Thinking Outside of the Box, Jewelry Display Ideas

Polymer Clay Tutor Jewelry Display IdeasVideo #279: Inspiring you to think more creatively than the same old, same old. ~Cindy Lietz

Whether you are making handmade polymer clay jewelry to sell or to keep for yourself, you will eventually need to store your pieces or display them in some way. Rather than using a typical jewelry box or necklace tree to show off your collection, why not think outside the box and come up with more unique jewelry display ideas?

The objective of today’s video is not to send you guys off on a wild goose chase looking for the exact same metal gift bag that I used as a display prop. What I would love to do is simply inspire you to think more creatively than the same old, same old.

You never know, the perfect jewelry display solution for you, may end up being something that is just lying around your house right now… you’ve just got to open your eyes!

Just as I was writing this post, it dawned on me that one of those small metal mesh garbage cans or a mesh magazine holder from a metal desk set, would work as an alternative to what I showed you in the video above. I like the shopping bag look that the metal gift bag brings to the display, but I can see all kinds of other ideas as possibilities as well.

Have fun coming up with your own unique jewelry display ideas. And please do share what you come up with in the comments section below.  You guys all have so much to give in terms of creativity and inspiration. Looking forward to everyone’s input!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

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Comments

  1. Cute idea – My daughter – who throws things in a drawer – could use.! With the holidayze so near, I think I will looks for a large mesh thingy for her !!LOL

    Also , a 15 yr old granddaughter. Maybe she neeeds one too. So many ideas………..hhmmmmmmmmm

    Thanks for the tip Cindy.!

  2. This is very neat, Cindy. It certainly will get those thinking caps going. Another one of your great ideas that is boundless. Thanks for the great idea. Will have to keep both eyes open while in the stores over the holidays as there are usually some pretty neat annual ideas popping up. Maybe some neat things at the $1.00 store. Must be birthday time at your house if memory serves me right but don’t know if it has already happened. Hope it was a super one, in the past week or in the present, Cindy, and let it continue until we can repeat the wishes next year.

    A huge Birthday Hug and Hershey kisses,
    Joyce

  3. Each time I see one of your mails,I know you will give a new idea, some inspiration and really I love to read and to ear you! Thank you very much!
    Hugs fromReunion Island

  4. Or, this is not an original idea, you could staple wire mesh to the back of a picture frame and hang on the wall with your jewelry on it. This way, no precious surface space is taken up, too.

  5. Hi CINDY the mesh handbag is a great display item for all your pretty jewellery

    I got two same size picture frames from the Pound (Dollar) store. An old piece of lacey net curtain. Stapled the net to the back of the frames after taking out the glass and backing bits.
    ( But you could also hot glue the net, just make sure you pull it taut) . I laid the two frames on newspaper, borrowed some of my DH’s auto paint in flat black and sprayed them back and front. After two coats of paint the net was really stiff and looked very dramatic coloured black.

    I then attached them in two places by drilling holes in top of frame and using gold coloured cord threaded through the holes knotted and ends frayed out.

    Then half way down the sides and threaded more cord, knotting and fraying to match. Now I had a mini A board that opened up to the width of the side cords. Lastly I cut a piece of black felt to double the length of my A board. Just laid my display inside when flat packed for travelling. The depth of the two frames
    when flat packed kept the backs of the earrings from touching and getting tangled.

    I only made the one and after using it once for a craft fair my niece swooped on it as said it would be great for her Goth inspired bedroom. She got a pack of those little plastic tubes that fit over the ends and stop the ear wires from falling out. She also said I should use the little backing tubes as it deters customers from trying them on.

    So now I need to visit the pound (dollar) store again. Might make a dark red or forest green one for Christmas displays as can also get the coloured felt from the kiddie section. My niece also suggested that if I sprayed the net using brown wrapping or craft paper (sprayed gold) I could cut this up to make pretty bags to hold the earrings. Mmm better add gold and silver spray paint to my shopping list. Also a reminder to spray outdoors or in a well ventilated area and use a face mask. I use a very large cardboard box laid on it’s side to contain the over spray. Cheap to make but they look a million dollars………………….cheers xx…………………..

