Tuesday, December 29, 2009

bring it, 2010

the new year is right around the corner, and i'm excited to get it rolling!  i have so many plans!  we are having houseguests for new year's, so i've had to tidy my sewing/guest room.  it will be wonderful to start the new year with a clean slate.  on my newly uncluttered cutting table are the first three projects for the new year.  emma's quilt top, a few baby bibs, and a new project which i will unveil on january 3rd.  there'll be a giveaway as well, so be sure to come back then!

















for today, though, i am in the sauce making business. hot fudge sauce is on the agenda. and last night, i made  marshmallow sauce for the first time.  it tastes pretty yummy, but i'm thinking i didn't do something right.  it's not white, more of a caramel color.   i'm learning, right?  candy making has always scared me, what with the boiling hot sugar syrups and maintaining the right temps.  but after my success with the fudge, i'm excited to try some more recipes! we have aj's birthday party next week, and that's the perfect time for brownie sundaes.


remember i told you about the new sewing shop downtown?  i talked to her about getting a booth - only to find that i'm #19 on the waiting list!  she did share good news, the scrapbook shop in town is moving in with her, which i think will be awesome.  they also are having knitting group meetings, which sounds fun.  my bunco group may skip rolling dice for a month and take a class instead!  i'm so excited - i've always wanted a craft community to belong to and it's looking like i may get my wish!



















oh, and my sister in law, amy, the one who's been talking about sewing?  she's been keeping secrets.  she knows how to sew!  for christmas, she made all the nieces matching hair kerchiefs!  they are so cute.   they are a triangle with a tube sewed along the long end, and a headband slipped inside.  so simple, wish i'd thought of it! 



















here's what i made for all the girls.  barbie mermaid tails!  one of the projects from sewmamasew's scrapbuster month.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

another gift done!

i'm writing this while i have a moment, and hoping i don't spoil anything! i don't want my sis-in-law getting any sneak peeks before tonight!

we draw names at christmas, and i got amy.  she is a new stay at home momma of an almost four year old and a just turned one year old.  she is really enjoying being home, and is even making noises about SEWING!  can you tell i am excited to drag someone else into my addiction?  for christmas, she had asked for one of my notebooks.  the thing about amy is she's super easy to please.  she'd probably be happy with anything i gave her, so that makes it even harder for me to choose fabrics.  here's what i finally came up with: 



















the turquoise fabric is from art gallery's girly girl line that i won awhile back, from liberty originals, and it's called bubblegum lollipops.  i paired it with linen and a small pink piece i had left from emma's quilt top.  i think i found it at hobby lobby.  the button came from joann's, i think.















i've made a few adjustments on the last couple notebooks.  i'm lining with flannel instead of batting, and i've tried to choose simpler fabric layouts to eliminate more bulk.  they are less wonky, if a bit light and floppy.  i may try some fleece lining next.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

wreath #1



















i saw a wreath like this on whipup's wreath round up.  i've had three styrofoam wreaths sitting in my bedroom all month while i debated how i wanted to decorate them.  i was planning to make a yoyo wreath.  then i started wrapping them with fabric scraps, from the scrap bag i won at sewmamasew.  but when i saw a yarn one, i went to my stash and grabbed this thrifted jiffy yarn.  a snowy wreath was born.  this one's hanging on our bedroom door.

more notebooks!




































the top is from vintage fabric and linen with some decorative topstitching. the bottom is made from an orphaned block i found while attempting to clean my sewing/guest room.  they may end up in my etsy, along with a couple more i'm working on today.

santa, i've been busy


























busy eating chocolate fudge, that is!  the peanut butter is good too, but was made second, when i was already sick to my tummy from eating so much sweets!  i didn't eat ALL of that though, a plate went with troy to work.  those are the cute martha stewart boxes i told you about.  let's see, what else.  the hot sauce and pickled green beans are from jam it, pickle it, cure it, love that book!

it's looking like i may not get a few things finished in time - namely, making infused vodkas for gifts.  it takes about two weeks, and i kept forgetting to go booze shopping.  i will be back soon with some more things to show you though!  and look for a giveaway soon :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

and i needed an excuse to drink more wine!

losing that day to being sick has really set me behind!  i just went to view this weeks so you think you're crafty only to find the polls closed!  which is ok - i was having a hard time choosing my favorite.  i know i will be making some wine cork stamps for sure - what a cool idea!  and ditto on the flannel scarf.  and i'm hoping that the mitten gift tags will be available in blogland, those would be great for our gifts. 

yes, i am only now starting to wrap.  with a kitten intent on climbing our tree, and a 2 year old undecorating it daily, i assumed that gifts would get unveiled before the big show next week!



















