Friday, September 17, 2010

A Sewing Conversation

Most of my posts for the last week and a half have been about garments sewn or seen out and about and after reading Myrna's post for today, I thought about a post that I'd written during the week and then thought better of posting.  The post grew out of a comment that someone made to me about one of my garments.  It wasn't a harsh comment but I could hear the undertone...and what I heard wasn't pleasant.

The thing about blogging is that you are putting yourself right out there on front street and your joy over something you made can be met with a wide variety of feelings by the readers based upon where they are in their own journey...some celebrate with you over your accomplishments, some are envious of what you've made, to others it's an example of what they can do with their gift...and to a few you're just bragging.

I would like to state right here and now that my primary reason for blogging is to share my love of sewing with others.  The secondary reasons are to encourage others who are just starting out, to share amazing resources, to be an inspiration to others and mostly to talk about something that I am absolutely passionate about.

I've met some amazing women through blogging.  I've developed some wonderful friendships through sewing and blogging...and I've learned quite a bit sewing-wise, as well as, about myself through blogging.  I've been sewing since I was 11 years old...most of it in solitude so it is awesome to find a "circle" of women and men who love sewing as much as I do.

However, after 40 years of sewing...my sewing is ALL about challenging myself.  It's the nuances of exploring and learning a new technique...how a fabric handles in different situations...adding or using a new design detail...trying a pattern company that I haven't used before...participating in and sewing a SWAP wardrobe...meeting the challenge of following a proscribed set of instructions yet allowing my creativity to flourish within those constraints.

To me sewing isn't about just making clothes but also about pushing creative boundaries, learning and growing, making better choices and smarter decisions and trying new and different things.

I want you to know that I appreciate everyone who stops by to read about my adventures...who leaves a comment...who starts a conversation...who asks a question.  I so appreciate the ooohhs and aaahhhs over my garments (which are like my babies to me) and in most instances I even appreciate the suggestions you give! *smile*

And if I may, I would like to leave you with a few words of encouragement... Our sewing gift is a talent.  A talent that you should treasure and encourage to grow.  You should challenge yourself.  You should listen to your inner creative voice and feed it.  And if you aren't in a space where you can use it right now, you should nourish it and realize that you are inhabiting this place for just a moment.  Learn while you are here and use it later when you are in the space that you want to be creatively.

But never ever stop sewing!  Never stop using your talent.  It's what makes you special...it is your God given gift...because when I'm waiting to meet my maker I want to know that I didn't squander one of the best gifts HE ever gave me.

Hopefully you will continue to share my journeys...knowing that I just have a passion to sew and want to encourage you to love it as much as I do...

...more later!






*p.s. That's a picture of how I looked during my sewcation - a t-shirt and a pair of comfy rayon pants.

59 comments:

  1. I personally LOVE all of the garments I have seen that you have made! I was taught to sew when I was little for 4H and then again in Middle School for home ec classes but suddenly earlier this year I started sewing again. It is now my newest "crafty" obsession! In coming across your blog I love how you share all the good and the bad and always show it off! So please don't stop and know that you are a major inspiration to the old and new sewer in all of us!

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  2. Great post. I agree it is a talent, it is my talent. I can't draw, I can't sing but I can sew and create. That is my talent. You are so talented in your sewing and every blog post I am inspired. Thank you.

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  3. Well said Carolyn!!! I am finally getting back to sewing after a 12+ years hiatus (no great excuse) and your blog has provided me with so much inspiration and knowledge. I have yet to read through the entire blog, i.e. from the beginning, and I have definitely learned quite a bit to date. I know if I keep reading the rest of your blog, I am bound to learn more, be continually inspired and certainly chuckle with you. Again, your creativity and talent are inspirational and drives me even further (no matter how slow I am). Thank you for sharing your love of sewing with me/blog world!!

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  4. Nice post! I love to come and visit even though I haven't sewn anything myself. It is all community I believe. And I love it :)) I don't think of my sewing as a talent. But you are right, others are impressed with what we can do. Sofie finished her art pieces this week and eventhough we (Sofie and me) could see "issues" the teachers were so impressed they took the garments to other classes to see. Sometimes we are too close to our own work to see what we have truly created.

