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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hospital-i-Tea Blog-a-thon.

This Blogathon is still going strong, but I haven't had a chance to complete these last two topics in full, so I've just added a comment below each one:

April 20 - April 26

Share your favorite teatime recipe for sweets or savories. Tea sandwiches, scones, and dainty desserts all count in this category. Give credit to the originator of the recipe if possible. Post a picture if you can. This is sure to make everyone hungry for a delicious tea time treat!

I always have difficulty in selecting one or two recipes out of thousands in my cookbooks! My own favorite 'afternoon tea' is a Devonshire Tea - scones jam and cream with freshly brewed tea....VERY English and very delicious!

April 27 - May 3
The White, Green, Black, and Herb of Tea

Tell about your favorite tea. How do you prepare it and serve it? Milk and sugar? Plain? What are some of your best memories of serving or sipping on this tea? Share a picture if you can. Tell the health benefits of the tea(s) you prefer. Where do you purchase your tea? Is there someplace you enjoying purchasing tea from? Who from and where?

The only way I drink tea is with milk and one teaspoon of sugar. Teabags are okay, but at night I make a pot of tea with loose tea leaves, which gives hubby and I two mugs of tea each to have after our dinner. I buy our tea at the supermarket - no particular brand - whatever is on special that week!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Engineers Guide to Cats

Isabelle over in Scotland had this link on her blog, for her readers to check out. I laughed so much, I'm now offering it to my readers to check out! A must for cat lovers, it is a YouTube clip done by two so-called engineers about their cats!!

Every Australian home should house an ANZAC.

As Ken and I don't buy daily newspapers, I catch up with news on the tv or the Internet. I was reading the news tonight on NineMSN and found this article on their travel segment. It is written by an Australian who visited the lesser known war cemetery at Tobruk, having done the Gallipoli pilgrimage in previous years. One of the comments on the forum following the article was this:
Posted by: Kazza, England, on 25/04/2008 4:32:27 AM
We live in an area where no-one knows what an ANZAC is, and they usually do not want to know. Being Australians in a foreign english speaking country is not always easy. However, in our own garden, at dawn on ANZAC day for the last 2 years we have laid flowers down upon the ground, remembered our ANZACs, thanked them for the Australian way of life they have bequeathed us and shed plenty of tears for those who did not come home and for those who lost them. My sister in Australia was browsing through a second hand shop. When she came out she had an old picture frame with a Soldier from the 1940's. When asked why she bought it her reply was EVERY Australian house should house an ANZAC. No matter where we are we will ALWAYS Remember them with love and pride.

I absolutely LOVE that last thought. How often have you been in a second hand shop of any kind, and see old war time photos gathering dust? I know I have, and I've often wondered how anyone can bear to part with such a priceless piece of their family heritage. On my next Op Shop foray, I'll be on the look out for my own ANZAC to give a home to, as nobody in my own family was in the armed services in any war of the 20th century.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ANZAC Day, 25th April. Lest We Forget.

They shall grow not old....
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.


Since 1915, one day in the year has involved the whole of Australia in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride. That day is Anzac Day - 25 April.
Why does a nation pause to remember this day? It is because that day, 25 April, 1915, was the day when Australia as a nation faced the supreme test of quality and courage, the landing on the beach at Gallipoli of Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

When World War 1 began on 4 August, 1914, Australia's Prime Minister, Joseph Cook, made an offer of 20 000 soldiers and ten weeks later, the first contingent of volunteers was on ships bound for Egypt. It was in Egypt that the acronym "ANZAC" was first used as a simple code. As they sailed, a strategy was being formulated to capture the outlet from the Black Sea in order to relieve the pressure on Russian soldiers in the Caucasian and influence Bulgaria to join the Allies.

So the Gallipoli campaign was formulated. On a dark Sunday morning, 25 April, 1915, the soldiers landed in the dark and under heavy fire, climbed steep cliffs covered in prickly scrub and won a foothold on the plateau and ridges. The next eight months saw many feats of courage and bravery on both sides. Apart from the heavy casualties from attack and counter attack, the lines were so close that there was no respite from the heavy bombing, shells and mines.

This article is part of the Rochedale State School (Queensland) website about the Anzac tradition, that can be found here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Our Darwin trip blog is now complete.

