 loop to the left of the hanging loop.  Sc in each ch-6 loop around the entire bath puff.

To Finish Bath Puff:

1.  After you complete Round 6, you are now back to the right side of the hanging loop.  Sl st in the bottom ch (on the right side) of the hanging loop.

2.  Leaving a length of tail for sewing, fasten off.

3.  Thread the tail through your yarn needle.  Run a few sts in the center of bath puff and pull tight.  This will help the bath puff to keep the shape.

4.  After satisfied with the look of your bath puff, knot tail several times and weave in to hide.

Final Notes and Care Instructions:

1.  Wash bath puff with like items (cotton shirts) in washing machine on gentle cycle in cold water.

2.  Tumble dry low with like items (cotton shirts).

3.  I do not recommend washing the bath puff with towels because the lint from towels clings to the bath puff!

4.  The bath puff takes a little extra time to dry while hanging in the shower.  Be sure to squeeze all of the water out before hanging it up.

These projects are very quick to work up and they use very little supplies.  Girls of all ages love to receive these pampering crocheted gifts!  Cotton yarn comes in many beautiful colors, so pick their favorite color or match their bathroom decor.  All the girls in my family cannot wait to get their new bath puff and set of face scrubbies at Christmas time!


Lesley Dietschy is a crochet pattern designer and the founder of Visit the Home Decor Exchange website for all of your home decorating needs.

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