Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I made some Blog Donations today

One is only one...

One + one + one.... turns into many...
Yes, I made some blog donations today. I sent some money to a few great bloggers to thank them for their hard work and efforts on their blogs. I would donate to even more blogs if more blogs had a Donate button.

How much money did I donate?
Well, I thought 2 dollars a month is a good amount and some extra when I bump into a great blog post every now and then as a bonus. I can afford that. I am happy to give this amount to some of my favorite bloggers.

Isn't that a rather small amount? Well, if I am the only one donating 2 dollars a month it is not much, but if many of their readers and visitors donate the same amount it will be a substantial amount to help them do what they love and continue to contribute with great crafty material to Blogland.

What type of blog did I donate to? The blog authors I donated to are turning their blogs into part time and full time businesses. The hobby has grown and they need financial help to keep going. I look at my donations as subscription fees.

It is a delicate thing this thing with Donation Buttons. Shall we or shall we not ask people to support our blog work? What type of blog should have a Donation button and what type of blog shouldn't have it?

In my opinion I think crafty bloggers that put down a lot of work and are trying to make it a business really should have a Donate button at the bottom of a tutorial or free pattern blog post and in tehir sidebar, and I think people (us readers) should make the effort to press that Donate button whenever they (we) feel gratefulness and excitement towards an informative blog post or a blog that they (we) really like.

I've thought about this for a long time. Not many of us crafty bloggers have a Donate Button on our blog. And if we do, not many donations are made. I wonder why? What stops us from pressing the Donate Button to donate a "Cup of Coffee". We are a great and supportive community full of encouragement and empathy. We could be financially supportive too.

I use to have Donate Buttons a while ago but no donations were made. Maybe this is something that feels like a taboo around us crafters. Is it shameful to ask people to support your blog work? Is it considered greedy? Why don't more crafters have Donation Buttons on their blogs when economy, political, health related and technical blogs have them and make a good financial support from them?

As you know I have the opportunity now to grow my blog professionally. I have the chance to spend more time on contents and designing new patterns. Come up with new ideas, CALs, secret projects and fun tutorials, free patterns, Give Aways and more. And I will. Because I love doing this. I love being a part of this. I am proud of my blog, of what I have created with My Rose Valley. But how can I monetize my blog?

I could fill my blog with advertising, I could write sponsored posts but do I want that? For the moment no. But maybe I will have too. But first I want to try the Donate Button. I will add it on to my tutorials and free patterns and into my sidebar. You can donate 1 dollar or more. I won't judge anyone just be grateful for any donations made. And I'm curious to know your opinion on this. Please join in and spread the discussion. I think this is something that we all need to talk about.

NOTE: PS I don't expect anyone to donate just because I am writing about it today. I don't want anyone to feel "forced" to donate just because I am bringing up the subject. I am more interested in what everyone thinks about this and I am just trying the waters here. If I don't feel comfortable having the Donate buttons on my blog and if it makes you readers loose confidence in me, I will take them away. But one has to experiment, try and see what works and not. Big thank you to anyone who is supporting my blog by visiting and commenting which is a fabulous reward in itself. I hope you all stay with me on this journey of finding my own best way of blogging, learning, sharing and inspiring.


Kärlek
Annette




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40 comments :

  1. I've never seen a donate button either, but I think it's a good idea. Much better than messing up pretty blogs with advertising.

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    1. Donate Buttons are not so common in the crafty Blog world and that is probably why you haven't seen that many. I'm giving this a go for some time to see how I feel about it. Thanks for joining the discussion.
      Xxx
      Annette

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  2. You have made a very interesting point. I suppose it depends on the blog whether or not a Donate button is appropriate.

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  3. That's so interesting! I never even considered adding a donation button to my blog! I do offer sponsoring and adversements on my blog, but I am really fussy over who I allow to be my sponsors, they should 100% fit my blog so people on't get offended by the sponsorship (they should rather think: Ooooh, that's SO Esther) and don't feel like I am in it for the money. But I guess spending 10-15 hrs a week on blogging/crafting/taking pics/ creating tuts is worth something. Wow... interesting! Thanx Annette.

