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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Best Laid Plans



Yesterday I ordered 3 frames. Mainly I wanted a frame for "Leda" and ordered the other two to avoid shipping costs. I got an email that the frame for "Leda" was out of stock. Good grief. So I picked another frame. I just want white. They didn't have any other just white ones unless I went to metal. So I went to metal. I really like the Little House Needlework frames. Old, weathered white with a little doo-hickey on the corners. Oh well, whatever.
Generally, I don't like working over one. But I did it all day yesterday and it wasn't bad. I am making a box and I got most of one side done. I am changing some things (colors and stitches) along the way.
I also worked on Tea Time Basket. It is very slow going. I have to say it again, Pearsall's silk sucks. This would be much easier and faster with regular floss and a slight change in the design. It seems like the designer (Barbara Jackson) made it more difficult than it needed to be. Maybe she was using techniques and styles from an old sampler. But if I work on it a little a day, maybe I can finish it before I croak. Either that or I will get fed up and throw it away or cut it up into small pieces and burn them. Just joking.
Spring Break has started for the schools around here. The kids outside my window are torturing a tree. I intend to do something more constructive than that.
A

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Drawer



I need a frame for "Leda". I usually call in my order because I'm an idiot and can't figured out how to do what I want on line. But I tried ordering online since it was too early to call. And I figured it out this time. But there is free shipping if I order more. So I went digging in the finished drawer to see if there was something in there that needed a frame. More like 20 things need a frame, and another 20 need to sewn into pillows and there are many things I haven't a clue what to do with. Maybe somebody wants some finished cross stitch? Why did I stitch them in the first place? Are they so old that they are hopelessly dated? I don't even like some of them. Some of them didn't turn out quite like I expected. I chose two more things to frame. One is a Shepherd's Bush kit that is just too much work not to do something with. Actually, I have several of them and I chose to frame the prettiest one. Then I had stitched my name with a Carriage House alphabet and I decided to frame that one too. I really like my name and enjoy stitching it. How vain is that?
A

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adventures



After aerobics class, I turned right instead of left and drove to Stitching Bits and Bobs. I don't go that often, maybe two times a year. I got there before it opened and sat in my car. They opened 20 minutes late. ARGH. There was another car with two ladies also waiting. Finally, it opened and I went in. I had a list of several things I wanted but didn't want to wait a month for an order so I just went there to get what they might happen to have from my list. One of the ladies from the other car said, "You look familiar". She looked familiar to me too. It was Sherri Jones of Patrick's Woods! I'm taking two classes with her in June in Georgia. What a coincidence! It was great to see and talk to her as well as indulge myself with a little stash. I was trying to hold out until Celebrations but just couldn't.
I worked on Tea Time basket and a little mousie yesterday. Fun. Not much gets done on Mondays. The sun is shining and I'm trying to decide what to work on. Such a dilema!
A

Monday, March 28, 2011

Anticipation



The bathrooms are clean! Laundry is being done. Load 2 is in the washer. A pile of stuff is ready to go to Goodwill. Halona's snacks are all bagged up. I'm ready for the day. I hope to get a package today. It is so fun to know something is coming in the mail. I was surprised to see that new info was posted on the Celebrations site. The class that I most want to take (and signed up for) is the first class to close because it is full. I sure hope I am one of the people that got in. I sent in my registration on the first day and I am a member so I am probably fine. But I would like to get that confirmation in the mail. One poor teacher had all her classes cancelled due to not reaching minimum sign-ups. I have been in classes at Celebrations with like 3 people in the class, so maybe it depends on the teacher if they will accept less than the minimum.
I finished the little Glow humbug. It is sweet. I think it should be a scissors fob but I haven't put a cord on it. I worked on the Tea Time Basket for just an hour or so. It is one of the few cross stitch projects that really would be easier to do on a frame. I had to frog (several times) just a simple row of diagonal stitches. Sometimes I can't count to 4! I should check the thread count. Maybe it is 35 or higher and that's why I am messing up so much. I dislike the Pearsall's silk floss. It is way too slippery. It has a nice sheen once you get it in the right place. It is a challenge and I will not be deterred! Today, anyway.
A

