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, 20 February 2017

Being grateful for life in the retirement fast lane

 Whoever said life in retirement was boring certainly wasn't getting out and making the most of all there is to offer. Seriously? I was amazed when a retiree I knew advised me not to stop work because she was so bored in retirement she went back to work!  Like many other recent retirees I know, life for me has never been so busy, I haven't regretted retiring for a minute, and I don't know how I had time to work. Do any of my retiree readers feel like that? What do your retirement years look like?

When I was given redundancy back in April 2014, I took it as a positive and called it early retirement. An exciting new future had opened its doors for me where I could explore interests in my life which working had kept on the back burner.

So because life is running so full at the moment, I only have time this week to bring you just a small snapshot of the last couple of months ....

Last week I was exploring Sydney - more pics and stories to come!

I am reading - Girl with a Pearl Earring - by Tracey Chevalier - the poignant story of the girl behind Johannes Vermeer's 1665 painting. History doesn't actually record who the girl in the pearl earring is. Tracey Chevalier did a lot of research before writing this book, which also contains photo plates and background to many other Vermeer paintings. 

I am listening to - Dami Im - singing classic Carpenters. The Carpenters were favourites of mine in the 1970's and this CD, a birthday gift late last year from my eldest son, brings those innocent days back to me. 

I watched the movie Lion - based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, tells the story of how five year old Saroo gets lost on a train in India, living on the streets until being adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later, with a handful of memories, unwavering determination, and Google Earth, he searches for his home.

I am experimenting with - eco dyeing and creative stitchery with Jane Flower from Folios and Fibre

I prepared photos for the  - "the end of" photography topic for the photography group I belong to

I am contributing photos to - a new Ferguson Valley tourist map

I am sorting - Kimberley photos from last year. I really DO need to get that photo book done and some more magazine articles written.

I am writing - a submission for the 'Short and Twisted' anthology, I am preparing to run a couple of introductory photography workshops in our area, and I need to get back to sorting out some photos for an Australian mapping company.

I am enjoying -  a Food Photography Facebook closed group I joined late last year  - and in January I was preserving apricots and making apricot jam from the apricot tree in our garden. There is nothing like fresh picked stone fruit in summer. Our grapes are still a couple of weeks away, following a strange summer weather wise, and then I'll be into making grape jam. I am thinking of drying some this year to put on cheese platters. Have you ever dried them?

I am celebrating - with my daughter in law, who has just graduated from her Bachelor of Nursing studies, which she has studied part-time for the past five years. She won the award for the top student in the Edith Cowan University School of Nursing Midwifery for 2016. Jen also gave a wonderful speech on behalf of the Bunbury ECU graduates at the graduation, in which she remembered her Mum who passed away from Leukemia in 2008, and the huge contribution her husband Paul, and her two young sons, have made towards helping her achieve her goal. We are so proud of Jen and the way Paul has supported her over the past 5 years.

I am preparing to dance - at the Bunbury Multi-cultural Festival next weekend with Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company. 

 I am excited - about my new photo greeting cards that have just arrived.....

And lastly, but by far not least, I am grateful for the love and support of my family, and for being blessed with the health and ability to enjoy all of these things in retirement. I know I am extremely lucky, and I am so grateful for that. There are many that do not have the opportunity or health to go out and explore this big beautiful world. 

And do you know what, writing this blog post has been a great little exercise for me. I have been down in the dumps the last few weeks because I have been suffering from a painful and reoccurring De-Quervains in my left hand (not my dominant hand thank goodness) and it has hampered some of my activities, particularly getting out with my camera.  So this little exercise of looking back at what I have been doing has actually helped me realise that I have still been busy, and that I have much to be grateful for. 

How does retirement look for you? Perhaps you would like to tell us in your 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!


Mosaic Monday 
Life Thru the Lens 

Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
The Weekly Postcard 
Sky Watch Friday

Saturday, 28 January 2017

26th January is Australia Day - How Australian Are You?

