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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Friends - Australian Makers - Sage and Mage

Happy Friday lovely Maddabling readers. Not much to report from Maddabling HQ, it has been a little on the quiet side due to various happenings. I am hoping to get some listings back into the Etsy store very soon :) 

This week it's my sincere pleasure to introduce you all to a new Friday Friend and Australian Maker - meet the mintox maker behind Sage and Mage - Gennifer! 
Having tried the divine products from Sage and Mage before, I can thoroughly recommend them. Let me share some of the things I spied in the Sage and Mage store with you now. 

If you are like me, you love your home to smell divine. I think you should try the Pomander Spiced Citrus Mist, a 100% Natural Aromatherapy Perfume Mist for Home. "The scent is a twist on sweet orange and clove, with bitter and blood oranges, nutmeg and black pepper lending their own particular edginess to the blend. There is also, ginger and cinnamon in there - and benzoin tincture for a mysterious resiny sweetness and a nod to the rich tradition of incense"
This description of this made my mouth water, although I know you shouldn't eat it. It's a Star Anise and Vanilla Bean Hand and Body Creme. Yummy! I can assure you this cream leaves a beautiful feel to your skin and a delicious scent. 
For your next party or during the Festive season, why not offer this as a non-alcoholic alternative - Pink Champagne, a 100% Organic Iced Tea Blend - It's so pink! Mix it with ice and sparkling mineral water or lemonade if you prefer it a little sweeter. 
Dear readers, I invite you now to take a little time and to read all about The Magic of Sage and Mage. Wishing each and every one of you a fantastic weekend xo♥
The Magic of Sage and Mage
Sage and Mage is the love-child of Gennifer Ciavarra (that’s me) but it really has a life of its own and seems to happen of its own accord!  
My creative journey began seven years ago when I got really, really sick, lost my career and my partner, and had a very hard time with life for quite a while – kind of a mid-life crisis ahead of its time, I suppose. I think creating literally saved my life. One day – out of nowhere, a compulsion to make things just ‘fell’ into me. I can’t describe it any other way. I fell in love with herbs first, then essential oils, then later, a face emerged from a bead I was making and art dolls started coming out, then after that, paintings started to appear. I had no idea where all this creativity was going – I just made things, and I started to feel better.
Etsy was much smaller when I first opened Sage and Mage – I’d chanced upon the site one day and didn’t understand it at first. Then I started browsing, finding so many wonderful creations from so many talented people, and thought I’d put some things on there myself. I had no expectation that anything would sell – I just wanted to make things and put them into the world. The presentation of my Etsy shop was a growing creative endeavor in itself. I still think of it as one of my artworks, a living folio – and as a whole, the site itself is my favourite piece.
Although I was a musician and also worked with words a lot as an editor and quiz writer, I hadn’t done anything from a truly authentic, creative place within myself for a long time and I think all that repressed energy just burst forth when I opened Sage and Mage. And it hasn’t stopped – I make everything from organic herbal tea to art dolls, from paintings to perfumes, facial oils to aromatherapy ‘first aid’. I figure I will let whatever wants to come out, come out. 
I closed Sage and Mage for two and a half years because I wanted to ‘explore other things’ (during which time I experimented with different types of music, and had my first solo painting exhibition) – and then I realised that I could explore different things within Sage and Mage, that it could be a repository for anything I created. So I recently reopened – and have no plans to close again to explore other things: all the exploring will be in Sage and Mage!
The big human things inspire me. Kindness. Humility. Dignity. Courage. Integrity. Especially when I hear about people taking risks to be themselves in a world that often doesn’t support it – not initially, at least – I am moved and inspired. On a more tangible scale, anything I can create with inspires me – the materials themselves. I am an art supply fiend. And I consider pretty much any substance an ‘art supply’ – from essential oils to herbs to fabric to gemstones to paper to paint. I am never sure if I am creating my pieces or if they are creating me.
I don’t have a favourite medium – I just know I want to try everything!  I do particularly love printmaking and I think the principle of it applies to perfumery and making natural skincare too – there’s an original plate (the recipe or formula) and then a small edition of prints (bottles, jars) are made. I don’t differentiate between my painting and my perfumery in terms of what constitutes art or creativity: 
I consider myself a craftsperson or artist whether I am making facial oils and organic teas, or painting watercolours. I don’t mass-produce anything, so each individual bottle of each batch of perfume or tea feels like an art piece to me – I know each bottle personally! Each piece is an act of creation and a labour of love.
I want to try sculpting in bronze one day, and to make tiny things in porcelain, and silver. I’m heading more and more into natural perfumery territory, too, rather than aromatherapy.  My plans are to try gilding and miniature artist’s bears next though! I made my first tiny bear about six months ago, and he got a few daggy siblings after that - I love him but I need to work on my stitchery a lot more before I offer them for sale!
I’ve got a long-term painting project that I work on when I can, which may take years – and I have plans to launch a new skincare range in 2015 that I’ve been working away at for months. When I was little I had a huge passion for beads - and later, I even had a little handmade jewellery business, and it was initially a huge part of Sage and Mage - so maybe beads will have a reconnaissance too. What I love most about the creative process is that you never know what’s around the corner – you’re always at the frontier and moving forward.  