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Humdinger




I finished the 3 Violets humbug. It is beautiful even if I do say so myself. I was working on the yellow part in between the bunnies. I thought I was stitching daffodils but these sweet little chicks started to emerge.
I started another Just Nan humbug. It is called "Glow". It is slightly smaller with more of a Christmas design. I think it will go pretty fast. I am tempted to do a little work on Barbara Jackson's Tea Time basket today. That will require a significant amount of concentration to not screw it up.
A month from today I will be in New Hampshire at Celebration of Needlework. I can't wait!
I am sore from going to pilates yesterday. I wasn't sure pilates did anything for me but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. It gets to muscles that I don't use in step and aerobics.
The sun is shining! That puts in a good mood.
A

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekender



Yesterday we were at Barnes & Noble and I peeked into the book "The 17 Day Diet". I found a height/weight chart. For my height I should weigh 110 pounds if I have a medium frame. Ha! It's been at least 40 years since I weighted that much. I'd have to stop eating for three years to get to that weight. Kind of depressing. But on the positive side - it is a goal. Ridiculously low, unachievable, in my dreams, but it is a goal. I would actually be very happy to lose 10 pounds. I just say that I take after my dad. When I went to Celebrations I was dismayed at the general body type of the attendees. I snapped this photo in the lobby of the hotel where everybody was sitting around stitching. It was so crazy to see a lobby full of people stitching. This picture reminds me that I always want to be able to fit into one chair and not hang over!
I worked on the Just Nan humbug and it is coming along nicely. I might even be able to finish it today.
I was very good today. I went to pilates. I haven't been since before Christmas. I kept making excuses. Then last week I told DH that I was going to go "next week". Well, it is next week, and to keep my word, I went. She did some different stuff today and it was challenging but not impossible. I was glad I went but I will be sore tomorrow. It is cold today. 24 degrees. Winter coat weather. But there is no snow. Yeah!
Going to go do some stitching...
A

Friday, March 25, 2011

Confessions Friday



I feel like I should designate one day a week on this blog to confessions. Friday seems like a good day. The week is mostly gone and I am more aware of the errors of my ways. Well, my confession today is that I stopped at this store after exercise class. I had been thinking of this store for a while. I was looking for chocolate covered candied orange peel. So my choices of places to get this are limited. It was between this store and Fannie May. Fannie May was farther away. So I gave in to my hankering for orange peel that just happens to be covered in chocolate. Have to hide it away before DH gets home. Why? I don't know. He is well aware of my short comings.
I decided to get a white frame for "Leda". My urge is to order more than just one frame so I will look around to see if I have anything else that needs framing. Another confession: I have a whole drawer full of stitching that needs to be made into something.
I finished the little Just Nan Ladybug Santa. Fun stitch! He would look cute in a small square frame. Then I started Just Nan's latest humbug. It is supposed to be done on a pastel color linen but I just picked up my favorite natural Pearl Linen. It has such a soft feel to it. I think it mutes the colors a bit. I am happy with how it is going.
March is going so fast! April next week. Wow.
A

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Projects




I finished "Leda". She is very simple and I will order a frame today since I don't think I it will fit a standard size. I didn't tell anyone I was making it so maybe it will be a surprise. I was scrounging around for something to start last night when I just grabbed a Just Nan chart that I had kitted up a while back. It is a small Santa. I have this great little lunch box style bag that I ordered from Australia. It has several sections and zippered pages that make it a great place for storing small kitted up projects. I kitted up about 3 or 4 projects in it when I went on a trip so I could choose one I felt like working on. I saw somebody with one of these bags at Celebrations last year and tracked down a place to buy it. It is perfect for the Round Robins night and the Make-It Take-Its. It is made by "Yazzi".
The sun came out today. I was trying to decide whether to spend and hour looking for threads or whether to stop by Jo-Ann's and just buy what I needed for two more projects. I went to Jo-Ann's. Now I have two Just Nan Humbugs I can work on.
Have a great day!
A

