Saturday, April 26, 2008

Military Brats of Etsy Featured Artist ~ ~ Designsviadumas !

Military Brats of Etsy
Brats Featured Artist ~ ~ Designsviadumas !

Every few weeks we are featuring one of our members. This time we have selected Designsviadumas!
(One of me at the Rossini Festival. I use shutters to display my purses.)

1-Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).

My name is Dore Via Dumas. I am the daughter of an Air Force Lt Col and a Southern Belle mother. I have three sisters, two of whom married men who were in the military. I was born in Richmond, VA and have lived in Sacramento, Miami, Wichita Falls, TX, Aviano, Italy, and Mobile, Al, in my military life. I have also lived in Hattiesburg, MS, Gulfport, MS, Oceanside, CA, Kansas City, KS, Memphis, TN, Chattanooga, TN, Orlando, St Cloud, Fl, Ocala, Fl, Sevierville, TN and am presently in Knoxville, TN. As you can see, there’s no place like home and home is where I happen to be at the time.

My first husband was a Marine. I met my 2nd when I moved to Mobile in the 8th grade. We have been married almost 18 years. I have a son and daughter and stepson. My son (40) was in the Air Force and my daughter's (35) ex-husband was in the Army and now is in the Navy. My son, daughter-in-law and two (soon to be 3) grandchildren live in the Boston area. My daughter lives with my husband and me. My stepson (31) lives in Mobile.

I have a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and am a Middle School Librarian. I have been teaching for 22 years. I started out as a Special Ed teacher. I love to be creative. I was a potter and raised my two children on mud money. I have been a mosaic artist for 5 years and have dabbled in almost every kind of art or craft. My husband groans when I come home with something new to try. He is very supportive and my biggest cheerleader.

2-What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

The first thing I remember making by hand was a small ceramic vase. I made it in Bible School. My mother STILL has it! I also remember making doll clothes out of scraps leftover from clothes my mother made for the four of us.

This picture is of the outside of my display (we had the sides up because of early morning rain)

3-What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

I am totally inspired by color and texture. Many of my ideas come to me while I sleep. With my sewing, I am inspired by the fabrics. I never buy a piece that I can’t visualize how it should be made.

4-What are your favorite materials?

I was a potter for 30 years. I love the feel of clay. I also love the fact that I could get dirty and didn’t get in trouble. As a seamstress, my favorite fabrics are velvet and silk.

5-What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

The most valuable lesson learned from etsy artisans is to be patient and to network. Friendships are also valuable.

6-Why should people buy handmade?

I have always been an advocate of handmade and locally made. It always irritated me that galleries would only buy from people from New York or California and not support local artists. Besides handmade is generally better quality and original, not mass produced.

7-What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

Basically, I am happy with etsy. It is getting so big and the competition is stiff. I don’t know what I would change.

(my sewingroom. My sewing machine, computer and work table are all within scooting distance. I just roll around the room.)

8-Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Apart from creating things I love to garden, dance, read, travel and every now and then take time out to sleep.

9-Read any good books lately?

Have I read any good books lately???? I’m a librarian :) I read books the kids read just to keep up with what they like. Sometimes I get the opportunity to read grown up books. I love mysteries. I guess my favorite authors are Amy Tan, David Baldacci, James Patterson, and Sharyn McCrumb.

10-In ten years I'd like to be…

In ten years I’d like to be retired and traveling, and, of course, creating.
(I have a wonderful cabinet that was for buttons that I use for all of my notions. I try to be organized but it is not easy.)

11-How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?

My business name is from my maiden and married names. Via means “by way of”, so Designs Via Dumas is a good play on words. My avatar is my dandelion challenge purse. My shop name is “PURSEnickity”. I use pink and black because research shows those colors are feminine. I designed the lady logo. I wanted her to be elegant so that customers would feel elegant with one of my purses.

12- What has being a brat at Etsy meant to you?

Being an etsy Brat has meant making new friends from all around the world…kind of like being a military brat. Only brats know and understand what it is like to be a newcomer and to try to fit in. We are more open and accepting.

Go see … Go visit her shop and come back here and share what things you like…

There is a lot to like!

