Archive for Garden Art

Sharing Ideas with the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

The Gnome Garden in the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book was a fun one to create – I’m still pinching myself that I had this opportunity to share my ideas with the world. The projects in this garden are the gnome door and the log border that lines the “veggie bed.”

Sharing Ideas with the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

When opening day came around at the big Sorticulture Garden Art Show last weekend in Everett, Wa., (about an hour north of Seattle,) fellow miniature gardeners started introducing themselves right away. It was an awesome welcome-back!

We’ve been trying to figure out the last time we set up our Miniature Garden Center Store at a garden show and, well, we decided it’s been a few years because we just couldn’t remember. So it was an extra special treat to see a boatload of old friends and customers! We also had the chance to put a face to the names that we’ve been seeing on the orders from our online stores too. Super fun! We must do that again before too long!

Here’s a photo essay of our display that we brought with us. Note that these gardens were made 3 & 4 years ago. You can compare them to the photos in the Prop Shop book to see how much – or how little, lol! – they’ve grown.

And apologies, we were so busy, we didn’t get many other photos of the booth, the miniature gardens that I made for it, (!) nor any of my fellow miniature gardeners. I guess I need to take a page from the younger generation and just have my phone out ALL the time, ready to click, click, click away! :o)

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

A birthday cake for the miniature gardener. Lol! I’ve thought of several versions of birthday cake gardens throughout the years, it was fun to finally get one of them out of my head. In this chapter, you will learn how to make that fun little garden sign and how to customize any container.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Bird’s eye view of the Deserted Island Survival garden. The projects in this chapter are the treehouse and the wee cave. Both of these projects have been out in the weather all year since they were made in 2015 and have survived.

 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

In the World Tour section of the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, we took a trip to Spain. In this chapter, I teach you how to age a resin fountain and how to create a pretty mosaic patio in a few simple steps.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Aquascaping was supposed to be one of the chapters, that’s why we have an odd number of 37 projects in the book. After killing 17 fish, I decided upon an easier version: a miniature garden that looks like it’s underwater. Can you tell it’s one of my favorite? The projects in this chapter are a sea throne and a tiny glass float.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Can you tell this is another favorite of mine? I was limited in what I could bring to this display because it sits in full sun. Many of the gardens in the book were for indoors or for shade. In this chapter, I show you how to create a miniature garden folly (back, right) and how to age and weather a miniature brick patio.

In each chapter in the book, I also go into the plant choices for each theme, why I chose them and how you can adapt this way of using the plants to help get your theme across to the viewer. Considering all the parts, plants and pieces for your theme not only raises the bar on the quality of miniature gardening that you can produce, it makes the thrill-of-the-hunt much more interesting and satisfying. After sifting through all the projects in the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, you will have a good idea of how to get the same results.

Get your autographed copy of the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book here.

Find it at a better price if you don’t need it autographed here up on Amazon (affiliate link.)

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

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It’s a Book Launch Party for NEW Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book!

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

From the NEW Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book – be your own diva bride and create your backyard wedding just how you imagine it. Diva-bride-drama is optional, but it would be MINImal. :o)

It’s a Book Launch Party for NEW Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book!

Insert much rejoicing here!

It’s like Christmas when you were a kid. You can’t rush time and fast forward to the big day either. You know it’s coming and that it will soon be here but the wait is oh-so-painful! When is our new book going to get here? It’s TAKING FOREVER PLUS ONE DAY ALREADY!! Lol!

So, let’s get our minds off of that and talk a bit more about the book party! Everyone loves a party, right? Well, we’ve gone ahead and reserved a booth at the best garden art show in the greater Seattle area: Sorticulture Garden Art Show! We’re going back to this year’s show, June 9th thru 11th, to throw a party to celebrate our big book launch!

WHY IS IT THE BEST GARDEN SHOW?

Well, personally speaking, they are the only show in the area that fully embraces what we do here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center! We’ve been displaying our miniature gardens for years now. We used to vend at that show for years – many moons ago – and it helped us spread the joy of gardening in miniature far and wide throughout the region. When we were unable to vend, they approached us to display, which helped keep the cycle going. I guess Sorticulture wins the award for “Longest Garden Show for Gardening in Miniature!” Here is our display from 2011. And here is one from 2014.

SO, here is what is on the agenda for Sorticulture so far for this year, because we’re “Bringing It!” The photos are from the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book, these photos were taken by Kate Baldwin, the woman who helped with the first Gardening in Miniature book too.

