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. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Saturday 24 December 2011

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!

Wishing all my blog-land friends from across the world a wonderful Christmas in the company of those you love. Thank you for your support and comments during the past year - it has been wonderful hearing from you.  For my fellow photography bloggers - I have learnt so much from all of you - and it has been wonderful seeing your part of the world through your cameras.  Thank you.

Food photography has been a personal project of mine in 2011 - and with the inspiration and work of Tartlette - Helene Dujardin - and other amazing food photographers out there, I think I have grown and learnt a lot.  You can see Tarlette's link in my link's list - please visit her blog.

Soon I hope to update my index list, so it is easier to find articles, and also my links list. This blog is always a work in progress! Thank you for visiting and for your comments. I love hearing from you. 

And so to Christmas baking - here are some lemon stars......

Below you can see - sausage rolls, lemon starts, little puddings (no baking, but fiddly decorating!), stain-glass Christmas cake, and fruit mince pies. I'm done! Well untill tomorrow when I cook the roast and pudding with brandy cream.  Hope it is not too hot! Madness really for cooking a roast dinner on Christmas Day in summer in Australia - but oh well, you know, tradition.....
Have a wonderful Christmas - and don't forget the Christmas cheer - ummmm....bubbly!

Friday 23 December 2011

Sri Lanka cooking show - SBS Australia

 I love this cooking show with Peter Kuruvita on SBS - so interesting - and the recipes always look so devine!
I just had to post the link - mysrilanka

Look for it on your TV program - not just a cooking show but a very interesting cultural tour around Sri Lanka as well!

I really want to try this recipe that was on last night - Lagoon Prawns with ladies finger sambol -
Lagoon Prawns - it looks like a delicious summer recipe.

When I have cooked it I will come back with a pic!

Happy cooking!

Friday 16 December 2011

Her beauty only lasts one night...........

On Monday night my Moon Flower bloomed - 4 beautiful blooms. They really are magnificent - and the perfume - intoxicating. 

 Unfortunately they only flower for one night and by the morning they are finished. My plant only seems to flower a few times a year, and so I need to take the opportunity to photograph it. 

 So I stood out in the rain with an umbrella sheltering me and my camera (on a tripod) to take these images. You can see the raindrops in this image.  Rain in December? - unheard of! - we really are having a strange start to summer.

 These images are as taken - only a little minor sharpening. The light was from an outside tube light which is on the wall above my plant on my patio. I used ISO 800, Aperture Priority, with camera on a tripod sheltered by an umbrella! 

I decided to search for my moon flower on the web - and I found out it is the Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus.

Epiphyllum Oxypetalum or Dutchman’s-Pipe Cactus, is a large floral variety of cactus native from Mexico to Brazil. Plant can grow as tall as 20 feet (6.1 m) in height. It’s branches are dark green and it requires moist soil. It grows in late spring and early summer, somewhere around May 30th (northern hemisphere). It blooms for only 1-2 days. Individual flowers can be up to 11 inches (27.9 cm) long and 5 inches (12.7 cm) wide. It opens as the sun goes down. It has a very deep and fresh fragrance which spreads as soon as it blooms. 

Click on the link and scroll down to Number 1 - The Dutchman's Pipe Cactus

Because the moonflower flowers only one night, you have to start watching the buds when they start to fill out, and make sure you check after dark to see if they are opening - otherwise you come out the next morning and they have all finished.........

 But there is still beauty......raindrops on petals.......

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my Moonflower - or more correctly - my Dutchman's Pipe Cactus.

I am linking into Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Sincere thanks to Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday in 2011. Thank you to all my wonderful new on-line friends for your comments and sharing throughout the year. I have enjoyed seeing your work and your part of the world. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas in the company of those you love.

Take care. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please click on the link to see the work of Mary and other amazing contributors at Little Red House - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Slow down and take time to see what is around you

In these busy days as we rush around getting ready for Christmas, working, cleaning, baking, shopping, ticking off lists, writing cards etc, we need to slow down, sit awhile, and take time to see the beauty around us, the little things, and to think about and appreciate those things in your life that are important to you.