(he spends most of his time there)

i decided to borrow a theme from their preschool class.  they have been bringing gifts for baby jesus, wrapped and placed under their classroom tree.  the gifts will all be donated to lifecare in ottawa, which offers free stuff to people in need.  (diapers, wipes, gently used baby items)  our kids gave up one of their baby blankets too (they each had four or five, and sadly, this was the only one not stained!) 

anyways.  i wrapped a couple of gifts for my husband, boring things like shirts and pjs, and placed them under the tree.  when they noticed them, i said that santa would come exchange them on christmas night!  i'm hoping this will keep them from tearing into them, and so far it seems to be working.  of course, it means i can't wrap any of their gifts yet, but at least i can enjoy a few packages under our tree.

teacher gifts done!

hi again!  it's been another whirlwind week.  it wouldn't have been, but we had an unexpected flu bug hit our house wednesday afternoon.  every three hours, another one bit the dust, starting with me, leaving my husband in an ugly cycle of clean up and comfort.  luckily it was short lived.  i love him so much - he's such a great man!  side note - he's watching ice age 3 with me and our three kids, and three of their girl cousins (ages 6, 4, and 3).  on a friday night.  how many men would do that?!  like i said, he's a great man.













in more exciting news, i finished four quilted notebooks for teacher gifts!  i had planned to make these for last years gifts -  that tells you how slowly i accomplish my to-do lists!  i picked up fabrics here and there, the handwriting on ebay and the apples out thrifting.  i love making the patchwork insides, but i do think i need to rethink this design.



















(my favorite one!)

it becomes a little bulky, especially during the topstitching.  maybe a different machine would deal with this better, or maybe i'm trying to cram too much fabric into one little project!  anyone have any tips for me?  my biggest problem is closing up the turning hole without the lining fabric stretching.  it never wants to match up nicely.  i tried starching it without much difference.  of course, high quality quilting fabrics would be ideal, but some of it is cheapy fabrics. 


















(actually, i think this one is my favorite.)

this is the quilted list taker pattern from jcasa.  i love it, and have more to make for christmas gifts.  i better get cracking, only a few days left to finish up!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

busy...

whew.  i finally have a minute to sit and get caught up!















friday i baked about a hundred cookies.  i spent the whole day in the kitchen.  it was so fun!  i made lemon gems, coconut chocolate chip, chocolate truffles, and cracked sugar cookies.  i wrapped up boxes to take to some of our neighbors.  i bought these cookie box kits from martha stewart (last year on clearance)- they are so cute!  everything is precut and ready to go.  they look very fancy when they are all finished.  i may have changed my mind about my teacher gifts!  these look too good!















the cookie exchange was saturday, and a lot of fun.  my mom and daughter came with me, and then we headed out to iowa for the nutcracker ballet.  it was a nice trip, but a little exhausting.  sunday we met my husband and sons in kansas city for a family dinner with his dad's side.  last night was our daughter's preschool program, which was cute.  she sang her heart out, and we could hear her over everyone else.  she may get that from me.

i also got the good news last night that i won a copy of quilting for peace from sewmamasew!  so excited to get my copy.  it sounds like a wonderful book.  we're home from preschool now, so i am anxiously awaiting nap time/sewing time!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

whittling away...

ok, here's some more things i can cross off my list!
sent off my quilt top and my scarf.
sent off my giveaway prizes!
i have two of the three fringey fleece scarves finished, just one more to go!
almost all my gifts are wrapped - but i can't put them under the tree :(
my cards are almost all done too - just waiting on a few addresses.

