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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Johnston Collection.

Friend Val invited me to accompany her to visit the Johnston Collection yesterday (Monday). The Johnston Collection is a small museum in Melbourne - click on the link to read about it. We have been there before, but the collection is changed several times a year, so you don't always see the same things when you go there.

There is of course a gift shop attached to the museum with any number of beautiful things on sale. I always get caught opening my wallet! This time I bought two packets of paper napkins (they have some of the best paper napkins around)
And this little book on the origin and traditions of drinking tea. It has some fascinating old photos and vintage poster reproductions inside, as well as interesting anecdotes. I thought I would put it on show with my teapots and teacosies at the Bundoora Homestead Tea Party in March. And the teapot paper napkins as well.
And, this gorgeous pack of notelets with an early American crazy patchwork quilt on the front. Two of them have already been promised to friends!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Australia Day 2012


Ken and I have hosted an Australia Day party every year at our home for many years (except last year when Ken was ill). We are both very patriotic, and I love to dress up our house with the Aussie flag and other items featuring icons relating to Australia. This year I bought a huge flag at Aldi's, and tacked it on the fence outside our home. Ken said I was crazy, it would get stolen, but I had more faith in my fellow Australians, and it stayed there until I took it off about 7 pm that night.

Unfortunately, a percentage of Australian Aboriginal people (I would say a minority) refer to 26th January as 'Invasion Day', and stage protests around the country on the day. Up till this year they have been peaceful protests, tolerated by the rest of the country, but on Thursday it was very unpleasant in Canberra, our capital city. The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were abused by a few Aboriginal protesters, who also made a point of burning a flag, which I (and many others) find very offensive. Ken said a white person should have grabbed one of their (Aboriginal) flags and burnt it, and see how they liked it. Probably just as well that didn't happen. The do-gooders and the media would have pounced on that as being racist. Duh. There have been many forums on the net discussing this issue, with hundreds of comments, and I rather liked this response:
What a disgraceful effort against our country's leading politicians! When are the aborigines going to accept that we are all Australians? The human race has been migrating around this planet, and occupying other human tribal lands for tens of thousands of years. It's not new, and it's not very nice, but is IS a natural process. We can all make the effort to love this country together, or we can let the situation degenerate into the mess we saw yesterday.

In the meantime, we enjoyed ourselves with a dozen friends in our backyard, on a perfect sunny day. No BBQ (too hot!), but delicious cold salads, scrumptious desserts, and freely flowing bubbly wine, beer and soft drinks.
I was so busy I forgot to take photos until the last minute, and only got one or two reasonable ones. Here are some of our mates relaxing under our new gazebo.
This is the gazebo the next day - we are leaving it standing for the next few days, as the weather forecast is hot, and it will help to keep that side of the house a bit cooler.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My plans for the coming year.

I did not make any new year resolutions, and I am not setting 'goals' for myself this year. But I am planning to do a few things that I've been wanting to do for years, such as learning to draw and paint. I derived such enjoyment from the Owls drawing workshop I took last year, that I've booked myself into another workshop in February with the same artist. This time we will be drawing Rainbow Lorikeets.

Another art media I've never had any formal lessons in is with oils and acrylic paints. So I've booked into a six week course at the Eltham Living And Learning Centre, to learn how to paint using acrylic paints. I also want to take a course in using watercolours, but that will have to wait until later in the year when the next syllabus for the Living And Learning Centre is released, as there were no classes in watercolour painting in the first term.

In my usual impatient style, I couldn't wait until the classes before I tried out my new acrylic paints! So after browsing through a heap of books borrowed from the library, I decided I knew enough to have a go. This is what I painted today - a pair (male and female) of Gouldian Finches. I printed off a couple of photos I'd taken earlier, and based my painting on those images.


I've got a long way to go before I'm ready to put my stuff in the Homecrafts Show where I show my stitching, but who knows? Maybe by the end of this year I'll be competent enough to do so.

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