From Art

Frame USA Employees—Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

Last week on Favorite Hobby Friday I talked with our favorite monster drawing customer service rep, Kelley Kombrinck. This week I bring you the Favorite Hobby of our Posterservice Sales rep, David Estep.

David, tell us about your favorite hobby.

My favorite hobby is creating art.

  Favorite Hobby_David Estep 1

Your position here makes a lot of sense knowing that; when did you first start creating it?

I have been creating art for as long as I can remember!

So then you must have a pretty neat story behind how you got started, tell our readers all about it. 

I spent my younger years creating art much like every other kid until father gave me a quill pen and ink set that was my Grandfathers. To a young kid it was ancient but it was so cool at the same time. I was fascinated with the result of the ink on paper and spent years working with nothing but. Fast forward to Art School where I studied advertising design and worked a lot with markers creating mark ups. I fell in love with the bright colors of the markers and they now are a part of everything I create.

I was right, that was a pretty unique story, so how long did it take you to become a master at it?

It took me about a year to develop my own unique style before I was happy with the direction it was going. I was influenced by a wide range of sources—fine artists such as Picasso, and Matisse, more contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, psychedelic artists Alex Gray and Ed Paschke and of course comic books. 

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So now that you have your style developed, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your artwork?

I work on an art project, usually a few at time, almost every day.

Favorite Hobby_David3

So since you do it every day you must have a favorite part, what is it?

Everything from the conceptual to completion. There’s something really cool about each step.

If every part of the process is your favorite, do you even have a least favorite part?

I am not void of having an artist’s block, so when it comes on it can be very frustrating. Sometimes it is difficult to translate my thoughts into images.

Artist’s block is awful, what is some advice for our readers that may want to start creating art?

I truly believe we are all artists, everyone has the ability to create something that expresses a feeling or a thought they may have. So, I say go for it, don’t be afraid of the outcome. Create for yourself first, and the number one idea, enjoy yourself.

So taking your advice, tell us about the most memorable experience with your art.

I have been accepted into a few art shows that are very jury heavy such as Summerfair and the Hyde Park Art Show. I was interviewed in the Citybeat publication and on Channel 9 morning news to promote the 2004 Hyde Park Art Show. It’s really nice to be recognized for my work.

I would say those both would be unforgettable moments; what is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering art?

There is a release for the voices in my head, my art. Kidding aside, there is some truth to this. I find I have all these artistic ideas and they really start to cry to get out which I feel I must address. Once out, I can move on the next voice/idea.

Art is such a great outlet for working through things! 

Thanks so much David for taking the time to tell our readers about your favorite hobby! 

Favorite Hobby Friday continues next week as Frame USA‘s CEO, Daniel Regenold, tells all about his favorite hobby!

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Most Popular Picture Frame Sizes–Revisited

One of our most popular blog posts to date has been a post about most popular frame sizes We thought we would bring it back as we enter into the holiday season as a resource for you as you purchase picture frames. Enjoy!

Most popular frame sizes

We are often asked what our most popular frame sizes are. It is first important for us to clarify how our sizes work in general. Here is the list of all of the sizes that we consider to be standard frame sizes:

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A listing of our standard picture frame sizes.

In our experience, these are the most popular and most utilized sizes overall. These sizes cover a wide range of photograph sizes, poster sizes, art print sizes, and many other common sizes we see every day. Our most popular sizes are:

5×7

5x7’s are a very popular frame size because so many photographs are printed off in the 5×7 size. 5x7’s are the perfect size to display your photos on a desktop at work, home, or to give a precious memory to someone close to you.

Frames with a smaller molding such as our Corporate Thin series are great but don’t be afraid to go with a wider moulding such as our Bistro Series

8×10

Our 8×10 picture frames are top sellers at Frame USA. Once again, 8×10 is a common picture size, but it is also a perfect frame because it includes a mat. Our 8×10 frames come with an off white mat for a 5×7 image, allowing you to mat your 5×7 picture to help highlight your memories.

