Welcome to my blog. I work full time and creating is my sanity. I like to use many different mediums and was a finalist in the Fire Mountain Beading Contest in 2008. I am a passionate blogger, and a promoter of handmade goodness.

I love : my husband, my fur kids, family, music, sunshine, creating, chocolate, handmade soaps, the DUST Team, gardening, friends, Triple J Radio and photography. Comments welcome, I hope you enjoy the adventure with me.

Please respect my copyright and that the original ©photographs and ©text published on this blog remain the property of ©Maddabling (Samara). Please do not reproduce, crop or alter my original photographs.

made with love.........................maddabling xox




proud member of the down under street team

Sunday, July 27, 2014

National Tree Day, Thrift Shops and Cacao Bliss Balls

Hello readers, did you have a good weekend? I did, achieving most of the things I set out to complete, topped off with a great social skate this afternoon :) Back to business now, today I share with you all National Tree Day, Thrift Shops and Cacao Bliss Balls. Happy Reading ♥ 
National Tree Day
Today marked National Tree Day. National Tree Day is the largest community tree planting and nature care event in Australia. More info can be found here http://treeday.planetark.org/). 

The Purly Queens of Albany marked this occasion by added some knitted colour to Alison Hartman Gardens. I just love public art, don't you? 
note: images are from http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/
Thrift Shops
We have a thrift shop dress up party to go to soon, and I reckon I managed to put together a "relatively" well matched outfit. There is the Thrift Shop coat, the Dark Brown corduroy pants, the Italian leather ankle boots, an unused red leather bag, vintage pale blue beads and an interesting striped top. 
 
If thrift shop sifting is not your thing, but you love the vintage spoils, check out the new Etsy Store - OpShopWin that my friend Natalie has opened. 
Natalie says this about her Etsy shop: 
"I am a rampant op shopper (thrift store to those in the USA)
Love vintage clothing and love recycling fashion" 
You can keep an eye on all the new arrivals at OpShopWin here:
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/OpShopWin
Cacao Bliss Balls 
I read this recipe in a glossy magazine at the hairdressers and I can't wait to try it. I didn't have all of the ingredients in my pantry this weekend but am very keen to make it during the coming week. 

Cacao Bliss Balls 
Ingredients: 
1 cup whole organic walnuts 
1 cup whole whole organic almonds 
2 tbsp organic coconut oil 
1 tbsp organic honey 
12 organic dates
2 tbsp organic raw cacao powder 
Organic dessicated coconut to decorate 

Method: 
Blend all ingredients except for the coconut oil.

Heat coconut oil on the stove over low heat.

Add melted coconut oil to mix and blend again. The mixture should be tacky and moist. 

Roll into bite sized balls and coat in dessicated coconut/raw cacao powder, then refrigerate for two hours.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed reading all about National Tree Day, Thrift Shops and Cacao Bliss Balls. See you all on Wednesday for a new edition of Wednesday Wishes xo♥ 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Friends - West Australian Makers - Dionisiadesigns

Hello there lovely Maddabling readers, how have your collective weeks been? It's Friday and I am very much looking forward to the weekend, a trip to the hairdressers, a spot of op-shopping and perhaps a social skate if time permits. 

