Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

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31.9 Changing Directions

August 4, 2013

Changing Names

I don’t know if I told you, but on Tuesday, I took my machines to see if either would be able to be serviced by the local Bernina place, and they will work on my inherited Bernina.

bernina machine

I had forgotten that I wanted to call this machine Hot Lips after Major Margaret Houlihan from M.A.S.H.. Which I really like as a name and I think one or two or several of my twitter friends (aka #twilter – twitter quilter) helped me name her.

Army green and all, ya know.

But lately, I have taken to calling her Lennie, short for Lenore, probably because I feel she is being ‘lent’ for me to use.

Change because I had forgotten.  But I can call her both. Hot Lips Lenore….

Changing Machines

Any event, I know that Carlotta was giving me so much trouble when quilting the auction quilt, and although I would have rather gotten her fixed instead, the Bernina shop is where I went for service this time, next time I’ll go to the other shop.

I have never used Hot Lips really other than once to thread her and get the thread through the (backwards mounted) bobbin area.

I was nervous to bring the machine in, I have heard horror stories from a few quilters with podcasts about their more modern machines and problems, but I did.

The lady who took my order was very nice, and we got to talking and such. She had went up to the Sisters quilt show (same weekend as our quilt show) and it was neet to hear from a quilter in person about attending that quilt show.

I have a 2-3 week turn around time on the machine, and they may even find something wrong with her.  Let’s hope not. But this means when she is done, she’ll be the fixed machine, and so she’ll be my running machine.

So there is new places to learn where the presser foot drops, new zig zag locations, knobs & buttons to learn & get used to using. Changing from Carlotta to Hot Lips Lenore will be something strange to get used to.

Lucky me I have the manual somewhere, and there is always You Tube.

Here’s someone’s demonstration video on a 540 Favorit (Lennie’s brand) done by someone else. Lots of humming noise, but you can see what she can do.

Changing Sewing Tactics

In the mean time I have started to come up with a list of things to do that do not involve a sewing machine.

Some of the things I thought of:

  • cut up the small ‘catch all scrap baskets’
  • go through the PIGS (projects in grocery sacks ziplock baggies) and see what I have stashed where
  • designing a quilt idea I’ve had for 2+ years
  • cutting out more paper pieces for a PIG that I haven’t cut fabrics for
  • hand quilt the very first large quilt I ever made (the ugly quilt as its referred to around here)
  • applique the hot air balloon quilt i’ve been working on (not shown yet)
  • work on the trim options for the periodic spiral quilt
  • measure for the 4 year old spectrum quilt idea
  • create black bias for a stained glass quilt kit I bought at the garage sale
  • learn EQ7 better, try to design something new using the book I bought a year ago

And more … folding & cutting & hand work & designing

Changing trims (?)

I have an idea for the trim for the periodic quilt that I rather like. Problem is that the trim consists of three separate strands that are twisted together.

The picture I have for this on the quilt is rather BAD, I was trying to take an in focus picture for facebook and nothing was working.

blurry pic of trim border

These three strands are twisted together and as I see the quilt, I was simply going to couch the trim directly onto the front of each of the black pieces, outlining them from the rest with a little bit of metal.

But the 3 strands keep separating. I asked FB peeps what to do to fix it, and I got the mostly overwhelming response ‘fray check’, which I had dabbed a little bit of Roxanne’s glue (stronger than fray check I think) on the ends and nothing was staying put, so I can try fray check, but am worried that it won’t be strong enough. I have only used fray check twice I think.

Here I finally got an ‘in-focus’ picture today of the separation involved with this trim.

trim separating pieces

My instincts told me to try clear fingernail polish rather than fray check. Anyone else had experience forcing three strands to stay together like this?

What has worked for you keeping strands together? Glue? Fray Check? Fingernail polish? other?

Daisy said she usually hides them in a seam, but as this is couched on top applique style, there are no seams to hide this under. Maybe I need to rethink the trim to something else??

I like the idea of having metals around with the beads since there are so many metals that are elements for the periodic spiral.

I also liked this other trim that mimics the style of the border around the spiral itself.

lanthanides border option

I do like this option, but two things.