26th January was Australia Day, the day when we celebrate what it is to be Australian, enjoying time with family and friends, and celebrating multi-culturalism, and everything that makes Australia the wonderful place it is to live.  

On Australia Day lots of Aussies celebrate with barbecue (BBQs), go to the beach, play sport, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy fireworks if they are being held in their city.  The Australia Day Awards are also presented to Australians and groups who have contributed significantly to our country and communities, and there are also Citizenship ceremonies for those migrants who are wishing to become Australian citizens today.

 Surrounded by ocean we live in a landscape that is very diverse from snow capped mountains to deserts. We also have unique plants and wildlife. And we live in relative safety and can enjoy fresh air and wide open spaces, whilst enjoying everything that a mix of cultures brings with it.

  The other day I saw a Quiz on  Middle Aged Mama blog, and I thought I would share it with you. My apologies to all you non-Aussies out there that might follow my blog. But keep reading as you may find it enlightening!  

Quiz: How Australian are You?

How many of these have you done? Instead of ticking them off, I’ve highlighted the ones I’ve done in bold …. Sorry the numbers mucked up when I added the photos - there should be 100 questions.
  1. Heard a kookaburra in person.
  2. Slept under the stars.
  3. Seen a koala.
  4. Visited Melbourne.
  5. Watched a summer thunderstorm.
  6. Worn a pair of thongs (flip-flops for the non-Aussies).
  7. Been to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) (you can see Uluru in the rh-corner of the collage above)
  8. Visited Cape York - tip of Queensland.
  9. Held a snake. (no thanks! but seen lots in the wild! and been right up close to one in a controlled environment
  10. Highly venomous, Western King Brown, in the wild
  11. Sang along with Khe San. (Khe Sanh (The last plane out of Sydney) lyrics from Cold Chisel's 2011 Light the Nitro tour - Cold Chisel - Khe Sanh)
  12. Drank VB. (Might have had a taste - but no I don't like beer - very un-Aussie!)
  13. Visited Sydney.
  14. Have seen a shark.
  15. Have used Aussie slang naturally in a conversation.
  16. Had an actual conversation with an indigenous Australian.
  17. Eaten hot chips wrapped in butcher's paper at the beach.
  18. Walked/climbed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (or I will be soon!)
  19. Used an outside dunny (toilet - also known as a "long drop" because everything just drops into a deep hole under the seat), and checked under the seat for spiders before sitting down.
    Out back dunny
  21. Seen Chloe in Young & Jackson’s.  (it’s an old nude painting in a bar in Melbourne - haven't seen it in person, but have see a picture of the painting)
  22. Slept on an overnight train or bus. (I've slept in the front seat of car in a carpark)
  23. Been to Sydney’s Mardi Gras.
  24. Have gone bush-bashing. (driving through the bush in a 4-wheel drive)
  25. Taken a sickie (day off work when you are not sick).
  26. Been to see a game of Aussie Rules football.
  27. Have seen wild camels.
  28. Wild camels
  29. Gone skinny dipping. (swum in the nude)
  30. Done a Tim Tam Slam. (ie drank hot chocolate up through a Tim Tam biscuit - ask Mr Google and you will know what I mean)
  31. Ridden in a tram in Melbourne.
  32. Been at an ANZAC day Dawn Service.
  33. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
  34. Held a wombat. (not held - but seen in the wild)
  35. Been on a road trip of 800km or more.
  36. Seen the Great Australian Bight in person.
  37. The Great Australian Bight
  38. Had a really bad sunburn. (well - redder than I should have been anyway)
  39. Visited an Aboriginal community.
  40. Seen a redback spider.
  41. Have watched Paul Hogan.
  42. Seen Blue Poles in person. (Blue Poles by American painter Jackson Pollock was one of Australia's most controversial art acquisitions)
  43. Wandered barefoot in the bush/outback. (wandered but not barefoot)
  44. Eaten Vegemite.
  45. Thrown a boomerang.
  46. Seen the Kimberleys, Western Australia
  47. The Kimberley from the air
  48. Given a hitch-hiker a lift.
  49. Been to Perth.
  50. Have tried Lemon, Lime and Bitters.