This week I am thrilled to introduce a new Friday Friend and very talented West Australian maker - Denise of Dionisiadesigns.
Dionisiadesigns
Denise creates using an eclectic mixture of antique and vintage reclaimed and recycled fabrics that she turns into quirky fashion pieces. Her designs are East meets West and her current passions are  to create ladies slippers and little girls shoes. Let me share a few favourite pieces with you now. These Hydrangea Ballet Slippers are just darling, they are made from an original 1940's pattern and are so exquisitely and delicately detailed. 
For something completely different now, Doris Day slippers. Made as a custom orders to fit your feet, choose from an array of available fabrics. 
Last but not least, I love these Exotic ladies Chinese Silk slippers. Just wow!
Readers, I invite you now to pop your feet up (perhaps day dream that they are encased in a pair of these gorgeous slippers) and read The Tale of Dionisiadesigns. Have a fantastic weekend and I hope to see you all on Sunday for the weekend blog post xo♥
The Tale of Dionisiadesigns
Where did my journey begin... My journey began in the 1950s. I still have vivid memories of afternoon teas my mother hosted in Donnybrook, a country town in Western Australia. Elegant women, beautiful clothes, manicured red nails, red lipstick, cigarettes, Bex Powders and beer chasers with Guerlain Jicky and Chanel No 5 thrown in for good measure!  I know I was acutely aware of colour and texture even then with delicious smells somehow intertwined within the whole childhood experience.
My Inspiration... I always enjoyed art classes and sewing at school and in later years when I was studying to become a Business Education teacher I spent most of my time upstairs with the Art students doing Leather work, throwing pots and studying Art Appreciation – so much more interesting than learning how to take an Imperial 66 typewriter apart and put it back together again!
A couple of years ago I came across an old pattern for ladies’ slippers, which coincided with me finally buying an electric sewing machine (after my old Singer treadle gave up the ghost) and that is how my passion for making the slippers came about.  I have always been into recycling and my house is filled with, as is most of my wardrobe, someone else’s cast offs!  

I recycle fabrics where I can and use Fair Trade where possible in my designs. I love incorporating as many colours and texture into my creations as possible and tarting them up with embellishments and turning them into little individual pieces of art.  Sometimes I feel like someone else is working through my hands because I don’t know where the creativity has come from.
I learnt felting when I was working as a volunteer at a Camphill Community in Northern Ireland in 2008/2010. (Google Camphill) They are communities set up worldwide for people with Special Needs and are based on Rudolph Steiner’s philosophies called Anthroposophy. I also had the opportunity to have one on one Anthroposophical Art Therapy classes.  Steiner believed that colours speak a language more universal and archetypal than any spoken word and that colour heals and strengthens the soul. 
I taught myself Nuno felting a couple of years ago, but I prefer making felt and incorporating more colour and definition into it, hence the felted collars.  I am now a Special Needs teacher working with teenage students and I teach felting to them.  It is so tactile and they love the suds and warm water and everyone regardless of their disability can join in.  It is also very calming for the mind and it is interesting to see how relaxed the students become after a few minutes of felting!

Favourite Piece... My personal favourite piece is the Pansy collar I felted (it isn’t quite finished).   I love the way you can blend wool fibres and silks to come up with interesting shades and combinations.
My future plans... Hopefully in  a couple of years time I will end up in Daylesford in Victoria where both my children plan to settle and set up a little  market stall selling my exquisite creations, wearing second hand clothing, red lipstick, red painted fingernails, red hair and wafting in a cloud of Patchouli! 

Dear readers, do you want to see more? Here is how you can connect. 

Browse or buy on Etsy here: Dionisiadesigns 
and become a follower on Facebook here: Dionisiadesigns

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Twist - Wednesday Wishes

I found these items using the search term "Twist" on Etsy. I hope you enjoy this collection xo♥
Grey Twist Resin Bangle from MattNJewellery
BURST OF BLUE. Royal blue parisial twist with silk abaca flower effect feature from LINDAFORDMILLINERY
The Fideal Cushion Cover, Dark Faerie Mermaid Pillow Slip from GingerKellyStudio
Heather Gray High Low Twist Strap V Neck Swing Tank Dress from 19thandWhimsy
Filigree Teardrop Pendant in Oxidized and Polished Sterling Silver from https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/rmdjewellery

Sunday, July 20, 2014

It's a wild, wild life, Fabulous Fungi Studies and Strawberry + Ginger Pudding

Hello lovely Maddabling readers, I hope you had the most wonderful weekend. We certainly did. You simply wouldn't believe that we are in the middle of winter on the South Coast. Tonight I share with you "It's a wild, wild life, Fabulous Fungi Studies and Strawberry + Ginger Pudding." Happy Reading xo♥
It's a wild, wild life
While out enjoying the winter sunshine on the weekend we saw more wildlife than you can poke a stick at! Literally. At a beach fishing trip we saw 4 separate pods of dolphins surfing the waves 
 and just cruising on by in their own time.