  • One I like the back side of the trim almost as much as I like the front, but it sorta looks unfinished. The back side is the sides that you can see the threads running back and forth in a zig zag pattern.
  • Two, to make the trim show all 4 sides correctly (not showing the back at all) would take 4 different separate mitered cuts and glues down on all four corners of each patch.  And that is 4 times the work, and I think 4 times the amount of potential ‘errors’ / flaws for this quilt.  And I would have to fray check all 8 edges for each group name.

Ideas on the guilded ric-rac trim to help minimize these issues? Or maybe I can live with the ‘unfinished look of the piece.

I do have some more, different, metal style beads, but to use them I would need to get a few more.

Which would be even another way to go on the trims than my original decision.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my change of pace this week.

Something tells me that the Periodic Spiral quilt will be put on the back burner again until I can make a decision (or two) here.

I suppose I should experiment and see what works, but don’t be surprised if next week I have a different quilting topic to share.

And I bet I will, I plan to go see something live next weekend that will re-inspire a quilt idea I’ve worked on this summer.  Also with the list of things to do if not machine sewing, may throw me off on another completely different tangent.

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31.7 Little Star – from UFO to FO to Applique to Beaded

July 29, 2013

I can’t believe all the blog posts that have been coming out from me lately and none of them have really had to do much with what I’ve been sewing.

Which yes, I have been doing actually. A good thing for a break, and a good thing to be back in the middle of these UFO unfinished object things.

Of course, I haven’t really touched my machine in a few weeks, so I’m trying to be creative, think outside of the ‘using a machine’ for quilting steps.

This post, I will discuss my ‘fun’ in finding out that a finished object wasn’t exactly finished.

Some of you may have seen the pictures on twitter or something already.

Little Star went through some ‘stellar evolution’ over the course of the last month.

My little star was a bonus quilt, an orphaned block I purchased.  I bordered, quilted, and then created a single applique star in the middle.

It sat this way as a finished object (FO) for 6 months or so, and I kept looking at the quilt, thinking, huh, I don’t like the center quilting (heading toward the center star) very much, although very happy with the rest of the quilting.

I asked myself if I wanted to put it in the show, and I wasn’t sure.

Until about 3 days before the quilt show.

mini star quilt

Then I had an idea of “a fast fix” since I really didn’t feel like spending time gluing down applique pieces and then hand appliqueing them. I decided to “go look for heat-set / iron-on stars”.

So I drove to town, listened to a few quilting podcasts (starting to catch up much closer to on time now, helps that it’s summer and episodes are a little sparse with peeps), and located all the stars that I could at Hancock fabrics. I looked all through the jewelery section, and all through the buttons, and the iron on stars, and I purchased several types of things to try.

And then went to Michael s, and they had some silver sequins, in addition some iron-on metal-type stars.  And then I was in the bead section, and found some fantastic looking yellow stripey beads.  This got my brain thinking beads, to know to check my bead box when I got home, as I purchased a TON of types of beads and trims for the Periodic Sprial quilt (linked post only shows about 1/10th of my choices).

Coming home a few days (a day?) before the quilt show, I started arranging and making choices about the gold iron-ons, blue iron-ons and the silver tiny iron-ons. And set to work with the iron, a pressing fabric.

The yellow iron on stars stayed very well. The blue ones kept falling off no matter how heavily I pressed and pressed.

I was confused because the blue and yellow pieces were essentially the same brand, but apparently, the gold stars had a better glue than the blue stars.

But for that night they stayed on the quilt.

And these little metal iron-on stars had a few things that made them different (notable).

I was in such a hurry I didn’t get any progress pictures at all, but here’s how they worked.

The entire sheet of stars had a fusible webbing type backing on the bottom of the star, and the whole thing had a clear plastic sheet on the top of the star.

The idea was to cut out the star from the entire sheet of stars, and then peel off the webbing from the back, leaving the clear plastic top.  Which seemed odd. And then you had a scrap fabric covering over the clear plastic sheet, on top of the little metal star, on top of a webbing which now only appeared directly below the star and star alone.

Press down on the scrap fabric, hold for X amount of seconds, then remove the plastic from the top (when cool).

