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. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday, 25 December 2022

12 days of Aussie Christmas

Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are doing well, and that you are able to spend the festive season with those you love. We had Covid a couple of weeks ago, but testing negative now, so all is good for our Christmas family get-together. 

A couple of years ago someone on blogging land asked me don't we have any Australian Christmas carols? So I thought today that I would share a couple of fun ones, plus a more traditional one. Keep in mind that Christmas is Australia is hot! - no snow and sleighbells here! More likely a BBQ and a swim in the pool or at the beach.  Here is the 12 days of Aussie Christmas which includes our unique wildlife 

Aussie 12 days of Christmas

 On the first day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
An emu up a gum tree

 On the twelfth day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Twelve parrots prattling

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eleven numbats nagging

 Ten lizards leaping

Nine wombats working

Eight dingos digging

Seven possums playing

Six brolgas dancing

Five kangaroos

Four koalas cuddling           (can you see the baby just under the mother's arm? - so cute!)

Three kookaburras                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Two pink galahs                                                                                                                         

 And an emu up a gum tree                 (no.... emus do not roost in trees!)

Another version -  12 days of Aussie Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas my best mate gave to me
Twelve surfing Santas

Eleven cricket legends

Ten sweaty swaggies        (a swaggie is a tramp who walks about with his belongings on his back)

Nine daggy dingos

Eight jolly jumbucks         (a jumbuck is a sheep)

Seven cheeky chooks (chickens)

Half a dozen snags (sausages)

Five rusty utes

Four footy fans

Three meat trays

Two jackaroos   (stockmen on a cattle station ie ranch)                                                                                                                 

A platypus up a gum tree

     (and no....platypus don't roost in trees either!)

Aussie Jingle Bells     By Greg Champion and Colin Buchanan

Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden ute
Kicking up the dust
Esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side
Singing Christmas songs

It’s summer time and I am in               My singlet, shorts and thongs

 Engine’s getting hot
We dodge the kangaroos
The swaggie climbs abroad
He is welcome too
All the family’s here
Sitting by the pool
Christmas day, the Aussie way
By the barbecue!

 Come the afternoon
Grandpa has a doze
The kids and Uncle Bruce
Are swimming in their clothes
The time comes round to go
We take the family snap
Pack the car and all shoot through
Before the washing up!

Oh! Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way
Christmas in Australia
On a scorching summer’s day
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a rusty Holden Ute.

with thanks to: www.mojim.com

and something more traditional....... (I remember singing this at school when I was in the choir)                                                                                              The North Wind - by John Wheeler

The North wind is tossing the leaves
The red dust is over the town
The sparrows are under the eaves
And the grass in the paddock is brown
As we lift up our voices and sing

The tree-ferns in green gullies sway
The cool stream flows silently by
The joy bells are greeting the day
And the chimes are adrift in the sky
As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ child, the heavenly king.

But for an authentic look at an Aussie Christmas, I do like Ronan Keating's version of '"Summer Wonderland" - although the countdown at the beginning is from New Zealand. You can hear it here - 

There are lots of other Australian Christmas carols. 
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Thank you so much for stopping by today. I wish you and yours a very safe and happy Christmas, and for those who don't celebrate I wish you happiness and peace. 
I send my thoughts and prayers to those who have someone missing from their table for the first time this year and those suffering from illness, loneliness, poverty, famine or war. 

Wherever you live and whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I send you a thought of hope for the future ......
"Christmas is all about light in darkness. Light always conquers."
I think that is very relevant for us all over the world today. 

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. However we are having problems with our internet so I won't be able to visit  you till later in the week. 
Have a wonderful week. 

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.

Monday, 12 December 2022

Cyanotype - sun prints - how to basics

 Hi everyone. I hope you and yours are well. It has been a couple of weeks since I blogged. In that time I was busy getting ready for a Christmas market stall, and then my family and I all caught Covid so we have been isolating, and honestly not felt like doing much. Thankfully we haven't been too sick, and were able to get antiviral medication which I think helped a lot. Now I am just tired and lethargic. 

So just a brief post from me today. You might recall a recent photo of some blue coloured prints. That is cyanotype. 

Cyanotype is an antique photographic printing process distinctive for producing Prussian blue monochromatic prints. Developed in the mid-19th century

It is fun and easy and the resulting prints are archival. You can use leaves, flowers, feathers, any 3d object, film negatives, crumpled plastic, whatever you like really. 

First you need the two chemicals, a cyanotype kit, which can be purchased from art stores. I bought mine from an on-line company here in Australia. 

The basic instructions, which should come with the kit, is to fill the two bottles with water, shake to mix, then leave for 24 hours. 

In subdued lighting mix equal quantities of the two liquids in a bowl and paint onto your target paper - the liquid will be greeny yellow on the paper.  

I used a printmakers paper, but you can try all sorts of paper, and also cloth. But use a paper that can withstand washing. Only make enough mixture as you need as it is only usable for 2-4 hours. I use 1 tablespoon of each for a small batch.  