8.5×11

8.5 x 11 picture frames are a popular size for documents and certificate. Check out our wide variety of specialty certificate frames or our very popular diploma series. But all of our wood frames and metal frames can be used for documents,diplomas and certificates.

11×14

11×14 frames also include an off white mat but for an 8×10 image. Many of our customers love this size because they can use the frame with the mat, or remove the mat and highlight their 11×14 photographs. Our picture frames all offer this versatility, making Frame USA’s picture frames perfect for any occasion or event.

Some great frames in this size would be our Architect and Corporate series

16×20

If you are looking for a medium sized picture frame, the 16×20 size is a great choice. Our 16×20 picture frames include an off white mat for an 11×14 image. This option provides just over 2” of matting on each side of your image. This is a great size picture frame because you can make it a highlight piece on your wall, or part of a mixture with other frames to form a collage on your wall.

This is a great size to go with a wider picture frame such as our Verona Wide Series.

24×36

Our largest popular size picture frame is our 24 x 36 size. 24 by 36 is the main size that most posters that are sold come in. Therefore if you are looking to frame a poster for a dorm room, your office or house, or to give as a gift, this is the perfect picture frame size for you.

Plaque-mounting your image is another option that would work well, which is basically a way to display an image without a frame. (They do get considerably heavier with size, though!)

 

Know the size of your fine art but not sure which frame you would like to order? Purchase a sample!

When choosing the best picture frame size for you, always make sure to measure your image first. All of our frame sizes are based on the inside dimensions. Therefore if you have an 8×10 image and do not want to use the mat, you still want to order an 8×10 frame. If you have an 11×14 image and do want to include a mat, it is important to order a larger frame size to accommodate this.

Now the question is what is a custom size frame? A custom size frame here at Frame USA is any size outside of our standard 32 sizes (refer to chart listed above). We can produce almost any size frame your heart can imagine. Our only limitations come into play with the width of the moulding- the thinner the frame, the smaller the maximum size will be.

We hope this article on our most popular frame sizes has provided you with all of the information you may need when ordering our picture frames. If you ever have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

From what we have heard from our subscribers, last week’s Favorite Hobby Friday was a huge hit! This week we bring you the favorite hobby of one of our customer service representatives, that many of our customers who have purchased picture frames from us may have spoken with, Kelley Kombrinck.

I sat down with Kelley to discuss his favorite hobby and the talent that was first displayed here.

Kelley, we first experienced your talent when you drew a Unicorn and an elephant on a customer’s order, why don’t tell me a bit more about your hobby!

I’m a guy who likes to draw. Mainly charcoal or pencil/pen and ink on paper. Most of my work is done by hand but I’ve begun using digital media—i.e. Photoshop—to color my pictures. My genre of choice is horror art—ghosts and monsters and such—and my style is mainly comic book/fantasy, but I can still bust out a pretty accurate portrait if I need to.

  KelleyK- Hobby 1

Judging by your level of skill you’ve probably been drawing for a pretty long time; When did you first start?

I have been drawing as far back as I can remember, and it was always monsters, always.

So why did you start drawing monsters at such an early age?

As a kid I just drew because I wanted to be like my older brother who also drew really well. As I got older and realized I was good at it I started drawing to break the ice with the people who sat around me in school because I was kind of weird and awkward and it helped to get people on my side right off the bat.

Most creative people are a little weird, so you’re not alone in that— how long has it taken you to become a master at it?

Like most artists, I’m still mastering it and continue to develop and learn. I will say that I really kicked it into high gear in my early twenties when I started incorporating more realistic human anatomy and working harder to understand light and shadow.

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The level of detail in all of your pieces is outstanding, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend drawing?

It depends on the week. Some weeks I don’t draw at all. Other weeks I might put 22 hours in. When I’m working on a hot project I’ll get lost in it.

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Kelley frequently brings in his drawing pad in to the office and work on his craft during his lunch hour—that’s dedication!

22 hours, that’s a long time, you must really enjoy it—what’s your favorite part about it?