I have finally completed my new blog about our holiday in Darwin. There have been quite a few visitors already, who have left nice comments - thank you! I have not put all 300 hundred photos on the blog - just a few dozen with a short commentary on each. Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The start of a new decade.

That's right my friends - I've joined the ranks of the big Six-Ohs! Thank you to all who have emailed me, or posted Happy Birthday messages on my blogs. I just haven't had time to post anything about my birthday (Tuesday) yet, and as it is now 1.15 am on Friday I shouldn't even be thinking about it, but if I don't do it now, I'll be turning 61 before I can scratch myself!

My day started with a kiss from Ken and two very small packages, which to a girl, can only mean one thing!

Naughty boy - I'd told him after our trip to Darwin, I didn't need anything else, but he insisted 60 is special, so one pendant from him, and one from the kids(pets, lol).

I wasn't going to sit around all day on my own, so I'd made plans to meet some of my blogger friends at a local tavern for lunch. Brigid, Connie, LeeAnn and Jann joined me for lunch; unfortunately Val was ill, and Helen had another appointment, so they couldn't be with us.

From left: Brigid, LeeAnn, Gina, Connie and Jann. Taken by a friendly waitress.

LeeAnn insisted on photographing me with all the desserts in front of me - as if I would eat all that on my own! (tempting,though)

I was thoroughly spoiled by these four ladies: each one brought something unique for me to treasure. LeeAnn brought a bag full of goodies as well as a bunch of flowers from Rob and a handmade card.
Beaded peacock shawl.
Petite Point trinket box, peacock brooch, hand made card.
Embroidered cushion cover/pillow sham. All absolutely beautiful!

Connie bought me a "Lucky Chinese Bamboo" pot plant - something I have often seen and coveted! And a cute kitten card (should I be surprised?)
Brigid gave me a gorgeous old-worlde little case made from wood and covered with rose patterned material of some kind. This contained a number of neat little goodies for me to gloat over when I got home! (Brigid also presented me with a vintage clothes horse to display my linens on, but that's another story for another blog).

Jann, my partner in All Things André (Rieu) gave me the new set of CDs showcasing 100 of André's best tunes - can't wait to play it!

But my day had not ended. Ken came home from work with a bunch of roses, and after tea, some friends dropped, bearing champagne and cakes! I received many lovely cards, and this is our dining room table awash with some of my gifts and flowers:

Finally, most people wouldn't think twice about this aspect of receiving gifts, but as a person who is not inventive when it comes to wrapping gifts, I was overwhelmed by the way all my gifts had been presented to me. This last picture shows the decorative paper bags that some friends used; others wrapped their gifts in pretty tissue paper and matching ribbons.

Thank you all, dear friends who were/are! so generous to me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tea Blog-a-thon Week 4

Due to being away for a week, I'm running late with this! Here is Week 4:
April 6 - April 12

Share ideas and pictures that involve stitching for the tea table. Any kind of stitches count: sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, tatting, quilting, etc. The work can be yours or of someone else, but should be homemade rather than done by factory machines. Ideas are napkins, tea cozies, table linens, and other creations made with tea themes.

Well, this has to be the easiest or the most difficult topic for me, depending on how you see my dilemma! I have several hundred tablecloths, over a hundred aprons, nearly 100 teacosies, and thousands of doilies, centrepieces and other linens to choose from! I'll select one from each category to post here. If I had more time, I would set up a table with a nice display, but I don't, so these won't be matching, but will be straight from my linen collection blog Patra's Place.

This cloth and matching napkins is stitched in Assissi work. One of my favourite stitching styles.

These pictures show the back and front of an embroidered teacosy.

This apron is my favourite in my entire collection. I love the design, and the extraordinary stitching used to complete it.

Tea Blog-a-thon Week 5

April 13 - April 19

Share ideas for dressing up for afternoon tea. Is your favorite tea-time outfit a silk caftan, flannel jammies, or a dress with proper hat and gloves? Do you enjoy wearing tea prints to tea? Or do you prefer something more elegant? Lace and ruffles? A feathered hat? Long pink gloves? Satins and silks? Cotton comfort? Jeans and a t-shirt you say? That's okay --- share it all here.

I have never thought about what I'm wearing when I'm having a cuppa - it depends on who I'm with and/or where I am. I like this card which a friend sent me some time ago. It epitomises the bygone days of genteel tea drinking.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Back down to earth.