      • Sorry Maria I have to create word pictures as had to be hauled screaming and kicking into the 21st century. But I have signed up for Adult education classes to learn how to use my computor to do all the things you other guys do so well. So one day…….watch this space…………………..cheers xx…………………

        • My kids and husband help ME a LOT with the computer, I’m embarrassed to say. I have much more to learn, including posting pictures myself! Shall we learn together? : )

    • Love your idea with the picture frames… I’m going to look iny dollar store for the Doyle picture frames ….the ones that are connected andcthecreplace the glass with wire mesh ….no sure were to buy it .. I’ll try Home depot …y friend used large goblets to display her earrings …Iske mostly pendant so I would have to figure out how to hold them on the mesh…I think Use a small piece of wire … Right now I a using display boards that my hubby made that I painted white and the attaches cup hooks…I bought l picture stands at the dollar store. To hold them up … He also made me stands to hold my necklaces ( looks like t “T” ) butcpitcof beautiful scraped wood that he had…. I use t instead for he bookmarks that I make … I have a lot of work to do because I am particating Iny first every Town wide Craft fair …little nervous about it ..I don’t think I will have wnought stuff. But I guess I have to start some were …. My big mistake is not setting time aside very day his etcto realy work ony stuff but at least I gettingy feet wet. With this one….
      By the way I love the way you packages your spiders … Iadsxjustca few last year on request ….u town is aix of all religions but with. An extreme large Jewish population …. So I am try to few with bot without going crazy….
      Any and all suggestions on packaging will be helpful…. Oh let not forget to say that your flowers are breath taking….I guess there is a it of thing that an become with Wiltons cake decorating stufff…y daughter thinks crazy at buying it to use with clay…but that’s her not me . Well I am rampling on got to stop and do sole cooking for the holidays
      Natalie

  6. Another useful mesh object is window screening. My husband stapled some to the back of a nice wooden frame and now my earrings make a beautiful wall-hanging. My necklaces hang on a narrow board with dowel rods for another artistic display.

  7. Lot of great ideas in this blog. Love the mesh carry-all bag.
    I just saw another idea the other day at the Mall. I belong to the Creative Iowans Group and sell my embroidery there but also there are a lot of other artists who sell jewelry and other crafts. One persons takes two pieces of wood about a 1×1 size and approx. 18″ long and fastens a nylon mesh screen at the top between the board using fancy screws and decorates the board. There is a fastner to hang it with. The screen is about 18″ wide and hangs about the same and is free flowing so you can reach both sides. It was covered with all kinds of earrings. The only drawback I could see was there was no place to hang bracelets or necklaces, but then maybe they just wanted it for earrings. I made a quilted hanger for inside my closet door with stick on hooks and small dowels to hang earrings on. The quilted pad is nice because when I close the door, the necklaces don’t bang against the wood, but rather have a nice padded sound barrier. It is amazing how much jewelry you can hand on a door and it is out of site and out of the way when the door is closed. ;)

  8. Great, great idea, Cindy! I love all your colors everywhere…in your projects, videos, etc. I just love color. I can look at nail polish all day even though I never use it. Strange fascination.

  9. Preserve Your Memories II spray sealant is ON SALE…..

    precision-blue.com/Google.html

    Thanks to Tonya Lenderman for sharing on her Facebook page.

    For those unfamiliar with the wonders of this product, use the search box for more information. Frequently abbreviated to PYMII, so try that as search topic as well.

    • looks ike it will be on sale all month :)

      I added it to my favorites tool bar so
      maybe I’ll remember :p

      thanks for the tip

  10. Oh My Gosh! So many ideas posted !!! Isn’t this great -to share ideas and create stuff????????
    Love Cindy’s site. Lots of info flying around. Ty -ty-ty- one and all………………..grin!

  11. Hi Cindy! My 5 year old grandaughter loves to craft. Recently she became interested in clay, so of course I went to Michael’s and bought some supplies. We had such fun making fall leaves and pumpkins for her fall tree. After all the fun (and a little hard work, lol) they were baked and ready to seal. I was told at the store I could seal with modge podge, boy what a mistake! It is very tacky, do you have any suggestions? Should we start over and try a different sealer? Thanks for any help you can give us!

