Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ghosts of Christmas Presents

Tim Gunn says "nothing says love like a gift that's homemade;unfortunately it also says cheapskate". While funny -he is only half right and it's not the cheapskate part. My favorite gifts and the ones I hold dearest are the gifts my children made when they were young. My daughter now 21, remember that age you were uber-smart -your parents uber-ignorant, asked when I was going to stop putting those ugly ornaments on the tree. Those "ugly ornaments" are the ones she and my son made in gradeschool. I said "never". Because to me - they are the best and most valuable ornaments I own.

So as you rush around this Christmas, looking for that perfect gift - stop. No gift is as perfect as you. You are what your family and friends desire. Any thing you give will be fine. And if you decide to make a gift - good for you. A family photo would be perfect for your parents. Husbands get a picture or a painting of your children for your wife. Trust me. If you decide to make a scarf (not that hard - if I can do it - you can do it) or a quilt or a garment be sure to include the care instructions. When you buy fabric or yarn there are instructions on the skein or the end of the fabric bolt.

Whatever you decide - buy the perfect gift that brings tears to the eyes or brings bowl full of jelly laughter or you make cookies etc. Remember you are the greatest gift of all. And heck -even if you completely blow it and give the strangest ,weirdest, crummiest gift ever- it will be memorable. For years to come it will be your ghost of Christmas presents and it will the talk of family gatherings for years. You will be famous.( and yes people outside the family will hear of you).

Merry Christmas and may God bless you and our family.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

See Jane run ! Run Jane run!

See Jane run. See Spot run. See Jane run from spot clean only.

Sorry guys, but this really doesn't apply to you. But I promise to write a men - only blog at later date. ( and it will be good clean fun ) There's is nothing as good or good for a groan as a pun. And I am the Queen .

So ladies - why is this for you? Well - here comes New Year. And what do you need for those New Year's Eve parties? A new dress. Men , God love 'em , never seem to understand the importance of a new dress. There's nothing quite like finding a dress that makes you look drop dead gorgeous. At my age if a dress just hides certain parts and makes other parts look thinner - well it's a winner.

Since I'm no Stacey London or Tim Gunn , I can't tell you what will look good on you. But trust me - if there are big toasting champagne glasses on your chest - put it back on the rack. But what I can tell you is how to pick a dress that will last for years and is able to be cleaned.

So before you try on any dress ( yes, before because if you do this after you may tempted to buy it any way) check the care label. The care label may be hard to find. So think of this as a scavenger hunt for grand prize. It may be on the back of collar but most likely scavenger hunter it's on the side seam. This once you find it - is the font of all knowledge. This is just as important and fankly maybe more important than the price.

Why? Well this will tell you how well this dress will last. This will tell you if you will get many parties out of this dress or if you should wear it once and toss it. What? you say, spend hundreds of dollars to wear it once. Yep, that's the dirty little secret . ( told ya I was the queen) Some very expensive dresses can not be cleaned . SO RUN from "SPOT CLEAN ONLY".

SPOT CLEAN ONLY- what does that mean? Or hey, how about PROFESSIONALLY SPOT CLEAN ONLY"? It means do not spill anything on your dress. Imagine your dress with it's sequins, beads, and pearls, and you have to try to remove just the spot and you can not clean the whole dress.How is that clean? And I know pigs sweat, man perspire and women glow - but do you want a dress that will smell like glow?

So run Jane run from "SPOT CLEAN ONLY". Don't even try that dress on. That is right - walk away -leave it on the rack - send a message to designers and manufacturers that you actually want clothes that you can wear more than once.

But,Vicky, what about professionally dryclean only - what does that mean ? Problems. If there is no explanation as to why then leave it on the rack. The label needs to tell you and me why they only want professionals to clean it. But if it says professional dry clean only and gives a reason it may be o.k. So what will make o.k.? If it requires a specific solvent, such as petroleum, then it will be fine. They may want you to remove buttons or trim. And there ladies is the tricky one.
If your dress is covered with sequins and beads and the label says to remove the trim - well no one is going to want to pay to have all the sequins and beads removed to clean the dress and then have them sewn back on after cleaning. That's like making a new dress. Also, make sure that the buttons or rhinestone decorations can be easily removed. Once , again you do not want to pay to have your dress remade after cleaning.

So am I saying - no rhinesone, beads, pearls and sequins ? Heck no - let's face it nothing is nicer than a shiny new dress. And nothing catches eyes like a sparkle on your dress that matches the one in your eyes. What am I am saying is read that care label. If you still have questions - call me . I would rather you call me first and get a dress you can wear for many years than bring me dress that will be nothing but problems for me and you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lyin',Tiger, and Bares

So now we know- Tiger Woods is not the guy we thought he was. Ok, Tiger is a lyin', cheating SOB. And this knowledge effects me how? I can understand Mrs. Woods being tee-ed off.(pun intended) Would any of us blame her if she took nine iron to his butt? Not me. But this is now between Mr. and Mrs. Woods.Right? Wrong!

Here come to quote Andy Warhol " the fifteen minutes of fame" for trallops. Yes every tramp that may or may not have slept with Tiger will be on parade. The grand marshall of the bimbo parade - Gloria Allred, will tell how these poor waifs were taken advantage of and their lives are in ruins. Hey, like none of these gals knew he was married?

