Sunday Sevens – March Brings Changes

Welcome to Sunday Sevens. A weekly opportunity to share with other blogs the goings on in our weeks. Natalie at Threads and Bobbins is our lovely host. You should go check her out and join the fun.

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My week went a bit like this:

  
1 – I have several yards of this fabric and pulled it out of my stash to make tote bags with the American Sewing Guild group of youth sewing that I am starting up here in our town.  The girls that joined us brought their own fabrics to use. So I decided to make up one of the bags for my own use. It is almost Spring after all. Time for something new and bright. I have also decided that this fabric will become new pillows for my couch. (Any day now)

  
2 – Sewing sessions wrapped up this week. Time to sort thru and take home some of the leftovers and get ready for the next sessions that begin — this week. We had enough inclement weather that the sessions are running back-to-back where as I usually have a week or two off between to prepare for the next.   

 
3 – Another sign of Spring’s arrival. These are at the farm supply store. I love to go look. I would love to have chickens but, we have too many hawks, fox, raccoons and such in our neighborhood. I heard the fox calling last night as a reminder. But, aren’t they cute?

  
4 – We have a mid-week labyrinth walk at the church I attend. I try to make it every week. It helps keep me grounded. Spring time is a favorite time of mine to go to walk as I can see the changes from week to week in the gardens around the labyrinth.

  
5 – Hubby and I went out for sushi. It wasn’t as good as what we enjoy on our trips to New Jersey but, enjoyable just the same. I love the little tea pot.

  
6 – I have begun working on a quilt for my father-in-law to take with him to use during his dialysis treatments. The sweatshirt was my husband’s. They are both Marines. Like father, like son. We were hoping to find t-shirts in the traditional colors of scarlet and gold to use. They don’t seem to be available any longer. So, I bought knit fabric in the appropriate colors. I will blog more about this soon.

  
7 – I drove my daughter and her boy friend around some of the old neighborhoods in our town. He is an architectural history major at UVA and not from our town so he likes to get a tour now and then.  This is in the Woolen Mills area. And I don’t seem to be able to rotate it in the mobile version of WordPress. Ugh! (Turn heads to left shoulder)

The feature photo is hopefully the last snowfall of the season. It was pretty as it clung to the trees. Not the roads. And melted very quickly. That’s how all snow should fall in my opinion…whatever that is worth.

That’s it for my week. It always amazes me how busy I am when I look back. And this is only reporting a part of all that really goes on. Hope you all have a fabulous and productive week.

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Meet What’s-Her-Face.

I have been working hard as suddenly the doors have opened wider to my teaching sewing opportunities. I have had a lot of help as one of my current student’s mom has spread the word of my class offerings to her neighbors that she knew had children who were interested in learning to sew. She even coordinated the days so I could come to their neighborhood and spend one hour at one house doing a lesson and then I move right next door to another house to do a second lesson. I don’t know which is harder, planning a series of lessons or coordinating the schedules of busy kids and their families. So, I really appreciate her help. I have acquired 3 new students through her efforts.

So when I have some extra time I have been enjoying a little personal play sewing. I purchased My Felt Doll Book. I have had a lot of fun in the past making stuffed toys and dolls. I wanted to try some more. 

  
I apologize but, I don’t seem to be able to leave things well enough alone as they are. I wanted a slightly larger doll so I enlarged the pattern a bit and began sewing up the main body of my doll. As I was working on assembling her (I definitely decided it would be a “her”) I was trying to imagine what her face would look like. I hand embroidered her eyes and facial features. And what personality she would develope through those facial expressions. And what style she would had.

 She did get another leg. Isn’t she cute? Some of my embroidery floss tails moved around a big on the inside of her face as I was stuffing her and they seemed to create some weird lines in her complexion. My daughter said that it made her look “old”. I was looking at yarns for hair and spotted a gray and black fun fur yarn and knew it had to be for my doll’s hair. 

  
It almost looks purple in this lighting. I love it thou. Now I need to develope her “style” and give her a name. Any suggestions will be considered and appreciated.

 Have any of you made dolls? Do you find it fun to create a personality in a doll? Please share with me.

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Sunday Sevens

I had the honor of hosting Flat Stanley for the past two weeks for a project for one of my grandson’s preschool class. He chose to send it to me because I live near to the mountains and he lives on the coast of North Carolina. Althou, I was sick for part of his visit and we had some rather rainy weather, between Aunt Morgan and myself I think that Flat Stanley had some awesome adventures.

   
Flat Stanley with a bust of Edgar Allen Poe at the University of Virginia.

