Archives for January 2012

Pantry Labels

My big challenge for the new year was making sense of the chaos that had become my kitchen pantry.  Thankfully, that project is complete!  (You can read more about the pantry project here and here.)

Here is the pantry with it’s new look.

The final touch to the reorganization were these labels.  I had planned on doing something on my computer.  Nothing fancy….just a fun font with the word “Flour” or “Sugar” typed out the paper.  White background. Rather boring. But while searching for pantry organization inspiriation on Pinterest, I came across some free labels to download via sissyprint.blogspot.com.

via sissyprint.blogspot.com

I absolutely loved what sissyprint had to offer.  It just didn’t provide the exact labels I needed.  But after a little bit of work, I was able to come up with these!

The pantry labels were available in several different color options.  I chose gray (though I think it almost looks a bit brown, which I love!).  Page two of the download had two blank labels at the bottom.  After I downloaded page two, I took a screen shot of the blank labels. (On a mac, you hit the control – or apple – key, the shift key and the number four key all at the same time. This will give you a little icon at your curser. Use your mouse to click and drag to highlight the area.  When you release the mouse, a photo will be taken of that area and the picture will be saved to your desktop.)

via sissyprint.blogspot.com

I then opened up pages (which is the Apple version of word).  The screen shot (above) was dragged onto the blank sheet in pages.  I was able to fit three sets of labels onto one sheet (for a total of six labels on the page).  I then created a text box and wrote the appropriate pantry item name centered onto each label.

Typing and printing the labels went rather quickly. Cutting out each label, while a mindless activity, was a bit time consuming.  After I was done cutting, I took them to the Staples and had them all laminated for less than $5 total (bargain!).  I assumed the labels would last longer if they were laminated, so I was happy to put in the little bit of effort and money to have it done.

Of course, while I was at Staples, I did see some darling labels from Martha Stewart.  So if you aren’t feeling like taking the time to make your own pantry labels, buzz over to Staples and check these out!

via staples.com

After the labels were laminated, I then re-cut around them.  With the supplies below, I started attaching labels to containers in the pantry!

I used double sided sticky tape to attach labels to the plastic canisters.

For the baskets, I punched holes in the sides and threaded jute twine through the label and then through the basket.  The twine was tied in a knot on the inside of each basket.

And just like that, my pantry is labeled and complete!  I couldn’t be happier! Let’s take one last look.

Aaaah! Now that makes me happy!

Jen

 linking up to:

northern cottage, home stories a to z, knick of time, my uncommon slice of suburbia, coastal charm, i should be mopping the floor, the southern product queen, today’s creative blog, vintage wanna bee, a stroll thru life, the blackberry vine, crafty confessions, new nostalgia, tip junkie, hope studios, elizabeth and co, my girlish whims, michele raven designs, the shady porch, savvy southern style, romance on a dime, chatty chics, polkadots on parade, sew much ado, take it from me, uncommon designs, the thrifty home, laugh love and craft, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, beyond the picket fence, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, shabby nest, 2805, french country cottage, no minimalist here, at the picket fence, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring decorating, it’s a hodgepodge life, happy hour projects, days of chalk and chocolate, my romantic home, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart naptime, eye heart, my 1929 charmer, the southern institute, homemaker on a dime, diy home sweet home, diy show off, craft o maniac, embellishing life, create with joy, sew can do, between naps on the porch, making the world cute, skip to my lou

Pantry Before and After

The pantry project is complete.  Thank goodness!  By removing many of the items, we have so much more room now!  Some of the excess went to the Goodwill. Some in the trash.  And some just relocated to other cabinets in the kitchen.  The end result brings me much joy!

A few days ago, I showed in detail the chaos that was my pantry.  (Click here to read more about my pantry  clean up process.)  Let’s take another look at some before pictures so we can truly appreciate the after!

And now……drum roll please…………

Look at all that extra room!

