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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

High Tea at Kyneton with LeeAnn

A few weeks ago, The Invitation arrived in the mail. I knew about the event already, through LeeAnn's blog. and I'd already told LeeAnn I would be there with bells on! I rang around my blogging friends, but unfortunately most of them had other commitments yesterday. So there were just three of us Blog Ladies present: Brigid (Miss Eagle), Helen and me. Brigid decided to travel by train, so Helen and I spread ourselves comfortably in my little car and departed Eltham for the one hour drive. The driving conditions were great - cool and sunny with no wind, and we got to Kyneton in good time, with 90 minutes to spare before the High Tea, so we stopped at a cafe for a light lunch.
Here is Helen sipping her coffee on the sidewalk cafe.

The Lodge hall where the High Tea was to be, was just up the road. LeeAnn and her family and friends had been busy (understatement of the year) and we found ourselves placed at a table with Brigid and two other delightful ladies.

All the tables were set up with vintage cloths and napkins, sandwiches, scones, jam and cream, and a selection of delicious cakes, all on LeeAnn's beautiful china. I'm sure she set our table with me in mind - crinoline ladies everywhere!

There were so many little extra touches on the tables - a little gift wrapped in cellophane for each lady; cute cup and saucer novelties made by LeeAnn's daughter, and name tags in little handbag holders.

There were auctions and raffles to raise more funds for the Starlight Foundation, and I got lucky twice!

I'm sure LeeAnn is going to do a writeup on her blog, so I'm not going to steal her thunder any more than what I have already, but I will say that this event was a huge success, and LeeAnn is already planning another one for next year. And I think I can safely say that there are three of us who will be returning a second time!
Gina, Helen and Brigid.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Walking with a good friend.

When I finished work this morning (only having had one early morning job), I drove home looking forward to a lazy day, stitching, reading, having a nap. Then I remembered what my doctor said about my cholesterol creeping up, and how she told me to start taking long walks every week. So when I got home I phoned Val (ex blogger who lives nearby) and asked what she was up to. She was reading the paper, and was still in her 11 am! I told her to get dressed, cut some lunch and come for a walk! So she did. We met at the Heide Museum of Modern Art - a place not far from us that I have been intending to visit ever since we moved here nearly 30 years ago, but never got around to doing.

This museum started life as the residence of a pair of Melbourne's many bohemian artists who were around in the 1930's. They lived in a farmer's cottage which they renovated

but eventually built another house on the same property. The second home is now a gallery, as is the third more modern building adjacent to it. Heide is located on its own grounds that are part of the Yarra River Trail - a series of parks that follow the Yarra River through the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Val and I walked along the river banks for about an hour before finding a nice spot to have our lunch.
We were joined by a hungry young magpie.

This place has some weird art in the grounds...

As well as some interesting old buildings:

It also has a historic eucalypt

that is on the register of significant trees because it was important to the original inhabitants of this land.

When we'd eaten our lunch, we continued our walk and ended up at the Art Gallery, which is currently showing an exhibition by a brilliant but relatively little-known Melbourne artist Rick Amor. We had an artistic coffee before viewing the exhibition..

In the foyer of the gallery was a mural, where visitors were invited to have their photo taken for posterity. My face is at the bottom, with Val's just above and to the right of me.

Val is one of the good friends I have met through blogging. We always have such fun when we go out somewhere, even if it is just for a walk. You'll be hearing more about our jaunts in the near future, as we explore more of Melbourne's beautiful parks and gardens!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fun package from the USA!

My fun-loving friend Barb across The Pond finds the most incredible things on the Internet and elsewhere. When I saw lip-shaped bandaids on her blog I just had to get some! Sadly, the website claimed they only shipped within the USA, so I begged Barb to send me some, and in return I sent her a tin of Aussie candy, which she is devouring now, I believe!

Her parcel of goodies arrived today and as always with Barb's parcels, it was full of neat surprises.
The tin of lips bandaids, showing one opened; Barb's cute writing paper with cupcakes on the back, and a Sour Apple candy bar which was delicious.

This is a VERY closeup pic of the 'free toy' that was in the tin with the bandaids. It is only about half an inch long - cute!

Barb wrote that she was tempted to use these to decorate an apron; I'm glad she didn't!

This vintage phone book cover is small - it's obviously for a personal phone book, not a whole city one! What gorgeous stitching!

And everything was wrapped up in this lovely sparkly paper - three sheets of it, which I carefully folded up to be used again!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Another weekend come and gone.

