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, May 29, 2012

Third reason to avoid Facebook.

Yeah I know, I sound like a broken record.   And a lot of these things are caused by people's stupidity, but they still show to me that you can get yourself (or other people) into trouble VERY easily.
House burgled after girl shows cash on her Facebook page

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another reason to avoid Facebook

What did I say about Facebook being dangerous? Read this if you doubt me: Facebook used as terrorist tool.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Why I won't have Facebook.

Ever since Facebook became so well known, I've thought there was something sinister about it. This article gives yet another reason why Facebook should be avoided.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Changes in my routine.

I have been hosting a Guidance Group in my home for the Embroiderers Guild for the past couple of years.  It started out with just five people meeting in my home once a month to sit and sew.  We all got on well, and it would have continued, but when Ken was having operations and extended time off work, I postponed the group until he was back at work.  Then he decided to take Wednesdays off, so I had to change my Group day to Tuesdays.  That didn't suit three of my ladies, so they didn't come back, so there were only three of us for a few months.  I put a notice in the Guild magazine to invite anyone else in my area to attend our group, and had three responses.  One lady came once, and the other two never turned up at all.
So yesterday, I rung the Guild and cancelled my Group for the time being.  I'm not going to sit at home all day and wait for people who don't turn up!  The one lady who did come regularly will keep in touch and we'll probably get together now and then.

 In the meantime, yesterday was one of Melbourne's perfect Autumn days, too nice to sit indoors and stitch.  So I called my friend Helen, who was doing nothing exciting, and she was delighted when I offered to pick her up and take her out for a coffee.   As she can't get about easily, I left her to sit and 'people-watch' while I did a bit of shopping.   I'm glad my group fell through yesterday; it was much nicer to spend time with a dear friend who likes my company!

Today I was doing some sewing in my room at the front of our house, and a movement outside caught my eye.  I grabbed my camera and took this photo through the window of the beautiful King Parrot.
 Then I went outside to take some more photos, as he didn't seem concerned at my presence.  The other photos are on my birds blog here.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Nillumbik Shire's Artists Open Studios.

The Artists Open Studios program has been running in our Shire for a number of years, and although we have lived here for 30 years, I have not got around to visiting any of the studios until last year, when I visited Linda MacAuley. Unfortunately it was a shocker of a day with heavy non stop rain, and that put me off going to any other Studios, as most of them on on steep blocks of land with slippery mud paths.
This year, it was cloudy and raining lightly, but I was determined to have a look at some of the studios in our local area yesterday, and my artist friend Glenda accompanied me. We greatly enjoyed our day; it inspired us both to go home and get stuck into some art work! We only visited the studios closest to where we live in Eltham, as the rain deterred me from driving further out on to some of the unmade roads where other studios are to be found.
Diana Jackson lives only a few blocks from us, and I pass her house every day when I'm out and about, but I just don't think about stopping and having a look in her gallery. So it was a good opportunity to do that yesterday. Diana paints in several mediums, and is also a hair stylist.
Jenni Mitchell is one of Eltham's most well known artists, and rightly so - her work is stunning. She paints mostly in oils, but does venture into other mediums now and then, and teaches any medium that her students wish to learn. Her partner Mervyn Hannan is also very talented; much of his work is in pastel and I asked if he teaches, as I have long wanted to learn how draw properly with pastels. He said that he does an occasional workshop, and suggested I keep an eye on their website to see when the next class is on.
Mary Lou and Chris Pittard are a husband and wife team - they have a big studio in their back yard where Chris makes all the pottery, and Mary Lou paints it. Their work is absolutely breath taking, and I couldn't resist buying a little souvenir. (photograph later)
Next door to Chris and Mary Lou lives Wendy Hicks, who works in textiles. I found myself in textile heaven! Wendy does most of her work on an industrial sewing machine using freehand (not sure if that is the right term?) embroidery, and she has produced such a unique array of fabric items from clothing (belts, vests, brooches) to cushions, covered journals, and many other things. We sympathised with each other over our shared problems with arthritis, which affects us both in our hands, knees and backs. Then she showed me her 'stash room' - floor to ceiling shelves with fabrics, cottons, and all kinds of embellishments - I was gobsmacked!
Today the weather was marginally better, but I had other things to do, so the rest of the studio visits can wait until next year. Instead, I made a start on a quilt top (which you can see here), and cooked a pot of soup and a batch of corn muffins for tea. The soup was carrot, potato and ginger - perfect for a cool night. The corn muffins are made from a recipe that Pam Kellogg posted on her blog some time ago - she calls it the best cornbread recipe you will ever find, and I agree! I've tried a few other corn bread recipes, but hers is definitely the nicest.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

An essay on Time.

When I was a kid, time seemed to drag.  It took forever for Christmas to come around every year.  I thought I'd never grow up to be an adult.  School seemed to go on forever, and I couldn't wait to start work.  Once I turned 20,  my friends started getting married off, and I could hardly wait to join them.  ( A few years later I could hardly wait till I got divorced)   I cruised along happily through my thirties, forties and into my fifties, never worrying or even thinking about getting old. 

Then reality hit me.   I didn't have the rest of my life stretching out in front of me for an eternity!  As I got into my sixties, the arthritis started.   First my neck - the legacy of a motorcycle accident 40 years ago.  Then my lower back - after 10 years of home care (read housework) for elderly and disabled, my spine had enough.  Feet and hands soon followed - probably brought about by riding motorcyles in cold and wet weather for 25 years to and from work.  My fingers and toes would be numb by the time I got to work or back home.

The latest bit of my poor old body to bite the dust is my left knee.  A month ago, my chiropractor noticed it was swollen and asked if it was painful (it wasn't).  He said to get it checked out, and my GP sent me for X-rays and ultra sound.  Last week I got the result.  Extensive osteo arthritis, inflamed bursar, other stuff.  My GP said she was surprised I could even walk.  S--T!  I never felt a thing!  She asked if I'd been kneeling down much, and I said not that I could think of, except to sort out my stash of fabrics when I was getting ready to do a patchwork project.  Or to sort out the dirty washing on the kitchen floor.  She said not to kneel down again.  For goodness thing I never did while I was cleaning houses, was get down on my hands and knees to scrub floors.  One or two clients demanded that I do that, but I flatly refused, and our supervisor supported me.  We were all instructed never to get down on our hands and knees to do housework of any kind!  I have got down to my knees this week to sort dirty washing and my patchwork fabrics - but I compromised and used a cushion to kneel on. 

I have to wear one of those elastic knee supports when I am walking around.  Thank goodness I wear jeans or other pants most of the time, and long skirts now and then.
Another 'first' for me at the doctor's was having an ear syringed.  I woke up one morning with one ear blocked, and couldn't clear it myself.  Thought it might have been an infection, but the GP looked and said no - just a build up of wax.  Is that old age too??  I have always cleaned my ears thoroughly,  despite Ken telling me that earbuds are dangerous.  Pffft.    Anyway, I had the ear syringed, and contrary to what people had been telling me, it was not unpleasant.  I rather enjoyed the gentle swishing sensation in my ear!

I said to Ken when I got home "I feel like an old woman - ears syringed and wearing an elastic leg support!"  He said "Well, you are an old woman".   THANK you, dear husband.  I really did not need to hear that!
So what has brought all this on?  This morning I turned the calendar over to May, and thought no, it can't be.  Where is the year going?  It will be Christmas again in a minute.
Do any of you feel like your lives are flying by so fast it's out of your control?   I thought when I retired I'd have all the time in the world.   I suppose I do, but I'm darned if I know what happens to it.

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