Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Downsizing Continues or One Step Forward, Three Steps Back ...

One would like to begin by apologizing for the disorganized state of this week's post, much like the insomniac  herself these days - starting to declutter in one room, only to discover something that needs to be put with others of its ilk which are stored in another room, eventually ending up many hours later with every room in the Gothic Mansion in total disarray. Although, in all honesty, one is reasonably satisfied with the progress made thus far, and as long as the number of items exiting remains greater than the number of items entering, we should be more than ready for the For Sale sign to be put up June 1st ... of next year.

A great many trips have been made to the thrift store with bags and boxes of donations. The insomniac  has had the good sense to park in the 5 Minute Unloading Zone while dropping off these items; except for that once when the 5 Minute spot was taken and she had to park elsewhere, which led to a quick look inside afterwards since she was already there. And she just happened to run across this sweater, which isn't anything she'd ever dream of wearing, but could potentially be made into a lovely pair of armwarmers. It is now packed away in the box with the other sweaters waiting to be made into armwarmers.

Really?

Having offered some of her silkscreen supplies to a staff member employed at the boutique where she used to work, the insomniac  stopped in last weekend to drop them off. Just moments before managing to leave the store empty-handed, she noticed this lovely pan light. Frankly, she feels she showed remarkable restraint having left with just the light and nothing else, as in addition to the tempting clothes, accessories, giftware, soaps, perfumes and makeup, there is also an excellent selection of vintage and antique treasures. Yessir, dodged that bullet nicely ...

Only came into the house long enough to be secured
in more bubble wrap before going back out to the garage ...

A small portion of the work wardrobe has been auctioned off on eBay but, eager to prepare for her new lifestyle, the insomniac  did purchase a deeply discounted Levi's black plaid flannel shirt. And a Ralph Lauren black prairie skirt. The ensemble just needs the perfect pair of black combat boots to complete that “Goth in the Country” look that one predicts will be imitated by many once it's been debuted.

Things long forgotten have been rediscovered, such as these postcards found in a brown paper bag of holiday memorabilia from a trip through New Mexico. The used Disneyland theme park tickets from that same trip were discarded, but these two beauties will be re-filed in The Box Stuffed with Prints that Lives in the Attic. If memory serves, the eldest chose a Starbones Coffin t-shirt and the youngest selected a Skeletubbies t-shirt by the same artist. One is almost certain those two items will be turning up in the basement here shortly.

L-R: Amistad (Friendship) and El Observador del Cielo (The Skywatcher)
L. Bark'karie 

This antique print, long thought lost, was found crammed in with some old prints of Buffalo Bill. Apparently, the insomniac  could use a little help with her filing system and is giving serious consideration to flying The Bane of Clutter up for some much-needed assistance. Logically, this print should now be put in its proper place in the Box Stuffed with Prints Etc., but is instead sitting on top of a bookcase so one will hopefully remember to take it in for a proper archival framing. Preferably before it goes missing again.

The Missal, John William Waterhouse

While picking up another can of black paint to finish the remaining kitchen chairs, Kaos' bed and favourite squeaky toys were left behind for the enjoyment of the Lauren Lane mascot, Horse. One small can of black paint incoming - one large dog bed and various dog toys outgoing. Way to downsize, insomniac.

Horse (who isn't really a Horse but an Afghan), enjoying his new spoils ...

And lastly, the new taxidermy raven has finally arrived. The realtor will rue the day he said the Taxidermy Collection added to the Gothic Mansion's ambiance although, come to think of it, maybe he didn't specifically mention the Taxidermy Collection and possibly the insomniac  misinterpreted his statement. Regardless, all future purchases between now and June 1st will be justified by claiming they “add to the ambiance” ...

L-R: Jackdaw #1, Nevermore the Raven, Jackdaw #2

To celebrate the insomniac's  one-year blogoversary this week, as well as her tremendous progress in the whole downsizing debacle, she has decided to give away two books from her personal collection. This could be considered a win-win situation for all concerned - two lucky readers will have one good-as-new book to add to their collections, and the insomniac  will have two fewer to deal with in hers ...

Gothic & Lolita
by Masayuki Yoshinaga and Katsuhiko Ishikawa

1000 Steampunk Creations: Neo-Victorian Fashion, Gear and Art
by Dr. Grymm and Barbe Saint John

The Giveaway ends on Saturday, February 23rd at 12:01 a.m. and the names of the winners will be announced on Sunday, February 24th. Please be sure to mention in your comment which book you'd prefer!

