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, October 26, 2008

An award from a friend.

Merle has just given me a blogger award. I don't put them on my side bar for reasons that I've given previously, but it would be rude of me not to acknowledge receiving them, and sadly, I haven't acknowledged some in the past from various blog friends. So for those of you who have 'awarded' me with these little treasures, thank you all for choosing me as a recipient. I might not show them off here, but it is very nice to be thought of in such a way.
This is the one Merle has bestowed on me:

I replied to Merle, saying she's picked the wrong person. I don't have a million dollars, but I did win 5th Div. last night on Tattslotto - the grand total of $34.50.
Which might not seem much to some people, but to me with $10 in my purse, it will be very useful this week! Of course a million bucks would be a whole lot more useful, but...dream on!

We reluctantly parted with our Rooster today. Our next door neighbour came to the door again complaining about him crowing and waking her up early in the morning. We got rid of the first rooster to keep her happy, and with the second one, we've been putting him in a plastic box and covering it with a towel at night, but he still crowed, and it still woke her up. So to keep the peace, we took him back to the guy who sold him to us in the first place. He was very understanding, and said when he gets some new bantam hens he will give one to us in exchange.

Our neighbour is a nice lady with very pleasant and polite teenage daughters. I suppose it's not her fault that her male cat killed one of our budgies... The same cat sits in our yard and waits for Topsy to come outside, and as soon as she does, he pounces on her. Poor puss, she is absolutely traumatised, and has scabs and scars in several places. What do you do? As I said, we try to keep the peace with neighbours but sometimes it gets a bit one-sided.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Op shop delights and chickens

A friend had a heap of books to get rid of, so I suggested we throw them in the back of my car and head over to Savers. So we did that, and while we were there, we shopped of course! Go here to see what I bought - and guess what? There's no linen!
The same friend has been photographing our chickens, and took the opportunity to take some more pics when we got back home from Savers. If I look awkward, it is because I was trying to hold the chick in a way which would prevent it hopping off my hands on to the floor! Those little critters move fast!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Melbourne's Tramcar Restaurant

Last month, Ken and I went out for lunch on Melbourne's Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. I posted a couple of photos here at that time, but promised to create a new blog with all the photos I took on the day as we cruised around Melbourne while dining on fine food and wine. I finally got around to making up the blog, so if you are interested, you can see it here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

$12 well spent.

On Saturday, Oxfam came to Eltham. They have a huge book sale here annually, and I try to avoid going, but had nothing better to do yesterday. Well, I did have house work, but Oxfam Book Fairs are better than housework!
I spent just $12 on the following books, along with three novels (not worth photographing).
These booklets of vintage pictures will be great to cut up and use for collages and ATCs. Not that I do collages or scrapbooking, but I'll find a use for them somewhere.

As if I haven't got enough books on embroidery...but I've not seen one which is exclusively about back stitch, and it has some lovely patterns in it.

Having just bought a bottle of beautiful ink, this book might motivate me to use the ink!

I'm a sucker for any kind of books of humour, and this book had me giggling before I'd even paid for it!

More chicken photos.

I just can't help myself - these little chickens are soooo cute! The hens finally brought them out into the sunshine today, and showed them how to have a dust bath, feed on seeds, and put up with humans taking photos!

Consumerism gone mad

Do you ever wonder how these massive new shopping complexes will survive in the face of the 'economic meltdown' the media is on about lately? My mate S. works at Westfield in Doncaster, which has just been reborn/rebuilt/renovated, whatever you want to call it. It has stayed open during the rebuilding process, with a limited number of businesses operating, but last week it was officially opened by the Premier, in spite of a few shops that were still not complete. I dropped S. off to work on Friday after we spent the morning at a needlework exhibition, and as I had the rest of the afternoon free, I thought I may as well go on a tour of inspection.
S. had told me the complex was actually quite beautiful, which I thought was an interesting comment, as we have discussed the topic of consumerism in the recent past, and agreed that giant shopping centres are not good places to be, for a variety of reasons. But that's another topic. This time I had to agree that Doncaster Westfield is a spectacular place, and very attractive. Here are some photos I took:

The clientele at this shopping centre is at the upper end of the affluent population of Melbourne, and it is very obvious they are the target of the shops, by the brand names and prices. No opshops here!! I managed to find a couple of items in my field of interest and my price range:
A bottle of calligraphers ink in a gorgeous shade of turquoise blue, at a shop specialising in paper and pens...I could have spent a week browsing in there!
And a plastic template - just right for sizing fabric postcards and ATCs!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our first baby Bantam chicks!

Three weeks ago, two of our Bantam hens became broody. As we didn't have a rooster at the time, a friend gave us four fertile eggs from his flock of bantams, which include a rooster. Our hens sat on these eggs quite happily, and today, two of them hatched. The mother hens were ferocious in their efforts to guard the eggs, and now the chicks, hence the gardening gloves to protect hands when removing the chick from under the hen! Aren't they the most darling little critters?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This one is for my Aussie blog friends...

Did anyone watch Andrew Denton's "Enough Rope" tonight? His guest was Kevin Bloody Wilson, and I'm spitting chips because I missed most of it. I'd just jumped in the shower, when Ken called out that KBW was on Enough Rope. Well, I was in the process of washing my hair and by the time I got out and dried myself it, the show was nearly finished. Ken was laughing so hard I thought he would have a heart attack, and I only saw the last 10 minutes. Just wondering if anyone reading this knows if "Enough Rope" is (a) repeated later on, (b) available on the internet or DVD?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A most satisfying experience!

