Monthly Archives: December 2011

Craft Buds 2011 Year in Review + Link Party

On March 13, 2011, Mary and I started Craft Buds as a place to share craft tutorials and handmade business and blogging tips. Little did we know that we’d get to share our craftiness with more than 178,000 craft lovers from 176 countries over the course of that year!
Craft Buds About Us
We are so appreciative for each and every one of you that read this blog, take the time to leave a comment or pin a project for later. So with another year on our heels, let us say, thank you! There’d be no Craft Buds without you.

Here’s a little recap of the Craft Buds tutorials you visited the most this year:

2011 Craft Buds Tutorials

On the handmade business front, Mary and I were fortunate to report on the latest in craft at the CHA trade show in Chicago, host the first-ever Craft Book Month in September, and chat with some awesome crafty entrepreneurs to learn what it takes to launch a handmade business.

Here’s a look at the most-visited business and blogging tips here at Craft Buds this year!

1. Top 12 Resources for Running a Crafty Business
2. Free Pattern Feature
3. Q&A with Sarai Mitnick
4. Flickr for Crafters: Tips & Creative Photo Tools
5. Craft Book Month
6. Hosting a Successful Giveaway on Your Blog


2012 New Year’s Goals

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What would you like to learn how to do (or do better) in 2012? At Craft Buds, we are excited to share tutorials and tips in 2012, including some more sewing basics. We’ll host another charm squares swap and are brainstorming ways to make the Craft Buds blog even more interactive. Perhaps a weekly link party, if there’s interest?

We invite you to link up your 2011 recap and/or 2012 goals here, whether they are craft-related, family, work or personal goals. If you don’t have a blog, we’d love to hear your goals for the new year in the comments!

Also in the comments, please let us know if you’d be interested in a Fresh Picks link party for handmade projects. We love seeing what you are working on, and would love to highlight more of our readers’ crafts, so tell us if you think you’d participate!

Last-Minute Holiday Crafts: Fresh Picks for 12.22.11

You probably have all of your holiday cleaning, cooking, packing and wrapping done. Right?

Well, since we are being honest, here are some last-minute crafts I wish I had attempted earlier in the month. Luckily, these are so simple to whip up, you can really craft a last-minute gift with these free tutorials. Enjoy!

Sewn Paper Candy Pouch

Sugary Sweet: Set the table with a little surprise for each guest. Annie at Peppermint Plum shares how to make these  super-easy candy pouches from recycled kraft paper (or paper grocery sacks).

Upcycled Burlap Ornaments

Wrap it Up: Kristen at A Simply Klassic Home shows how to make dollar-store ornaments rustic and chic with a simple burlap covering and ribbon. So fresh! You could also use this method to wrap odd-shaped gifts, like a bottle of wine.

Holiday Treat Bag Topper Printables

What a treat! These free holiday treat bag topper printables from Angela at Anything but Perfect are too cute and make a quick gift for kids and party guests.

Merry Trees: Dress your table or mantle with these easy Christmas trees made from old catalogs and magazines. No scissors or glue required! Get the how-to from Heather at Our Life in a Click.

Chocolate Party Spoons

Spooning: Make a truly last-minute gift with this idea for chocolate party spoons. Paired with an envelope of hot cocoa, these spoons would make a festive gift for neighbors, friends or family! Get the how-to at Delicious Delicious Delicious.


Happy holidays to you, our wonderful readers.

It’s been a fantastic 2011, and we cannot wait to ring in the new year with you!

Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

Christmas Cookie Favorites

Every holiday season I pull out my stash of recipes that for some reason, I only use at Christmas time. I think it makes these cookies feel extra special. What about you; do you have any holiday favorites? If so, leave a comment and link to the recipe if it’s available! Here’s three of our family favorites.

Old Fashioned Molasses Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cloves, salt, ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Granulated sugar for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently melt margarine or butter in saucepan or microwave. Allow to cool, then add sugar, molasses, and egg and beat well. Mix together spices, flour and baking soda then add to first mixture. Mix well and chill thoroughly. Form into 1″ balls then roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased or nonstick cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies. Makes about 4 dozen.


