women creating daily

by Sharon Santoni


I am fortunate to know many creative women, of all ages and in all walks of life.  Their creativity takes many forms: they may paint on canvas; take fabulous photos; create divine gardens; write beautiful texts or play music …. and sometimes their daily routine doesn’t leave so much space for that sort of creativity so they create in other ways that weave themselves into their lives: they raise their children; create a beautiful home; build a rewarding business … and sometimes, just sometimes,  they even write a blog!

Today I was very happy to lunch with three particularly creative blogger friends.   I joined Vicki Archer, Tish Jett and Carla Coulson for lunch in Paris and the conversation was lively.   Besides writing successful and popular  blogs, they have each published at least one book and they are each just totally fabulous women.


But today there was no hint of self congratulation, or self satisfaction, but rather a shared enjoyment of a rare opportunity to get together and a recognition of the fact that being able to create on a daily basis is not only essential;  it is a privilege and a blessing.

Although we are each at a stage in our lives where we have more freedom to structure our time, there was not one person at the table who was longing to sit back and slow down.   There was an energy in the air, a need to express oneself; a longing to have fun, to continue to build and to create each day.


Times have changed, opportunities have widened, and of course the world of blogging has opened up so many doors to so many different people,  of all ages.    We each tend to write for women of around our own age, but we are on even par with bloggers half our age , who are also doing their thing and doing it beautifully.


And as I drove home to Normandy, I thought about our discussions and it occurred to me that I should have asked them one more question …. what will we be doing in ten years time?    I for one could never have foreseen this stage in my life, and it makes me feel excited about what may be around the next corner.

So since I didn’t ask them, I thought I’d ask you!  Tell me, what is your creative kick, and where do you see it taking you in the years to come?


………..  oh my goodness, one day on and I am just thrilled by all the comments below.   I am indeed blessed to have such a talented and generous and energetic bunch of ladies reading my blog – thank you!    I’m afraid I really can’t go by and answer each comment, but I am so grateful for all that has been shared here.  You girls rock!




Ann Cooper March 26, 2015 - 12:00 am

I make quilts and knit to fulfill my creative side.

Jill March 26, 2015 - 4:20 am

At age 60 I started oil painting and it opened up an entire new world. Oil, acrylic, collage, encaustic……it would take two lifetimes to learn it all!! The creative journey is such a joy and so rewarding

Jenny Ledermann March 26, 2015 - 4:34 am

I would Love to have a wedding/party venue at my house! I would build a beautiful
barn, and my theme would be Simply French! It would be for small gatherings around 100 people! I would just Love to do this! I live in a pretty area and I would Love to share it with people! And I would Love to share in their special day!
Thank you again for all you do! You bring much joy and an escape in this world we live in!!
Merci. Jenny

Dianne March 26, 2015 - 5:19 am

I have been teaching watercolours for over 35 years. We bought a heritage school in Emuvale,Sth east Queensland. I now have guest artists from around the world holding workshops,plus we use it as a wedding venue. After many years of dreaming I finally finished my book,’The Art of Watering Colour’,,,my journey of techniques to mastering this magnificent obsession , Watercolours

Stephanie Guillory March 26, 2015 - 12:42 pm

So do I! But I don’t have (or make) as much time for those things as I should!

Susan katz March 26, 2015 - 6:12 pm

I’ll be 70 years old in August and am creating a new me. I’ve set my lifestyle goals and am working to achieve all 12 of them. They include learning something new, preparing nutritious delicious meals, spending time with friends and entertaining them effortlessly, maintaining my ideal weight, exercising daily, having my home always clean and presentable, always being well groomed and practicing the Buddhist philosophy of kindness. I love reading your blog and think I’ve always been a Francophile. I’ve been fortunate to have spent time in Paris and France twice in my life.

Shell Parsons April 3, 2015 - 5:20 am

That’s so wonderful Susan! I am 46 and and am working on uncovering the ‘re-newed’ me, the me that is a mum of two teenagers who are increasingly independant, leaving me with time to rediscover things that I am passionate about (namely writing and hopefully one day, travel). I too like Buddhist philosophy and am part of on online meditation Sangha who practice loving kindness. I love that no matter what age we are, there is always the opportunity to try new things and new ways of doing old things. Good luck with all of your new endeavours.x

Leila November 7, 2016 - 1:13 am

I am 60 years old this year and doing the same. It is never too late to start something over and make life better!!!