    • Hi Vickie, so glad to hear you are doing clay with your Granddaughter… sorry to hear about the bad advice you got! You can remove most finishes by soaking in rubbing alcohol and rubbing it off with a paper towel or toothbrush. As far as putting a new finish on, you don’t actually need to seal polymer clay, unless it has something on it like mica powder, gold leaf or glitter, that you are worried about rubbing off or you want a high shine. There are lots of options for polymer clay compatible finishes if you do want to use one though. Just type ‘finishes’ into the search box at the top of the page for a list of helpful articles. Hope that helps!

      • Yes, Dixie—WHAT a hunk! I’m glad YOU said it because I was afraid to. I’ve got plans, too, of doing things like “Young Frankenstein” with bunnies, etc. Picture a Gene Wilder-bunny with the crazy hair, his ears sticking straight up boing, and a caption reading “It’s alive!”…

        I have no excuse……my brain is Abby-normal.

        LOLOLOL to you, too!

  12. Hey, Cindy and All—Here I am bugging you again. I know I’ve just joined but I’m so excited because several things have happened today and I hope that you understand that I have to “crow” a little about it, especially to those who are really “in the know”. I got several orders for necklace/earrings sets at once AND my first picture of a project is on the INTERNET with MY NAME on it! ( I feel like I’m on Broadway!) The website is cforiginals.com and you can click on “art swap 2012″ to see pictures of all that was entered. Mine is “The Time Traveler Opens the Portals of Time”. The picture was taken by Christi’Christi’s staff so I can’t share it with you because I don’t have a camera YET, so the only picture I have is that one. Business cards are coming tomorrow and I’m suddenly inundated by polymer—lovely polymer!—projects to do. I want to so incorporate all of what I’m going to learn from Cindy and all of you into my work. Thanks for being so nice and bearing with me while I gush out so. And thanks in advance for sharing all your knowledge and many happy challenges ahead to all of you!

    • Congratulations Andrea! I am so happy for you. Your sculpture is fabulous girl. What talent you have. Can’t wait to see some of your jewelry. You go girl!

    • Hi Andrea

      Your little time traveler is SO Cute I just <3 him

      How in the world did you get the lettering on the piece of white clay ?

      welcome to the Best (imho) polymer clay site anywhere-ever!!

      • Thanks you, Tantesherry! I tried to do a transfer but my local copier lady could not get the writing backwards for me. I was set on it, so… Angie Scarr, who is the “guru” of miniature polymer food (UK citizen now residing in Spain) says in one of her books that she had good results with just sandwiching the piece of paper between whatever background clay you’re using and a very, very thin layer of translucent. You need to leave the paper on for a while before applying the translucent, however. The clay bonds with the paper this way. It’s a little unwieldy but I gave it a shot. She said she used this trick for making cheese wheels, etc.. I was working on that, too, because I want to do a “Cheese Boards from Around the World Necklace” as part of a food necklace collection thing (salmon steaks and all…that will get me some comments). Scarr is to miniature food what Cindy is to flowers, especially that thing she did with the clover. Wow! I bought the video last night. Awesome, awesome! I CANNOT wait to have people drool over THOSE and other “Cindy projects”…the curb chain, etc.
        I agree…this site is great!

        By the way, My little one really IS little. The rules were that the entry had to be no bigger than 3″x3″x3″. I did a bigger one first, to get all the bugs out (also so I could keep it for myself). The bigger one is more elaborate, especially around the base. You can’t really see it in the photo but the leaf sits on three corrugated brass beads. Those are the legs of his time-traveling chair. And he’s a wee bit tilted because he’s going thru all that commotion of the portals opening. This was so much fun to make! Thanks again!

    • Andrea, welcome and congrats on that spectacular Time Traveler. So cute. Would love to see what you come up with if you used an Alice in Wonderland theme too.

      Thanks so much for the transfer idea using translucent clay to seal the image. Can see lots of possibilities with that technique.

      • Thank you, Jocelyn. And thanks to Cindy for putting up that “blue thing” to make it easy for you guys to check it out. (I am very computer stumped!) A very good customer came into the store and I showed him the picture and he got all excited. Said “Can you do this and can you do such and such?” So I said, “You can pretty much do anything with this stuff!” Dig this—he wants a 3-D plaque of The Pearly Gates with the Archangel Michael fighting Lucifer. He was going to have this done as a tattoo on his chest but never got around to it! My co-worker said to him, “Well, you wouldn’t be able to see it on your chest. Now you can look at it on the wall!”And a family of giraffes, too, mother a foot high and babies all around her. Geez, what have I gotten myself into! Isn’t it interesting, though, all the wonderful different things we would all like to see realized? It goes to show we are all born with artistic ability.

