Saturday, October 12, 2013

The hoarder




A little over a month ago, I saw a tutorial on Darcy's blog. She was showing how anyone could make a silicon mold.  Please note that these photos were taken with my little camera that has no settings whatsoever on it.

I knew exactly what I wanted to place in my mold once I made it, even if I couldn't take a decent shot of it.  This is a a photo of a Frozen Charlotte I purchased at a local craft store for around $5.00.  Yes, this teeny tiny little thing cost that much.  Thankfully, I had a gift certificate, or I would never have gotten it.  

This is where the story takes a backward and very ugly twist.  I couldn't find any silicon in my craft room, so I headed to the basement, where I was certain I had some in my studio.  However, what I saw nearly bowled me over.

There would definitely be no searching in my studio on that fateful day, since I couldn't even reach the studio.  It had happened sometime between the time I showered that morning, and early afternoon when I returned to the basement.

Apparently what happened, was one shelf fell over (the one you can't see, since I've moved it already), and because they were all hooked together, it toppled the other two.  The shelf unit that caused the problem had not been assembled correctly, because later I found a cardboard cylinder that had been left on the bottom of (underneath) the lowest shelf.   With all the rain we had in August, the cardboard got wet (or at least moist) and placed a great deal of strain on the plastic support posts, which put strain and pressure on the shelves, which, in turn, toppled everything, since they were all interlocked. I was now forced to deal with damp, but thankfully not moldy, items of every shape and size.   

I immediately began running every fan I could find, except the one I couldn't reach that was sitting outside my studio.  It was quite obvious I was going to need time to fix this problem.  I want to apologize for the quality of this and the following photos because I borrowed my friend Sally's camera.  It was supposed to take fantastic shots, but when I saved them as I normally do, they pixelated  horribly.

Of course, the bigger problem was my basement bathroom.  I prefer to shower in the basement.  I could go on and on about how I prefer the multi-function shower head, the tub isn't as steep to climb in and out of, and other various reasons, but the main reason is summertime is for showers in my basement, and wintertime is for hot steamy bubble baths in my main floor bath.  I knew I had to create a pathway to this room before I could shower the next day.

Even as short as my legs are, by moving only a few boxes, I was able to step over papers, books, wood, and metal in order to reach this room before it was time to bathe.  And, although it appears to look dirty, the tub is really white.  The lighting (and possibly Sally's camera) is what caused it to look filthy.

Another problem was I had no way to set up a staging area.  I couldn't get into the studio where my roll around table was, so I had to come up with a place to stage some of this mess.

It took me three days to come up with a solution.  I finally took this shelf I had not reassembled on the shelving unit it came from, and stood it on two empty cat litter containers.  It was the only thing I could find and I assure you, it was NOT much of a staging area.  But it had to do.

It took another two days to get this far.  By that, I mean to get the shelves upright once again and the books back on the shelves.  At least I could now get into my basement studio, but I had another problem to contend with.

By this time, it was also obvious those shelves were bulging in places they shouldn't have.

I placed the trash can in front of the unit in order to help stabilize the bulging shelf and went upstairs to contemplate the problem.  I was hoping the shelves would stabilize on their own, but that was not the case.  Once again, I needed a new plan.  It seemed like it was one step forward, three steps back.

The next time I went to the basement, I decided to remove books from one shelf in hopes of lightening the load on this already overworked unit.

And that is exactly what I did.  I brought this shelf of books to the studio a few at a time, since they were mostly heavy hardbacks, where they now reside. I moved the two containers to the side of the studio shelving unit, where they will reside until I can find a better home for them. 


After moving the shelf of books, I could NOT bring myself to return to the basement for several days.  Now I admit, this floor, unlike my tub, IS dirty.  In fact, it is filthy.  But I'll be cleaning it as soon as everything is back in place.  I've already cleaned under the shelving units before I set them upright.  And I have also returned Sally's camera at this point, too.  I gave it back to her the day we went to the Autumn Art show.

So why did I once again procrastinate?  I was back to that three steps back scenario.

I spent a lot of time swapping the shelf unit with the glue tower.  Once I did, I realized

the closet door wouldn't open far enough to remove much of anything.

So that meant I had to move it back.  In the process, I picked up a lot of dirt because I hadn't swept the floor.

It was time to move the shelving to another spot and return the glue tower to its original position.