Linda Floyd March 26, 2015 - 12:03 am

Designing interior spaces, entire houses top to bottom…yes, this is a passion for me, and in 10 years I will still be doing it…only better! It gets better every year! It’s nice to think about how great a past decade might have been, but the ones on the horizon hold such hope for creative people!!

Linda Floyd

Deborah March 26, 2015 - 12:03 am

Creativity to me comes in recalibrating life. From the structure of office/study/family that required surgical precision to find time to think and create, came a pulsing need to do so. If the socks don’t match, but the sunset is watched-so be it.
In ten years I will be placing creativity in all its forms ahead of schedules and deadlines, as useful as these are to stimulate completion. Life is short, many flavors to taste and savor. And I might buy all the same colored socks!

Lyn March 26, 2015 - 12:06 am

As I work full time, I don’t have a lot of time to do creative work so keep to small projects that I can get done in the evening. My number 1 focus at the moment is learning French, I love it and would love an opportunity to visit France for a longer stay and maybe start to use it.
I hope to retire from full-time work soon and this will give me more time to spend in my garden (I am really keen to start growing vegetables in addition to flowers). I will also be able to do more creative artwork which has been on hold for quite a few years. I particularly love pastel painting.
Until my retirement happens I will continue with small projects of knitting, embroidery and journaling. I really look forward to receiving your blog and your lovely photos.

Allie Callan March 26, 2015 - 12:09 am

My youngest will be going off to college in September. before children my passion from age 6 had been classical ballet. At 17 I moved to New York City. I feel lucky to have worked professionally with small touring companies. Married at age 31 children and totally devoted to them. To stay out of trouble went to college. Now preparing for my next phase. Must find a new PASSION that is all mine. So went to New York Botanical Gardens and in June will receive my certificate in Floral Design after taking their classes and doing an internship. So to the point: for the first time in many years I have a true goal and know that if I put my heart and sole into it I will create something worth while in my eyes. After living and experienceing life I know we can do what we put our heart into. Now I don’t know how it will really play out, but am ready to go on that journey. Beginning with a floral design company. Love your posts. So often they have an uncanny relevance!
Thank you!

Renee March 26, 2015 - 12:15 am

I used to make the traditional photo albums of my son and for my son. Currently, I’m having a cottage built to my ideas, but with the help of an architect and interior designer. Through this process, I am meeting some amazingly creative women who are helping me out of fun and friendship.

Cecelia March 26, 2015 - 12:46 am

I am reveling in the exciting world of “retirement”! How ever did I manage when work controlled my life!? Now is the time for catching up and spending time with treasured friends, enjoying time with my grandson before he is old enough for school, reconnecting with my love of art and creativity…so much to do…so little time!

Lin Powell March 26, 2015 - 12:48 am

I am retired, my kids are out on their own and doing well, both of our parents are long dead, and there are no grandchildren. My time is my own and I spend it doing exactly what I want. I have challenged myself to do something artistic every day…sketch, zentangle, watercolor, acrylic…enjoying it so much. If I am tired, I take a daytime nap, I garden when I want, visit and walk with friends, we plan and go on wonderful trips abroad and I art journal from my trip pictures when we return. Being over 65 and in good health, makes this the best time of my life.

diana alexander March 26, 2015 - 12:52 am

I am a Mother, a full time Cardiac Nurse, and a metalsmith. I have the honor of being in a group begun on Etsy.com, by a member of Etsy Metal. We are currently in the throes of the “Earring A Day 2015” Challenge. A group of Metalsmiths make one asymmetric earring a day. We post them to the website


We come from all over the USA, and Europe. We are all women with a vision, and strong creative passions. Thank you for helping inspire us with your blog Sharon.

Marianne March 26, 2015 - 1:23 am

After a rewarding fast-paced career, I went in search of a passion. Found the most unlikely…I became a cheesemaker in control of the entire process. I raise healthy, happy dairy goats; milk daily; then process that milk to produce a whole array of soft and hard goat-milk cheeses. It is great fun and provides lots of exercise. My family and friends love the outcome.

diana alexander March 26, 2015 - 1:37 am

how cool!. Have thought of that as well when I retire to my farm in North Georgia, USA in 3 years. Metal work and goats. Sounds like heaven to me!

