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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist - Lost Child

Wednesday 25th March 2011 is International Missing Childrens Day May. This Wednesday Wishlist is dedicated to those children.

"Children go missing all around the world everyday - some are taken by the people they trust the most - a family member or parent. The issue of family abduction is not only complex, but one in which no country is immune - and it gets worse when children are taken across international borders. Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Romania, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have recognised this significant issue and are joining to help bring them home"


Left Behind a Sleepy Child Following Her Mother a fine art photo by dorataya

"Lost toys" - candle holder, belonging to the ''Guardians of light' series by Cerunique

The Forgotten - 8x12 Fine Art Photograph by jude mcconkey

wooden rocking horse by WisconsinWagon

Don't go too far 8x10 fine art print by Nathan Blixt

2 Victorian Baby High Top Button & Lace Up Shoes by seasidecollectibles

"Lost" by Belle and Boo

Vintage Straw Cowboy Hat by jonscreations

The Lost Boy II, Original Collage by psychart

Boo Boo Annie Doll by tanarogers

Patron Saint of Lost Children 5 Postcard pack by Jasmine Worth

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Friends - Dusty Diva's - Cricklewood Chocolate

Happy Friday lovely readers - have you got something fabulous planned for this weekend ? I hope your collective weeks have been full of creativity, love and laughter.

I am extremeley excited to introduce a brand new DUSTy Diva this week, who only opened her ETSY store on the 21st of April this year - the amazing Amy

of Cricklewood Chocolates.

I was terribly thrilled to stumble upon Amy's store when I was compiling a Mother's Day Wednesday Wishlist and thought to myself, I HAVE to try some of these delightful concoctions ! So I placed an order.........

I am about to describe to you the gastronomic journey that my tastebuds undertook when I tried the Milk Chocolate & Cardamom Truffles rolled in Sweet Honey Dukkah.

I opened the parcel that had arrived with great anticipation - yes, I am a self confessed chocoholic. I could smell the most wonderful scent of chocolate and rich spices and couldn't open the sweet handmade paper box quickly enough. I saw in front of me 8 of the most decadent looking truffles I had ever seen. I thought, I can't wait til I get home tonight, I must try one now ! And I did.

I bit into the crisp dukkah shell, the flavour explosion of roasted almonds, sesame seeds, cardamom, turmeric and honey (Amy's very own recipe) hit me.......then my tastebuds were lovingly assaulted with a second wave of flavour.....
a sensationally smooth dense milk chocolate ganache centre ( made from divine premium couverture chocolate) infused with cardamom spice, coated with milk chocolate - it was nothing less than a drool worthy experience. I was so disciplined and only sampled one, the rest made it home but didn't last long once they arrived here. I did share though, I promise !

I was also incredibly lucky to sample a Dark Chocolate Rhubarb Heart and this is without a doubt one of the prettiest chocolates I have ever seen !

This sublime dark chocolate heart with it's sinfully good gooey sweet rhubarb centre, is garnished with white chocolate beading and a candied rhubarb rose - oh my what a decadent combination !

I feel that next on my list to try would be the the Wild Hibiscus Flower White Chocolate Truffles. How can I not covet these, this description by Amy I feel would describe these perfectly :

These beautiful whole hibiscus flowers are filled with a gooey, sweet hibiscus ganache and then dipped in white chocolate. The flowers have a delightfully chewy texture and a sweet, fruity flavour, almost like berries. A decadent and luscious morsel, they are perfect for weddings, dinner parties, gifts, or even just a treat for afternoon tea!

When I read the blurb Amy had compiled for me, I smiled from ear to ear for the duration - I invite you to spoil yourselves lovely readers, sit back and indulge in The Cricklewood Chocolate Chronicle.

The Cricklewood Chocolate Chronicle

“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be.” - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I'm Amy and I'm currently eating white chocolate for breakfast, whilst sipping a giant mug of peppermint tea. When I'm not eating chocolate, I'm making chocolate or dreaming up wild new flavour ideas to try.

I have been described as crazy, voluptuous, impatient, whimsical, irrational, romantic, delusional, obsessive, silly and wise. I don't know if I am any of those things. But I certainly do feel crazy most of the time. My somewhat gypsy lifestyle means I'm often away from home, but I always want to remember it. Cricklewood Chocolate was named after the street where I grew up.