One of my favorite purchases was the three tiered can organizer. What a space saver!   And it’s so easy to see what you have on hand as well! If you don’t already have one, you won’t regret the purchase.

tiered can organizers from Target and Fred Meyer

Previously, things were tossed into plastic storage bins that weren’t easy to see through.  The new clear containers allow us to see exactly what is inside!  Less mess and less headache!

basket from Michaels, tall canister from Ikea, square canisters from Target

 

square canisters from Target

 

baskets from Target

And those labels…..don’t you love them?  (Click here to learn how to make the pantry labels.)

basket from Fred Meyer

 

And here are a few other views of things that were re-organized…  The apron/stool/recycling corner before…

And the after….

I installed hooks to hang the aprons and stool from.  Recycling was moved under the shelves (you can see it under the shelf, right behind the stool).  It is out of the way and surprisingly, we can fit a lot more recycling in there than before!

And the printer and cereal areas before….

And the after….

wooden drawer storage from Fred Meyer

 

basket from Michaels

And a few last shots of the after….

 

Isn’t it amazing what a little time and effort can do to your pantry?!  I can’t help but ask myself why I didn’t do this sooner!!

Jen

Thistlewood Farm

linking up to:

funky junk interiors, craft envy, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart naptime, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring decorating, my 1929 charmer, embellishing life, craft  0 maniac, diy home sweet home, making the world cuter, home savvy, sew can do, stylish once again, under the table and dreaming, the girl creative, the southern institute, eye heart, homemaker on a dime, create with joy, life made lovely, between naps on the porch, skip to my lou, northern cottage, home stories a to z, knick of time, my uncommon slice of suburbia, coastal charm, i should be mopping the floor, the southern product queen, today’s creative blog, vintage wanna bee, a stroll thru life, the blackberry vine,  crafty confessions, new nostalgia, eclectically vintage, tip junkie, hope studios, elizabeth and co, my girlish whims, michele raven designs, the shady porch, savvy southern style, romance on a dime, romance on a dime, trendy treehouse, chatty chics, polkadots on parade, sew much ado, take it from me, uncommon designs, laugh love and craft, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, beyond the picket fence, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, shabby nest, 2805, french country cottage, no minimalist here, at the picket fence, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring, it’s a hodgepodge life, happy hour projects, days of chalk and chocolate, my romantic home, pinkapotamus, the rooster and the hen

An Impossible Challenge….The Pantry

Our kitchen pantry isn’t exactly a pantry. It’s more of a walk in closet.  But due to it’s size, it has become a catch all for anything that needs a home.  I know this is a silly thing to complain about – having too big of a pantry.  It is a blessing, but it can also be a curse.  It not only holds extra food, but it also contains a full size fridge/freezer, our printer, extra office supplies, kids art supplies, our recycling bin and so on and so on.  And because it houses so many things, it has gotten out of control as of late.

Re-organizing the pantry tends to be an overwhelming project for me.  It’s almost always on my list of things to get done.  Yet it never seems to get done.  Some fellow bloggers are hosting a challenge called ‘Imagine the Impossibilities’, where you tackle the most daunting of projects.  So I’ve joined the charge and decided this was my opportunity to tackle my pantry challenge.

