A Mountain Pillow- Quick and Easy Handmade Gift!

Every year my office has a White Elephant gift exchange with a theme at our Holiday party. Last year the theme was High Low.

We never really tell each other who got what, so I’ve never actually made a gift for the exchange. This year, I had a little problem…

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I bought these beautiful beaded snowflakes from Blair at Wise Craft Handmade. They start high in the sky and end up low on the ground… Get it? High Low….

Well, the day of the party I decided I didn’t want to give up any of my ornaments and I needed to come up with something else to give at the party!

I’d been seeing a lot of these mountain pillows. I got the ornaments at our local handmade craft show. And at the craft show, there were a few people selling these mountain pillows. Most of them were made of beautiful felt and were way over my price range. But I kept being drawn to them! And then I had a great idea…. I’d make a new gift. I’d make a mountain pillow! High Peaks, Low Valleys… High Low!

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I just happened to have this grey fleece that looked kinda like the felt that all the others were made of. And I had this fluffy white fleece, which I totally think looks like fluffy snow!

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Although I didn’t actually made a tutorial, I’ll tell you how I made it! It was so easy and quick, I didn’t even have time to think about pictures! ha! I cut out the mountains, sewed on the snow on top. I made a front and back, with snow on both front and back sides. Next I sewed the front and back together, right sides together and then turned it right side out and Boom! A mountain pillow! SOOOOO easy!

And the pillow was stolen a couple of times, so it was a hit!

These were all adults that loved it, but they could be fun in kids rooms too! Adventure themed rooms… So many possibilities and such a quick make!

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National Thrift Shop Day

Have you been thrift shopping lately?? It’s one of my favorite things to do! And I’m excited to show you my latest purchases to celebrate National Thrift Shop Day!

Recently I was contacted by Value Village about promoting thrift shopping on National Thrift Shopping Day and I jumped at the offer! Um, yes! I had it my mind that I was ONLY going to get crafty things, but of course there’s so much more to thrift than craft supplies!

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My first stop at thrift shops is always the linen department! And when I saw these whales, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them. I’m totally going to make pillows for our beach house and maybe even a quilt to go with them. I came straight home and ordered some Kona cotton to match, exactly! Can’t wait!

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I usually don’t buy pattern books, but I saw this one and it had some cool things in it, so I added that to my pile! I also found this pattern in my size. It looks a little dated, but last winter I saw a woman wearing a coat that was so close to this pattern. So I’m hoping that with the right fabric and this pattern I can recreate that look I saw!

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So this pattern is what sold me on this book! And how about these pillowcases? I think they will be perfect for this pattern. through in a contrasting solid and boom! Gonna be cool!!!

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This one is a cool one too. It could use the pillowcase fabric and be really cool too!

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The thing about thrifting that I love is giving everything a second chance. Ok, well, number one, the finding cool and unexpected things is probably my most favorite thing about thrift shops! Second giving everything a second chance and keeping all things out of landfills. And finding new uses for the things I find. Like this book, for instance. It’s full of very traditional patterns. But I totally want to take them and make them modern or even, wait for it, Improv! Like a piece of this block will be cool as improve in my 2016 BOM quilt. Actually most of the blocks in the book will make cool improv blocks!

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I mentioned more than craft things… When you’re kiddo loves books, you want to foster that love of reading, right? Books can be expensive… Unless you buy used books! The kiddo found a nice large pile of books that he wanted. Dad found the stamps and I jumped at the Frog Juice game! We love this brand of games, so I know we’ll love this one, too! And yes, you heard me right! This thrift shopping thing is a family affair!

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And lastly, I am loving these cross stitch tablecloths. I’ve been collecting a couple over the last year (to go with my lovely quilt collection… Since I need something else to collect!). So when I saw this one, I didn’t think twice as I through it in my basket. I want to do a whole cloth quilt out of one. I also saw my friend Blair, of Wise Craft Handmade, cut one up and use it in a quilt. It is really cool!

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What do you look for when you go thrift shopping?

And I want to send a big thank you to Value Village and my new friend there for hosting my shopping trip! Shopping secondhand is a major benefit to your wallet with 96% of the retail items at Value Village being priced under $10. Go celebrate National Thrift Shopping Day!!! Every day is National Thrift Shop Day in my book!

 

Value Village provided me with a gift certificate for this thrifting experience. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!  

 

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th! Hope everyone is having a relaxing day with friends and family!

