Sunday, February 26, 2012

Uganda on My Mind

I am so excited about what is happening in Uganda. Last year was my third trip to Uganda to teach sewing to the women of the villages. I worked with 3 ladies in particular on how to make children's clothing. We purchased 3 treadle sewing machines and asked that they practice their skills by making clothing for the children of the village. You see, in Uganda, there are many orphans. In the villages, many people die from aids, malaria, and other illnesses. When parents die, the other villagers take care of the children. The problem is that they are barely able to provide for their own children, so many of the orphans run around with no clothes, or clothes that are so badly torn you wonder , "Why bother?"
A few weeks ago, our fearless leader who is now living in Uganda, John Pipes, came for a visit to Visalia. We had a wonderful visit and set plans in motion for another trip this summer. So many exciting things to tell you!

  1. The women of the village that we worked with have now made clothes for all of the orphans in their village and even more children! This is such a blessing!
  2. The women have started their own outreach by mending clothes for others in the village. There is a resource center in the village of Busanna where many people gather. Two of the sewing machines are housed here and people are bringing clothes that need mending and the women are doing it for them!
  3. We have another lady from our church joining us this summer named Bea. She is maybe 80 years young and full of spunk. She will be a fun person to have along.
  4. I am so excited that my son is going to be joining us this year! He is 24 and in pre-med classes at Fresno State. He will be working with people in the villages that are in need of physical therapy or other medical support.
  5. We are hoping to do our bible study this year with the women on God's plan for trials in our lives. I can't think of anything that could be more supportive. We will be using the book of James.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in? We have room for one or two more people to go. If you are a believer and have a heart for missions or the people of Africa, I would ask that you ask God in prayer if this is something He would want you to be involved in. If you are interested in knowing more, you can email me at nwinning at gmail dot com. We will also need prayer warriors and financial supports, so pray about that too! I will be giving more information for that soon.

We are planning our trip for somewhere around the 6th of June and going for two weeks.

I am getting so anxious for our trip this year that I'm already thinking about packing. This year I want to take a lot less stuff so that I can fit everything into one bag. I'm hoping to take only 3 skirts (after all, most of the women there only own one or two skirts) and about twice that many shirts. I'm planning on making the skirts reversible so that I can have more mix and match options, but still not have a lot of weight in my pack. The first skirt I am considering is the A-line skirt from Christine Johnson. It has two seams in the front, two in the back, and no side seams. It has an elasticised waist. There was an interesting article in Threads this month about combining fabrics to change the hand and weight of the fabric. I think this would work really well to make a reversible garment, so I'm going to give it a shot. I'm going to use a knit on one side and a rayon crinkle georgette on the other.
I also have some other fabrics pulled out of the closet that I would like to use to make two more skirts. You rarely see the women in the villages sleeveless, so I'm thinking maybe of doing tanks with light weight over shirts. I want to take things that are easy to wash out and dry quickly since I usually hand wash laundry almost every night. Travel clothes are really expensive if you go to sites like or Magellans. They are great clothes, but it would be so much cheaper if you could just find the fabric and make them yourself. I haven't found a source for the dry flight fabric, but many of the skirts are made out of polyester, nylon, or cotton lawn. I've even seen travel skirts made from Liberty lawn! The weather is hot and humid there, so I definitely need something that is cool, breathes, and is light weight. I will not have access to an iron (they do have the kind that you shovel in coals from the fire!!) so I'll have to go with fabric that doesn't wrinkle. Suggestions?

Saturday, February 04, 2012

DIY disenfecting wipes

I have found that it really does help to wipe student desks down regularly with disenfecting wipes. Usually I have a lot of generous parents who will donate such things, but not this year. I think I've only gotten one or two boxes of Kleenex all year! The disenfecting wipes are expensive when you think about wiping down 30 desks. Right now we only do it once a week, but really it should be done every day! So, I decided to go on a hunt for a recipe to make my own.
After seeing a great pin on Pinterest for homemade baby wipes, it inspired me to try to do the disenfecting. I googled DIY disenfecting wipes and got a lot of hits. I read many of these and watched a couple of videos before coming up with my own solution. Ready??

First of all, get yourself 2 containers. I found some ziplock 7 cup containers, but would like to find something a little sturdier for the future if I continue to do this.

Next, assemble your ingredients. You will need:
Paper Towels - I used Bounty, but I understand that Viva works well and doesn't mush up either
1 cup white vinegar (for disenfecting properties)
2 cups water
1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
squirt of mild soap or detergent
essential oil - I used Tea Tree oil for its disenfecting properties. Lavender and Grapeseed extract also are disenfecting. If I would have had some orange essential oil, I would have added that for fragrance.

One of the videos I watched said that you need the alcohol to kill flu germs, so I added that. I number of the recipes I saw just used vinegar for the disenfectant.

  • Cut your paper towel roll in half. This was kind of a mess. One website suggested using a NON serrated knife to avoid all the fuzzy mess. I'll try that next time.

  • mix up the solution. I only mixed up 1/2 of the solution at a time so that I would pour the same amount in each bowl.
  • place the paper towels in the bowl and pour the solution over the top. They don't seem like they will fit, but they do.

  • wait a few minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed, then pull out the center roll. I read that this was easier to do when wet, but I didn't believe it. I tried to pull it out when the roll was still dry and couldn't do it. It was super simple after the roll was wet.
  • pull a paper towel out from the middle of the roll, then smoosh the whole thing down so that you can put on the lid.

THAT's IT!! I didn't want to mess with making a pull out hole, since I never use that anyway on the ones that you buy. I'll just pop the lid off and replace it when I'm finished. I can't wait to take these to school and try them out!