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.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except two cats and a collection of finches, canaries and Rhode Island bantam hens.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Laughing Jackass came to visit!

LOL, I can just imagine the puzzled faces of our overseas readers - "Laughing Jackass??? Who is she talking about?" Laughing Jackass is the other name for one of Australia's most iconic birds - the Kookaburra. I posted a photo of one here last February, when it stopped over in our back yard, but I couldn't get close enough to take a good shot. However, yesterday provided a perfect opportunity.

I heard a commotion on the front porch where the Lorikeets were feeding on some apple and seed I'd put out earlier, so I went to the front door to check out the noise, and there was a kookaburra sitting on the feeder! The Lorikeets will challenge just about any other bird that invades their feeding platform, but the Kookaburra didn't even need to squawk or flap his wings! He didn't move when I opened the door slowly, and still sat there gazing at me when I moved closer. So I got my camera and he didn't even flinch when I took the first one, so I kept snapping pics. I figured he wasn't going to go anywhere until I fed him something other than apple and seed, so I got some meat which was supposed to be for the dog and cat, and he accepted that very happily!

"G'day! What's on the menu?"

"Thank you very much - just what I wanted. A nice piece of fresh meat".

"I'll just go down into the garden to swallow it in peace, and get away from that infernal camera!"

"I'll sit up in this gum tree to digest that meal!"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

From native birds to domestic pets.

Our Topsy is NOT friendly with Latte who lives next door. Topsy being a neutered female and Latte being a neutered male might have something to with it, I don't know. But Topsy knew there was an intruder in her yard this afternoon, and went to investigate:


Latte sits up on the fence half hidden by the top palings, while Topsy glares at me for interrupting their miaow dialogue.


Latte jumped down to get a closer look at the hens in the aviary, and Topsy moved a bit closer to monitor him.


I got concerned by then, and removed Topsy to the safety of the house, then went back to take this pic of Latte, who is very friendly to the human neighbours, but not the other animals!

Friday, July 18, 2008

We've had some gorgeous visitors lately.

...The feathered variety. Winter seems to bring the native birds en masse, possibly because their food is a bit harder to find in winter, and it is so much easier just to drop in at the Wilsons and partake of whatever is on offer!

These three photos have all been taken during the past month at different times of the day, and that is why some are darker than others.

Rainbow Lorikeets. This pair roost in a tree in our back yard, and are daily visitors to the feeder.
Galahs go around in large flocks, and make such a racket when they all arrive here looking for nibbles! This was taken today in the late afternoon, almost dusk.
The Eastern Rosella is common around here, but mostly stays high up in trees to feed on seeds and berries. They don't usually come down to our feeder, so Ken grabbed his camera immediately when we spotted this one. This was taken through the window of the room that looks out on to the verandah. The window has tinted film on the inside, so it is difficult to get a good photo. My camera won't do it, but Ken's does.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My weekly walk with Val.

Last Friday Val and I chose a local park to walk in. Ruffey Lake Park is situated in Doncaster, about half way between Val's home and my home, so it was mutually convenient to meet there. The day was cold and cloudy to start with, so we were well rugged up.


The Park is situated on ancient rockbeds, and has been quarried between 1860 and 1930, as this information board describes. The info. boards scattered around the park are very informative; it's a pity that some of them have deteriorated due to weather or vandalism, but this one is still legible enough to make out.

This photo shows part of one of the old quarries:

For a park located in the suburbs of a capital city, Ruffey Lake Park is huge - 68 hectares in size, with lots of open space for kids to run around, and people to walk their dogs:

As well as a wild life reserve which is fenced off and being regenerated with native grasses etc.


This looks like it was nearly night time, but it was actually mid afternoon! Still cloudy, but enough light to make an interesting shot of the lake the park is named after.


Finally the sky cleared, and we sat at the top of a hill overlooking the park, to do some sketching and enjoy a delicious cake Val had made.


(As with most of the photos on my blog, if you click on a photo, an enlarged version will appear on your screen.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Such a simple thing.

We women are funny creatures, aren't we? Well, some of you might not agree. I'm referring to a little female quirk of being happy with simple things. Like having all the washing out on the line and watching it blow dry in wind and sunshine.

Today I changed the sheets on our bed and pulled a face when I took the clean set of sheets from the linen cupboard. Flat sheets top and bottom, which meant messed up bottom sheet every morning, despite being firmly tucked in the night before. I thought to myself, there must be a way to make a flat sheet into a fitted sheet. I spread the bottom sheet out on the bed and studied it. I could tie a knot in each corner and tuck it under the mattress...nah, tacky.

I poked around in my sewing books and other housekeeping hints-type books, but couldn't find anything that mentioned sheets at all. So I Googled. "How to convert flat sheets to fitted sheets" and found this link: Fitted Sheets. I spent the next half hour cutting the corners from my sheet and sewing (by machine) the new edges together, and VOILA! My el cheapo flannelette sheets are now fitted sheets!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A gift, a giggle, and Op Shop goodies.

Last week I visited Sharon who helped me start a CQ block (you'll have to see my other blog for more about that. While I was there, she presented me with this book which had caught her eye. I love nostalgia books like this!

The birds who come down to our bird feeder often trot around on the fibre glass roof over the porch and I've always thought it was cute to see their little claws from underneath, so I took this photo the other day!



I posted a message on the Melbourne Op Shop Blog about these goodies, but I doubt if everyone who reads my blog will go there, so I decided to put them here as well.

This should encourage me even more to take some time off to practice my sketching!

Pretty ties to make quilt blocks from. Sorry Barb - I'm keeping these! (But I'll be referring to your blog for ideas on what to do with them)

I couldn't believe my luck - I already had the plate and cup that goes with this, and here was the saucer for $6!!!

adopt your own virtual pet!