Dear readers, would you like to see more? This is how you can connect: 
Buy lovely things on Etsy here: 
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/sageandmage
and keep up to date with the latest Sage and Mage news on Facebook here: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sage-and-Mage/121978711166491

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eco Echo - Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts.... arrghh! It's nearly Christmas time! 
Why not have a peek at some fab Australian handmade eco gifts this year; these items were found by browsing ECO on Etsy. 
Enjoy xo♥
Handmade eco-friendly solid Australian hardwood timber skateboard from WorthySkateboards
AUTHENTICITY unisex leather cuff from ByMarieNicole
Handmade Paper Journal, recycled, eco friendly, poetry journal, sketchbook, diary, Tree Reflection design from Cliffwatcher
Eco-Friendly Australian Wood Necklace from OliveAndEarth\

Owl Brooch - Eco Friendly - Textile Bird Pin from WinterOwls

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Friends - West Australian Makers - Homegrown + Handmade

Hello dear readers, I know it has been a week or so between Friday Friend features but I know you will love the talented maker Maddabling is featuring today! Meet a new Friday Friend and West Australian maker - say hello to the fabulous Kallista of Homegrown + Handmade.
Kallista creates wonderful textile pieces and delicious gourmet goodies for your pantry and table. Let me share some of my current favourites with you now :) 
Wouldn't you love to have this on your Christmas Table, a divine Christmas Hamper with a "New Years" gold flecked olive oil 100ml, a Chilli infused olive oil 100ml (dressing seafood + pasta), 
a Garlic + Rosemary olive oil 100ml, a box of 12 Cranberry + Pistachio, gluten free shortbreads, a Rose petal infused herbal honey 100ml, a Lavender infused herbal honey 100ml, a Roast hazelnuts in raw honey 100ml a Bag of raw, organic, low GI rapadura sugar and 3 Decorative festive flag toppers (spike into pudding or roast). Perfection!
For those with a green thumb, how about a Gardeners Gift set with Kneeling Pad + Gloves in "Boho Sherbert"
Or maybe buy something just for you - a 3 Pack "Gluten Free Gang" Bake at Home Cookie Mix from Crossman Cookie Company.
Dear readers, I invite you now to pull up a comfy chair, make a cup of tea and sit down to read the Homegrown + Handmade Tale. Have a wonderful weekend xo♥
The Homegrown + Handmade Tale

Homegrown + Handmade a range of gifts for those that value handmade, wholesome and useful pieces for heartfelt gifting.
I started trading early 2010 after we moved to country WA when I was house bound in full mother mode with 3 young boys (including twins). My priority at that stage was to be home full time with the kids but we needed a second source of income so my creative side fused with cooking and sewing skills learnt from my mother and my near 20 years experience in marketing and there was no turning back. 
The property we bought had a small 70 tree 17 year old olive grove and it wasn't even mentioned in the listing, when i first spotted it as we lugged through the paddock on our self guided site inspection - I instantly knew i could do something with it even though I new nothing about olive growing. It all stemmed from being resourceful in the face of a lack of employment options for someone with my skill set and fairly impressive corporate resume. I had always dreamt of having my own little venture and without realising it, it was going to happen out of necessity.
The product range started with textiles, expanded to wholefood cookies, then the olive oil and other homewares type products. I have a number of distribution channels online and offline and now 4 years on are completely consumed by the business with a constant queue of orders and two significant national distribution deals in the pipeline. It so exciting and fits perfectly alongside my #1 priority of being mum. The kids are all at school full time now so as soon as they are picked up at the farm gate by the school bus my day in the studio starts.
All of my pieces are kind of everyday items with a twist, they each have their own unique selling points to set them apart in a crowded market place.
One of my favourite products is my real 23 carat gold leaf infused olive oil. Gold leaf is edible and I first saw it in Japanese sake (wine), it has both Eastern and European historical uses so my own collection of gold flecked products were launched. I produce gift bottles and also wedding bomboniere sized bottles out of it. For this years festive season I have released it with a New Years theme label "Have a dazzling 2015".
The products in the pipeline are many and varied and I am constantly upgrading my products improving quality and features. At 45, my days are spent quietly focused working alone in our simple little weatherboard cottage with the occasional window visit from my horses, a far cry from my first proper job at 18 with international accounting firm Price Waterhouse in Sydneys tallest sky scraper. This is one city girl that is living happily ever after in the country.
Ok readers - here is how you can connect with Homegrown + Handmade. Buy delicious and beautiful things on Etsy here: 
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/HomegrownHandmade
and follow all the Homegrown + Handmade Happenings on Facebook here: 
https://www.facebook.com/CrossmanCookieCompany

