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.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Our house, before and after painting.

This is before, with the drab faded 37 year old mission brown window frames (we've never had the house painted before - too hard to get up to those windows!) The fascia across the top was originally brown too, but when we got the new roof this year, the timber was covered with metal.

Today the front has been finished, with the metal fascia painted to blend with the window frames.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New house!

Well, it is starting to look that way.  Stan the Painter has been beavering away on his own for the past three weeks or so and he estimates it will be finished this weekend bar a final inspection and a few finishing touches.  We are very happy with the way it looks, and I went mad in the yard a couple of days ago after Stan had finished for the day.  I raked and swept and brushed cobwebs for about two hours, and when Ken asked why I said because we have this you-beaut looking home now, and the garden is a disgrace!

This is the back half of the east side of the house.  Our house is a fairly simple oblong shape.

  This is the back half of the west side, with our bedroom on the left of the photo and the other windows are part of the lounge room.  All that mess on the ground is Stan's equipment under a sheet.

Stan was very careful with our possums.  When he first started painting the back half, they took off for the other end.  Once he had finished this section where they normally sleep, they came back again once the paint was dry in a day or so!  
These photos are a bit too bright; the colour looks orange, but is actually closer to the first photo which is more muted.  We tried to match it to the red brick and it looks perfect.
I'll save the front of the house photo for next week when he has finished, as I've taken a "Before" shot, so you can compare it with the "After" version.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Looks like there are still a few friends who read this blog, so I guess I'll keep it going a bit longer.  I was thinking of closing it down and just having the stitching and linens blog active, but that would actually be inconvenient to myself because I use this blog as a reminder of what to write about to my PENpal overseas who don't have email!

My friend Char has had an operation to insert a colostomy bag, and now has to face five weeks of radiation and chemotherapy to kill the tumour in her bowel.  She says her surgeon is optimistic about her chances of recovery, so she is optimistic too.  (She's that kind of person).  She loved the shoulder bag I made for her Ipad.  The first one was big enough for the Ipad on its own, but not with the hard case, so I made her a slightly bigger one, and that is a perfect fit.  I took it into the hospital for her, as she had her Ipad there, and she was tickled pink!  She said "Nobody's going to mistake this for anyone else's property.  There wouldn't be any other Ipad bags with Elvis on!"

Ken has now had both eyes fixed - cataracts removed.  He is so pleased with his new eyes - he keeps telling me what he can see that he missed before, like dirty marks and dust around the house.  I told him he shouldn't have had the cataracts removed, if he was going to pick on my housework (or lack of)!  He's been going to pulmonary rehab at the Austin Hospital, and they've been trying to impress on him the need for regular exercise.  At first he didn't want to know about it - said he was always so tired he didn't have the energy to exercise.  But the message has finally sunk in, and while we don't go for as many walks as the hospital staff have suggested, he makes up for it by walking around shopping centres non stop for 10 minutes if we are out shopping.  Or if he goes on a bike ride with his mates, he will walk around for a while when they've stopped somewhere.

We've both got hearing aids too...oh shit, we are getting OLD  :-(    These were at the instigation of the Australian government Hearing Services Program which provides free hearing tests, and if needed, hearing aids.  I went in to have my hearing tested just out of curiosity, and they told me my hearing was mildly impaired, which is to be expected at my age...humph.  I didn't want to pay for something that I didn't think was necessary, so they provided me with the free hearing aids (basic cheapies) which I have used once but not again, as the buzzing drove me nuts.  Ken went for a test and they found he was nearly deaf in one ear, which he knew already, and he opted to pay $1000 for top of the range hearing aids, which he wears when he remembers to put them in!

On the renovations front, we've been having the exterior of our house painted.  It hasn't been done since it was built in 1975, so it is long overdue, but we haven't had the money until now.  It is costing over $6000, but as we watch what a difference it is making, we realise it will be worth every cent.  Our house is brick veneer, with timber window frames and doors, and they were all "Mission Brown" - so retro, as people would tell us!  But we liked it.  It is now being painted a colour called "Pinjarra" which is a kind of terra cotta colour, and it has given the house a real lift.  I've taken some photos, and will post them here soon.

The interior has to be painted too - only the ceilings, as the walls are mostly brick, cedar panelling or wall papered.  I'd love to tear all the wall paper down, but that would be a hell of a job, and we'd have to move so much furniture to do it, so we are prepared to live with that.  Whoever buys the house in future can deal with it!

I've been doing a few art and craft workshops, and will probably update that blog some time soon too if anyone is interested in that.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Distressing news of a close friend.

I've just posted this on my stitching blog, but am reposting it here for the few readers who are still following this one and don't read the other. I made a patchwork gift for a friend recently, but haven't been able to give it to her. We were going to catch up a few weeks ago, but I hadn't heard from her until today. She emailed me to apologise for not being in touch earlier, but she is 'a bit upset' at the moment. She has just been diagnosed with rectoral cancer which is spreading to her liver. I can't begin to describe how upset I am. We have been friends since we were 15 years old, and have gone through many ups and downs (and marriages) and been there for each other, although we've never lived close by. At the moment they are about an hour's drive from us. Sometimes we don't talk for a few months, and Ken will ask if we've had an argument. We've NEVER had an argument! We are such good mates that we don't need to be on each other's doorstep all the time; when we do catch up it's like we talked to each other only a few days ago. A very comfortable friendship. We spoke on the phone tonight and she was as chirpy as ever. She said that if she has to wear a 'bum bag' for the rest of her life, at least she'll be alive! She isn't even contemplating dying at this stage. Her hubby is not taking it well at all, and Ken had a long chat to him tonight. We are hoping to visit them in the next few days and she is looking forward to having her Ipad bag! So, I might not be around here for a little while.

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