Friday, August 28, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - Magdalene Jewelry

Pam, from Magdalene Jewels, sells her jewelry on the Internet, in addition to filling custom orders and attending fairs. On Etsy, she's an active member of the Etsybloggers (where I first met her) and the Bbest (Boomers and Beyond) Team. She's also involved with Blockhead Radio and Plugger's United. Now don't get confused - Pam has TWO blogs: one ending with "pjk", the other ending with "blogs." I enjoy reading her blog posts because she's so passionate about what she writes about. Read more about Magdelene Jewels here:
  • What's the name of your business/shop?


  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
My Blogs are:

I also have some photos on Flickr:

And also have a shop on ArtFire:

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I primarily sell Jewelry in my shop, which consists of Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings – all of which I have designed and created myself. I primarily only use Swarovski Crystals for all my pieces. I recently added “personalized bracelets” to my shop, and so far I have done over 18 custom bracelets with the individuals’ names; and just received an order asking if I could make a “personalized” necklace to match one of the bracelets I had already made. During the winter months I also sell a few knitted and crocheted items in my shop, such as scarfs and neck warmers. In the Fall I plan on opening a new shop just for knitted and crochets items (stay tuned – there will lots of cute stuff!)
  • Show us a piece you recently finished
I just listed these earrings this week –

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
Right now I am working on a bracelet which will be totally different from the items in my shop. It will be Antique copper with large gemstones which I covered with Antique filigree pieces to give them a Vintage look. This is a sample of some of the pieces which are almost ready to be assembled onto a Vintage chain.
[Here's the finished piece, a few weeks later, called Anais, named after the French writer]

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
On Etsy it is hard to advertise except through Treasuries or listing your item in the Promotion or Team Forums. Since the blogs are linked through Google – any item listed on my blog is automatically listed on Google (search: MagdaleneJewels). I started selling on ArtFire about 2 months ago: what I like about ArtFire is that every item can be viewed through an internet search. They have a section called “STATS” which shows how many people have viewed your item and also how often it has been viewed from an outside source by showing the # of URL hits.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget?

I just recently posted a widget call on my Blog: “Baby Mia Giveaways” If you click on the widget – you will find a heartwarming story about Baby Mia, who at birth was given no chance of survival as she needed a heart transplant. Fortunately, on November 10th Mia received her “angel heart” from an organ donor, and has just recently celebrated her 1st birthday. They have a few fundraisers on their site. It truly is a miracle, and when I see her little face on my blog, I realize just how precious life is.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
One can find my jewelry on both Etsy and Artfire. Although I like both venues for selling purposes, I find they do differ in many ways. I very much like the format of Artfire and how my jewelry is set up. I think it is a cleaner look and easier for a shopper to browse through. I also like the "stats" which shows how many views you have, not only from those who go onto Artfire, but also those who browse my shop through Google or other online websites.

I have been selling on Etsy for exactly 2 years this Aug. I would love to see them be able to set up the shops in the same format as ArtFire. or give one a choice of how they would like to set up their shop. I notice just not from my shop but from others also, that people tend to just browse the first 2-3 pages (which you can tell by how many views there are), then assume the rest is all the same. In favor of Etsy compared with Artfire, one does not find the friendship that exists through the various teams that we have in the Forums. To me that is most important, although we promote our shops and a new listing, the caring that exists when one is going through something personal, or just wants to chat about the Yankee's, we are all very supportive of one another. I have made quite a few friends while here on Etsy, which to me is more important than any sales could compete with.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I can be found on Facebook – it is fun chatting with friends some new and some from my past. And love doing my many YouTube Videos.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?

I tend to always put my jewelry projects last in my list of things to do. I recently was lucky enough to work on a project with Marion Barnett, and learned so much, one of which I will share will all of you. Commitment! I made a commitment to myself to complete at least one project a week of which I have kept to my promise.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
When I first started I really didn’t know how to price my work. I asked a friend who owns a bead shop in Nyack NY – she said I was completely under pricing myself; that one should price according to materials, design and labor – each adding up to 1/3 of the total price. I do still tend to undercharge at times, I totally enjoy what I am doing and to me that is what is important – money comes second.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.

I create in my head, and my workspace is my bed, if I show some pictures that means I would have to clean my room first. Actually though I have organized shelves for all my different crafts; jewelry, quilting, knitting, crocheting etc.

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
My goals are to learn new techniques in beading and designing. As I mentioned earlier, I am planning on opening another shop in the Fall in which I will be selling knitted and crocheted items.

  • OK, the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite!
I especially love Pam's crystal necklaces. Even though I like the look of multi-strand necklaces, like her Marley necklace, I think my favorite is called Nightingale. I always assumed crystal jewelry meant bright colors, but this 17" necklace is just beautiful with the use of black, gray and white.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival - Aug. 28, 2009

on the Dingle Penisula, Ireland

One of the themes for this week's Etsybloggers carnival is to talk about your favorite food.

For me, that has to be seafood, especially shellfish. If I go out to eat, I'll look for mussels, shrimp, oysters, even lobster, if I want to splurge. In Ireland, I tried every restaurant's seafood chowder, and I was in heaven! They were all so great!

My favorite sandwich to make at home is tuna fish. Even though I grew up eating it a lot, I still love it. And for dinner, DH makes a mean salmon!

(pics, courtesy of flickr!)

I found this receipe for Korean Seafood Pancakes, from Food Trails when I was surfing around, looking for photos! Yum!

(sorry, the photo is locked, but you can see the cakes at the Food Trails link above)
2 ½ cup Korean pancake mix
2 ½ cups water
1 ¼ level tsp sea salt
6 spring onions – cut into 2-cm long
2 small carrots – peeled and julienned
Chillies – optional
Prawns – random amount
Fresh scallops – random amount
Pinch of ajinomoto

1. Mix Korean pancake mix with water and sea salt into a batter. It’s OK if the batter appears lumpy.
2. Shell prawns, devein and cut into small bits. Cut scallops into thin slices.
3. Add in all ingredients to the batter. Mix well.
4. Heat up a non-stick pan with small amount of oil, ladle some pancake batter into the hot pan, spread out the mixture evenly and cook each side for 2-3 minutes over low heat.
5. When the pancake has set, and the edges have turned golden, flip it over and cook the second side.
6. Repeat until the batter is used up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

almost wordless wednesday - new banner

Here's my new 1' x 3' festival banner, on the floor (oh no!) next to my front door mat. Isn't it beautiful? I'm so happy to have it - made by WilsonGraphics.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Artfire on Facebook

Are you have a verified member of ArtFire? If you aren't, and you have a Facebook account, it might be a good time to become one. ArtFire is offering a Facebook Kiosk, or tab, on your Facebook Profile page. Yes, you can offer your whole ArtFire store up on Facebook.

First, you need to click on the "Facebook Kiosk App" on the top of your ArtFire page. It will take you to the Facebook Kiosk page. Click "Install App Now." The page asks you a few questions, then you've automatically linked your Facebook profile to your ArtFire account. Go to your Facebook "Profile" and click on the "+" tab. On the bottom of the drop down menu, there's a "Search available tabs". Type ArtFire there. You've just added a new tab! If your tabs were like mine, I didn't have enough space for the ArtFire Kiosk tab to be seen, so I had to delete another tab to make room. But it's worth it!

Good luck, and enjoy!

Blogging for Beads - Ring Beads for Christmas

One of my fall plans is to create some holiday jewelry. So when I got an e-mail from Dutchess, who is coordinating the Blogging for Beads program over at Artbeads, I knew it was the perfect time to hunt for some Christmas colors. And I found them - of course! Look at these amethyst and olivine ring beads. Aren't they cute? They remind me of shiny, tiny donuts! Love the colors, and the little stripes running across the beads.

My bracelet is 7½" long, with 5mm onyx faceted round beads scattered along the way. All that glitter is sure to attract some attention! You can find it in my Artfire shop, right now.

I know some Etsybloggers who are passionate about Swarovski beads and thought I'd share some of the other beads I was looking at, over at Artbeads. Here's some crystals and rhinestones. Woo Hoo!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Elegant Bombay lampwork necklace

The Parsis woman
Traveled by sea to what now
Is known as Bombay.
- storybeader

How did this necklace come about? I've been holding onto my lampwork bead, that I bought from sfdglassbeads, last November. Almost a year ago! Been looking around for the right combination of beads to accent it, and yesterday, I strung the necklace together. The "ingredients" include natural coral, aventurine barrels, jasper, and Tibetan silver.

Don't you love that lampwork bead? This is how Jenelle explains her process:

SFD Handmade Glass Lampwork Beads are Handwound onto steel mandrels using finest Italian Moretti/Effetre, Vetrofond, & German Lauscha Glass, and Kiln Annealed in our Paragon Kiln for Durability. Each Bead is Made Fresh to Order just for you and is Finely & Carefully Crafted by Daniel or Jenelle by Hand, and Therefore Being Individual and Unique, may vary slightly from photo. It is a Guarantee that each will be Equally as Beautiful:)

Janelle is working on some custom orders on Etsy, and the shop is closed, but here's a link to her website. She also makes raku beads. Lovely!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - Nfall2rt Design Studio

I first met Nancy from Nfall2rt Design Studio on Entrecard... I think! I was so attracted by her use of color that she became a favorite in no time and I get the chance to drop in on her... often! ... and see what she’s up to. That’s the great thing about EC, and I think she agrees with me, by the sound of this interview. Read on!....
  • What's the name of your business/shop?
I sell both on etsy as Nfall2rt Design Studio and on Art Fire as The Paper House.
  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Art Fire-->
  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
In The Paper House I sell paper goods, specifically mini (3" square) note card sets complete with handmade envelopes and my quilled paper jewelry designs.

Nfall2rt Design Studio houses my knitwear- totes, clutches, coin purses, and scarves. I have some original art pieces and my jewelry designs in this shop as well.
  • Show us a piece you recently finished

The Paper House is my most active shop right now, as I'm attempting to up the stock since it is a new shop. My most recently finished piece can be found here:

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I typically don't sketch my work unless I'm working out a new knit pattern. For now knitting is on a hold, although soon I'll begin designing new scarves and bags for the fall and winter season. Right now I'm concentrating on new card and envelope sets. Typically I scan the aisles of my favorite paper supply shops until I find an inspiring and fresh print, and then I begin to pair it with other prints and solids to create a set. I always try to surprise the eye with interesting color pairings.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I mainly use Project Wonderful to advertise my online shops, but have also placed ads on facebook, and design blogs. I also post my business cards around town and acquire as many links as possible on other blogs and social networking sites through friends, fellow bloggers, and the like. In addition, I use Entrecard to advertise my blog, which has really helped to establish a solid group of ever growing followers.

My avatars are all different. I do like the idea of consistency, but since I create so many different types of art, and have two shops selling totally different products, I do use different product shots across the board. I feel that my work is related enough through bright color and design that people can come recognize my style.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget?
I suppose I would have to say that I most love entrecard. It has been consistently the single most driver of traffic to my blog since I joined, as I'm sure most others would agree. I know that bounce rate for entrecard visitors is a bit high, but, people are still reading. I get new commenters chiming in from time to time, especially when my posts are more engaging. I have found many amazing blogs as well as wonderful blog pals through entrecard as well. It's definitely a worthwhile venture for anyone who hasn't already joined.
  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I sell on etsy and ArtFire. I really do love etsy for it's overall appearance. I think buyers can become hypnotized just looking at the main page. But to get that look, etsy has had to claim more control than ArtFire does. For example, you can only make the front page of etsy if you put a lot of work into being a presence on the site and continually nab your own treasuries, and then even still, if you are in one, the chances of it making the front page are all up to etsy admin. On Art Fire, everyone gets more equal views. Both of these styles have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I've ventured into flickr, Indie Public, registered with different blog catalogues, but that's about it. I work full time during the school year, so I find that I don't have the time to maintain everything. I have made several sales through connections on flickr, and really value that site the most. I know that facebook and twitter are two sites that most people seem to find great success networking on. I'm holding out for now, but do have future plans of joining if I feel that I have any of that coveted “extra” time this fall. [she’s got a facebook fan page now!]
  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?

I think the number one thing is photography. Not all of us would call that a strength, I certainly didn't at first. I think you can promote all you want, but if your pictures don't have that enticing quality then you're not going to get the clicks. It's taken me a long time to be mostly happy with the quality of the photography in my shop. I've written a blog post here detailing some of the tips and tricks I've learned along the way. There's plenty of help out there, but just stick with it and don't get frustrated. Improvement comes slowly and gradually, you've got to be patient.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
Well, I suppose the theory is 2-3 times the price of your materials, but I don't find that to always ring true for my work. With my knit products, I often spend many more hours laboring over them than that price would call for. With my paper products, the material costs way undercut the amount of time I spend creating them. So it's not quite a perfect system. I think it's important to take that rule as a guideline, research other similar handmade products so you can be competitive, take into account what people will pay for your product, and make sure you are comfortable with the final price. If you feel cheated or like you're working for pennies, that's probably a sign that you should raise the prices some.
  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
My studio is tucked in the corner of our living room. It works for me, I have all the space I need and, more importantly adequate storage.

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
One year from now I hope to have done my first (and maybe more) craft show, streamlined both shops to the exact aesthetic that I want, have found some brick and mortar representation, and at least doubled my contacts. I'm coming up on my first year actually in September, and feel that I have a decent online presence. I just need to branch out and become a presence in the art scene in my town too. I'm a bit shy, so some of these are a bit tough for me to do, but I know I can overcome my fears and go for my dreams!

  • OK, it’s the storybeader’s turn to pick a favorite! This little guy in Nancy’s sketchbook series really jumped out at me, and warmed my heart. I love watercolors, and this is just so cute. She is truly a talented lady, with a fun side to boot. Off to work!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August Featured Etsyblogger: Memories for Life Scrapbooks

Memories for Life Scrapbooks is a wonderful Etsy shop that everyone needs to check out, if they haven't already.

I love looking at all the books Edi has to offer. What attracted me first of all to her shop were the flip flop albums. Have you ever seen anything so cute before?

But I think my favorite scrapbooks are the word albums. These can be customized, such as names and places, or just special words that have meaning to the purchaser. They're so original and colorful - a great idea.

Just recently, Edi has been working with some new tools. You need to check out her website, and see what she's doing!

Not only does she have wonderful scrapbooks, but she's also a great teammate. I usually get to see her a few times during the week in our team thread on Etsy. And she's a caring commenter on the blogs. I think we can all agree, it's nice to have close blogging friends to talk to during the week. Thanks for being there, Edi! {:-D

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

almost wordless wednesday - the 3 maries

Congrats. to the lucky winner, the 3maries, in the Etsybloggers MEGA GIVEAWAY. They won my peyote stitched keychain. This is my favorite vintage book, sitting on their Etsy shelf!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival - August 14, 2009

If you're not familiar with a blog carnival, it consist of a group of bloggers with a pre-determined schedule and one (or two) topics for everyone to write about. The schedule for the Etsybloggers team carnival is every other week. This week's topics is:

Planning or Playing
1) In a few months, the holiday season will be in full swing. What are you planning for: increasing your inventory, festival hopping, networking?
2) Have you been playing this summer? Did you go on vacation, or stick close to home? Let's see some photographs!

Julie Gazin presents HOW TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT posted at Stitches by Julie.

Jessica presents Holiday Insanity.... posted at Life, Love, YARN!.

Jessica presents Hello Holidays! posted at Cut Your Heart Out.

Elayne Teitelbaum presents Where Have All The Good Times Gone? posted at ChezChani.

Stockannette presents I'm a joiner - who knew?! posted at Stockannette

Sykin presents Etsybloggers Carnival Post posted at Sykin's One Stop Etsy Shopping Guide.

maryeb presents Fall Into Color posted at Colorless Green Ideas.

Syrena Edmonds presents Etsy Bloggers August 14th Blog Carnival!!! posted at Scrapbooking by Syrena

Sumiko Shop presents Summer is almost ending posted at Sumiko*Handmade Creations*.

veryverdant presents Off to the Beach posted at Very Verdant

PatchFirstShop presents Plan for next few months.. posted at PatchFirstShop.

BeadedTail presents Summer Fun! posted at beadedtail.

Brittany Wende presents Blog + Carnival = Blarnival! posted at - B.W. SILVER -.

eileen presents Dorset Hill Beads: Blog Carnival...So Far This Summer... posted at Dorset Hill Beads.

MagdaleneJewels presents Carnival Blog: How I Spent My Summer! posted at MagdaleneJewels's Blogs.

dizzydragonflies presents Knittingdragonflies: Socks and more socks, two at a time! posted at dizzydragonflies.

Erika presents New Website and Bags posted at NICO* Designs.

storybeader presents Etsybloggers Carnival - August 14, 2009 posted at Stroll Through Storyland.

RagamuffinDesign presents Ragamuffin Design & Runway 7 posted at modern renaissance.

Beth presents Getting Ready for the Holiday Season posted at Sunshine Daydreamz.

Jan & Stu presents If August Comes - Can Christmas be Far Behind? posted at Serendipity Collections.

Margaret Freije presents Summertime enterprise posted at Splendid Little Stars

miesmama presents thinking about the holiday season? posted at miesmama.

Rainy presents August 14th Blog Carnival: Planning Ahead posted at RainyDayArt.

A Keeper's Jackpot presents Preparing for the Holidays posted at A Keeper's Jackpot.

lazytcrochet presents Fiber Friday - A Peek at Lion Brand Yarn Studios and Show Season! posted at LazyTcrochet.

Sarah Wagner-Ranes presents Tai Kwon Do Summer Camp posted at Sweet Sally's Soaps News.

HomeMadeOriginals presents Where has Summer Gone? posted at Home Made Originals.

Kathy and Carrie presents EtsyBlogger's Blog Carnival - Aug. 14th posted at CalKat The Jewelry Junkie.

Ellen Behm presents Where Have I Been? posted at Down the Street Creations.

Edi presents Summer is still here :) posted at Memories for Life Scrapbooks.

Jen presents Second Annual Family Camping Trip posted at Mama's Magic.

Patti presents W.........onderful "Hay Fever"! posted at peacoxcreations.

joeyandaleethea presents Adventures with "Kimaya-cha-cha-poo"... posted at J o e y & A l e e t h e a

Now let's go visit our teammates blogs and read this edition of the EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival!

Technorati tags: , .

Friday, August 14, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - She's Batty Designs

Jamie, creator of ~*She's Batty Designs*~, is a great source for information about promoting your site and artwork online. She's given me (and will give you) great advice. I'm excited about being introduced to, where she's editor of the Marketing Department. The majority of pieces Jamie sells are holiday cards, but she also has other paper items convenient for the scrapbooker and crafter in general. Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

  • What's the name of your business/shop?

She's Batty Designs

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
Mostly paper products - paper is my passion! A lot of other products show up in my shop too though. I went to school for fine art before switching to psychology so I have a hard time picking just one medium to stick to. Right now there are also candles in my shop and I've been working on a few sculpture pieces. I'm also a freelance photographer. None of my photographs will ever end up at my shop because most of the photography I do is by commission (weddings, events, etc).

  • Show us a piece you recently finished:

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I'm working on more halloween goodies and as I mentioned above, I have a few sculptures started. There will be a lot more halloween inspired pieces added between now and October. That will be my focus for the next few months. (Who am I kidding? That's my focus all year long! lol)

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?

On my blog, you'll see all the graphics I use for link exchange near the bottom on the right hand side. I also use the last one (with the haunted tree and owl) for Project Wonderful and ArtFire/Handmade News advertising.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget? ... by far, my fav widget is my laughing skull clock

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I use ArtFire. I still have a shop at Etsy but I've basically abandoned it. My focus is on my ArtFire shop now. There's so many things I love about ArtFire! One of the main reasons I'm only going to be selling on ArtFire is I don't have to pay any fees. I scored myself a free ride back in the winter and it's been fee free ever since! I also love how quick the support is there! If you ever have a question or concern, in my experience, you'll hear back from them that day! Even on the weekends! I also love the guilds! I'm the guild master of the Ghouls Guild and couldn't ask for a better group of artisans. Another thing that I love about ArtFire is the search. They don't have it set up to show the "just listed items" first, the search and browse function is totally random so you never have to worry about your items ending up at the bottom of the pile (and then having to pay to relist to get them within view again).

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I think I'm signed up with just about every social networking sight there is. My favourite one is plurk. I love it because I'm able to network and find support from fellow artists.
  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?

I'm full of them! I write for the marketing department at Handmade News so it's hard to pick just one! I would say that if you haven't already, find out who your target audience is. Once you find that out all your marketing and business moves become clear.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
I don't have an exact formula. I usually figure out the cost of materials + time x 2. It's always a rough estimate though.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
You can see my studio here:and here:Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I always have lots of big ideas but everything I plan to do gets changed during the creative process. This year my plan is to just go with the flow and devote more time to production.

OK, time for the storybeader's pick! Jamie's an avid animal lover, and has a bunch of cards with animals on them, including a turtle and dogs (my favorites). But I was really attracted to her giraffe cards - a great combination of color and folk art!

<<< This is one of my favorites

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival - August 14, 2009

For this month's carnival, one of the questions I put forth to my fella Etsybloggers:
1) In a few months, the holiday season will be in full swing. What are you planning for: increasing your inventory, festival hopping, networking?

My plan is to plan ahead! In September, there's an art festival I'm going to that has me real excited. I did well last year, and am looking for a repeat performance!

But after September, I plan to ....
1) get out my leftover beads
2) make lots of nice earrings and book thongs
that people can use for stocking stuffers, affordable gifts, "splurge" materials

3) start on my paper projects.

Yes, that's what I said, PAPER! I love paper! And I'm thrilled to attend a workshop this weekend with my mom, on bookbinding and bookmaking. That will give me some hands-on experience, and make it a little easier to tackle the projects I have planned. See how it all works out.

I do have one lampwork bead that I've been holding onto.. I bought this from Island Girl last November and I've been saving it for the holidays. See where I'm going here? lol

Some other ideas....
*I need to get up the courage and return to the gift stop where I was displaying some of my jewelry. I pulled them last year to use at art shows and online. Maybe the owner will take me back...
* I might hit a few craft festivals, with some less expensive items. I'm thinking my jewelry is a little high-priced in this time of cutbacks and "essentials only."
* I need to look at and see what their Marketing Department is buzzing about (thanks ahead of time, Jamie - you always have great ideas.)

Other than that, does anybody else have some good online suggestions?
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