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  5. Hello Miss Carolyn

    Just wanted to stop by and say hello and that I appreciate all of the info that you provide. Although I rarely comment I am always reading.
    I actually was going to contact you to let you know that I will be moving to Sayreville, NJ in November so I hope I get to meet you one day soon.

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  6. I really appreciate your blog, and it really encourages me. Someday maybe I'll start sewing for myself too! I mostly sew quilts or for children. I have a hard time getting up the gumption to do it for myself, partly because I'm on the pudgy side, and you are a great inspiration to me. :) Right now sewing is getting squeezed out of my schedule and I'm struggling to keep it in...

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  7. Lovely, inspirational post. You're right, creativity is a talent. Blogging has been a God-send for me. I would be lost (quite literally) without some of my 'velveteen friends'.

    I am both envious and inspired by what you make. Envious and the amount of time you make to dedicate to your craft and inspired to step outside my personal comfort zone and learn something new.

    Keep blogging! g

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  8. Well said Carolyn! I find your posts inspirational and it helps me to think more creatively. I think that is one of the true blessings of blogging. I have made so many friendships that I treasure with people all over the world that I never would have had an opportunity to meet without the internet. Bless you and waiting for "more later..." Mary

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  9. Your blog was one that started me on the sewing track about two years ago, so I come out of lurkdom to thank you for encouraging me through your posts to give sewing a go. Even though I am not highly proficient, I understand enough about sewing to know what an achievement each piece you sew is. Thanks for your great blog too- I've just been reading your archives about sewing linen and feel up to the challenge of linen pants.

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  10. Hooray! I totally agree with you! Sewing is a treasure! It helped me when I was feeling bad and now that I feel happy, it makes me even happier. As a plus sized girl, sewing makes me feel more in the norm, because I can sew anything I want (well, I still have to wise about my choices)
    I also agree on the challenges! I am a novice, and I make sure I do something more with each garment! I am going to make my first tailored piece!

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  11. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love your posts and the clothes you make. The spirt that you exude when you blog about your completions, it gives me a little more and more motivation to get my KEESTER in gear. And I appreciate it and you very much. When God is ready to call you home he will definitely know who you are YOU'LL BE THE BEST DRESSED ONE.

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  12. Lovely post. I truly agree that sewing is a god's given gift.

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  13. I love you blog, and have learned a lot from you. Remember, if you don't have haters you are doing anything worthwhile. Some people can't stand being challenged.

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  14. Caroline - I don't believe I've ever seen you in pants, all these many years! You look ADORABLE - seriously. That's a great look on you, casual or not!

    Why is it those with closed minds always have open mouths? Consider the source for any negative comments here - we love your blog (and you) just the way it is!

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  15. Carolyn, Although I never comment I have been following your blog for three or four years. You have been a great inspiration to me to return to sewing and to start a blog. Please keep sewing and showing.

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  16. As we both know there's always someone that has to disapprove of something we've done or said as bloggers, but being able to connect with the wonderful sewers who read our blogs or whose blogs we read certainly outweighs the negatives. The creativity I've seen here and on so many blogs is a great inspiration and keeps me going when things aren't always great or even just when the mojo has left the building.

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  17. I love your posts....I am so encouraged to sew everytime I read your blog. I find myself checking everyday to see what you created each day. My one question..how do you complete so much so quickly. I love it. It takes me days, weeks and months to finish one project, and usually I hate it once it is done and give it away. How do you work full time and accomplish so much with sewing. You inspire me. I work full time and when I come home, I have little time and energy to make anything. Keep up your posting...I love reading everything and seeing pictures.

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  18. Hi Carolyn, I have been a lurkers for years (and I do mean years)! Actually, is a consistent lurker still a lurker, since I check out your blog for new posts almost everyday. Sorry that I have not left a comment. I need to thank you for all your amazing work and inspiration. You should brag about your good work. True friends are the ones who let you brag about what you're good at, be happy to hear about it, and would even brag about you to their friends! Just looking at some comments I can tell you've got quite a few of really good friends. I can't wait to see what you're sewing next! -Janice

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  19. Big smile. You know all your posts are gracious and inspiring. I can't add anything else.