But at what point did this become news? Do you really need Matt Lauer naming the possible bimbos and plastering their faces on the screen. Wouldn"t you think that maybe these ladies have a little pride and wouldn't want to be known as Tiger's coarse mates. ( yes also intended).

What does this say about our society? We have turned people's shame into news and entertainment. Do you feel superior to whore in one ( ok maybe more than one)Tiger ? Do you feel superior to the shame-less hussies? NO!

So why are we bombarded with Tiger. Why the need to bare-all in the press. Heck, alot of the stuff we are getting as news is just someone guessing. Do you need to know about his pre-nup etc. etc.

News should be what effects you and me. The weather is news. Politics- news. Traffic reports - well since stations now tell ya about traffic tie-ups all over the country - not so much. I don't know about you but I don't need to hear about a 20 car pile-up in L.A. since i wasn't planning to get home here in San Antonio via the Santa Monica Freeway.

So am I saying what Tiger did was right. Heck no. But I'm not married to him. Is he a victim of his wealth, status and culture? Heck no . He's a weak scuzzball. But so are the women who knew he was married and didn't care because he is Tiger Woods. Shame on all .So now we know - but now we need to quit peeping in the Wood's family windows and let them work out or not their problems.

News is like pornography - you know it when you see it. THIS IS NOT NEWS.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Symbol

No I am not talking about Dan Brown's new book. I'm talking about those funny circles and triangles on the labels of your clothes. What are they? Why are they there? Should I even care about them?

Let's start with why you should care? Those symbols tell you, the consumer, how to clean your garment. Some manufacturers will still write words such as 'dryclean only" or my personal favorite "spot clean only". ( I will discuss why I sarcastically call this a favorite in my next blog)But you need to know the manufacturer is not legally mandated to use actual words. The garment must have care instructions and many items now only have those funky symbols. So like Professor Robert Langdon, Dan Brown's famous character, you will need to learn the meanings of symbols. Yes, I will help you decifer those labels in your clothes. You will be a fabric symbologist. May be not as exciting as decifering the Da Vinci Code, but way more useful.

So, let's get started . The first symbol you encounter is a square excpect the top of the square has been replaced with a wavy line. What could this mean? No, it's not the perfect shirt to take on a cruise. That symbol means the garment is washable in warm water. But wait , your wash tub symbol has a hand dipping into the waves. If this were summer - I'd be thinking beach or lake. But fabric symbolist , you know better - you know that means hand wash. So here's a question for you - what does the wash tub symbol with an X through it mean? Have you got the answer? Those of you who said X marks the spot - are wrong. We are not looking for buried treasure, remember. It means do not wash. But wait ,you say, this is a white cotton jacket, shirt, or some other garment. How can white cotton not be washable? Well, my intepid symbologist it could be the cotton was not preshrunk.

Now, you see a triangle. What could that possibly mean? I'll tell you honestly - there's no rhyme or reason for the triangle to mean what it does. But this is where we seperate ourselves from those amatuer symbologists and we receive our Masters in Symbology. The triangle means bleach. The plain triangle means you an use any type of bleach. Yep, even that dreaded chlorine bleach is ok. So, if you're going to a pool party and think some goofball may get the bright idea to toss you in the pool - then wear the garment with the triangle.

So now let's go for the gold. What does a circle mean? No, masters in symbology it is not the international symbol for the circle of life.Here's a hint- it's the symbol for the circle of my life. Yes, Masters of Symbology, you like Eliza Doolittle , by George have got it. That circle means dry clean only. So now you know when you see the circle - think of me, you're favorite fabric symbologist and drycleaner.

Now , you ask - am the Robert Langdon of fabric and care labels? Am I the grand master fabric symbologist? No students , you have taken baby steps. But I can help. No more will you have to depend on a sales clerk to interpret those symbols. No more will you have to stare at a label and think "where is Vicky now to tell me what this after dinner mint looking symbol with a X through it mean".Yes, masters of symbology that symbol does exist and no it doesn't mean you cannot eat pepppermint while wearing that shirt. So how do you become a Doctor of Fabric Symbology- come on by any Cowboy Cleaners and we will give a care label symbol pamphlet. You can put in your purse or wallet. And when you are at the store and the sales clerk says "that symbol means..."- You master of fabric symbology - can whip out your symbols and cry out " No thanks - I am a fabric symbologist."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Over 40 years..

Over 40 years ago Don and Peggy Maisel started Cowboy Cleaners. There goal was simple - Be the BEST. Use the Best products, hire the Best people, and help keep your clothes looking New.

Today, Shannon and Vicky continue the tradition. We know your wardrobe is one of your biggest investments. We also know that first impressions are important. Often your success is dependant on your look. We want to make sure you look great!

We take care of your clothes as if they were our own. We replace buttons, make minimum repairs at no extra charge.

Everyone here at Cowboy Cleaners takes tremendous pride in their work.

We take pride at making you look your best.

Cowboy Cleaners

Cowboy Cleaners has a new look website www.cowboycleaners.com. Please follow us on our blog.