And by golly, these things worked. Worked well. I did lose one in a ‘folding accident’, but one only.

So I had all these stars ready to go. Day of the show I had a label I was pinning down to the back (no time to hand sew it in) and the blue stars kept falling off.

And I was going to try to get to the set up for the show, I knew I would be needed. But, I had like 45 minutes before I wanted to be there, and so I ‘emergency appliqued’ my blue stars down.  I went for all the inside points of the star. Not easy to poke through. Not my best applique effort, but enough to keep any falling off.

You know how hard it is to applique thick pieces of fabric not meant to be sewn through, while they are not staying on the quilt, while you’re on a strict deadline? Not easy at all!

But it all got done. In time for the show. I was only a “little late” for setup.

DSC03900

So the quilt is NOW finished???

Umm….

No…. Not exactly ….

Saturday after the show (1 week later), I kept coming back to the yellow beads and some grey/blue disc beads I had bought before, and several strings of some irregular grey/blue smaller beads.

So I decided, post-quilt-show, to bling up the little star quilt again. More.

The very corners of my quilting have circles, so naturally the flat yellow beads fit directly into those prequilted circles.

And the half circles of the blocks lent themselves to the blue/grey disks.

And then I lined the very outer ring of the half circles with the small irregular beads, and couched them down.

little star with beads

Here is a closeup of it with the embellishments.

closeup of little star applique and beads

I kind of like that I didn’t stop when I thought I would.

Someone called this a ‘flag’ due to the symmetry and the colors and such. so now I think of it as the Little Star Scientific Quilter flag quilt.

I did do more quilting and gluing and stuff, but since I have been so good at posting lots of ‘smaller’ posts lately, I will wrap this up and show you my other progress in future posts.

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A short introduction to genetics (video embed)

October 27, 2012

While I didn’t write, produce, or have anything to do with this video, I am passing it along here. It may be a simpler way to explain my DNA quilt idea.
Enjoy!

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25.4 Deciding The Next Step for My Periodic Table Quilt

May 5, 2012

Since this is on the “finish a long list” I am trying to accelerate my thinking about this quilt that frankly needs to sit in time out for a while.

My Periodic Table – Periodic Spiral quilt to be more exact.

This is going to be the future quilt’s location. Now all the white is needleturned (glued first) and now I have to decide if I like it. I am not a fan of needle turn as I never seem to get the best line of stitching as I can when I glue over freezer paper.

However, putting the quilt up here made me think a few things.

  1. I want the words “The Periodic Spiral” to hover above the quilt.
  2. I think I want an explanation of the groups down below done in embroidery.
  3. I want something to block the needleturn edges from the background. Some kind of trim, embroidery or something.

While I was at Hancock fabrics the other day I was looking for some multicolored ric rac or similar.

But I found some interesting black or white or black and white trims.  I bought some black ric rac that in 2 days I have already misplaced somewhere.

But this intriguing black and white braid, which I like love, but is a little thick, and really doesn’t navigate around the curves all that well.

But I worry with this trim that it either takes away too much or detracts too much from the original design. It completely flows around the design.

And then yesterday while at Micheal’s I was looking at beads.

So I thought of these metal based beads.

And then the opal ones.

And I saw some carbon looking beads too thinking of how maybe I could get some different types of things to represent the different types of elements on the table, non metal beads, metal beads, something to represent gas forms, liquids.

Possibilities.

Head spinning, but only purchased the small square metal looking beads, but didn’t get enough to go around the entire design. Even if I add the opal ones together.

And then there’s another white based cording that I was considering outlining a darker area that I would do the embroidery on.

I bought some silver pearl cotton 5 floss and see the potential for twilling (our area’s hot hot hot embroidery design with knots) the types of elements.

But I am trying to preview this on the entire design because I opted out of getting the black only cording for the missing black ric rac.

And then there’s the lettering.

Also while at Hancock’s I found some sparkly fabric. With optical illusions set against black. And you know I like optical illusions in quilts!

so I cut out one letter in this shiny sparkly fabric.

And yes too much.

Problem with the letter is that I would also need a trim or something around the outside of the letter to separate the highly patterned letter from the highly patterned background.

