Around June 4th of this year I noticed a water leak in my bathroom. It was a Saturday and I had an appointment so I put some towels down and would attend to it when I got back several hours later.
|Where it all began, below the black|
pipe inside the wall
The plumber came as promised but he too could not find the leak. He gave me the name of a leak detection company that I called and they promised to arrive early Monday morning. Since I control my water in my and the condo unit above me, I could not turn off my water! I had already used up just about all my towels so did a load just in case. I ended up using them too.
|The villain. What a 40 year old |
pipe can do
suspects put on his headphones then got me to tell me where he thought the leak was. Because this complex was finished in 1983, and asbestos was used for insulation, he was afraid the walls had asbestos insulation. I told him when we ripped the kitchen out before I moved in, "what insulation? The walls aren't even straight." Still he would not touch the walls so I got my retired contractor neighbor to help and we opened the wall with a hammer. No insulation but sure enough between the master bathroom and walk-in closet walls, where the water entered my condo, beneath the slab were bubbles of water. We found the leak. The leak detector man said his crew could not come out until Thursday. As this was Monday I told him I could not wait that long. I couldn't turn off the water either. He called a friend that could come that afternoon, jackhammered the slab to free the copper pipe with a hole that was leaking, replaced it and used a quick cement to repair the slab and we were done.
|Where it all began|
The water had gone into the walk-in closet and under all the laminate flooring in my master bedroom. You could visibly see the warped boards. I thought it would dry out and laughed when my robot vacuum bounced across the bedroom floor.
Finally I realized it was NOT going to dry so called my condo insurer, AAA. They came, inspected the damage and an assessment of the damage was made and work began.
As I write this I am living in the chaos of box hell for the seventh week. They sent a crew that came and boxed up just about everything in the bedroom and the walk-in closet. I had to fight to keep my bed because there was no other place to sleep and because of my various medical maladies it was impossible for me to move. The amount they gave me to do that would have been good for about three nights here in Palm Springs, summer or not.
|This is the living room now for 7 weeks|
They came to spray for black mold and areas that had some cleared up in a few hours. Everything from the floor up four feet where they had removed drywall was sprayed, covered in plastic and blowers dried the walls and studs before anything could proceed. I have been asked how long do you think the leak occurred and how long did you live with black mold? I have no answer but it has to have been for awhile.
|Black mold in bathroom cabinets|
The design part was that the studio, my converted second bedroom, was not affected. Since I couldn't leave most days because someone was here on and off, I painted. Boy did I paint! Ten new items in fact. As I write now, the new floor has been put down, the walk-in closet shelves have been replaced, they are hanging doors and floor trim is being replaced. New bathroom and medicine cabinets have been ordered and should arrive next week along with a plumber as I have changed the counter from one to two sinks.
Not being able to do much except be home and yes, wait a lot, is the time to get to work. As they tore down, pounded and packed I hid in the "studio" trying a variety of styles ... Pennsyvania Dutch, Mola, Federal, anything that would keep me busy as I painted and listened to audio books I got at the library. A natural gourd birdhouse became a cactus, several star shaped wooden shaped birdhouses became a kind of abbreviated Mola design where I felt the design with it's intricacies were highlighted without all the background design. Tiny windmill birdhouses (why do I do them? they take as much or more time than bigger ones to paint) became an homage to Americana or Pennsyvania Dutch design. Because of their dark backgrounds all had to be painted at least twice - once in a opaque cream color so colors applied on top would show. Otherwise the black or burgundy backgrounds would have eaten up any transparent colors. I know and learned that lesson early on. Don't fight it. Put the design on (I finally learned to use a white pencil), then a cream coat which is opaque and finally the color you want.
|Studio where art and medicine boxes meet|
I am surprised at how contractors work. While they put back wooden molding and doors that they removed it takes someone else to put back the slices of tiles that were molding in the hall and living room. So it sits undone and I cannot move the TV back and attempt to recreate my living room. I guess the good news is that items wrapped in the bedroom can now be unwrapped. My desk can be put back in it's old position, chairs unwrapped and placed to be used again and the computer, printer, scanner and office paperwork moved out of the dining room. "Be still my heart!"
|RED STAR BIRDHOUSE with Mola designs|
Be sure to check my ETSY store ... KrugsStudio.etsy.com. I am adding many new and exciting, collectible birdhouses and craft items. Many of the items talked about here will be for sale there!
Thank you for reading my blog. I invite you to take the time to read earlier blogs where my emphasis is to explore the ways art and design affects our daily lives ... and always has. I share with you what inspires me with the hope that it will inspire you as well. Comments are always welcomed!