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA


a Rafflecopter giveaway

61 comments:

  1. Wow, tuff choice about the books.
    Either would be lovely. thank you for offering.
    Good luck with paring down. So hard to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, tess! Yes, the insomniac started out all smug and gung-ho at the beginning, but it is getting tougher the farther along she gets. ;o)

      Good luck with the Givewaway! :o)

      Delete
  2. Wowwwww! What a great prize! I have read Gothic and Lolita in the past, and I am steampunk addicted! So I would love the Steampunk creations one! It would give me soooo much inspiration!

    It is great finding surprises like those gorgeous skeleton postcards, isn't it!

    The print on that sweater is quite fascinating, it looks a bit Russian!

    The lamp and Waterhouse print are gorgeous! I wish I could find more things like that lamp secondhand! Are you selling any nice things on Ebay, what is your seller name?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One was pretty sure you'd pick the Steampunk Creations book, Laura! It does have a ton of inspirational photos, and perhaps after the move the insomniac  will repurchase it. ;o)

      The skeleton postcards were a lovely surprise - there have been a few during this downsizing process!

      The sweater is very well made and the colours quite pretty - still, rather ridiculous to have brought it home to pack up. :P

      So far, all one has sold on eBay have been clothes, and Laura - you'd be swimming in anything of the insomniac's!  She's a size 12 to 14!! LOL

      Delete
  3. I'm not sure I entered the giveaway in a correct matter, but I would love either one of those books!

    That dog bed is amazing, and what a cute horse ;)

    Have you found a new place to live now then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like you've entered just fine - Besatthet, right? :o)

      Yes, Kaos was indeed a lucky dog! And even though Horse normally makes a run for it the minute the insomniac  comes into the store, he did actually come up and sniff her hand when she was down there again the other day. He must have remembered who gave him the lovely bed and all the fun toys! :o)

      Nope, still haven't found a place. We may have to leave everything in storage and rent for a while after we leave here ... That'll be different. ;o)

      Delete
  4. aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww so awesome books - I love them both - very hard to choose one of them... If I am lucky - I think I would choose the steampunk book - its perfect for inspirations and i love being creative ;)

    Horse is soooooooo cute! Wanne cuddle him - he looks so fluffy! <3

    XOXO


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both are truly awesome books, but feeling somewhat overwhelmed by her books at the moment, one felt it was an appropriate time to let someone else enjoy them! The steampunk book is FULL of amazing art and really is inspirational!

      Horse is a sweetheart, but being a true Afghan and therefore rather aloof, hasn't as yet let the insomniac  close enough for a cuddle. Although one is working towards rectifying that! :D

      Delete
  5. Wow I love the Lolia book! It is perfect for inspiration and branching out into a style that I am not as comfortable with! xxx Lilly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Lilly Peppermint! The Gothic & Lolita book is crammed full of inspirational photos for both styles, and you're sure to find lots of lovely ideas within to inspire you!

      Good luck in the Giveaway, dear! :o)

      Delete
  6. Wow. Both books appeal to my interests, eclectic as I am. :)
    Oh I know this too well. But the benefit or drawback with moving is that you always lost a pack on the move. It is soo strange! In every move I have lost something that I didn't want to loose :/. But the benefit is that you force yourself to keep everything organized.
    The sweater is lovely in the form of armwarmers :) I can definitely see it's transformation potential.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are both very lovely books, and the insomniac  believes either would appeal to you, Linnea-Maria!

      It is actually a good feeling to get everything organized, but the long-suffering spouse is growing tired of the insomniac's  dithering and is cleverly making some decisions about what should go and what should stay without her knowledge. He's a wise man. And if she can't remember it in the first place, she probably won't miss it should it get lost in the move! :o)

      Delete
    2. I answer your question on my blog here. Look for pixlr-o-matic. It's a free photo editig program available both for computors and smartphones. It got lots of different filters and frames :D

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Linnea-Maria! The frames you chose for your photos look fantastic! :o)

      Delete
  7. You have such nice things! It kind of reminds me of my aunt's house. She's really into antiquing, and she even has a pipe organ in her home. If you're offering, I think the Gothic & Lolita book would be nice. Good luck with the downsizing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, a pipe organ - that sounds awesome! Does she play it? One has always wanted to play Bach's Toccato and Fugue in D Minor on a pipe organ! :D

      Gothic & Lolita it is, OddGhoulOut! Thank you for your best wishes on the downsizing, and good luck to you in the Giveaway!

      Delete
    2. I posted about her house here if you're interested.: http://batsinthebelfrycatsintheattic.blogspot.com/2012/09/my-aunts-victorian-house.html

      By the way, the pipe organ is functioning, but they don't play it.

