5 Feb
2021

1. Amber Recycled Glass Vase from Terrain I’ve been obsessed with vases and vessels lately, and these handmade beauties are exactly what I’ve been looking for.

2. Samantha Pleet Banquet Dress Why look like a snack, when you can look like a whole goddamn feast?

3. Pyrrha Andromeda 14K Gold Goddess Talisman I’ve been enamored of Pyrrha’s wax seal jewelry, full of myth and meaning, for the longest time. I recently peeped at their Goddess collection and it was tough to choose between the empowering energies of all of these beautiful talismans, but how could I not go with the dreamy, heart-following light of Andromeda?

4. Aesop Hwyl Eau de Parfum In looking for smoky, campfire scents for a friend recently, I stumbled across a review for Hwyl, which, according to the perfumer, was inspired by the calming nature of Japanese forests and “walking among the remarkable 300-year-old Hiba trees in an ancient Japanese forest and experiencing the country’s lush temple moss gardens.” The reviewer’s succinct summation describes the fragrance as “the one that smells like Totoro’s home.” Enough said. Gimme!

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11 Dec
2020

WOW! It’s been a long dang time since I have compiled a list of wished-for Hexmas gifts. WAIT, no it hasn’t! I made one just last year. How could I have forgotten that? Oh yeah, I know why: because last year, as we who can still joke about such things like to say, was approx. one thousand weeks ago.

I’m into the mustardy yellows now, which is a bit of a new thing to those who are used to my monochromatic palette, and overall I think in these lists you’ll see a bit more color than I’ve had a preference for in recent years. Interesting! What does it all mean? (Is a thing that I am sure no one is asking.) All in all, these lists today are a bit of a mishmash, none of it really connected or thematic… although I suppose the slippers and teas and bath related items would certainly point to a longing for calm and comfort and soothing experiences? And maybe a few sparks of magic for the kitchen and the home? Well, I guess let’s not try to overthink it.

It’s really just an opportunity to say, here’s some stuff I like! I don’t actually expect anyone to buy and gift these things for me; as I have noted before, there’s no one who can shop for you as well as you can. So I like to make these lists for myself every December, and then slowly treat myself to the things on them over the course of the winter and throughout the next year. And don’t get me wrong – I love it when people think of me enough to buy me a gift, and I am grateful…I just don’t ever expect that someone is going to read my mind and get me that thing that I really, really, want. And god forbid I actually tell them!

So here it is, then. The luxuries and fripperies I’ve got on my personal 2020, utterly selfish Hexmas wishlist. I’m not sure that these things will be of any interest to anyone but me, but perhaps you will find some last-minute gift ideas here, for either friends or family…or yourself. Happy Hexmas to us!

  1. Satin boat neck sleep set at Nap Lounge Wear

2. Multicolored gemstone necklace from Alexis Berger

3. Proxima from Centauri Perfumes

4. Good Eye earrings from Holly Bobisuthi

5. Unicorn Garden jam from Brins x The Met

6. TABINO YADO Hot Springs ”Milky” Bath Salts

7. Onsen bath towel set

8. The Magick of Food: Rituals, Offerings & Why We Eat Together

9. Ignota 2021 diary

10. Ceramic bowls from Mona Lisa Pottery

11. (I forgot to make these separate items!) A Sonnet to Science: Scientists and Their Poetry  and Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

12. “Attic magic” art print from Rebecca Chaperon

13. Sawashi room shoes at Rumiko

14. Large black moth planter from Clarisa Eck

15. Sampler set from The Chai Box

16. Peg and Awl natural wood bathtub tray

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sleepy hexmas

I can’t even remember the last time I put together a list of fripperies! I say, it’s been much, much too long.

The theme for this year’s Hexmas holiday wishlist is “Hexmas Sleepies”, I guess! These are a few things I have either been lusting over, or, I have purchased and highly recommend, and they all seem to fall into that category of “soothing balms for frizzled folks” and for wrapping up the day on a lovely, luxurious note, before bed.

1.  Silk Ines pyjamas from Morpho and Luna. This moody floral pajama set is from Morpho and Luna’s 2017 collection and the design is apparently a modern interpretation of the mythology of Persephone and Demeter. For two whole years now I keep peeping at them but I haven’t been able to pull the trigger yet.