        And you, Jocelyn, how/what would you like to see done with Alice? Let’s say we collaborate. I’M game, how ’bout you?

        • OK, I’ll out myself. The Real Housewives of New Jersey KILLS me. The break out star, Teresa Giudice wrote a blog using an Alice in Wonderland theme…….

          bravotv.com

          Caution, you’ll need hip waders venturing in those waters, lol!

          • Hi, Jocelyn!

            Been gone for a while due to a health situation with a friend. But I’m totally engrossed with this Real Housewives…idea. I must confess that no, I’ve never seen the show (gasp!) so all this is going to be news to me, which is just like I like it. I used your link but can’t figure out how to see what blog you’re referring to. Can you give tips?

            Wheels spinning even now!

            Andrea

      • Jocelyn—

        A piece of advice on sandwiching the paper with polymer. I thought that if I cut the paper in a curvy way instead of straight it would disguise the edges. It did the opposite. You could see the paper more. If it’s cut straight it blends in much better.

          • Jocelyn—Thanks for the link. I get the concept, which is great. The problem FOR ME would be that I’m not familiar at all with the show. Are you going to attempt this, as in making each story book character resemble the actress in question with their most outstanding poses, etc? Then you’d have to set the scene! Oh, you could have so much fun! It’d be like playing Barbies with dolls you made yourself.

            I googled up a picture of “Young Frankenstein” yesterday. I’m planning to do the “It’s ALIVE” scene. But I’m making it with bunnies because that my next “realistic animal” that I’m going to learn to make. Bunny Gene Wilder Frankenstein and Bunny The Monster Peter Boyle. Then the fun, too, will be in making the laboratory with all the gizmos.

            But first I have to sleep with the photo on my night table for a few days. That always seems to do the trick. Subliminal suggestion, you know. Go figure!

            Please do Alice! This would be so cool!

            Thanks,

            Drey (As in Ann-Drey-A)

  13. Thank you, Dixie Ann! I’m afraid I must be driving Cindy crazy tonight by not posting in the right place. Why is she staying up so late?—we must all be insomniacs. My head is just so big and blown up right now. Have you seen the movie from the sixties “The Time Machine”, with that sweetie, Rod Taylor? He was my inspiration, so thanks to Rod, too. That’s a Swarovski Crystal for the famous handle. Good grief, I have to get to work or there will be nothing to crow about! ‘Night!

    • I loved that movie! Rod Taylor was a hunk! I have seen every time machine movie ever made…..I stay up half the night, watch old movies and play in my clay!…LOLOLOL

        • Andrea P.

          Your enthusiasim shines through your work and I know that feeling. When somebody actually asks you to make something special for them. I really love Christi Friesen’s quirky sense of humour, love her steampunkery!

          Angie Scarr is a brilliant miniaturist. I made her fruit and veg market stall for a birthday gift last year. The hardest part was the wooden stall and getting the measurments correct
          Donna Kato is so sweet and I have all her books. They are most of my favourites but lovely to read that Angie is now settled in Spain and does “holiday workshops”, will have to look into this for early spring break!

          Although books are great, nothing beats CINDY’S hands-on instructions. I am so glad I stumbled onto this site. Just made 6 pairs of different coloured sweet-pea earrings using my NEW sugru hacked bead rack. So thanks again CINDY for all the clever, time-saving tips, and welcome Andrea, you certainly do not let the grass grow under your feet…………………………….cheers xx…………………………………………..