This year is just flying by, isn't it! I feel like it will be Christmas in a minute...
On Friday night, the Awesome Foursome Friends got together at Helen's home for dinner. She cooked a delicious four course meal for us - no mean feat for someone who is still not fully recovered from a stroke. But she is determined to 'get back to normal, whatever that is', as she said, and her three guests did as much as possible to assist, by carrying food back and forth, loading the dishwasher, etc. When Helen's husband came home, I'm sure he would have been relieved to find that there wasn't much (if any) tidying up to be done.
On Saturday night, some of Ken's cousins came to our place for dinner, as a kind of farewell to their daughter who is heading off overseas with friends in a few weeks - backpacking, starting off in Japan, then to Moscow, and on to Europe - for about 6 months I think. Phew! Makes me tired just to think of it!

I was hanging some washing out on the line this morning when I heard a distinct crow from Ken's aviaries. Uh oh - sounds like we have a rooster among the hens! Ken wasn't planning on that; he got his bantams as chicks, and his friend wasn't 100% sure that they were all hens. If it is a rooster, Ken will probably swap it for another hen, because local council laws prohibit roosters in domestic back yards, due to their early morning noisy crowing. Shame though. I love the thought of little chickens hatching out and running around the aviary cheeping!

In the afternoon, I went to a newly opened Antique market here in Eltham and bought three books and a lovely embroidered supper cloth. Two of the books are on embroidery, and the third is about breeding budgies, which I thought Ken might like.
Ken in the meantime had gone for a ride in the hills on his Honda. He came back to tell me that he'd had a close encounter with a kangaroo, which he'd seen standing on the side of the road as he rode by. This is a frightening experience; roos can write a car off if you hit them, so a bike and rider would have no hope. Ken's cousin lives in this area and told us last night that his neighbour had hit a roo while backing her car out of the driveway! You Americans and other non-Aussies might think this is really neat to have kangaroos so close...believe me, it's NOT!

And that, my friends, was my weekend.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vale Mrs J.E.

For confidentiality reasons, I can't put the name of this person here, but I do want to acknowledge her. The lady I have been looking after since January in the nursing home, who I mentioned on yesterday's post - died this afternoon. I was with her this morning, and her family were there as well, so my presence was superflous, but as is often the case in palliative care, the family were pleased to have me there for a little while.

My supervisor rang me just after I got home, to let me know J. had passed away. I will miss this job, strange as it may seem to some people. I'll miss the nursing staff at the home; they are a dedicated team of people, very caring and compassionate. When I left the Home today, some of the girls said "Oh you're not going, are you? Does this mean we won't see you again?" and I replied "Well, if I don't get another job straight away, I could come and visit you!" I was just joking, but they all said "Please do!! The other residents will miss you, as well as us". Isn't that nice?

Cyberspace Blogger awards.

There are so many blogs, and so many ideas to 'jazz' them up. I've managed to reject most of the jazzy stuff, as it irritates me beyond belief to go to someone's blog and have to wait for ages for it to download because of all the extra graphics and stuff on it. So I try to avoid inflicting the same pain on my blog readers! But Alice has got through my guard. She sent me this one, and wrote some very kind words about me on her blog, so I don't mind publishing just this one. There are 'rules' that go with it, i.e. 'you must award five more people, you must do this you must do that...' Well, I don't MUST do anything except appreciate the sentiments behind this!

This award is "dedicated to many who nourish and enrich the spirit and creativity. They see dedication, creativity, camaraderie, joy and above all, ART, much art. I wish that this prize is entertaining to all those bloggers and to bloggers who day by day share this space and enrich it a little more each day." ~Arte Y Pico

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Small talk...

Is it a week already since I last posted something here? Gosh, I shall have to do something about, what shall I write?
Replies to comments on my last post, I think would be appropriate.
Thanks for your collective good wishes for Ken and I - we are okay now. I found some awful tasting stuff costing $21.95 in the local health food shop, and when Ken saw how quickly I recovered, he got stuck into it and finished off the bottle. I was a bit concerned because I didn't know whether it would react with his regular medicines. Doctors and chemists always warn you about taking herbal or alternative therapies on top of pharmaceutical drugs, but there were no side effects, and he also got over the cold quicker than usual.

Patty, I am amazed that you guys have that Aussie beer over there already! I'm not surprised that Keith didn't like it; has he tried any other Aussie beers?
Alice, I haven't visited you for a while; I'll drop over and 'collect your award' - lol!
Jeanette - as I type, it is raining quite hard here..hope you are getting some of it up your way too! Just as long as we don't get any tornadoes over from the west...wasn't that frightening!

I've been busier than usual with my stitching lately. I was working on a wedding anniversary sampler for ages, which I have now finished, and today I finished a small project which will be entered into the Embroiderers' Guild 2008 Members Challenge. It is the first year I've entered this; I've never had time before to think about something I could submit, then stitch it by the allocated time. But this year it was a simple theme - 'Embroider a Leaf'. So I did. You can see it on my stitching blog if you are interested. Talking of stitching, I've joined a group on a new stitching forum, where the members commit to learning/practising a new stitch every week, starting on Tuesdays. It's called "Take A Stitch Tuesday" (TAST for short) and it's keeping me busy, but I'm happy doing it, as I seem to have done nothing but cross stitch for years now, and really want to get back to traditional embroidery.