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    1. Hi Esther. I've seen you have sponsored carefully picked on your blog and it looks really nice. I've thought about adding adverts to my blog platform too, carefully choosing them myself but I don't know... I think it is important to at least TALK about the Donation Button as it is much used within blogs under other type of cathegories than craft blogs. I'm giving it a go and we'll see. I am not 100% sure I like it yet. The button is actually quite ugly (!!! :o). A girl has to at least give things a try before making a decision. Have agood one!
      Xxx
      Annette

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  4. I think donate buttons are greedy, grasping and get my back up as soon as I see one. If you have something to sell, then do so. Having your ego rubbed by a blog and getting paid for it is too much in my book. A blog already markets to an audience and now you want us to pay?! Very few blogs are worth it. It lacks integrity to say something is free and then hold out a begging bowl. There are blogs that are spoken of as generously sharing yet everywhere there is something begging. It turns me off completely.

    There are two blogs I can think of that are worth money for content alone - an embroidery blog and a toy-making/small business blog. They provide excellent information and do not just show off their latest makes (usually those anyone can and does do themselves). I'm fed up of endless tutorials which are so simplistic and keep their followers as dependant babies. Create decent patterns and I will buy them and support a blogger. Cherry Heart comes to mind as someone who is fulfilling all their promise. She has created quality original and sometimes complex patterns which she charges for. She also has others that are free. She has overhauled her site recently and it is excellent. I will buy her things produced by her own hard work. I will not pay for witterings often using baby talk and that merely rehash work in the public domain.

    I will not use affiliate book links or buy yarn that has a persons name on it for no reason. What effort have they made? I will buy yarn from a persons shop where they had the work of ordering and then packaging and sending. I will not click on add links or anything that seeks to gain money for nothing. Too many bloggers think that is their right. Well no. Do some work and if I want it I will pay. I am no ones sitting duck though. Blogging has rewards - a ready audience to market to, a place where publishers can and do see you and give book deals, magazine articles etc. plus having the ego regularly stroked in over the top ways, which just don't happen in the real world - I'm sure that leads to people having inflated idea of themselves. If you want to blog then do, but don't give me a guilt trip because I read it. You want me to read it. That already has a whole lot of value. Buy you a coffee? Absolutely not. Buy some yarn or a pattern yes. Many blogs are free and the indulgent side of a blogger should be paid for by them not by me if they want to upgrade. If you do so that's part of your business costs (which should be factored into your products), if you have one, otherwise your hobby, your problem.

    The epitome of a blogger who knows how to behave? Posie gets cozy. No adds, no affiliate links. Just hard work, good patterns etc. and gratitude with a professional attitude. No wonder she is so successful. She has her boundaries in place too. I cannot imagine her having a buy me a coffee button - so very vulgar.

    I think a lot of the time readers are the ones who should have a coffee bought. A lot of blogging has become cynical exploitation. Push it too far and readers will be lost.

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    1. Hannah, it is a free world, you can take and never donate. The button won't stop you reading a blog for free. Annette has had the guts to talk about her reasons, and you have had a platform to vent your reasons. Have a nice day. :-)

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    2. Hi Hannah. You are very passionate about this, I can see - you are on fire! Thank you for joining the discussion.

      Susan
      Thank you for joining in too. And yes, I thought it would be interesting to hear peoples opinions about the Donate Button as no one ever talks about it. It has been interesting so far but I am surprised not more people has join the discussion...
      Have a good day.
      Xxx
      Annette

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  5. I'm with Monica! I've never noticed the "donate" button before and if I had I don't think I would know what it was all about. Thanks for the information.

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  6. Olá Annette,confesso que não sabia que existia esses pedidos e doações,mas acho favorável também.Boa Quinta.Valéria.(Brasil)

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  7. I don't agree with donate buttons on blogs that already sell patterns. I don't mind seeing advertisements on blogs, and I don't mind paying for patterns. That's just my 2 cents.

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  8. I think it's fine to have a donate button on your blog I don't have a blog because it seems like a whole lot of work! But, I sure appreciate all the generous people out there sharing their patterns and creativity. A donate button is an easy way for someone like me to show my appreciation!

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  9. Mmm, I've seen it, but haven't given it much though yet. I would probably do it sometime - there are quite a few bloggers who inspired me, from whom I learnt A LOT, and a virtual cappuccino wuldn't break the bank.

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  10. Annette, you do bring up some good points. I, for one, do not care for the blogs that have become overrun with ads. I find it hard to focus on the blog content, when the ads keep popping up and interfering with my reading it. I have always thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and I will continue to do so. I think the first donate button I saw was from Lucy at Attic 24. I know she provides a lot of good tutorials and knowledge for us yarnies, and I think that it is fine for her receive donations, and fine for anyone to donate, should they desire to do so.
    I wish I could figure out a way to earn some money on my blog. I love to create it, and I love to create. And I could sure use the extra income.
    I say, do whatever makes you comfortable. I too prefer to see a donate button rather than ads!
    xo Kris

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  11. I am sorry Annette but i dońt like the idea of a donate button.

