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.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-dyeing.
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".



Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Blessings and Inspiration

 When I was pondering what to write about this week I was scrolling through some of the blog posts on Kim Klassen's page. Do you know of her? Beautiful still life photography, beautiful presents, beautiful thoughts. 

While I was strolling through I found Kim's post "Things Get Broken" - I am sure we have all had times like this ..... and here is a lovely quote Kim shared......

"things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.― Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life"

I am sure we have all felt like this at some time or other. I know I have. A friend of mine and her sister are going through a difficult time at the moment with a sick parent who is stretching them to their limits both emotionally and financially. I hope in time that they will find that life will rearrange itself.  I know my friend finds solace in dancing. I know I found solace in my photography when my father was gravely ill in hospital.

But that is not what my post is about today.......When I scrolled through the comments Kim received, this one in particular, from Terasazehr resonated with me ....
"Yes!! I woke up this morning thinking “my week is so full” but then thought “what if I spin that? And think of it as my week is so full of blessings? Or gifts waiting to be received ?”

How true this is in my life at the moment as I jump from one event, or task, or group, or creative pursuit, to another. There never seems to be enough time in the day to stop and smell the flowers. But how lucky I am that this is possible, that my life is so full, that I am not sitting on my own on a chair in the window, wishing that life would come to me. That there are people in my life that inspire, encourage, and support me. 

I met up recently with another friend who lost her husband unexpectedly in the last couple of years. Life took a dramatic turn which she was totally unprepared for, and she has had to make a new life without her husband. She was out enjoying an event with a friend when I saw her, and she said, "at least I am not at home curled up in the corner of a couch in front of the TV."

Wheat-belt wild flowers
 Last week we had a quick overnight trip to the wheatbelt to attend the funeral of my sister's husband's father. He was 95. And as I listened to his eulogy I thought about the full and interesting life, well lived, he had led.  His funeral, even though there was sorrow, was also a celebration of his life.  And I was reminded again of the importance of grasping opportunities as they come along and treasuring every moment, those around us and our blessings.

My life at the moment is consumed with creative arts, particularly leaf prints on paper. I'd been reading about the exhibitions on at our Art Gallery . I always find art galleries inspiring, so we went into town on Sunday afternoon for a look. 

 The first collection "Broken Places" by Christopher Young and Elisa Markes-Young was inspired by the work of two women, Rosetta Kelly who produced hundreds of watercolours of flowers as a way of dealing with her grief over the loss of her son in the First World War, and Georgina Molloy who lived an isolated pioneer life in the early days of Western Australia, and began collecting wildflower specimens, which now reside in the collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.  I was particularly interested in this because of my love of wildflower photography, and more recently make prints of eucalypt leaves, and I late last year I had read - Geogiana Molloy, The Mind That Shines - by Bernice Barry

 Also on show was the collaborative exhibition "Salt", by two local artists, ceramic artist Tracie Anderson and painter Sharon Hinchcliffe. I had first met Tracie last year at the Dardanup Art Trail, where she was exhibiting next to me at Lyndendale Gallery. Tracie's whimsical use of ceramics and found beach pieces combined beautifully with Sharon's flowing colourful lines of her mixed media canvasses. 

Completely different to the two previous galleries, we were totally enthralled by the work of Noongar/Yamatji contemporary artist Lance Chadd who paints under his tribal name Tjyllyungoo, inspired by his culture.  His paintings were amazing. As you look at them, you begin to see other images within the main painting which draw you in.

Here is a video which will give you an insight into his work - 

There was also exhibitions by Sue Dennis and Yvonne Dorricott, interpreting the breaching of the Broke Inlet, a collection from the Australind Art Club, and works from the city's collection depicting 100 years of Bunbury's history. 

Following our tour of the Art Gallery we went down town for coffee and cake at The Townhouse Cafe where photographer friend Dennis Bear was holding as small photographic exhibition. Well done Dennis. 

How blessed am I to be able to view such amazing artistic work. Where do you find your inspiration?

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. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

And you can join up with Wednesday Around the World linky party at Communal Global right here! 