      Delete
    3. Your aunt's house is amazing! And how lovely that they go the extra mile to decorate it at Hallowe'en! :o)

      Delete
  8. All your stories about downsizing makes me remember our first downsizing attempt. Horror! And unfortunately we need to do it again. I have entered your contest (I hope, my computer has been a little unpredictable lately) and it is hard to choose. I would first of all choose the Steampunk Creations book if I were the fortunate winner. Best wishes with your downsizing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first downsizing attempt, Gracie? You mean we have to do this again? That's somewhat disheartening! Are you moving to a smaller place or just moving?

      Your giveaway entry didn't work, but the insomniac  has entered you manually, so if you win she will contact you through your blog to get your mailing address!

      Thanks for entering, and the best wishes! :o)

      Delete
    2. We still had one at home the first time. We only intended to stay in this house until she was in college and then move on...that was ten years ago. We continued to collect junk and so here we are thinking about it again and knowing we must.
      Good luck.

      Delete
  9. You sound like your making tremendous progress and isn't it wonderful to discover treasures you'd forgotten about. That sweater is a bit Sound of Music, don't you think? Never mind. I'm sure you won't look like Dame Andrews in what's left of it when (if) you get it cut down into armwarmers.

    I'll give the book giveaway a miss. Since we shall also be shifting home this year, I can't really urge/nag OH to DO something about the stack overflow that's happening everywhere he goes in here, then bring in more myself. I'm a ccmpulsive bibliophile (there, I said it) and OH is even moreso.

    Good luck to everyone entering!

    Ali

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is rather decent progress, although some people may look at what we're still keeping and ask if we might be kidding ourselves!

      Sound of Music - you've nailed it! And probably the armwarmers will be for sale, so one needn't worry about looking like Dame Andrews - not that that's a bad thing! ;o)

      You'll laugh at this, Ali - the insomniac  just got back from the second-hand bookstore, made $14 and promptly spent $15 on a book called “A Gentle Madness - Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and the Eternal Passion for Books”.  Ironic, no? LOL

      Delete
    2. It is ironic and I'm off to Google that book.

      Ali x

      Delete
    3. I just added A Gentle Madness to my too long to-read list!

      Delete
    4. Only about two chapters into it at the moment, Laura, but it's definitely interesting! It is a sickness - as one suspected all along ... ;o)

      Delete
  10. I'm glad to here that your downsizing is going well, and isn't causing you too much pain. I really love the new Raven so I'm glad he got to join the collection! Horse is a beautiful dog! He looks very pleased with his new bed!

    I've entered the competition, but I can't decide which book I would like to win most! I think probably the Gothic & Lolita one because I can get plenty of steampunk inspiration online, but older Lolita styles are rarely seen today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is going well, and there have only been a few occurrences where one became rather emotional and had to go have a cup of coffee ... or something. ;o)

      The insomniac  has wanted a taxidermy raven ever since she was small, but since they are a protected species, she has never been able to find one. When this one from an old museum collection (which makes it permissable to own), came up on eBay, one just had to bid on him and was lucky enough to win! Obviously he was meant to come live with us!

      Horse is beautiful and encourages thoughts about another dog - but not just yet. :D

      Gothic & Lolita has some amazing outfits - you'll be sewing for years!! LOL

      Delete
  11. I laughed out loud at "The ensemble just needs the perfect pair of black combat boots to complete that 'Goth in the Country' look that one predicts will be imitated by many once it's been debuted." Though I was a teenager in the post-grunge era, I frequently paired my spooky t-shirts with oversized flannel shirts. I got odd looks, but I didn't care.

    Good luck with the downsizing. In my more frustrated cleaning out moments, I frequently think about burning all the crap I don't need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, good idea, Pixel Pixie - the addition of a nice Bela Lugosi t-shirt underneath the plaid shirt should send all the locals running for the hills! LOL

      Funny you should mention burning ... the spouse has had a fire going outside for two straight weeks now. We saved a LOT of wood from the restoration! :o)

      Delete
  12. Whenever I go on a cleaning things out spree the plot thickens almost immediately. Like you, as soon as I start digging I rediscover things that I don't want to part with. Some things have sentimental value, some are personally useful, etc. etc. In the end, I make very little progress toward my goal. I keep telling myself that one day, I'm not even going to look at the stuff; I'll just let it go. The trouble is, it never works out that way.

    Good luck with the downsizing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The plot thickens immediately - LOL! Truer words were never spoken, Nightwind! We've already worked our way through the easy things, but now come the things with sentimental value - just today one made the difficult decision to get rid of the Sainted Parent's 50th Anniversary china. But the insomniac  has her own set, we have a 12-piece set of Limoges from the spouse's grandparents - seriously, how much china can a person keep!