For me, there’s a moment where a picture is not quite finished, but where I’ve gotten all the main elements penciled in and they look how I want them to look—the picture still has a way to go and there’s a lot of cleanup and smaller details to add — but I see the most important parts and they are staring back at me as if they just stepped through a door out of my imagination. I go on and finish the picture and its great and everything but it’s that moment halfway through that is my favorite.

Wow, that was really poetic, with how you talk about drawing it’s hard to imagine that this question would apply to you but, none the less, what’s your least favorite part about it?

Oh lord it’s when I get a picture to a great place and then I go one step further and it hurts the picture. Sometimes it’s just something that bothers me and no one else really notices but I’ve occasionally ruined a drawing that I’ve put a lot of time and work into by just not letting it rest when it was done. I also hate when I go to ink my pencil drawing and I make a mistake—ink does not forgive.

Like most artists you appear to be your own worst critic! What has been the most memorable experience?

I’ve had several. One of the most memorable was having my work displayed in a black-room art show at a specialty shop back in 2001. My first— and last — exhibition. I drank all the wine and left early with a headache but I did sell one piece.

Sounds like a successful night to me! What is one thing you have learned about yourself through drawing?

I’ve learned that I can really take a critique without getting my feelings too hurt and turn it into development. People are quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong and sometimes it’s just to be snarky but if I can pull something useful out of it and improve my technique then I’m all for it. Some of my biggest jumps in growth have come out of brutally stated critiques.

That is a great ability to have as an artist— what is your advice for people who may want to start drawing?

I think that if you want to start doing it, you probably already are but if you’re wanting to take it to a level where you want to show or sell your art remember this: your style and subject matter is your own, do what you want, but when your technique gets criticized, listen with an open mind. Even if the critic is a jerk, they might be right.  

I think that is something we could all use, even those that aren’t artisticbe yourself and stand up for what you believe in!

Thanks so much Kelley for taking the time to answer my questions!

I hope you have enjoyed Favorite Hobby Friday so far! Stay tuned next week for our Posterservice Sales Rep David Estep’s favorite hobby!


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Get To Know Frame USA Employees– Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

The people who work for Frame USA aren’t just a bunch of drones. We want our customers to know us to be familiar with the people who day in and day out provide you with quality American made picture frames at affordable prices. We thought we would give you an inside look at what our employees do in their spare time. First up: Chas Hall, who is our Director of Sales and our newest employee!

I interviewed Chas about his favorite thing to do when he’s not at work here is that interview.

  

So Chas, what is it that you enjoy doing on your time off?

I participate in something called The Warhammer 40K/Fantasy, which involves collecting, building, painting, custom creating and gaming with plastic, metal, or resin miniatures.

Warhammer_40k game piece  

Impressive!  So when did you first start creating the pieces?

I began this hobby at the beginning of January in 2012

So you’ve been  doing this for almost 3 years now,  how did you get started?

A friend of mine was familiar with my interests for painting and building things. He was also aware of my competitive nature when it comes to playing chess and checkers and quickly realized I could apply each of my interests into one hobby, which I immediately developed a passion for.

That’s a pretty involved friend, How long did it take you to become a master at it?

Because there are so many challenging aspects and areas of the hobby it can be difficult to master all areas. However, if there is a specific aspect that I feel I’ve mastered it would be custom creating projects. For example, I would be taking a kit and fully converting the product in a unique way, which is opposite of what the manufacturer or instructions would suggest.

  Warhammer Fantasy_Chas

You’re saying that you start majority of your pieces completely from scratch, that must take up a good chunk of your time, How many hours a week would you estimate you spend?

At least 45 minutes per day in a 7 day period.

Warhammer 40K_Employee Hobby

So that is roughly about 5.5 hours a week! What is your favorite part about it?

My favorite part about it is custom creating something or converting a product that is not a direct representation of what is included within the kit.

I can tell you’re really passionate about this hobby, with that being said, do you have a least favorite part about it?

The gaming aspect is my least favorite because there are so many rules, terms and Warhammer 40k/fantasy lingo to learn, which can dramatically slow down game play. There are also constant updates within game rules that may affect a player who is not completely familiar with his/her rulebook, which can also delay game time.

