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, October 27, 2009

Let down.

If you visited this blog in the past 24 hours, you may wonder why the last post about dingo pups has vanished. We had a phone call tonight from the dingo breeder, saying he'd changed his mind about selling his dogs to us because he doesn't think we will make good owners. Just as well we haven't paid any money out on the enclosure which has just been started. It is still early enough to pull everything out and return all the stuff to the generous person who started work on it on Saturday. He was horrified to hear about the phone call, and has urged us not to do anything rash. Well, hullo. If the president of the Dingo Care Network says we are not good enough for their dogs, in spite of four round trips of over 100 miles to their home to acquaint ourselves with the pups, and think about organising permits, enclosure, kennels, vet. expenses...I guess he has just saved us a lot of money. But Ken is heartbroken.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday on my mind.

Apart from being perenially short of cash, I love being retired/on a pension. I can spread out my work load over a week instead of having to cram it all in on a weekend. But on a good day, I can do a lot cramming. Trouble is, my neck, back and feet will pay dearly for it over the next few days, reminding me why I have been granted a disability pension... But I had such a good day today, I'm compelled to blog about it. Don't feel you are compelled to read it. Quite boring, really. Except perhaps to non-Australians who are interested to see what things are like Down Under.
I started the day off making a list of Things To Do, all of which I accomplished:
Two loads of washing done and hung on the line.

Defrosted the fridge.

Made a fruit cake.

Washed the kitchen floor.

All this was achieved by 1.30 pm, and after I'd sat down for a bite of lunch (tub of yoghurt), I decided to walk to the post office, as it was such a beautiful day. We are lucky to have a park to walk through to reach Main Road from my street.

If this old gentleman can make it up that hill, so can I!

The price of petrol has gone up again, dammit. It will be back down to $1.10 by Monday, no doubt. Why do these companies do this?

I was going to stop for a coffee here, but remembered I hadn't brought any money.

This is a new shopping complex in our little town centre, due to open shortly before Christmas no doubt, to cash in on the silly season spending.

On the way back, I passed some lovely gardens - just look at all these rose bushes!

And this HUGE Eucalyptus tree, dwarfing the house beneath, with its lovely garden full of daisies.

Not far from home here thank goodness. My feet were 'killing me' by this time, but I only had to walk around the corner to reach home. time to feed the chickens.

And that was my Friday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Update on our back yard plants.

These are some of the plants we've had in for a while, which are going through their first flowering season.

The last of my tulips to flower this season - one black and one white.

Aust. Native Hibiscus.

I've forgotten the name of this, but it is a ground cover, planted near rocks in the hope it will cover them.
Native Geraldton Wax Flower.
Not sure if this is a Hakea or a Callistemon. We bought several of each last year and I've misplaced the name tags - grrrrr!

Nearly a disaster!

How was your weekend? Mine was interesting to say the least. On Saturday morning, I spent an hour or so at the huge Oxfam Book Sale that arrives in Eltham every couple of years. I didn't find much to interest me, so after choosing a few light novels, my back was aching so much I decided to get out of there and go home to relax with one of the books. Ken was getting ready to go on a message of his own, and asked if I wanted to come along for the drive. I figured I would be sitting down, so I may as well go with him.

Message accomplished, we were on the way home, and getting near Westfield shopping centre in Doncaster. Ken had an ABC Shop gift voucher to spend, so we stopped in to Dymocks and he used it to buy the Yellowstone documentary DVD, which we hadn't seen, but heard rave reports about it from friends. Closer to home, we were discussing what plants we still wanted for our back yard, and I suggested that we stop in at The Greenery Nursery, not far from home. We came away with half a dozen plants, and finally arrived home a lot later than what we'd anticipated!

I put a piece of corned beef on the stove to cook slowly, and joined Ken in the back yard to decide where to place our new plants. I put two in, and Ken was digging a hole for the third when all of a sudden - WHOOOSH! and water shot up into the air. He'd hit a PVC water pipe! I rushed down the steps to the front yard and turned the water supply off at the mains. Ken was madly scooping water out of the hole he'd dug, to try and see how much damage he'd done. The hose was only cut half way through, but water was still trickling through. I brought a big piece of rag to tie around it in an effort to stem the flow, while Ken hopped in the car and raced down to Bunnings the hardware store in Eltham. By this time it was 5.45 pm and they close at 6 pm. He got there in time, and a sympathetic salesman quickly found the bits and pieces Ken needed to fix the pipe.

Back home, I was scooping water away, and digging around the pipe to make room for Ken to work. He came up the back yard path, puffing and looking grey. I made him sit down and rest before he started fixing the leak - he looked like he was about to pass out! It took about 10 minutes to fix the pipe, and once done, we sat back and looked at each other, both of us covered with mud! By then it was 8 pm - thank goodness for daylight saving - and we went inside to clean up and finally have tea at nearly 9 pm! Here are the plants we bought and planted before and after all the drama.
We needed something to provide colour over a rock retaining wall. I've never seen this Trailing Lotus before, but it is very pretty and will look great if it spreads itself over a large area of rocks.
This innocent little plant was the one waiting to be planted when Ken struck the pipe. It had better be worth the trouble it caused!
Another plant we don't know anything about, but hopefully it will provide a nice spot of colour.
Australian native Boronia has an exquisite perfume, so we've located this just near the clothesline outside the back door.