Then dry the papers in the dark. If not using the painted papers straight away, keep in a darkened envelope or box which light cannot get into. 

Lay your leaves , or whatever you choose onto the paper. I put a piece of cardboard behind and a piece of perspex or glass on top, and clamp down with bulldog clips. Clamping prevents movement of the leaves during processing which will cause blury prints. I salvaged a piece of glass from an old photo frame. 

Put out into the sun or other UV source. Leave for up to 30 minutes, depending on how sunny the day is. Over-exposue is better than under-exposure. Your paper will look bronze in colour after proper exposure. 

Rinse in a tray of water for about 5 minutes. 

and then leave to dry, but not in direct sunlight. 

I have been using my cyanotypes to make greeting cards - I thought these ferns look like Christmas trees - I've added other flowers to look like snow. 

And I also made this tote bag which sold at the market. This is a very useful fern I have in my garden. 

So there you have it. Just the basics of cyanotype. I am certianly not an expert. I still have other cyanotype avenues I want to experiemtn with - like wet cyanotypes.  You can find out more information by searching on the web. 

Here are a couple of suggestions to read further and find inspiration: Have fun and experiment! 

Kim Herringe - playing with Cyanotype

Instagram-Cyanotype masters

Instagram - Indigo Moth

Have you ever played with Cyanotype? - perhaps you would like to tello 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!

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.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

So busy!

 So busy these last few weeks getting ready for a Christmas market stall on Saturday. Back next week with any luck! 

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Wellington Dam wall mural, and the Collie mural art trail, Western Australia

 Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well. I realised last week when I posted about our little 2 day getaway at Potters Gorge at Wellington Dam that I hadn't finished telling you the story which I started in November 2020 about the painting of the Wellington Dam wall  We went up to the dam several times during the painting of the mural, so I thought I should finish the story I started in 2020. 

Officially opened in February 2021, the massive 8,000 square metre Wellington Dam wall mural, thought to be the largest in the world painted by a single artist, is a sight not to be missed.

The dam wall mural is the work of internationally acclaimed Canadian born artist, Guido Van Helten who grew up in inner city Melbourne.  Renowned throughout the world for his photorealistic large scale murals, Guido was influenced at a young age by traditional graffiti and was introduced to aerosol painting at a young age.

Entitled “Reflections” the dam wall mural has been inspired by local stories and photographs collected by Guido to reflect a sense of history and community.  For three weeks before he started on the project Guido met with people in Collie, asked about their lives, their connections with the dam, and collected their photos. 

Aboriginal culture, the natural environment and settlement history are incorporated into the work. Children are central, none are looking at the camera, they are playing and interacting with the water. 

The massive artwork which commenced in November 2020 required a specially designed scaffolding platform.  The mechanical swing-stage had to be raised and lowered as the mural was painted, and needed to be dismantled to move across the wall. Abseiling was used for cleaning and applying the base coat.

The pictures were drawn and mapped onto a grid to assist Guido to translate his designs from concept to the scaled mega-mural.

Guido said he did not know how much paint had been used but said the key to coping with such a large piece of work was organisation. "You need a good plan to put it all together…It took all my waking hours”.

To best appreciate the scale of the work on the 367m x 34metre wall face, I suggest viewing from ground level via the walkway along Falcon Drive at the base of the wall (where these photos you see were taken), although access to the bridge and walkway is temporaily closed due to upgrades being carried out on the bridge. 

You can also see the overall view from the lookout above where there are information panels.  We visited several times while the work was in progress. From the lookout we had a closer view of Guido working. We could see him painting with a large paint brush and referring to a plan in his hand as he worked. 

Funded by the state government, the mural is part of a plan to diversify the economy of the traditional coal-mining town and bring visitors to the Collie region, 200kms south east of Perth. The Wellington dam is 30 kilometres from Collie. 

The mural is the centrepiece of the new Collie Mural Trail which includes 37 murals through the town of Collie. The Trail showcases the talents of local and leading Australia artists, and tells stories about the Collie River valley’s living heritage and history. A trail map can be downloaded or collected from the Collie Visitor Information Centre on Throssell Street, so this is the best place to start. Check out the Collie Railway Museum while you are there. 

One of the mural trail project managers and artists is Andrew Frazer from Bunbury. "The trail is part of a larger vision of Collie being a trail town, which extends into mountain biking and hiking and a whole heap of outdoor experiences," he said. "Having art in public places allows people to engage with this creativity in a way that perhaps they haven't previously." Andrew worked on several pieces including The Endless Adventure collaboration with Collie youth.

The mural art trail reflects indigenous culture, history, youth, mining, industry and recreation. It is certainly worth a few hours strolling around the town looking at the art works. Make a day to visit to the dam and Collie. 

QR codes adjacent to each mural give you more information on the pieces and the artists. Children may enjoy searching for the 12 brush-tailed phascogales hiding around the town’s walls. 

Find out more by clicking on these links -

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Thank you so much for stopping by. I love street art. Do you? Perhaps you could tell us about what you may have in your area in your 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!

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.