      And let's not even get started on all the furniture from deceased relatives that has made its way into our basement over the years “because we have the room”. How does one get over the guilt of getting rid of that stuff?

      The trick is to never open the box in the first place, Nightwind - because once you do, you're doomed. :D

      Delete
  13. Y'know, I don't think I ever had that issue with not know what to pack-- 'course I never had to pack a whole house before, either... though I do have problems with giving away clothing. I love all my clothing, and refuse to believe there won't be a day I won't wear anything I collect.

    Your home sounds like a treasure trove of things waiting to be uncovered! Ugh, I can't imagine lol ...
    Still, you seem to be doing quite well so far-- kudos, I probably don't have that strength.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a problem with the clothing, too? There's an old wardrobe in the basement (oh fine, there's another in the bedroom) full of vintage housecoats and such that one can't bear to part with, even though they haven't been worn in years (alright, alright - some have never ever been worn, but they're just so pretty!) And even if you don't plan on wearing the clothes again, there's just so much potential for all that fabric, isn't there?

      Sometimes the insomniac  thinks it would be easier if she were the type of person that just got bored of her clothes and discarded them at the end of every season, instead of seeing the potential to reuse every little scrap for something else. Ugh, is right! :D

      Delete
  14. A rather silent reader who gets excited about "spring cleaning" activities :D I do try to minimize clutter and maximize space almost twice a year. it's therapeutic.


    I've been trying to get my limbs on that Gothic & Lolita book by Phaidon since I knew about it's existence. I'm trying out on the giveaway ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to hear from you, silent reader! Truthfully, the downsizing on the upper three floors hasn't been all that difficult as, like you, the insomniac  does enjoy cleaning things out quite frequently.

      However, the basement was a totally different matter - it was rather astounding how much we had managed to accumulate down there over the years! ;o)

      Thanks for commenting, and fingers crossed you'll win the Gothic & Lolita book, Uvita Viruella! :o)

      Delete
  15. Your blog is so awesome! I discovered it because of this giveaway, but I will be checking out the rest soon~
    If i could win the Gothic & Lolita book, that would be so awesome ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found the blog, Lay - and thanks so much for your kind comment!

      Fingers crossed that you'll win the Gothic & Lolita book - it is pretty awesome!! :D

      Delete
  16. The Gothic Lolita one looks brilliant! I love finding stuff when cleaning, although I'm also bad at buying lots of stuff to take place of the old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Gothic & Lolita is brilliant for inspiration, although the insomniac  is perhaps a touch too old to be able to rock any of those looks! Still, it was a pretty book to look through.

      One figures that as long as hundreds of things are exiting the Gothic Mansion, it's okay to bring one or two, or maybe even three new things in to replace them, right? That's acceptable, Natalie? Isn't it? ;o)

      Delete
  17. Thats one of the best things about moving, to find stuff that one has forgotten about :D

    Your "Horse" ;D is such a cutie! Really stylish haircut xD

    If I won this giveaway I would absolutely go for the Steampunk book, looks very inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a bonus finding all that stuff, Lesthi! And even more exciting is all the furniture we rediscovered in the basement - the insomniac  can hardly wait to get going on those projects, although realistically she should wait until after the move. That's if she were even slightly realistic. ;o)

      You'd go for the Steampunk book? That's somewhat surprising - definitely had you pegged for the Gothic & Lolita book! :D

      Delete
    2. Haha I understand, I too tend to do the things the wrong order because I'm too excited to wait :'D

      Really? ^^ I actually are very interested in steampunk and would like to have more of that sort of clothing and accessories but I'm a slow starter so the book might help me along the way!

      Delete
    3. The insomniac  obviously doesn't “know” you as well as she thought she did! ;o)

      Delete
  18. Wish I could help! Seems your method is sound - grouping like with like and then determining what stays and what goes. The question of how to get over the guilt of getting rid of deceased relatives' possessions is one that organizers face often. This is how I see it: you're not getting rid of it, you're passing it along to someone who will use and enjoy it. You're not disposing, you're gifting. Plus, I believe that putting relatives' possessions to use honors the relatives more than having the items sit idle. :)

    Waterhouse is one of my favorite artists, but I don't recall seeing "The Missal" before. I love it. (Oh, and the steampunk book if I should win.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bane. You have helped immensely, without even having to be here! Just the change of a word, from disposing to gifting, is going to make it much easier when confronted with some of the more difficult items one needs to make a decision about. Thank you, again. :o)

      That print has been in the insomniac's  possession since she was around 17, but has been missing for a very long time. She thought it had been “filed” in a book somewhere and the book long since donated with the print still inside (and you thought she was joking when she said she needed help with her filing system!). So it was such a joy to find it again. It doesn't seem to be a picture of Waterhouse's that you see very often, does it? Unfortunately, it was in rather poor condition when the insomniac  got it and has a few wavy creases along the right side, but probably a reputable framer will be able to fix that. And if not, who cares - it's still beautiful! :o)

      Fingers crossed for you for the Steampunk book!