Peppermint Double Chocolate Chip

  • 3/4 cups margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together margarine and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Next mix in egg, then the peppermint extract, salt and baking soda. Add cocoa and flour and mix. Lastly stir or mix in the chocolate chips. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet several inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes (exactly 9 minutes in my oven if that helps!) for soft chewy cookies, a couple minutes more for crispy. Makes approx. 24 cookies.


Cannon Balls

(also knows as Snowballs, Wedding Cookies, and probably lots of other names!)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (other substitutions can be peanuts, Heath bar bits, peppermint chips, or whatever you like!)
  • Powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and flour and mix well. Lastly, mix in the nuts. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on greased or nonstick cookie sheet. The cookies will not spread much so they can be placed fairly close together. Bake for 45 minutes for a flaky cookie, or slightly less for a chewy center. When cookies are removed from oven, begin rolling them in powdered sugar while still hot. After the cookies have cooled a couple minutes roll them in powdered sugar again.
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Winners + Holiday Fabric Sales

Handmade Ornament Inspiration

Congrats to our Giveaway Day winners!

#403 Fenna from Alberta, Canada

One-Yard Wonders book

#307 Deanna, also from Alberta Canada!

Modern Fabric Studio gift certificate

#1084 Mary Cortez from San Angelo, Texas

Prize TBD

#617 Dorian from far northern California

Prize TBD


If you did not win this time, you could always console yourself with some fabric therapy. Might I recommend Crafty Girls Workshop or Modern Fabric Studio? Both are having killer sales right now!

Use the coupon code CRAFTBUDS for an extra 10% off your purchase at either shop.

Christmas Ornaments from Wool Sweater

Anyone else out there have a pile of old wool sweaters they don’t wear anymore? I was looking through a box of sweaters and found this sweater that I remember wearing in…middle school. Well thank goodness I hate throwing old clothes away because it was perfect for this ornament project!

To make these ornaments you’ll need:

  • a wool sweater
  • my alphabet template (free download available through Google docs)
  • a glue gun
  • a piece of thin cardboard
  • a hook or string or whatever your favorite ornament hanging device is

First, download the alphabet template. After clicking the link above it’ll take you to Google docs. In the upper right corner of the document window, go to File, then Print. In your printing options you can have it print just the letter pages you need. If you have any problems you may need to download the PDF by using the same File menu and choosing Download Original. Cut out the letter you need, then trace it both the correct direction and backwards onto a piece of thin cardboard.

Cut the letters out of the cardboard. Next, cut out pieces of the sweater following the shape of your letter around 1/4″ larger all around.

Using a glue gun and working in small sections, apply glue around the edge of the the letters and fold the sweater over the edge and into the glue. Hold it in place until the glue dries and move on to the next section. (Edit: I’m using black glue in the photos below. It’s the same as clear glue for a glue gun, just colored.)

Complete both letters, one normal and one backwards for each ornament.

Work VERY QUICKLY and make an outline of glue around the inside of one of the letters then sandwich them together.

You could attach a hanger for the ornament before the step above, or you can tie a string or wire around it at this final stage like I did. Here’s the completed ornament!

Author Q&A: One-Yard Wonders + Giveaway

One Yard Wonders authors Rebecca Yaker and Trish Hoskins

Today at Craft Buds, we are thrilled to feature Trish Hoskins (left) and Rebecca Yaker (right), authors of the new book, Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders (Storey). This book is the follow-up to the very popular One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects. Like the original, it also includes 101 sewing projects and full-size patterns for projects you can make with one yard of fabric.

The fun twist to this new book is a focus on different types of fabrics, with chapters broken up into lightweight and quilting weight cottons, home dec fabrics, flannel, fleece, woven pile fabrics, wool, coated fabrics (oilcloth and laminates), and knits.

Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders book cover

This book includes designs submitted by multiple contributors, and features new sewing patterns from designers you already know and love, like:

Lindsay of Craft Buds has a plush manatee featured in the book, and we’ll feature some of projects from the book throughout this Q&A.

Hugh Manatee

Trish and Rebecca, congratulations on the release of your newest book. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of creating this follow-up to the original OYW? When did you start planning it, and what parts of the process were your favorites?

Trish: Let’s see… if memory serves, we started working on Fabric by Fabric very shortly after the first One-Yard Wonders book was released. Like, the following February or March (2010). I really enjoy seeing all the submissions (proposed projects) when they come in – lots of WOW factor! I feel honored to see so much creativity at work. I also really do love the editing process – and figuring out how to make everything read as “one voice.”

Rebecca: Thank you Lindsay – we are so very excited to have and hold the final, hardcover, spiral bound Fabric-by-Fabric book in our hands! As Trish mentioned, we sent out our call for submissions in February 2010, and the final manuscript was due to Storey Publishing October 1 of that same year. We received so many original, inspirational projects from around the world, our heads were spinning! Sorting through all the projects, we formulated the areas of emphasis for the book and the specific chapters. From there we began the editing process, which was no small feat. We couldn’t be happier with the finished product! Honestly the entire process is challenging and very rewarding. For me, I love the opportunity to (virtually) meet so many other crafters. Getting to know them through their projects and blogs is an inspiration. There are some people that I have developed lasting friendships with because of these books.

Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders 3

What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts about writing a book with multiple contributors?

Trish: One of the most challenging elements is that everyone has such a different way of writing & explaining their process. Sometimes it can be hard to understand what is going on, and this may simply be due to a difference in how my mind works compared to the contributor’s. Or it’s simply a type of project I’ve never made before. Also, if you realize that we usually don’t actually make the projects ourselves (unless we *really* don’t understand the project, or a certain step; then I will make a sample to make sure I know what’s going on), it can be challenging to mentally walk through all the steps to make sure we don’t miss anything, and that we can translate it all for the reader. As for the rewarding parts – as I mention above,one big thing is seeing the diverse range of project ideas. It continually blows me away what people can think of to make with one yard of fabric. I also love the “community” that each book creates among its contributors.

Rebecca: When I think back to working on the first One-Yard Wonders book, I think the original challenge was how to tackle the project and solicit 101 unique, compelling, original sewing ideas. It quickly became apparent that there are amazing, original sewers out there and no shortage of ideas! Once we established how to reach out to other sewers through blogs, etsy, facebook, craft forums, etc., the word really started to spread, and we quickly realized just how rewarding it was to put together both One-Yard Wonders and Fabric-by-Fabric. We can’t say thank you enough to all the contributors for their remarkably unique projects in these books. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! It has been a pleasure working with each and every one of you!

Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders 4

Which projects did you each contribute to the book, and do you have a favorite?

Trish: I contributed the Coupon Wallet, the Day of the Week Planner, and the Lap Desk. I *may* or may not have “facilitated” the projects from my husband Matt (bicycle panniers) and my then-one-year-old son Archer (Space Beans Target Toss). If you’re talking about favorites among my own projects, I particularly love the Coupon Wallet because I had to solve a variety of challenges in its construction to meet my vision (and I achieved it!), AND it’s supremely practical and functional. My own coupon wallet goes with me everywhere! But frankly I am proud of all of them. I’d like to give a special shout out to my family’s projects, though, because er, they had a HELL of a time figuring out how to get everything needed for each project out of just one yard; thank goodness they eventually succeeded – whew! If you are wondering which of all 101 projects might be my favorite, hm…. I plead the fifth!