That would be difficult to stay up to date with, so what has been the most memorable experience with Warhammer 40k/Fantasy?

Without a doubt that would be winning painting and/or conversion contests in tournament entries!

If you’ve won tournament entries you must be pretty talented, what is your advice for people who may want to start participating in it?

Have patience and have fun! Don’t expect to become great at custom building, painting and/or gaming over night, it takes time. Encourage your friends to participate so that you can continue to learn and grow together!

So since you’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, what is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering this?

One thing I have learned about myself is that even when it comes to having interest in a hobby, I have a pretty solid ability with attention to detail, specifically with painting schemes, instructions, etc!

Thanks so much Chas for taking the time to answer my questions!

Not only does this allow for our customers to get to know our employees but it allows for our employees to get to know their coworkers on a level that they may have not had the chance to.

If you have any additional questions regarding his Hobby, leave us comment  and we’ll get it answered for you!

 

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Stay tuned for the next Favorite Hobby Friday!

10 Gifts To Buy Your Adult Children That Will Make Them Cry

As your children turn from kids to adults, buying them presents for the holidays or birthdays can become a difficult task. They become far less easy to please and far more expensive to shop for. You may have given up the fight and settled with money, gift cards or clothing (that they will probably end up returning for the money). We thought that we would end this madness and give you a few gift ideas that will guarantee make your kids cry or at least give you a really big hug! The best part about these gifts are you most likely will have almost every one of them, and with the help of Frameusa.com you won’t even have to leave your house this Black Friday because you will be all set for your presents.

1. Frame ticket stubs and program from an event you experienced together.

Framed Play Bill

Almost all kids will attend concerts and/or plays that impacted them greatly in some way. By framing them you are providing your children with someplace to not only protect those precious ticket stubs and play bills but to display them as well. We have three types of shadow box picture frames that you can choose from: Shadow box Boxers, Shadow Box Showcase and Shadow Box Elite. All of which come in our standard sizes. Just like all of our other picture frames our Shadow Box frames are back loading. This will allow for your children to put in their precious ticket stubs and play bills, close up the frame to display and then add more ticket stubs and play bills as they receive them! Only have one particular show that was special? Just frame those elements with Build a Frame

2. Frame your child’s favorite childhood toy

Framed_Puzzle

Our picture frames come in variety of depths so they will accommodate everything from a puzzle all the way up to a matchbox car or train. If the toy itself is rather thick I suggest looking at our shadow box picture frames. They range in depth from a little over 1 inch all the way up to 3.5 inches

3. Take a childhood “Blankey” and frame it

Framed Blanket

You can Use the aforementioned shadow box picture frames and have the blanket sewn onto black foam core. The other option is to unfold the blanket and frame it in a traditional wood frame.

4. Combine your child’s catcher’s mitt or dance shoes with a picture of them in the uniform/costume

framed uniform

Take your child’s equipment and find a photo of them wearing it. Use our Shadow Box Showcase picture frame and combine them for a meaningful gift.

5. Turn your childhood’s art piece into a masterpiece

Our Customer Kandy Myndy Turns Her Artwork into Plaques!
Our Customer Kandy Myndy Turns Her Artwork into Plaques!

We can take a copy of your child’s artwork and turn it into a plaque that can be hung on a wall. For more information about the plaque process, click here!  A Plaque is a great picture frame alternative that allows for you to protect your pieces but in a simple inexpensive way!

6. Frame a memento from an important life experience

Framed LIfe Experience

You can use Build a Frame and choose beautiful mats and high quality made in the USA picture frames to turn that moment into a lasting memory.

7. Framed pennies from the birth year of each of your family members

Framed birthyear pennies
These can be especially wonderful to use as a gift for your grown children, especially those that have new families of their own. Once you have the pennies you can lay them out however you please, in a more artistic way such as in a family tree style, or a simpler layout such as a straight line.

8. Frame a map of your home state or city

Framed Map

If you’re really crafty you can do something spectacular to the map, but for those of you that are like me, all you need is an image of a map, scissors and a made in the USA picture frame.