Thistlewood Farm
Let’s look at some before pictures (PLEASE PLEASE don’t judge me.   I’m being vulnerable here, showing you the chaos that ensues behind the closed door in my kitchen.)
Here is a closer look:
The catalyst for this clean up (other than just simply needing to be done) was that our 1985 freezer started to break.  For fear of losing a bunch of meat, I raced out and bought a new fridge/freezer combo that day.  While we used our old freezer a lot, we really had a need for more fridge space as well (see all of the drinks on the floor of our pantry above…).
So after the new fridge/freezer was delivered, Pantry Project 2012 began!!
The first thing I did was get rid of any unnecessary pantry items.  Kids games went to an empty cabinet in our kitchen.  The goodwill received a nice gift box of things I wasn’t using anymore.  Food that was past it’s expiration date was tossed (I confess I had some hot cereal that EXPIRED in 2006. I have no idea when I even purchased it. Maybe 2005?)  The picture below is just a small representation of the things I got rid of.
Drinks went into the fridge.  The recycling bin was moved.  And bye bye plastic bins!  Target and Fred Meyer supplied me with much cuter baskets and food storage containers.
Now I won’t ever need to purchase another plastic bin in my life!  Look what came from my pantry after I cleaned it out!
And with a little help from these labels, the pantry gets it’s final touch of organization!
Click HERE to  see the finished pantry product!  I think you will like what you see!!
Jen
linking up to:
happy hour projects, mrs. hines class, the brambleberry cottage, somewhat simple, shabby creek cottage, the shabby nest, 2805, my romantic home, no minimalist here, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life,funky junk interiors, craft envy, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart natpime, chic on a shoestring decorating, my 1929 charmer, embellishing life, craft o maniac, diy home sweet home, making the world cuter, home savvy, sew can do, stylish once again, under the table and dreaming, the girl creative,  the southern institute, eye heart, homemaker on a dime, create with joy, life made lovely, between naps on the porch, skip to my lou, northern cottage,  home stories a to z, knick of time, my uncommon slice of suburbia, coastal charm, i should be mopping the floor, the southern product queen, today’s creative blog, vintage wanna bee, a stroll thru life, the blackberry vine, crafty confessions, new nostalgia, tip junkie, hope studios, elizabeth and co, my girlish whims, michele raven designs, the shady porch, savvy southern style, romance on a dime, trendy treehouse, chatty chics, polkadots on parade, sew much ado, take it from me, uncommon designs, laugh love and craft

A Week in the Sun

Last Sunday, we got a few inches of snow. The kids were thrilled and we enjoyed fun sledding time with friends.  The original forecast called for snow just on the weekend. Then the forecast changed and started looking worse….and worse….and worse.

I suppose all of that forecasted snow was a fun thought for most, but Dan and I had a big trip planned to Maui to celebrate our 15th anniversary!  I tried to not stress out that it would delay our trip.  And thank the good Lord, we were one of the last flights out of Sea-Tac on Tuesday night before a huge storm hit.

Within a matter of hours, Dan and I went from this….

and this….

…to this!!

I still can’t believe we made it out  of town on time.  Over a foot of snow fell that night.  The weight of the snow and ice resulted in a lot of damage to trees.  The kids missed a week of school and the streets were a mess.

Thanks to helpful parents, we were able to enjoy a stress free week in paradise (and thanks to good friends for housing our family while we were without electricity too!).  Fortunately, the weather didn’t affect our time of fun and relaxation in Hawaii.

Here are a few highlights from our week….

watching the sunset

 

body surfing and swimming

 

whale watching

This isn’t my best look (below) but when you wake up at 2 am to drive to the top of a volcano where it is 35 degrees, beauty isn’t at the top of your agenda.  Maybe it should have been at the top of my agenda…..maybe next time!

watching the sunrise from the top of a volcano

 

then biking down the volcano

And to help me remember this great week, I brought back some coral to decorate my house this spring!!  Not only is it pretty, it was free!!

 

Things were quiet on my blog this past week while I was away.  But I’m home now and ready to get back into my ol’ routine.  So make sure you come back in the next few days for new posts!  Thanks for reading.

Jen

linking up to:

eye heart, faded charm, michele raven designs, savvy southern style, blue cricket design, the blackberry vine, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, coastal charm, southern product queen, today’s creative blog, vintage wanna bee, a stroll thru life, elizabeth and co., my girlish whims, trendy treehouse, chatty chics, take it from me, the shady porch, mrs. hines class, the thrifty home, the thrifty home, laugh, love and craft, the southern institute, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, somewhat simple, beyond the picket fence, thrifty decorating, faith, grace, crafts, saved by love creations, these peas taste funny, the shabby nest, 2805, no minimalist here, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life

Windows

I love windows.  I have a handful of decorative windows throughout my house…maybe it’s because I live in the northwest where it’s dark and rainy much of the winter…. Maybe they allow me to pretend that even my decorative windows let in a little light….Just maybe!

There are so many ways to display old windows.  Here are some of my favorites….