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  12. I hope you don't get too many unkind replies! I don't have a problem at all with a donate button. I bet many of us don't know you personally and won't ever get to meet you and the entire reason we read your blog is for information or entertainment. There is nothing wrong with paying for knowledge or entertainment, but I think there is something wrong with entitlement and thinking that everything needs to be given freely. I would pay a few dollars every once in a while to continue reading your blot!

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    1. There is no entitlement. Gratitude and appreciation is a worthwhile currency too. I have lots of that to give. Bloggers feel the need to blog and I read them. They want me to read them! I prefer to think everything that is *given* is done so freely, much more than the idea that everything has its price. Blogs earn money for people indirectly, I don't think they should charge the audience they have captured. Should I charge for reading time or time for my commenting? No, because it is an engagement of two halves with mutual benefit.

      For those with a business then I am direct and buy their goods and services which are put in the 'window'. Don't pretend something is free and then ask for donations i.e. free patterns. That is tacky. If you want, just charge for the pattern. However, giving patterns free is often used to encourage people to buy other things and entice people back to goods and services which cost money. The fully monetised blogs are horrible and boring to boot and I don't visit. A blog for a business is like a foyer of a shop. I don't get charged to look in the window or pay for the heating. I get to go in, look inside and then purchase the pretty things I find there. People get worried about being 'nice' so don't want to charge but they do anyway with ads, and affiliate links etc. I find that lacks transparency and feel manipulated. I don't like blogs that are overly selling stuff. I will find your stuff when I come to like and appreciate the blogger and their work. A pushy blogger I will not like and I won't buy their stuff. It is alienating.

      Is a blog ever that entertaining that one should pay? I would say no, I have not found one. A blog can have some knowledge but most of it is already available and not extensive so although rarely on occasion I would pay, generally I would not. Free patterns from people who sell are usually quite perfunctory, not many people give much away. A good pattern I will pay for happily and willingly - just ask me. Price fairly and I will pay. The donate button is a coy way of asking for money. It seems almost passive aggressive.

      I actually don't mind ads so much as a donate button and the affiliate links which both seem arrogant to me. I am sorry for having so much to say about it but it is something I have thought of often. I must also point out that I do not see this blog (yet) as being the negative things that I describe, and it is currently a lovely place to visit. I don't think I made that clear and apologise.

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    2. Hi again Hannah (if it is the same Hannah). Thank you for your last sentence. It is good to know you do like coming here to visit and that your opinion is an objective one. Thank you.
      Xxx
      Annette

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  13. To be honest, the word Donation for me is linked to charity. I would donate to those in need, to those who cannot help themselves for the time being. I don't believe blogs fall into that category, consequently I don't think I would consider making a donation.
    As a side note (because this is just what I believe, not what I know) it must be very hard to turn a blog into money. If a blogger wants to try that I feel there should be a clear borderline between "blogging for personal fun" (Hannah above gives some good examples) and "blogging as a business".

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  14. A touchy subject for some. I feel it's an individual decision, some find it offense some don't (I don't. I don't mind the ads either).Depending on ones financial situation, donate, or not.I see a blog kinda like someone's home, you do as you feel is right for you. I wish you the best in growing your blog/business! Bravo for bringing this into the light!

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  15. Dear Annette, I applaud your open and honest thinking and the courage to step out and discuss this subject. I have read many blogs and have gained a lot from the experience. I have been tempted to donate especially when a blogger is so generous with information. I have also sent off random acts of kindness when I felt a fellow blogger was in need of a virtual hug and encouragement. Just be aware there are many mean spirited people out there who are all take and very little give.......sigh.......ignore them and carry on as you feel is right for you, your blog and your business. Those who stay will be loyal supporters, those who go......well let them it is a free world. I will stay and give you any encouragement you need to grow and I will enjoy the blogs ahead GOOD LUCK

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  16. Wow - this has turned up some interesting comments. I wouldn't have guesses people would feel so strongly about this! I've never considered a donate button on my blog, but don't think it's wrong to at all. We put a lot of work into our blogs and plenty of people benefit from that. Why shouldn't there be a financial gain for our hard work - whether it's through a donate button, advertising or sponsors. Whatever we're comfortable with. You're never going to please everyone, but so long as you do what feels right for you then it's all good.

