Sunday, January 29, 2017

REAL MILWAUKEE Craft Segment and tutorials! (updated with full tutorials!)


I will be airing on REAL MILWAUKEE on Monday January 30th 2017 at 9:20 with these super cute felt crafts!   

Well, Valentine's Day is right around the corner and it is by FAR my most favorite "holiday" to decorate for.  I simply can't get enough Valentine's Day decorations in my house!  So it is only natural for me to craft along with my favorite "holiday" too!  I will be airing on Real Milwaukee this coming Monday (January 30th) at 9:20 with some super cute Valentine craft ideas!  I am SO excited to be going back!  I have truly missed doing my segments and I am thrilled they are welcoming me back!! Here is a little sneak peak of what I will be bringing.    Happy heart day!  


I have a weird obsession with wool felt lately.  I love everything about it.  The look, the feel, the end result.  In fact, I made many of my Christmas gifts using wool felt.  Trust me, once you use a wool felt brand,  you will never look at felt the same way again!  All of my Valentine's crafts have been created using the wool felt blend.  I order all my felt from Benzie Design.  I have been extremely happy with their quality so to be honest I haven't even tried anywhere else.  They are a small business that is located in a small town in Illinois so whenever I order I get my shipment quickly.  Most times, they ship out the same day!  They probably know real well now as I have placed quite a few orders over the past few months!!  If you are doing a search for felt, make sure you try out the wool felt blend....I promise you, you will fall in love!!
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Handmade Spiral Rosettes

I am SO happy with the way these flowers turned out!  The best part is...they are super easy to make! The first few I struggled with a bit to find my groove, but once I had a rhythm down, they were easy breezy!  You can make a bunch and use them as a centerpiece or put a cute little flag around the stem of each one and hand them out for Valentine's Day.  (My older girls helped me make these and will be giving them out for Valentine's day!) 

Tools Needed: 

Wool Felt Blend (In varying colors) 
Fabric covered stems (I found my at Hobby Lobby in the floral department) 
Sharp Scissors (I would recommend a fabric cutting scissors)
Hot Glue





You can find the Tutorial for these Felt Rosette Flowers HERE
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DIY Cute Cactus Plants

Anything Cactus themed right now is super trendy!  It seems everywhere I go, I see something cactus themed.  So, why not make your own felt cactus plants?  Again, I enlisted the help of my girls to create these.  We are going to put a sign on it that says "Hug Me" and give them to our teachers for Valentine's Day!  I know....they are adorable!!  

Tools Needed:

Wool Felt Blend in Cactus-y colors
Sharp Scissors
Sewing Machine
White Puff Paint
Cactus Template
Stuffing
Pots/ Wool felt balls as needed



I followed THIS TUTORIAL from Benzie Design to the "T" to make these super cute Cactus sets!  I had my favorite Designer make me some cute tags to hang on our plants as we are giving them as gifts to teachers!  You can find them HERE for a free download!  They say "Lookin' Sharp!"
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DIY Coasters

Ok, these are about the cutest things ever.  I have made these in the past and absolutely love love love them!  The best part is....they are the easiest things to make!!!  I have one sitting on my desk that I put my cup on all the time and each time I rest a cup there, the coaster makes me smile!  We tried to get creative and create some Valentine designs this time!  What a great gift idea for teachers or co-workers for Valentine's Day! 

Tools Needed: 

Plain Cork Coasters (I got mine at walmart)
Felt wool pom poms ( I use the 1cm ones from Benzie Design) 
Hot Glue
...yes, that is all you need!


These are so easy they don't need a tutorial...really, you buy some plain coasters, but some 1 cm wool felt poms from HERE, get your hot glue gun out and glue and squish the poms down!  Not. Even. Kidding!   
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Felt Heart Lollipops!

I simply love this idea!  These felt heart lollipops were super easy to make and the outcome was way cuter than I expected.  Again, this is another creative idea for class valentine's!  Put a cute little tag around the lollipop stem that says "Stuck on you" and you have a Valentine that will be treasured and kept!! 