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Leda


Well, I was wrong about whose letters I am using. It is Sisters and Best Friends "Just Letters". I chose an overdyed Waterlilies "Lavender Blue". I read another blog yesterday that reminded me that you don't have to complete each stitch when using overdyed threads. You get less of a variation in color. But that is what I wanted, a mottled color, not stripes. I imagine I will get it done today as it is going very fast. I am bothered by the "e" being taller than the round part of the "d". I may try adding a couple of stitches and see how it looks. I had to frog some of it. Since I am not doing the background and I evidently can't count passed 6, I messed up the placement and had to take out the "e" and start it again. I plan on framing it, although it would be a cute pillow. Then decisions, decisions, I have to figure out what to work on next. I have many little cute things. A small humbug looks fun and quick.
It is a rainy day and we might get some *snow*. ICK. I hope not.
No sweet and sour pork yesterday. DH said the pork was thawing out but it wasn't. I thought we had water chestnuts, we didn't. So we had the old reliable spaghetti. Top Chef tonight.
A

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ta-Dah!



It's done - finished- over! The Christmas Workshop was challenging. There is a fussiness about it. Lots of hand sewing, beads, changing colors, over-one but I am proud of it. I had to take off the sides and re sew them looser so they would bend enough to meet in the middle and so that the little cap stays on (barely!). It would have taken a lot longer if I hadn't had the kit. To track down all the parts needed would have slowed me down considerably. The finishing directions were illustrated and nicely done too. There is one pocket without a charm. It is supposed to be a scissors charm. I had one somewhere but can't find it right now.
I have had a change of heart about "Leda". I think the Prairie Schooler animal alphabet is too small. So I think I'll go with the Lizzie Kate one but leave out the background and just stitch the letters on pink and white check fabric (Graziano?). I just have to find the perfect color floss. If I use overdyed floss it will take much longer as you have to finish each stitch to get the color variation. And it looks a little striped when you get done. I stitched her brother's name with the Lizzie Kate alphabet so they will kind of match.
What fun to have the whole day to stitch - until I have to cook Sweet and Sour Pork tonight.
A

Monday, March 21, 2011

To The Point


It's Monday! My bathrooms are clean! Finishing takes soooo long. I worked on putting the Christmas Workshop together all day yesterday. I think it is looking great. I was missing some charms so I looked in my stash to find some that would look good. I have three packets of charms to go on Shepherd's Bush stockings. I just like the charms and have no intention of stitching the stockings. There is a Christmas tree pin cushion that I haven't made yet that goes in the middle of the base. That will really top things off. I didn't get started on "Leda" yet. I have to kit it up which means find the threads I need and some nice fabric to stitch it on.
I have two things to send off. DIL's birthday present and "In Treatment". I sold "In Treatment" on ebay but am waiting to be paid before I send it off. I bid on season 1 but didn't win.
I have to scrounge around for a fun project for Halona.
Guilty Pleasure: Dancing with the Stars starts tonight!
A

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Triangulated


I am sewing together the triangles for the sides of the Christmas Workshop. It is going well, that is, everything is fitting together.
The play yesterday was great. Those kids had all their lines down pat and did a great job. Very enjoyable. When you are dealing with people though, it is so hard when you are an early person and they are a late person. I went to pick up Halona and she was in the shower. ARGH. When she was finally ready we got into the car with her friend. They were hungry. They hadn't had lunch and only a banana for breakfast. So we had to find a quick place to drive through - three miles away - the opposite direction from where the play is. I worry about getting to the play on time, finding a place to park downtown, getting nice seats (three in a row), etc. We are going through the drive through and it is time for the play to start. I'm going nuts inside but trying to be calm and happy on the outside. So I am trying to resign myself to the fact that I can't do anything about it and we will be late. It is driving me crazy! We finally get to the play and I actually manage to find a parking place (miracle) and we run to get in. It hasn't started yet! Yeah! It is the first performance and they start late! Whew! But there weren't three seats together so we had to split up. I know I must be a little obsessive. I would rather be half and hour early than one minute late.
Breathe deeply, let it go. I had boys. I hear girls are often late. But good grief, everybody can tell time!
I think I will start the Prairie Schooler Animal Alphabet name "Leda" today. That will be fun and I want to get it done before she is too old!
A

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Going


I'm in a hurry. I have to go in a few minutes to pick up Halona for the youth play. I have made good progress on Christmas Workshop. All the sides are done and I have over half of the inside base done. It is starting to take shape. The plain triangles are the inside and each one will have a little pocket on it. Cute. It is another very nice day - and sunny! Love it.