I had a very satisfactory experience yesterday afternoon. One of our esteemed Nillumbik Councillors came door knocking to solicit votes for the next council elections. Well, did I give him an earful!!!
He started off telling me that Nillumbik was the most livable place, and that got me going! I got on to him about the vandalism around the Shire and couldn't believe my ears when he said "Where? It's not that bad". I said "Didn't you see my letter in the local paper?" and he obviously had read it because he immediately asked "Was that you?!" He started to tell me how much money they spent on trying to fix the problem, and I interrupted by saying "it's not money that's needed - you should be sending a team of people out EVERY DAY to clean up every bit of graffitti as soon as it is done. Other councils do it, why can't you?"

Then I really laid into him about the council's blatant disregard for the wellbeing of our senior citizens and he tried to cover his tracks with all sorts of excuses about how they had advice from specialist consultants to change care providers, and as you can imagine, I saw red. I said "But you didn't ask the clients or the carers. They are the experts, not some consultant". Then he admitted that the council knows now that it made the wrong decision and they are severely embarrassed. I said "I haven't seen a public apology anywhere!"

Well he went away with a flea in his ear, I can tell you. Ken had been out somewhere and came up the driveway just as the councillor was walking off, and he said "Who was that bloke with the sour look on his face?" When I told him, he said "Good on you - I wish I'd been here. I would have put my two bob's worth in!".

Anyway, that was it. Nothing will come of it, but it gave me such satisfaction to say what I thought!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A tiny wee life in Ken's hands.

While Ken was in our bird aviaries late yesterday afternoon, he noticed a baby Zebra Finch had fallen from a nest. He picked it up and poked it back into the nest, but it was apparent that the reason for its ejection was overcrowding, as 5 young finches flew out cheeping loudly, then went back. The birds will do that, if there are too many for the parents to feed, the last to hatch will be pushed aside by the older chicks, and left to die.

My tender-hearted hubby couldn't bear to see this tiny little creature lying on the ground, knowing it would freeze to death overnight, so he picked it up and brought it inside the house.
He found a small plastic bowl and lined it with a piece of soft material, and then looked for an eye dropper. He mixed some milk and biscuit crumbs on a saucer, and fed it to the baby finch, who opened its beak and cried for more several times. Not the ideal diet for a baby bird, but it survived until we went to bed about midnight.

Topsy was hoping for a small midnight snack...

When we got up at 8 am, we found it had died, which we kind of expected, but we were still sad. At least it died in a warm and safe place, not outside on the ground..

Walking in Westerfolds Park

Val and I went to Westerfolds Park earlier this week. We met up around 11 am at the cafe on the top of the hill for coffee, then walked around the park for an hour, returning to the cafe for lunch and a cold drink. At 11 am it was still very cloudy, so this photo of the beautiful old house that is now an aboriginal art gallery and cafe, is way too dark. I should have taken a better one later in the day...
Westerfolds Park has magnificent trees, which are perfect habitat for our native birds, animals and insects.

The trees that fall are left where they are, because ground animals like wombats, snakes etc. will live in them. Some smart person with a unique sense of humour has set up "Real Estate" signs around the park, along with other cute signs. It's probably been done to educate children in how animals live in a natural environment, but we thought it was clever as well as funny!

"Hollow to Let" - LOL!

I couldn't stop taking photos of trees - our eucalypts are so unique in shedding their bark instead of their leaves like most other trees!

You'd think I'd know better, wouldn't easy with digital cameras to check your photos immediately to make sure you haven't put something else in the picture that wasn't meant to be there...

Here is Val sitting at the table where we ate our lunch. There is a superb view from here. We could have sat there all day. We did stay for over an hour, and did some sketching until the wind started getting cold around 3.30 pm.

Can you see the City on the skyline? It's not so far away - about 12 miles as the crow flies, but we felt like we were in central Victoria somewhere!

This cheeky young Magpie helped me eat my lunch and hung around afterwards. He had a few mates with him at first, but I was too busy trying to shield my lunch from them to bother about taking photos!

I am hopeless at drawing trees, so I settled on these two rocks instead.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What Tarot card are you?

I found this quiz thingy on a friend's blog and had to try it out for myself!

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Casey Stoner does it again!!

YAAAAYY!!! Our Little Aussie Battler Casey Stoner has won the Australian motorcycle GP for the second year in a row - congratulations Casey!
Ken was there, but wasn't close enough to the rails to get any good photos. He didn't mind that much because he is tall enough to see over most people. He got up at sparrow fart this morning, and I made him some lunch to take with him. His mate David arrived on his Harley at 6.30 am to ride down to the Island with Ken and some other friends who they collected on the way.

Ken warming up the engine of his Suzuki 750.

Both bikes disappearing down our driveway into the darkness...blow daylight saving starting this weekend.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I have a fractured finger!

Did you know you could break a finger while you sleep? I didn't either, until Thursday morning when I pulled the sheets back to get out of bed - and yelped with pain! The middle finger on my left hand felt like someone had driven a hot nail into it. As I had an appointment with my massage therapist at 11.30, I asked her if she could see what it is. I thought it may be referred pain from my neck and shoulder, but she worked on trigger points in my shoulder and neck for 20 minutes, then she shook her head and said there is no referred pain from the neck. She advised me to put an ice pack on it, and splint the sore finger between icypole sticks (of which I have none).
So I went to our chemist, who looked at my finger and said she could see bruising. She said it may be fractured, and produced a proper little finger splint to sell me. Isn't this nifty??

adopt your own virtual pet!