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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sculpture in the Harbour - Tidelines

Dear Maddabling Blog Readers, firstly let me start by wishing you all a very Happy and Safe Easter! 
Secondly, I want to share something quite special and artistically unique with you in this special edition blog post.

Art Lovers - if you are in the Albany area this Easter Long Weekend you are in for a real treat! 
Artist: Sandy O'Doherty (Albany) 'Incoming Tide'
In a top secret location...well it's not really top secret I guess...there is a visual treat...an exhibition with a difference....
Sculpture in the Harbour "Tidelines"
The exhibition is situated in the shallow waters between the Anzac Peace Park and the Albany Entertainment Centre on the Albany Foreshore. 
Here's a little more about the background to this exhibition: 
"NewArts in partnership with the Vancouver Arts Centre present a unique and innovative approach to displaying sculpture in the waterscape of Albany Sculpture in the Harbour - Tidelines. The exhibition runs from  March 29 - April 1, 2013."
Artist: Dave TAYLOR (South Stirlings) 'Breach'
I really enjoyed looking at the beautiful pieces on show, and capturing the reflections of the sculpture in the water early on Friday morning, sometimes almost in a mirror image. I would love to share a few of my favourites snaps with you now. 
Artist: John Farrington (Needilup South) 'Diva Diver'
Artist: James McLEAN (Albany) 'Turbines or Toilet'
Artists: Kevin DRAPER and Indra GEIDANS (Torbay) 'Study for Neither Here nor There'
Artist: Kerry Argent (Lake Grace) 'Resting monument to the lowly seagull'
Artist: David Stockdale (Kendenup) 'Joy'
I hope you have enjoyed this short visual journey with me. Dear readers, you can connect or find out more about Sculpture in the Harbour at this link: http://www.facebook.com/SculptureintheHarbour
Artist: John FARRINGTON (Needilup South) 'Diva Diver'

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Friends - DUSTy Divas - Secret Jewellz

Welcome to Good Friday lovely readers, I hope your collective days are wonderful. Not much to report on the Maddabling front this week, although I did share a fantastic chocolaty recipe on the blog earlier this week - did you happen to see it? I  also had a crafternoon with a fellow crafter, we made some cold process soap and beaded bracelets! I also had the pleasure of admiring an exhibition "Sculptures in the Harbour - Tidelines" - I will share a special blogpost over the weekend so that you can see some of the fantastic works on display too.

This week it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you Kathy of Secret Jewellz - a DUSTy Diva and new Friday Friend on the Maddabling blog. 
Kathy makes really lovely things and I want to share some of these with you now. I am loving this Shopping in New York Glass Brooch 
and the word play on "The Peep Show" Keyhole Necklace really appealed to my sense of humour, just so clever!
Also, aren't these Vintage Opalite Cabochon On Brass Earrings;  "On A Moonlit Night" just so decadent?
Lovely readers, I hope you enjoy your time with family and loved ones this weekend, I invite you now to sit back, relax and read The Story of Secret Jewellz. Take care, see you all next week xo

The Story of Secret Jewellz

Who is Secret Jewellz and why all the secrecy? Hi my name is Kathy and owner of Secret Jewellz.  I always get asked about why I named my business Secret Jewellz.
It all started when I first got into making jewellery and couldn’t find the supplies I wanted.  Every time I asked someone and tried to get information on getting supplies, no one wanted to tell me.  Hence, everything seems so secretive in this jewellery world I was entering.  It was all jewellery secret business.  
Things have changed a lot since those days though and we can source and find things very easy on the Internet now days. Also the word secret conjures up mysteries, intrigue, imagination and what lies lurking in the dark depths of life.  I like to think of my little shop as you never know what you might find there.

What Inspires Secret Jewellz? I take my inspiration from old world charm.  Looking back in time at different eras and how they embraced nature into their everyday jewellery.  
What mediums do I work with? I love working with brass.  It has so many possibilities. There are literally hundreds of different charms and filigree stampings to choose from, which can be twisted and turned and wrapped around beautiful glass jewels and other ornate objects.  It is very forgiving.
What are my plans and dreams for the future of Secret Jewellz? I hope Secret Jewellz can keep evolving and moving forward into the future.  I plan on incorporating precious metal clay into my work. I also want to add more meaning and give my customers a little bit of treasure to hold and to cherish forever and pass along to the next generation.