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  20. Carolyn- I don't comment often, but I just wanted to say, you are always an inspiration, and I so much appreciate your blogging and generously sharing, not just your beautiful creations, but the wealth of your knowledge and experience with all of us! I have learned so much from you, my sewing continues to be better because of you and so, my sewing joy is increased because of you! Your blog is a gift, and I am grateful! Thank you! :)

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  21. Great post - you have perfectly articulated what I believe many of us feel. You are absolutely right to emphasise the value to be gained by being part of the sewing/blogging community and the important role it plays in naturing talent. Reading your blog has always inspired me, taught me a great deal and, very often, brought a big smile to my face. Don't ever stop doing what you do!

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  22. Beautifully written. We are gifted. One of the biggest parts of that gift is the knowledge that we have something that we are passionate about, no matter the skill level. Thanks for articulating this all so beautifully.

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  23. Blogging takes time, effort and courage. I guess that's why I don't do it! Thank you for the valuable contribution you make to the sewing community. Please continue to ignore the occasional meanspirited comment which is actually about the writer, and not about you.

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  24. All that and... I love meeting other women who understand how important - how absolutely vital like breathing - it is to have that time in the studio. With it, we can cope. Without it, life just doesn't function so well. Thanks for the HUG.

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  25. For every 100 comments that are positive, there is usually one that is snarky, jealous, or just out and out mean, and those minority comments are the ones that sting and stay with us the most, aren't they? It's as if some people have either a "ready, fire, aim" approach or, at worst, just a need to cast shade on others' joy. I've seen it in a few blogs over the last couple of months. It's upsetting, but in my own case I either try to ignore it, or just delete the comment if it's mean.

    On a side note, my word verification for this comment is "blest", which is how I feel about you, Carolyn, and the rest of the sewing bloggers I read.

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  26. I look forward to reading your posts and seeing the wonderful clothes you make. Thanks for 'putting yourself out there' and sharing the journey!

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  27. Very well said. I relate to blog reading in much the same way as my pastor says we should relate to his sermons. He says treat it like a trip to the supermarket...get what you need and don't complain.
    I enjoy reading your posts and will continue as long as you are around.

    I hope I haven't posted anything that offended you as I have a weird sense of humor. I did call one of your garments ratty but only in hopes that you would believe it and pass it on to me. There is no limit to how low I will stoop to get one of your garments in my grubby little hands.

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  28. Oh Carolyn, now my fallen humanity has been sparked and I am dying to see the comment!

    I know it isn't the best thing. I know you can't. But God sure did give us humans an indefatigable streak of curiousity didn't He?

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  29. You know the old saying, if you cant say something nice dont say anything at all. It should be the same with comments on peoples blog.
    The black, red beige dress you made to me was one of my favorite that you have made. Can I say I have loved every garment you have made, probably not since my style is different from yours. BUT I have gotten ideas from most everything you have made that would work for my style. Along with answers to learning new things. GREAT JOB!!!!!

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  30. I LOVE and appreciate your blog, the time it takes for you to share with the rest of us. To me, bragging is boasting over very little effort, anyone who thinks you are bragging is a stupidhead and I cleaned that up a lot. Please continue
    Nancy H

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  31. You hit the nail on the head when you referred to sewing as a 'solitary' activity. Your blog makes me feel like we are sewing in the same room. Even the days I go no where near my sewing machine, checking out your blog fills my soul. Please know how much you are appreciated

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  32. I am also a big believer in "if you can't say something nice...", but in my case in reading my sewing blogs, it may mean I just didn't get to reading it. :-)

    I personally want to thank you for blogging. It's a lot of work, but it's so inspirational, and being someone with very little time to sew, it keeps my mojo percolating during the "dry" periods. Thank you! Thank you!