Tools Needed:

Wool Felt Blend 
Stuffing
Sharp Scissors
Embroidery Floss
Needle
Hot glue
Lollipop covers and stems (I used the Wilton brand)

I crafted these while sitting at the admissions table at a basketball tournament!  So many people commented on how cute they were!  I took pictures along the way to give you a tutorial, but don't mind the photo quality!  

First, I cut out two hearts from the felt.  If you use sharp enough scissors you can cut out both at the same time!
 Next, I started stitching around the hearts using a simple straight stitch.  (I used embroidery floss)
 Once the two hearts were almost sewn together, I used some batting/stuffing to make the heart poofy!
 Finally, I stitched the heart all the way closed and tied it off with a knot on the back of the heart.
 (I told you I was doing this at the admissions table!  I was also switching over my calendar at the same time!)  I used THESE lollipop sticks and THESE cake pop bags to use as the wrapping on the heart pops!  I slid the lollipop stick in the bottom of the heart (Make sure to leave a small opening when you are stitching) and hot glued the stick inside!  Put the covers on and tie a sweet bow and you have a Valentine's treat that won't get sticky!!!

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Felt Heart Key Rings

A month or so ago, my key ring broke.  I was so sad.  I like to have something cute on my keys because I spend a lot of time in the car running my kids all over Wisconsin.  I also tend to lose  misplace my keys quite often so having something that catches my eye helps me find them just a little quicker!  These felt heart rings are so easy to create and would also make cute Valentine's Day gifts for friends and teachers!  I plan to crank some more of these out as gifts as well! 

Tools Needed: 

Wool Felt (I used precut out Fun-Fetti heart shapes by Benzie Design)
Embroidery floss or crochet thread
Needle
Ribbon
Small Key Ring (I found mine by the jewelry section of any craft store)
Scissors

 

























These would make cute luggage tags or tags for sport bags to help you or you kids know right away which one is yours!!  

For these key chains, I simply placed three hearts together in a color pattern I liked.  I sewed the smaller heart to the medium sized heart.  I tried both a straight stitch and a blanket stitch using needle and floss.  Once the small and medium hearts were combined I sewed the medium heart to the largest heart.  Then I used a second large heart and sewed the 2 large hearts together to give the keyring a bit of thickness.  As I stitched the two large hearts together, I also stitched in a pice of ribbon that I looped.  I made sure my stitches landed through the ribbon a couple of times to hold the ribbon in!  After I secured a knot at the bottom of the heart, I put the ribbon through the key ring!  I personally like the blanket stitch look better than the straight stitch look, but the straight stitch was way easier and much quicker!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will be walking through some of the steps on Real Milwaukee too!  I have one more craft I want to make by Monday as a bonus....tune in to watch!  Happy crafting and Happy Heart Day!!!

***many of these crafts I made, I simply followed other people's tutorials....I am not super creative with ideas, but I can just about copy any idea I see!  Also, Benzie Design has not paid me at all...in fact, they don't even know I exist outside of ordering from them!  I just simply have fallen in love with their product! ***

Felt Flower Rosette Tutorial! (As seen on Fox 6 Real Milwaukee)


Felt Flower Tutorial

Here is my tutorial on how I created these felt flower rosettes.  I didn't use a pattern which I ended up really loving because all my flowers came out just a little different and unique!
 I used this felt for making these flowers.  The color palette is called Sweetheart Ombre from Benzie Design.  

I first cut a square shape out of the felt.  I would say it was approximately 4 inches by 4 inches.  Again, I just winged this part.  Some squares ended up as rectangles and some were bigger and some were smaller. 
Next I started at one side and cut a spiral leaving a nickel sized circle in the center.

Then I trimmed off the square edges of the felt to give all the sides a rounded corner. 
 Then I was ready to start making the flower!  I used my fabric covered floral stems and put a small dab of hot glue on the end.  *Make sure the rounded side of the felt is at the top of the stem to create the rosette look. 
 Then you just start winding the felt around itself on the stem.  I didn't use any hot glue for this process.  It took me a few times to master this so if you don't like what your flower looks like, unwind and try again! 