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Yellow Rose - Thursday Thoughts

A Yellow Rose; today my blog post is a small tribute to a near and dear one recently departed, a toast to a life lived well and to laughter and tears and lovely memories. 
Vintage Shabby Chic heart shaped trinket box, yellow roses from HydrangeaHillVintage
Floral bracelet yellow english roses from JewelleryForWorld
1950s vintage dress yellow rose bud print from LMDvintage
Vintage Heart Locket with Yellow Roses Necklace from MadisonHoneyVintage
Royal Vale Footed China Teacup Tea Cup and Saucer Yellow Roses England 11615 from TheVintageTeacup

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Friends - Australian Makers - Three White Rabbits

Hello readers! How are you this fine Friday? It is set to be a massive weekend on the South Coast, with the ANZAC Centenary celebrations. We are expecting an exceptional influx of tourists and dignitaries to descend on our town. I will write up a special weekend blog post on Sunday to share more about this with you all. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more you can visit this site: http://www.anzacalbany.com.au/

This week it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you all to a new Friday Friend and Australian maker, meet sweet Lisa  of Three White Rabbits
Lisa makes the sweetest dresses and skirts, in darling vintage styles. Here are some of my faves that I just have to share with you. 

1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz swing dress.... 
2. The Cream Roses Swing Dress...
And 3. The Green Check 50's Dress.
 
I would love to invite you all now to settle in with a cup of tea and ready The Tale of Three White Rabbits. I hope you enjoy your weekend, do something fun and just for you. Happy Reading xo♥
The Tale of Three White Rabbits
Who is... Three White Rabbits is the creation of Lisa Sandilands, based in Sydney 
How and When did your handmade/artistic journey begin? Three White Rabbits began 6 years ago as a kitsch boutique in Darlinghurst. Originally I had a swimwear label called Ruby Red Republic. I started Three white rabbits to feature in my shop as I was always looking for quality made original clothing. 
Since the shop closed I started doing costume design but kept the dresses as I loved wearing them.
What inspires you ?
I'm inspired by colour and happiness – Colour gives me energy and I love Natural fibres.
Tell me about your creative side, how did you get started?
I have always had a creative side and have worked for other people as a designer for clothing and costumes. Currently I am learning the craft of upholstery.
What are your current sources of inspiration?
Right now I'm inspired by the spring weather, wildlife and travel – another project I have in the pipeline is designing my own fabric from my travels. Recently I have been to London , New York and India and I want to put all my travel photos on fabric. I also have travel plans coming up to the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Edinburgh which I want to do something creative with.
What mediums do you work with - do you have a favourite ?
Cotton – I love natural fibres!
Do you have a favourite technique?
I have a trusty industrial singer sewing machine – Its about 25 years old now but sews everything from Cotton to leather – and is especially useful with my current upholstery projects
What kind of things do you make/create ?
My signature pieces are dresses but watch this space – My own furniture and fabric range is coming.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have made/created ?
My wizard of oz range was a best seller and is still my favourite!
What are your future plans/dreams/aspirations ?
I want to keep evolving and using my travels to create fabrics.
Do you have any exhibitions or markets coming up?
No – but you can by some of my limited edition pieces at Loganberry Lane in Glenbrook.

You can also visit my website
etsy store
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/thethreewhiterabbits
and facebook page