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, September 17, 2010

Friday Friends Dusty Divas Part 16 Wiccked

Welcome to edition 16 of Friday Friends. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend planned ! This week I want you to meet Melanie; the wiccked stepmother, multi media artist and website junkie behind wiccked. Her description by the way - I don't know that there is anything wicked about this lovely Dusty Diva ! Melanie is also a tireless,hard working DUSTer who helps to keep the behind the scenes techo bits and pieces running smoothly on the DUST team forum and on ETSY. Note use of my technical terminology *wink*.

I love the variety of talents Melanie displays in her work and featured this piece in an Industrial Themed Wednesday Wishlist a while ago
Bugs on a Screen door - a fine silver pendant with brass & cubic zirconia by melanie j cook, wiccked on etsy and

I heart the rich tapestry of colour in this piece

A Glass and a Half, single bed handmade patchwork quilt, by melanie j cook, for wiccked on etsy;

the amazing intricacies,textures and colours of this piece

tell me no lies, by melanie j cook, for wiccked on etsy

and I could happily gaze at this wonderful painting full of shape, colour and form for hours

chrysalis,by melanie j cook, for wiccked on etsy

Now brew yourself a lovely cuppa, sit back and relax and marvel at the extraordinary story of Melanie and wiccked !

Artist Bio : melanie j cook - multi media artist & website junkie.

about me

My mother says my father will take a photo of anything and everything. I inherited that gene, but I take ten photos of everything, or twenty photos, or even more! I love taking photos of light, and shade, colour and texture. I see things all over the place. I have a friend who loves to go walking with me, because then she gets to see what I see, and that is very different to what everyone else sees, or so she says.

I bought my first camera at about age 10, with biscuit wrappers that I collected from my school playlunch. That was a Diana camera, and I was terribly disappointed with the film slippage and light leakage. These days I have another Diana for that exact reason.

Times change though, and I still have the Olympus SLR I got for my 21st birthday over 30 years ago, but I'm on my fourth digital camera!

I'm becoming I’ve become a lot more comfortable with the idea of calling myself an artist. A multi media artist & website junkie, actually. I love colour and texture and I want that to be visible in all of my art.

Photography is one of the many media I love. When I show you a photo I want you to know what I felt when I took it. I want you to taste the lemons in the pie, feel the beauty of a tree, or the love of a small child. I want you to be awed by the blueness of the sky, or feel goosebumps on your skin because of the clear chill of a winters morning. I want your thirst to be quenched by my icy wet glass, and your skin to feel caressed by the water in my swimming pool - even though it's freezing winter where you are and hot summer where I am. An eye may be the window to the soul, but I think photographs are the windows to mine. That's my soul, out there, in pixels. I love what I see and I love to share it.

The earth is a canvas. Go create.

I wrote that over five years ago, so I’ve updated a couple of things. I’m still really proud of the project that I wrote it for.

A lady contacted me via flickr, about using one of my photos. More specifically, about her paying me for the right to use one of my photos. This was the first time (I think) that anyone had paid for the use of one of my photos. She paid me US$350 to use a photograph of lemon meringue pie.


She used my photo, along with another womans photo of a lemon, to wrap the ground floor of a tower on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.


Having my photograph there - metres tall, on Wilshire Blvd was one of the things that made me start to take my work seriously. That might sound silly, about a slice of lemon meringue pie, but people use all sorts of photographs all the time. And that particular time someone wanted to use mine.

I opened my Etsy shop in December 2006, but originally I think I only listed half a dozen items, and they all expired, and it was ages before I went back to add more, and eventually migrated my own online store into my Etsy store.
The first items I listed would have all been jewellery, or tarot bags.

Cairn Goddess, necklace, by melanie j cook, wiccked on etsy

African Squares - hand stitched cotton drawstring bag,by melanie j cook, wiccked, on etsy

It took quite a while before getting my first sale, in April 2008. My first purchase was in February of the same year (and she still makes the same item!), which makes me think it was probably around a year between me joining Etsy and actually starting to use it. A bit over two years later I’m almost at 200 sales.

Tree of Life #5, by melanie j cook, wiccked, on etsy

My last year has been sporadic, both in terms of sales and in terms of me making new things. I have almost finished a painting, which has taken ages, but I do have another ready to be painted once I have finished. I want to get back to creating new things to sell. I’ve kept on making things for other people, or for me, but I think that following my year since my breast cancer diagnosis I’ve been spending the time since treatment finished in a sort of hibernation mode. I think I’m regathering myself. I separated from my husband - I think for very much the same reason. I need time to find me again. I don’t want to be a cancer patient, nor someone’s wife. I want to be my own person. It’s been a costly journey, but I think I’m getting there. Little things I do lately have me noticing, and thinking hey - I wouldn’t have done that before!

But now I can.

I can quilt.

Fallow Fields Rag Quilt, by melanie j cook, wiccked, on etsy

I can be me. I am 52.


I am melanie - woman, mother, nanna, daughter, sister, friend, artist, DUSTer, geek, tree hugger, earth lover, lesbian,
and I still take photos of my lunch.


I’m all over the internet - (website junkie after all!)

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/wiccked

Facebook fan page - http://artist.to/wiccked

Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiccked/

Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop/wiccked

Blog - http://www.the-onion.net/

Zazzle - http://www.zazzle.com/wiccked*

Tarot - http://www.antipodeantarot.com/gp

wiccked - http://www.wiccked.com

photos/art(ish) - http://www.melaniejcook.com


  1. Melanie is an awesome Dusty Diva. Thanks so much for sharing! Your photos are amazing and what a thrill having one of them on a side of a building.
    Also, another great blog Samara x

  2. Melanie - fantastic work, keep up the great job of all you do including the time out when you need it.

    Thankyou Samara for another wonderful Dusty Diva.