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  33. I am also a big believer in "if you can't say something nice...", but in my case in reading my sewing blogs, it may mean I just didn't get to reading it. :-)

    I personally want to thank you for blogging. It's a lot of work, but it's so inspirational, and being someone with very little time to sew, it keeps my mojo percolating during the "dry" periods. Thank you! Thank you!

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  34. I too love to stop in and read what you are doing even though I haven't been sewing much this year. I enjoy your garments and your posts.
    You and so many others share their knowledge and it is much appreciated.
    Just keep on doing what you do ;)

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  35. Gee, I treasure your sewing adventures. You improved that Macy's dress 100%. I love being challenged to break down my unwritten and often unknown rules and regulations. It's what makes sewing so interesting to me. Keep on going, sewing and sharing! I get a world of good from it, so thanks, Carolyn.

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  36. I love reading your blog and get lots of inspiration from looking at your garments and reading about the process to create the end results. I believe sewing is a gift from God and any talent we possess should not to be kept a secret. So why not share our knowledge and be proud. That's what we're supposed to do. I've never read anyone's blog that sounded like they were bragging. There is always someone who isn't going to like something about who you are. So be it. p.s. I can't wait to see your next sewing projects.

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  37. I love your blog...You are the reason I've started sewing again after a 30 year hiatus.. You have shown me (and so many others) that us plus size women don't have to settle for what the RTW companies deem appropriate for our size - that we can be totally fashionable. I've gotten sooooo many tips on how to fit and what would look good on me... Please keep on blogging!!!!!

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  38. I like your blog. You write posts that are clearly full of insightful thought and that are interesting. And I like that your excitement about sewing and fashion come through in your posts. Thank you for this!

    Ignore the trolls. They are part of a very small, itsy bitsy, teeny, tiny minority running around on the net like a pack of gollums. Please always remember that most people are not like that.

    Take care,
    Em

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  39. "when I'm waiting to meet my maker I want to know that I didn't squander one of the best gifts HE ever gave me."

    Yes! That is at the core of my belief, too. That is why I push myself and sew right through all the ups and downs in life. It is a gift and I am not going to waste it!
    Great post Carolyn!! You are much loved.

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  40. Buenas tardes, no domino el inglés, pero aún así me animé a dejarte mis felicitaciones por tu página, encuentro cosas interesantes, que para leerlas busco traducirlas por google, hago mis pininos elaborando mis faldas, quize hacerlos por los pesqueros, pero he tenido dificultades a la hora del armado, trataré de intentarlo nuevamente. Saludos desde Veracruz, México.

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  41. I love finding sewing blogs,most are better sewers than i and some are worse but its a community of people enjoying the process af creation .In real life i have only one friend that sews so what i see online inspires me ,instructs me and i love it all:)

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  42. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have always come away with the feeling of "sharing" you have when you construct your garments. It is a pleasure to read your triumphs as well as those things that don't always go as you wish. You make some really nice garments and at times some styles don't appeal to me but that does not make it wrong for you. It is the process you are sharing with your readers that truly counts!!!

    Unfortunately you do run into a reader now and then who is less then generous with their comments and sometimes you can get an "undertone" from a comment left on your blog. It is nice to see you really thought about that and took the higher road and posted a positive post instead of dealing on the negative. KUDOS to you!!!

    This just shows me that you have a true desire to share your skills and knowledge with others who can learn from those skills and experiences.

    I must also say...I don't know how you do it. I haven't blogged since April...have several posts in que but time seems to escape me. I am in awe how you find the time for it all. ;-)

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  43. Love the blog. I'm just trying to get my nerve to cut into some fabric so I find your words and pictures inspirational....Please don't stop. I've learnt so much from your site. If only the cutting out stage was simpler. Oh well back to the instructions. Your passion for sewing is infectious so spread the knowledge.

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  44. I have enjoyed all of the garments you've made. They look great and are beautiful on you.

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  45. Hugs and kudos to you! Since I happened on your blog during the summer, I've reclaimed my love of sewing, and especially of sewing clothing. You inspire us! And write about your passion so beautifully. Thank you.