          • Elaine—
            You MADE the stall?!?!?!? Wow! My respect for you is immense. Was it for a friend or a commissioned job? That’s going to be a problem for me, too, although not a bad one—what do I charge for these out-of-sight projects? Because I really, really want to do them. As for the stall, I was actually thinking it would be easier to do it in polymer than in wood. Have you checked out “Making Miniature Gardens” by Freida Gray? She hardly uses polymer but a lot of great ideas could be rendered in polymer. She’s got gazebos, a wild pond, etc., and the plans and measurements are right there. Also “1/12 Scale Character Figures” by James Carrington. Carrington is the artist who did the grocer on the front cover of Scarr’s first book. All available at Amazon, my favorite place. Christ Friesen was the first artist I discovered. She’s totally free form whereas Donna Kato is very precise and formal. I love both things and can do if I want. I’ve always been self taught—just give me a book. But I also agree there’s nothing like seeing an expert do it. I also stumbled on to this site and Cindy blew me away with some of the stuff I saw. Again, another completely different style. And Doug’s videos are great in and of themselves. Then, there’s all you guys with all these questions and ideas. I feel like I’ve somehow put together the best and brightest polymer university for myself with the best instructors and the best and brightest students. How could I ever let the grass grow?

            Cheers back to you!

      • Dixie–
        A customer where I work saw the picture and I explained about the movie with Rod. She said she could see the resemblance.

  14. By the way, All—

    As to the polymer in the fish tank question, everyone I faxed said don’t do it. I’m toying with the idea of doing it enclosed in glass, like a ship in a bottle. I HAVE to do it now; the idea is too good. It’s the Yellow Submarine my friend wants and we both thought of the Octopus clinging to the side of the tank with the Octopus Garden and the the Chief of the Blue Meanies and Paul in the other tank. Her husband said that with all that, nobody will see the fish! I said, fine, I’ll just MAKE the fish, too, and just a few and not too many to distract from the REAL stuff going on there.
    (Don’t tell McCartney—he’ll want royalties!)

      • Dixie, you’re too much! I think I mentioned that I have to get a camera. And learn to use it. Last time I had a camera it had flash strips. Work is going out of my hands and I’ll never have record. Oh, well…there’s always MORE polymer to be had! Thank you, you are so dear.

        P.S. Someday I will tell you the joke I played on a good friend with my little “Time Traveler”. Lucky she doesn’t get on this site.

        • Hi Andrea
          In reply to the market stall. It is packed up ready to send out to Germany and is a gift. It took many hours to construct 26 little veggie crates in wood. which I work in alongside PC I think to construct the whole thing in polymer clay would probably take a lot longer. Once you have made the proto type you can set up a production line, doing all the sawing, then drilling and glueing etc.

          I do pyrography (wood burning) decorating bread boards spoons etc. I also burn on leather (native American decorated amulet purses) and silver work. It was to bring colour to my silver pieces that I discovered polymer clay and CINDY’S wonderful site. As for pricing? Always tricky as you do not want to under value your work as customers will not value an item that is too cheap
          Lots of help here at Cindy’s site just type into the search box at top right-hand corner for lots of related articles. You can always reduce an item on special offer if it is not selling. It is a lot harder to increase it, although at one huge craft fair a few years ago I put up every item by 25% as the cost of the stall was three times what I normally pay. I was amazed when I nearly sold out after three hours. So who knows? I do not expect PICASO asked enough for his paintings but now they sell for millions. If somebody wants a complicated piece I quote them a OTT price but say, let me work it out and get back to you. Then I work out time, costs etc. and come up with a price at least 20% less. If it is personalised I take a large deposit and always give myself time to complete, usually between 14 to 28 days. Do NOT let a customer down, always complete a few days ahead of deadline and if it took less time than expected give a bonus, perhaps voucher for 10% off their next purchase with another business card. If it comes in a lot less costs to you I give value for money with lux packaging or perhaps a tiny gift as a thank you. Extra little touches all help for repeat business………………………….cheers xx………………………………….

          • Hey, Elaine!

            Sorry. I’ve been away with a friend’s health situation. But I want you to know how much I appreciate all the hard-earned knowledge you’re sharing.

            The reason I thought of doing the stall in clay is because I don’t have the woodworking experience you have nor the tools. It would be a whole new thing and I’d be gung-ho for it except that my real gun-ho right now is hanging out with the clay.

            I agree with all your ideas. Having worked retail for 30+ years, I customers really appreciate the special attention and little touches to the point that they will come beck to you even if it’s cheaper elsewhere. I’m a stickler for being straight up-front about products, etc.. and people will often say they come back because they can trust that I’m not just trying to sell them something. And I personally love to do the extra little details. They’re so much fun and in many ways provide a type of wind-down after you’ve concentrated on getting something done and done right. It’s like wrapping a gift for someone you love. I will check the site about other tips as well.

            Thanks!