9. Framed Image of Childhood Home

Framed Childhood Home

We suggest turning it into more of an artistic style photographs using an online generators.

10. Frame a family letter

Framed Family Letter

The easiest gift of all is simply writing your child a meaningful letter letting them know how much you love them, and are proud of them and getting it framed

 

After hearing of the topic of this blog, one of our employee’s shared with us a personal experience that really showed us that these gifts really do mean the world to our children. With approval of this employee we thought we would share her story with you to  show that this really is a worthwhile post and is not just an attempt on our part to push our products.

“My senior year of college I was required to go through a portfolio show in which I displayed my portfolio to friends, family and professors. All of the projects in it were an accumulation of my 4 years at school and it was extremely important to me. My mom took the postcard invitation that was sent out about the show and got it framed for me. This simple gift that my mom gave me serves as a daily reminder of my accomplishments and I cherish it deeply.”

Framed Portfolio Card

Giving your child (or anyone for that matter) a worthwhile gift isn’t about how much you spend or how trendy it is, it’s about coming up with something that makes that person feel cherished. That is why these gifts that we gave you are so effective; they will make your child see that what is important to them is important to you.

We love THE PAINTSTRO!®

Here at Frame USA, we love our customers!  We may be in the picture frame business, but our main mission is creating Raving Fans. While we want to help make you a Raving Fan, we love to rave about our customers as well.  We first started working with Creative Notions and THE PAINTSTRO!®  back in 2007. We worked hard to find them the perfect frame to help their vision take off.  Once we finalized the picture frame for them, the rest has taken off.

Matt, the owner, describes THE PAINTSTRO!® as “an innovative group art kit. Inside our kits, you will find wonderful art materials and an audio CD, but YOU will provide the most important piece: THE PEOPLE.  THE PAINTSTRO!® is all about creating a shared art experience in which unique individuals come together to create a united work of art. By using our interactive audio CD, you and THE PAINTSTRO!®  will guide your group to the unveiling of a SURPRISE MASTERPIECE!”

The-Painstro-Logo-Blogs
THE PAINTSTRO!®  is great for all types of groups and outings: Youth Organizations & Camps, Town Senior Centers, Corporate Team-Building Events, and much more!  To find out more about THE PAINTSTRO!®, please visit:

Product Info on Webhttp://www.creativenotionsonline.com/collections/the-paintstro

Web Site: ThePaintstro.com

There is also a great informational video really displaying everything THE PAINTSTRO!® is about at:

ThePaintstro-Thumb-Blog

http://player.vimeo.com/external/108235703.sd.mp4?s=065fd527002769aa9d331dadf80c9ed1

We’d love to help your business venture take off as well.  Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or fill out our Custom Quote form at: http://www.frameusa.com/blog/custom-quote/ TODAY!  Our team of picture frame experts is here to find the perfect frame for your next project and venture.

 

Poster Frames

Poster Frames and Poster-Sized Frames

Poster Frames
Ian Waugh uses our Clean Cut series to make beautiful poster frames.

 

Our poster frames are ideal for just about any job you can think of (including personal art use!) But sometimes you need something a little more. Sometimes you want to make a point, or use a different color. Luckily, most of our regular frames come available in poster sizes! From wood to metal, you can usually get exactly the size you are looking for in a larger size.

Common poster frame sizes

  • 18×24 inches – Lobby and venue posters for concerts, plays, or other events
  • 24×36 inches – Common dorm room, band, black light, or decorative posters
  • 27×40 inches – US Full sheet movie posters (Occasionally 27×41 inches. Measure your art if you are unsure.)

Like Ian’s example above, a higher-quality wooden frame will make your collection timeless. This isn’t to say our branded Posterframe collection is anything less, but consider the looks of our most commonly purchased poster-sized frames: Corporate, Architect or Clean Cut Frames. For collections or a movie poster favorite, you will love them!

The best option is to try them out and see which profiles are right for you! You have FREE frame samples delivered to your door from our Frame Samples page. Simply look under “New Arrivals” on either the wood, metal, poster, shadow box or certificate pages.

