Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I saw a picture of this sign in a magazine not long after we moved here, and as we had a pool in the back yard, I had this made for us by the company that make street signs. Now that we no longer have the pool, a friend wants it! I was going to put it on eBay, but I guess I won't have to now.
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Friday, May 26, 2006

World's Longest Morning/Afternoon Tea... an annual fundraising event held by the Anti Cancer Council. It has really taken off, and every year around Australia, both individuals and organisations have some kind of morning or afternoon tea on or around 25th May. Nursing homes and aged care facilities are especially fond of doing it, as it is a chance to get the residents a bit more enthusiastic about coming out of their rooms and mixing with the others, as well as attracting other people to the home. There is generally some form of entertainment, followed by traditional Devonshire teas (scones, jam and cream), cakes, biscuits, etc.

Today (Thursday) at the aged care centre I visited, the entertainment was provided by a group of line dancers, and the residents and staff enjoyed their performance. After helping to set up the tables with my cloths, and lending embroidered aprons to some of the staff who were handing out food and drinks, I visited a friend who was confined to her room because of illness. Then I returned to the dining room and helped distribute tea and coffee. It was a very successful morning from all aspects; they raised several hundred dollars for the charity, and the ladies all loved my embroidered cloths and aprons. They have invited me to go back again, which I will of course be happy to do! Ms Robyn asked if I had any photos; sorry to say I don't, but some of the staff members were taking photos, so if I get a chance, I will ask if I can have some emailed to me.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I have been stock-taking.

Well, taking stock anyway. Of my linen collection and stitching stash. It started last week when I had a day at home, and decided to cull my stash cupboard. I pulled everything out on to the floor, and ruthlessly tossed aside anything that I decided I didn't really want to work on, or knew that I never would anyway. I now have a neater cupboard, and a cardboard box full of UFOs, SINs and assorted bits and pieces. The following list is what remains in my stash - made up of new unstarted kits, half finished (or barely started) UFOs and very old items that have been given to me to work on one day.
21 Tablecloths
24 Aprons
16 Samplers (or pictures which need to be framed)
7 Cushion covers
4 sets of Placemats
16 Duchess sets
20 Traycloth/Centrepieces
2 Tapestries
Shoe box full of mini Cross stitch kits
A bag of miscellanous items that don't fall into the above categories.
I feel slightly better for having done this, but still think that 90% of them will end up as my SINS....sigh...

Tonight, I was getting out some cloths and aprons from my linen collection, to take to a nursing home tomorrow, for their anti-Cancer Fundraising morning tea. My cloths will be adorning the tables in the dining room, and the staff will be wearing my aprons.

While I was fossicking around in the wardrobe, I decided to count what I have in there. Here 'tis:
158 Tablecloths
63 Aprons
18 Cushion covers
14 Pillow Shams
8 Pairs of Pillow Slips/Cases.
Don't even think about asking me to count doilies etc. That would take a month of the proverbial Sundays!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Something of interest to lovers of All Things Vintage.

I just discovered this site on another blog: go have a look!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's Day and other things.

We celebrated Mother's Day at our place for the very first time on Sunday. Not having any children of our own, we've always gone to visit Ken's Mum or his sister, wherever the family congregated for the day. But this year, SIL wasn't up to having the family over there, for a number of reasons which I don't need to elaborate on here. We discussed going to her Mum's and providing all the food etc. then I said "You can come here if you like", and my invitation was gratefully accepted. So we had four generations here for the afternoon. Ken's Mum (93), her daughter L (60), L's daughter M (30) and M's two little ones, O and E. Along with Ken, L's husband and me. We had a beaut day; us ladies had gone overboard as usual with cooking, so there was masses of food, which everyone grazed on for most of the afternoon. I spent a lot of time playing with two year old O. - a real cutie and such a livewire! Our cat Topsy had disappeared at the first sign of strangers in the house, and couldn't be found anywhere. So I played a game with O. - Looking For Topsy - in unexpected places like the oven, the washing machine, the linen cupboard, etc. and she was most amused by all this, running about the house calling "TOPSY, TOPSY, TOPSY!" giggling all the time. Her mother thought this was wonderful, as she was able to devote more time to her one year old daughter who is teething or something, and not 100% well.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, SIL and I have birthdays 10 days apart in April, but we hadn't caught up with each other until Sunday, so we exchanged our gifts then. I gave her a sampler I had stitched and framed, for her new kitchen. She gave me a bottle of perfume - Elizabeth Arden's 'Red Door'. Now if you expect me to get excited, dear Reader, you have got me all wrong. I don't wear perfume, I don't even LIKE perfume. Firstly, we are not allowed to wear it in the job I do. Going into elderly peoples' homes smelling like a French (or anywhere else) brothel is NOT conducive to a caring environment. Secondly, Ken got a taste of highly perfumed women nearly every day as a bus driver, and he said he nearly threw up sometimes, the smell was so strong. And my own nose prefers more subtle and old fashioned fragrances like Lavender or Lily of the Valley, if ever I do add perfume to my skin, but it is very rare. So when I opened my gift from SIL, I caught Ken's eye on me and we exchanged meaningful glances - he knew exactly what I was thinking! Fortunately, SIL didn't notice, so I thanked her politely and left it at that. 'Red Door' will join 'Cinnabar' and 'Dior' on my dressing table for the next few years until I can find someone who likes them - and they are welcome to them! S was happy to get a bottle of 'Opium' from me a little while ago....ugh..I was glad to get rid of it! Although when she had some of it on one day while I was with her, it didn't smell too bad. Probably because she hadn't drowned herself in it, like some people do.