still to be done:
6 dozen cookies for saturday morning - thinking about lemon gems
cookie trays for neighbors
teacher gifts - i have all the fabric cut for the teacher notebooks, but only one finished.  three to go!

here's a photo of one of our treasured christmas traditions.  for our wedding, my husband's aunt (and godmother) made us a nativity set.  made as in cast the ceramic and hand painted them.  amazing, isn't it?


















funny story, when we were given the box to unwrap at our shower, i could tell it must be something special because of the way she was watching.  so the first thing i unwrapped was the black king.  and i was holding a rather large box.  and i thought, hmmm.  a black figurine. what in the world is in this box!














so i sat there smiling, trying to figure out what to say, when someone finally explained to me what it was!  it was one of those awkward moments, and i know she felt a little disappointed by my reaction.  but it truly is one of my favorite parts of the season!  isn't it incredible?



















and on to another fave tradition - wallyworld for free pictures with santa!  they always have the same guy as santa too, which makes it even better for the scrapbook.  a little more believable, you know?  have a great weekend, i've got to run get started on those cookies!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

feeling scatterbrained...

well,  i had the chance to run into the new sewing shop in downtown ottawa, ks.  it's called aunt jenny's stitch-n-stuff.  gorgeous ceilings!  those old elaborate pressed tin designs.  it's not quite what i was expecting.  it has flea market type booths along the wall, but she does sell fabric by the yard, and plans to have classes soon!  maybe i can convert a few of my friend's into sewing junkies like myself!

anyways, here's the steal of the day...  she has a whole bolt of heather ross' frog pond by west hill in mustard - for $4.99 a yard!!!  can you believe it?  i didn't see anything else like that, but i bought some and can't wait to dig into it!  anyone want me to pick up some more?  i also feel a bit guilty - shouldn't i tell her it's worth more than that?  

well, i think, to make up for ending my giveaway a day early on accident, that i will draw another name from my comments.  they will receive a fat quarter of frog pond, because i feel really dumb for not reading it through carefully.  to be honest, half the time i am online i am also cooking a meal or spelling words for emma, you know, not giving it my full attention.  i don't even know if i have that ability anymore!  so, without further ado...

#61 would be simplehappyhome .  thanks again to everyone who stopped by!
 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

drum roll, please...

good morning!  thanks to everyone who stopped by and put their name in the hat!  it's been fun seeing what everyone is reading.  i myself am reading two cookbooks from the library, predator by patricia cornwell, and listening to freakanomics in the car.  and yes, sewing books totally count!

that brings us to our winner...













#19 is lauranie!  i almost feel guilty that her number came up - she's a loyal reader and blog friend and i'm so happy that she won!  it made me feel good to see people in the comments who've i met through the past couple of years, through swaps, giveaways, and etsy.  as a small town stay at home momma, sometimes you people are my link to the outside world!  have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

giveaway day!











it's that time again! sewmamasew's giveaway day! i decided to give away one of my quilted notebooks. this one is made of a variety of fabrics, including some polka dot linen and a garden print.  the inside has a bit of patchwork going on too! it holds a 5x7 notebook, and I use mine to keep track of my grocery list and coupons. close it up with the shiny black button. i am making these for teacher gifts this year.  i hope you like it!



















to enter, just leave me a comment.  that's it.  i would love to know what book you're reading, or what your favorite teacher gift is, but any comment will do!  please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.  i will leave the giveaway open until saturday morning, and then i will randomly generate a number. 















thanks for coming by to see me!   now, off to try to win some prizes myself...

does santa need some help this year?


Holiday Gift
Guide

get yourself over to coolmompicks for their holiday gift guide!  lots of stuff i hadn't seen yet, including great low dollar gift ideas!  a customized coloring book?  love it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

the ever growing to do list

mail scarf to thailand for warm women
mail quilt top to oregon for give a kid a quilt
piece back for emma's quilt
make fabric notebooks for teacher gifts
pickle some green beans for new year's bloody marys
go visit the NEW sewing shop on main street!  hooray!
drop my volunteer app off at the animal shelter - they need people to make bedding
try out a couple new cookie recipes for the cookie exchange on the 12th

oh!  did i tell you?  my niece is performing in the nutcracker again this year, and i am going to iowa with our daughter to see it!  i haven't been to the ballet since i was a girl, and i can't wait to take emma - it's sure to be a magical evening.

