Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".



Monday, 15 January 2018

Summar salad days

It is summer over here down-under in Australia. Australian's love the beach, though I don't frequent the beach in summer so much these days, except when I am on holidays. I tend to stay indoors in the summer out of the burning rays of the sun.

 And when the hot days of summer hit the last thing I feel like doing is cooking. So that's when the salads come out. I have a particular favourite which I often make when we are invited to a BBQ and are asked to "bring a salad" to share. It is common here in Australia to "bring a salad to share". Is that something that happens where you live? 

Anyways, today I thought I would share my salad. I always receive favourable compliments. 

WALDORF COLESLAW - from the Margaret Fulton Encyclopedia of Food & Cookery - 1983

- about half a small cabbage, finely shredded.
- 4 shallots chopped, including green tops.
- 2 sticks celery, chopped.
- about half a green capsicum, cored, seeded and chopped - though I prefer to use a red one to add a dash a colour to the salad.
- 1 Granny Smith green apple, cored and chopped, don't peel. - I often use a red apple for the added colour.
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces 
- a couple of tablespoons mayonnaise or sour cream

 Dressing -  1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, salt & freshly ground pepper, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk together or as I do shake together in a small crew top jar.

Combine the cabbage, shallots, celery, capsicum and apple into a salad bowl and add sultanas. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Add to the bowl and mix. 
 Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so - or however long you have before you want to serve. At serving time add mayonnaise or sour cream, sprinkle with walnuts and toss. 


This is a great salad for children or those who don't like "green" vegetables. I invented it some years ago for my son, and we still make it whenever we are making salads, especially if there are going to be children around. Your children could easily make this themselves as it is super easy to make.

1 grated carrot, 
about half to one cup grated cheese, 
a handful of sultanas, 
a handful of sunflower seeds, 
a bit of finely chopped red onion (optional)
I also sometimes add a few finely chopped sprouts (token green)

Just mix all together. Easy peesy!

Last week we took a drive down to Busselton for the day and went to the Humingbird Restaurant for lunch. Their restaurant is delightfully light and airy, perfect for a light summer lunch. 
I loved their Roast Pumpkin Quiche - roasted pumpkin, goats cheese, caramelized onion, spinach, and walnuts. With some yummy chutney on the side.

 Another great easy meal to put together is a browsing platter - don't reserve this for just when you go out. You can easily put one together at home. Ok, I didn't make this one at home.

 In the middle of the year we picked olives from a friend's property. We are just starting to eat them.  After the long soaking in the brine solution phase, I just fill a jar with olives, pour over olive oil and a few herbs. Leave in the fridge for a couple of days, and then eat. Delicious.

 If I am lucky during the summer my husband might bring home a few crayfish from a dive trip. Best eaten freshly caught and cooked and eaten straight away. Yum. 

 Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you have a favourite summer salad? Perhaps you would like to share in the comments. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also like - Summer is here - Zucchini pickle & a salad recipe

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection
  Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too!  


Sunday, 7 January 2018

How to make a Kusudama flower ball

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog. How is your 2018 going?
Whether you are in the depths of winter or the heat of summer in January, it might be a time for staying indoors out of the weather, and doing a little crafting, so hence my blog post for today.

How to make a Kusudama ball. 
I must admit that until I read my copy of "Breathe" magazine a few months back I had never heard of a Kusudama ball. which is a traditional Japanese decoration that can be hung to twirl in the breeze.

According to British Origami Society - "Kusudama (medicine ball) is believed to have originated in the Heaian Period (794 - 1192). At first fragrant woods and herbs were placed in a small cloth bag, which was decorated with blossoms of sobu or iris and other flowers. Long silk threads of five different colours were attached to it. This was hung in the house on May 5 to dispel evil spirits and disease."

According to Wikipedia -
"The word itself is a combination of two Japanese words kusuri, Medicine, and tama, Ball."

 My magazine supplied instructions. They showed a flower made from coloured paper, you could use origami or patterned paper, but I decided to up-cycle pages from an old book. 

 For your ball you will need to make 12 flowers with each flower having 5 petals made from 5 squares of paper. I gave instructions for making these flowers last year. Click here to learn how by following the easy step by step instructions - How to make a simple paper flower

The folding tool you see in the lower right hand corner is really good for getting those folds firm. The size of the finished ball will depend on the size of your pages. My squares were about 13cm x 13cm.