            Drey

  15. Hi all, wanted to share another idea that came to me while I was thinking way outside the box! I love making Lentil beads especially big ones for pendants but never liked having to poke a hole through them because sometimes the sides distorts or if you hang them on a bead wire the weight of the bead pulls the hole out of whack. I had made my son and grandson a beautiful lentil that looks like carved wood but did not put a hole in them because I wanted to find a way to hang them on a cord without one. While cruising through Etsy one day I saw some Aanraku bails that you glue on for Earrings.
    I purchased some and wow………..they fit the lentil bead just perfect and are now proudly hanging from one on a kumihimo cord. I posted a photo on Cindys Beadsandbeading Facebook page if you would like to look at them. I used E6000 for the glue and let it set for 24 hrs. because of the size of the bead. I am happily patting myself on the back and wanted to share my happiness with everyone.

    • I just checked out your pieces and they’re very nice. I’ve been making my own bails by curling one end of a piece of wire, gluing it to the back of my piece then after it dries I make my bail with the long piece of wire I left on top of the curled part. You can make any kind of design you want. I think it adds one more hand made element to the piece and it’s fast, easy and inexpensive.

      • Michelle, your bails sound really neat.
        I can’t quite picture them in my minds eye. Do you use them on the Lentil beads also? Would love to see a picture of them. Are they posted anywhwere?

    • Congrats Dixie on finding an easier solution to your lentil bead hole problem! I saw your pendants and they turned out great! Oh by the way, thank you so much for your help in answering questions around here. I really appreciate the help and it makes it a much more welcoming community when the answers come from the members instead of only myself. Thanks so much!

      And Michelle, I agree with Dixie that your bail idea sounds awesome! Love it when you guys make the projects your own!

    • Hi Dixie :)

      Very cool tip Lady!!

      would you mind taking a photo of the back side ?

      there is this ‘group’ on flicker that does front/back photos of polymer clay work
      it;s very educational

      • Sherry if you go to Etsy and do a search for glue on earring bails, a lot of photos will pop up so you can see close up what the front and back look like. I like the ones with the little scooped out area for the glue rather than the flat ones. They have much better holding power. Can you link me to the group on Flicker so I can see those photos? Thanks Doll

  16. Hi Cindy,

    Was wondering if you can answer a couple of questions? Appreciate your time…

    I know you make a lot of jewellery , so I was wondering if you knew why earrings that I had made and hung on a metal organizer seem to have oxidized and the ear wire have turned copperish? Is it just because the ear wires were the cheaper ones from Micheals? or maybe not enough circulation in the room? What do you do about this problem? does cleaning help? Or do I just need to buy a better brand of ear wires? Annoying really…I don’t really want to redo a whole bunch of earrings! And I sure want to avoid this problem in the future if I can help it.

    • Hi Alison, most of the findings you find at a craft store like Michaels, are not that high of quality. The coatings are not very thick, and wear off or oxidize quickly and are rarely precious metal. The higher quality of findings you use, the higher quality your jewelry will be as a whole. (This is assuming your polymer clay pieces are finished to the highest level you can get them.)

      It is usually better to use either sterling silver, silver filled, gold filled or niobium wire ear wires, if you plan to sell your jewelry. Most people have sensitivities to non-precious metals (or just plain think their cheap).

      The best thing to do is either order better quality ear wires in bulk at places like Fire Mountain Gems, or to buy 20 gauge wire (in any of those metals mentioned above) and make them yourself, which is by far the cheapest.

      I do have a few tutorials on making ear wires that will help get you started. One free and a few other paid ones. Here’s the links if you’re interested:

      Handmade Earwires Bead Landing Jewelry Jig

      Fancy Rose Earwires Technique

      How To Make Handmade Ear Wires
      .

    • Allison, I had the same problem when I first started making earrings. I bought ear wires by the 100’s and when they started turning that yucky color and lost their nice shiney silver look it really cheapened the overall look of the earrings. After Cindys suggestion, I switched to Silver or Silver Filled Wire and made my own. Now I proudly advertise that all my earrings are allergy free and made from this wire. It does make a terrific difference. You might pay a little more but it is much less expensive in the long run if you make your own ear wires out of this better wire. I literally threw out close to 200 ear wires I had purchased at Michaels and never looked back. Best of luck to you!

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