Gotta go
A

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pie and Floats


We are at the end of another week. How do they go so fast? I worked on Christmas Workshop yesterday but didn't get all of the outsides finished yet. I was too busy shopping and eating out. We had a good time with friends. The place we went was packed. Alas they didn't have any ice cream for a rootbeer float. So we stopped at the store and got some and took it over to our friends where we had pie and floats for dessert. Yum. It was a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
The weather is glorious! Warm. Our yard is always the last to be clear of snow and we only have a trace. Just last week, I was complaining about our skating rink of a driveway. Some crocuses are poking through.
I got three cupcake books in the mail yesterday. They have such fun ideas for cupcakes. I'll have to note down a few recipes before I send them on to their final destination.
I hate basketball. The Young and the Restless won't be on for a while. Then General Hospital was pre-empted for a press conference. It messed up my whole day. I know, I'm pathetic.
DH is home from the store and about to kick me off this thing. Have a great day!
A

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Plugging Away


Christmas Workshop is coming along nicely. Almost two outsides done and the other two half way done. I haven't gotten anything done today as I was shopping. My goal actually was to get some gift cards for DIL's birthday. But since I never go to the mall, I thought I would look around. I wear exercise pants and a ratty shirt most of the time but I have three trips coming up and I need to throw out the old and have some new stuff to look nice in. I also looked for a dress/suit/something for my nephew Alex's wedding. I saw a couple of things that would do but I was not in a trying on mood. Actually I am never in a trying-on mood. I stopped by Christopher & Banks. I found some stuff (tops) that I liked. Everything was 40% off! So I got some more! I spent a gift card to Kohl's that we got for Christmas. I got a bathroom scale. Ours broke a while back. It is just too easy to ignore or not even know how much I weigh. Now I have no excuse. Although, if I went by how tight clothes feel, I would know I am in deep trouble.
We are going out tonight. Meeting friends at an Irish place for corned beef and cabbage. Well, I'm not actually going to eat that crap, I'll get something else. Like a rootbeer float or artichoke dip. Yum.
A

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two Elves Down Six to Go


I worked on the outsides of the Christmas Workshop. I have one side almost all done. I just have to do the over-one hearts and beads. Notice how the color of the elves' clothing varies. I am a nincompoop! I misread the color key and each elf is dressed in slightly different colors. One is correct and one is not. Am I going to change it? Nope!

I looked closely at the Tea Time Basket. It is a very complex chart involving several pages for each side. You would really need to concentrate on it. Casually picking it up and doing a few stitches is just not an option. So I will wait on that. A friend of mine's daughter had a baby girl and I am thinking of stitching her name, Leda. I stitched her older brother's name when he was born. But I want to use a different alphabet. I am thinking of using Prairie Schooler's Animal Alphabet. I think it would look cute. Llama, elephant, deer, alligator.
It is a lovely day. When I came out of the Y, the sun was shining and it was warm.
I saw the completed version of Cherished Stitches Ruby Red Slipper. It is a good thing I like it as I have already signed up for it!

A

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eight Sides




I am enjoying working on Just Nan's Christmas Workshop. It seems easy because it is on 28 count linen. I used to only work on 28 count. Then I stitched a Chatelaine design that was HUGE. It was called Holland Springtime Mandala and it was stitched on 32 count. Then I went to Celebrations and one of my classes was on 36 count. Ugh. I found that I really like 32 count. CA often stitches on 30 count. Her Peacock Needlecase was on 35 count and that wasn't bad at all. So 28 count seems easy to see and stitch. I'm ready to stitch the little elves. I thought this project would be a lot harder. It's a cinch.
It is the ides of March. I am kind of embarrassed to say that I haven't washed my kitchen floor yet this month. I need to do that today. Only two weeks late.
Halona and I are planning to go see a play put on by kids called Lyle the Crocodile. It sounds like fun. I've taken her to a couple of other youth plays and she has enjoyed them. She also enjoys the concession stand a lot.