Look what you can create if you hinge a few tall windows together!  Isn’t that a great focal point in a room?

 

via pinterest

 

Or hang one as a room divider…..

 

via jones design company

 

A more common way to use an old window is to frame pictures.  This picture below shows menus matted on burlap.  Burlap is a great way to make your photo’s (or menu’s!) stand out.

 

via pinterest

 

Here are a few of the windows in my house…..

I bought this old window, without the glass, for about $3.  Originally, I wrapped it with wire and let my sweet peas grow up it, like a trellis (wish I had a picture of that to show you!!)  I decided to take the wire off and bring it in the house for a different look.   This winter it supported a green wreath in our entry way. The window frame is a bit rickety, but sitting on a shelf (up high where  little hands can’t get to it), rickety works just fine!

 

 

I bought a matching set of this next window at a garage sale.  The homeowners had just replaced the windows in their dining room.  So their update allowed me to decorate my master bedroom! I believe I paid $30 per window.  And art work for $30 per panel is one heck of a bargain!

 

 

This last window was given to me from a friend who had  replaced windows in their house.   They hang in my kitchen and I enjoy looking at them and thinking of her!  In the winter, they also have red wreaths hanging from them for a bit of color.

 

 

Old windows are everywhere. I see them at garage sale and antique stores all the time. And boy, do they range in price!  I recently found a great selection on ebay,  but hadn’t thought about buying one there in the past.  And who doesn’t like to shop from the comfort of their couch! Might have to try ebay out next time!

Have a great week!
Jen

 linking up to:

between naps on the porch, tip junkie, home stories a to z, making the world cuter, sumo’s sweet stuff, coastal charm, knick of time interiors, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, vintage wanna bee, not just a housewife, a stroll through life, elizabeth and co., saved by love creations, katherine’s corner, the shady porch, happy hour projects

Burp Cloth Tutorial

Last weekend I had a baby shower to attend.  I always love to bring a little something homemade as a gift, but with a shower right after Christmas and a little someone in this house having a 6th birthday, I wasn’t sure homemade was going to happen.  I dug around in my craft bin and came across some cloth diapers and ribbon.

And with just a little sewing, I turned this:

 Into this!!

And fortunately, it didn’t take very long to complete, since I had the supplies in my craft closet.

If you don’t have diapers, you can buy a pack of cloth diapers in the baby section of Target or Walmart.

And if you scrapbook or make hair bow’s, it’s quite possible you have some ribbon laying around! If not, Michael’s or Joann’s carry a large selection of ribbon (my preference is grosgrain).

Cut ribbon the length of the diaper, with approximately 1/4″ on each side to fold under before sewing.  If you are worried about the ribbon unraveling, you can use a lighter to singe the edges of it first.  Fold the ends under and pin the ribbon to the edge of the diaper.

You can also run two ribbons the other direction to add some variety.

Once everything is pinned (and edges are tucked) into place, you can start sewing. I like to use thread the color of the ribbon on the top and white thread on the bottom.

Once all the burb cloths are sewn, iron them flat to give them a crisp look.

Stack the diapers and tie them with coordinating ribbon or twine.

I had picked up some fun little boy shoes to go with the burp cloths. And the gift is complete!

Everything was wrapped  in a brown bag with tissue and was ready for the party!

 

linking up to:

michele raven designs, beyond the picket fence, the shabby creek cottage, mrs. hines class, the shady porch, the thrifty home, savvy southern style, the brambleberry cottage, the 36th avenue, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, faith grace and crafts, katherines corner, house of hepworths, happy hour projects, a turtle’s life for me, 2805, at the picket fence, common ground, french country cottage, no minimalist here, my romantic home, shabby nest, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, days of chalk and chocolate, it’s a hodgepodge life, laurie anna’s vintage home, creation corner, it’s fun to craft, home is where my story begins, funky junk interiors, craft envy, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart naptime, stylish once again, eye heart, my 1929 charmer, the girl creative, between naps on the porch, tip junkie, hope studios, home stories a to z, making the world cuter, sumo’s sweet stuff, coastal charm , knick of time interiors, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, vintage wanna bee, not just a housewife, a stroll through life, elizabeth and co., toys in the dryer

The Year of the Scarf

This blog isn’t intended to be for clothing and fashion.  But today I couldn’t help myself!!  This has been the season of the unity scarf for me.  I have two in particular that I love.  And both happen to go with what has become my favorite outfit.  It’s comfortable and fashionable (at least i hope it’s fashionable!).