Workwise, nothing has changed. I am still looking after two clients: one lady in her own apartment, who I visit twice weekly to help her get dressed and fed in the morning, and the other lady in a nursing home, three days a week. This particular lady is rapidly fading, but she is clinging on to life, despite hardly eating or drinking anything for days. Not that she wants to live much longer, but the human body has an amazing tenacity sometimes, in spite of what the mind is thinking (or not thinking, in the case of dementia). Today she was in bed and on oxygen, and I was sitting beside her, holding her hand. Not even sure that she was conscious, but as soon as I made a move to get up and go, her grip tightened like a vice, even though she didn't open her eyes!

There you are then, friends - my weekly report (LOL). It's nearly 1 am, so I'm off to bed now, but I'll catch up with all my blog friends in the next day or so.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's going to be a bleak winter in Melbourne...

The signs are all there: Ken has caught another cold. He was sneezing and coughing all night so I phoned his work this morning without even asking him! and told his supervisor Ken wouldn't be in at work today or tomorrow. Ken wasn't happy when he heard me on the phone. He said half the staff are away with colds and flu, and I said "So, you've just joined the club". I've feeling a bit tight across the chest now, so I've just run a bath and tipped some oils in to help reduce any cold symptoms (TeaTree, Sandalwood and Rosemary. Actually the Rosemary is because I'm aching all over from my job today, but that's another story).

The nights lately have been foggy and miserable, and as Elsie sleeps outside (under a roof though), we bought her a jumper to keep her warm.

Ken likes to try new and exotic beers, so when we saw a current affairs show host interviewing the young brewers who produced this beer, he had to go out and buy some to try. His verdict? "Interesting..." I'm not a beer drinker, so I have no idea what that means!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Tonight I received an email from a lady who read one of my blogs where I've mentioned my opshop buys, and she told me about her blog which is all about opshopping in Melbourne:
"I Op therefore I am"
It is really great - go have a look! She is planning a bus tour of opshops - hey Brigid, Connie, Sharon, and all you other Melb. opshop lovers - this we gotta go on!

Monday, June 02, 2008

So much for a quiet weekend...

We'd planned a quiet weekend at home, just the two of us, pottering. Ken had to take his Honda to the local bike shop for a roadworthy certificate on Saturday morning, and he took off about 11 am. I did two loads of washing, and started on the dusting and vacuuming. The phone rang about 12.30 and it was Ken asking me if I would pick him up, as the bike needed some work doing on it, and he'd have to leave it there. So off I went, and when we left the bike shop I asked "Do you want to go home, or do you need to do any shopping?" Ken thought for a minute, and replied "Yes - I want to get a camera case for my new camera". (He's just bought a digital camera from TVSN, the Foxtel shopping show). So we headed for the Greensborough shopping centre. This was about 1 pm. We got home at 5 pm!

After he got his camera case, we stayed in Harvey Norman's, looking around. Fatal mistake. Ken ended up buying a memory stick for his computer, but as they were having a sale he got it for a good price. Walking past the shops, we noticed a nice fleecy top in a menswear shop for $10. Ken has one of these already, but another one won't go astray, especially at that price.

Walking further along, we had to stop at the pet shop and admire the kittens in the window. No, we didn't buy one of those, but we spent quite some time looking at birds, fish, and pet paraphernalia, none of which we bought. Ken wanted a ceramic dish to use as a water bowl for his hens, so we went into several shops before going into K-Mart and coming out with a dish and a few other items that caught our eyes. We stopped for coffee and raisin toast (Ken had chips), and on the way back to the car, made one more stop at a $2 shop where he found something else he'd been looking for.

We were both exhausted by the time we got home, so dinner was delayed until about 8 pm! The rest of the night was spent by me online and Ken asleep in front of the t.v.
Sunday morning was cold and foggy, so we stayed in bed until late morning. I'd planned to go my swap card club meeting, but kept looking at the huge pile of ironing to be done, so I decided to stay home and get stuck into that. Ha. Pigs might fly. I'd bought a couple of Danielle Steel books at an opshop recently, and started reading one of those after we'd had our lunch of toasted ham sandwiches. Ken was in and out, doing stuff around the yard, and I didn't surface until 5 pm when I realised what the time was, and figured I'd better start cooking tea! The ironing did get done, but it wasn't finished until about 10 pm.

Boring weekend you think? Maybe so, but these days, that's the way I like 'em!

adopt your own virtual pet!