So I’m wondering if I starch the snot out of this slippery shiny sparkly fabric if there is anyway in the world I could make bias strips and outline a darker color of letter.  Like make a black or dark blue letter with thin, shiny, sparkly bias tape edges.

Or I could always bias around the edge of my periodic table with the sparkly fabric bias tape. Now there’s a thought.

But honestly sounds like a lot of work. Wonder if I’m up to it.

AND I still have to print out on fabric my “key” for the spiral to make it all make sense.

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22.3 It’s called contrast, baby!

January 22, 2012

The super bright “hot flashes” quilt, a year later, is coming up dark.

Dark and warm at the same time.

Halloweeny & fally and warm looking.

I have been sacrificing all other projects, swishing away at all other quilt desires to gain a little more time in working on this quilt.

So I’ve been making progress.   Feeling like finally, I can see the top completion in sight in the (somewhat) near future.

Design Wall with Exothermic Blocks

I haven’t started much on the corner squares except for cutting out the templates.

I’ve gotten a good system and a good start on the side blocks being completed. Which makes me happier with the progress from this weekend than last.  But last weekend was a little bit different than the norm.

This weekend I didn’t have Saturday and Sunday to work fully (due to work schedules), and so I barreled on my progress on quilting rather than podcasting. Have topic, will record soon – need more time to work on details than I had.

This quilt has come up much darker than I thought, but at the same time, retained the same feeling.  The dark black and orange is repeated in the alternate & side blocks, while the fun bright blocks are scrappy and changing.

I really like the contrast this pulls out even though it’s dark.

But it’s also light because of all those bright yellows and such.

And the quilt has points, and curves and all sorts of lines to look at.

Here are some more progress pictures that I have been working on the past two weeks or so.

First I subcut my strips into strip segments using templates created from EQ7.

Then as I was cutting the subcuts into the pieces I needed, the template kept slipping away from my ruler.  On New Years, I cut INTO my templates accidentally occasionally, and I didn’t want to repeat that, so I used masking tape.

The edge of the ruler is at the edge of the template. This way I could see what I had already cut and line everything up clearly.

And I just had to move the ruler, this made the strips SO MUCH easier to cut without thinking too much (necessary after this week).

And you know those little corners, also necessary to cut, the tiny little pieces at the corners of the triangles, helped immensely in lining up my blocks later & keeping them without too many puckers.

This is all the discarded pieces making a pie shape on my cutting mat.

I don’t know for sure what I’m doing with these, but an idea is here regardless.  It’s a 10 sided figure it looks like. One of the ‘-agons’

This is a stack of pieces that I haven’t sewn together yet, but it seems like the best solution in the ‘semi paper piecing’ that I’ve been doing.

These become the side blocks. There is a little fudging that happens at the change of direction on the seam, but not a ton. Of course the tucking is minimized by the fact that my pieces are actually cut down to the exact size of the template. Go figure that’s how it works best. LOL.

But the work and thought to the non distracting alternate blocks is paying off.  My initial draw to the black fabric is the best choice, and three of the 4 initial fabrics I purchased for this quilt after making some of the blocks, they have found a presence in this quilt as well.

I am not incredibly fond of orange, and actually after working on this quilt, I want to dive into blues and purples a lot, but I KNOW it expanded my color pallete AND my stash.

I started the pieces of this quilt a year ago or so, and it’s only been hard driven to finish when I noticed my comforter is falling to pieces rapidly.

It’s definitely not one of those ‘quilt in a weekend’ type of designs, and has so many parts to it that of course it’s a slower, longer project than I normally finish.

But, it’s making me feel good to complete. And will be worth my time in the end. I am trying to figure out what kind of quilting designs will work best for this quilt or even if I want to go light or dark with the quilting on it. Or both. We’ll see, I have a long way to go until it’s quilted, but starting to see the end is closer than I think! :)

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21.6 SQ Episode 034 – Christmas in 2011 Podcasts I Listen To

December 25, 2011

Podcast Feed


Posting & recording this on Christmas Day.  Things have been … interesting in the last week to say the least.  Sorta rambly, let’s just go with it.

