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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Getting old and decrepit.

I wrote in my Stitching Blog that I have 'lost my mojo' for sewing at the moment.  In addition to the reasons I gave before, I now have a physical problem that has prevented me from doing any kind of sewing by hand or on a machine.  I had a motorcycle accident about 40 years ago in which my neck was nearly broken.  As the doctors and other specialists have put it over the years when they see X rays of my neck, "You've really trashed your neck!"  It will be fine for a year or so, then I'll get an episode of severe pain where a nerve is pinched by some of the vertebrae which are degenerating over time.   In the past month I have had 8 chiropractic treatments, four acupuncture treatments, dozens of remedial massages, and taken Panadeine Forte, Valium, Nurofen, and whatever else I can find that might kill pain.  It is finally all beginning to take effect, and tonight is the first time I've been able to sit here and type for more than a few minutes.
The doctors are all telling me now that I will eventually have to have surgery to fix my neck, "but don't worry - surgical techniques have come a long way in the last few years, and it is not as invasive as it used to be."
Hmmm.   Time will tell.  

At this stage I can still paint and draw, although I get a bit headachy when my head is bent over my work without a break every few minutes, so I have to watch that.   I started the first class of six last week at the Eltham Living and Learnng Centre.  The course is called "Drawing for Fun" but the way I was feeling, it wasn't much fun!  We had to draw a border around a sheet of paper then throw it over our shoulder.  Next we had to draw all over another sheet of paper in any way we liked (I did a kind of zentangle design).  The tutor called these exercises 'warming up'.  Yup....
Then we were told to draw a knife, fork and spoon from memory.  After we'd finished that, she handed out a set of cutlery and a napkin to each person, and instructed us to set them up any way we liked, and draw them.  This exercise made sense to me - interesting to see how one draws something from memory, then from reality.  I hope I feel beter this time next week.  I think I would have had more enthusiasm for the class if I hadn't beem feeling so ill, and I'm sure once I'm back to my normal cheerfu self, I'll be able to enjoy the class.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

100th Birthday celebration.

Ken's Mum would have turned 100 years old tomorrow if she was still alive.  To tell the truth, I'd already forgotten the significance of the date, but naturally, Ken and his sister hadn't.  They hadn't said anything about planning to acknowledge the day, but I suspect they may have been planning to go out to the crematorium to visit the spot where MIL's ashes are interred.  In the meantime, one of SIL's children (who is actually nearly 40 now) decided to have a barbecue at his home to mark the day, so that's where we will be going tomorrow.  I doubt if C. will be able to have a BBQ though;  the forecast is for another hot day like today (34 degC), and if that is correct, it will be a total fireban day, so no BBQ.  Hopefully C has contingency plans and we can stay indoors and have salads. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More crafty stuff.

Wondering if I should start yet another blog for my non fabric, I won't.  I did that for my sketching a year or so ago, and that blog is gathering cyberspace dust now.
Val showed me how to make some more cute origami last week.  A man's shirt, and hearts made out of bank notes.
Well, not real ones, although the original instructions used actual American dollars bills.  Mine are made from the pages of a souvenir notepad which has imitation Aussie bank notes printed on one side.

 Today we attended a full day workshop at Melbourne University which is where the Calligraphy Society hold their meetings and workshops.  Val is more interested in making cards than I am, but I decided to tag along just for the fun of it.  There were about 10 ladies in the group and we thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Here is our tutor Marg, with a few of her card creations on the table.   She took us through the makings of six of them, and the following photos are my own work.:

 Each card had a different technique, and we only scratched the surface.  I can see why people become addicted to card making!

Marg had made each of us individual name plates.  Next time I go somewhere that I need a name tag I'll be taking this!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Back on line.

As you saw by my previous post, I'm back on track with posting text and pictures thanks to a very good friend who is a genius with computers.  He is someone who was a friend of ours about 20 years ago, but moved away, and has only returned to Melbourne a year or so ago.  We happened to mention that we were having computer problems, and he offered to have a look.  To cut a long story short, it seems that Internet Explorer may have been the cause of my problems, so he changed me over to Mozilla Firefox, and everything is now A OK.  Ken and I have several friends who are fantastic with computers, and we have been very lucky to have them helping us with various issues over the years.   Thanks guys - you know who you are ;-)

I've noticed a few bloggers writing about the problems they have been having with Blogger.  Well, maybe it isn't Blogger's fault; if you are using Internet Explorer, why not install Mozilla Firefox and give them a go?  I've been hearing bad vibes about IE for a few years, but up till now I never had any problems, so I didn't take any notice.  No harm in trying something else.

Glad so many of you liked the napkin CDs.  I should have mentioned in that post, that the glue you use for the napkins is important - it has to be the white PVA type glue such as Mod Podge - not clear craft glue or glue sticks.  There is a specific glue for sticking paper napkins to things, but it is expensive, and Mod Podge is just as good.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Crafty stuff with paper napkins and old CDs.

My clever friend Val is always finding something new and interesting to make. She covered a CD with a napkin, wrote a message on the back, put it into an origami envelope and posted it to me. I just had to learn how it was all done! Take an old CD or DVD.
Find a pretty paper napkin.  (I buy packets of them at $2 shops, and have a box full to choose from)
This is the one Val made for me.  Separate the napkin layers and use only the top printed layer.  Glue it on to one side of the CD.  Val crushed hers for this effect, and then rubbed gold paint lightly over it.
Glue plain paper or tissue paper to the other side of the CD and write your message.
Make up an envelope using four paper circles...I'm not going to give lessons here!!

Here are my first three.  They all have destinations!

adopt your own virtual pet!