I hope these images will sooth and calm you.............as you listen to the new play list I have installed tonight on my blog. 
(You might have to scroll down to the application, and click on it to start the music - I haven't worked out how to have it automatically start.)

A palm softly blowing in the wind.....

The petals of a moonflower..........

The new lavender blooms....

A shell found on a beach.........

Fallen petals on the garden path.............

Remember to take time out...........and see the world around you..........

Monday 12 December 2011

The trees are blooming for Christmas

In December around where I live in Western Australia there is a burst of colour before the summer heat dries off everything. Some of our native trees put on a glorious show for us, as you can see here.

This is the Australian Christmas Tree - Nuytis floribunda.  It actually is a parasitic tree and occurs naturally only in Western Australia from the Murchison around to the Australian Bight. Their roots parasite onto the roots of other trees.

Another glorious yellow flowering tree are the Banksia family. I think they look like giant Christmas candles.  The flower cylinders grow up to 10-40cm long and 8-10cm wide. There are many different varieties of Banksias - named after botanist Sir Joseph Banks who came to Australia with Captain James Cook.   Banksias seem to be one of the plants in Western Australia that has been adversely affected by climate change, as many are now dying.

And of course one of the colours of Christmas is red - and here is the Red Flowering Gum - Eucalyptus ficifolia, now reclassified as Corymbia ficifolia. These trees will grow in most areas of Australia, except for tropical and mountain zones

And the Jacaranda -  Jacaranda mimosifolia. This is not an Australian native - it is actually native to Brazil, where they are deciduous, not because of cold winters, but because of the monsoonal wet and dry season. These trees can reach a height of around 10-15m, and a spread of the same size.  They drop their flowers in a beautiful blue-purple carpet, which might be why, in our area at least, you see this tree more in older housing areas, rather than new.  Although not an Australia native, I have included it because it is so beautiful.  Actually they seem to bloom better here in a dry season.

 And with all this colour and intoxicating nectar - the bees think they are in heaven -

I hope you have enjoyed my selection of December flowering trees in Western Australia.
I am linking into Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. To see the work of Mary and other wonderful contributors from across the world, please click on the link - Mosaic Monday

Have a wonderful week. I look forward to hearing from you.

Monday 5 December 2011

December summer colour

December is here and the start of summer. My garden is looking lovely - we have just started watering again, so it might be the extra nutrients coming from the bore water. Today I share with you an update from around my garden.

A few tomatoes are starting to ripen, the grapes are starting to plump up - not ready till January/February, the apricots are green - a few more weeks yet, and lemons - well, I still have lemons hanging on the tree from winter - a sort of living larder.

A few lovely white flowers -

And colour - makes a lovely splash at Christmas - the one on the lower RHS is Coral Bush - it is an Australian native.

I love this time of year when the stone fruit start coming in - how about some fresh peaches and nectarines for the table. No sadly these are not from my garden. The small green plate china serving plate has recently come from my mother-in-law's china cabinet.

 I can make the fruit look like they have come fresh picked from my garden.

I have not done a lot of work with textures - but I had a play around with this image - and added a couple of Textures from Kim at Kim's Cafe - you can go to her link here - kimklassencafe.  Kim has tutorials and a free texture download every week.  The original is on the left and with texture added on the right.
 As I say.....I haven't done a lot with textures as you can probably see here!

 The Ponsettia comes to our Garden Nursery's this time of year in time for Christmas. It is a native of southern Mexico. They make a lovely splash of summer colour to decorate the inside of your house. You can plant it in your garden after it has finished flowering, and it will flower again in winter, or so they say, but sadly I have never had one survive.

I hope you all have a lovely week. I look forward to hearing from you.

I am linking up with Mary and the other wonderful contributors to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Click on the link to view their posts Mosaic Monday. Many are from the northern hemisphere, so if you are sweltering in summer heat, then the snow pictures will be a cooling relief.

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