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Have you ever checked out the Perler Bead website? they have tons and tons of fun patterns. For some reason I went looking a couple days ago and found these fun firework patterns!  So last night the kiddo and I made red, white and blue fireworks! We didn’t actually have the large pegboards we needed so we made due and just used the patterns as inspiration. The idea was that they were to red, white and blue, but the kiddo kinda went rouge and just made his pattern with is own colors!

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Who sees cool quilt patterns in these too??? Me!

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Gotta run get some food on the BBQ! And make some strawberry and blueberry yum! mmmm… That’s the kiddo’s favorite summer dessert, angel food cake (Or pound cake), strawberries, blueberries and reddi whip! mmmmm…. Have a good one!

Easter Cupcakes

Have you started planning for Easter? Easter baskets, snacks? Family meals? Egg decorating?

I admit that I am not a great cake decorator, but we had fun with these cupcakes! I came up with three different ones! It was just one of those days where you weren’t planning on making something, but the idea came and you had everything you need. I love those days!

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So, I am trying to come to terms with my cake decorating limitations, but I have another kitchen flaw… I’m also not good at boiling eggs! It seems like one of those things that everyone can do. You put eggs in water and boil the water, right… Well, I still have not made a batch of hard boiled eggs without cracking at least a few.

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So I had an idea of what to do with those broken ones! I carefully cracked them and removed the eggs. Then cleaned out the shells and dyed them just like the hardboiled eggs. In the nice little old fashioned Paas dye kits!

For these I just filled the eggs with robin’s egg candy and secured the egg shell in the icing!

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Here’s the OMG moment when I realized I had a whole bag of pompoms down stairs! A bag of different sized pompoms, a bit of red paper and some hot glue and you’ve got some chicks!  Oh, yea! You know that crafty feeling I’m talking about, don’t you? I was running back and forth with this big cheesy grin, decorating cupcakes and making pompom chicks!

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And for my third idea…

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I wanted to make a birds nest! The kiddo says it looks like a birds nest…  With jelly bean birds eggs. I think they turned out cute, too!

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But I’m pretty sure the pompom chicks are everyone’s favorite!

 

QuiltCon 2017 Favorites

OK, you might be bored with QuiltCon pictures by now, but I’m going to post more anyway. Sorry! I’m headed off for a quilting retreat this weekend and I thought to look back at the inspiring quilts from QuiltCon would be a good way to start off the weekend!

Hyperbolic Hexagon Tessellation by Jennifer Kloke

I was about to write, This is one of my favorite…. But they are all my favorites! So I’ll just get that out right now so I don’t start each paragraph with that same sentence! I took a million pictures of my ‘favorites’, but the ones I’m showing today are the ones that I keep coming back to in my head, the ones that really left an impression on me!

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As you probably know, this was my first year to go to QC and the first year to have a quilt (or two) in the show! So imagine my surprise as I rounded the corner, looked up and saw my quilt at the end of the line of AMAZING quilts! It felt awesome!

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And I got closer and closer and super close!

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And technically, I didn’t make this quilt all on my own! This was one of the do.Good Stitches quilts that I designed and made with blocks from my group!

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This is my friend Matt! He’s amazing! He’s the only guy in our guild and did I say amazing? It was great to spend a lot of the day with him wandering around looking at quilts. Maybe a couple of critiques… This is the quilt he designed for our guild’s charity quilt. He also talked me into spending way too much at the BlocLoc booth! And yes, I’m glad he did!

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left: The Kiss by Kay-Anna McCalla and right: Lilianna Kehnle

These two were both from the youth category. Love seeing the youth quilts. I didn’t realize that there was a youth category. I came home and told my son about the category and he got excited. Just the other day he told me we needed to get started on his quilt for the show! We’ll see if it happens!

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Serenity by Stephanie Skardal

Ok, this totally grabbed my attention for a couple of reasons. One, it totally reminded me of seersucker, which I love. And two, after doing my striped quilt using striped fabric, I was in awe of the time it took her to make this one of tiny pieced strips!

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Big Island Blossoms by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

oh, yes, please! I’m learning applique now through our guild’s BOM so this is what I am aspiring to!

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Go North by Maritza Soto

When you walked in the show, the Best in Show was right there, but it was surrounded by people so this is technically the first quilt I saw when I walked in and, boom, I was drawn right to it! Love the colors, the solids and the quilting!