  
He also enjoyed hanging out with the books in one of the libraries.

 

Finally a nice day to drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is where it starts. I hoped the elevation would impress the preschoolers, if nothing else. It was rather cold and windy.  

 
The peach orchard is just beginning to show a hint of red on it’s tender branches. A hopeful sign that Spring is on it’s way.

   
We then ventured up the reservoir to see how full the streams were from all the rain. It’s so pretty up in this area. One of my favorite spots.

   
Lots of water coming over the dam.

The water was such a beautiful color. Wish it had been a bit warmer. The dog and Flat Stanley wanted to go for a hike.

I think Flat Stanley enjoyed his visit. Can’t wait to see how this project turns out in my grandson’s class.

  
More toys arrived for me this week too. I am hoping that this will be helpful for some of my classes that I am teaching. I am up to holding as many as 6 classes per week and an American Sewing Guild group for kids that is meeting once per month. It’s so awesome!

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Sunday Sevens is a fun way to share our lives outside of blogging and if you want to join in or see what other’s are up to take a jump on over to Natalie’s blog Threads & Bobbins to get the scoop. I have met some really cool people. Have a great week.

 

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Another Sunday Sevens

Only have 6 to share this week. So, I will make it quick and sweet.

 1 – My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. I sent them is Edible Arrangement. 2 of the pineapples are suppose to be cut into the numbers “60”.

  
2 – Halarious Hilda is a bit green around the gills and drippy in this winter weather. I feel ya honey!

 

3 – Car wash time. I call this structure the Dinosaur Bones Car Wash.   
4 – View from my desk one day at work.

 
5 – During the wonderfully, warm summer months the Impatients on my deck reseeded themselves into the potted orchid. One has managed to begin to bloom indoors. A very welcome surprise. 

  

6 – I made a warm cup of tomato soup and a gluten-free grilled cheese. My idea of “Comfort Food”. Aaahh!

 
Sunday Seven is a weekly collection of photos from our daily lives. Natalie over at Threads & Bobbins has all the details and you can join in at any time. 

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I hope that everyone has a wonderful week ahead. I love staying in touch with all of you.

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Sunday Sevens: My, What a Week

I haven’t been participating in the Sunday Sevens on a regular basis as many others do. ┬áNatalie at Threads and Bobbins organized this to be a photo collection of our week aside from our regular blog posting and you can jump in at any time to participate. Check out her website for more information.

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I live in the mid-Atlantic region of the US and last weekend we were hit with our first this year and worst storm in several years. You may have heard about it! So, I have to bore you with a few of the pics from that. It almost literally consume many people’s lives for most of the week. We don’t get snow like this around here very often. (thank goodness)


“Come here often?” These two pot perchers are on a lamp globe that I have out on my deck. They looked so funny peering at each other above the snow mound.


As the snow began to melt the ridge along the deck railing began to create a fancy little wave.


Then this happened! Some of you may remember that we replaced our shingled roof with a metal roof in the Fall. Well, all that heavy snow (we had about 16 inches here) slid off the roof and onto our large tent-like garage that keeps the weather off our supply of firewood and our extra personal vehicles. The structure buckled under the weight and knocked my bicycle and scooter into the hubby’s motorcycle. Oooops! Between shoveling the cars out of the driveway and shoveling sidewalks and working he was, just yesterday, able to get to shoveling the snow off the side of the garage and has yet to secure the crumpled sides before we can move anything to check for possible damages.


Last snow pic….I promise! Poor Lucy the Concrete Goose doesn’t like the snow any more than I do.


Monday was a snow day from work. On Tuesday I stayed home to tend a cold that I managed to catch on top of all else. Then Wednesday it was back to work for me. I am working a temporary job for a foundation that provides college scholarships. Data entry is pretty boring but, it is nice to make a little extra money.


And then this happened…I could have cried. I had started this scarf from Bekki’s post at Dartmoor Yarn. After three starts it was finally coming along and I was enjoying learning the pattern. I had my knitting bag sitting in the chair and I have a terrible habit of plopping arm loads of stuff into the chair when I enter the house. I guess wooden needles don’t handle such abuse. Wish me luck in trying to transfer this to the brand new replacement needles. UGH!


My youngest child who will turn 21 in 2 weeks FINALLY registered to vote. I said I was taking this picture to add to her “Baby Book”. She’s all grown up — sniff, sniff.

That’s it for me. I hope you aren’t totally bored by my snow pics and other boring happenings of the week. I hope everyone has a great week ahead.