2. Unwind Your Mind. This is the book that ASMRtist Emma WhispersRed of YouTube just released and if you haven’t fallen asleep to the sounds of her brushing someone’s hair or perhaps her guided meditation with Tibetan singing bowls, you’re really missing out. My copy is sitting atop a stack of books as tall as I am, but I’ll get to it soon, I promise!

3. Antoinette Incense burner from Catbird NYC I just think this looks really neat. And none of my incense burners look quite like this!

4. Hinoki Onsen Shizumi Luxury Bath Salts with Japanese cypress oil.  These gorgeous bath salts are on my list as a “congratulations, you did it!” gift to myself, but I guess I haven’t done whatever must warrant doing because I still don’t have them. I will report back.

5. LUSH Sleepy Lotion At first sniff, you almost think this wonderfully purple lotion is going to be too sugary, but somehow it’s not. Sleepy is a lovely lavender whose sharp herbal edges have been tamed by rich and subtly sweet tonka, and trust me, you need the matching shower gel to go with this as well.

6. Parachute Turkish Cotton Waffle Robe. This robe is an INVESTMENT. It is the most incredible thing you will ever put on your body and I cannot sing its praises enough. If you have never ever before paid attention to anything I was trying to convince you of, hear me now: this robe is as luxurious as it is practical and you need it in your life.

7. Kindred Black Immortelle I have a few other offerings from Kindred Black and I am so impressed with the quality of the oils and the beauty of their packaging, and I feel like their immortelle oil belongs on my shelf (along with the jojoba, argan, and zdravetz, which I own –and love!–already.)

What’s on your Hexmas list this year?

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Maison Francesco Scognamiglio feature

The Maison Francesco Scognamiglio Fall 2019 Couture collection, with its contrasting play between excess and restraint-the undulating satin, that see-through tulle, those rivulets of crystals and embellishments!–call to mind languid lady vampires swanning around an abandoned moonlit chateau, or perhaps flickering amongst the bleached bones scattered throughout the sandy stones of a coastal cliff-side ruin at twilight.

If there is a sigh between salacious and celestial, I think it is in that whispered instant that this collection leaves you gasping.

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Photos via Vogue

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I’ve never really understood the great love for bobby pins. I knew that many people thought them to be an important, even crucial, tool for styling their hair, but I just didn’t get it. Whenever I tried to use a bobby pin, I’d end up using all 50 of them from the package, and no matter how many I used or how tightly or viciously I jammed them into my coils or rolls or twists or buns or braids, they’d all eventually slip out, and my one hundred pounds of hair would be left hanging lopsidedly on my head.

Well, as it turns out, I was using them the wrong way. Not just the wrong technique, mind you, but they were literally oriented the wrong way. On a bobby pin, there is a straight side, and there is a bumpy/rippled/wavy side. (However you might call it. One side is straight and flat, and the other is not.) I don’t know why it does not say so on the packaging, but, the general consensus is* that the wavy side is to face down, against your scalp when you pin your your hair; the ribbing is designed to grip hair and lock it into place.

image from Your Hair Is Crazy
image from Your Hair Is Crazy

How am I only just now learning this??

I feel like there’s things in life that people never tell you, and that somehow you’re just expected to know (but how??) and this is definitely one of those things.

Am I the only one? Have you all been using them wrong, too? Or are there other, basic things that you learned late in life, which you could have been doing better or more correctly, if only someone had told you about it? Let’s pool our knowledge! It’s never to late to learn something new.

* I hesitate to say there is one right way to do something. I’m sure that some very professional, deft-fingered stylists can use it the other way, and it’s just fine.

 

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harmony_1024x1024I gotta tell you, I supported the hell out of some small businesses last night, after vowing earlier in the day that I wasn’t actually going to do any shopping at all. Funny how that works after a glass or two of wine.

I usually do a little bit of Hexmas shopping for myself, it’s true. Receiving gifts is nice, but as I’ve said before, it’s pretty unlikely that (unless you’ve given someone a detailed list, which I think is kind of lame and I refuse to do it) no one is going to get you EXACTLY what you want, so you’d better just take care of it yourself!

We are traveling to DC for the winter holiday this year, which means that whatever shopping I am doing for anyone–including myself!–had better be done way ahead of time, and for me, a month ahead of time actually is pretty early. Now that I’ve got myself covered, I can start thinking about everyone else. Isn’t that what RuPaul says? Close enough.

See below for a list of some vendors that I love and who are running some really lovely sales and discounts right now*. As always, I would never promote anything that I would not spend my own money on, so all of these items are things that I have indeed purchased for myself. Just last night, actually.