Monday, 12 February 2018

In the summer time

It's summer here in Western Australia but we are enthralled watching the Winter Olympics. I love watching the events on TV and seeing the speed and exhilaration of the sports. These winter sports are so different for us, as we only have a couple of areas that have snow in Australia, and certainly not in Western Australia, except for an occasional light dusting on Bluff Knoll in our south west. 

Medals for Australians at the Winter Olympics are few and far between, so when an Aussie wins a medal, or in fact just gets into a final, it is a reason for celebration. So it was exciting to have just watched Matt Graham take silver in the moguls, our first medal at this Olympics.   Daily Telegraph - Winter Olympics. Congratulations Matt! 

But as I said it is summer in Australia and this last weekend we had a very busy weekend immersed in summer life. 

We had family come to stay so there was a BBQ on Friday night, and then Saturday morning we went to a waterfront restaurant for breakfast. The water was sparkling and the icecream van was already cranking up for the day.  Our town is surrounded by water on three sides - the Indian Ocean, the Leschenault Inlet, and Koombana Bay, so beach and water activities are a big part of our summer

In the afternoon we went down to the Inlet to watch our sons compete with their dragon boat club, Forza, in their local annual regatta. Dragon Boating has been a part of the landscape of our town, and our family life, since the first regatta was held here in March 1990. We have seen the big days of the sport when our local regatta was a two day event with over 70 teams, to the small regatta it is today. Our main competition is held in Perth, our capital city. Our local event was for teams of 10 paddlers, rather than the usual 20.

 On Saturday evening my husband and I drove up to the Ferguson Valley, a wine region only about twenty minutes from home, to enjoy a Spanish Sundowner at Green Door Wines. My Spanish friend Montse and her partner Laura, from Food with Passion South West cooked up a storm, including a variety of tapas and a huge paella. Delicious. 

And the light coming through the west facing window in the late afternoon was amazing. 

In between courses Flamenco dancers, Nicole and Susanna from Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company danced for us. Unfortunately the low light, the fast movement, and my skills didn't do their dancing justice, but you can get an idea of the colour and movement in these couple of images. 
These two talented ladies are our Flamenco teachers at Sol y Sombra. I've blogged about them several times before - Ole - Celebration of 25 years of flamenco

It was a fabulous evening. Oh, and don't forget the Sangria

On Sunday morning we had an early get up to travel down to Busselton to see our eldest son compete in the around the Busselton Jetty swim.  This is an annual event, which started in 1996, and which now attracts over 2000 competitors. The course is a swim of 3.6 kilometres from the shore, around the Busselton Jetty, and back to the shore. People swim solo, as my son, nephew and his wife did, or relay teams of two or four can nominate. 

Below you can see the start line and the end of the jetty where they swim round and then go back down the other side. 

And my son on the return leg.  We only managed to spot him because he was swimming alongside the jetty instead of further out. He said he was having difficulty dragging his arms out of the water at this point, but he managed to sprint the last few hundred metres to the finish line - what a welcome sight it must have been. We are so proud of him that he achieved this swim.

Thank you for stopping by everyone. I hope you have enjoyed this little look at summer in my part of the world. What is happening in your corner of the world? Are you watching the Winter Olympics?

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
A celebration of 25 years of flamenco 
Belonging and choosing happiness 
Busselton jetty swim - 2015 

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. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

You can also link up here Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global.


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Is there a snake in your camp? - Don't get bitten!

It is summer here in Australia and I really don't like getting out in the heat and the sun too much these days, but a photo memory came up on my Facebook page the other day which was a timely reminder that this is the time of year when snakes are out and about. 

A conversation with Bob Cooper, Australian Desert Survival Expert

Way back in 2013 I interviewed Bob Cooper, considered to be one of Australia’s leading desert survival experts and snake handling instructors, for an article about snake awareness for Go Camping magazine. I had interviewed him before about his Outback Survival book and kit, also for Go Camping magazine. Bob was generous with his time and expertise and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Australia Day & taking photos of fireworks

26 January in Australia is Australia Day.

I've blogged about it before here - Celebrating Australia Day and Waltzing Matilda 
and here - Australia Day on the beach 
and here - Australia Day - How Australian Are You? 

 There has been a lot in the press lately about Australia Day celebrating the day the British "invaded" Australia and took the land away from our indigenous population, and that the date should be changed. There were also protest marches in the street on Australia Day.