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Simple Style Linen Apron

I love simple. Who doesn’t, right? I actually love simple style. So when I saw this simple style apron (called a pinafore from Rough Linen) I was really drawn to it. Then I started thinking about aprons in general. Aprons are so cute. And functional. I have made many in my day. In fact I believe it was a first project taught in home economics class. This is where we learned to square up the fabric and cut out a rectangle for an half apron attached to a waist tie.

DSC_0110I’ve embellished aprons with my embroidery machine. I’ve sewn a few from patterns. Cute! Cute!! And you may remember my post from last year. But….I don’t wear an apron. When I am working in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning, I don’t wear an apron. And I ruin my clothes in the process. But, they drive me crazy. They don’t fit me properly. My proportions are not the same as most full aprons. So, when I saw this apron I had to try it out.pinafore-front-revised-3-19-14

I started thinking about it and I realized that in order for it to fit me well enough I would have to make it fit — well, me. So, I measured my high bust and added 4 inches to that measurement for hemming and ease. Then I measured from my high bust to just about my knee. Then I kind of measured from the top of high bust across my back to about my waist.

I came up with measurements for cutting out my fabric to look something like this:

  • Main Body – 48″ X 33″
  • Facing – 48″ X 3″
  • Straps – 4 @ 24″ X 3″
  • Pockets – 2 @ 9″ X 10 1/2″

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I used linen to make my apron. It’s classic, durable and I just like linen. I cut the length plus another 4 inches out of the yardage of linen that I had. I cut another strip 3 inches along that width for a facing. Cut the straps and pockets from the remainder of the fabric.

Next I constructed the straps by sewing two straps together on three sides leaving one end opened and turned right side out. I pressed it and top stitched 1/8″ from edge down both long edges of the straps. I measured out 4 inches from the center at the top of the body of my apron and pinned the straps to the top lining up the raw edges. You can baste these in place or just pin. Now line up the 3 inch facing piece and pin it on top of your strap along the width of your apron. Again lining up your raw edges. The straps will be sandwiched between the right sides of the apron and facing. Stitch along the width of the top edge attaching the facing and the straps. Press facing up away from the main body and press the seam allowance toward the facing.

Next turn under raw edge on both sides of the apron 1/4″ and then 1″ enclosing the raw edges of the sides and creating a hem. Stitch close to the top of the hem’s folded edge.

Press the facing down toward the main body and top stitch 2″ from the top of the apron to stitch down the facing. Make sure the straps are out of the way.

Measure 4″ out from center (In both directions) and about 16″ down from the top of apron to determine the bottom and edge of pocket placement. Fold and press down 1/4″ of the top of 10 1/2″ and then to the wrong side 1″ and press. The right sides will be together. Stitch 1/2″ from the top to the bottom of the 1″ hem on top of pocket on each side. Trim the corner and turn it right side out. Press under 1/2″ on each side and the bottom of pocket. Place pocket lower edge at the points marked to the front of apron. Stitch close to the fold edge on three sides and double stitch at top edges or create a small triangle to secure the top of pockets.

Cross the strap without twisting to the opposite back edge of apron at the top. Pin to wrong side and cross the second strap to it’s opposite edge and pin. Try apron on to determine if straps need shortening or if this length works for you. When you are happy with placement stitch in place sewing a box with and “X” in the center for reinforcement.

DSC_0006Turn under bottom hem 1/4″ to wrong side then turn up hem at least 1″ (or more if you prefer). Stitch close to top fold edge of hem. You are done.

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I hope that these directions make some sort of sense. It really is an easy apron to make. I plan to make more of these. My sister requested a way to hang a towel to her apron so I replaced the right pocket with a loop for her to thread her towel through.

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Other than Sewing

 
 
I apologize for the lousy photos. It’s not always easy taking photos of myself and even more challenging with my iPad.

I have not posted any post about my attempts at knitting. Mainly because I am a very, very slow knitter. It once took me years to knit a sweater for my husband. He requested it to help keep him warm in the winter months while he was riding his bicycle to work on a regular basis. By the time I have finished it he had upgraded to riding a motorcycle. The bulky sweater isn’t practical for wearing while cruising on his Yamaha nor does it fit well under his leather jacket (althou he may have worn it once).

At any rate, we have been making quick car trips up to NJ to check in on my in-laws so this car time has allowed me the chance to keep my hands busy with some take-along knitting. I used this free pattern on Raverly, Cozy Thermal Mitts. I am glad that I gave it a try. It is a really fun pattern. Quick and easy to follow.