Podcasts I listen to that are not quilting related. Including links below, but I personally do not use links of sites to listen to. Best bet, highlight & paste into your favorite podcast catcher the following titles.

General Radio converted into Podcasts

Semi Professional General

Science Based

Educational & Fun

How to Podcast Podcasts

Crafty Podcasts (non quilting)

Books & Lit

Are there more to add that are FANTASTIC podcasts? What do you listen to & why?

See you tomorrow for Boxing Day Sew In BDSI #BDSI

See you on Twitter. Just put in hashtag BDSI. Use TweetChat to help you sort it out. I will.

Additional Music

A Podcast Christmas Theme (edited by me) by Tom Shad

Carol of the Bells by Doug Astrop

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20.6 SQ Episode 032 – Optical Illusions

November 6, 2011

Podcast Feed


Optical (visual) illusions come when your brain interprets something you see that you actually don’t see.

Optical Illusions come in many forms

Line (& Shape) Illusions

Lines appear bulged or squished depending on lines around it.

Op-Art Quilts book on Amazon

Op Art on Wikipedia

This looks like the op art quilts in the book but is not exactly:

Orchid Kaleidoscope

Image from flickr by andy02124 (creative commons)

The Cafe Wall Illusion

Image from Wikipedia

Herring Illusion

Image from wikipedia

Herring Illusion variation

There are squares set on point that have concentric circles that make the squares seem squished

The Bulging Checkerboard (see below)

Kaleidoscope quilt variations (this one does not show circles, but is Kaleidoscope quilt

kaleidoscope Quilt

Image from flickr by heidielliot(creative commons)

Storm at Sea

Storm At Sea

Image from flickr by The Last Cookie

Dimensional Illusions

Due to colors/ value lines, two dimensional objects appear in three dimensions

2D –> 3D

Vasarely Budapest Déli pályaudvar

Tumbling block and varations

Shadow box quilt

Movement Illusions

Due to highly dense & colored designs, the designs appear to move on you.

Revolving CirclesImage from Wikipedia

A dizzying optical illusion quilt that you won’t be disappointed to see, but watch, made me dizzy to look at.

Rotating Snake Illusion (very moving, if you’re epileptic, be aware before clicking)

Fraser Spiral

Image from wikipedia

Actually moving illusion that induces an interesting afterimage effect (don’t go if epileptic)

Illusion of Inclusion

Your brain completes the picture, it finishes things up that are not there.

Kansia Triangle

Image from wikipedia

Ambiguous Objects

Duck and Rabbit

Two Faces & Vase

Image from wikipedia

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

1997 Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Image from flickr by PeggyinMaine

Paradoxical Drawings

These objects are impossible … very impossible.

Penrose Triangle

Image from Wikipedia

MC Escher stairs

Penrose stairs

This hilarious video of these penrose stairs. Video is called Hallucii.  You’ll see why when you click.

Secondary Patterns

Patterns come up that are not expected – from very simple blocks

The Neutral Stars Block

The simple three strip block that doesn’t look like much on its own.

More about the Bulging Checkerboard

Jane’s wonderful optical illusion quilt has stuck in my mind over the last year, when I would see it on her blog, I remember thinking, wow, what a quilt.

She has graciously agreed to let me share pictures of it with you.

Jane has named her quilt False Impressions, the website of this effect is called bulging checkerboard.

The effect is simply amazing, but the execution of it looks like squares on larger squares.  The hardest part would appear to be keeping everything separate and in line.

Here is a detail shot.  It would be easy to do with big enough blocks, the effect is much greater when standing back.

Do you see why it’s a bulging checkerboard?

Jane has discussed this quilt in several different posts, and in the latest post has talked even more about optical illusions for quilt ideas.

Wow, this quilt, I would be really proud of Jane.

Jane calls herself a quilter geek, and this is a great example of this.

Other Optical Quilts

3D Tetris Quilt by Quilter Geek

My Tumbling Block Table Runner

My Opic by Ruthann from Mirkwood Designs (link from SeamedUp, tell me if it’s broken)

Who is known as the Optical Illusion Quilter?

