Tuesday 22 July 2014

Not a Frugal Day.

A warm welcome to Nannastitch, I hope you enjoy the trip.

I do try not to waste a penny, I like to stretch a pound till it squeals, and then give it one more pull for luck. What I buy is not about what I CAN afford, but what I WILL afford. I bought 3 fillet steaks for £5 , they were reduced from £11 so were a good buy but.....I could have bought a whole chicken or a pork shoulder joint and the veg for that price. However I do like a Stroganoff and Beef Wellington and will get 4 meals from these 3 steaks. The biggest will stretch to Stroganoff for 2 and then I will make 2 individual Wellingtons. I will find RTC mushrooms and get them sliced and frozen ready to go with both dishes and will make the puff pastry. The rice is from AF and I will use a slug of the supermarket brandy that is for my puddings and mincemeat for " that time of year" ( I will not use the C word in July) I will use double cream, I buy it at RTC price, whip it very slightly and freeze in ice cube trays. Result 2 special dinners at as least cost as possible.

I went to Swansea to look at overlockers, I have never used one but had so much faff  zig zag sewing the seams when making my Duvet Cover Skirts that I vowed to buy one. I know that they range from £120 or so up to "How Bluddy Much" so I kept an open mind and a firmly shut purse. I went to Cliffords in Western Street and the owner was very helpful, he steered me away from the all singing all dancing £800 upwards models and equally from the less suitable but relatively cheap ones. This is what I bought.

It came ready threaded, most important, complete with book and DVD, not too helpful. I bought 4 large reels of thread, and he rounded them down by 75p each. I spent more than I liked to but I have a good, reliable machine and a back up support service.
 I am also considering buying an embroidery machine, he recommends the Brother as being much more versatile than the make I had in mind and sent me away with a pile of brochures to read and details of a website or three to look up. He would not sell me one today as he said I need to do a bit of research and decide exactly how much I feel that I would use it.

I went into a cut price fabric store and was completely overwhelmed by the mountains of rolls and bolts stacked everywhere, it was like being in the chocolate biscuit aisle in a giant shop, so much to choose from that I could not choose at all. I did buy 2 metres of a muted pale green dot to use for binding, when I use it I will share.

The middle of Swansea was a nightmare to drive in and I got home feeling decidedly cream crackered, I had a snack of a homemade oatbread roll with garlic sausage and salad and a snooze while my tea went cold, I drunk it as soon as I woke up.

 I gave Ben his bath and took him for an amble while he dried off in the sunshine. Then I came back, pepped dinner and read through Chickpea,s blog, I have book marked a couple of recipes and will be sorting the stuff out to make a rag rug. 

Dinner was a beef casserole with loads of root veg and I steamed some baby potatoes, cauli and calabrese, lovely grub.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  Once again it has been sunny.

2.  I managed to drive into the middle of Swansea and back without pulling my hair out.

3.  I have a new toy to play with and get to know.

4.  I will have a big roll of binding all made and ready to roll soon.

5.  I have peppers on my plants.

You may have noticed  the plants in the background of my overlocker photo.

This one is a red pepper which is used to make paprika, I use masses of that spice and will save seeds for more plants next year.

This is a red chili of an unknown variety, it is loaded with fruit, I will save seeds from this as well and I will try to overwinter the plant.
If you look through the window you can see the stump that my new neighbour left when he cut the holly down. The growth that he cut is still piled in his garden along with the branches that he cut off the big tree further back. The leaning fence marks the boundary, there is a walk way behind the houses but nobody uses it so far. The little bit of building jutting out is the utility area off my kitchen, very handy for storing all the laundry gubbins. When I get round to it I will take some photo's of the house.

I am off now, Ben wants a walk and I need tea.

      TTFN                                       Pam



  1. I have a Brother embroidery machine and love it, I would reccomend it to anyone, a bit of advice go for a larger embroidery hoop size you can afford avoid the small 4x4 ones, my hoop area is 5x7 I have been considering upgrading to a larger size but not at the moment. I like the 5x7 size.
    The overlocker looks great Serging they call it over the pond and there is loads you can do with it.

    1. I was too tired to look at the literature last night but will be reading it all avidly today. After a good discussion with myself I have decided to go with the biggest option as I would hate to set my heart on a design only to find that I cannot have it.

  2. Great serger. I have a Bernina that I've wish a thousand times someone had talked me out of. Not that it isn't a great serger but $$$$! I could have did as much with one lots cheaper as I have with this expensive one. I learned a hard lesson.

    Have heard great things about the Brother embroiders. If I bought one I'd go with Brother.

    1. I looked at Bernina and Baby Lock and my purse had a small seizure, but I am very happy with the Janome. I could have paid 4 times as much for an air threading model but am happy to tie new spools on and run them through.

  3. Can't wait for you to blog about all the new things you make with your new machine

    1. I will be learning how to run it soon, very soon.

  4. Sounds like a fun day, could I please ask you what the fabric shop is called and where it is. There used to be one in Llansamlet years ago called Treforest Textiles which was a sewers paradise but unfortunately that closed down and I've yet to find a new fabric shop. I love reading your blog as I don't live very far from you!

    Many thanks.


    1. The shop is called Lee Mills Discount Fabric and there are 2 shops,one for upholstery and curtains and one for dressmaking and quilting. They are near the Grand Theatre and the Quadrant Shopping Center. There is a car park almost directly opposite, in front of the Theatre. The sewing machine shop is in Western Street, which is just over the main road. I love living here and must get used to driving in Swansea and Llanelli come to that. Are you very close to me, do you know the fabric shop in Crosshands, more expensive than Lee Mills but also much more geared to quilting. I also like Calico Kate in Lampeter for fabric.

  5. Hi Pam, I live in Tycroes and I am originally from Cross Hands and my Dad still lives there! Yes I know the shop you mean but haven't been in there. The junk shop on the square is a fab place a real aladdin's cave. There are auction rooms in Cross Hands too I think held once a month? I know the shops you mean in Swansea now I had forgotten they were there. I don't tend to go to Swansea very often. I tend to stick to Carmarthen and Llanelli especially as I work in Carmarthen. Hope you have a good day xx

    1. I will check out the auction, sometimes they can be worth while but I have seen people get infected with Auction Fever and pay well over the odds. I like Carmarthen and I have been to Neath a few times. The charity shops in Llanelli are good, I picked up an M&S dress, new with tags hanging for less than £10 and it was nearly £50 new. I have found several new items from Monsoon and EWS, I can only guess that there are those who will not admit that they need to go up a size.


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