*….psssst! Not exactly sure when these sales end!

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Megumi dress from Altar PDX blackfriday17 for 20% houseline and 10% off everything else

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Cats in Grass dress from Thief & Bandit 25% off code: holiday25

 

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Waning Moon Dress at Witch World Wide, marked down 40% until Monday (no code)

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Stay Soft tee from Babe Coven marked down 20% until Monday(no code)

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Harmony tee from Cat Coven 20% off code: YULETIDE

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Bat cardigan and snakeskin leggings from Sophi Reaptress, 20% off code: smallbiz

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Firebird wrap and geisha bag, half off at Baba Studio

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I’m having this “In Memory Of” ring from Golden Grove engraved with my mother’s initials. It was not actually on sale, but I am including it anyway, because I bought it yesterday.

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A Hailstorm of Knitting Needles from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab arrived a week ago, so it’s not technically part of my frenzied consumerism yesterday, but no Hexmas list would be complete without an offering from their seasonal Yule collection.

I’ve never really been one for being out and about on Black Friday, as I don’t love the crowds (and I’m not certain I can think of anything I’d actually want badly enough to leave the house for!) but I get that sometimes people make a whole day of it, and that it can be a lot of fun. And blah blah, consumerist culture whatever–I get why some people have a problem with the day and all it represents, too, but as I get older I try to be much more mindful of not shitting all over the things that people like to do, so I’m not making judgments one way or the other. For myself, I feel pretty good about supporting trustworthy, talented small businesses and artisans, and that’s never a bad thing to do, right?

Did you go out yesterday? Stay in? Shop all the things? Did you actually by gifts for people other than yourself? Feel free to share in the comments!

 

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Friday Frips

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.
–Anne Sexton

Bat cardigan from Sophie Reaptress $210 // Forest Blessings notebook from Katie Metcalfe $11.50 // Vampira tee from Local Boogeyman $36 // Witching Hour necklace from bloodmilk $250 // Witchcraft leggings from Camille Chew $39.99 // Wizardry & Witchcraft Eyeshadow Palette from Storybook Cosmetics $55 // Halloween Scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab $23 // Fashion Vulture hat from Evercrumbly & Witch $179* // Bill Crisafi witch art coffee mug at The Satanic Temple $25 // Spider mule loafers from Zara $35.90

*In between the time I started putting these fripperies together this morning and when I actually posted the whole list, this beautiful “fashion vulture” hat sold out! I had to keep it on here though, because seriously, have you ever seen anything so amazing? In the meantime, check out all of their other gorgeous hats, they are awfully magnificent. (I bet I knew who bought this, hee hee! Was it you? Let me know!)

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On this week’s Fripperies For The Resistance…!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab are purveyors of fine esoteric goods, perfumes, and potions–and if you’ve spent any amount of time with me, or reading my blog here, then no doubt you already know all about them. But for those who may be unfamiliar with this marvelous perfumery, here’s the gist: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has mastered the art of encapsulating allegorical ideas into singular olfactory experiences, and they specialize in eliciting emotional responses through perfume and creating unique, masterfully molded scent environments that capture legends and folklore, poetry, and the stuff of dreams and nightmares. TLDR; they make you stink real pretty in the most amazingly creative ways.

And not only do these singular scent slingers work long hours, toiling away to create compelling fragrances inspired by your favorite ghost stories/mythologies/comic books/horror movies/holidays (that would be Halloween, obviously,) for which to make your olfactive aura beautiful! The do-gooders at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab also put in a great deal of time and personal attention in the attempt at making our world a better, more beautiful place, with many years of activism, community involvement, humanitarian work, and ongoing fundraising efforts and events under their belts.

About these efforts, my dear friend Elizabeth Barrial, owner of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, shares:

“Since the day we first opened our doors, helping support and strengthen marginalized communities has been of paramount importance to me. At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, we have never shied away from our civic duty, and since the inception of the company, we have made it a point to do everything within our power to support organizations that provide emergency aid and disaster relief, support environmental and conservation causes, help the homeless, protect civil liberties and reproductive rights, and offer succor to the LGBTQ community and marginalized ethnic, racial, and minority religious groups. It is our way of helping to protect and provide for our communities, and we feel it is our obligation as human beings to help those who may not be empowered to help themselves.”

Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch
Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

BPAL currently offers a line up of scents inspired by Nasty Women and those who would persist; by courageous federal employees who risk their careers to ensure that the public is kept informed on issues of climate change; by those ceaselessly fighting injustice and hatred and bigotry. Scents to bolster courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity; scents to encourage kindness and compassion; scents to provide relief and recovery to those imperiled by disastrous circumstances. The proceeds from all of these scents go to such organizations as the ACLU, NCTE, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, NAACP, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation, as well as hurricane disaster relief efforts, and below you will find the descriptions and links to all of their current philanthropic, fundraising fragrances.

Alternative Facts: The truth hurts — so why tell it? Muffle the blow with Alternative Facts. If you truly want to obfuscate what you really smell like, this is the scent for you! Sugar-crusted vanilla, a firecracker-blast of cherry and sour lemon, a hint of scuttling spiders, encroaching fog, and trumpets of bombast, bluff, and bluster. Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

Fake News: A scent of misdirection, of 140 frantic characters typed out in spite at 3am, and paranoia-clouded churlish accusations hurled at perceived enemies: crushed pink pepper pod, bitter white tobacco, gnarled patchouli, all covered in glinting, garish slashes of gold. Wear it in vigilance as you sift through the memes, trolls, clickbait, hate-speech, and outright propaganda that continually threaten to overwhelm all the world’s kindness, wisdom, and informed expertise. Wear it in courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity at every turn — even from our nation’s highest-ranking figures — with indisputable facts from well-researched sources. Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

COVEFE: Is it abstract nonsense poetry? Surrealist performance art? Cryptography so subtle and devious that it would make an Enigma machine blush? This perfume makes no fucking sense: orange marshmallow cream, bitter lemon, black pepper, orange carnation, and gin.
Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

Nevertheless, She Persisted: A rallying call: golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel. Proceeds from this scent benefit EMILY’s List, an organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.

Nasty Woman: “Such a nasty woman.” black fig and patchouli, filthy bourbon vanilla, honeyed amber oud, and loukhoum. Proceeds will be split between Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s list.

Irish Coffee Buttercream: Irish whiskey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipped cream, buttercream and coffee, and Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee: Coffee and rum laced with allspice, nutmeg, clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon gently whipped into buttercream. Two cheery, uplifting scents slated for a future, 2018 coffee-theme release which instead became emergency fundraiser scents in order to take an immediate stand to fight  the reinstatement of the unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel US military ban on transgender people. Proceeds benefit the National Center for Transgender Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Take a KneeThis is the scent of apple pie, as American as it gets, and a smudged grass stain. Taking a knee…this isn’t a protest of America itself, its flag, or anything that this country stands for. It isn’t disrespectful of the US military. On the contrary, it is the acknowledgement that we as a country can do better, that we must do better, and that we must renew our commitment to fight for equality and justice for all. Proceeds benefit the NAACP.

Theoi Nomioi: The National Park Service refuses to be muzzled. On January 24th, South Dakota’s Badlands National Park social media team defiantly posted a series of climate change facts from the National Wildlife Federation before being shut down. The Theoi Nomioi are the gods and spirits of the wild: the countryside, the pastures, the forests. Under their auspices, untamed nature thrives, the beasts of the wild feast and multiply, the mountains reach to the heavens with their stony, snow-capped fingers, and the forests grow thick and dark with mystery. Proceeds to the benefit National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.

Single Note: Flor de Maga The national flower of Puerto Rico. The proceeds of this scent support the Hispanic Federation’s Hurricane Maria relief fund.

And last but certainly not least, The Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia, the “federal court’s beat poet of indignation and right-wing rage.” We’ve had myriad political figures throughout US history that have possessed acid tongues, but few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as the Sick Burn Champion, the cranky, flamboyant, inimitable Antonin Gregory Scalia.

Proceeds from Ask The Nearest Hippie (patchouli, hemp, smoky vanilla bean, and cannabis accord), Jiggery Pokery (pink pepper cotton candy with a sliver of orange peel and a hint of vanilla cream), Looming Spectre Of Unutterable Horror (raw frankincense and tobacco absolute with Russian leather, blackened champaca, bitter clove, red patchouli, bourbon vanilla and petitgrain), Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages (rosemary water with lavender, blackberry, Italian bergamot, and white musk), Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie (almond fortune cookies and a bit of roadside palm reader-inspired incense), and Pure Applesauce (mashed apples with sugar and honey, slivered with tobacco tar and black tea) are donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Find Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: website // facebook // instagram // twitter

I haven’t sampled all of these scents, and more importantly, I don’t want my opinions on them to overshadow the fact that these scents exist in the world, doing good in the first place, so you won’t find reviews here today… but feel free to ask questions in the comments if you wanted my thoughts on any of them, and I will do my best to fill you in!