When I was eight years old I decided I would be a flute player. That dream carried me through a degree at the Elder Conservatorium of Adelaide, graduating with First Class Honours and then took me on to win a Fulbright scholarship to complete my Masters of Music degree in New York City. I lived in New York for two years and it changed me forever. I came to loathe the stuffy arts culture which I found to be so closed-minded, and which seemed to be apathetic to the effect of art in people's lives. REAL people, not academics.

Basically, it seemed like people in the grown up world of “professional” music just didn't care about the real PURPOSE of music: to create pleasure & catharsis, to express humanity. It was just a boring job like any other. My identity was all wrapped up in becoming a perfect, star flautist, so this disappointment in the reality of things made my world come crashing down.

And that's how I became a chocolatier.

Well, first I came home and wallowed for about a year, barely touching my flute. Then I ran away to France to volunteer for a couple of boutique chocolatiers in exchange for food, accommodation and chocolate making lessons.

I loved their carefree way of life. They lived frugally and happily and sourced their couverture (base chocolate) from Ecuadorian cacao farmers they met whilst doing humanitarian work. It was the most incredibly earthy, humble, natural tasting chocolate. I decided when I came home to Australia that I would import it to make my own chocolates.

I love working with fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables and it makes me happy when people comment that my chocolate is “so refreshing”. I use no preservatives, chemicals, artificial colours or flavours.

And definitely no store-bought chocolate art transfers. Chocolate is an everyday dietary staple for me, so I like to bring out the wholesome nature of it. I was very excited when I discovered the whole hibiscus flowers!

I am completely devoted to handmade, to the point of obsession. My partner, Jeff, is American and his family always laugh at me at Christmas time, trying to open my presents all daintily in order to save the wrapping paper.

But I truly believe that handmade needs to start from the base materials. I always work from the basic product, even when it comes to packaging. I make my own handmade, recycled, food-grade paper for gift boxes. While it is very time consuming, it is equally satisfying and resourceful.

So, there is much more chocolate on the horizon. I am currently producing my Autumn Collection, but brainstorming for winter, which will definitely include an intense chilli chocolate (possibly using whole chillis!).

When I finally get my shipment of couverture from Ecuador (they're quite disorganised), I will be able to release the much anticipated 100% cacao bar with dried figs. It's my favourite thing in the whole wide world.

My confidence and my creativity are slowly rebuilding and I hope also to return to my flute, to combine a life of music and chocolate. And have wild musical chocolate parties! I will be moving to Melbourne in June/July with my partner. It will be lovely to get to know some more Victorians before I go!

Love to all,

And plenty of chocolate,


Want to see more ? Amy has a super special offer on at the moment - a delicious Chocolate Sampler Surprise with FREE SHIPPING until June 1st. A Selection of tasting samples, a bit of everything - Truffles - Chocolate bars - Gourmet Chocolates - check out Amy's Etsy Store for more details


You can also connect with Cricklewood Chocolate on Facebook at this link :


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monster Mash - Wednesday Wishlist

Friday the 13th May was International Monsters Day - this week, my Wednesday Wishlist is a little on the scary side (not) and inspired by the Monster Mash, which I am sure all Monsters danced to when they celebrated their special day. Enjoy !

Animation of "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Picket

Movember bunny by wickedchilddesigns

Oh Mummy Glass Lampwork Bead by girlfriday1962

Girl and monsters blank notecards (set of three cards) by PseudocodiuM

Felt Brooch - Baby Monster by CandyBandits

Millennial Monsters - Vol.1 by frankenmation

Nin the horned plush monster by TheJaeBird

oogie boogie card by wendyjune

Bad Stomach Ladies Tee by emandsprout


Custom Handmade Monster, plush toy by tasha2shoes

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday Friends, Dusty Diva's - Maddabling

Welcome to a new edition of Friday Friends and Dusty Diva's. This week, due to popular demand (?) yours truly, Maddabling is being featured. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about me and my inspirations.......

Hi, my name is Samara and this is my story. I live in a country city on the Southern Coast of Western Australia with my wonderful husband and fur kids.

our family portrait lovingly drawn by Little Mo and Friends

I am very lucky that I married a particularly creative man who writes and plays his own music, which you can check out Maddo and his music here if you fancy ! We "share" a 4m x 5m craft/music room which is fab, plenty of room for everyone.