Brats Rule!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Let there be Vintage on Etsy... Republic of Vintage

In March I began looking through my own private collection of "vintage" clothing. I have been collecting special items since the 70's and 80's because I was a fashion student and I love clothing, design, fabric, color, textiles and so on and so on.....Finally I decided to move some of that out and since it was truly vintage and Etsy allows vintage.... well here it is......

I have added something new .... no something old, to my Etsy Shop... Vintage. The Republic of Vintage is a section in my shop for my extensive collection of 80's and older fashions. This maybe news to some of you but there is really no industry standardizing when it comes to size, so if you order from me please double check the measurements. Also the manufactures have changed the sizing over the years. Many of my collection includes Banana Republic items.....the history of this brand is interesting to me and I also hope to you.

****** Banana Republic began in the late 70’s by Mel and Patricia Ziegler (husband and wife), traveled extensively. They searched for clothing from the various “military surplus” type stores they enjoyed shopping in and created comfortable travel outfits. Some of the original designs were made by taking those surplus items and redesigning them into a new, more comfortable and wearable garments. In the true spirit of the recycle/handmade pledge, long ago, they searched those "surplus" stores around the world to remake and redesign for themselves and ultimately for the Banana Republic line of clothing. Safari adventure and travel was a hot theme in the 80’s, movies like “Indiana Jones”, and “Out of Africa” fueled the desire for Banana Republic clothing. The retail stores themselves took on a safari/adventure theme with bamboo lined walls and elephant tusks decorating the doorways. Pith helmets, Israeli paratrooper brief cases and hats like Indiana wore, all available. The items offered by Banana Republic were designed in such a way, as to fit a wide size range. Many of the dress, jacket and shirt designs were over sized and were designed to be worn with a belt to define the waist, adjustable hook and loop at key spots allowed the wearer to remain comfortable and have some control over the fit. Over sized jumper-dresses remain a comfortable classic today. By the late 80’s Banana Republic had been sold to the Gap but Mel and Patricia continued on as the company head and design team. Banana Republic expanded and published a catalog that was a treat to read, filled with adventure stories and charming names for each jacket, hat and document folder. The precursor of internet shopping, catalog ordering; a simple phone call to the 800 number would insure your longing for the “French Lieutenants Woman Cape” or the “Photojournalist vest” would be satisfied and at your door post haste! The company changed in many ways after Mel and Patricia stepped away, by 1990 the original label had changed to a simple grey one, and the focus became upscale luxury clothing. Vintage Banana Republic will have actual bananas on the label, along with a star and the words Banana Republic (sometimes also Mill Valley California).

I was in college during the 80’s and my degree? Oh YES, FASHION!, so many of these “Republic of Vintage” items came from my own closet, or they are items I have obtained and collected through exhaustive searching at estate sales and such over the years.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What happened to a nice quiet New Years? ~ Phone Home ~

Well ! The Holiday season... was going to be a nice quiet time around here, whew... relax from the hectic year, of travel and high school drama... No such luck. More drama, work changes, family demands, and by that I mean they are demanding stuff!... Oh Anyway... I let go of all that and did my best... this little funny helped...

Hello and thank you for calling The Looney Bin.

Please select from the following options menu:

~ If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

~ If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

~ If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

~ If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want, stay on the line so we can trace your call.

~If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be forwarded to the Mother Ship.

~ If you are schizo! phrenic , listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
~If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press, nothing will make you happy anyway.

~ If you are dyslexic, press 9696969696969696.

~ If you are bipolar, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.

~ If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

~If you have low self-esteem, please hang up our operators are too busy to talk with you.

~ If you are menopausal, put the gun down, hang up, turn on the fan, lie down and cry. You won't be crazy forever.

~ If you are blonde, don't press any buttons, you'll just mess it up.

