PlainTalk

Cider & Cookies

Miscellaneous The Store

  Santa doesn't work alone. We see lots of his helpers here every year excitedly picking out gifts and enthusiastically wrapping them up, trying to make sure every gift is just right for its recipient. Whew. That's a lot of work. Santa, we realized, usually gets a bonus for his efforts-- a plate of cookies and a glass of milk at nearly every stop. Not so Santa's helpers. They don't even get to ride in the sleigh. So a few years back we decided to reward them ourselves, with Christmas cookies and hot apple cider. Soon we discovered that many...

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A July Retreat

Miscellaneous

 July 9, 2011 The higher the temperature gets outside, the less people want to think about clothes, so time out for summer vacation.   We've been cooling off in the North Carolina mountains this week and as often happens we've spent some off-hours on a busman's holiday. This time we visited Flat Top Manor the vacation home of Moses Cone, one of the founders of the hugely successful denim manufacturer Cone Mills. The house itself is not remarkable, but it commands a view for miles around and the view alone is worth the trip. The view and the masses of...

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Sylvia Heisel's Rental

Designers Miscellaneous

  Longtime designer and friend of PlainClothes, Sylvia Heisel is full of ideas and that creativity just has to come out. Usually she expresses herself through the clothes she designs, but recently frustration pointed her in another direction. The sleek apartment she and husband Scott moved into just a year ago became a renter's nightmare-- a brand new building in which high-style fixtures fell off the walls while pleas for maintenance were ignored. Finally, a crew setting up scaffolding outside cracked the enormous sheet of glass that was their only window on the world, resulting in a rather skewed view...

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Happy New Year.

Miscellaneous The Store

  Time for us all to take our pulse and and see if we've survived the hectic holiday season. Time to put away the trees and trimmings and unpack our cold-weather coats, hats, gloves and sweaters. We have such a short window of opportunity here for wearing anything warm and fuzzy that it's now or never. And in our part of the world, cold weather coincides with sale time, creating the ideal buy now/wear now opportunity as a bonus for buyers. Shopkeepers know that spring collections will be arriving any day now, so for us it's out with old and...

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Cotton Up

Miscellaneous What to Wear

  While we've been focused on the glamour and glitz of the new spring collections, trouble has been developing elsewhere in the clothing world: costs are going up, and how. Case in point, cotton... that fiber we use to dress men, women and children in everything from diapers to denim jeans to men's elegant evening shirts. Shockingly, the price of cotton has nearly doubled since this time last year. Suddenly it's no longer politically incorrect to be singing "I wish I was in the land of cotton", at least into the ear of your broker. So, what happened? Basically, when...

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