Karen Combs (facebook page)

Optical Illusion Quilts on amazon

Optical Illusion quilts at the Online Quilt Museum

Further Links

Links to the Wikipedia site on Optical Illusions & Geometrical Optical Illusions.

Whole site of Illusions at Visual Phenomena & Optical Illusions

I did not discuss color constancy, which is a whole other ball of wax that tricks your brain into thinking about the colors based on the other colors around it.

Additional music

Mevios Music Alley: Get Myself Together by The Tones

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20.4 Periodic Spiral Progress

October 9, 2011

The days are blurring by faster & faster every day now!

I really have to say I love football season for many reasons, one of which is that it’s one time I actually sit down & do some handwork of some kind.

So I’ve been working a little bit on my periodic spiral quilt in between football plays.

I will post some progress pictures here, some of which you’ve seen, some you haven’t.

I have 1 whole section to sew together yet, and one section that is still in rows.

Progress as of today Oct 9th, 2011:

The green section is still in rows, I have to admit sewing the rows to each other is my least favorite part.

Actually all the major colored sections are not sewn to each other either, it’s easier to transport when the thing is still in larger pieces.

This is still a pretty small quilt.  The size of the grey fabric you see in the picture is the size of a television tray, so this is going on the front of my studio door when completed.

The grey fabric will be cut down to ‘mock’ the shape of the spiral & the whole thing will rest on some black/blue hexagon batik fabric purchased in February.

Also, was considering writing the symbols on the quilt in silver pen, and this I may not do now – have not decided for or against it yet.

Here’s some (reverse) progress as I’ve gone along with this quilt.

A few days ago – Oct 5th:

September 10th:

August 21st:

July 20th:

July 14th:

June 26th:

March 17th:

DESIGN (sometime this year or end of last year <Dec2010-Jan2011>):

 

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19.8 Flying around the earth

September 19, 2011

A long time ago in a college far far away, I wanted to work with NASA due to my love of space.

The planetarium job now long behind me, I don’t keep up on which planets are out when, and I do love looking up on a clear cloudless night.

I am comforted on my ride to work (every day in the dark, mind you) of the stars above me and the wonders of the universe, although I rarely get too deep into it anymore.

I am used to looking up, but what if I could look down?  From the ISS (international space station)?  I saw on Bad Astronomy today a link to this you tube video.

Those of you space-afiles like me, or just anyone who appreciates something beautiful, I am embedding the video onto my site today.

 

I love seeing all the lights from all the cities & towns!  And you can see the lightning from up above.

Breathtaking!

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19.0 Rachel’s Genome Quilt

August 27, 2011

You gotta take a look at this quilt.

Longtime podcast listeners / blog readers may know that once upon a time I was inspired by Beverly St Clair to create a genome quilt.  Well, I have this very elaborate simple looking quilt idea that never went anywhere, but a pattern & an idea. It’s coming (probably), but I don’t have a gene to start with yet.

But this got me into contact with Rachel.  Rachel is a PhD student in Melbourne Australia & she sews fantastic clothes, and also quilts, which she blogs about both these passions at My Messings blog.

I have loved watching Rachel’s sewing come along over the years, but nothing as spectacular of a project as THIS – Rachel’s Genome Quilt!

Rachel’s quilt is filled with A’s, C’s, G’s & T’s, in code.  Each turn of the half square triangle represents a specific base.

The gene used in question: mouse integrin beta3

I love the subtle gradation of the aqua colors through the quilt, which really gives this quilt a lot of interest.

To the random observer, this quilt appears to be a random draw of half square triangles, but I’ve seen pictures of the blocks being sewn down, Rachel’s diagram of her final quilt done in sections, and now we get to see the finished piece.

A lot of preparation, planning, and persistence prevails here with this quilt.

Rachel takes the time to link back to all her past journey of the making of the quilt in her final blog post, so you should go over there and take a look at this quilt!

The back is pretty great too. (reminds me of electron orbital shells actually)

But the one thing that needs to be finished in order to tie all this meaning with all this beauty – a label.  So, I’m guessing that’s the next stage of the quilt.

It looks great, so go and take a look at what my blogging friend has done!

Well done Rachel!

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