 This is what my flower looked like when I had it all wrapped around the stem.  
 You will have that nickel sized circle left which I put a larger dab of hot glue on and wrap it around the bottom of the flower.  This held the flower together just perfectly!  
 I wanted to add a little leaf to the bottom of my flower as a final touch.  I used pre cut Fun-Fetti from Benzie Design for this as well.  I used the large oval shape in the color fern.  You can find them HERE
 I folded the oval in half and cut a small slit in the middle of the oval.  
 I slipped the oval onto the stem and slid it up to the base of the flower.  
 I put some hot glue on the leaf (don't do this until it is close to the flower base or else the hot glue will get all over the stem) and push it up on the bottom of the flower.  
And...there you have it!  These flower are easy to make and I just love how they turned out!  If you want to give each flower out individually for Valentine's Day you can find a FREE tag HERE to cut out and wrap around your stem. (Thanks Nellie Design for your special final touches once again! )  Real flowers die....Felt flowers last forever!  

 Happy Flower Making!  

Friday, January 27, 2017

FOX 6 Segment Preview! Tune in on Monday at 9:20!!!

Well, Valentine's Day is right around the corner and it is by FAR my most favorite "holiday" to decorate for.  I simply can't get enough Valentine's Day decorations in my house!  So it is only natural for me to craft along with my favorite "holiday" too!  I will be airing on Real Milwaukee this coming Monday (January 30th) at 9:20 with some super cute Valentine craft ideas!  I am SO excited to be going back!  I have truly missed doing my segments and I am thrilled they are welcoming me back!! Here is a little sneak peak of what I will be bringing.  I will be posting tutorials on how you can create each one of these crafts for my air date!!  Happy heart day!  


I have a weird obsession with wool felt lately.  I love everything about it.  The look, the feel, the end result.  In fact, I made many of my Christmas gifts using wool felt.  Trust me, once you use a wool felt brand,  you will never look at felt the same way again!  All of my Valentine's crafts have been created using the wool felt blend.  I order all my felt from Benzie Design.  I have been extremely happy with their quality so to be honest I haven't even tried anywhere else.  They are a small business that is located in a small town in Illinois so whenever I order I get my shipment quickly.  Most times, they ship out the same day!  They probably know real well now as I have placed quite a few orders over the past few months!!  If you are doing a search for felt, make sure you try out the wool felt blend....I promise you, you will fall in love!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Handmade Spiral Rosettes

I am SO happy with the way these flowers turned out!  The best part is...they are super easy to make! The first few I struggled with a bit to find my groove, but once I had a rhythm down, they were easy breezy!  You can make a bunch and use them as a centerpiece or put a cute little flag around the stem of each one and hand them out for Valentine's Day.  (My older girls helped me make these and will be giving them out for Valentine's day!) 

Tools Needed: 

Wool Felt Blend (In varying colors) 
Fabric covered stems (I found my at Hobby Lobby in the floral department) 
Sharp Scissors (I would recommend a fabric cutting scissors)
Hot Glue





You can find the Tutorial for these Felt Rosette Flowers HERE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DIY Cute Cactus Plants

Anything Cactus themed right now is super trendy!  It seems everywhere I go, I see something cactus themed.  So, why not make your own felt cactus plants?  Again, I enlisted the help of my girls to create these.  We are going to put a sign on it that says "Hug Me" and give them to our teachers for Valentine's Day!  I know....they are adorable!!  

Tools Needed:

Wool Felt Blend in Cactus-y colors
Sharp Scissors
Sewing Machine
White Puff Paint
Cactus Template
Stuffing
Pots/ Wool felt balls as needed



I followed THIS TUTORIAL from Benzie Design to the "T" to make these super cute Cactus sets!  I had my favorite Designer make me some cute tags to hang on our plants as we are giving them as gifts to teachers!  You can find them HERE for a free download!  They say "Lookin' Sharp!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DIY Coasters

Ok, these are about the cutest things ever.  I have made these in the past and absolutely love love love them!  The best part is....they are the easiest things to make!!!  I have one sitting on my desk that I put my cup on all the time and each time I rest a cup there, the coaster makes me smile!  We tried to get creative and create some Valentine designs this time!  What a great gift idea for teachers or co-workers for Valentine's Day! 