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

From the World Tour section, this is the America Garden on aging miniatures and creating a real hanging snail shell planter. 

MINIATURE GARDEN MAKE & TAKES

Yep! Have a seat and make a small miniature garden of your own to take home! You’ll have all the ingredients there, at your fingertips! Get your fingers in the soil and create a tiny living world of your very own from succulents and sedums for a super-easy-to-maintain miniature garden. Choose your own accessory to finish off your masterpiece from our Made in the USA accessories. Learn how to install a custom patio that won’t wash away. Awesome. While supplies last.

DAILY RAFFLES

We’ll be giving away Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book each day throughout the show! Come on by and sign-up for our email list, confirm through your email, and your name will go in the hat to win. You don’t have to be present to win – we will mail it to you!

FREE GIFT WITH EVERY ORDER $10 or MORE

Get a FREE gift with every order, $10 or more while at the show! Choose from a miniature accessory, or one of our sample kits!

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

The Great Britain Garden with a miniature folly. The other countries with projects to match, include Spain, India and Japan.

SEE THE MINIATURE GARDENS FROM THE BOOK

We will be bringing as many of the miniature gardens from the book as we can fit in the truck. You’ll be able to see how much (or how little) they have grown over the last 3 years. They are grown-in and lovely!

SEE THE FINAL PROJECTS, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

And you’ll see all of the final projects that are in the book! You’ll be able to see the wide variety of skills and techniques that are taught in each of the projects.

 

 

GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THE NEW GARDENING IN MINIATURE AUTOGRAPHED!

We’re creating a special book plate for this event to say, “Thanks!” You’ll always remember what a great day you had at Sorticulture!

JANIT’S FAIRY CAKES

Yep. I’m having a blast with this idea. Way fun.

I have other plans up my sleeve too, but you’ll have to some come and see them! :O)

Oh, here is the Mother’s Day miniature garden from the Prop Shop book, in case you missed it.

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

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Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine's Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden can be loaded with decor – or kept really simple with one or two accent pieces.

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Creating miniature gardens is so much fun because you can adapt them to any
situation, any theme or any occasion. But another fun thing to do with this new-again hobby – and Valentine’s Day gives you a perfect opportunity to – is to share them. A miniature garden can easily deliver a personalized message sent straight from the heart.

If you are short on decorations, a simple accent piece can still send a huge message. A red chair, an engraved heart or ‘hugs’ rock, or this simple how-to can send sweet love to your Valentine.

Don’t have a Valentine? Then it’s a perfect excuse to treat yourself and do something YOU love!

Want to see more of the 2013 Valentine Garden? They will be posted in our February newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette. Join our email list here and get instant access to the archives after confirming through your email.

How to Make Valentine’s Day Decorations for Your Miniature Garden:

We found the package of foam hearts at JoAnns Fabrics (40% off!) to make these really quick decorative garden stakes that you can add to any miniature garden and get your message love across.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One package of foam cutouts
  • Wood popsicle sticks &/or coffee sticks
  • Paint colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper

Best selling Gardening in Miniature bookAAAAND the craft stores now carry all kinds of cutouts for every occasion! Paint the stakes to match the holiday color to make it look more polished. We tried writing on them with a small Sharpie marker, but it turned out a bit faded – the foam doesn’t accept the ink very well.

Be sure to take out the heart stakes after the 14th and wait for the wood to dry before storing them for next year. Like the miniature holiday decor, they should last for a long time if you don’t leave them out in the weather all year.

See our previous post of gift-giving ideas: The Most Incredible Gift of All Time. Make Quick and Affordable Gifts. A Miniature Garden for Every Budget.

More ideas from your  Miniature Garden Center:

– Pretty Garden Screen

Pretty Grapevine Birdath

– White Porcelain Pot Set with Saucers (really cute)

– White Arbor with Gate

– White Wooden Love Seat

– White Swan Porcelain Vase Set

– Short White Picket Border Fence

– Miniature Garden Plants for Sun or Part Sun

– Miniature Garden Plants for Shade

– Shop for Plants by Zone

valentineportrait 

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DIY Christmas Decor for the Miniature Garden

Miniature Christmas DIY

Cuteness! Tiny homemade details can easily reflect your personal style. You’ll spend just as much time getting these ingredients together than you will doing this tutorial. Make a few at the same time and have fun with them, you’ll get better after the second one you make.

DIY Christmas Decor for the Miniature Garden

Here are a couple of do-it-yourself tutorials for Christmas decorations for your miniature garden. Use the same color scheme as your “full-size” decorations throughout your house and garden, it will just add to the cute factor. Find miniature decorations up in our store, or I’ve mentioned where I’ve found them throughout this blog.