We didn't catch any fish but we did see a Humpback Whale Mother and Calf in the sheltered shallows, such an amazing experience to watch them glide on by.

We saw more whales today but not close enough to photograph.
Spied our first orchid of the season too. A Rattlebeak Orchid 
I believe.
Then, towards the end of our walk we saw a rather large tiger snake enjoying the sun. He wasn't too bothered by us, preferring to bask in the warmth of the day. A truly amazing creature, I have never been this close to a real live snake and won't ever push the boundary by trying to get closer! All in all, it was a weekend spent bonding with nature. 
Fabulous Fungi Studies 
I think Fungi is fabulous. So many alien forms, this is a small collection of close up Fungi photos taken over the weekend.
The colours, textures and forms just fascinate me, so many different shades of colour, they are just so tiny and delicate.
Strawberry + Ginger Pudding
I had a punnet of strawberries to use up and searched for a different kind of recipe. I found it! A Strawberry + Ginger Pudding. Yummy! Easy to make and even easier to eat. Try it for yourself :) You can see the original recipe here:
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/26877/strawberry+ginger+pudding
Strawberry + Ginger Pudding
Ingredients:

Melted butter, to grease
190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
80g butter, melted, cooled
160ml (2/3 cup) milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
250g punnet strawberries, washed, hulled, quartered
250ml (1 cup) ginger beer
2 tablespoons honey

Method: 
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 2L (8-cup) capacity baking dish with melted butter.

Combine flour and 100g (1/2 cup) of sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Whisk in the butter, milk, egg and ginger until smooth. Stir in strawberry until just combined. Spread over the base of the prepared dish.

Heat the ginger beer and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until the honey dissolves. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the surface of the pudding mixture. Gradually pour the warm ginger beer mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted halfway into the centre comes out clean.

Dear readers, I hope you enjoyed "It's a wild, wild life, Fabulous Fungi Studies and Strawberry + Ginger Pudding." 
See you all on Wednesday for a new edition of Wednesday Wishes x

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Friends - West Australian Artists - Tanya Cole Arts

Hello again readers, Friday is here. The sun is shining bright this morning, it's looking like a perfect winters day. I am hoping to spot some elusive whales on the coast here over the weekend, fingers crossed this lovely weather hangs around for a little longer :) 

This week it is my great pleasure to introduce to you an artist from one of my favourite regions in WA, meet the very clever creative Tanya Cole of Tanya Cole Arts
I stumbled across the work of Tanya Cole quite by happy accident and am so glad I did. Her work is just fabulous, her images strong and I hope they resonate with you all as they did with me.
I really enjoyed browsing through her collection of works. Let me share some of my favourites with you now. The first piece is 
"Enjoy all your life moments" - this should be a mantra for us all, I really adore this painting!
Next is "Forest Fairies Dreaming" - this piece reminds me of carefree childhood days where you would see magic all around. Sometimes we lose sight of that magic when we "grow up".
Finally, this mixed media work in progress is just so beautiful; don't you agree? 
Dear readers, I invite you now to take some time out, put your feet up for a short while and read "The Palette of Tanya Cole Arts". I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I did. 
Happy Reading x♥o  
The Palette of Tanya Cole Arts
Who is Tanya Cole Arts? I am a Mixed Media Artist, OT and Expressive Art + Wellness Facilitator (Hope Illuminator, Spirit Inspirer + Soul Bloomer); based in Dunsborough, Western Australia.
Tell me about your creative side, how did you get started? 
I have always loved the practical aspects of using my hands to mould, make and create. I remember cutting up my dads Emu Export cardboard beer carton to create a two storey house for my barbie doll, with a string-pulley lift inside lol! I also had one of those spirographs that kept me enthralled and fascinated at the shapes that appeared. I'd spend hours sketching my family as they watched TV and loved art classes at school; right up to the end of year 12. 