The date of Australia Day, 26 January, marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales in 1788 and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.

Monday, 22 January 2018

What will be your inspiration in 2018?

As my header today says - what will be your inspiration in 2018? Have you a yearning you want to follow? Well if you do, and I am sure you do, you should just follow it! You might be surprised where it might take you.


Have you ever attended summer school?

Summer Schoo at the Stirling Street Arts Centre in my town has just finished. They really have an amazing program of events over the two weeks - arts, writing, physically activities, music, drama, exploring culture, healthy living, workshops for kids, the list goes on. There is something for everyone. 

I've written about Summer School here before - Exploring your creative side - and every year I look forward to seeing the program. The hardest thing for me is narrowing down my list of "I want to do".

The Summer School workshops really are an excellent way to try out something without having to sign up and pay for an extended course, or lay out a lot of money on requirements or membership fees. 

Over the last couple of years I've tried acrylic painting, water colour painting, sketching, paper folding, eco-dyeing, book making, flower arranging, and hand embroidered a Boro bag and I took my grandson to Capoeira classes.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Summer 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? 

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."

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.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A Christmas wish

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

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. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

December randomness

It's December and the summer heat has struck and it's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas is just around the corner.  How is your December going?  Today I am going to share a little December randomness from our corner of the world.

Below is the Candlestick Banksia (or slender banksia) - Banksia attenuata - which flowers from October to February in the south west of Western Australia. I always think the bright yellow candlestick shape flowers which grow up to 20-3-cm tall and 5cm across, are very appropriate for this time of year around Christmas. 
I blogged more about banksias here - Celebration of the Australian Banksias

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Summer in my Garden

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first week of December! I don't know about you but I feel like the year has rushed by in a blur. I have been busy yes, but can it be December already? There is so much going on this time of year with school concerts, end of the school year, break-up parties for work places or groups that we belong to, Christmas shopping, Christmas festivities, get togethers with family and friends, perhaps preparing for a summer holiday (summer holidays here in Australia anyways). 

So amongst the rush towards the festive season, I thought I would bring you a few pics from my garden and share some quiet places with you. We need a quiet place to sit to prepare ourselves for the weeks ahead don't you think? 

I only have a relatively small suburban garden, but it always puts on a beautiful show in December, putting on its festive colours - yellows, reds, greens, purples -  though I must say the yellow daisies are flowering a little earlier than I would like. What a love about my front garden is that a lot of the plants here basically look after themselves, except for a little pruning and weeding from time to time. I don't like gardening in the heat of summer, so I am happy they are happy to do their own thing.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Biodiversity Hotspot - Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia

Looking back through my travel pics I discovered that it was October 2011 when we last visited the Fitzgerald River National Park on Western Australia's south coast, and I was very keen for a return visit so I could take photos of the iconic wildflowers of the region. So in late October we hitched up our caravan and took off for a week to explore.

In my blog a couple of weeks ago I showed you the Farm Gate Art Trail centred around Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. You can click here if you missed it - Farm Gate Art Trail 

These two towns, and nearby Bremer Bay, are the gateway to the Fitzgerald River National Park, a world renowned global biodiversity hotspot, bordered by the Southern Ocean to the south and the wheatbelt to the north. 

Monday, 20 November 2017

Be still

Life seems to have gone a little mad the last few days, and doesn't look like slowing down, so I decided to give myself a break from blogging this week, and to try and take some time to..... be still.....
Do you sometimes feel that life is going way too fast, and you just want to stop, to sit, to treasure life, to just... be still....

 I do. I just want to let go, slow down and smell the flowers.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Farm Gate Art Trail & Wildflowers - Ravensthorpe, Western Australia

"What was that in the paddock back there?" I exclaimed, twisting my head out the window to look back the way we had come. My hubbie "threw out the anchors" (ie stopped the car), turned the car around, and headed back the way we had come. And there they were, Scarlet Banksias, standing tall and proud on the edge of the paddock. 

But they weren't the usual Scarlet Banksias - Banksia coccinea - that were on our list of wildflowers we hoped to see in the Fitzgerald River National Park. These were made of metal and what looked like street sweeper brushes. You can see a closer view of the art work (but of course I couldn't jump the fence) and the native flowers below. The artists had captured them beautifully.