Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Take that too, wii (a tribute to wee wonderfulness)

So, thank you Hilary Lang! After much scrutinizing of this post, I got my boy drawing some Rah Rah Monsters of his own!

And look, tuckered him right out!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rainbows in winter

Baby Teething Toy tethers! I made a bunch for the shop and wow, they really feel great...I just want to 'play' in my bead collection (of vintage lucite beads)...running my fingers through all the lovelies for, like, ever...

I am so in love with vintage lucite! I mean, wow...I have really gone a bit mad amassing my stash - um, I mean collection... I used to love semi-precious beads...really love them...but, you know, something about having children...really puts you in touch with the tactile world...Just the thought of a little tooth gnawing on a stone bead....eeeerrrrrhhhggggghhh Oh, it makes me shiver with horror! Like fingernails on a chalkboard! Worse,, stone, pearls, shells, metal...Ick!!!

But lovely lucite, oh, so smooth, so seamless, so so soooooooooooo nice.

And, babies think so too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Serendipity? or just good sense?

I am so in love with the pouch I made for the set of just came together so if I had it all planned! Ha!

It is so interesting to me, how the paint colors (pallette) as well as the images I chose for the blocks (last November) seem so compatable in color and style with this fabric from Anna Maria Horner (from her newest 09 collection in a random bag of scraps that just arrived in the mail!) as well as how nicely the double-sided ribbon that I bought last spring "matches", not to mention how my card/tag that I have been using for 2 years now seems to 'tie' it all together.

Am I crazy? Or do you see what I mean? I am a Sag, (can barely plan anything, or is that just me?) I can't imagine my Virgo friends leaving so much to chance...but I am SO pleased with the result!
So, is the lesson to just always buy what catches your fancy and eventually it'll all make sense?
I try to let the stores 'store' it for me till I need it, but this, this speaks to my squirrel-self...(hate when that happens, really)...

It's on it's way to Australia now, hope the new owner likes it as much as I do!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Olivia is 11 months old!

Teething on markers? Not a great idea, even if they are non-toxic and washable...cute, though. My littlest artist...Happy Birthday Olivia! Whatever keeps you happy,... (while I'm taking your picture, anyway)...Hilarious outfit...a onesie(thanks Uncle Nick and Leah!) and Babylegs and Robeez...we were on our way to getting dressed, but I needed coffee first...

And for the 11th birthday cake, Banana Cake with Cream Cheese easy, sure-fire recipe and Olivia loved it!

(love this shot...messy, blurry, all those heads...our real-life. Messy, blurry and full of helpful and pushy little loves.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Daddy and Olivia Giraffe for Obama!

Happy Inauguration Day, America!

I was listening to The Inauguration Show here on This American Life...(it's a good one).

And I just filled to the brim with cautious optimism! (dare I call it hope?)

Yay, us! Yay, President Obama! Good luck!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The view from my window...


(still keeping them in feed! Yay me!)

I am rewarded with visits from Mr. Big Red Cardinal and his wife...I'll try to get a pic of her soon, she comes by a lot lately...

News? We were without water for almost 3 days!
John just finished replacing our leaking/dripping/nearly running faucet in the kitchen. So there was no more leak at all! It was a beautiful thing! We bought a new faucet, and a drinking water spigot attached to a under-sink filter. Beautiful.
Then, it got cold out. 3 days of -3 below zero meant frozen pipes in the kitchen. No water in the kitchen at all, though the water in the bathrooms was still running...thank goodness! But no dishwasher, no 'official' drinking water from the new tap John put in...
The pipes froze somewhere by the sink...there was a large icicle leaking 'out' of one of the pipes(!)
I called the plumber, and for $69 he told me they hadn't 'burst', no, just were frozen. And the icicle was probably a frozen drip from when John put in the new faucet. And the man could thaw the pipes. Yes he could. I could have my kitchen back to normal without waiting for the weather to get warmer if I just sign here, right next to the $309.
$309 additional to the $69. And no, that did not cover any additional work, like say, if they needed to fix a actual burst pipe that might make itself known once the water was running again...also would not cover work needed to fix the drip that caused the icicle...
But I signed anyway.

I 'OK'd' the work. They brought in this big box and all this cable and began to attach one end to the downstairs bathroom's water and...

And if no pipes were burst, then they were just thawing my pipes. Just like Bob Vila (of "This Old House") showed me how to do online with a hairdryer...or by pouring boiling water over a towel-draped for an additional $309, I was being spared the trouble of hanging out uncomfortably under the sink for a while...$309! $309! $309 + $69 = almost $400! (too stressed to do actual math)

I found myself yelling "Wait! Stop!"
I am telling you this in case you are ever in a situation where you need to do this. It was embarassing, for sure, but why? It's our money, and they hadn't actually begun the work...(though they were seconds from turning that machine on...)

I thought something up quick: "I need to ask my husband before I can spend this much money."
Good one! Blame the husband! He, not I(!) was the one to blame, the one giving the 'stop work order'. Yay for stingy husbands! Yay for blaming others!

So, they stopped! There was some shrugging, some sighing, some shuffling of feet and paperwork while I called John...but really, I suspect they deal with this a lot (they were already rolling up the cables by the time I was speaking with The Husband). I mean, people balking at price. Well, good for the balkers! Balk if you can! We ended up spending some money, but not over $100.
After the blowdryer did not work, we bought one heat gun, two spaceheaters and 2 new electrical cords (and a few hours of John under the sink) and now have running water again. It is also warmer outside. So we could have just waited for a few days, I suppose.