I wanted to and had aimed to do fine arts at uni, however my parents very much encouraged me towards the sciences. I studied Occupational Therapy as it was the only course which had a creative side (I loved woodwork and acrylic design). Fortunately I fell in love with being an OT, as it opened up my heart to give and help and heal. I have specialised in Hand + Upper Limb Rehabilitation, so I got to make thermoplastic splints, melting and moulding, cutting and adhering and adjusting. 
I dabbled in my art, painting a few acrylic paintings here and there over the years (mostly when I was inspired by the highly creative places I was living; like in Broome, as well as here in Dunsborough. Once I hit the magical 40 and had completed all of our baby making and birthing; I started to  think about what brings me deep joy and contentment (other than my children and of course my hubby).

I knew I had to rekindle, evoke and reunite with my artist within, to give me back my soul nourishment. So almost 3 years ago I passionately got going and haven't looked back. The surprising gift that came from not completing a fine arts degree, is that I didn't have any structure to follow, so I just followed the fire in my belly and the things that got me so inspired that I stayed up all night to pursue. 
When I declared myself, a Mixed Media Artist; it was liberating, freeing and joyful, as I was able to incorporate my former love of sewing with painting and drawing (my mother-in-law taught me how to sew ragged quilts and from there I became addicted and started making a lot of hand-made ruffle bum bloomers and art dolls and owls, you can see my old fb page here bubbleandbear.

It has a few of my earlier paintings on it but if you look in photo albums you will see all the sewed items. I stopped using that page after getting spammed and scammed!).I love the freedom MM art provides. It's like a disclaimer…if I get uninspired by creating one way, I can always change things up, learn new techniques and not feel locked in. I'm libran…I have to feel FREE lol! 
In addition to my MM art, I am also an Intuitive painter which allows me to incorporate my deep need to help others, to inspire women and young girls to find their happiness and joy in life. I love to create pieces with messages that speak to them, that uplift and open windows flowing to deep personal growth. You can find my current Facebook page here tanyacoleartist.  Would love you to come and say a little hello.

What inspires you, what are your current sources of inspiration?
Very often I will be going about my day preparing food for my three boys, or pottering around the house, or in the shower and my mind will drift off to something I discussed with a patient or friend. Some insight from our discussion…their expressed suffering or experience in life and my reflective listening and it will inspire a saying or message that kind of sums up what we talked about. 
It ends up being the name of the next painting and then I sit down and start sketching or splashing paint or inks around and a piece transpires with a quote or saying on the painting. It's usually a personal growth insight that I need to harness also, but mostly I feel like if I can share it out there in the world, hopefully it will move someone and help them.

And it does. I often get very moving messages from people expressing how a certain piece has touched their life, or moved them forward in some way in some aspect of their lives. I feel incredibly moved and honoured and excited that my art can reach people like that. It totally is my intention and it totally motivates and inspires me to keep growing and keep creating. I am very much drawn to creating whimsical girls and animals and various aspects of nature. 
My three boys inspire me, but in a negative space kind of way lol! They are gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but because the masculine energy is so dominant in our house, I am driven to paint very feminine based paintings with lots of pink! It's weird because I don't see myself as really girly but obviously there is something inside of me needing expression, so I just go with it. I love, love reading and absorbing art magazines and book and having new art supplies arrive to try out and experiment with. The other amazing thing is that my inspiration spikes just before ovulation…totally blows me away how our creativity can ebb and flow in sync with our menstrual cycle.