Are you a creator who gives a damn? Are you aware of artisans or indie businesses speaking up, reaching out, and creating art or goods to express outrage with injustice, promote anti-hatred, or which encourage safe spaces in their communities? Please let me know about them for future Friday Fripperies!

Previous frips for the resistance:
⚔ Resistance Insignia Pin From The Creeping Museum
⚔ “Neo-Nazis Not Welcome” From Cat Coven
⚔ The Watchful Eye Amulet From Chase And Scout

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On this week’s Fripperies For The Resistance…!

The Creeping Museum is the nonprofit creative vision and labor of love conceived between two friends and a grilled cheese sandwich in a North Portland laundromat in the spring of 2016.  Their remarkable mission? To help artists and independent creators give back to their communities by turning their strange and unusual work into tiny pieces of affordable art in the form of collectible enamel pins– for which to support wonderfully worthy causes.

The visionary creeps responsible for this collaborative venture involving spooky wearable art and a commitment to making the world a better place are Alyssa Glass and Layla Sullivan.  “At The Creeping Museum,” they insist with infectious enthusiasm, “the gallery is you!” The Museum’s collection of tiny art can be found creeping on the lapels of art lovers from coast to coast and around the world, and each sale of these mini masterpieces benefit organizations such as Bat Conservation InternationalThe Library Foundation, or The Worthy Pause, just to name a few of their chosen causes.

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Released by The Creeping Museum in March of 2017, this 1.5” vintage-style shield brooch, either in Shining Armor Silver, Classic Victorian Gold, or Lucky Copper Penny, with black enamel features a sword inspired by Joan of Arc’s coat of arms against a bouquet of deadly nightshade (which, according to lore, was used to honor Bellona, a Roman goddess of war), and watched over by a tiny bat.

20% of proceeds from the sale of each pin will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in support of their fight against hate. The balance of proceeds will be used to support The Creeping Museum’s nonprofit mission of helping artists give back to their communities by turning their work into tiny, affordable editions to support worthy causes.

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According to co-founder Alyssa Glass,

“I created the “Resistance Insignia” design as a personal act of catharsis shortly after the 2017 presidential inauguration; I needed a wearable daily reminder that I wasn’t going to let hate and bigotry win without a fight.

There’s a handwritten positive affirmation hidden inside each package – I feel like we need all the positivity we can get right now, and sometimes it’s therapeutic for me to have to sit down and think of lots of positive messages for strangers. (I didn’t think that anyone would ever see or read them, but I’ve actually received some really moving notes from people who said that the secret messages found them at the exact right time.) It’s also comforting to know that all over the world, people are wearing the pin and taking strength in its message. I’ve spent a lot of 2017 feeling hopeless, and being able to use this project to raise money for both the Southern Poverty Law Center and our own Creeping Museum projects (like our Little Free Library and miniature gallery) has given me a way to feel like I’m at least playing a tiny part in standing up against a tidal wave of hatred and daily outrages.”

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RESIST BLOGHow does one go about styling this empowering accessory? Check out my suggestions, above! As always, click here, or directly on the image for a full listing of the items used in the ensemble.

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Bonus! Are you writing letters to your Congressmen, Senators & Representatives? Whether you’re looking for just the right stationery for penning notes to your elected officials, or want to surprise a loved one with a little bit of inspiration in their mailbox, these sets of 4×6 inch Resistance Postcards are the perfect reminder to keep fighting the good fight. Each set includes four different designs: three new drawings by Layla Sullivan plus a postcard version of our their Resistance Insignia pin.

20% of proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood and to the Virginia Garcia Clinic, an Oregon health center that provides medical care to migrant and seasonal farm workers and others with barriers to receiving health care.

Find The Creeping Museum: website / instagram

Are you a creator who gives a damn? Are you aware of artisans or indie businesses speaking up, reaching out, and creating art or goods to express outrage with injustice, promote anti-hatred, or which encourage safe spaces in their communities? Please let me know about them for future Friday Fripperies!

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