Friday, November 27, 2009

lots and lots!

as promised...














here's a peek at my coloring wallets...











i am waiting for some family members to decide (they get first dibs!) but then i'll be listing the rest and a few more in my etsy.












































Thursday, November 26, 2009

thankful















so i was a busy baker yesterday! banana bread, pumpkin cheesecake, and two sweet potato pies, mmm. the kitchen smelled heavenly all day long. we had the bread for breakfast, i sent one pie with my honey to work, and took the other two desserts to thanksgiving today. all three recipes came from allrecipes, which is my favorite site to search for recipes.















i also took along some of my pepper jelly to munch on. i am really proud of myself, i only went through the line once and had one small slice of cheesecake. if you could have seen all the food - you'd know why this is impressive! all homemade, even the noodles, and homegrown corn! my sis-in-law did the turkey this year and it was delish. great job jessi!

midafternoon, when our littlest was ready for a nap, i brought him home and left my husband there with the older kids. i got a lot of sewing done in the quiet house, i made 6 crayon wallets! i only need to sew on the buttons. my goal was to have them up in my shop for tomorrow, and i may just make that goal.

i hope you all had a wonderfully fattening turkey day! let's be thankful for everything we have in our lives!

Monday, November 23, 2009

yay for giveaway day!










sewmamasew is having another giveaway day!
i am playing too, be sure to check back for a chance to win!

quilts for kids

just a quick note - another great cause to donate to if you have the time! give a kid a quilt is a project i just found out about. i was debating putting my first quilt top in the goodwill box today, as a matter of fact, since i don't have anyone to give it to and don't want to try to quilt it myself. but i think i'll send it off tomorrow! i just need to measure it and make sure it fits the requirements...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

homemade play dough

this morning i made playdoh for the kids!
















we are in parents as teachers, and our educator callie brought some over last time, still warm from making. it is soooo much better than store bought, it stays soft and is easier for the kids to mold. the only drawback i could see is that you can't get the color saturation of playdoh. i got the recipe from her, and i thought i'd share it with you guys! if you're a baker, you should have all the ingredients on hand.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tbl cooking oil
2 tbl cream of tartar
1 tsp powdered alum
few drops of food coloring




















the alum is just to make it taste bad so they don't eat it. i suppose you could leave it out, though. mix it all in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until it pulls together into a ball. if it's sticky, it just needs to cook longer. you can add food coloring to it, and i've also heard of using kool-aid to scent and color it. not sure if it would stain, though. another tip for you moms out there? ditch the play doh containers, and keep your playdoh in ziploc baggies. after years of wrestling with those silly plastic cups, i finally wised up.
















while i'm sharing recipes, i also want to talk about my new favorite book! it's called jam it, pickle it, cure it and it's by karen solomon. i got it at the library last week, and i love everything about this book! it reminds me of real simple magazine, simple and easy to read with great photos. on my list of things to try from the book is the severely hot sauce and the pickled green beans. i'll share photos when i do!

Friday, November 20, 2009

feeling lucky?















yay for giveaways! head over to flea market fancy freaks for a chance to win some fab stuff! including an autographed copy of ds quilts, gift tags, and - are your ready for this? - 29 fat quarters of FMF! not to one person, but still, heaven! wait a minute, maybe i don't want to tell you about this after all....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

wow!

what a great day it's been!!! just when things look the worst, you know? so here's how the gods have smiled on us today.

1. got a phone call from a neighbor last night telling me, rumor has it, we are going to get rural water down our road! welcome to 2009, hillbillies! we live on the county line, and straddle the line between 2 rural water districts. neither of which ever wanted to supply water to the 5 houses on our dead end road. well, there are actually 8, but 3 of them paid to run their own lines. so sometime in the next year, we should be getting a water meter and not have to worry about hauling it in! that is so strange, i know. we have dsl but no water?!