Remember, if you need any help with your poster frames, please call 800.577.5920 or click here if you have custom framing needs.

Enjoy, and thanks for shopping with Frame USA!

 

by Frame USA

5 Questions from Artists who need Frames

How do you frame a canvas? Can you frame an oil painting? These common questions and more are answered in this week’s top 5 questions!

 

1. What looks best with black and white photographs?

This is a question we receive quite often, and one that’s best discovered with a good amount of experimentation. In the end, the answer will vary based on how much of a value scale your image has. If it’s darker, you may want a lighter frame to showcase the darks. If there’s more white space, a black picture frame will make the piece more visually striking. A good in-between is silver, particularly our Vernona Wide (or narrow if you prefer) Tarnished Silver. In fact, we recently used this to frame a custom order for one of our contest winners. He loved it, as did his family and friends:

customer Photo

 

2. What frame pairs well with black and white drawing / pen and ink?

A good pairing for black and white art does fall under the same advice as photography, however, an art piece can generally be seen as more striking in a standard black frame. Pen and ink can really be framed in any color, though, depending on the theme of your work. For instance, a simple drawing of the ocean or rain storm could look perfect in a frame with blue hues (Clean Cute for instance.) Another idea is to go with a more textured frame like Carbon Fiber if your piece is a bit more cacophonous.

3. What frames are used for canvas displays?

Our best frames for the job include Floater Frames and our In-Depth series. Floater is one of our most recent art frames – made specifically for the purpose of displaying canvas artwork. You can see how these frames look in action below:

Floater-Black-Smooth-With-Art

Floater-Frame-with-art

4. How do you frame an oil painting?

As with the above response, Most paintings and canvas work will fit best inside of a Floater or In-Depth picture frame. These are our deepest frames and offer the best look for those times you want your painting inside of a frame. Glass is not included with a Floater frame if you’re buying from us, but that’s a fairly standard method of display within the art industry.

5. Which picture frame material is right for me?

Finally, another question we hear often is “Which frame is right for me?” It’s an understandable question when you see how many we have! Wood, metal, shadow box, poster frames, acryllic easels… The honest answer is, you have to find out on your own! Learn whether the room you are presenting in will have a lot of glare, or if that’s even a concern of yours. Know whether or not real wood or eco-friendly wood is important to you. There are plenty of options to choose from most of those choices are situational. Have a look at our past blog posts on choosing the right frame. Our YouTube channel can also help!

What are some questions you’ve had about framing? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

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Typogrfx Shows off Typography Art in Barnwood Picture Frames

Typography meets interior decorating: designer Tosha Jackson adds Barnwood Picture Frames to her product line

The trend in typography as an art form is an increasingly popular option for home design and living spaces. The aesthetic shines in a home especially, where a well-designed group of fonts attract the eye and the viewer can take time to read the text.

Tosha Jackson of Turbogrfx makes her living by creating these typographic works of art. The big selling point of her work? Personalization. Customers send in colors they would like her to use, specific words, phrases and even the kind of material that they would like their piece printed on.

We were thrilled to hear from Tosha that she loved our Barnwood frames — not only that, but that her customers loved them! These framed typography pieces are flying off the shelves at her business – and you can see why in the images below. The pairings are absolutely perfect:

 

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Check below to see a video where Tosha’s family and the art are featured:

 

You can see some popular media where her work has been featured here!

fall photography

Fall Photo Facts

Fall is finally upon us. What better way to celebrate than with some fall photos?

Not to brag or anything, but our picture frames look great when paired with all the natural beauty of fall photos. This is most likely due to our large selection of real wood frames and eco-friendly lines. With wood being taken directly from nature, you can explect plenty of earth tones and rustic weathered looks from your picture frames.

Today we wanted to focus on some tips for getting some of the best shots when thinking of fall photography. These are great photo sellers if you’re into photography, since this time of the year provides some of the more vast ranges of color.

When it comes to fall photography, the timing is crucial.

 

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