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left: Lincoln by Kim Soper and right: Still With Her by Liz Harvatine

Now the juxtaposition of these two was thoughtful, in my opinion. I had been warned about overhearing people’s conversations around quilts. Let’s just say I loved it and I overheard someone else who didn’t…. I won’t go in the politics of it, but I could go on….

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Fireworks by Jeannie Jenkins

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Made in GDR 26 by Emily Doane

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Double Irish Divergence by Debra Jalbert

Another few where the bright color placement is now seared into my brain!

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I Know The Stars Are There Beyond The Clouds 2 by Heidi Parkes

I have no idea how to hand stitch a quilt. None. But this lady does! Amazing! This quilt was huge! And complete with yards of hand stitching. Maybe once I get this applique thing down, maybe I’ll learn to hand quilt. It’s a such a beautiful technique.

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Square Count Game by Debra Jalbert

This might just be my most favorite… Love the white. Love the bright. the quilting is awesome. Love the little pops of color. I want this quilt! Very inspiring to me…. And I just realized that two of my favorites are by Debra! I think we could be quilty friends!

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Yay or Nay by Debbie Jeske

I also loved seeing my friend’s quilts at the show too. That’s just awesome in it’s own right. But I also love this one by Debbie! I really love the story of the name. Check it out here.

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Half Circle Mirror by Cheryl Brickey

I was drawn to this one because it reminds me of the quilt design a day project that I like to do! I don’t think it is inspired by that, but that’s what drew me in. A lot of my designs and QDAD designs can be pretty minimal and I start to doubt the design, but seeing this one hanging there reminded how beautiful minimal can be.

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Autumn is Wistful by Chawne Kimber

Loved this for reminding me of home and growing up. But the technique is awesome too. I’ve seen the technique used with knits in clothing, but hadn’t thought about it for quilting. Why not???

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Bling by Kat Jones

And last but least, Best In Show! No words. Awesomeness is all I have to say about this one!

 

Spring Flowers

I’ve become the one in charge of updating our PTSA bulletin board at school and I wanted some paper flowers for Spring Break. My friend passed on a tutorial she’d used and I fell in love!

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I’m warning you though… These are super addictive!

The tutorial is from Ash and Crafts. And it’s so easy and makes such pretty flowers!

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You technically don’t need the pattern, but I think it makes it easier. You can download the pattern on her website.  She recommends 60lb paper, but I’ve just been using 20 or 24lb and it’s working fine. The 60lb will probably last longer, but…. So you print the pattern, cut the paper, roll it a little and add a little hot glue and that’s pretty much it! Yep! You’ve got to try it!

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Sweet Dreams, a Paper Cut Art Piece

I haven’t done a paper cut in a long time…

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Then a friend of mine has a gallery with a little mini gallery and she asked me to do another piece! And when I say mini, I’m not kidding! The mini gallery is about 14 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. I thought about doing a mini quilt, but she loves the paper cuts I do and convinced me it was time for another one! I’ve done a Halloween one and a Christmas one….

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LIke I said, I really thought about doing a mini quilt. Then I thought about a papercut quilt pattern with a quilt behind… Then it turned it to a quilt on a bed. A quilt on a bed covering a kiddo. A quilt on a bed covering a sleeping, dreaming kiddo!

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The bed on the quilt was for sure the inspiration for the whole piece! I had the kiddo pretend to be asleep under a quilt and took pictures. Then I cut from the picture. And from there came the dreams….

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The bottom half has the monsters under the bed, the kraken and the gnome!

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The kraken is a mythological sea creature that looks somewhat like an octopus! Sometimes the drawing are a bit scarier than others. This is a sweet one!

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I love the monsters under the bed! The piece is called sweet dreams, so these guys must be sweet! As is the kinda creepy gnome, keeping watch.

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The upper half is full of other fun creatures too! Including the Man in the Moon, a Yeti (I love Yeti’s) and a Loch Ness SuperHero!

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I love yetis! With the help of my husband I love how the water from the background spills out under the bed. I love the detail in the quilt. But I really think my favorite piece, is the simple round Man in the Moon!

I do love all the little fish too! But I think the fishing Yeti, might be going home hungry!

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The piece was for sale, but didn’t sell. And as much art as we have at our house, the last thing I need is another piece. But I have to say, I was very excited to go pick it up and bring it home from the show!!!!

I’d love to hear what your favorite piece is!!! Hope you like it!