As for the rest of the weekend: Ken went to Phillip Island for the Aust. Motorcycle Grand Prix on Sunday, and I went to a needlework tapestry exhibition with a friend. Photos of that exhibition are on my other blog (Patra's Place) and Casey Stoner will be the cause for celebrations all this week by motorcyclists around Australia!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We don't celebrate Halloween in a big way here in Australia, but those of us who have friends in the USA can easily get swept up in their fun! Pam, one of my most creative blogger friends - sent me this lovely handmade card - it is the first Halloween card I've ever received. Thank you very much Pam!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's nice to be loved like this.

Ken has been popping in and out of this room like a bloody jack-in-the-box. He can't get enthused about turning his laptop on, so he's been watching t.v. at the other end of the house, while I surf my friends' blogs, and check their friends' blogs, then check on THEIR friends' blogs... and so it goes ad infinitum. I haven't washed tonight's dishes yet, but I have done the ironing, so I'm allowing myself free reign on the computer for a while. Most of the blogs I check out are craft blogs, and the printer is switched on, ready to print out any new patterns I'd like to do in this century or the next. But I'm side-tracked.

Ken keeps thinking of things he wants to tell me - or that is his excuse. Perhaps he's checking on me to make sure I'm not in one of those CHAT ROOMS, chatting to a young and virile man. Who am I kidding. What would a young virile man want with an old lady like me? Actually, some younger men prefer older ladies...Oh sorry, got sidetracked again.

The last time he poked his head around the door was to tell me he's got a new password when he logs into the computer at work. His old password didn't work any more, so he asked his supervisor what to do about it. Supervisor said "What's your wife's name?" and typed "Gina001" on to the keyboard as Ken spelt my name. Ken is quite chuffed about it. He said happily "I think of you every time I log in!" Isn't that sweet? Who needs a young virile man online when I've got an older version all of my own right here?

Monday, October 05, 2009

More cute chicken photos!

Sorry to be so utterly boring, but I can't stop taking photos of these tiny fluff balls! Ken brought these two inside today while I was sitting at my computer, and when he put them on my desk I grabbed my camera!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Update on our dingoes.

We drove up to Violet Town again today (Saturday)

to see how much the pups have grown since we were there 3 weeks ago. We arrived about 11 am

and drove in to a howling welcome committee!

I'm holding the black and tan male pup that we will be bringing home in about a month's time,
And Ken is holding the ginger female.

Some of the other black pups in their kennel.

There is nothing quite like being lovingly licked by half a dozen dingoes!

More shots of our pups.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Something to ponder...

My PC Home page showed these headlines a minute ago:
More world news:
Oct 02, 2009Philippines appeals for divine help
Oct 02, 2009Tsunami 'may have killed 190' in Pacific
Oct 02, 2009Michelle Obama to appear on 'Sesame Street'
Oct 02, 2009Thousands feared dead in Indonesia quake
Oct 02, 2009Letterman admits affairs with staffers
Oct 02, 2009Aid groups try to reach quake victims
Oct 02, 2009Iran to send enriched uranium to Russia
Oct 02, 2009Powerful 6.3 quake strikes off Tonga

Apart from the silly stuff about Michelle Obama and Letterman, the rest is about tragedy in the Pacific region. When reading those, one can see that many countries reach out to help very quickly. The notable exception is Iran, who is busy sending enriched uranium to Russia. Do you ever read about middle Eastern countries helping others outside of their region? I've only heard of one instance, and that was an Arab oil millionaire or somebody, who sent a huge donation to our bushfire victims, for which Australians were very grateful. The rest of the time, they seem bent on destruction. Wouldn't the world be a better place if these 'radicals, militants, whatever' - chose to focus their energy on helping the human race instead of destroying it?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

My 'book' of handmade cards.

I have to warn you - this is NOT a tutorial! I've been asked to show what I did with my cards, so I took some photos, but they don't actually show the full process.
The first step is to cut a long strip of white card, and fold it into equal sections concertina-style. Then you make a slit in the fold of each greeting card, and slide the cards onto the folds of the strip of white card. Another piece of stiffer card is then tucked into the fold, to hold the cards in place.
You don't have to make a cover, but I did, and I used the cover of an old phone book. I just cut it to the right shape, and covered it with decorative paper. In this first photo, I was brushing glue over the phonebook cover, ready to paste the blue tissue paper on to it. But after it had dried, I could still see the printing from the phone book through the tissue, so I ripped it all off and replaced it with red Japanese print paper that Sharon gave me.

In the picture below, you can see the end of the folded white card, after I'd inserted my cards on to it. The cards are a variety of sizes, so I had to decide whether to have the tops of them all uniform, the bottom all uniform, or have the slit in the middle of every card, which is what I chose to do. The covers are slightly larger than the largest card, so they are kept inside safely.

The finished product, showing the 'binding' or spine if you like.

Showing how the cards are held like pages in a bound book. I just realised, I should have photographed the inside of a card, so you can see how the piece of cardboard holds them in place. Ah well, just use your imagination, LOL!

adopt your own virtual pet!