Tools Needed: 

Plain Cork Coasters (I got mine at walmart)
Felt wool pom poms ( I use the 1cm ones from Benzie Design) 
Hot Glue
...yes, that is all you need!


These are so easy they don't need a tutorial...really, you buy some plain coasters, but some 1 cm wool felt poms from HERE, get your hot glue gun out and glue and squish the poms down!  Not. Even. Kidding!   
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Felt Heart Lollipops!

I simply love this idea!  These felt heart lollipops were super easy to make and the outcome was way cuter than I expected.  Again, this is another creative idea for class valentine's!  Put a cute little tag around the lollipop stem that says "Stuck on you" and you have a Valentine that will be treasured and kept!! 

Tools Needed:

Wool Felt Blend 
Stuffing
Sharp Scissors
Embroidery Floss
Needle
Hot glue
Lollipop covers and stems (I used the Wilton brand)

I crafted these while sitting at the admissions table at a basketball tournament!  So many people commented on how cute they were!  I took pictures along the way to give you a tutorial, but don't mind the photo quality!  

First, I cut out two hearts from the felt.  If you use sharp enough scissors you can cut out both at the same time!
 Next, I started stitching around the hearts using a simple straight stitch.  (I used embroidery floss)
 Once the two hearts were almost sewn together, I used some batting/stuffing to make the heart poofy!
 Finally, I stitched the heart all the way closed and tied it off with a knot on the back of the heart.
 (I told you I was doing this at the admissions table!  I was also switching over my calendar at the same time!)  I used THESE lollipop sticks and THESE cake pop bags to use as the wrapping on the heart pops!  I slid the lollipop stick in the bottom of the heart (Make sure to leave a small opening when you are stitching) and hot glued the stick inside!  Put the covers on and tie a sweet bow and you have a Valentine's treat that won't get sticky!!!

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Felt Heart Key Rings

A month or so ago, my key ring broke.  I was so sad.  I like to have something cute on my keys because I spend a lot of time in the car running my kids all over Wisconsin.  I also tend to lose  misplace my keys quite often so having something that catches my eye helps me find them just a little quicker!  These felt heart rings are so easy to create and would also make cute Valentine's Day gifts for friends and teachers!  I plan to crank some more of these out as gifts as well! 

Tools Needed: 

Wool Felt (I used precut out Fun-Fetti heart shapes by Benzie Design)
Embroidery floss or crochet thread
Needle
Ribbon
Small Key Ring (I found mine by the jewelry section of any craft store)
Scissors

 

























These would make cute luggage tags or tags for sport bags to help you or you kids know right away which one is yours!!  

For these key chains, I simply placed three hearts together in a color pattern I liked.  I sewed the smaller heart to the medium sized heart.  I tried both a straight stitch and a blanket stitch using needle and floss.  Once the small and medium hearts were combined I sewed the medium heart to the largest heart.  Then I used a second large heart and sewed the 2 large hearts together to give the keyring a bit of thickness.  As I stitched the two large hearts together, I also stitched in a pice of ribbon that I looped.  I made sure my stitches landed through the ribbon a couple of times to hold the ribbon in!  After I secured a knot at the bottom of the heart, I put the ribbon through the key ring!  I personally like the blanket stitch look better than the straight stitch look, but the straight stitch was way easier and much quicker!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will be walking through some of the steps on Real Milwaukee too!  I have one more craft I want to make by Monday as a bonus....tune in to watch!  Happy crafting and Happy Heart Day!!!

***many of these crafts I made, I simply followed other people's tutorials....I am not super creative with ideas, but I can just about copy any idea I see!  Also, Benzie Design has not paid me at all...in fact, they don't even know I exist outside of ordering from them!  I just simply have fallen in love with their product! ***

Friday, January 20, 2017

Day Four. Day FOUR! DAY FOUR!!!!