Diane Callender March 26, 2015 - 9:07 am

Hi Marianne & Sharon
Mother just passed away and needed to re-evaluate priorities. Hoping to move to our house in Burgundy next march, just finished a cheese making course (goats) and pork curing and sausage making course here in Wales.
My aim is to start a small B&B offering such artisan courses, I also felt wool mand my husband is a talented artist who will be taking art classes. So please watch this space I feel a blog coming on.
Can’t wait for the new challenges that life has to throw at me

Monique March 26, 2015 - 2:14 am

I stitch daily,for over twenty years I have taught at Country Bumpkin ,we also publish inspirations magazine worldwide.i think I will always stitch, to see an embroidery coming along from my needle still thrills me!

Ewa February 12, 2024 - 10:20 am

Podaj linki, proszę

Leslie in Little Rock March 26, 2015 - 2:20 am

I said I would never have an in-home studio. Well, as life and career have changed, so have my “never said never” comment. I want to use my voice in as many ways as possible. so, bring it on! Looking so forward to your book!

déjà pseu March 26, 2015 - 2:48 am

First of all, I’m so envious of your get-together! What a fun bunch of women. I’m looking forward to retiring from full-time work in a few years, and having more time for writing and improving my photography skills.

Debi March 26, 2015 - 2:54 am

After retiring almost 4 years ago from a high stress Trauma Nurse job, and being in my early 60’s, I have recovered my lost passions. I paint furniture as well as paint watercolors, garden, design for others and love to gourmet cook as well as travel. My life is very fulfilling. My children are college graduated and are in great professions. My husband is not a traveler but he does not mind at all for me to travel, so I have my close friend and sister that travel when I plan a trip. We try enjoy life as much as we can because one never knows when your life can change in an instant. My next journey, I hope is to France. I have dreamed for years of coming and it has been on my bucket list!

Colleen Taylor March 26, 2015 - 3:24 am

Sharon, I’m sure you remember that I paint just about everything. My real loves are painting flowers & animals. I paint many pet commissions which is a real passion for me. I have an extensive knowledge of many types of mediums since I’ve worked in all types for over 3 decades in addition to digital painting & graphic design. That to me is highly addictive. I consider myself somewhat of a painting geek!

As far as the future, I’ve been working on a number of collages which are a tremendous challenge, but that’s what makes us all tick. X

Davina Lawrie March 26, 2015 - 4:05 am

I have been an Interior Decorator most of my working life, so when I should be retiring I have started a new business selling Cashmere/Cotton Knitwear. I am also about to move up to Queensland Australia to be near my family and Grandchildren. In 10 years hope to have more challengers and be surrounded by my family.

Nella March 26, 2015 - 5:51 am

Dear Sharon, nothing has inspired me more than reading all of the above comments to this post! Intelligent, caring, motivated women, living life at any age to the fullest..with still so much to contribute and experience…truly a wonderful read for me this evening, thank you! N.

Teresa Steyl-Pepler March 26, 2015 - 5:58 am

Sharon you have reached so many people following your blog and has definitely inspired me to start one as well. I am living on a small farm near Stellenbosch, South Africa, which we bought 12 years ago and developed into a business . We have build a wedding venue and also renovated our beautiful home into a 9 room guesthouse. I have before and after photos and would like to create a book with the story of our journey . I am a keen vegetable gardener and thought of a blog but our seasons differ, so not sure whether that will be a blog to follow. I studied to be a teacher and 20 years later I studied interior design. I just love designing in any form. I made pottery for 16 years but have stopped that hobby, due to setting up our business, but would love to sculp and paint again. In 10 years time? My garden will have lots of toparies and will be open to the public to visit with a conservatory where you can have tea and tarts and a gift and plant section.

vicki archer March 26, 2015 - 7:20 am

Sharon… what I want to be doing in ten years is exactly what I am doing now… and hopefully having more inspiring lunches with you, Tish and Carla…

It was such a tonic, sitting and chatting… the hours rolling by without the hint of rush… I loved our day.

Now back in rainly London and looking at your beautiful images of Place des Vosges… it won’t be long and I will be back again… 🙂 xxv

Heather in Arles March 27, 2015 - 3:02 pm

And to think that I only missed this lunch date by one week! Ok, not that I was invited – heehee – but I would have given anything to have been at that table and you know it, Sharon. 🙂 Wow.

I don’t know about me but my current prediction for Vicki is that she is going to be running her own version of Pret-a-Porter in ten years time…Right?

bonnie March 26, 2015 - 8:20 am

I am 71, retired for 15+ years, an American living in the Languedoc for 6 years, and my current project is buying a very large house in Provence and starting a business with a friend hosting various kinds of weeks: cooking week, yoga week, painting week etc. In ten years maybe I will be ready to retire from that, and start something else. We have both always thought it would be wonderful to have a venue to host workshops and classes and to live in an amazing house. We plan to open for the next season, we will need the winter to organize. As long as you wake up on the right side of the grass, you must keep creating. (PS Loved seeing Place des Vosges……)

Barbara JDuell March 26, 2015 - 3:40 pm


How true, each morning that I can get out of bed, is a great day. Learned long ago: we stay in control and enjoy the ride.

Best wishes for your new adventure. Would like the room with the view.


bonnie March 27, 2015 - 8:19 am

Thanks!! I think they all have a view!

Cindy Newcomer March 31, 2015 - 8:26 pm

Hi Bonnie! Please put me on your list for information regarding the painting weeks! Thank you!

Barbara JDuell March 31, 2015 - 11:21 pm


Sign me up for the cooking week, and the wine drinking week, and the lying in the sun and just relaxing week. I could possibly help out by teaching a class on living life, creative writing, or mucking out the barn.

Linda November 11, 2016 - 5:03 pm

I am 73 and have always loved renovation of historic homes in the US. I am thinking of looking in Potugal for a farmhouse which I can renovate and furnish with antiques. I like your idea of a workshop atmosphere. How is your project going now? Linda

www.ourfrenchoasis.com March 26, 2015 - 8:32 am

In ten years time; the youngest of our five children will just be finishing school. I started my blog just a few months ago and absolutely love the interaction with people I have never met; I never dreamt I would get so much pleasure from writing and sharing a blog. So in ten years, I hope to still be doing what I am doing now only on a far larger scale, writing about our daily life and sharing our adventures in South West France.

littlepariscafe@gmail.com March 26, 2015 - 8:51 am

I worked in Fashion for 25 years and had the honour of representing the Yves Saint Laurent brand in Australia for 10 of those years – what a privilege. Had my only beautiful child at 42 and at 53 just started a little French café in the Blue Mountains.
As I had spent so much time in France for work I just needed a crêpe ~ so I opened the LITTLE PARIS CAFÉ!
You can’t keep a good woman down.
What next ~ je ne sais pas? Perhaps we shall move to France when our daughter finishes school……
Love your blog Sharon ~ I need my dose of France to keep me sane until my child is old enough to travel more. Merci

Annie Maurer April 2, 2015 - 6:55 am

Where is your cafe? I live in the Blue Mountains and would love to drop in? If you follow Sharon’s blog and have a business called ‘little Paris Cafe’, then I must visit!

littlepariscafe@gmail.com April 3, 2015 - 2:00 am

Hi Annie,
how lovely!
We are in the Town Centre Arcade, 81 Katoomba Street Katoomba.
Would love to meet you!
We are open tomorrow – Easter Saturday, then closed for a week.
À bientôt!

Marian from UK March 26, 2015 - 9:26 am

Wow! what a fabulous bunch of women!! But everyone saying similar things – retiring and then whoosh! Off we go! I am retiring at the end of this month, and I have a list of things I want to do: improve my watercolour painting skills, drawing, other mediums; Create a cottage garden with vegetables and hens; start a blog (your fault Sharon, you have so inspired me to try!); create something from my huge stock of fabric samples (bunting maybe?) – it goes on. And that doesn’t include looking after my grandchildren, walking and being involved in our lovely village. As one lady said, we never know what the future holds health-wise from now, so we must make the most of every single day and have some JOY! Go girls!

Danielle in Calvados March 26, 2015 - 9:30 am

After 20 years in media and corporate communications, my husband and I upped-sticks and moved to a beautiful 300 year old stone house by the beach in Normandy – right on the D-Day beaches. We’ve had a fun (and challenging) year renovating the house and having friends and family come to stay, and next week we officially open for business. While I’ve always wanted to completely renovate an old house – being Australian there are no 300 year old houses there – what I’ve found I really love is the garden. Planting, weeding, cutting and just pottering and creating a garden that I hope will be here for 300 years to come.

Shell Parsons March 26, 2015 - 9:46 am

My newly re-connected passion is with writing. I am working on my first novel. Ten years from now I would love to say that I have published several books and am writing full time. Fingers crossed! Your lunch sounds like a wonderful connection between creative like-minded souls. One day I would love to have a seat at that table with you all.x

Tish Jett March 26, 2015 - 10:32 am

Here’s what I hope, dear Sharon, that the four of us will be sitting together doing what we did yesterday — everyone so full of energy, generosity and encouragement. The enthusiasm and “you go girl” esprit everyone expressed was extraordinary.

What an absolutely perfect day it was. Thank you and Vicki and Carla.

Oh how we laughed. xox

Marcia Soave March 26, 2015 - 11:11 am

Dear Sharon , I am very happy to read your blog today. It made me think about my life , about how I want to be happy in the coming years. I live in Brazil in São Paulo , I have 2 children and will do 40 years this year. My life is changing, i’m looking for my happiness, the beauty in small things. Your company, even as far, renews my hope and joy !!!! be happy my friend !!!

noreen March 26, 2015 - 12:55 pm

hi Sharon, after owning a small company for 8 years which specialised in bespoke lighting and accessories for the hospitality industry, a health issue mid last year forced me to relook my situation and change direction. After a few months of much prayer and internal work I started a venture making beautiful ladies accessories, which will be launched soon. My husband and I hope to celebrate my 60th BD later this year with a trip to Europe! I just love the way women over a certain age start new ventures instead of slowing down. Thanks ladies for the inspiration!

karena March 26, 2015 - 2:11 pm

Dear Sharon, What an amazing world of worldwide blogging. You had lunch with some of the most wonderful women in France! Uber talented! I feel fortunate to know all of you through the world of our blog sites!!

Ten years….. Giving back even more to fellow artists, authors, etc. Traveling more. Enjoying my grandchildren tremendously as well as the rest of my family!

The Arts by Karena
A New Gallery in Town!

Marilyn March 26, 2015 - 2:32 pm

Bonjour Sharon,
I have been an artist all my life but did various things to help with the income while our children grew up. I ended my working career with a wonderful job, Study Abroad Coordinator for a College of Ag Sciences. For ten years, I helped faculty plan and execute study tours directly related to their courses. I sometimes accompanied these groups. The best was helping to teach a course comparing US and European Union/French Ag Systems and Policies. For five years, I accompanied the class to Europe and then to France exclusively. Our base was Paris and this is how I became a francophile. In 2006, due to encouragement from one of my French colleagues, I returned to school part time (worked full time) and in 2010 received my BA in Printmaking. During my very first class, an art history course, I felt like an electric current ran through my body and my brain exploded — I knew I was in the right place at the right time. I took French for my language requirement, of course, and am still studying it. I am now retired from my job but am working daily on my printmaking. I return to France yearly to recharge my artistic mojo, and to visit my old colleagues now friends. I discovered that it is never too late to follow your dreams. Currently, I think about a longer visit to France — two or three months? — to practice my French and to take watercolor lessons or do some type of artist residency. Thinking about it is the first step to making it happen… 🙂

Barbara JDuell March 26, 2015 - 3:33 pm

Never in all my wildest dreams as a very young bride, and soon to be mother of fours sons born just four years apart, did I ever imagine I would be where I am now at age 77. I have lost two of my sons, two husbands, and for the first time in my adult life, I am on my own.
After my oldest son died two years ago of a devastating rare cancer, I gathered up bit and snippets of stories I had written in years gone by, stories locked away in my trunk of dreams when someone I loved became ill and then left on their final journey, I put on my fancy hat of courage and published two books. One, a hot and steamy contemporary romance, and the other, a journey away from loss, fact, fiction and fantasy. I have a children’s chapter book about to be launched and another romance heating up the den, my special place where I write, just itching to be let loose. I have met a great young man, young being the operative word here, and we have found a rhythm that works for both of us ~ dinners, concerts, travel, and fun.
But I too, am itching to break loose, to pack my toothbrush and head out to the airport and go where ever the wind blows, hopefully Europe, or England. Life is good.