Elvis and John and me.

I want to put something about my previous post here in perspective. In my descriptions of seeing Elvis and John Wayne, it seems I have given the impression of 'socialising' with them in some way, but not quite so! With Elvis, we saw him in concert and when he walked past us, he was close enough for us to reach out and touch, but we didn't DARE!! Not with all those security people around!

By 'us' I refer to my first husband Wayne. We visited the USA three times, and on on one of those trips, we were staying in Seattle. When we arrived, we passed a theatre with huge signs advertising the world premiere of "True Grit" and that John Wayne would be there in person that night. I said to Wayne "Once we have booked into our hotel for the night, let's come back here and try to catch a glimpse of John Wayne". He scoffed at the idea, saying "don't be stupid, there will be a million people there. You'd never get anywhere near him". So, while Wayne stayed at the hotel and watched t.v., I walked back to the theatre, camera in hand. Yes, there were a lot of people, but me being smaller than the average American, I was able to squeeze my way to the front of the row of people lining the street. Several limos. cruised up and came to a stop, and somebody stepped out of the car nearest me. It was HIM! I couldn't believe my luck, especially when he looked at me and grinned, shook my hand and said "Thank you for coming here". Then everyone was crowding around, so I took my photo, and headed back to the hotel. Wayne was spitting chips when I told him about it, and only half-believed me anyway. It wasn't until we got back home to Australia and I had the slides developed, that he saw how close I got. And then he was doubly cheesed off! He and his brother were named after J.W. - their Mum was a great fan of his, and when her first son was born, she named him John. Then when the second son arrived, of course he was called Wayne!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

There was a biographical documentary on Foxtel tonight, about John Wayne. He was quite an amazing man. I took this photo when I met him in Seattle, at the premier of "True Grit".
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Yet another of those getting to know oneself quizzes.

Your Birthdate: April 15

You take life as it is, and you find happiness in a variety of things.
You tend to be close to family and friends. But it's hard to get into your inner circle.
Making the little things wonderful is important to you, and you probably have an inviting home.
You seek harmony with others, but occasionally you have a very stubborn streak.

Your strength: Your intense optimism

Your weakness: You shy away from exploring your talents

Your power color: Jade

Your power symbol: Flower

Your power month: June

Monday, May 08, 2006

Was it really like this?

In Grandma's Day

Grandmother, on a winter's day, milked the cows and fed them hay.
Slopped the hogs, saddled the mule, and got the children off to school.
Did some washing, mopped the floors, washed the windows and did more chores.
Cooked a dish of home-dried fruit, pressed her husband's Sunday suit.
Swept the parlour, made the beds, baked a dozen loaves of bread.
Split some firewood and lugged it in, enough to fill the kitchen bin.
Cleaned the lamps and put in oil; stewed some apples she thought might spoil.
Cooked a supper that was delicious, and afterwards washed up the dishes.
Fed the cat and sprinked the clothes, mended a basketful of hose.
Then opened the organ and began to play
"When you come to the end of a perfect day"!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

One week later...

This past week was a good one - some lovely linen arriving in the mail, and having a quick lunch with Sharon and her daughter on Thursday, all contributed to the week in general. Yesterday (Saturday) I managed to get all the washing done as well as the housework, and then cooked dinner for friends (roast beef followed by apple sponge pudding),after which we all took off to see "The World's Fastest Indian". The first I heard of this film was last year, on somebody's blog - and I am darned if I can remember who it was! But she gave the movie a good review, and it stuck in my mind, so that when I discovered it was showing at a local cinema, I booked seats on the Internet immediately. As it turned out, I needn't have done that, because the film has been out for a while, and the theatre was only half full, but I like to be sure and not miss out. We all agreed it was one of the best movies we had seen for years - no violence or sex scenes, just a beaut story, with humour and wisdom thrown in at frequent intervals.

Getting back to Thursday, if you have been reading Sharon's blog, you will know that she has recently started full time work at a bookshop, and apart from the usual learning processes which can be a steep learning curve as they say these days - she is loving the job. I love perusing any bookstores, and so I had a good look around while we waited for Sharon. Lo and behold, I found a book on Australian Native plants, that I had been after for ages! I hadn't found it in the two bookshops in Eltham, nor Greensborough, the nearest large shopping centre, but there it was waiting for me at Sharon's shop - thank you again for looking after me!

adopt your own virtual pet!