Here is the black scarf with black boots.

Here is a close up that will hopefully help you see the black scarf a bit better.

And look what happens when you switch up the scarf and boots? Totally different look!  A few years ago, I would have never worn black with brown…it seemed like a fashion faux pas to me. But now, it works!

There are so many great scarves out there.  And I’m always looking for a fun way to wear them!  I came across this great video that is both fascinating and educational to watch.  Are you looking for a new way to tie a scarf? Or just interesting in watching some great video editing?  Then watch this!

I hope you found some new ways to wear a scarf today!!
Jen

linking up to:

savvy southern style, my uncommon slice of suburbia, the shady porch, the pleated poppy, momma go round, michele raven designs mrs. hines class, the trendy treehouse, the brambleberry cottage, shabby creek cottage, faith grace and crafts, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, a turtle’s life for me, 2805, craft envy, i heart naptime, eye heart, my 1929 charmer, my greatest hits

$3 Placemat Apron

Two years ago, we threw a baking/cupcake themed birthday party for our daughter’s fourth birthday.  I made these aprons as one of the party favors for the little guests.   You will be amazed at how simple they are to make!

I found these placemats in the dollar section (do you sense a theme in my life? “Target Dollar Section”).  If memory serves, they cost me $2.50 each.

First you tack down the top two corners.   You can either do this by hand, or use a sewing machine. I opted for a sewing machine and stitched back and forth in place to make sure the stitching held up.

I used a piece of grosgrain ribbon that was 20 inches long (make sure yours is long enough to go over the kiddo’s neck, but not too long that the apron will sag). Another option is to cut two pieces of ribbon and sew at the neck.  Each piece will need to be approximately 15″ long, in order to tie it around the child’s neck.  Make sure you use a lighter to singe each edge of the ribbon so it won’t unravel.

Next, cut two more pieces of ribbon (approximately 17″ to 20″ in length) and sew them in the middle of each side, to be tied around their waste.

Another variation is to use simple dishtowel.  This option might look a bit more masculine and be a better gift for a boy.  I made this one the exact same way.  The corners were tacked down (I actually sewed these completely down since the stitching was hidden within the pattern of the towel).  And I added coordinating  ribbon to the neck and waist.

And the view from the back….

An apron paired with a children’s cookbook would make a fantastic gift!

Don’t you love them!?

Jen

linking up to:

bubbly nature creations, one artsy mama, funky junk interiors, between naps on the porch, homemaker on a dime, embellishing life everyday, sumo’s sweet stuff, the diy showoff, craft-o-maniac, making the world cuter, skip to my lou, new nostalgia, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, hope studios, coastal charm, the shady porch, blue cricket design, savvy southern style, michele raven designs, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, the trendy treehouse, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, the shabby creek cottage, thrifty decorating, faith grace and crafts, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, the 36th avenue, katherines corner, house of hepworths, happy hour projects, a turtle’s life for me, 2805, at the picket fence, common ground, french country cottage, no minimalist here, my romantic home, shabby nest, stuff and nonesense, my repurposed life, days of chalk and chocolate, it’s a hodgepodge life, creation corner, it’s fun to craft, home is where my story begins, funky junk interiors, craft envy, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart naptime, stylish once again, eye heart, my 1929 charmer, the girl creative, tip junkie, vintage wanna bee, not just a housewife, a stroll through life, elizabeth and co., toys in the dryer

Baking Themed Party

When Emmie turned four, she had a cupcake/baking themed party.  It was both fun and easy to put together!

Each little guest received a handmade cupcake invitation.