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Here’s yet-another benefit from growing miniature conifers and small-leafed trees and shrubs: you can harvest them for miniature holiday decorations just like you would in “full-size.” Whenever I can, I save my miniature pruning duties for this time of year so I can use them for decorations. “Limbing-up” from the base of a dwarf conifer can shape it to be more tree-like. Prune way-ward branches from the top canopy of the tree to maintain the round-ness or over all shape of the foliage. Pruning also helps to send messages to the wee tree that you want the plant’s efforts and energy to be used elsewhere, like growing a thicker trunk and branches. Got a lot of pruning? Try wiring a miniature garland together.

Shop Two Green ThumbsThe branches we used here were soaked in a solution of glycerin and water to help them last longer. Place 1 part glycerin and 15 parts water in yogurt tub or similar, and make sure the branches are submerged. Leave it in there for at least overnight, 24 hours is better. Glycerin is found in hand lotions, among other uses, and it helps to seal in moisture – which is why we love to soak our naturals in it to help them retain color and supple-ness, at least for a few weeks while we can enjoy them. Otherwise your wee branches would do what they normally do when brought inside a heated house: dry out and go brown within days. Experiment with different ratios for different plants and how long they will stay preserved. Add dye to the glycerin/water solution to change the color of light-colored naturals. Glycerin can be found at any art store or most drug stores. It comes in a small bottle and doesn’t cost much.

Miniature Wreath Tutorial:

Make a REAL miniature wreath for your miniature garden! Here’s how to make one from a spruce branch, and from a Boxleaf Euonymous branch. Any sturdy but bend-able branch with small leaves could work but experiment first if you are creating an important holiday display.

Miniature Christmas DIY

What the wreaths are made of, from top left clockwise: Mugo Pine, Euonymous, Cotoneaster, Dwarf Spruce

DIY Miniature Christmas Decorations

From the top left, clockwise: Cotoneaster, Mugo Pine, Thyme, Dwarf Spruce, Euonymous, Hinoki Cypress (lime green branch under Cotoneaster.) I didn’t mention varieties on purpose, you can use almost any type of small-leafed branch.

Dwarf Spruce Wreath

Miniature Christmas DIY

You’ll need a branch or two, some jewelry wire, needle-nosed pliers and a pair of flat-nosed pliers. Silver wire was used for this tutorial so you can see it, otherwise I would have used dark green wire to blend into the foliage.

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Miniature Christmas DIY

If the branches are too short, wire two of them together to make a longer one.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Loop them around to make a wreath and wire them together. Work gently and do your best to work the wire in between the needles.

Miniature Christmas DIY

It may seem out of balance when you first start, but just go with it for now. Leave the wire ends for now, they will come in handy later.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Add some more wire wraps where its needed to tuck in some of the smaller branches closer to the circle.

DIY miniature christmas decor

Tiny details can be accumulated throughout the year. Miniature tinsel and glittery pompoms can be found at Michael’s Crafts along with the cherry picks. Tiny candy canes can be found at your local miniature store. I trimmed the ends off of a larger velvet bow to make a miniature one. Use tiny leaves and colorful branches for more texture and interest.

Miniature Christmas DIY

The bow is wrapped around with its own wire, the smaller details are hot-glued on. Notice the tiny sprig of hinoki cypress is used to brighten up the berries. BUT the bottom has too many branches and the top – not so much…

 

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Miniature Christmas DIY

Decide on the “right” branch to snip off the bottom. This chosen branch was on the back of the wreath and could be easily cut off to lessen the bulk.

Miniature Christmas DIY

And, with a little bit of hot-glue, we add it to the top to help it balance out a bit.

DIY Miniature Christmas Tutorials

That’s better!

Small Broadleaf Wreath

Broadleaf is a fancy name for a plant that has leaves – as opposed to needles on a pine tree for example. A lot of broadleaf plants are deciduous like Maple, Elm and Oak, but some are evergreen and keep their leaves throughout the seasons – thankfully, they help keep the landscape “green” in the middle of winter. We used an Euonymous branch for this tutorial. Same idea as the spruce wreath above, but with a different twist because of the leaves.

Miniature Christmas DIY

A way-ward branch pruned from a Boxleafed Euonymous from our in-ground miniature garden.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Strip away the leaves inside the natural curve of the branch .