On his way out, the plumber said that once our water was running again, to make sure we leave it 'running slightly', or at a fast 'drip', when the weather gets this cold, and that would prevent it from freezing again.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pocket-sized Grandpa...

Ok, here is a sneak peek of my latest doll...(s)

I really like the idea of having some Grandparents around...even ones who don't really resemble my own Grandparents...even if they just sit nicely on a shelf, watching over us... I think this gent might have a bit of a brogue...he looks a bit of the 'British Isles', don't 'cha tink?

and here's a real sneak-peek at his sweetie...she's not dressed yet, and none too pleased about it either.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coraline, anyone?

Oh, I just had to figure out how to share this! Enjoy!

Written by wunderkind Neil Gaiman, produced with marvelous art and artists and in association with some of the magicians and the director from 'Nightmare Before Christmas'...this film opens in 19 days.

We just may have to get a babysitter and go to this one!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There's a house in my house...

So, it is waaaaaaaaaaaay too big for our little house...but it does fold flat and (almost) hides behind the couch when it's time to play with other things, or, say, I want my living room back...

The kids have drawn on it and colored it for days now. Seriously.

6 hours the first day alone ...complained about their hands aching...

Pretty fantastic toy, if you ask me!

It's called "My Very Own House" and if you would like one, you can find it here.
My kids would shout "You NEED one!" while I would just smile, and shrug, and think: yeah, who needs a living room when you can have a house in a house?

Monday, January 12, 2009


Lots of snow here...

But I'm doing pretty good with one of my new year's resolutions: to keep the birds in feed!

Look how high the snow is on the feeder! Wow.

But see, really, it's a gift to me,...this is the view from my 'studio' ! (aka the dining room)
Can you spot the mama Cardinal? be warm and cozy on such a snowy wintery day... How lucky I am...


Have a great day, and craft up a storm!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


So, our neighbor called us, on the first day of the new year, to let us know that her daughter Fiona - whom my kids had hung out with, watched videos with, played dolls with all of New Years Eve - that she now has chicken pox. (!)

LUCKILY, we never retrieve our voice mail/phone messages, so we didn't have one moments worry! Not one!

And we would have worried, because John never had chicken pox as a kid and could get horribly sick if he gets it now... but maybe we - oops! I better not tempt fate! Let's just keep our newly crossed fingers crossed and not type anything rash... (get it? rash?)

Meanwhile, I found (ok, made) a little Hedgehog who has come down with a case of the spots himself. I'm sure Fiona will know just what to do to make him feel better...

Fiona is 9 (already!) and she knits! (already!).

Perhaps she'll knit him a little blanket...or make him a little scarf? He tells me his bed is 'adequate', which I think is grumpy-hedgehog-speak for 'I hope she paints something fun on my headboard'...

I'm sure he will be better behaved once he's feeling better!

I hope she likes him!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wanna cookie?

Well, you'll have to make your own, but these were a hit and yours may even be better than mine so go for it! You can find the recipe here.

I changed the baking time to 12 minutes instead of 15, and my batter was so moist, I just rolled the balls of dough in the sesame seeds without dunking them in you don't need the milk, in my opinion. The kids are hardly going to let any make it into our Mr Penguin cookie jar, they love them so!

We used up all our sesame seeds about 2/3 of the way through the batter, so I've got "Aurora's Thumbprint" cookies in the oven now...we'll see how that goes...Ok, don't use this recipe for thumbprint cookies, it rises too much and the indent disapears! But they still taste good! They disapeared before I could get a picture!

ok, who's the wise guy?

See my sweet (oops, I mean my kids')
new nativity from Schleich?

Great detail - kind of amazing detail, really, for a plastic 'toy'...and unbreakable!
So hopefully my own (and I mean MY own) sweet little nativity can be displayed unmolested by small, sticky fingers...

So nice, so nice...

until you see Mary's expression...who painted her eyes like that?!

I mean really! Somebody in China is laughing their nearly blind, $2 an hour butt off at my expense!

time to pack Christmas back into boxes...but first-

Let's eat that Gingerbread house!

Really, Mama? Can we?


Oh wow! Yay! Our Mama is the BEST!

(these photos were not staged, this is how my kids decided the task best be accomplished...note the gnawed off cookies on the roof...)

reminds me of when they used to tandem nurse, long ago... awwww!

About Me

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Mamazakka is Mommy blogger Autumn Sousanis; also-known-as Autumn Dunbar; and also-known-as "Mama" to six little ones, ages 9, 7.5, 5, 3.5 2 and a 3 month old! :) Busy,yes. A graduate of C.C.S. (Center for Creative Studies, School of Art and Design in Detroit) with my bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, I have finally found my calling as 'Mamazakka', maker of everything and anything that might improve your home, life and outlook. :) It's my goal to create things that truly meet Wikipedia's definition for 'zakka'; (here's an excerpt)..."cute, corny, kitschy is not enough. To qualify, a product must be attractive, sensitive and laden with subtext." Oh yeah! You betcha! Well, that's my goal, anyhow! I'm also known as an over-user of exclamation marks(!) and parentheses (can't help it) though I do try to keep my smileys to a minimum :)