Reindeer Food- a Printable for You!

Ever since the kiddo was teeny tiny, we’ve always had the tradition of making reindeer food.

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It’s also one of our favorite neighbor gifts! Before bed on Christmas eve, we have a couple of traditions to add to the getting ready for bed routine. We have to get the cookies and milk out for Santa. Can’t forget the carrots for the reindeer. And throwing the reindeer food off the front porch in our pj’s!

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Every year, we’ve been printing one from online. This year I decided to make our own to coordinate with our Letter to Santa.

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It’s such a quick and easy little gift! And the kiddo has always loved making it. I love baking, but this can come great in a pinch when you just don’t want to make that last batch cookies for the neighbors!

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This is NOT edible for us human types! You’ll need sandwich bags, oatmeal, glitter and the tags! You can print the tags by clicking here.

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Add a little oatmeal…

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Add a little glitter….

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Add the labels… Print, trim and fold the tags in half. I fold over the bag a couple of times, then staple to the back. I also add a little tape to the front of the bag to secure the front of the labels.

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Is spreading the reindeer food part of your Christmas Eve tradition? It’s always fun to throw glitter, so I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to hear if you add this tradition to your own!

 

Visiting with Santa at Southcenter Mall

I am a strong believer of not celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving…. BUT… The only exception I make is seeing Santa!

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Last year we went to see Santa before Thanksgiving and it’s so much easier! And I think Santa is probably less stressed. I mean, I think I have a long To Do list before Christmas…. This guy has an even longer one…. Plus there’s shorter lines (if any) and you can get $5 off if you use the coupon below!

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We printed our letter that we use every year. Yes, it’s on the blog and has been updated for 2015! The kiddo did a little proof reading while we waited in line!

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I’m savoring this sweetness! He loves going to see Santa and take his letter!

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This guy is the coolest! The other thing about seeing Santa before Thanksgiving is that the lines aren’t long and you get more chatting time. I even got to chat with him a bit!

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We got a super sweet picture this year!

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This year Santa pulled out a special treat for the kiddo! He gave him a naughty or nice coin. ANd luckily with the heads and tails, the coin landed on Nice for the kiddo. Santa told him to keep it in his pocket to always remind himself to be nice! So special!

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Now, I don’t think every kid gets a coin, but every kid does get a little crayola gift! And don’t forget the candy canes!

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At Southcenter Mall, you can register ahead and get in the Fast Pass line!

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And don’t forget to print your coupon and take it with you! Go early! Do it!

Santa’s schedule is:

November 6 – December 6

10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

and

December 12 – 23

9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas

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I was also very impressed with the decor this year. There are so many photo spots! You could even put off that professional photography and take all your holiday pictures right there around Santa! I love the big letters for Santa and Love. The trees were pretty cool too and make great backdrops! I took so many pictures!

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Aren’t they cute???

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

 

 

 

Pinterest Try Tuesday- Super Balls…

We were very sad… Today I present another installment of Pinterest Try Tuesday, but this week we have a Pinterest Fail… Sad….

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This week we decided to make super balls. Which I think are the plastic balls that bounce. We weren’t completely sure, but we decided to try it anyway.

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We followed the tutorial from Making Memories with Your Kids. Check out the original tutorial for the details (because you don’t want to follow mine if it’s super balls you are looking for!!) Her’s look amazing! Ours…. Not so much!

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The tutorial calls for glue, food coloring, borax, cornstarch and water. All the materials we had at home, so luckily this was a free one for us!

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We seemed to follow the directions correctly. First we mixed the glue and food coloring.

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Then we mixed the cornstarch, borax and water.

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And we mixed the two concoctions together. Still following the directions to a tee!

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We pulled out our goo. Looks pretty much exactly like Making Memories goo….

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Then we started to roll them into a ball. And we rolled. And we rolled some more. But they never really changed into a ball. Now if you are looking for a way to make brains for your halloween party… This would be great prop! It even felt kinda like brains. Or how I imagine brains to feel like, since I’ve never actually rolled brains around in my hands….

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So we called this a fail and cleaned up the mess!

I saw this done on another blog, following the same tutorial, and it worked for them. I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I want to give it another try, but I’m on my own. The kiddo is done with it. For a little boy that loves making art, he does not like to get very gooey! If I have better luck next time, I’ll let you know!

Have you ever tried this? Did it work? If you see I did something wrong, please let me know!