Monthly Archives: January 2015

Slight increase in price for microbead breast forms….

Well folks, it’s that time of year again, when we add up receipts and figure costs of manufacturing something, and discover that when we weren’t looking, prices went up!

This year, I had noticed that once I added more sizes of microbead forms, particularly larger ones, and more customizations that could be added so that people with single side mastectomy or implant problems could also be served, suddenly I was ordering a LOT more microbeads than usual.  In the medium range sizes, I can make several from a bag, but in the larger sizes, I can only make one or two orders sometimes, so… that also meant that fabric didn’t go as far, so I was ordering up to 50% more, and..well… way it goes.

When making these starts cutting into my own budget, I have to make some changes, so this time, it’s $4 per pair for the increase.  It should have gone into effect on January 1st, but I’ve been running behind with everything while being stuck either in bed or a wheelchair while recovering from some ankle injuries.  Seriously, you’d have fallen over laughing to watch me sometimes, lol…but where there’s a will, there’s a way!  Propped my feet up and went right on sewing.  :^)

Are you wondering why a few microbeads more or less make a difference?  Well, it doesn’t actually START there.  It starts with things like having to keep 3 sizes of shipping bags in stock to accommodate the increase in sizes, plus triple the bubble wrap, plus a LOT of printer ink for the shipping labels, higher internet costs, two sewing machine repair/upgrades, finding better thread that costs 60% more but doesn’t jam machines, extra fabric for the additional layers in the customizations for the stretchy-back forms, keeping stocked with the really GOOD fabric that wears well, switching to a better type of lining, paying for upgrading the website to make it easier to read for all the thousands of mobile users that are now logging on (sometimes reading on their phones while having chemo…), the PayPal costs to process credit payments and…then… there’s the microbeads that went up in price and don’t go on sale as often.  To top it all off, many who use UPS to ship to me, increased their shipping to cover their increased costs.  So…yeah… is it any wonder that I don’t realize how great the cost of doing this is until once a year after all the receipts are tallied?  lol… Yep, knew you’d understand.  :^)

Normally, I try to absorb the extra costs for as long as possible, but this past fall, we had a little money problem ourselves.  Wait’ll you hear THIS craziness!  After getting insurance to help with putting a new roof, as well as some help from family, we went to a local company we trusted to ask for recommendations for roofers.  To make a long story short, the counter-guy was part of a team of ‘less than talented or honest roofers’, who proceeded to take us for almost $8,000, and left us a roof barely attached.  It was a metal roof, with very few screws, NO mastic sealing anywhere, no vapor barrier, and on the back half of the house, they didn’t even put on the insulation we’d been charged for, they just tacked on little strips around the edges so we’d THINK it was up there, so… rain sounded like a steel drum, sigh…

They didn’t even use the right kind of screw guns, so they put the screws in either crooked or totally missing the strips they were screwing to, or put them in so tightly that they broke the rubber washers on the screws, so they leaked.  It was AWFUL…. leaky, unsafe, not to even begin to describe how terrible it looked from the ground.  We had to remove it within days, or risk the entire thing blowing off and harming someone.  Thank God we did, because when we went to lift off the boards they’d nailed down to screw the roofing panels to, we found they lifted off easily by hand because because of the wrong type nails being used.  One hard wind, and our roof would have been lifted completely off, landing on who knows who in our neighborhood.

We had to start over and  buy all new materials AGAIN since they’d damaged the previous ones so badly.  Essentially, we had to put on two complete roofs within weeks.  Thankfully, a nephew experienced in roofing had mercy on us and painstakingly removed and repaired the damage the bogus roofers did, then installed a BEAUTIFUL strong roof that should last 75 years.  He did it alone, single handed, in between his own family life and work, having to take a couple months to repair the damage the four or five bad guys did in a week.  And STILL, he totally put on a new beautiful long lasting roof.

Though it was the most expensive few months of our lives, and we’ll never financially recover from it, we try to see the good that came from it.  We ended up with a far better and more beautiful roof than we ever could have had if we’d hired a good local company to come repair and replace it all, because our nephew wanted us to have something extra good to help us get over having such a horribly devastating thing happen.  We got to know and appreciate him a lot more fully as he frequently stayed with us for a week or two at a time to get the work finished before winter rains could come.  My husband and I grew to totally adore that young man and we miss him when he’s not here…trying our best to convince he and his wonderful family to move here permanently, and we look forward to every visit.

The bad part is that now, after having to replace the roof twice like that, we can’t afford to completely repair the interior ceiling areas left damaged and can’t afford to replace the flooring.  We’d planned to take up the carpet and put down hard flooring in case we got to the point of needing wheelchairs again.  And…wait for it…DURING all this with the roof?  I acquired wounds to both ankles from crawling through my best friend’s window when she locked herself out of the house, and the doc said my ankles wouldn’t heal unless I stayed in bed with elevated feet and used the wheelchair when getting around.  You can’t make this stuff up, folks, lol… when life happens, it HAPPENS!  Sure could have used those hard floors while in the wheelchair.  I’m hoping to be out of this wheelchair for good soon, as I’m considerably improved and can maybe see the end of weekly visits to the wound center within another month or two.

We’ll repair the damage to those ceilings a little at a time, maybe even eventually get to replace the carpets with hard flooring a room at a time as we can afford it, and someday things will get done, but…well… going to have to use all our own money toward that from month to month as we live on a fixed income.  That keeps me from having extra money to take up the slack when making microbead forms for my non-sewing website readers, no matter how much I love doing it.  And all that, my dear readers, is why I’ve increased the cost of making the microbead breast forms for you by four dollars a pair.    Kinda seems cheap, now, doesn’t it?  lol… I guess it’s all in knowing ‘the rest of the story’.  :^)

A rare sighting, but a must-have for mastectomy survivors!

OK girls…I know, I know, it doesn’t take much to get me all excited about potential mastectomy clothing, but just today at Walmart I saw a rack of stretch lace long sleeved tops (made like snug tee shirts) for about $9.99 and thoroughly meant to go back and buy one for myself but forgot, silly me!  Why on earth would I WANT a see-through lace tee-shirt, you may well ask?  WELL, good question.

A few years back when investigating ways for us with mastectomy scars to still wear garments with deeper necklines and armholes, I saw long sleeved stretch lace tops on a mastectomy site, made to wear under everything from daytime garments to very dressy evening wear.  They were quite expensive, but an awesome idea, and would let us wear almost anything we did before mastectomy without showing off our scars or the hollow area in our upper chest wall above our breast forms.  Yes, you can see a bit of skin through the airy stretch lace, but it camouflages the little scars and such, and the lace sleeves even make lymphedema less noticeable in an arm.

Now get this….the ones I saw  today looked almost EXACTLY like the expensive version! Normally, just the lace yardage would cost triple the price, so these are a steal.  I only saw them in black, but there may be more colors.  They would be awesome under ANYTHING, even swimsuits (worn either under or over).  So, if you have been driving yourself bonkers trying to find a dress for some special occasion and found them ALL too revealing, grab your keys and fly off to Wally-World quickly before the stretch lace tops are all gone!  If your store doesn’t have them, keep checking, as I’ve found that not all stores have the same items at the same time. But please… be a peach & leave one in size XL for me, OK?  Thanks!