Rebecca: I contributed three original projects to Fabric-by-Fabric: The Boxer Shorts (page 180); the Cap Sleeve Bolero (page 28); and the Party Lamp Shade (page 42). I enjoy all three projects for different reasons. I originally made the lampshade for our home because we were unable to find a fun and unique lampshade at an affordable price in the size and color we needed. Voila! Insta-perfect lampshade, and we have received many compliments. I love that this project is customizable to meet your personal specifications. My husband loves the Boxer Shorts, and my favorite of my two apparel projects is the Bolero. This cute, fitted, tailored top is kind of like an accessory, as it helps you infuse a little bit of pattern in your outfit. I love wearing it over tank tops, and even long sleeve solid t-shirts. Like the description says, it adds a little bit of pizzazz to your outfit.

Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders 2

What’s next for both of you?

Trish: We do hope to start working on a 3rd One-Yard Wonders soon – we hope to receive word on that in the very near future (look for our call for submissions!) I do have lots of IDEAS for furthering my professional design / pattern-making / crafting career, but between this fabulous series and Crafty Planet, we’ll have to see what I manage to get done!

Rebecca: Trish and I are both ready to begin another One-Yard Wonder project! Hopefully this will get underway early next year, so please feel free to email us at oneyardwonders @ to get on our mailing list and receive notification of our call for submissions. Otherwise, you can also check for updates. I’m enjoying catching up on some personal projects and gifts for the holidays. In addition to sewing, I enjoy hand knitting and adore machine knitting. I’m currently revamping my studio space, and will soon be sharing it with my husband (a photographer and sculptor). I look forward to inspiring one another and working together on projects in our shared space.

My Project, Hugh Manatee


Would you like to win a copy of Fabric-by-Fabric: One-Yard Wonders? Enter the giveaway here!

Also, you can follow along with the blog tour at:

12/12/2011 Becka’s Project Journal
12/13/2011 Craft Buds
12/14/2011 Patch Work Duck Designs
12/15/2011 A Spoonful of Sugar
12/15/2011 Nifty Kidstuff
12/15/2011 Becka’s Project Journal
12/16/2011 Nom Nom Nom Nom
12/16/2011 Quaint and Quirky
12/17/2011 ikatbag
12/17/2011 Two Brown Birds
12/18/2011 Sharon Sews
12/19/2011 LBG Studio
12/19/2011 Carolina Fair Designs
12/19/2011 Under Construction
12/20/2011 Little Blue Cottage
12/21/2011 Craftzine
12/21/2011 Neuroses Galore
12/21/2011 Emily Steffen
12/22/2011 Jenna Lou Loves You
12/23/2011 Spincushion
12/27/2011 One Inch World
12/28/2011 Sew Sew Etc.
January ‘12 Lu Lu Carter
January ’12 Fiberosity
January ’12 Zuhause
January ’12 Obsessively Stiching

One Yard Wonders on Facebook | Storey Publising

Giveaway Day!

Welcome to Craft Buds, where we share sewing tutorials, crafty inspiration and tips for running your creative business!

Weekly List of Giveaways

Did you know that you can publicize your craft supplies or handmade giveaway for free any time at our Weekly List of Giveaways? It’s updated each Monday with giveaways up to three weeks in advance. Join us any time, and have fun entering some giveaways, too.

Today, you have the chance to win one of four awesome prizes.

Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders book cover

1) A copy of the new book, Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders

This book includes 101 sewing projects and full-size patterns for projects you can make with one yard of cotton fabric, fleece, wool, oilcloth and more. If you win, you’ll even get to try out Lindsay’s pattern for a fleece manatee cuddle pillow!

Modern Fabric Studio

2) A $25 gift certificate to buy designer fabric at Modern Fabric Studio

Shop Echino, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, patterns and sewing tools at discount prices. You’ll love it!

Izzy and Ivy Designs

3) (TBA) from Izzy and Ivy Designs

Boutique Style Childrens patterns, and Fantastic Bags!

Momo Freebird and Heather Ross Far Far Away
4) Your choice: Heather Ross fabric or MoMo precuts

Take your pick of whimsical Heather Ross fabrics (about 3/4 yard) or two charm packs of MoMo’s Freebird!

