Sunday, 27 February 2011


We spent the weekend away at a family party - more soon, when I've gone through the photos.

So we drove home this afternoon and didn't plan on doing much for the rest of the day, except relaxing.  The Boys had a model-painting project on the go, followed by a networked computer gaming session. 

I settled down happily in my studio, with some nice new covering paper, cutting pages and boards for a new book.  I had  finished the pages and interleaves for a photo album and reached up to put the art bag containing the rest of the tissue and interleaving papers back onto its shelf. 

Disaster struck! 

The shelves in my studio came away from the wall.  Everything cascaded down on top of me (and Sherlock), tipping me into a heap in the middle of it all!  DH and DS had to come running to help us - DS rescued the poor, frightened cat and DH rescued his poor, frightened wife!

It was all a huge jumble of fallen boxes and packs of paper, books, trays of bits & pieces, board games from the top shelf, shelving boards etc etc. 

Added to the mess was the anxiety that the wall brackets would break, landing those metal shelves on top of us.  We had to very gingerly clear up whatever we could, moving it all out of the room and stacking shelf boards in the hallway.  Then DH helped me to take down the brackets from the bent and twisted metal supports.  Once we had done this, he carefully removed all three metal shelves and took those away too.  

My poor Studio, that I was so proud of!  It's a terrible mess... Piles of stuff all over the desk top and under the desk, all over the floor...

There were some boxes already on the floor along this side, waiting to be tidied up and for their contents to be put on the shelves (!).  Now they are just part of a large and general jumble. 

In the centre there, topped by a sheet of blue mulberry paper, are the pages and sheet of covering paper for my new photo album project.  The lovely paper has two big holes, where corners of shelf boards speared it!  Yet, in spite of the chaos, the damage to this project was minimal and it looks as if I'll be able to make it after all  - some time! 

Everything else has had to be moved into the upstairs hallway, or our bedroom.  I have managed to relocate my paper stocks to the bottom of my wardrobe, although the cover-bags are just a little bit too deep and the doors don't shut properly.  It's going to have to do for now, until we can sort out what to do next.

I have had to clear the desk by the window; it's my "clever" desk, with adjustable legs - legs that clip to the metal shelving strips that are (were) screwed to the wall.  It will need to be taken apart now, so the metal strips can be taken down completely.

My laptop computer was on the desk when everything fell. I am so lucky it wasn't damaged at all.  In fact, so far, apart from the wrecked shelving and a few dented boxes (one full of sock-pet making stuff, that I fell on and squashed!), hardly anything was damaged or broken.  The paper I was about to use for the photo album cover has two holes - but I think the sheet can still be used for something, as the holes are at the edges.  A little ceramic pot I used to hold "bits" was smashed and I threw it out, the handle of a paint-brush mug was broken and a lot of little shreds of paper and bits of cotton, bookbinding thread and stuff were scattered over the floor - should have tidied them up before anyway! 

No-one was injured, though the cat was very frightened and had to be lifted out from under the pile of stuff (unsquashed though, so he was lucky). He recovered well, after a lot of kind attention from J.  I was badly shaken up and needed a stiff cuppa and a chocolate, along with a sit-down, before my knees would stop wobbling and my hands shaking.  Other than that, it's just a matter of injured pride and disappointment. 

I will need to have another think about the storage situation in my studio. Meanwhile, that pile of stuff that I've been "going to" tidy up, will have to be tidied, so I can make a much neater pile of storage boxes, containing all my equipment, scrapping supplies etc, that used to be on the shelves. 

This is obviously my own fault. The shelves must have been overloaded and me dropping a bag of paper on top of the pile was just one thing too much - that tiny bit of force needed to pull it all away from the wall. We had put the supports up carefully and used good, long screws. I think there was just far too much weight overall, pulling constantly at those metal strips. At least I wasn't sitting down when it fell, or I would have been injured by the falling shelf-boards.

Obviously wall-mounted shelving is not the solution to every storage issue! Overloading shelves is dangerous and foolish (duh!!) and I won't make that mistake again.  I was in J's room after this, checking what is on his wall shelves - nothing nearly as heavy as the things I had dumped on mine!

So, I have stopped shaking and am having an early night (8pm, sitting in bed!).  Tomorrow is Monday - jobs day - so I will have to leave things as they are.  Tuesday will have to be the start of the Big Tidy Up!

As if I had nothing else to do, eh?