Miniature Christmas DIY

You can pinch off the more tender, top branches as you work along the stem.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Ready to shape into a circle.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Bend it around carefully. Wire it in place. Work the wire in between the leaves gently to get to the stem. The leaves and stem toward the top of the branch are going to be more tender so don’t force the wire too much or it will cut right through the branch.

Miniature Christmas DIY
Gently pull the wire taunt to hold the branches where you want them.
Miniature Christmas DIY

Twist the wires gently together with your fingers, tighten them gently with flat-nosed pliers. Leave the excess wire in place – don’t cut it off yet.

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Miniature Christmas DIY

Now that you have the wreath shape, edit out the leaves that clash or distort the design.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Use the excess wire from the wrapping to create a loop on the back of the wreath to hang it with. Round-nose pliers work well to make tiny wire loops.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Wrapped with a little tinsel garland, hot-glued the poinsettia flower with more lime-green hinoki leaves to finish it off. Looks like a holiday!

When you are in you miniature garden, harvesting branches for this fun diy, choose a couple of sets of each type of branch that you want to work with; if you totally mess up you have a couple of chances to get it right.

MAKE IT LAST: If you are keeping your miniature wreath indoors for a couple/few weeks throughout the season, make a couple of them to rotate in and out the scene. Because they are living wreaths, they will do better in the cold and damp than inside in the forced, heated air. Make a 2 or 3 or 4 wreaths, treat them like a corsage or boutonniere and keep them in a take-out container in the fridge with a damp paper towel on the bottom of the container. The amount of time they will last will vary, depending upon how long you soaked them in the glycerin/water solution, what kind of branch they are and what conditions they are displayed in.

Quick Miniature Garden Holiday Garden Art

Some things are worth repeating, huh? If you haven’t explored your local fabric store’s selection of seasonal buttons, it’s worth the drive. There are a ton of different ideas out there. Here is a fast and fun way to make decorative garden stakes for your miniature garden.

Miniature Christmas DIY

These were made about eight years ago: buttons hot-glued to plastic lollipop sticks. Some of the glue has yellowed, but you would have to be up-close to see that. Other ornaments needed a bit of highlighting with a touch of gold or silver to refreshen the details.

Miniature Christmas DIY

The reindeer buttons were mounted on the sticks to look like they were galloping. This fun project is one that kids can do too.

Miniature Tree Ornaments

The same buttons can be use for ornaments. Instead of trying to painstakingly wire or loop each and every ornament to tiny branches, use metallic pipe cleaners to make an ornament from any button. Poke the wired-button into the tree’s branches, it’ll stay there if the tree isn’t moved around a lot. If do want to make a decorated tree that will be moved or carried, use strands of garlands and miniature lights and wire the ends of the strings in place. This will save you a lot of fussing around.

Miniature Christmas DIY

You will need: buttons, lollipop sticks, pliers, hot-glue gun and about 5 minutes. The lollipop sticks can be found at Michael’s Crafts.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Clip off button loop with pliers.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Look at the front of the button to see which way you want it mounted on the stick. Squeeze glue in a small line to get maximum surface contact.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Stick the stick the way that you want it stuck. ;o)

Miniature Christmas DIY

If the button pattern is asymmetrical, mount the buttons on the stem in a different rotation so they look different.

Want to add snow? Here’s what we found out about that idea – click here.

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette! It’s free, monthly and everything miniature garden. Sign up here, confirm through your email and you’ll get a free PDF of The Best of the Gazette, just for signing up!

Miniature Christmas DIY

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It’s Getting Scary Out There – And We’re Not Talking About the Election…

halloween2016-1

It’s Getting Scary Out There – And We’re Not Talking About the Election…

We’re working on some very scary miniature garden ideas for our new Miniature Garden Society!

The Day of the Dead flags are completely waterproof, cut out of thin plastic.

That’s a working miniature fountain off to the right.

That mummy creeping up in the middle of the scene is weatherproof and waterproof – and only cost 66 cents to make.

You’ll find a constant stream of new ideas going into this new adventure called The Miniature Garden Society.

Scared of missing out on some great ideas for your miniature or fairy garden?

Join us.

 

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Announcing the NEW Miniature Garden Society, 2.0!

Announcing the NEW Miniature Garden Society, 2.0!

It’s a brand new, totally focused website on everything gardening in miniature with all the bells and whistles!**

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you would have heard about our Miniature Garden Society member’s only website opening up a few months ago. Well, truth be told, it did get lots of kudos, oohs and ahhs, but it couldn’t add any community, forums or post-ability to make it just that more fun. BUT, alas! Have no fear because your miniature gardener is here!