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

Buy lovely things on Etsy here:



and become a follower on Flickr here: 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Guilt Free Chocolate - Thursday Thoughts

I have noticed an abundance of Chocolate everywhere I look at the moment...........in varying forms! This weeks Thursday Thoughts lists focuses on guilt free chocolate - all items found by searching "chocolate" on Etsy. Happy Easter everyone x 
1960's Milk Chocolate Polkadots Dress, M from thepigeonchest
Coffee Cacao Chocolate and Olive Soap Aztec Blend by LittleLeafBotanics
Tiny Chocolate Bunny Beads  by TheCraftyBead
Chocolate Ginger Rooibos Tea Organic Caffeine Free by TeaHoundsTeaCo
Chocolate Twist - Handmade Leather Ballet flats by TheDrifterLeather

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

c is for oh my cookie goodness!

Maddabling recently spied this recipe in STM magazine and had to try it! 

Maddabling faithfully followed the recipe and promises you that it was worth every chocolatey step.

Here it is lovely readers so you can try it for yourself. This is a Donna Hay recipe: http://www.donnahay.com.au/

and there is another variation on this recipe on the Donna Hay website too! 

Happy Baking and bon app├ętit!



350g Dark Chocolate, chopped
40g Unsalted butter
2 eggs
⅔ cup (150g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ (35g) cup plain flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
Salted Caramel Frosting
¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
½ cup single (pouring) cream
150g unsalted butter, chopped
Sea Salt Flakes for sprinkling

Method: (makes 12)

1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. Place 200g of the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and cook,  stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Set aside.

3. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and whisk for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy.

4. Stir through the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixture and remaining chocolate and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

5. Drop tablespoonsful of the mixture on to baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, allowing room to spread, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until completely puffed and cracked.  Allow to cool completely on the trays.

6. To make the salted caramel icing, put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir with a metal spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium, bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, for 8-9 minutes or until golden.

7. Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream and butter.

8. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth.

9.  Refrigerate until completely cool.

10. Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the mixture until soft peaks form.

11. Spread half the cookies with the icing, sprinkle with the salt and sandwich with the remaining cookies.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Friends - DUSTy Diva's - Elements of Childhood

Happy Friday lovely readers!I hope your collective weeks have been filled with happiness and fun. Or at least enough time to stop and breathe deeply for a few moments each day. This week I am thrilled to introduce a brand new DUSTy Diva, Friday Friend and Australian Maker - meet Laura from Elements of Childhood.
I LOVE these designs. The clothes that Laura creates are practical and stylish, just perfect for your little trendsetters. The clothes look so comfortable, ideal for beach holidays and hot Australian summers. One wonderful part of writing Friday Friends features is the requirement to browse through online stores and social media photo albums. It means I can get a feel for the wonderful things that my featured artist makes. Here are some favourites that I just have to share with you all. A dream wardrobe item for little boys everywhere, a boys white cotton shirt with mesh Treasure Pockets! 
and how cute is this adorable modest Girls 2 piece swimsuit bikini in fabulous blue and white nautical stripes ?
And I really love the retro look of these Boys cotton pants, they are so summery and cool......
Dear readers, I will now pass the blogging baton to Laura, to share with you all a little more about The Elements of Childhood Storybook. Time for you to make a cup of tea, raid the bikkie barrel and take some time just for you. Have a wonderful weekend everyone xo

The Elements of Childhood Storybook

When I design clothes for Elements of Childhood, I aim for beautiful yet subtle styling; I focus strongly on comfort and I am led by the Seasons, with their distinct characteristics, for both form and function.
I was 8 years old when I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I made clothes for myself, costumes for school plays and styled myself very differently from others, never really wanting to follow the crowd, so in a way I feel I have travelled in a circle, now making clothes for my children, very often with their guidance and assistance.
And I never stopped sewing, I loved art and textiles at school, was at the sewing machine at every opportunity, very much supported by my family – my mum was very artistic and her mother was a seamstress. I studied Fashion design at college and then university, finishing my degree amidst a furore of creativity and inspiration at Central Saint Martins in London, before moving to Sydney to bask in some warmer culture and visual delights. Here in Australia I kept freelance designing until the arrival of my third child made keeping to other people’s deadlines nigh impossible.
Ever since I had my first son I have felt a desire to design a children’s wear range as I found it hard to find clothes I really liked. I love Scandinavian simplicity and cleanliness of design, I invariably choose natural colours, adore stripes, and find myself always in English historic costume books when looking for detailing ideas. Now I get to pull all those things together and produce a small collection of lovingly and ethically handmade garments to dress wonderful small people. 
Fabrics are key in my design process, making sure the texture and weight are perfectly matched to the purpose, preferring natural fibres wherever appropriate and trying to source locally if ever possible – I have some alpaca in the Winter capsule that was raised near Port Macquarie, spun in Victoria and knitted in Sydney.

So much inspires me. I am luckily and gratefully surrounded by artists, designers, photographers, florists…. which makes designing and creating ever present in my day to day life and I hope that that will be so until the day I die, (I have a clear picture of my future self – long grey hair, arthritic fingers, embroidering until my eyes give out – bliss!)

Dear readers, do you want to see more ? Here's how you can connect: 

Buy lovely things on Etsy here: 

and become a follower on Facebook here: 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden Wedding Prettiness - Wednesday Wishes

Rustic Chic Garden Wedding Favor Bags from braggingbags

Who doesn't love a garden wedding? Tomorrow is a special day for me, it has been 15 years since I said "I Do" to my lovely hubby in our very own garden wedding. Dear readers, I must confess, I got a little nostalgic and wanted to share with you some Garden Wedding Prettiness - such sweet handmade finds, the inspiration behind this weeks Wednesday Wishes.
statement rose hair clip, natural garden wedding headpiece from kisforkani
Vintage Wedding Invitation- Blue Bird of Happiness Garden Wedding          from SunshineandRavioli
Lace Wedding Dress Vintage Victorian Style, Alternative Bridal Recycled Lace 
Open Back Plus Size from PureMagnoliaCouture 
Wedding Blessing Herbs flower confetti - 25-Cup Bag for fairy tale endings. . . from Flowerfetti 
 Bridal Barefoot Sandals hemp Toe Thong in Ivory White from MoJosFreeSpirit

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Friends - Local Artists - Serena, David and the Hotchin Gallery

Happy Friday lovely Maddabling blog readers! This week, in the Maddabling Friday Friends series, I am so excited to share with you a new gallery space that has opened in my town, the Hotchin Gallery. This tiny space is packed with so much local artist goodness you won't believe it 'til you see it! I took a few happy snaps to share with you all so you can get an idea of how much can be shown in a one room space. 
This week, I am thrilled to hand over the blogging reigns to the lovely Serena as a guest writer, to tell you more about Hotchin Gallery and the works of David Edgar and Serena McLauchlan. I hope you do enjoy reading the The Story of Serena, David and the Hotchin Gallery. Have a fantastic weekend everyone x 
The Story of Serena, David and the Hotchin Gallery
Who is Hotchin Gallery?
Hotchin Gallery is a partnership between David Edgar and Serena McLauchlan.  We started Hotchin Gallery in 2009 as an online gallery and ‘open by appointment’ studio gallery in the under-croft  space of our home on Hotchin Avenue, showing our work.  
David Egdar - Blue Sea
The name Hotchin Gallery comes from Hotchin Avenue named after Sir Claude Hotchin, the art benefactor who lived in Albany across the road from us.  
Former house of the late Sir Claude Hotchin
For the past three years we have opened our home gallery for The Bendigo Bank Southern Art + Craft Trail – we really loved the experience of sharing and connecting.  The move to Lower Stirling Terrace is a desire to continue the sharing of our art and other contemporary artist on a regular basis.
Hotchin Gallery - Lower Stirling Terrace
How and When did your handmade/artistic journey begin ?
Serena: I have always loved art as a child, painting especially and retreated to my visual world - I naturally desired to study visual arts at University, although doubts were always cast about the future of surviving and ‘making’ it as an artist - I persisted!
Serena in the Studio
I completed a visual arts degree with honours, majoring in painting, minor printmaking at Edith Cowan.  As part of my honours year I studied in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam School of Arts.  This really was an inspiring seven months of taking in art and culture from Europe.  Towards the end of my degree in 2000 - I met David Edgar.  I moved into Spiral Studio Murray Street, next to David and the rest is history! Whilst studying year 12 at NASHS I saw one of David’s luscious paintings and really fell in love with the work, I married him 5 years later!  We work together on projects and exhibitions a great deal.
David Edgar - Lavender
What inspires you ?
Serena: Other painters and artworks. My Favourites are AidaTomescu, Anish Kapoor, Joan May Campbell (Albany), Margaret Olley, Mirka Mora, Rosalie Gascoigne and many more. Most are women and some inspire me for more than the works they produce – more often their attitudes about making and protecting their cultural endeavours.   The challenges of raising children and maintaining a contemporary arts practise.
Headland - Serena McLauchlan
On a conceptual level the light in Albany being very atmospheric, the environment and the colours loaded with history.  For instance looking at the trains passing our new space and the worn patinas inspired me to make some encaustic ‘cargo’ paintings. I am very much interested in colour, the history of and subjective memories we associate with colour a childhood spent surrounded by rich textures and Albany light continues to influence my palette. My work is also about the process of painting and the decisions which are made throughout the process.

What mediums do you work with - do you have a favourite ?
We both use oil paint, sometimes water-soluble oil paint. I like to use wax encaustic which I started using at uni to ‘extend’ the paint but soon loved the buttery qualities and visual fuzz it can create on the surface.  I still continue to experiment with wax encaustic to push the possibilities and work with new surfaces.  I also studied printmaking and enjoy monoprints and ‘quick’ techniques to produce free painterly prints. Recently I have started to work with mirror as a surface and that’s proving to be exciting.
Encaustic Table - Serena McLauchlan
What kind of things do you make/create ?
We both create paintings and drawings, visual diaries, photographs which result in exhibitions.
Pared - Serena McLauchlan 
Do you have a favourite piece that you have made/created ?
I can never rest on a work - you are only as good as your next painting, that’s the drive to keep making and creating.  When I look back at some of the large paintings I completed during my degree I really see more in them now and appreciate the energy and drive that it takes to make those types of works.  I am very proud of the exhibitions held in Perth at Turner Galleries in 2003 and 2008 and the art trail shows we have created over the last three years.
What are your future plans/dreams/aspirations ?
My dream is to see more Galleries and pop-up galleries spring up all over Albany, which is starting to happen with pop-up spaces and the Museum – Albany opening up three rooms as galleries and also Bay Merchants pop-up spaces. To see a dedicated contemporary art gallery of world class standard on the Albany landscape. Continued links with PIAF and visual arts components in Albany.  

Personally creatively, I am working towards a Perth solo show in May 2014 which will be a fantastic challenge and opportunity to show in Perth once again. I am also coordinating the Bendigo Bank Southern Art + Craft Trail this year and plan to see this event continue in the future as an awesome forum for promoting our region.  At some stage I also plan to complete my Masters in Painting/ Visual Arts – but that’s a long way off..........
David Edgar - New Zealand Christmas Tree
Dear readers, do you want to find out more? Here is how you can connect. 

Visit the website here: www.hotchingallery.com.au

Become a follower on Facebook here: 

Or visit in person at: 

Hotchin Studio Gallery
4/229 Lower Stirling Terrace/ corner Residency Road
Albany WA 6330
WA, 6330 Australia
Open Wednesday - Friday 12-3pm 
Open Saturday 9.30am - 12pm
Or by appointment