   
 
I completed the main part of the mitts within one of our trips. One on the way up and the second on the way back. Once at home it took me a week or so to finish the thumbs on each mitt. I made a few mistakes but, I plan on using these for myself so I just call it my ‘signature style’. 
  
The yarn is 100% acrylic, which I usually do not care for but, I was drawn to the colors in this. I used just over one skein to make the mitts and a hat so, I have quite a bit left over. It has a very soft feel and was easy to work with. 

  
I had so much left after the mitts that I decided to whip up a hat and tried to use the same pattern in the mitts. In other words, I just winged it. I am not really a hat wearer. Sometimes I just have to do it thou. 

  
Now that it is all said and done, I am happy with the way these turned out. The mitts are fast enough to complete that I may make another pair before the end of winter. It is finally cold enough here that I (or someone else) could use them.

But first, there is a lace scarf that I wanted to make. And sewing. Yes, more sewing! 

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Christmas T-Shirt Quilt

I had promised a post about the t-shirt quilt that my sister-in-law asked me to make for my nephew for Christmas. Her request for the quilt was that it fit on his double bed at college and that it be warm and soft. She brought me 25 t-shirts from a collection that she has kept since he was in elementary school. Even earlier than that as there was also a sweat shirt that I made him when he was 2.

The shirts are really fun. Most are special ones that she had saved and most were in really good shape. I had visions of getting really creative with these shirts and producing a master piece worthy of displaying on a wall. Ha!!!

After measuring every logo on every shirt front or back and carefully recording the sizes I cut out grid paper to each size. Then I laid them all out on another sheet of grid paper in a configuration that appealed to me. Somewhat balanced. Then I stood back and took a long hard look at it.

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There was no easy way for me to transfer my idea to a quilt. Especially since I had just over a week to finish this project!! I washed all the shirts to remove my markings and after a sleepless night decided that I would just cut the shirts into blocks, each the same size determined by the largest length and the widest width of the graphics. That ended up being 18 inches by 19 inches.

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After all the shirts were cut, it was time to stabilize the shirts. I didn’t have any fusible tricot but, I had a couple of bolts of ultra-lightweight fusible interfacing.

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It was a long, slow process fusing all the backs of the shirts but, it really makes the rest of the piecing easier. I used a pressing cloth that I spritzed with water and then pressed the fusible to the wrong side of the shirt block.

Then I laid out the blocks on my daughter’s queen size bed in an order where I could see how the blocks would look together and to see how big the quilt would be. I took a picture of it so I could use it as a guide when I sat down at my sewing machine to begin piecing the rows.

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There were some smaller shirts that I had to add strips of quilting cotton to in order to make them the same size as the rest of the blocks. Luckily there were 5 blocks of those and I placed those down the center of the quilt top.

Now, if I had only looked at the photo more closely when I was piecing the rows. I ended up mixing the placement of the first two blocks of the second row which left 2 black blocks next to each other. Oh well. I really wasn’t too worried about it as the clock was ticking faster and faster.

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I was so happy that the quilt top was as large as it was. My nephew is a tall boy and I knew he would want something that easily covered all of him. I had purchased a black flannel to use for the back of the quilt and a low loft poly-fill to use for the batting. I also had a special t-shirt and the sweat shirt pieces that I wanted to add to the back. The special shirt was one that I had saved from the Monticello Brewing Co. which was a “you-brew” pub that my brother and dad had 19 years ago when my nephew was just a toddler. There are not many of these shirts around any more. The graphic is of Thomas Jefferson wearing a logo hat from the brewery. I thought that it should spend the rest of it’s life in my nephew’s quilt.

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I didn’t get any pictures of the way that I finished the quilt other than I tied the quilt using embroidery floss. I also cut the backing 2 1/2 inches wider than the quilt front and turned under a wide hem to create the binding. I hand stitched the binding to the front. And the clock kept ticking…

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I am really pleased with the way it turned out.

My sister-in-law presented the gift on Christmas Eve so we all could see my nephew open it. I think that he liked it too. My mom said that she had never seen him smile so much.

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It was really fun to make and I know that my brother, sister-in-law and nephew are all pleased with it. I would have really liked to make a more creative layout of this quilt. I do have 2 boxes of my son’s graphic t-shirts that he sent to me 3 (or more) years ago that I have always had the intention of making a quilt for him. He has been living in more tropical climates so I haven’t been really pushed to start making one. Now I guess I can use his as an excuse to “up” my game and get creative.

I apologize for such a long post. I am really excited about the final results of this project. Have you ever made a t-shirt quilt or one from old fabrics that have a sentimental meaning to you? Please share. I would love to see what you have done. It may inspire me.