Follow illustrated step by step instructions on my blog here - How to make a simple paper flower

  Glue each petal together, and then glue the five petals together at the centres to form a 5 petaled flower.  Unlike the paper flowers I showed you how to make last year, there is no stick up the middle.

When you have made 12 flowers you are ready to assemble the ball. Apply a line of glue to the back edge of one of the flower petals (a hot glue gun is good for this) and press a second flower to it, holding until the glue sets. Then run a line of glue down the join between the two flowers and attach a third flower, holding the three together till the glue sets. 
Repeat to make 4 sets of 3 flowers.

Now glue the 4 sets of 3 flowers together to make a ball. Glue a length of ribbon between the flowers  to make a hanger. 

There are other flower shapes they also use to make kusudama flower balls. Search on the net and see what you can find.  I found this one you see below here - how-to-make-beautiful-origami-kusudama-flowers/

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 

Monday, 1 January 2018

And so 2018 begins

Today is the first day of 2018. Usually when I blog this time of year I look back with a summary of the past year. But today I am sharing just a small selection of my photos from 2017, as I doubt you really want to hear about what I have been up to, and anyways you can always go to my Index, or my Blog Archive list on the RHside there. So here are just a few pics from 2017....

 When I looked back to find some photos for this post, I realised we had had a very good year overall. I enjoyed scrolling back through memories of my year through my photos. Now we are retired we have had the chance to do some travel and for me, at least, to explore some arts and crafts that I have wanted to try.

I think these three quotes I found on the net sums it up...... 

 "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - CS Lewis

 "It’s so important to never stop playing ... to never stop learning or being inspired by new people and new challenges". Instagram.com/christicarterphoto/

"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life." - Amy Poehler, Harvard University from Sweetpeapath.blogspot 

I think the pinnacle of 2017 for me was being contracted to supply gifts featuring my photography for the visiting Setagya Sister City contingent and being awarded the "Colour Image of the Year", and runner-up "Photographer of the Year" at my photography group.

I wonder what 2018 will bring. For me I wish for the simple pleasures of time spent with family and friends making precious memories, and for good health and being able to enjoy my life in whatever direction it takes me. To be open to new ideas and experiences. To keep learning and being inspired. 

I will strive not to judge others, to be compassionate, and to be a good person. To be a good friend, wife, sister, mother and grandmother. To be there to help whoever needs me whenever I can. To be a good listener and to be shoulder to cry on when needed. 

With so much unrest and tragedy around the world, both natural disasters and man-made, I pray for peace, and hope that leaders and countries can sit down together calmly and peacefully to sort out their differences. There is always a better, more peaceful, way to resolve differences.

It was pointed out to me today by some friends from Europe that just because we might do things differently to those in other countries, doesn't mean we or they are right or wrong, it is just different. I don't think anyone has the right to push their beliefs on others, as long as human rights are not being violated and people can move about and think and speak freely and safely. 

And I hope we as individuals, and countries all around the world as a whole, can work together towards slowing down global warming. The future of our planet depends on it.

Finally, remember last year has gone, the past cannot be changed, and tomorrow is still waiting to be written. 

I wish you all a safe, healthy and happy 2018 and time spent making precious memories. 
Do you have plans, dreams or aspirations for the year ahead? Perhaps you would like to tell us about them in the comments.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Life in Reflection


Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too! 


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A Christmas wish

Wishing everyone around the world peace, love and light to wash away the darkness.  

And a beautiful hymn-  Enya- Silent Night 

Monday, 18 December 2017

20 things to do with kids over the school holidays that won't break the bank

Looking for free or cheap ideas to keep the kids amused over the school holidays?

The summer school holidays have begun here in Australia, and we like many grandparents across the country, help out our children while they are at work, by looking after our grandies for at least some of the school holidays. The years rush by so quickly, that before we know it our grandies won't want to come, or have reached the age when they don't need to come, to Grandma and Pop's house over the holidays, so we are very happy for them to come over for the day/s or for sleepovers throughout the holidays. I think as Grandparents we have more time for our grandchildren and appreciate these precious visits when the kids are not with us 24/7.

This old photo of my eldest son with his grandmother (my husband's mother) was taken in 1982. It is one of my favourite photos as it shows their shared joy - making precious memories together.  I hope we can make precious memories for our grandchildren too.   