  1. Oh, Lizzie! You poor thing! How frightening that must have been - I'm so thankful to hear that you were physically OK, and hope the damage to your nerves soon heals xx

  2. So sorry. Glad you weren't hurt.

  3. Oh my goodness Lizzie - what a disaster! Thank goodness you and Sherlock are ok, it could have been very uncomfortable to say the least.
    Good luck with working out a new storage solution - and, have a good rest :-)

  4. Crikey Lizzie, I'm glad you weren't hurt, what a shock that must have been. Hope you can get on top of it soon xx

  5. Thank goodness you're ok,Lizzie...and not too much damage apart from the mess!! Overloading shelves is something we're probably all guilty of.

  6. what a fright - I'm sitting here looking warily at my shelves that are screwed to the wall! Good to hear there was no irreperable damage to you, sherlock or papers

  7. I honestly don't know what to say! I think I'm feeling the shock from here. Thank goodness nobody was hurt - I know that's the main thing; but, all the same, not a very pleasant experience :(

  8. Oh No Lizzie; poor you and poor Sherlock. Thank goodness you weren't sitting below the shelves. Sorry you have such a mess to clear up too, I can certainly sympathise with that. Would the expedit shelf unit from IKEA work? Its very sturdy and can be attached to the wall too for extra support. I just got one for my scrappy room. Haven't fixed it to the wall though as I will only have lightweight stuff in it. You can also get very lightweight boxes to fit int he spaces (Kassett I think they are called; idea for storing material etc).

    Best of luck with the sorting. X

  9. Thanks everyone, for your good wishes. Thankful that neither I nor Sherlock was hurt. I'm thinking about the "new shelf" choices too. I may put up the wall shelves again - in part - but with an additional support strut in the centre and with much less total weight on them!
    Sue, I do have an Expedit unit already - one of the 2x4-hole ones, with the matching desk resting on the centre shelves. I need to tidy out those pigeon-holes, as they are not used to their full potential and I could put some of my stuff in the four spaces under the desk, which have junk in just now really. I may get another of these, but not sure if it will fit... Maybe have to look for a tall and narrow bookcase with deep shelves, that will hold some of the boxes. This time the heavier ones will be at the bottom!!
    Basically, I need to do a lot of tidying up and getting rid of junk, then sort out suitable (!) shelving for the remaining supplies and equipment.
    Thanks all, I am less shaken today anyway!

  10. Wow... that would have given me a heck of a fright... so sorry for the mess and the need to re-do, reorganize and clean up. SO glad no one was hurt, though. Just think of it as a new beginning... a fresh start for some new organization and inspiration! :)

  11. I'm glad you and Sherlock are unhurt! I'd suggest getting some floor based shelving like bookcases but I've had those collapse too from too much weight. Maybe lots of different types so you can spread the stuff around?

  12. I am sorry to hear that happened, and happy that the damage seems so limited. The photo of the fallen shelf looks quite impressive...
    All the best for the next solution!

  13. OMG Lizzie! What a shock that must have been!! Sherlock will probably be counting what's left of his nine lives!! BUT...the silver lining has to be that when you put it all back together again, you'll have a totally organised studio!! I think a trip to Ikea might be advisable!! That way you don't have to blow the budget & I find they have such a good choice forboth storage & desks!! Have fun with it!!

  14. A phoenix will rise from the ashes! Or in this case, something beautiful and better will come from the mess. Hang in there!

  15. That must have been so very scary! I hope you can get everything back in order so you can be cozy and proud in your craft room again! Maybe something positive will come out of this and you'll end up loving the room even more now that you are forced to gut and re-arrange.

    P.S. I will be double checking weight restrictions on shelving from now on, this is frightening and could happen to anyone!

  16. Good point, Megan, it certainly could happen to anyone. I think that most of us wouldn't really think too hard about the total weight of all the stuff we chuck onto our shelves, or in our cupboards! My niece was almost badly injured by the top of her Welsh Dresser falling over, china cascading everywhere etc... It was stopped by the kitchen units behind her and she was trapped on the floor underneath it. Could have been much worse...
    I was at the osteopath today (routine visit) and I told my tale to the receptionist; a lady in the waiting room said a very similar thing happened to her only last week.
    Anyway folks, I posted this with such a sensational title, largely because I wanted to get your attention - if it could happen to Lizzie, it could probably happen to most folks - only a few are soooo careful that they check everything. Please learn from My mistake, rather than from your own!!

  17. Arrgh! Oh no, what a trauma! You must have had such a shock ... and glad there were no serious injuries. Hoping you get it all sorted gradually and can complete the projects. Off to check my own shelving units!

  18. OMG, Lizzie! You are lucky lucky lucky that you (or the cat) were not hurt! I am sure you will find a better storage solution. But I can only imagine, going through all the stuff, organizing it again, what a pain!


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