Welcome to the NEW Miniature Garden Society website! It’s all that and more. Now that we have some roots and branches to the site, it’s time to get it really growing. Personally, I can’t wait because it’s a place to share all our ideas and information that didn’t fit into this book – nor did it fit into this book either. Lol!

Yup! Can’t tell you any more – need to get back to the new site! Learn more about it here. 

**May contain fairies. :o)

 

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ… Huh?

Bling Gardens

Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ…huh?

— This blog was first published 4 years ago. I thought string gardens would be a passing fancy but, no, I was wrong again in calling an end to a trend. Hey, at least I got miniature gardening right, right?? ;o) I still enjoy these photos as I wasn’t able to keep them alive for very long – I was unable to regulate the dampness of the soil that these plants needed. If you try this, chose drought-tolerant plants that don’t mind when the soil dries out, like tropical succulents for example. —

String gardens. It’s the new thing. Trees and plants dangling from the ceiling, suspended by a piece of string.

But, something was missing.

There was certain beauty in the simplicity but these dangling plants were lacking that little something to make them, well, you Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.comknow, pretty.

So, I spent some time in the studio over the last couple of weekends tinkering with the idea. Yea, I know, it’s how I unwind…

And THEN, my friend Christina Salwitz, author and garden guru of the popular blog, The Personal Garden Coach, highlighted them in her reporting of the big Philadelphia Flower Show this past week so, I HAD to get back in the studio to finish them off last night.;o)

Here’s are the results:

Bling Garden with Green Tara

Bling Garden with Green Tara. Trying different combinations of materials to see what works. That gold band is about 3″ wide. I kept nicking the fragile leaves… !!

Kokedama is the Japanese art of string gardening. It’s kind of like a hanging bonsai in the sense that the plant’s roots are confined to a small space – but without the container. Most of the instructions I found on the Interweb say that you need special kind of soil, Bonsai soil or Akadama soil, but I just used a fine mix of peat, sifted compost and vermiculite. In theory, we are looking for a soil that retains moisture but still drains. We don’t want the roots wet all the time or they will rot – but nor do we want the root ball to dry out all the time. We shall see if that works…

Bling Garden with Buddha

I wanted more than a “string” to hang them with. In this case, with such a chunky chain that I chose, this bling garden needed a bigger accessory, of the same color, to balance the boldness of of the chain. The leaves took more abuse with all the experimenting…

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How-to Kokedama simply put: The plant is planted in a ball of soil, wrapped in peat, then wrapped in sheet moss and tied together with a string. I figured there was lots of room for play…

Bling Garden

After this one was done, I had to laugh. The focus is really off the plant now that there are so many things poked into it. That’s an old doily dyed with paint that is wrapped around the sheet moss.

I put up a hook and chain in the studio where I could see how they hung while I was working on them. It felt like I was dressmaking at times with all the primping and poking. Too. Much. Fun.

Bling Garden

This bling garden turned out to look like a present. Lol! 

I kept fussing and fixing it until I realized that they should be created “in-the-round,” meaning that it’s going to be viewed from all side. So, however it hangs or turns, it will still look good.

Bling Garden

I used hemp string together with the ribbon to tie it up and make it hang securely, the pearls and ribbon are just tacked on. The little fairy house was a perfect fit that worked with the coloring too. I’m not sure how the moss will react with it smothered like that with the doily… I kinda hid the plant though! It’s all bling, no plant. Lol! 

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Bling Garden

This poor begonia took some abuse during all the poking and prodding. We’ll see how the plant grow in – and if they can handle all that “bling” too.

Bling Garden

Now the plants become trees with a smaller accessory at the base. The pink ribbon is reinforced with fishing line.

Bling Garden

As with miniature gardening, the personality of the garden changes with the accessories. This one takes on a rustic air with the wagon wheel and bucket.

Bling Gardens

Small toys work too… Lol!

Bling Gardens

Keeping it simple is very sweet – and puts the focus back on the plants.

Water them often because they can dry out pretty quickly. I use a spray bottle but I take them to the sink to do that – it’s the only way to water the moss to keep it green. You can use a squeeze bottle too, and squeeze the water directly into the root ball. Again, watch where they drip if they are hanging inside and protect your surfaces from the water. Note that any cloth you use, like the lace doily I used above, will get dirty quickly and start to look messy. Take a photo of your work for your brag book.

Bling Garden Ad

If you liked this, checkout the other crafty, garden fun we are having here.
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