I find inspiration in many things, beauty is something I see everywhere - the way the light falls in contrasting shadows or raindrops on a spiders web or cloud formations or sunsets or shiny sparkly craft supplies or a blank canvas or a new camera to play with !

I have a step-daughter who turned 21 earlier this year and I love her dearly. I have numerous nieces and nephews that light up my life. Whenever possible, I give the gift of handmade for Birthdays and Christmas, to try and nurture an appreciation of the handmade craft amongst the younger generation in my family.

I work full time and being creative is a great way to reduce stress and to express yourself, I find. I originally wanted to pursue a career in media or graphic design, but sadly it wasn't to be.

Maddabling came about from being encouraged to open an ETSY store by my dear friend Del over at DELicious Designz and my first craft market that a very creative friend Judy encouraged me to do a few years ago.

I thought "people like my stuff so that's a good start" - I am completely self taught and still learn new things every day. Which is good, because when one stops learning, the mind becomes stagnant and creativity is lost.

As a child, I used to cut up lots of paper into tiny pieces (so my Mother tells me) and she used to dread it when I would pick up a pair of scissors. I also used to draw quite a bit but that pursuit has fallen by the wayside.

One of my earliest crafting memories was making things out of papier mache at Primary School, I think I may have also created the mandatory dried pasta pictures and dried pasta necklaces at some point in my early artistic career also.

I make, I create, delving into a world of paper, gemstones, beads, canvas, digital film and print and of course Blogging - I LOVE promoting the craft of others each week .......... here are some examples of things I make ........

gift tags





I am happiest when I am making, there is something about putting your visions, ideas and dreams all together to create a finished product. I am a proud member of the DUST team but am sad that I don't get to spend more time on the forums - note to self, MUST MAKE TIME. The ladies there are very welcoming and supportive - the Down Under Street Team does ROCK !

I love experimenting with different mediums, I have some silk beading thread, some steampunk components, and wire lace to play with soon, obviously not all together though ! Hoping to create some lovely new pieces, like this wire lace & gemstone necklace that I made a while back.....

In 2008 I entered the Fire Mountain Beads and Gems annual beading contest with a necklace I made called "Ancient Ocean".

I was so thrilled when I received a letter by snail mail to let me know that I had been shortlisted and I had to send the necklace I made and all it's specifications off to America for photographing and judging. I didn't win that particular competition, but felt like a winner, as my creation was considered as a shortlisted entry in a world wide contest !

A competition piece I made called "Southern Summer" was inspired by the amazing place in which I live

you can see the the colours correlate with the sand, water and coastal landforms.

I felt blessed to be included in the Southern Minnesota "Venus Magazine". When I got an email asking if I would consider my wine charms being included, I thought they must have made a mistake, with me being on the other side of the globe. However, as ETSY is a worldwide marketplace, it wasn't an error and here it is in print !

My signature line is Kilt Pin Brooches. I can't count how many I have made over the years. Each one is different and I love to work with people to create a custom piece just for them.

I recently acquired a new mobile phone and have become completely enamoured with the camera & Lomo photo effect that it has. So much so that I have just made my first book through Blurb - this was a whole new creative process that I LOVE ! There was something incredibly satisfying about knowing I had made a book from photos I had taken, with words I had chosen, that will arrive in my mailbox all printed and bound :)

I think I have found a new addiction in publishing -if you haven't tried it I can highly recommend the process. This book however is just for me, not for general distribution as there are some family photo's included but these are some of the pages from the book that I will share with you now.

What's next for Maddabling ? I will slowly start prep over the next few months for the Summerstreet Fair to be held in November, for those quirky gorgeous handmade gifts and need to update my ETSY store as I haven't done so for ages.

I also need to put my thinking cap on - at the recent Mothers Day Market, I was approached by a lovely lady from the local library to ask if I would consider putting a display of my work on in the library ! I saw Del's display last year and must admit I have big boots to fill :)

I recently acquired the Artful Bird Book and hope to branch out creatively and experiment with these sculpture techniques to create some little birdies ........I am also thinking of making some more books...........amongst other things like eventually learning my Bass guitar and learning how to use my sewing machine !

Anyway, here are some links for you to browse if you like or you can connect with Maddabling here :

buy online at Etsy :


connect through my blog :


or facebook :