Tag Archives: chronic illness

Rocking My Disability – Decorating My Canes

I am a rather low maintenance woman. I like my jeans and t-shirts, cozy pj’s and a handy cup of either coffee or tea. My main accessories are a bold lipstick and my cane.

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A standard lightweight aluminum cane, one of my favorites!

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My black Hurrycane with light-up base.

You read that right, my CANE.  My particular chronic illness means I have to fight both my balance and fatigue. My canes (yes, I have several), keep me moving for as long and as well as possible. I use a cane any time I am out in public, or at home when not feeling well. Pretty much my cane is less an accessory, and more like a third leg. I need it. But that doesn’t mean that I want to have my constant companion to be boring!!

Enter today’s topic: Cane Decoration!  Like many folks with mobility aids, I like to personalize. Usually, this involves stickers, washi tape, micro lights, or specialty vinyl decals. Last winter, I met with the awesome gang of Fctry at Toy Fair. They introduced me to quite a few of their products, including Rainbow Tape and Disco Tape!

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Of course I had to test these tapes! I beta tested a few strips of tape on my travel cane in February, but that wasn’t really enough to put these tapes through their paces. I received a box of goodies from Fctry  in July. I decided to fully cover two of my canes and put them through the usual amount of hell. IE: conventions, stairs, drops and super affectionate cats.

Disco Tape:

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I started with my Hurrycane, which is a folding cane with a light-up base that Spouse-Critter bought for me knowing that I enjoy the concerts at DragonCon, but that I’m often run over because in the dark, canes are hard to see! Disco Tape is a set of 6 iridescent holographic tapes in shades of blue, green, pink, purple, silver and yellow. They come with their own dispenser and can be easily switched  out.

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I found the tapes to be fantastically sticky, but could be removed without leaving residue or peeling the paint of the cane. As you can see from the close-up image, there is a learning curve to not have wrinkles or bubbles. The colors are gorgeous and super shiny!

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I love how this came out! I’ve tested this cane for the last 6 weeks and love how the light from the base and the Disco Tape work together to make me more visible in the dark. The tape works really well as a reflector, and I can now take night walks without fear! And!! I didn’t get squished at the concert! I may get a glow-in-the dark sticker or two to accent this cane, but overall I’m thrilled with it. The tape doesn’t lift or catch on the edges.

Rainbow Tape:

This tape was a little trickier to work, but that was only because of it’s width. Rainbow Tape is 2 inches wide and has stripes of red, orange. yellow, green, blue and purple.

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I’ll admit to being a little crafty with this tape. The cane I placed it on has an offset handle, and the curve needed a bit of care to decorate well.

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Rainbow Tape is different from Disco tape in that is a bit thinner, so the colors reflect the tones underneath. On my silver cane, the stripes are bright and a bit translucent, just like a proper rainbow! On a cardboard box, the colors are a bit darker and bolder.  The tape is very sticky! I had to be careful not to stick it to itself, otherwise that piece was a total loss. Once placed, the tape could be carefully moved and adjusted.

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Six weeks later and my cane still looks fabulous! I don’t have to worry about the tape lifting (it doesn’t) and my cane certainly can’t be confused for anyone else’s!

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Notes:  Both of these tapes were built for multiple uses. In that, I’ve found that the Disco Tape makes a fun accent for placing a name tag on presents, or accenting a plain box, but can be distracting if used to seal a package. Rainbow Tape is amazing at sealing a shipping box/moving box, but usually needs two layers to really pop! I know that with birthdays and the holidays coming up, both of these tapes will be getting heavy rotation in my house!

Disability Notes: Honestly, the only thing that needs mentioning is that Rainbow tape has a rather strong smell when it is first used. That is because it uses the same adhesive as other strapping tapes. If you are scent sensitive or allergic to polypropylene, I would recommend you steer clear for health reasons.

Where to buy: Disco Tape is $9.99 USD,  and Rainbow Tape is $7 USD. Both can be purchased from the Fctry website in the Magic Bodega section.

Fctry : Website / FaceBook / Instagram

Disclosure: I received these tapes for free in exchange for a review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©Fctry.  All links are direct; I do not make money from them.

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Inventory and Plushie Zoo, or how I spend my summers.

I’m finally back home after being away for 3 weeks. Slowly, the cats are forgiving my absence while I rest from hard work and travel. Like most people with a chronic illness, I have good and bad periods. Summer is typically my good time. My Fibromyalgia flares are less, the weather is more conducive to being outside and active, and I feel less fatigued.

For the second year in a row, I went north to Massachusetts to The Dragon’s Lair HQ. The Dragon’s Lair is a convention-only pop-up shop that sells T-shirts and stuffed animals aka plushies.

Nice setup, right? But it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make a good looking booth!

That’s where my summer trip comes in. I’m the inventory minion! At least once a year, the Boss needs to know exactly how many pieces of stock we have on hand; and how many we have lost due to shrink or sales.

As a pop-up shop, we don’t have a warehouse or brick-and-mortar store. Everything is either in our 12 foot trailer or the Boss’s front porch. So I end up emptying the trailer into the garage and then opening each bin of shirts and box of plushies before reloading the trailer.

Five bins high, four bins across and an extra column of bins equals 25 bins, full of T-shirts! This was a single days work, and I was super tired at the end. The Dragon’s Lair stocks T-shirts from adult smalls to 5x-larges.

This is my standard plushie inventory setup. I lay out a handful of empty boxes to sit on and have a clean place to lay out each box’s plushies. Each one needs to be counted by sku number and checked over for any damages. Any missing or mangled price tags are replaced.

I find all sorts of fun and different plush!

It takes roughly 3 to 4 days to go through all the boxes and to fill the trailer.

Now inventory is only part of the story! It is something we do annually, but conventions are something that happens several times a month!

When we arrive at a convention venue, the trailer and back of the pickup must be unloaded, then myself or another minion/booth bunny/assistant (there is a rotating schedule of minions depending on the convention) build the grid-cube wall that is a staple of our plushie zoo.

This usually takes between 3-5 hours depending on how large the grid-cube wall is to be and how many minions are working on it. Then we use whatever time we have before the close of the dealer’s room for the evening filling cubes with plushies. The Boss’s Wife is Queen of the T-shirts, so all I need to focus on is plush. Usually, there is a few hours the following day to finish filling the booth before the dealer’s room opens for business.

Tada! One epic booth including T-shirts and the Plushie Zoo!

Our next 2 conventions are Otakon on July 26-28th in Washington DC and DragonCon on August 29th-September 2nd in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are going to attend either con, come see us at in the Dealer’s Room!

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!