 

 

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Sunday Sevens

Love that face

Love this face!

Happy Sunday everyone and I hope all who celebrated this past week had a fabulous time.

Sunday Sevens was created by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins as a fun way for us to share a bit of our week with one another. It’s fun to peek into our blogging friends lives and to share some of our own. Check it out and join in.

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This collection of photos is from part of my family’s Christmas celebration.

1- My parents and I met up with number 2 daughter and my number 2 grand daughter in Richmond to share a lovely meal at the Cheesecake Factory and to exchange gifts. I have never eaten at the Cheesecake Factory. They have adapted their menu to accommodate gluten sensitivities so I finally had the chance to try it. My mom, number 4 daughter and I split this wonderful chocolate desert.

Chocolate Cheesecake

2 – My sister-in-law in New Jersey sent us this Amaryllis and it took off growing as soon as I transplanted it. I will post a picture of it when it finally blooms. I predict it will be massive if all three of those stems end up blooming.

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3 – We had a Christmas Eve celebration with family at my brother’s house. The theme was the Feast of the Seven Fishes based on his wife’s Italian heritage. We indulged in oysters on the half shell, catfish nuggets, oyster stew, shrimp, and something else that I am forgetting. Not every dish was a fish. We don’t always play by the rules. We also had a White Elephant Gift Exchange which is lots of fun. I did not take pictures of all the ‘dishes of fishes’. I was too busy chatting it up with everyone.

Glasses

Festive drink table setting

4 – Sardines. Part of “the feast”. I didn’t try these as it was the 6th dish and I am not always keen on fish with lots of bones. But, everyone who did eat them raved about how good they were.

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5 – Linguini with clam sauce. Yes, the pasta was gluten free. There are 6 of us with celiac disease in my family. This was a fresh gluten free pasta from Whole Foods. Yum!!!

GF Linguini clam sauce

6 – I brought along a FujiFilm Instax Mini camera to leave out for random picture taking. Have any of you have seen this thing or have tried one? It’s really fun. It’s a mini version of the old Polaroid cameras only these instant pictures are the size of a business card. My number 4 daughter who works for a catering company said these sometimes show up at wedding receptions. It’s a great way to record any gathering or party.

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7 – Sebastian loved his new ball that Santa brought for him. This dog was like having a 3 year old in the house when we opened presents. He wanted in on all that paper ripping. I gave him his presents just to distract him so we could finish opening our own.

Happy Dog

Happy Dog!

The feature photo is my grand daughter enjoying the cheesecake that she and her mommy and great papa shared at our lunch.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday and that the New Year is full of health and joy! Happy Holidays to you all!

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Sunday Sevens

My post for this recap of our week’s activities aside from a regular blog post seems to have turned into a monthly recap. Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins is the brain child of this. So, go check her out and the others who play along (on a more regular basis) when you follow the link to her Pinterest board. They certainly won’t disappoint.

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It’s not that I do nothing all week. Maybe it’s more that I do too much? I don’t think to take pictures? I don’t know. So, here goes my recap of the week.

1. I went with the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild to Richmond to view the The Downton Abbey costume collect. The final season will begin airing in a couple of weeks here in the US. I loved seeing all the costumes and reading about them. Best of all we could take pictures (no flash) but it was so hard not to touch. I just wanted to feel every fabric and touch every bead. Ugh!

  
2. The last session of my sewing classes finished this week. The next session begins right after the first of the year. 3 of the 4 classes that I am offering next filled up with at least the minimum required participants within the first couple of days of registration. I am very excited about it. I have been playing around with my new machine and some quilting projects. The last class involved a simpler version of this little mug rug.

  
3. I had bought these carrots – yes, carrots at the local market. I couldn’t resist trying them. I roasted them to have as a side with dinner. They are a bit starchy. Not too bad thou. Has anyone seen anything like this before?

  

4. I have been madly working on this project for my sister-in-law as a Christmas present for my nephew. She brought me  25 of his t-shirts to make into a quilt. It needs to be soft and warm and be large enough to cover his 6 foot plus body. It’s almost finished and I promise to write a blog post about it (and my newest sewing machine) soon. Promise!

  
5. I just have to add this from a week ago (or so) I found a tutorial for making this snowman wreath. I couldn’t resist. And I can’t resist sharing him with you now.

  
That’s it for my week. Except I do want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday. I love being able to peek into all of your lives and appreciate that you have so much passion to share the things that you love with all of us every week.

  

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