A

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nan & Me







I have a love/hate relationship with Just Nan. Mostly love. The first thing of hers I stitched was a Christmas ornament. It drove me crazy! I had to change threads every two seconds. I thought, I'm gonna think twice before I stitch another thing of hers. But it got better. I made her limited edition dragonfly scissors case - five times! I found a source for the dragonfly charms and stitched them as Christmas gifts (before we decided on just giving gift cards). And I got some very nice Gingher scissors for each one. You get used to how certain designers work. I know that Just Nan sometimes uses colors that are too bright for me. I know that she changes colors often. I know she favors certain colors. I love her Queen of the Needle stuff. I like that there are hard to get exclusive designs. My favorite design of hers is the "And Many More" needle case. Darling! I have at least 4 of her designs queued up to be stitched besides Christmas Workshop. I want some of her new market designs as well. I also have at least three designs of hers in various stages of being finished.
It is Monday and my bathrooms are clean. I have a long history with Lysol. I first used it when I was a high school helper at Little Galilee Christian Assembly Camp. (Great way to get away from home in the summer - but that's hole nuther story). I had to clean cement block bathrooms with it. It came in a brown bottle that we squirted all over and then hosed down. I have used it for many years (decades actually). But now it comes in a splat bottle. Each time you spray it, it splats all over everywhere. Who designed that bottle? Somebody fresh out of design school, I bet. Some whippersnapper.
A

Sunday, March 13, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different


I finished Barbara Jackson's Succulent Strawberry! Yeah! It turned out great and I am proud of myself. The finishing was easy and partly done on the sewing machine. The only problem was thread kept breaking on me. But who cares? It's done.
I am not yet up to Tea Time Basket so I picked up something that looks like fun. Just Nan's Christmas Workshop. It is going fairly fast. I have all four inside triangles stitched. I am missing one of the checked pieces of fabric for the bottom. I am not sure I can find a piece to buy but I am going to look around at some web stores. It is always tricky since what stores list online may not always be available. I speak from experience. I waited two years for a backordered fabric. Really. I am still waiting for fabric ordered last November. I don't even need it now.
As I look up the street I only see a tiny bit of snow left. Now if the grass would green up a bit, that would be great. I got a couple of new books. But I want to finish Cutting for Stone first. I also downloaded "The King's Speech". It is on special at itunes. I have no excuse for having the idiot box on all day and night. Unless of course there is ice skating on.
A

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ta Dah 2




I finished the Butterfly Garden! Well, except for a ring and ribbon to attach scissors. I was thrilled when the cover fit the inside. I counted correctly or just got lucky. I changed a few things along the way. Left out a few things. I'm not one for basting (waste of time and energy). Also, interfacing before stitching just makes it harder to stitch. It was a challenging project that I got for Christmas. Finishing something means I can start something new which is always fun. Or it could mean I pick up a UFO and work on that. I have only the last episode left to watch of In Treatment.
There is snow dancing in the air outside my window. Luckily it is warm enough that it is not sticking but melting when it hits the ground. I am waiting to see which class is the first to be full at Celebrations. I'm thinking it might be a Jackie DuPlessis class. The limit for Glastonbury Garden is a mere 16 so it might fill up fast too.
I cooked the beads and they are hard now. I didn't burn them and the white clay didn't turn color so we are good to go.
Here is a "before" picture to my BJ Strawberry. I like to look at the blog called "The Unbroken Thread". The lady does crewel projects and inspires me to get back to this and finish it. I don't think it will take more than a week to finish. We'll see.
A

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday




I worked mostly on Butterfly Garden yesterday. I finished the stitching and then went on to get started putting it together. I tried to think of the easiest way to sew the pockets on. I tried just sewing them on with needle and thread. That looked messy. So then I tried the back stitch each piece and then sew the back stitches together. That looked good - for the first pocket. The second pocket didn't fit. I must have counted wrong. So now I have to redo it. Then I cut skirtex for the stiffness in the cover. The cover looks great! But then I laid the inside on the cover and it doesn't look like it is going to fit. ARGH. I wish I could just sew it on the sewing machine. So the bottom line is, I still have two pockets to sew to the inside and then sew the inside to the cover. Sounds simple but it is not simple and it may not fit!!! Where's my magic wand?
Halona and I made beads out of very old clay. They look really nice and I have to look up on the net to see how to bake them to hardness. We'll have to string them next week into a necklace or a bracelet.
I am on the last disc of In Treatment. All the stories are being wrapped up. Maybe I should get season 1. I have really enjoyed Season 2.
Rain, rain go away come again another day.
A

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ta-Dah!