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    1. Hi Jill
      It certainly have stirred up some emotions hasn't it. Thank you for joining in. Every comment is interesting in this discussion. As a blogger, especially one with a big audience, it is extremely hard to please everyone. So true. There will always be someone who are not in line with changes on your blog. I think you pin pointed it there: as long as we feel what is right for us it's all good. I will try this for a while to see how I feel about it becasue I'm not 100% about the Donate Button either.
      Xxx
      Annette

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  17. I don't like DONATE buttons at all. I don't mind adsense ads and the more clicks a site gets then the more they get paid by adsense. If you want to give to site click on an ad that interests you (not just to click because that could get the blogger banned). So the better the blog, the better the content - the more clicks and clicks on ads. At least this is how it should work and has worked for me on my blog. I do look at the donate button as asking for money and begging.

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  18. Do what works for you. A donation button doesn't require that someone use it. It certainly is less intrusive than ads that jump up in front of you and require that you delete them to get them out of your sight. You have a lovely blog with beautiful work-- it shows that you put time and effort into your work. Out of Africa told us that, "We pay our storytellers here." Why not other creative endeavors as well?

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  19. I've never noticed a donate button on a blog. Maybe the blogs I read don't have them. You have a valid point and I have at times wondered at the amount of time and effort people put into their blogs and the tutorials etc that they include in them with no monetary reward. It would obviously cost people to keep a blog, particularly a crafting blog. If I see that a blog I regularly read has a sponsored post I generally don't read it. I don't read blogs to see advertising. I have steered away from having a blog myself partially because of the time and effort that I would have to put into it when I could be doing something more productive. Thank you for raising the topic.

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    1. Hi Vicki. It is time consuming putting together good blog posts. Taking pictures, editing, making collages, writing instructions... But at the same time it is so much fun and the reward from all happy readers are the best. I should really point that out. The best reward is the interaction with my readers, not the money. But when your blog is transforming into a job it is essential to figure out how to earn money on it. And to do so in a way that feels comfortable for both author and readers. I'm experimenting and enjoying the discussion. Thank you for joining in.
      Xxx
      Annette

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  20. I don't like the donate button either - it puts my head in a place of enjoying a blog to thinking this person is desperate and maybe blogging just for money and not for passion. I don't mind adsense ads and bloggers like me get paid by the number of clicks on our pages and if you really want to show love to one of your blogging friends - click on an ad that you are genuinely interested in (not clicking on random ads because that could get your friend banned from adsense). If your content is good, your traffic will build and you will receive more clicks to your site and better ad rates and then can build up a sizeable income.

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    1. Hi Georgina. It is kind of ugly, isn't it??? The button I mean... It would be interesting to see your blog with the AdSense and what it looks like. I have thought about that too but I'm not sure... Could you fill me in with your blog URL? Thanks for joining the discussion.
      Xxx
      Annette

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    2. Most blogs have adsense or other ad platforms. I like adsense - they only allow 3 ads on your site and constantly update you on which ads and ad styles are better for your blog. You can even run experiements to see which are performing better. They are so much better than the popup ads that you manually have to close, the video ads. the popup FB requests, and the the dreaded huge floating footer ad you also have to manually close. I have a fair amount of traffic on my blog and nothing beats adsense - Madads Media was a disaster (post to come soon about them!). You can see my ads on my DIY site.

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  21. hej,
    this conversation is very interesting...i love reading blogs and always think"how do they find the time?" I don't mind the donate button,i don't mind some ads as long as they are not flashing,horrible!!i really don't like sponsored posts and will not read the them!!!
    each to their own and with you Anette i really like your blog,not so much for the crochet as i can't crochet,would love to learn but have tried and tried...i enjoy it because like you I am a swede living abroad(sydney)and I always find it interesting to hear about peoples lives in a foreign country!
    you are doing a great job and just do what feels good for you!
    kram

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  22. I love your open approach to all this Annette. I've been thinking of talking about this kind of thing on my blog too although, to be honest I'd be a little bit concerned about the possible responses. It's so hard to know the best way to go with these things and I can certainly understand both sides of the argument. I think I agree that all you can do is try things and ultimately do what feels right for you.

