Monday, September 14, 2009

The story of the rubber cement

One of my favorite creative projects is to make collages out of photos and words found in magazines and newspapers. They make great cards since you can personalize them or make them themed. They are also a nice way to reuse reading materials you’ve finished with and give them new life, as well as are easy to make and inexpensive. All you need is some cardboard or paper and glue.

I like to use rubber cement to affix the pieces of my collages because it is fast drying and doesn’t make a big mess. The last time I made a collage, I thought I put the pot of rubber cement in the upper left hand drawer of my desk, where always keep it, but when I went to glue something a few weeks later, it wasn’t there. I spent several minutes looking in each of my desk drawers, then in the art supplies, then in the kitchen drawers. I couldn’t figure out where the rubber cement had gone. I asked the other person who lives in my house. He told me he hadn’t used it or put it anywhere else. I believed him...really! I was frustrated, because I ended up having to tape the thing I wanted to glue.

I didn’t want to buy a new bottle, not so much because of the $1.59 expense, but because I knew I had a bottle and did not want to clutter up my house with a duplicate, since I was sure the one I had misplaced would turn up. I held strong, didn’t buy a replacement, and sure enough, one day I opened the top desk drawer for a paper clip. The orange lettering on the back of the rubber cement bottle suddenly caught my eye. The rubber cement had been put back in the wrong drawer, and I hadn’t ever seen it when I opened up that drawer to look for it. I was relieved, to say the least, and immediately glued the thing I had taped. Much better. But I recalled the lost minutes of my life looking for the thing in the first place. If only I had been present in the moment of putting away the glue and put in its regular drawer, just a few inches to the left of where I tossed it in a hurry to clean up my project mess.

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

No comments:

Post a Comment