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  46. Carolyn, I love your blog , I even signed up with google account so I could comment - that was an effort!! and this is my very first comment. I learnt to sew a bit in my twenties and now at 58 I have decided to try again. I am plus size and a weird shape so fitting is a problem. I find you so positive that it encourages me to keep working on my 6th muslin to get a tnt. I live in Australia with no chance of going to New York but l love reading about your fabric hunting and the garment district - thank you so much for the blog

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  47. As one of your many fans - I appreciate the time it takes for you to share your enjoyment and knowledge. We all do better because of it!

    Unfortunately one ole SOUR (: comment takes the sweetness out of30 sugary comments. But that isn't too bad a ratio. Hang in there! Signed: One of the 29

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  48. I've never left a comment before, although I've read your blog on and off. I have particularly enjoyed the recommendations for resources. The recent post in which you used a tested block of a dress to grade up another pattern was very interesting and the results looked good.

    Not everyone is going to agree with you or share your taste. It sounds like the individual attempted to be tactful; you said the comment was "not harsh."

    It comes with the territory.



    On the earlier topic of tracing, have you ever considered trying to find a large format photocopying place to make copies of patterns?

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  49. Great post. I also love to see your gorgeous creations and hear about the trials and tribulations from your sewing room. You are an inspiration to me and I learn a lot from your musings. Thank you for taking the time to write.

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  50. carolyn I certainly hope my comments weren't offensive. I love everything you sew and eagerly read your blog. I admit that I'm not quite the same as you, but that doesn't keep me from admiring you, your creations and your spirit. My apologies if I've written something that offended you.

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  51. Hey Carolyn...
    Don't ever stop...I love your blog (although sometimes the political postings and coments sting me a bit, as we differ on some of that...but don't stop!).

    I appreciate everything you do and sew and definitely your commentary! Love It!

    Cathy
    www.sewingforlife.wordpress.com

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  52. I love reading your bog. I eagerly await new posts from you. Your garments give me so much inspiration. You have always been so giving in answering questions and explaining your alterations. Please continue with your writings. Your creations are just delightful!

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  53. So the sewing I'm doing now is super simple, baby clothes using woven cotton stitched on a Singer featherweight - a straight stitch only machine. Today I plugged it in while the generator was on, and found out I have THE WRONG buttonholer. The one I have is for the slant shank machine, the Featherweight is a straight low shank. Argh. I can't see handworked buttonholes in a baby playdress.
    Glad you're getting something done.

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  54. I absolutly love your blog!! It has been very inspiring. Some people do not have the courage to live life. So instead of gaining that courage, they rather spread their discontent onto those who do. Keep blogging, keep sewing and keep live a joyful life. Maybe that person will read all the wonderful comments and find something postive for themselves.

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  55. I love this post. I really like the way you write--you have that talent as well. I agree sewing is my talent, not cooking, not gardening, etc. I always get inspiration from your blog and your projects. Glad to know you through cyberspace and maybe/maybe/maybe will get to go shopping with you in NYC sometime in the future.

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  56. I am sorry but I have to say this, I do not think that rude comments are par for the course. This blog is yours and what you do here is for you. If you were a paid blogger than I would have a different view of it. If you are reading someone's blog and the only thing you can think of is something mean to say then click that X in the corner and keep it moving.
    I have hundreds of posts in my google reader daily and sometimes I don't like the garments made or the food someone posted. I just keep moving. Never once have I made the decision to tell them how much I disliked it. Because I don't have to like it. It's just like changing the channel when something comes on that you don't want to see.
    I am a much different blogger and I promise if you say something mean to me on mine I will not be polite in my response. That is all.

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  57. I couldn't have said it any better, Carolyn! You echoed my thoughts *BIG smille*

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  58. I really need to hear this right now! I've shelved my sewing for months now because I got frustrated with fitting issues. But yes, I'm wasting the talent that God has given me! I need to figure out a way to keep sewing when faced with fitting challenges - maybe just working on easier projects for a while. Thank you for the inspiration, Carolyn!

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