But how to keep children amused over the holidays without breaking the bank? Electronic and computer games are so much a part of our grandchildren's world, and I am happy for them to do this for a short time during the day, but not ALL day. We try to get them out to do something active or hands-on in the morning at least, and then if they want to watch a movie or play a computer game in the afternoon for a while, I am ok with that. By then I probably need a break too!

There are heaps of ideas out there on the net of things to do with kids on the school holidays, but here are a few to get you started. 

1. Reading - I am very happy to say that both my grandies love reading and always bring books with them, as well as reading books which I have at home. A visit to your local library will most likely turn up books they haven't seen before.

2 - Our library also has free holidays programs for children.  Here's a Christmas tree model from a class they have held at our library in the last couple of weeks. 
Our local art centre also has a summer school program that includes some activities for school age children. You never know they might discover a new interest by going to these workshops.

3. While you are in the library I suggest you grab a kids book of science experiments.  Here are a couple our grandies did today - 

Turning a white rose blue (just put food colouring in a jar of water), and growing salt crystals.

4.  You could also borrow a kids craft book, or go to your local craft supplier and purchase a kit. Last Christmas we made these stars from wooden clothes pegs. I have a box of craft bits and pieces to delve into for when they are feeling creative.  

5 - Get them in the kitchen and have fun baking

6 -  Get Doodling - our library also held a doodling workshop. A selection of coloured pencils and pens can help lead to creative doodling without buying a colouring book. 

7 -  Or perhaps you can help them make something on grandma's old treadle sewing machine! My grandson was keen to find out how it worked so out with the bag a material scraps and we made him a "belt" with pockets for his Pokemon cards.

8 -  We had lots of fun this afternoon making and flying paper planes. We just used recylcled (printed on one side) A4 paper which I keep in a box under my computer.

9 -  It is amazing the fun they had painting and decorating these refrigerator boxes last summer when we bought a new fridge and freezer. This is probably a "shirts off" activity!

10 - Don't forget outdoor activities like the park which are free!   

11 -  The beach is a great place for outdoor play or perhaps you have a boat for fishing or towing the kids around in a tube. Don't forget the slip slop slap wrap - slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses.
Making sandcastles is for any age, and my friend who is on holidays just posted about making Christmas wreaths with her children on the beach from found bits and pieces. 

12 -  jetty fishing -   but I hope you do better fishing than we did on this particular day. Pop is always on hand to tie on a new hook. Follow up with a couple of dollars worth of hot chips for lunch.

13 -   If it is not too hot you can go bushwalking, but you might need to buy an ice cream at the end of it. With so many kids living in cities and suburbia it is great to get them out in the bush for bush play and camping.  

14 - Bonus points if you happen to have access to a farm with old drums they can bang as loud as they like and bits of old machinery to climb on!

Or if you live in a fruit or vegetable growing area, some growers have a "come and pick your own" day. It's a great way for kids to find out where their fruit comes from. 

15 -  Ok this one isn't free, but if you have a bird or animal park in your area, you can easily spend several hours here. Take a picnic with you instead of buying lunch.

16 -  Check out your local art gallery or museum for the latest exhibitions. This was a fascinating interactive display, where the children pressed the buttons on the computer pad to bring in different parts of the orchestra.   

17 -   Whilst you are in town check out the street art or have fun with street photography, perhaps with a theme - there are shapes, patterns, reflections, signs, stairs, doors, windows, everywhere!  

18 -   Back at home there are always board games or a jig-saw puzzle or puzzle books. 

  19 - I almost hesitate to say that we did this ....but there is even helping Pop paint the fence, but you probably need to give them a "reward" at the end of it. But it doesn't need to be an expensive reward - an icypole or a swim at the beach or watching a movie at home are all cheap rewards.
20 - Is there a Gnomesville near you? Take your gnome out to join in. Check out my blog on the Ferguson Valley Gnomesville here  -   Down in the woods today

21 - And more! Happy to spend a bit of money? - there is always the movies (or put a movie on at home, don't forget the popcorn - they can make it in the microwave), or go tenpin bowling, or go to a maze, or theme park or tourist attraction, or start learning to play a musical instrument! 

This was at Amaze'n in Margaret River.

 Here are some more ideas I found on the net -  

Stay at home mum.com -50-cheap-school-holiday-activities
Be a Fun Mum.com - 100-school-holiday-activity-ideas 

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope my little list will give you a few ideas to get the ideas flowing for school holiday activities. If you have girls, your list might be totally different to this. Have you got any school holiday ideas you'd like to share in the comments? 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. Just click down here to comment too!