So, I am a little messed up in the head most days.  I don't have the best internal read on what I really look like.  In my head I want to look like this woman...all trendy and skinny with a slouchy hat on.  Some days I actually kinda feel like I might have "it" a little together.  Then it happens.....you see a picture of yourself that someone took.  Basically, I don't look anything like this woman AT ALL!!!! Then my mind plays tricks on me and I go to the other extreme.  It's a daily battle myself has with myself.  Please tell me I am not the only one that feels like this!!! Someone...please!!!!

Last year in January a team of us got together and joined weight watchers.  We called ourselves none other than "team sparkle" because who doesn't love a little sparkle in any name, right?  I think we all rocked at the WW.  We were dropping pounds weekly.  I would say for me, I stayed on track until Dan and I went on our 15th anniversary cruise in June.  Then is when I probably got off track a bit.  I mean...have you ever been on a cruise????  The food is AMAZING.  Like, endless amounts of food that I didn't have to prepare.  Then, they walk by and clean it all up for you too!!!  Free fresh baked cookies and freshly prepared crepes....basically the cruise ship is a walking restaurant.  When you get bored, you eat.  So eat we did.

Anyways, I kept on with the exercising but stopped tracking and got a little loose with what I was choosing to eat.  Then I started working full time in September and basically all sense of having any "me" time has gone.  I have joined and rejoined weight watchers probably 3 times last year and I could never get back on track like I was for the first half of the year.  (Hey, I am just being honest here!)  I mean, seriously, I would make it a day or two and do really awesome and then I would get off track and blow the whole day.  The good thing about weight watchers is that you can truly eat whatever you want.  You don't have to eliminate anything.

So, obviously I would start fresh on January 1st, right?  New year, New me.  Well, that lasted about 1 hour until I fell my way down the wooden staircase and gave myself the bruise of the decade. ( I still am battling a hematoma, but every day it is getting a little better! )  There went my "new me" in an instant in my head.

I know looks don't  matter...but in all honestly, they kinda do, right?  That is why each of us take showers and brush our hair and buy clothes....because we want to look nice.  I do believe that the beauty in someone's heart outshines what they look like any day....but at the end of the day, we all want to look presentable.  So this is a battle I fight in my head more often than I'd like to admit.

I don't hate me, but I don't love me.  I don't want to be a size 2, but I don't want to be a size 12.  I don't want to try and be trendy, but I don't want to not try.  I don't want to eat cookies, but I don't want to eat salads.  I don't want to exercise, but I don't want to have ugly legs.

So this past Monday, after praying about this for weeks years, I decided to stop focusing on it and doing something.  I had to admit to myself that I, Susan Wilke, and addicted to sugar.  Yup.  Yum.  I love me some sugar!!!  So, I stopped cold turkey.  I know that is why WW wasn't working for me anymore.  I was allowed to eat it, so I did.  I had to not allow myself to eat it so I wouldn't.

Now, don't get all "good job, Susan!" on me....I am only on day four.  I haven't had carbs or sugar for 4 days.  While that seems like such a small victory for some, it's a HUGE battle for me!  I really don't have a game plan.  I really don't know what plan I am following or not.  I just wanted to not be addicted to sugar so I am trying this.  I am crabby and happy at the same time.  I am hungry and full at the same time.  I want a piece of cheesecake but yet I don't want anything to do with one at the same time.  My mind is going in two different directions.  Have some carbs, Stay away from the carbs!!

So, why not blog about my internal craziness right for all to read, right?  I know there are pros and cons to everything.  I know why some sugar is good for you and that is why there are a billion weight loss plans.  I want to see how strong I can be.

January 16, 2017....I gave up sugar.  I don't know if I will make it a week.  I don't know if I will make it a month.  I am not making any promises.  I am going to take it one day at a time.  One hour at a time.  One cookie temptation at a time!  On April 16, we are heading to Alabama with the kids.  If I drop some cottage cheese from my thighs by then, I'll be pumped!   More so, I just want to be a little healthier.