I made these from scrapbook paper, glitter glue and pink chalk.  With a little bit of time and a tiny bit of money, you can personalize some great invites!  Here is all it took…

First I printed the text on white card stock.  Then cut the frosting/cupcake top around the text (draw an image that resembles a cloud  for the top of the cupcake and use that to trace and cut around the text).  For the cupcake base, I used a stripe but any pattern or color that matches your theme will do the trick.  Next, glue both the base and ‘frosting’ together on another piece of white card stock.    And to finish off the invitation, outline the entire cupcake in pink scrapbooking chalks and then use glitter glue on the frosting for some added sparkle.  Fun, huh?

For party favors, I once again raided the dollar section at Target. I was able to get everyone a spatula and a cookie cutter and  added a few snacks along with it to a cellophane bag.  The goodie bag was tied off with some coordinating ribbon and displayed in a vase.

And last but certainly not least, the aprons!  These were definitely my favorite touch to the party.

You won’t believe how simple and inexpensive these are to make….but you’ll have to come back tomorrow for that tutorial! Even a non-sewer should be able to produce a few of these!

Instead of games, we opted for an activity for the kids. They each got to decorate their cupcakes, and then of course eat them when they were done!

Diagnosis:  Delicious!  I think the party was a success!

Make sure to come back tomorrow for the tutorial on the darling aprons!

Jen

linking up to:
house of hepworths, funky junk interiors, fingerprints on the fridge, chic on a shoestring decorating, days of chalk and chocolate, tatertots and jello, my 1929 charmer, eye heart, bubbly nature creations, one artsy mama, between naps on the porch, homemaker on a dime, embellishing life everyday, sumo’s sweet stuff, the diy showoff, craft-o-maniac, making the world cuter, skip to my lou, new nostalgia, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, hope  studios, coastal charm, the shady porch, blue cricket design, savvy southern style, michele raven designs, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, the trendy treehouse, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, the shabby creek cottage, thrifty decorating, faith grace and crafts, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, the 36th avenue, katherines corner, happy hour projects, a turrtle’s life for me, 2805, at the picket fence, common ground, french country cottage, shabby nestbe different act normal, stylish once again, the girl creative

Makeover

Who doesn’t love a makeover!?  If you’re a girl, then a makeover would be a dream, especially when someone else is paying for it! A professional hairstylist would give you the latest ‘do’. A makeup artist would make your skin glow.  And you’d get to wear an outfit paid for and picked out by someone else!

My cosmetic bag is full of partially used makeup and application brushes that should be cleaned. My flat iron is the only thing giving my hair any kind of  new look these days. And my clothes….well, they’re the same old clothes that have been in my closet for a long time.  So I didn’t get a makeover…….but guess what!  My blog did!!!

I like to think that she (she being my blog) is happy to have a new look at someone else’s expense (that someone being me!)!  She has a new appearance and new flair.  You can still see a glimmer of her old self.  But I think she’s easier to understand now that she’s cleaned up some.  I like to think that she kind of went from her everyday  jeans and tennis shoes to a fun pair of skinny jeans and boots. She’s got more sass. More personality. I think you are going to like her.  I think you and she will be very good friends.

Some things to know about this makeover….

  • The blog has a new web address!  It is http://athomeinthenorthwestblog.com (don’t worry if you type in the old address….it’ll still bring you directly here)
  • Now you can ‘like’ At Home in the Northwest on Facebook…  or follow me on Pinterest….or follow this blog on FeedBurner simply by clicking one of the orange buttons on the sidebar!

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  • You can subscribe to this blog via email as well!  Just plug in your email on the right hand side and you’ll receive an email when I write a new post!

I’m still getting used to the new look of this blog and how it works.  So your patience is greatly appreciated.  Let me know if you have any questions.    And please come back again soon.

Thanks for checking out the new makeover! I hope you like what you see!
Jen

linking up to:

the brambleberry cottage, domestically speaking, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, house of hepworths, the shady porch, common ground, 2805, saved by love creations, fingerprints on the fridge, shabby nest, days of chalk and chocolate, chic on a shoestring decorating, finding fabulous, happy hour projects, tatertots and jello

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