      Delete
  19. I think a hoarder trying to 'weed out' things is possibly the hardest task possible. All the best with it!

    P.S. The Steampunk book looks awesome :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, you got that right, Ana Phylaxis! There is that deep-seated need to keep bringing things into the house, no matter how hard one tries to avoid doing that very thing!

      Thanks for commenting, your good wishes and good luck in the Giveaway! :D

      Delete
  20. I cast my bid for the Gothic Lolita book, because I totally need more books...
    This whole post had me giggling, it is very close to home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you need more books, Mme Polaire - it absolutely goes without saying!

      Glad to hear the post had you giggling! And if it hit a little too close to home for you, learn from the insomniac's  mistake and start your decluttering now - 25 years of collecting flies by in the blink of an eye! :D

      Delete
  21. I'm in serious de-clutter mode at the moment too! I've been having exhausting dreams about missed opportunities brought about by general chaos and clutter, so it's time to take heed! I can totally relate to the "One Step Forward, Three Steps Back" phenomenon too! Haha. Sounds like you're doing pretty well though, and getting organized is, in my opinion, enormously satisfying. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you start dreaming about it Little Gothic Horrors, it must be a sign! :D

      We're calling this Phase I - where things we think we want to keep have been moved out to the garage. Next step is Phase II - that's when the big bin comes and we decide whether it will actually leave the garage to go into the moving van or straight into the bin! Then there's Phase III - once the house sells and we decide what furniture will be going with us and what will be sold. So many phases! ;o)

      It actually feels wonderful to have everything stored where it's supposed to be, as opposed to all over the place! Good luck with your decluttering and hopefully no missed opportunities for you now!

      Delete
  22. The sweater is awesome and worth recluttering for! I myself would love the steampunk book. I've got six bags of give away stuff, so I deserve a little reclutter, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You like the sweater! Then the insomniac  isn't the only one! :D

      According to The Insomniac's  Theory of Downsizing, if you have six bags going out then one book coming back in is perfectly acceptable! Reclutter - what an awesome word.

      Thanks for commenting, lightning x! :o)

      Delete
  23. I thought you were selling the house THIS year, glad to hear you have plenty of time finding a new mansion and to "fix" everything for a move :)
    That dogbed is great, both look and size! I bet Horse is very satisfied! :) I really like the antique print, very pretty, dont "lose" it again ;P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, we are selling this year, Sandra! That was just the insomniac  being sarcastic, because she doubts she'll be able to get everything done by June 1st of this year. Regardless, it will be going up for sale in - gulp - three months. And still no new place to live yet! :O

      The dog bed was fantastic - it was big enough for both Kaos and the insomniac  to lay on! Ahhh, good times.

      The print is going into the framing place next week - for sure! :D

      Delete
  24. I, too, have been decluttering. It is such a relief. I adore the pic of the Gothic Mansion. I am truly jealous. I would love to have any kind of decorating creativity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a good feeling, isn't it? With every load that goes to the Goodwill store, one feels lighter inside! Since you are in decluttering mode as well, would you still like to be entered in the Giveaway? And if so, which book would you prefer?

      Thank you for commenting, Spookie Mom - and for your kind comment on the Gothic Mansion! :o)

      Delete
  25. AWWWW! I love your horse ... er ... doggy! :) The bangs make it for me, as does the snuggling with his new toy. :) Ah decluttering ... something I probably need to do soon. There's just not enough room in this little apartment for all the books and nicknacks and sewing stuff and knitting stuff and art supplies and ... well, you get the idea. We either need to move into a bigger place or get rid of stuff. Decisions, decision!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And he's just a puppy! Horse will probably fill that bed completely in a few months, just like Kaos did when he was full grown. It's awfully nice to get a little “puppy love” when visiting the store!

      Oh, Professor - choose a bigger place! How can you possibly get rid of the books and sewing and knitting and art supply stuff? Already the insomniac  is having panic attacks at the thought of having to pack away all her stuff in another month or so. Seriously. At least three already this week! :D

      Delete