2. got another phone call this morning, telling me that our missing labrador might have been found! so i loaded the kids up and went to see, and it was him! he's been gone exactly 2 weeks! i don't know if i've ever mentioned our dog before. he's 5 1/2, we got him from my brother-in-law when i was pregnant with our oldest. einstein's a lean black lab who runs like a cheetah! over the last years, he's ridden on the school bus, taken a joy ride in the back of the trash truck, worked all night with the guys fixing the train tracks along hwy 24, had numerous sleepovers with random strangers, you get the idea, right? anyways, the people who had him just found him sunday, so we still don't know where he was the last week and 1/2. but we are so glad to have him home!

3. the cherry on the cake? a check in the mail today for our flexspend! yippee!

i am celebrating by snuggling my dog and watching modern family - love that show! the boys and i went to kanza park today and walked around the trail, which was a lot of fun and will be something we do anytime the weather is nice enough. next week troy is finished with his night shifts, which has me so excited! thanksgiving weekend will be wonderful. decorating for the holidays, and yummy food, and our whole family together? sigh. what more could you be thankful for?

Monday, November 16, 2009

fun new ideas

the new crafts are up at so you think you're crafty! i am in love with so many of these! the bead necklace, so simple and cool. the car caddy??? must make those for my kids! and the grocery totes are awesome. go check it out and vote for your favorite!

just the facts

this is sort of a departure from my normal posting, but i feel like it's important i share these facts with you.

1. always double and triple check your flex spend enrollment at the beginning of the year. apparently, november is a bit late to make changes if you discover you've been putting all your money into "dependent care" which is code for DAYCARE. not health care for dependents. which we didn't even realize we were doing. still hoping they can sort this out so we don't lose our $$$ but it's sounding dire. it's a bit confusing because last year it paid out for medical, but something got switched at enrollment this year. grr. i guess i better find a job quick!

2. the baja fresh wrap at wendy's is delicious. and packs an amazing 48 grams of fat!!! wish i'd known that before i ate an entire one for lunch today. it tastes really fresh and healthy too! damn damn damn.

3. the southern comfort sweet tea cocktail that's meant to be served on ice is extremely sweet. we got a bottle as a gift and i don't think we'll be able to drink it! i haven't tried mixing it with lemonade but i'm hoping that will cut the sweetness.

that's all the wisdom i have to share tonight! off to try to make some more crayon books!

fun meme & contest entry!

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
a new sewing machine! jeans that make me look skinny. a pressure canner kit. a night out. and a massage/pedicure package!
2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
my nana's quilt
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
quilts, quilts, quilts! i have never finished a quilt but i want to make one for everyone in my family!
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
my bicycle. and later, the thriller album!
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
transformers, art kits, strawberry shortcake, and dvds like ice age and up
6. What is your favorite holiday food?
hmm. pumpkin pie is a top, and turkey, but i love our tradition of turkey tacos and tamales on christmas eve!
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
crayon books, fleece scarves, quilted notebooks, pepper jelly (already finished, go me!) and lots of baked goods!
8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
the christmas story, of course!
9. Favorite holiday song?
i'm dreaming of a white christmas
10. Favorite holiday pastime?

decorating the tree

Sunday, November 15, 2009

so, i realized today that my two months for wardrobe refashion has come & gone with me never refashioning a darn thing! sorry for not fulfilling my pledge, but i do enjoy looking at all the great ideas on their site!

i remembered to grab the three laundry baskets of unfolded fabric in my sewing room before troy went to bed. so i've been folding and folding and folding. when i'm cutting out things, i tend to just toss what i don't use onto the pile, and it grows fast! i also spent awhile cutting out crayon books - hoping to have a shop update in the next week, but here's a peek at some of the fabrics!