~~ This coming week is National Mental Health Care week. You can do your part by remembering to contact at least one unstable person to show you care.
~~~~~~Well, my job is done...your turn.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weather worries, weird, wonders, and other funny stuff

I have been hearing so much about the weather lately, there used to be a joke...

Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Now I hear we all think we can do something about it.... perhaps...

Here in the northwest we have wonderful weather... if you are a duck.

Let's see, it has been raining off and on, mostly on... for 4 days now... and this morning the weather man said, 4 more days of rain, followed by "perhaps some low land snow". That is me! Last Saturday it got to 60!.... what a wonder! This photo is of the ferry that takes me home, the waves broke right over the bow, it pushed the motorcycles and any thing else not tied down into the cars parked behind. Everyone got wet, and seasick, I love it here. The following is a short list from a famous wise cracker... about living here. We like it anyway!

THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST according To Jeff Foxworthy

1. You know the state flower (Mildew).

2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.

3 Use the statement 'sun break' and know what it means.

4 You know more than ten ways to order coffee.

5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.

7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the 'WALK' signal.

8. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it's not a real mountain.

9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Tully's.

10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.

11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon,Yakima and Willamette.

12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.

13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark while only working eight-hour days.

15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

16. You are not fazed by 'Today's forecast: showers followed by rain,' and 'Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers.'

17. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

18. You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.

19. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.

20. You notice, 'The mountain is out' when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.

21. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.

22. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.

23. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

24. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

25. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time.

26. You measure distance in hours.

27. You often switch from 'heat' to 'a/c' in the same day. If you have air!!!

28. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

29. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, winter, StillRaining (spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk season (Fall).

30. You actually understood these jokes, because you live here too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Update ~ ~ ~ Why I sew? ~~~ !

The whole reason I began to sew as a young girl was to be able to make things that were not available in the market. Many people think that sewing is an economical way to get clothing and home decoration. They are wrong. Sewing is a way to get what you want. It is expensive too, the machine is costly, the fabric, other supplies and the time! Sewing is a customized way to get exactly the right fabric, right color and right pattern you want. Custom is always more. I am the slightest bit creative, and I could always think up some design that wasn’t in the store. So once I got old enough to use a sewing machine I started sewing. First, just a sarong for Barbie, next was pillows and stuff for my room. My mom was an enthusiastic seamstress and she either sewed for me or helped me learn how to sew anything that was in my mind to make. As a teen I made a light weight jacket with a zipper down the front and slanted welt pockets that I was proud of. Besides the circle skirt and drawstring pants, there were numerous other projects that kept me busy with my hobby. When I was pregnant with my first I wanted a “Rainbow” theme nursery, not only was there nothing on the market, there wasn’t rainbow fabric in the fabric shops. What could I do…. Give up? Never, I found sheets with a big rainbow strip down the side. I bought several. From them I cut out the rainbow and made crib bumpers, curtains, lamp shade, switch cover, tissue box cover, rocking chair pad, changing pad and other little touches to complete the “Rainbow” nursery. Yes I was happy with that. It took time and effort and some money, but, I got what I wanted for my baby and for me. She is 25 now and my second is 17 I am finding I have more time to sew for myself and what do I want to do? I want to sew for complete strangers and hope they will like it enough to buy it on line.
See what I sew ….

Thursday, April 10, 2008

September 14, 2007 Red Car = Freedom ~ What happened last Fall !

This little Red Car equals freedom for me and my teen daughter. Here is how...
At the beginning of the summer my daughter was feeling low, her boyfriend broke up with her, she had a lousy 'pizza place' job and was still driving only with her 'learners' permit. That learners permit means mom has to go with her everywhere or she has to walk 1/2 mile to the bus stop and hope it is on time and will get her there. So we got organized, we looked for a better job, and God Blessed, us she got two! One job was in an office for day part time and another one at a really nice restaurant 5 days a week for night (nice tips!). She worked all summer, night and day, she got tired, and mom got tired of driving with her everywhere. However, she did it! Mom did to. A bit over a week ago, she passed the state driving test! Whooho! And we began looking for a car. At first we were thinking "get a bomb" just a cheep thing to run around in, cheap insurance, something like a really old Honda, or VW. Then we saw this thing, standing out like a red button in a sea of white and gray. It was at a dealer, too much for us, we looked anyway, it was a used car. Mom (me) drove it, it was cool! But it was too much by almost $3,000. Oh well keep looking, and send a "thank you for letting us drive it" email to the nice salesman. A couple of days later... "Good news, we brought the price down". Wow! Now she has it! And now she can drive herself, mom can relax and have her own schedule. FREEDOM! for mom and teen daughter. She is so much happier now, work has it's rewards! God is so Good! Thank You Thank You...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This is the treat (Fruit Pizza) my teen daughter made for me as a welcome home from my trip to Waveland, Mississippi, relief.