Only if the form is not working with your browser, leave us one comment below telling us where you are located, and we’ll enter it into Rafflecopter for you.

Giveaway closed. Congrats to our winners!

On Friday, Dec. 16 at 8pm EST, we’ll choose four winners, one for each prize. Fabric giveaways open worldwide; book and Izzy & Ivy limited to U.S. and Canada only. Have fun!

Blog Hop Party with Give-AwaysCraft Buds

Creating Hope through Patterns

Recently, Kristy from Hopeful Threads sent us her A+ Art Portfolio pattern that she designed for Create H.O.P.E. Designs. At Hopeful Threads, Kristy organizes sew-a-longs to make items to be donated to those in need around the world. Some examples are diaper covers and cloth diapers, dolls, newborn gowns, activity totes for children and more! I first heard about Kristy’s site early this year when I participated in sewing pillowcase dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World. She became involved in Create H.O.P.E. earlier this year along with other pattern designers.


What is Create H.O.P.E. Designs?

H…Hearts United
O…Orphaned No More
P…Patterns With Purpose
E…Even the Least of These

Create H.O.P.E Designs is an organization that was started in September of 2011 by a group of women with a collective desire to make a difference with their talents. Our goal is to provide beautiful patterns or tutorials for a very affordable price and use the proceeds to help orphans internationally. You will find detailed instructions, professionally drafted pattern pieces and beautiful photography with each design offered.  We feel it a privilege to use our talents to bless the children of the world, we understand that it is OUR responsibility to make a difference.


How much do the patterns cost and where do the funds go?

All of the designs are down-loadable PDF files, ensuring that Create H.O.P.E will operate overhead-free.  100% of all funds generated will benefit designated foundations serving orphans and their communities. The patterns that you will find are very well done, we believe they are a great bargain at only $5.00 each.

Hug A Slug Pattern


What foundations are you currently supporting?

  • China Little Flower provides hospice for dying orphans, long term care for older, disabled orphans, care for children with complex medical needs and for children with special needs. In short, the provide love and dignity to the most fragile of orphans.  Beyond that they publish literature promoting respect for life, aiding women in crisis pregnancies, working with children who have lost parents due to AIDS, and providing medical care and surgeries to children in poor families.  They work alongside local staff, empowering and educating them with the hopes of spreading their mission throughout China.
  • One Heart Bulgaria is a non-denominational, non-profit organization dedicated to relieving the needs of orphans in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian government provides about $1 per child per day, not enough to meet the children’s needs. One Heart Bulgaria aims to dramatically improve the lives of Bulgarian orphans. They have achieved this many ways, they have created medical and life skills programs, projects, sponsorships, internships and training of orphanage staff.


How often are new patterns added to the shop?

There are currently 13 patterns in the shop and new patterns are added every four months.


My Project

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I made the A+ Art Porfolio as a Christmas gift for my son. I’ve been wanting to make him something like this for awhile now but didn’t want to go through the trouble of figuring out the measurements and making up a pattern. So I was really excited to review this pattern and for only $5.00 you too can own this pattern!

The pattern was straightforward and easy to follow. In fact, the instructions made such good sense that I felt comfortable modifying a few of the pocket sizes and making the overall dimensions a bit smaller to customize it as a travel version for my toddler. The original pattern has an exterior pocket for even more storage and I changed up how the interior pockets were divided a bit to fit his activity books, sheets of paper, and toddler-sized crayons and markers. I also decided to try out iron-on vinyl on all the fabric so the whole thing would be wipe-able. It made sewing a bit awkward but my machine got through it and I’m really happy with the final result! The instructions recommend all cotton or a combination of cotton and oilcoth/laminated cotton and that definitely would have been easier to sew. This thing will be great at church, in restaurants, and when we’re out traveling! Here’s how my version turned out:

So if you need some Christmas gift inspiration, head on over to the Create H.O.P.E. website to purchase their great patterns, support kids in need, and learn more about their mission!