Friday, November 6, 2009

see you soon!

oh, internet, i miss you, i really do! only three more weeks of my husband's night shift from hell. 12 hour shifts, 6 days on, one day off. ugh. no time to even talk, let alone have help with the kids. the place is a wreck, i am fighting off a chest cold and losing, and thank goodness it has been warm. the kids have run amok outside and i spread more mulch and discovered my 25 cent rosebush i planted last month is blooming! i'm trying to hold onto those little things.




















like how much fun a pile of leaves can be!

i do have a lot on my to do list - including more custom crayon wallets, bunco gift, and teacher gifts. i am 1/4 of the way done with my scarf for warmwomen, since i'm knitting with bulky yarn and garter stitch. i'm hoping i have enough yarn, it's leftover from another scarf. I made it about 3 years ago, and i love it so i'm hoping whoever gets it will too.

anyways, don't forget about me! i'll be back just as soon as my husband stops sleeping in my sewing room during the day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

great tutorials!

there are a bunch of fun things happening in the crafty blogworld right now - so since i have nothing to share myself, let me hook you up with some links you may or may not already know about! :)

first up, SYTYC is a fun online crafty competition, featuring a lot of crafty bloggers. there's a weekly theme and the contestents must come up with a project based on that theme. then we vote on which we like the best! the first week is already up, and there are some great ideas so go take a peek!

next, Block Party is celebrating their upcoming book with a quilt along! they have a flickr group and might even put pictures of our blocks in the book! they are kicking things off with a giveaway of gorgeous fabrics! i'm hoping to try to make some of these blocks, we'll see if it happens or if i just drool over theirs. either way it will be a wonderful resource with tutorials on the different blocks.

oh, and if you feel like giving back, there's a nice project underway at warm women. i read about it at clutterpunk and already signed up. just make a scarf. that's it. to help keep a fellow crafter warm. i'm planning to knit mine, but you can do whatever you want!

ok, that should be enough to keep you busy for a day or two. have fun, and i hope to be back soon with some stuff to share.

Friday, October 30, 2009

trick or treat!

where has this week gone?? i guess this is how life will be from now on. our days are so full, and we never seem to just veg at home anymore. too bad, vegging is my favorite thing!

there has been no actual sewing going on here. i had bunco on tuesday, and wednesday i had the neighbor girl come over to babysit so i could sew, but i ended up just cutting and ironing fabric and chatting - uninterrupted - on the phone. bliss.

preschool halloween parades proved adorable and the kids have had enough goodies to last them a month. and we still have the actual holiday to get through!










our son alex is the red spiderman. i know the picture is small, and it's hard to make out, but my favorite costume was all the way on the right - a flying monkey from the wizard of oz! if i's been thinking and knew the girl's mom better, i'd have taken a close up - the costume was awesome! real feathers on the wings, and a smart little jacket.

emma's class is bigger so more exciting to see all the costumes - including an adorable gingerbread man from shrek! (he's in the middle back) emma's the witch right next to him. terrible photos, i know! the camera batteries died right as the parade started so i didn't get another chance at a better shot.















i love mrs. circle's raggedy ann costume!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

lazy sunday

so i think i found my latest crush. go here to check her out.

i've got a sick 2 year old with a fever and stinky diapers. so no sleep last night means i will probably crash early tonight. i was hoping to start on one of these only i think i will work on something easier. organize the game closet or fold laundry or something. i am close to finished on a holiday project - here's a sneak peek.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

birthday treats

tomorrow our little girl gets to celebrate her 5th birthday at preschool. this means she gets to bring cupcakes or cookies, something other than the usual healthy snack. only, since we are headed to the pumpkin patch for their first field trip, the teacher suggested i try to convince her to bring something, oh, not as messy as a big frosted cupcake. since we'll be in public. with no sink.




















for her birthday she got a playdoh burger factory and they've been having so much fun making burgers and fries. so when i saw these over at bakerella, i knew they'd be perfect! and they are. oh they are. i used yellow cake mix, brownie mix, and ready made red frosting in a tube. i chose to do the green coconut because honestly? i didn't feel like making any frosting. these may be the easiest & my most favorite cupcakes i've ever made. i was planning to make the sugar cookie fries too, but finally! i know when to say when!




















so here it is, the fun little snack. i threw in some pretzels (note to self - buy new snack for preschool halloween party) and called it quits. i had stamped the bags with a cake and happy birthday but they looked kind of sad. so i grabbed some stickers to brighten them up.













i'm actually ahead of the game! there must be something else i'm forgetting...

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