  51. Tried playing a didgeridoo.
  52. Seen dinosaur footprints.
  53. Eaten Tim Tams.
  54. Been to Darwin.
  55. Touched a kangaroo.
  56. Visited the Great Barrier Reef. (no, but been to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia)
  57. Listened to Kevin Bloody Wilson (unfortunately).
  58. Killed a Cane Toad (no but my husband has)
  59. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
  60. Have read and own books by Australian authors. 
  61. Visited Adelaide.
  62. Been camping (lots!)
  63. Camping on the Nullabor
  64. Know the story behind the movie “Eternity”.
  65. Visited Brisbane.
  66. Been in an outback pub (yes on the Oodnadatta track)
  67. Know what the term “Waltzing Matilda” actually means.
  68. Gone whale watching
  69. Listened to Slim Dusty.
  70. Own five or more Australian movies or TV series.
  71. Sang along to Down Under by Men at Work. Down Under
  72. Have stopped specifically to look at an historic marker by the side of the road.
  73. Eaten a 4 N 20 pie.
  74. Surfed at Bondi. (been there but didn't go in)
  75. Watched the cricket on Boxing Day. (Probably, but not by choice)
  76. Visited Hobart.
  77. Eaten kangaroo.
  78. Seen a quokka
  79. Quokka at Rottnest
  80. Visited Canberra.
  81. Visited rainforests.
  82. Used a Victa lawnmower.
  83. Travelled on a tram in Adelaide.
  84. Used a Hills hoist.
  85. Visited Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
  86. Used native Australian plants in cooking.
  87. Visited the snow.
  88. Chosen a side in the Holden VS Ford debate.
  89. Visited the desert.
  90. Been water skiing.
  91. Read The Phantom comics (why – is it Australian? I never knew that!)
  92. Visited Parliament House.
  93. Gone spotlighting or pig-shooting.
  94. Crossed the Nullarbor.
  95. Eyre Highway, the Nullabor
  96. Avoided swimming in areas because of crocodiles.
  97. Listened to AC/DC.
  98. Called someone a dag. ( An Australian slang term. A dag is technically the matted wool on a sheep's tail, but in typical usage throughout Australia, it refers to people who don't have a neat, tidy or cultured appearance. It can also refer to a person who tends to be quite informal. It is not necessarily a derogatory term in modern usage)
  99. Voted in a Federal Election.
  100. Have been swimming and stayed between the flags.
  101. Had a possum in your roof.
  102. Visited the outback. 
  103. views from the Kennedy Ranges, Western Australia
  104. Travelled over corrugated roads.
  105. Hit a kangaroo while driving (no - but close!)
  106. Been well outside any mobile phone coverage.
  107. Seen an emu in the wild.
  108. Have woken to the smell of bushfires.
  109. Patted a pure-bred dingo. (no - but have seen them in the wild)
  110. Seen Australian rock band, Midnight Oil, live.
I’ve managed 82 out of 100  …
Now it’s your turn  Aussies – are you more Australian than me?!

Many thanks to  Middle Aged Mamma's blog for this quiz, who in turn found it on a blog several years ago and kept it. Evidently it was doing the rounds at that time …
 You might have noticed a few Australian slang words in the list above. Australian slang or strine - is a language all of it's own. Check out this dictionary over on  KoalaNet. Phew - there are more Ozzie slang words than I realised mate! 
Kangaroo or as we do, shortened to "roo"
Or check out this brilliant U-Tube video from Josh Hawkins and Rhys Keir on How to Speak Australian  "If you've ever wondered what to say when Tommo asks if you "wanna go down the bowlo sarvo for a schnitty and a bevvy before watching some soapies on the telly", this explainer is for you"
There's other examples on You-Tube - like "Aussie American words" by Mark Brown. 
So that is my little look at some things unique to Australia. I hope you have enjoyed it. To my overseas readers, have you been to Australia? Perhaps you'd like to tell us what you enjoyed about it the most. Did you find our Aussie Slang difficult to decipher? Perhaps you'd like to tell us about your experience of Australia in the comments. 
 You might also enjoy my previous blog posts about Australia Day - 
2015 - Australia Day on the Beach
2014 - Celebrating Australia Day and Waltzing Matilda 
 2013 - Celebrating Australia Day - and fireworks
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!