I finished Eddy! He is not my usual project but I am very proud of how he turned out. He was a lot of work since he is totally covered in beads. He looks cool.
Now back to UFOs. I want to finish Butterfly Garden. I get discouraged when there is a lack of directions and/or charts so I had to push through this one. I am working on the last but biggest pocket before I am ready to put it together.
In the back of my head, I am feeling guilty for not finishing some classes from last year's Celebration of Needlework. How lucky am I to have taken two Barbara Jackson classes? and why haven't I touched them since last May? Then there are two classes that aren't worth the effort. So I've saved what components I wanted of those and moved on. Hey, I'm old enough I don't have the time to do stuff I don't want to do! Except housework but that's another story.
It is a lovely day here. Sunny and relatively warm. Exercise class was very full this morning. I have no idea why. It is Fat Tuesday. No, no donut for me. I'm being good. One of these days I'll have to wear something besides stretchy exercise pants.
A

Monday, March 7, 2011

Munday






We are back to a Monday again. My bathrooms are clean so I am on to other stuff. I have to find a fun thing to do with Halona. Two weeks ago I took my collection of tops. I have about 8 different ones. If you spin one of them just right it will turn upside down and keep spinning. That is always the most fun one. I got the idea from Montessori school as they have a work there of tops to spin on a tray. It was very popular. I just didn't know if a fourth grader would enjoy that. She wanted to keep a couple of the tops. Then last week we made a card for her sister's birthday based on the flowers in the Plant a Rainbow book. That was fun. I have some clay and I thought it would be fun to try and make beads. The clay is old and you have to make it warm and pliable to be able to work with it. We'll see.
I made the lining for Eddy and it is half sewn in. He has a lower lip. But - the thread broke and I am going to have to stitch it again. The lining (made of ultrasuede) is actually too big for the fish and won't lay flat inside Eddy. But I think that is okay as he will look stuffed instead of concave. I tried putting a little bit of stuffing in him but didn't like how it looked. He is supposed to hold scissors anyway. I decided that I didn't want to do 36 loops for his tail and right now he has 18.
I worked on the butterfly pocket for the Butterfly Garden. It is over one. Of course, I got off a thread here and there so I am having to match my "offness" on the other butterfly wing. If I can't do that, then I'll have to stitch it all over again. ARGH. I am messing with Dragonfly Box. I don't like the color of the greenery with the new color of the dragonflies. So I'm thinking of changing it. I finished a whole disc of In Treatment. Only two left to go and I will put it back on ebay.
It is a sunny day and most of the snow we got the other day is melted. Less than two weeks until spring.
A

Sunday, March 6, 2011

All Beaded Out




Well, I wanted to finish Eddy yesterday. It didn't happen. I discovered that there are somewhere around 36 loops of beads each one 4 to 6 inches long on his tail. That is a lot of beads to be strung. So I quit when I got tired of beading. Tomorrow is another day and I'll get back to it. So then I sifted through the laundry basket and got out the Dragonfly Box. I worked on finishing the border on the second long side. Then guess what it needed? Beads! So I beaded the border till I could bead no more. Makes me want to just stitch something easy, regular, without complications, simple. Well good luck with that.
I got my confirmation for Celebration of Needlework. I love having something to look forward to. Good shopping for all things cross stitch will be heaven.
I woke up wondering when Daylight Savings happens. So I looked on the calendar and low and behold it is next Sunday. Whoa, that is early and soon. Just when it starts to be light in the morning we screw it all up again.
Our rain turned into snow yesterday and there is a coating of white again. At least it isn't the two feet of snow expected in the Minneapolis area. It seems strange not to have the worst weather around.
I found a pin to put on my Keepsake Heart. I have a cameo that would look good but it is a hair too big. I think I need to go put some more beads on Eddy.
A