What mediums do you work with - do you have a favourite ?
Acrylic Paints, Graphite Pencil, Pen, Ink/Stencils + Water Soluble Crayons + Coloured Pencils for detailed shaded faces, paper, fabric, sequins and beads. I love them all!
Do you have a favourite technique? 
I love the freedom and the not knowing side to Intuitive painting. Basically, you just get in front of your substrate and start playing with paint and colour and mark making and then something you had absolutely no idea would appear comes to the fore. It is totally captivating and I do believe that the spirit of our ancestors start making themselves known when you are in the zone and start guiding you to find what it is you are needing to express into reality. 

It's really quite an enlightening experience. It brings such joy that I want the whole world to experience that joy too and that’s my plan…paint and wine nights with other wondrous women. I have grand plans! :) I love the dancing and the intention setting and meditative process involved in Intuitive painting…it helps keep me on track in how I should be living my life in a much more holistic, healthy and fuller way.

What kind of things do you make, create? 
I create large intuitive paintings on canvas, mostly using acrylic and I also do smaller illustrative drawings that I then turn into mixed media pieces; often on canvas but sometimes onto wood or canvas board.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have created ?
I love the journey I went on when I created 'Hope. Believe. Embrace'. It's quite a sentimental and symbolic piece for me, so I chose to keep it in my private collection. I was very surprised when I came out of the zone (painting trance), as the painting evolved very quickly and I was surprised to see what was there. It was definitely something deep within, that was in a rush to be expressed before my ego mind squished that lovely nowhere~everywhere space I was fortunate enough to be inhabiting.

I also drew/created a whimsical girls face of a family friend for her commission piece 'I am with you' (pictured at the top of this post). I love that I captured a little bit of the essence of her. She is just love and light and has those squinty eyes that smile. I see her when I look at it, so I that’s my favourite face so far.
There is also a meaningful bunny piece I drew around Easter. I was kind of contemplating the deeper meaning of that time for my kids sake and created it when I was deep in feeling~thought. 
It's called 'The Hare That Cared'
I haven't done anything with it yet but plan to incorporate it into a mixed media piece. I keep thinking of it, so I know I will come back to it at some stage.

What are your future plans,dreams,aspirations ?
Ooh! I have many future plans, dreams and aspirations. I plan to keep consistently building my business, learning, persisting with the bits that aren't so compelling to engage in (structured paperwork stuff), I plan to develop 'how to' videos on tips and techniques, run small workshops for women, as well as teenage girls. I plan to bring my OT into it a lot more and provide 1:1 counselling with art expression to help people deal with such things as depression, eating disorders, life events, life dissatisfaction, growth and personal evolvement.  

I dream of building a big mezzanine level in the kids playroom, to become a larger studio where I can run my paint, wine ~ with ~women nights and paint to my hearts content. I dream of doing my first solo exhibition in an art gallery. I dream of painting becoming my full-time love~job. I dream of being published in art magazines, of publishing a book and hopefully one day, offering online classes. I dream of connecting with my community and bringing the love of creativity to shine in everyone's lives…particularly kids, those who are suffering and the heart + mind locked-down people. I aspire to being a better artist every year. I aspire to my art making shifts in peoples lives for the positive. I aspire to healing the world and our planet. I've got a lot to do! :)
Do you have any exhibitions or markets coming up? 
I currently have some of my artwork exhibited at a local winery The Growers Handcrafted Wines (thegrowerswine). Phil and Doreen who run the winery are just gorgeous and the wines are divine! Phil is a tremendous supporter of art and artists.  I am also hoping to exhibit at Clancy's in Dunsborough again this year and will be entering the Vasse Art Awards once again and hopefully other nationwide art competitions. I am also currently in negotiation with a local Tearoom, to start putting some prints and smaller, originals in their shop. I will be taking a break from commission paintings for a few weeks, so that I can immerse myself in creating a body of work for exhibit. Very exciting times and I'm excited! 

Thanks so much for this opportunity to share with you Samara and your readers of your blog. In writing this, it helps crystallise a lot of hopes and dreams for me. Best wishes and happy creating. 
X Tanya 

Here are some other places to view Tanya Cole Arts:
Website: