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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 31 - Halloween and the End of Blogtoberfest

Hello dear readers, welcome to the final blog post for Blogtoberfest ! Time for a little celebratory bloggers dance - I can't believe I did it - 31 posts in 31 days ! I can't wait until next year so I can do it all again.
Fine art photo print, surreal gold venetian masked woman, carnival, fireworks, 8x12
Fine art photo print, surreal gold venetian masked woman, carnival, fireworks, 8x12
by TheShutterbugEye
With today being Halloween, I thought it fitting to make this the topic of the 31st blog post.

Personally I don't know much about Halloween or the traditions behind it. I decided to do some research. I found this article on the History of Halloween at http://www.whatishalloween.com/history.php which I found really informative. I hope you do too.

"History of Halloween"

Woodland Witch OOAK Hand-sculpted Art Doll Bust
Woodland Witch OOAK Hand-sculpted
Art Doll Bust by NenufarBlanco

Halloween (or Hallowe’en ... but also known as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple), is a holiday that's celebrated annually on the night of October 31. It originated in Ireland, and is said to be among the world’s oldest holidays. The simple history of Halloween - it has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture). Traditionally, the festival was a time that was used by the ancient pagans to take stock of their supplies and slaughter livestock for winter storage. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundary between the living and the dead dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness (plague) or damaged crops. The celebration of Samhain would frequently involve bonfires, upon which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown; costumes and masks were also worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

The essential elements of Halloween - lighting bonfires, costuming, trick-or-treating, telling ghost stories, and attending parties can all be traced back to Samhain celebrations as early as 2000 years ago.
CUSTOM Costume Let Your Dream Become a Reality
CUSTOM Costume Let Your Dream Become a Reality by
Ultimately, the Celts believed that on October 31, the Lord of Death (Saman), would call together all the souls that had died the previous year in order for them to travel to the afterlife. Thus, the living would often disguise themselves in ghoulish costumes in order for the spirits of the dead to think they were one of their own, and pass by them without incident. The villagers would also wear masks and form parades in order to lead the spirits (souls) out of the town. The Celts would also offer food to Saman, in order to persuade him to more be temperate when he is judging their ancestors. This is seen as a precursor to "trick-or-treating", a key component of modern day Halloween Celebrations.
Halloween Trick or Treat Printable Party - DIY - SALE
Halloween Trick or Treat Printable Party by FrogPrincePaperie
History of Halloween in America -  Halloween did not become a holiday in the United States until the 19th century. Strict Christian traditions and lifestyles prevented this, and American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries don't include Halloween in their lists of holidays. The trans-Atlantic migration of almost 2 million Irish in the mid-1850s finally brought Halloween to the United States. Scottish emigration, primarily after 1870, also brought the Scottish version of Halloween. By the mid-1900s, Halloween had become engrained in the fabric of American society. From a commercial perspective, Halloween is now the United States' second most popular holiday (after Christmas).
Black cat photograph, cat print, Walking Away, Fine art photography, cat photo, photo painting
Black cat photograph by afiori
So there you have it. That is what Halloween is all about. To finish off Blogtoberfest 2011, I want to share a song from an Indie Band called Panic ! at the Disco called It's Almost Halloween.

"Panic! at the Disco is an American alternative rock duo, formed in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2005. Since its split, the band's line-up includes Brendon Urie (lead vocals, guitar, piano) and Spencer Smith (drums). Former members Ryan Ross (guitar) and Jon Walker (bass) left the group in 2009. The band has been described by critics as a variety of genres, most commonly pop punk, alternative rock, and baroque pop. The band formed and recorded their first demos while they were all still in high school. Shortly after, the band recorded and released their debut studio album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (2005). Made known by the top ten lead single "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies", the album eventually was certified double platinum and met with much success. The group then wrote and recorded their second record, Pretty. Odd., released in 2008. Marked as a drastic change in tone from their debut, it oversold commercial expectations but was met with critical success. The band released their third album, entitled Vices & Virtues, on March 22, 2011, while the record's first single, "The Ballad of Mona Lisa", was released February 1, 2011." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic!_at_the_Disco

For more information check out their website here : http://www.panicatthedisco.com/

Thank you dear readers for sticking with me during Blogtoberfest - see you on Wednesday for the regular Wednesday Wishlist xo

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 30 - Think Pink - Part 2

Welcome to Blogtoberfest Day 30 dear readers. What has been going on in your collective worlds ? I have been baking ( I can offer you a virtual slice of this vanilla cake I made ) and crafting as well as admiring the vege patch that hubby planted while I was unwell.

Today I want to share with you today a rather delicate and confronting topic but one that ties in strongly with Frocktober and Pink Ribbon Day. This post is dedicated to feeling and looking Beautiful during Cancer Treatments and Recovery. A lot of us wouldn't have given this much thought. I recently came into contact with an inspirational woman by the name of Robyn and she has decided to share her story and website for today's blog post. I think that you will find this interesting and informative. It may even help women that you know, whether it be yourself, family members or friends. Robyn started her own business after undergoing Cancer Treatment and the products she offers are both cosmetic and beautiful. 

At 44, I was diagnosed with, and treated for, ovarian cancer. Fortunately it was caught early. As predicted, I started losing my hair three weeks after my first chemotherapy session, and by four weeks it was all gone. While I had no problem with my new hairless state (saving heaps on hair products, not to mention the time!), my kids weren’t quite so understanding.

Fairly fashion-conscious, I went in search of stylish options to cover my head. I found wigs uncomfortable and unnatural looking, many hats irritated, and I hadn't worn a baseball cap for 40 years, so why should I start now!? Most of the chemo headwear looked like just that - chemo.

I wanted headwear that looked like a fashion item—not a necessity: something that reflected me, not my medical condition. I couldn't find Australian sites with fashion-focused headwear, and none with a specialised special occasion or custom-made service. I resorted to experimenting with tying large scarves and adding my handmade accessories, many of which received positive comments, but often ending with ’’but I could never tie it’’. Thus Beautifully Bald was born. With some millinery experience, a creative mind, lots of research, and even more trial and error, Beautifully Bald designs were born.

I focused on headwear that was easy to wear, comfortable and, most importantly, made to be seen. In particular, I wanted to offer headwear that befitted special occasions, as well as a custom-made service. 

I am also committed to keeping everything locally-made and limited edition: no mass-production. As I travelled on my own hair loss journey, I also discovered the paucity of options for disguising eyebrow loss. There were many choices for cosmetic eyelashes - but not many for eyebrows. So I set forth sourcing the world’s best, and most economic, cosmetic options for false eyebrows.Without exception, I receive comment on my headwear every day - I hope you do too. (And no-one ever comments on my eyebrows, which must mean they look realistic!)

There are many items available on this fab website to make women recovering or undergoing Cancer treatment to  feel comfortable and beautiful. The range includes :

Headwear - Ezy TurbansHats and Caps, Head Wraps, Scarves, Custom Made & Special Occasion and Accessories
Cosmetic Eyebrows - an exciting range of semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos and human hair eyebrows and  Areola Tattoos - a natural looking, inexpensive alternative to getting a permanent repigmentation tattoo which can be very painful and very expensive, or unnatural feeling prosthetic nipples. These removable Areola Tattoos are easy to apply and remove, and they can last up to seven days. Ideal for those who are you planning to have, or have already had, breast reconstruction surgery.

Robyn's website can be found here : http://www.beautifullybald.com.au/

A beautiful song to finish off today's post - Adele covering a song that Aretha Franklin made so famous - You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman). Personally I think she did a fantastic job. See you all tomorrow for Blogtoberfest Day 31. Be kind to one another xo


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 29 - My Creative Space

Welcome to Blogtoberfest Day 29. I thought today dear readers that I would share a little bit about my creative space with you all. I have been busy making gift tags for the festive season, I love having a desk in front of a huge window as it's nice to work in natural light. Well it's no so much a desk as an old kitchen table that I used to study at during high school, it was secondhand and has served me extremely well.

I have lots of crafty stuff. My wonderful (and long suffering) husband built me some craft shelves in the corner of our multipurpose room and I really would be quite lost without them. I like pretty things, including coloured glass bottles and I think next to the Windmill (that belonged to my Nanna) on the top shelf you may catch a glimpse of a painting - a bathing beauty - that I did many years ago. There are also various framed prints from Aussie Artists and Jewellery Mannequins that I hang works in progress on.

I also like to have interesting reference material such as books and magazines on hand, as I do love pretty pictures and shiny things,

also quirky things like this old alarm clock that no longer has a face or glass but still works, I love watching the inner mechanism at work as time ticks away.......

and this beautiful heartfelt card given to me by one of my dearest friends is a constant reminder that I am loved and have self worth.

I am striving to become more organised, simply because it makes things easier to find and am in a constant process of sorting and labelling supplies so I know what is where.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my creative workspace. I thought I would share a song to round out the blog post, it was one that I saw on RAGE this morning. I do love the distinctive sound of Californian bands and to be honest Music I find can be an inspiration, it can influence your mood. Anyway back this sweet indie band, here is a little more information :

"Dum Dum Girls are an American indie pop band from California that formed in 2008. Their name comes from both The Vaselines' album Dum Dum and the Iggy Pop song "Dum Dum Boys". The band is the project of singer and songwriter Kristen Gundred whose stage name is Dee Dee. After issuing several singles and EPs, Dum Dum Girls released their first album I Will Be to critical acclaim in 2010. Their second album Only in Dreams was released in September 2011."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dum_Dum_Girls. If you want to find out  more, you can check out their website here : http://wearedumdumgirls.com/

See you all tomorrow lovely readers for Blogtoberfest Day 30 xo

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Friends, Australian Etsy Artists - frankideas - Blogtoberfest Day 28

    rubber necklace, red felt necklace, rubber jewelry, modern jewelry, red felt balls

Happy Friday lovely blog readers, and welcome to day 28 of Blogtoberfest. I can't believe how quickly this month has gone and that I have managed to put together a legible blog post each and every day. It has been a huge personal challenge and I think I would like to give it another go next year.

Today I am thrilled to introduce an Australian Etsyian whose creations I have admired for quite some time now - meet the gorgeous Rowan from frankideas.

Rowan makes stylish and individual jewellery creations from felt, rubber, paper and also makes ruffle collars, button jewellery, wearable art. I love these pieces that are non-conformist and challenge the idea of what jewellery is and what it should be made from.

For example, I give you the  rubber and pearl statement necklace,

rubber and pearl necklace, rubber jewelry,  statement jewelry, modern jewelry,  wearable art, green rubber, avant garde

a stunning brown ruffle collar bib necklace made from brown vinyl with black backing,
brown ruffle necklace, ruffle collar, bib necklace, collar necklace, sculptural, statement necklace, avant garde, fall fashion
and this completely fabulous paper necklace. 

paper necklace, paper jewelry, first anniversary, red flower necklace, anniversary gift, wedding anniversary

Oh and can I mention that I am completely smitten with the simple design and striking contrast of these red and black rubber earrings !
red rubber earrings, rubber hoop earrings, modern earrings, red, black
Dear readers, it's time for you to relax, sit back with a cuppa and biscuit perhaps, and enjoying flicking through the virtual pages of the frankideas journal. See you all tomorrow for Blogtoberfest Day 29 xo

the frankideas journal.

Hi my name is Rowan, my jewellery and accessories company is called frankideas and ... I am female!

My parents named me after the tree with red berries never realizing the angst it would cause me growing up. Imagine it, red hair, freckles and a boy's name = not cool, seriously not cool!! The only way to survive was to be an individual ... so I was.

red tassel earrings, fringe earrings,  red and silver earrings. long  earrings

Actually I grew up in a pretty amazing environment in NZ, surrounded by cutting edge design for the 1960's and 70's. My father is an architect, who at that stage was influenced heavily by Alvar Aalto so we were surrounded with Scandinavian furniture and wonderfully textured wallpapers and homemade screens and textiles, modern architecture and wild, native plants in free flowing landscaped gardens - very different from all the neighbours in their traditional houses with chintz and manicured gardens

floral necklace, paper necklace,  first anniversary jewelry, paper flower necklace, anniversary gift,  romantic necklace,

New Zealanders tend to be creative and inventive, something to do with isolation and shocking weather. As a family we always seemed to be involved in a project; making paper beads for curtains from architectural magazines, sticking fabric on walls or gathering volcanic rocks for landscaping. I remember painting a huge sliding door in my bedroom with masses of tiny images I'd copied from fashion magazines -another project that I never quite finished.

agate bracelet, gemstone bracelet, chunky bracelet, grey and honey.

I escaped from NZ in the early 80's and have lived in Sydney ever since. I count myself as an Australian, having now spent more of my life here, but still love to return to wonder at the continued amazing creativity that is to be found in NZ. I guess frankideas is an extension of those early influences -the name is meant to refer to honest, straight forward designs, uninhibited by convention.

flower pendant, rubber necklace, rubber jewelry, modern jewelry, black

frankideas accessories are created from an eclectic variety of materials that include felt, rubber, paper, textiles, plastic and found objects -basically anything that captures my imagination or sparks an idea. The aim is to create pieces that are individual, striking and reflect the wearer’s personality, fashioned for the woman who is passionate about design and colour.

modern earrings, cool earrings, sterling silver ear wires,  sculptural earrings,

Based in Balmain, frankideas design ethos is about exploring colour, materials and detail, resulting in a bold range of jewellery that is wearable art. I like to recycle but I also like to adapt. I guess I’m interested in thinking outside the square.

pearl and rubber necklace, rubber necklace, modern jewelry, avant garde necklace.  rubber jewellery. rubber and pearl pendant, minimalist

I constantly mean to be more disciplined in my approach to design, but have never been able to focus on one single project at a time and instead overflow out of my studio with numerous designs at various stages in a chaotic mess that often takes over the entire house - much to the disgust of my long suffering family.
fabric necklace, textile necklace, romantic necklace,  fall fashion, pastel greens, orchid hush and quarry

I often discover half finished projects months later that might then evolve into something that others might, hopefully, be interested in. I'm an insomniac that often works until 2 or 3 am, something that has been difficult to manage with a family of elite athletes and swimmers who often need to be got to swimming squads at 5 in the morning! Needless to say I would not survive without a nana nap most afternoons! With my youngest son sitting HSC at the moment I am looking forward to the next stage of my life...with more time to spend on uninterrupted creativity, chaos and design indulgence!!!

fringe necklace, paper jewelry, paper necklace,  primitive style,  tribal influence, teal and black, spring fashion

Dear readers, want to see more (or do some shopping *wink*), here is where you can connect with frankideas :

Buy beautiful things on Etsy here :

Connect on facebook here :

or follow frankideas sweet tweets on twitter here :

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 27 - I see Red

Hello lovely readers - today's Blogtoberfest Post is entitled I See Red. It seems, looking around our home, that I seem to be drawn to a lot of bits and pieces that are red in colour.

I have just purchased a new pair of suede shoes for work - no surprise, they are red. I also recently purchased a small teapot, the most appealing colour that was on the shelf in that range was red.

I thought I may do a little research in relation to the colour Red and what this might mean, as to why I am so drawn to this hue.

I found that :

Red is a bright, warm color that evokes strong emotions. Red is associated with love, warmth, and comfort. Red is also considered an intense, or even angry, color that creates feelings of excitement or intensity.

Red is also used as a symbol of guilt, sin, passion and anger, courage and sacrifice, warning, or to represent fire. The colour red comes in many forms such as Candy Apple Red, Ruby Red or Crimson.

Red is the warmest of all colors. Red is the color most chosen by extroverts and one of the top picks of males. On the negative side red can mean temper or anger. In China, red is the color of prosperity and joy. Brides wear red and front doors are often painted red. Red is Tuesday's color. Red roses symbolize passionate love. Ruby rings should be worn on the left hand. Red is the color of Mars. This planet is known as the God of War. Red is associated with fiery heat and warmth. It can also mean danger (burning). Red is the color of blood, and as such has strong symbolism as life and vitality. It brings focus to the essence of life and living with emphasis on survival. Red is also the color of passion and lust.

Put some red in your life when you want:
increased enthusiasm and interest, more energy, action and confidence to go after your dreams, protection from fears and anxieties

So it all starts to make a little sense to me, as to why this is such an attractive colour to me.

Do you have a colour that you are inexplicably drawn to ?

To finish off today's blogpost, I thought I would share a song with you by an Australian band called Little Red - check out their website here :  http://www.littleredmusic.com/
I fell in love with this band through this song, it has such an infectious beat. This song was from their unsigned Triple J Unearthed days http://www.triplejunearthed.com/LittleRed. I hope you love it too, see you all tomorrow for Blogtoberfest Day 28 xo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 26 - Not Your Nanna's Crochet - Wednesday Wishlist

Happy Wednesday dear readers and welcome to day 26 of Blogtoberfest. One thing I do love about Blogger, is that when you have a great idea for a blogpost you can compose and save it. Then you can publish that post when you get bloggers block and can't think of anything to write about. Case in point, here is a post I prepared earlier *wink*

Today is a Wednesday Wishlist based around modern crochet, which seems to be making a huge resurgance in the handmade world. Now a quick note re the title of this post. Not Your Nanna's Crochet. I do not wish to appear disrespectful, I want to send a shout out to all the funky Nannas in the handmade world and explain that this blogpost title relates more to the beautiful crochet of days gone by, and how it has evolved to it's current form. Also sending a big Huzzah to all crochet artisans who are leading the handmade crochet revival. See you all tomorrow for Blogtoberfest Day 27 xo

Satellite Of Love Crochet Bohemian Upcycled Headband
Satellite Of Love Crochet Bohemian Upcycled Headband by TheBlackSwanTheory
Surfer crochet Bohemian wrap bracelet or long necklace.  Boho-chic multi-color stones, czech glass
Surfer crochet Bohemian wrap bracelet or long necklace. Boho-chic multi-color stones, czech glass by  3DivasStudio
SALE freeform hand knit crocheted Scarf Scarflette Neck Warmer OOAK
freeform hand knit crocheted Scarf Scarflette Neck Warmer OOAK by plumfish

Orange and Black Dance Bag
Orange and Black Dance Bag by CrochetToArt
Leather and wool crochet Scarf/Shawl with silk fringes.
Leather and wool crochet Scarf/Shawl with silk fringes by TheodeleArt
Lolita Crocheted hoops with beads
Lolita Crocheted hoops with beads by BohemianHooksJewelry
Crochet Barefoot Cotton Sandals ,Flower, Feet, Summer, Beach, Pool, Yoga, Lightweight
Crochet Barefoot Cotton Sandals by DELiciousDesignz
Unique Tutu crochet  Skirt  Black and white (plus size)L...xL fit to... xxxxL
Unique Tutu crochet Skirt Black and white by kovale
White necklace with 9 sea glasses - crocheted -OOAK Genuine English sea glass beach - handmade Thanksgiving Christmas Birthday gift
White necklace crocheted OOAK with  9 pieces Genuine English sea glass by astash 
A La Missoni Pants - Zig Zag Crochet Knit Pants - Bellbottom Trousers - Drawstring Ribbon - Made to Order in Your Size - by Michelle Rose
A La Missoni Pants - Zig Zag Crochet Knit Pants - Bellbottom Trousers - Drawstring Ribbon - Made to Order in Your Size - by Michelle Rose

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 25 - Parklife

Day 25 of Blogtoberfest is upon me dear readers. Today's post is based around the theme Park Life. Inspired mainly by a song of the same name which I shall get to later. While working on this blogpost, I stumbled across the most amazing tiny things including a minature park which is one of the cutest things I have ever seen !

Made by a garden to treasure - based in Simi Valley, CA. This particular item is called "A Walk in the Park" and is described below :

"All items are hand made by my wife and me and secured in a 4” Plexiglas half dome. This miniature landscape looks beautiful displayed on a mantle, a shelf, or on your desk. They make wonderful gifts, especially for that special someone who already has "everything".

All photographs are taken with the dome removed. Doing so, allows for the camera to capture the detail better and prevents the glare of the lights to reflect and ruin the photographs. Once photographs are taken, the dome is placed on top and secured in place.These miniature gardens do not need to be watered and require no care other than occasionally dusting the plexi dome (and any wooden base) with a feather duster or a soft moist cloth."

Seriously amazing don't you agree ? A whole park that you can hold in the palm of your hand, a total size of 4 inches in diameter ! 
Walk in the Park - A Miniature Terrarium Garden - 4" diameter
and while searching miniature picnic things, I found this supercute Picnic in the Grass Long Necklace by DinaFragola 
Picnic in the grass Long necklace Gothic Lolita
and this adorable Dolls House Miniatures Picnic Basket Set by Little House at the Priory.
And now back to that song I mentioned - one of my fave bands Blur with their song Parklife.

This particular song came from the album of the same name which is described as

"British pop's defining record of the 1990's, Parklife became park of the national consciousness, English vocabulary and was the first of five consecutive Number 1 Albums for Blur. Produced by Stephen Street, the album continued the lyrical themes of its predecessor, but stylistically reaching further afield featuring torch song balladry, instrumental waltzes, disco and angular new wave. Parklife garnered Blur two top ten singles, four Brit Awards and Classic Album Status"

You can find more info on Blur here : http://blur.co.uk/ See you all tomorrow lovely readers for Blogtoberfest Day 26 xo

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blogtoberfest Day 24 - Think Pink

Welcome dear readers to Blogtoberfest Day 24. Today I wish to share a rather sobering topic for a Monday morning....October 24th 2011 is Pink Ribbon Day in Australia. What is Pink Ribbon Day I hear you ask ?

"The Cancer Council's Pink Ribbon Day aims to raise awareness about breast cancer as well as raise funds for prevention programs, support services and world-class breast research. This year alone around 12,700 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer."

You can find out more about Pink Ribbon Day or make a donation at the Pink Ribbon Website :  http://www.pinkribbonday.com.au/

In keeping with the Think Pink theme for Pink Ribbon Day I thought I would share a couple of sweet girly Pink things from various DUST team members that I have found while browsing Etsy. 

Slip dress..pink satin..cream lace..bridal.prom
Slip dress..pink satin..cream lace by laceandluxuries
SALE Annabelle Necklace, Pink Swarovski Crystal, Glass Pearl, Wedding Jewelry by dspdavey on Etsy
Annabelle Necklace, Pink Swarovski Crystal, Glass Pearl, by dspdavey
Think Pink Soap - Handmade Cold Process
Think Pink Soap - Handmade Cold Process by innerearthsoaps
Spice of Life Earrings - Vintage Lucite, Rose Swarovski Crystal and Vintaj Brass
Spice of Life Earrings - Vintage Lucite, Rose Swarovski Crystal and Vintaj Brass by michvanetta
Hand dyed Scarf , Silk Habotai Scarf by ScarvesbySally on Etsy  14
Hand dyed Scarf , Silk Habotai Scarf by ScarvesbySally
And of course this blogpost wouldn't be complete with a song - todays choice is Pretty in Pink by the Psychedelic Furs, originally released in 1981 and was re-recorded for the movie Pretty in Pink in 1986. If you would like to read a little more about the Psychadelic Furs you can read this article : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychedelic_Furs . See you all tomorrow for Blogtoberfest Day 25 xo