Felt Flower Gift Card Holder

Felt Flower Gift Card Sleeve

It’s hard to beat the practicality of giving a gift card. But you don’t have to wrap them in generic envelopes from the store. Dress up plain gift cards with these quick and easy felt flower gift card holders!

You’ll need:

  • Felt scraps (various colors)
  • Die cutter (I used the Accuquilt GO! Baby and Rose of Sharon die) -or- printed shapes and scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Pinking Shears
  • Glue gun and buttons (optional)

Felt Flowers

Die-cut flower shapes from scrap felt in various colors. Pair large blooms with smaller blooms, centers and leaves and set aside. If you are not using a die cutter, you can print off shapes from the Internet, trace around cookie cutters, or use this method to cut flower petals from felt without a template.

Use pinking shears to cut a rectangle of felt approximately 8″ x 3″. (Photo shows felt folded in half.)

Gift card sleeve tutorial

Unfold felt and center flower across the top half of felt rectangle. Stitch in place just through the center, catching all layers of flower. I stitched a preset star shape using my sewing machine, but you could also hand sew. Stitch on leaves to embellish.

Stitch felt flower and leaves

Fold gift card sleeve in half, leaving the back of sleeve about 1/4″ longer than the front. Align pinked edges and stitch 1/4″ from right edge, top to bottom. Repeat on left edge.

Stitch around gift card sleeve

Trim thread tails. Hot-glue a button to the flower center (covering stitches) if desired.

Felt gift card holder

Fill and place gift card envelopes on the tree or inside stockings. Use as package embellishments or just tuck them inside holiday cards for a fun surprise.

Felt flower gift card sleeves

Stitch up a bunch in different colors to use for holidays, birthdays, showers, teacher gifts, thank you gifts and more!

Felt flower gift card holders

If you use this or any of our tutorials, we’d love to see your projects. Leave us a comment or add a photo of your photo to the Craft Buds Flickr pool.
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Book Review: Desire to Inspire

Part inspiring stories, part creative workbook for your soul, the book Desire to Inspire is a new release from F+W Media.

Subtitled Using Creative Passion to Transform the World, the book’s mission is to help artist’s realize that their creativity is for a purpose. But the reader must first realize how to harness the creativity inside of them, which they can tap into by following along with the many exercises in this book, meant to get at the root of one’s creative soul.

Author Christine Mason Miller and 19 additional contributors (among them are artists, authors, personal coaches, a documentary film maker, a yoga teacher, and the founder or a creative scholarship program) pepper the book with their personal stories. Instead of being broken up by contributor, the book  contains ten chapters that range from foundational topics to more in-depth looks at the purpose of creative beings.

Each chapter contains exercises to help the reader identify with her own talents, dreams and challenges. In chapter two, readers are asked to list personal values as they relate to friends and family, money, health, physical surroundings, career, etc. After narrowing down the list to her core values, the reader is then asked some probing questions like, “What values am I most likely to sell out on?” and “In what areas of my life to I feel I am living in greatest alignment with my values?”

And that’s just one of the many exercises in the book. Deeper into the chapters, creative individuals are encouraged to seek a mentor, develop a mission statement and ultimately turn their own art into a tool that can change the world for good.

Chapter 8, “Finding the Way Through” is a favorite of mine because it talks the reader through dealing with the trials that can come with pursuing a creative career. The women featured in this book have heard “no,” faced illness and personal distress and more while pursuing their dreams. The book is incredibly “real” and relateable in this way.

All in all, this book is a like a hug from a friend. But even better is the friend that challenges you to become more, because they know the potential you have as a creative person. “Far too often, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We’re stronger, wiser and more beautiful than we realize,” says contributor and artist Christine Castro Hughes.

The softcover book reads like a magazine or an artist’s journal, and it has enough elements of order and creative chaos to engage both right- and left-brained individuals.

Conclusion: Desire to Inspire conveys that creativity is a gift that is meant to be used for a greater purpose. If you could change the world using your creative talents, what would you do?

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