Peggy Braswell March 26, 2015 - 4:15 pm

10 years from now + what I do now + I will be doing interior design + it is my passion + wisdom + humility that is what I want to give + love reading all the comments from beautiful women. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Cynthia March 26, 2015 - 4:23 pm

I am inspired by all the comments! I am on a quest to discover a passion. Work and raising a child seemed to have taken all my time in the past. I am looking forward to a journey of discovery in the next ten years. I adore traveling and experiencing new cultures, food and friends. Let the fun begin.

Elizabeth Wagner March 26, 2015 - 5:24 pm

I am still working part time, but am transitioning to concentrating full time on my hand weaving business, eLoomination (www.eloomination.com). My child is away at college, so I feel like the timing is right to move forward with this because I have a very strong craving to pursue the creative part of my personality by working with designers and individuals on custom woven pieces. I have also uploaded a series of YouTube videos explaining the process of weaving for beginners who may not have a place nearby to learn. I was fortunate to study this amazing art form under two of the best handweavers in the US several years ago and hope to grow my business over the next 10 years.

Sandy Jones March 26, 2015 - 7:12 pm

At the ripe old age of 60, I dared to do something totally different! I opened a retail jewelry store after doing it for 30 years as a designer, 15 years as a wholesaler. I swore I would not go to work every day, but every day is a new challenge and I only hope that I am up for the challenges ahead. It has been 16 months now, and I feel I’m just starting!!!!!

Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) March 26, 2015 - 8:59 pm

What a fabulous lunch group – all dynamic women who are sharing their passions and inspiring others around the globe. In 10 years time I would love to have earned the place to make the 5th at your luncheon table! …………..One can dream

sylvia faye March 26, 2015 - 10:28 pm

I am a Virginian who moved to the west coast of Canada with my French-Canadian husband. We raised five children in a small French-Canadian community and it was truly a time of learning. The children went to a private Catholic school where they learned French from Grade 1-grade 7. Later Kindergarten was also added. The eldest daughter has been to France twice, Montreal to spend time with a great aunt as did three of our other children. The youngest spent time with a soccer team exchange in Quebec and each of them loved their experience where they could truly put their French to work for them.
My husband, my family, our church and church related activities kept our life simple and interesting for each of us. We lived the liturgerial Catholic year and went to Midnight Mass and had a revioulion (spelling) afterwards. Life in those times was truly family orientated. Not one mother worked outside the home. Home life kept us busy, gardening, canning, outings, etc.
I had my own studio when all were grown and left home. I learned esthetics, and gave facials, pedicures and after a Fashion and colour course I added this to my Heart’s Desire Studio with select Canadian fashions, did Fashion shows, loved doing colour consulting and wardrobe planning.
Life is ever changing but we are now the extended family where our children live far away as do many of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren but many keep in touch and we are mama and papa to all. Recently a miracle baby was born to a granddaughter (against the odds her doctor gave), a son strong and healthy and over 8 pounds so everyday is a day to create something beautful; be it a meal, a vase of flowers, or just removing the collected dust our world seems to have more of…bright shiny windows and waking up and thanking the Good Lord for another new day to love Him and all that He has done for us.
A bien tot,
Sylvia Faye

Angela Muller March 27, 2015 - 12:30 am

I’ve been an educator (and still am), I’ve had an art and antique gallery for over ten years, I’ve counseled at risk youth, I volunteer for an awesome dog rescue, and I write. Retirement is not for me, though I am reluctantly retired. At age 68, I’m discovering new ways to reinvent myself and my passions, to become part of the “now”….to still count. I can’t see ten years into the future because I am awestruck by the possibilities of each new day. I do believe, however, that I will feel the same way in ten years….happy to be on this journey called LIFE!

Agnes Irene March 28, 2015 - 11:05 pm

What an amazing group of women here – all living engaged, creative lives, with the determination to make life exciting and wonderful. Very inspiring. In ten years? More of everything – but especially more writing, more books, more experiencing the beautiful places in the world.

Barbara J Duell March 28, 2015 - 11:43 pm

The most important lesson I have learned is to not waste a moment in life. Standing tall or falling down, I try to hold on to the best and cast the negative to the wind.


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