    Anyway, thanks for opening the debate, I'm interested to see how it goes :)

    Sandra x

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  23. A good issue a think...you are writing your blog because you like to, it's not your professional job, it's 'just' fun, but on the other side your blog is very popular, you are putting a lot of time in writing, and indeed you are also giving things away...I'm not sure yet what I think about the donate button...to be honest...

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  24. I agree with Hannah's comments. She said it more eloquently than me!
    Have a nice day!

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  25. While I wouldn't put it as strongly as Hannah, I do agree with her. If you write a blog, presumably (as you said) you love to do it, you find it fun or it maybe your way of writing a diary. If you write well about interesting things whether that be your life, craft, environment, simple living or sports cars (?!) people will read your blog. Knowing that people read your blog and comment must be pretty cool!!
    If you want to make money then sell something unique, like a pattern (I love your Nordic shawl pattern, I'm sure I bought it, I really must find it!) Don't make me feel guilty for not buying you a coffee with a big donate button at the bottom.
    I love your blog. I'm not about to stop reading it because of the button and it won't stop me buying a pattern I'd love to make either, but donate buttons do make me feel uncomfortable.
    Great discussion though :)

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  26. This is a really interesting debate, and quite timely for me as I've been feeling a little uncomfortable lately with our blogging world. I personally don't like donate buttons - they merge the boundary between a sharing of experiences and blog that's there as a business.
    It's this boundary that I've found difficult recently.
    I love to read knitting/crochet blogs as a way to relax; I love to momentarily step into other people's worlds and enjoy the simple sharing of creative ideas and thoughts. Keeping our crafting abilities alive is so important and the online community we belong to is vital to ensure our skills are passed on to the next generation.
    What makes me sad is the idea that I'm being a little bit conned!
    How many blogs do you read that bang on about the simple things in life: stopping to smell the roses, the innocence of children and the joy of their lives, sitting in a cosy corner with your crochet and being thankful for what you have? Yet these blogs have advertisements, sometimes business deals with wool companies, books/magazine deals and donate buttons. They are obviously being run as a business, yet dressing it up as a cosy, 'come in and chat' blog, when in fact they're nothing but.
    Before I alienate the whole blogging world (which isn't my intention), I just need to say that I have no problem with anyone charging for their time or abilities - I'm fully behind that. If you spend the time putting your creative thoughts into patterns and tutorials then you charge if that's your thing. But please don't pretend it's anything else!
    Finally (you'll probably be glad there is a finally), Annette, I love your blog. You haven't blurred the boundaries as yet for me. You recently wrote about how much pressure we put ourselves under to produce work for our blogs and you're right - what are we doing to ourselves? The knitting/crochet world of blogging is predominantly women and we need to support each other by being clear about our intentions, not make a quick (but back-handed) buck out of our community.
    OK, rant over! It's safe now...I'm off for a cup of tea!

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  27. Here's my take on it... This is your blog, and you get to decide its contents. If you choose to have a Donate button, no worries. If you want ads or affiliate links, no worries. And if a reader doesn't care for blogs with these things on them, she can choose not to visit again.

    BTW, today's my first visit here, and I know I will be back. I enjoy your writing style and photography.

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    1. Hi Barbara. I appreciate how you dive straight in to the discussion even if this is your first visit here. And thank you for enjoying my place. Your point is very liberal, which I like. A very warm welcome to you and I hope to see you around more.
      Xxx
      Annette

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  28. Hi Annette, I just came across your blog earlier in the week, and am really enjoying reading it, for which thanks.
    I was interested in this post and the debate it started. I have been reading blogs for a while. Last week I finally got round to using a tutorial on a blog a read a lot and was thrilled by how easy she made something I had always found very tricky before. Using her online tutorial, which she had worked hard to create and generously gave freely, for me was a more practical alternative to going on a course i would happily have paid for (and can afford). In those circumstances I was really pleased to be able to donate through her site, a fitting thank you for all her hard work and for the many hours of pleasure I've had reading her blog.
    On my own blog I have no plans to add one, as I am at a different stage of life and lucky for me no great need to earn more than I already do.
    I don't feel at all offended by sight of a button. I have free choice whether or not to use it.
    Once again, thanks for your blog, which I will enjoy visiting. And maybe one day I'll buy a pattern or use a tutorial!
    All good wishes to you, Deborah

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Thank you so much for visiting my world. I love reading your comments and I do my utterly best to respond to questions and sweet messages. Thank you again for popping by.

Kärlek
Annette

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