Day Four, Susan Day Four.

Thanks for entering the internal battle of my head for the day!

Friday, January 6, 2017

You should see my bruise!


Well, if you read my previous blog, you know I took quite a tumble 5 days ago.  The past 5 days have been interesting.  I have never experienced anything of the sorts like this and I am all out of whack!  I have to lean to one side to sit and can put no pressure on my bottom where I took the brunt of the fall.  I have been faithfully showing my family multiple times a day my bruise.  It helps me get a little sympathy from them.  I still can't bend over and I have a really hard time sitting.  I like to think I am good spirits even though I took the tumble of the year on the first day of the year.  My kids are sick of seeing my hinder, but I think they secretly like to watch the dynamics of my bruising ;)  ( I am pretty sure that is not true!)  I did muster up the courage to go to the chiropractor last night.  Poor guy had to see the bruising too.  I went back again this morning and and hoping I will get some relief soon.  Driving seems to be the worst for me as I have to lean to one side.  However, the world goes on and so must I, bruised tooshy and all.  Dan and I decided that if I am not better by Monday I will drag myself to the doctor.  

Anyways, enough about that...the nutcracker season has come to and end.  Watching Abbie up on stage never got old.  The driving downtown may have, but that all went away the moment she marched on stage.  

On the day after Christmas she had 2 performances down at the Marcus Center with a bit of a gap in between the shows.  4-5 months ago when sports authority was going out of business, Dan and I found the kids ice skates on super duper clearance.  Like I am talking $10 a pair of skates.  It was totally the jackpot!  They must have just gotten marked down and no one is looking for ice skates in the summer so we snatched them up.  We were able to get a pair for each kid in their right size!  SCORE! 


 We gave the kids their ice skates for Christmas and just needed to wait for the lakes around here to freeze.  Then we remembered that we could go ice skating right across the street from the Marcus Center at the outdoor ice rink!
 After Abbie danced her first show, Dan drove the other kids down and hit the ice!
 If you bring your own skates, you skate for FREE.  I like free.  I really like free.
 Sadie used to take ice skating lessons a few years ago so her and Molly went off and brushed up on their skills.
 You could rent these cute little penguins for beginner skaters for $1.  Griffin and Lanie both used them a little, but they didn't need them!



 It was actually pretty warm out that day, but the wind did pick up as we were skating.  I decided to treat for Star Bucks and get the kids all a small hot chocolate.  Now, if you know me, you know I don't drink coffee.  The simple thought of walking into a coffee place panics me.  I never know how or what to order.  Grande, latte, frappe....Ahhhhh!  So many things to mess up on.  Dan and I are not coffee drinkers so we never frequent these fancy coffee places.  I mustered up the courage to head in and place an order.  Scary.
 I was panicking because I know these coffee drinky things can be expensive.  However, the barista (Is that what you call them?) asked me if I wanted kid size drinks and they were only $1.50!  Yahoo!  Free ice skating and cheap hot cocoa....that is a good day.
 Griffs took the top off of his drink and had a round hot cocoa ring on his face.....ahhhh, melt my heart.
 Abbie was very cautious on the ice....we couldn't fall or mess up our nutcracker hair before the last performance.

 What a fun afternoon and a great day to be together.  It is freezing here today so I am sure the lakes here will freeze soon and we can get some more use out of our skates.  I can guarantee you that I will NOT be stepping on any sort of ice any time soon.  No more falling, Susan.  No more falling.


 Jingle Jam came to and end.  I think I had Jingle Jam withdrawal the week after.  What a great time and a good learning and growing experience for me.  I won't lie....we are already talking Easter Jam!  Say what?!?!?
Oh OH OH!!!!  And one more thing!!!!  Clear your calendars for January 30th at 9:20!  I am heading back to REAL MILWAUKEE for a segment!  Stay tuned for more details.  Super. Cute. STUFF!!!!!