Sorry it's taken a few days to post something here. We got back to Melbourne at 7.30 am on Friday, after a four hour flight, and four hours sitting around Darwin airport before that! So we were just a bit tired for a few days. It has taken me two days to download my photos on to the computer, and name them all. After I'd done that, I tried to load them onto my Webshots account, but it kept crashing...well, something did anyway - maybe it was my computer. I gave up on Webshots, and tried the new Bigpond Photo thingy and that wouldn't let me do anything either. BLEAH!

So today I created a new blog just for our Darwin trip, and have started to post photos and a little commentary alongside each lot of pictures. You can have a look here if you are interested. It isn't finished yet, and it won't have all my photos, but they would take forever to look at, and I doubt very much if my blog friends have the time or inclination to do that anyway!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

From Darwin

I have about 4 minutes internet access from our hotel here in Darwin to tell you we are having a FANTASTIC time. Flight here was smooth; yes it is hot, but not unbearable, as everywhere you go is airconditioned.
Yesterday we walked all over the CBD,and saw a few local icons.
Today we head to FAnnie Bay and will see a few more tourist spots.
On Tuesday we go on a full day tour to Katherine Gorge.
Heaps of photos coming up!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

We had a storm in Melbourne yesterday...

BOY did we have a storm! I heard one newsreader say that Eltham was one of the worst hit suburbs. Well, we do have a lot of trees here, but we're not the only suburb in that cagegory. This is what the sky looked like around midday, from the back of our yard. The metal contraption on the right of the picture is our t.v. antennae. I'm always worried that a strong wind will rip it AND the roof from the house one day!

This tree should have fallen over years ago, but it apparently models itself on the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. God help our aviary birds if ever it decides to fall. Can you see the branch hanging down, high up in the tree on the right? Apart from small twigs and branches, that was the only damage we copped at our place.

This is some of the chaos remaining today in our street alone.

Hard to believe that wind can rip a whole tree out of the ground, roots and all.

It made a mess of our local park. I always feel sad for all the little creatures that lose their homes - birds, possums, etc.

Some people curse the gum (eucalyptus) trees, but it's not always those that fall. We've lost two melaleucas in previous years, but none of our gums. I'm not sure what this tree was - native yes, but not a gum tree.

This is next door to our post office. I often park in there...won't be for a while now - not until this mess is cleared away.

Would you park here after seeing all this? That's my car under that huge eucalyptus tree, today. Most of the shopping centre car parks in Eltham have trees - they are lovely and shady in the summer.

The next four photos were taken around the corner from our place:

This is what happens to all those trees and branches: turned into mulch! This householder must have been one of the first to ring a tree lopper. We've heard chain saws revving all day today...and no doubt they will continue for weeks.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Week Three of Tea Blog-A-Thon.

This week, La Tea Dah at Gracious Hospitality wants us to share ideas and pictures that incorporate tea and/or tea themes into home decor. Displays, art, prints, fabrics, and collection all count in this category. Do you use teapots and teacups as a part of your home decor? If so, describe how.

For my contribution, I decided to photograph my motley collection of teapots and vintage cups, and accompany them with explanatory notes.

These are vintage cup and saucer sets and plates that I have been given by friends and family, who know how much I love the Crinoline Lady designs in my linen collection. I don't use them much - only on VERY special occasions with Special Ladies who know to treat them with care!

This Noritake cup, saucer and sugar bowl group are part of my kitchen dinner set which Ken and I use on a daily basis. The teapot behind them is a tiny two-cup variety - to be found in supermarkets for a few dollars, but suits us down to the ground!

These three teapots sit on the very top shelf in our kitchen because they are purely for decoration. The large one is used only when we have more than ten people here and we need to make a LARGE pot of tea instead of continually topping up a normal sized teapot. I found the other two teapots in an opshop for about $2. I couldn't figure out why anyone would give such pretty pots to a thrift store...until I tried to use them and found they leaked tea all over the place! The spouts are so badly designed, they are unusable, but I decided to keep them for decorative purposes anyway!

The aluminium teapot on the left is about 40 years old. My father gave it to me for a birthday or Christmas gift while I was still married to my first husband. It was one of the few things I took with me when I fled! The orange enamelled teapot is one that we bought when we used to go on camping trips many years ago. I can't remember where we got it, but I have seen a similar one sell on eBay for about $80!!!

adopt your own virtual pet!