Mosaic Monday 
Life Thru the Lens 

Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
The Weekly Postcard 
Sky Watch Friday

Monday, 16 January 2017

How to make a simple paper flower

  It is January and while the Northern Hemisphere is in the depths of winter, the Southern Hemisphere (where I live} is in the depths of summer. In both cases the best place to stay warm or cool and out of the elements is indoors. And whilst I would like to just sit down with a book, I need to keep busy. So I have a project for you that you might like to try - how to make simple paper flowers.

Back in December I shared with you how to make a paper wreath out of old book pages - if you missed it you can check it out by clicking here - How to make a paper wreath

 At the same time I made paper flowers - some were made out of old book pages and some from craft paper.  So easy! Would you like to give it a go? 
If you don't like the idea of cutting up old books think of it as up-cycling and giving them a new lease on life. 

Here we go - how to make paper flowers.
What you need is - 
  • square craft paper or old book pages (old Reader's Digest books are ideal - something with a nice quality paper - not too thin)
  • something to firm down your folds
  • a stick for the middle - long satay sticks are ideal for the smaller book page flowers or a thin dowell. 
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • scissors or cutter if you are cutting down paper to squares
Step 1 - If you are using craft paper please select a paper that is not too thick - 15cm x 15cm and about 100gsm is idea. Some paper printed paper stacks will give you three copies of each design print - which is perfect to give a contrast to your flower. You will need six sheets.
If you are using old book pages, tear or cut out the pages and then cut pages into squares.

Step 2 & 3 - fold your square on a diagonal into a triangle, and then fold each outside corner up to the top corner. This little white tool you see below is great for making folds. It is called a "paper creaser" or "bone folder". You might be able to find one in a craft supply store near you. 

Step 4 - fold down the 2 top corners down to the bottom sloped edge on each side

 Step 5 - this step is a little tricky to explain in pictures! 
Open up this "pocket" you have created on the side, and push it out with your finger and flatten it so that it now looks like the bottom right pic below. 

Step 6 - now fold over the tops of the triangles on the 2 sides

Step 7 - Fold the sides over and up into a triangle to cover the white folded down area. Make 6 of these in total for each flower.

Step 8 - Curl the two outside edges around into a "cone" shape. Seal edges together with a hot glue gun. Wrap a piece of contrasting paper (or if you are using book pages, use a piece of book paper) around the end a stick to make the centre of your flower. Secure with glue. Glue the flower cones all the way around.

 Step 9 - After you have glued the cones all the way round and you should end up with a flower that looks like this. See how I have used contrasting but complimentary papers that go together well - three of each pattern. You can wrap some green paper around the bottom to cover up the bit where the cones come together at the bottom of the flower, and add a bow.

Done! A great gift for giving. Or to decorate your home. Or just because!
I gave one each to my Spanish Flamenco girls at Christmas, and they really loved them.

I hope you have enjoyed this little blog post on how to make paper flowers and that you will give them a go. Paper crafts don't have to be expensive, especially if you are up-cycling old papers.
There are lots of patterns on the internet for making other types. I found this blog post from Tip Junkie which shows you how to make 38 varieties!  Making paper flowers

Do you do any paper craft? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your 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!


Mosaic Monday 
Life Thru the Lens 

Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
The Weekly Postcard 
Sky Watch Friday