The relief effort for those along the gulf coast has not finished and my trip last summer to help with the rebuild will continue to impact me for some time. I am truly glad I did go and I am sure those who went with me have the same feelings.

I sell my purses and other craft stuff at this amazing site called Etsy, see my shop at And see these folk who are from that area and are trying to make a living and hang on to the life there. Help them out if you can.
I put a few others in a couple of blogs ago….. scroll down and check those out too!

Well I have been doing some thinking about what I should write next and this is what I came up with…..I got this somewhere a while ago and it has stayed with me since……..….

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this .! .. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!"When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you get that for me?"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Who is terryann anyway? and A few things I did last summer.

Here is a short preamble to help explain “who is terryann?”

Living here in the great northwest we have our share of rain and snow. I make my own sunshine by being creative and positive. I have been sewing for about 40 +/- years. I find it is my passion, therapy, greatest creative outlet, and a skill I have been working at for a long time. God has been good to me and blessed me as a mother and wife. I have been able to pursue my passion for sewing both professionally and for my own needs. A short list of my favorite things:
Praising God
Learning new things
Sewing anything!
Doing the right thing.
I was born in the northeast in a military hospital mid century ~ last. We moved all over the world because my dad was in the US Navy. I finished my last 3 years of High School in Misawa Japan, that would be northern Japan, and it had a great influence upon me. There is Kawaii (cute) all over and I see it because of the way of “seeing” I learned from my Asian experiences. My dad retired in Annapolis Md. I met and married an Academy Grad and we began a new adventure around the world which included a couple of years in Japan again. I was reminded that Japan is one of many places I call the home of my heart. Scotland is another one but that is another story. Now we have retired from the military but not from travel. I go as often as I am able and my hubby has a second career that takes him on trips all around the world, sometimes I get to go too! Yippee!

I have a shop where I sell my own purse/tote/tea towel/hat/apron/patches and etc….designs.
Please check it out; I will do custom orders if you see something you want in some other fabric, let me know I will see what I can do for you. I had been trying to find an outlet for my crafts for years. I have sold just about everyway there is, craft fairs, consignment and ebay. Ebay was a dismal failure, every sale was for far less than the cost of my supplies and the ‘garage sale’ mentality there kept it that way. I still list things there (as Skippytada)…. Stuff from around the house, which I would sell in a garage sale, those items do well! Etsy is the first time I have been successful with my purse designs. Not that I am breaking the bank but I have been fairly consistent in sales, about two times a week. It has energized me to continue sewing and designing. That was what I needed!
My newest is a
Red Tote Bag with Black Calligraphy, bright and versatile!
I am hoping to build a customer base and I must promote more to do so….. this is my stab at it today.

Summer 07

The photo at left is one I took actually while driving (I do not recomend it), however the view was fantastic. My “road trip” to CA was great and I am ready for the next big adventure that comes my way. A friend of mine was moving “home” to California, and I drove her car while she drove the moving van. We had a great trip and her family was so pleased to see her and have her near again. I am needed some of that pretty strong turkish coffee for the trip.
I cannot seem to stay still! I practically jumped at the chance to go with her; in fact it was my idea. She needed some way to get her car home and a female driving alone towing a car didn’t sound too safe or easy. I am in the northwest and it took a couple of days… but to me it is like….”ROAD TRIP” yippee! I will miss my friend an awful lot, but I know this is the right thing for her at the right time in her life. She was divorced a few years ago and stayed in the area to finish raising her kids in their ‘comfort zone’. Now it is time for her! It is time for her to do what is best for her and being around her family is the best. I really miss her!
God be with her!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More things I learned last summer in Mississippi

Look at these ....
These are links to people in the Katrina/Rita area who are trying to make a living and hang on to the life there. Help them out if you can. I especially like the pralines. Who can resist a tote or check book cover from FEMA tarps?
I have been doing a lot of humming lately… when things are going pretty well, but you have all these little things humming around in your head. Thoughts and dreams wishes and hopes, just when you think things are bound to get better, some new challenge comes along.
Oh……humming = that adrenaline rushing feeling that is neither anger nor worry but sort of exciting ~ confusing ~ single-minded ~ intensity. It is all between; hubby’s work changing, 2nd daughter in summer/driving/new job, 1st daughter – acting, weird, the human condition, and me going thru menopause…. Humming is what I do all the time.
GOD is Good.
All the time.