That's when I realized the light was directly above one of the shelving units.  That wouldn't work if I was to put anything up there.

So once again, I unloaded a bunch of stuff, moved the two units, and checked the lighting.

I was hoping that crack in the floor wouldn't cause a problem.

While moving the shelf back in place, I hurt my back.  I tried to keep working, seeing the huge mess I still had in front of me, but it became unbearable.  That was when I stopped working for many days, trying to heal my back.

More of the story soon.  You might now see how the title of this post came about.  You'll also be able to see when I got my new camera, since this one is my little camera that has no flash.

Now that the basement mess is cleaned up (have I mentioned how anal and what a neat freak I am?), I'll have time to visit all of you who have visited me.  And I thank you in advance for sticking by me while I plowed away at this mess I managed to create in my basement.



15 thoughtful remarks:

Veronica Reynolds said...

OMG what a pickle. Not to be nasty but I am (in a way) glad to see it's not just me who seems to lurch from one disaster the next.
I really hope your back get's better I know how painful they can be.
I'm with you in spirit if not in person and I'm rooting for a quick recovery for you and your room.

Hugs Vicky R x

Dawn said...

Flippin heck sweetie, what a nightmare for you. I soooo admire your tenacity and strength when facing it all and I don't blame you for procrastination in the face of such a mountain!! I hope your back is ok darling, I know how nasty a strained back can be???
Huge hugs x x x x

Nan G said...

OMG Elizabeth! I do hope your back is better! That was quite a mes and a lot ...A LOT of work! One can really see the improvement in the pics. The no flash pic is so clear and sharp! Hugs

Caterina Giglio said...

Oh E!! that is terrible, I completely understand about arranging and rearranging due to space constraints and closet doors, lighting etc, what a pain... and literally in your case! I hope you have your feet up and you are feeling much better now! x

Rebeca Trevino said...

what a fiasco!
i am so sorry to hear about your back. that was the worst part of the story. anyway i hope you are healing as you should.

the best part of the story, is that my eagle eye spotted a SCRABBLE GAME in your basement . . . (the very last picture)

yes, it's true . . . i don't miss much . . .

Dianne said...

Oh my dear Elizabeth!! so sorry you had to go through all of that...it is amazing how quickly the stuff piles up isn't it? EVERYTHING looks like a potential art supply to me! I do hope your back is better...and I ADORE your purple camera! I must say, that first photo of the toppled shelves could qualify as a Halloween horror story...=)

Marilyn J. Rock said...

Ouch! This is terrible for you! I'm so sorry this happened. I will keep positive thoughts that your back heals quickly. xxoo

Monique said...

Oh my, that's a lot of work. Brave of you to plow through all that and get it organized again!
xx Monique

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Now I know what has been keeping you busy in the basement. I'm glad the shelves were still usable because that would have been another problem. I'm a procrastinator when it comes to re-organizing--I hate to move things because then I cannot remember where I put them, and I am also sure there are more organized (for want of a better word) ways of keeping my hoard.

Hopefully your back will be fully healed and won't come back to haunt you later.

Halle said...

Oh my...what a mess! I can only imagine how out of sorts you were when discovering this. Maybe some good will come from your disater...you'll discover something that inspires another art piece or two or a dozen. *grin*

btw--check your email. :)

voodoo vixen said...

So this is what happened... I wondered what you were up to, hurting yourself in the basement etc... what a pain, literally and otherwise! So glad you are now almost back on track with sorting the problem out and I bet you found all sorts of stuff!!

Bridget Larsen said...

I dont envy you that mess but sometimes things happen to make us clean up or unhoard, I know cos it happened to me not in such a big way but we had to move house which is probably an even bigger problem. Glad you got it all sorted out

Jo Murray said...

Looks like a disaster...but I'll bet it was an excuse to get organised better. I REALLY need an excuse.

~*~Patty S said...

YIKES!!!
what a rotten surprise for you to find your basement shelves toppled!

I can imagine it made you pretty tense and trying to scoot things around = Ouch!!! not good for your back!

Hope you have things back like you like them with no more bad surprises OR pain!

Take Care E
oxo

BJ said...

Oh my goodness Elizabeth what a disaster you had to sort out!

As for my washi tape holding my acetate down it was quite by accident and worked well so I repeated it.

Perhaps you call Cow Parsley by a different name in the US?? BJ