Saturday, February 28, 2009

Well, It's Saturday Night...

Today was busy, but fun. This morning Andy and I took a drive up to Three Rivers to my dad's property just to check everything out. We also had a contractor meet us up there to take measurements and to give us an estimate on what it would cost to remodel the house if we were to buy it. And believe me, we would not buy it unless we can afford to remodel it. The property is nice, and although it's only 5/8 of an acre, it is right on the river. Of course, that means it will cost a lot more to buy, too! After that, we came home and did a little cleaning around the house. It was overcast today, but still nice enough to work outside in shirtsleeves.

This afternoon I went to play bunco with a group of ladies, which was actually a fundraiser for a group called "Young Lives." The program used to be called "Mentor Mom's" and was developed by our former pastors wife. It is a program that pairs christian women with unwed teen moms and gives the support, training, and encouragement. It is a great program, and at some point, I would like to become a mentor in the group. This is the same group that I worked with a month or two ago and taught some of the girls how to make pajama pants.
After bunco, I wanted to cut out a skirt. Yesterday, my daughter left the iron on (or it might have been on for 2 days!) and it was scorched totally black. I used almost a whole tube of iron cleaner, canola oil, and steel wool, but it still kept turning the towel I was cleaning it with black. I finally gave up. "Gee," I figured, "this would be a good time to set up the gravity feed iron that I bought last summer and never put together!" So, that's exactly what I did. I now have my gravity feed iron up and am finally getting the hang of how to use it. It does take a little getting used to. I do have to say that I am totally into the teflon plate cover and wish I would have bought one of these years ago to fit every iron I've ever owned. What I like about it is that it has tiny holes all over it, so it spreads the steam out more evenly. Also, it does not leave the hole-marks that a regular steam iron often leaves if you leave your iron in one place very long. Well, it took awhile to get that set up, but I did get my pattern pieces altered.
After that, we met my brother and his S.O. and had pizza and listened to a local blues band. They were OK, and even though I do like blues, it gets kind of monotonous after awhile. We left after they finished the first set. I think they had turned up the volume at least 3 times before the set was over - and it was only 8:00. Everyone will be deaf by 11. It's a small pizza parlor.

Anyway, I actually DID cut out the skirt when we got back from pizza ( which is probably another reason I didn't want to sit through another set of the blues! I feel like I haven't sewn anything in forever, so at least I got this done! I am making a skirt, Simplicity 9825 in the long, fuller version for my trip to Uganda. I am using this pretty cotton print:

I don't think it will take very long to put the skirt together. If I like the pattern, I may make another one out of denim and add some rivets or grommets.

Next, I will be making the reversible vest from a coordinating print and denim. The camera does not like to photograph the green next to the blue, but it really is more green than gold. It's the same green as in the skirt print. I tried to adjust the photo, but now the denim looks kind of green. Oh well, you get the idea, anyway. I think the vest will be a little time consuming, but after reading the instructions, I'm pretty excited to make it. It has lots of pockets and I think it will be great for the trip.

And, speaking of the trip, I got my shots this week. Fortunately, I was referred to a local doctor who does immunizations at cost for missionaries. This saved me about $200! 15 immunizations, if you count the different strands of some of the viruses! Fortunately, the doc was able to fit it all into 2 needles. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to something and started itching and sneezing. Fortunately, I took an antihistimine as soon as I got home. Unfortunately, by that evening, I had chills and a low grade fever. The next day I had to stay home from work because of chills and aching all over. The day after that, I was sick to my stomach all day. Fortunately, Today I am fine! And... fortunately, as my friend Jason reminded me, this is still better than getting Typhoid! Yes, when you go to Uganda, you have to get immunized against just about everything except Japanese encephalitis. I didn't believe it after I went to the travel doctor, but after checking with 4 doctors, I got all the vaccines. That meant

  • yellow fever
  • meningitis
  • tetanus
  • flu
  • hepatitis A&B (I still need 2 more shots of one and one of the other)
  • polio
  • typhoid
fortunately I had mumps, measles, and chicken pox as a child, and had a pneumonia shot last year, or I would have had to have had all of those too!

I still need to get the malaria medication and antibiotics to take with me. I am gathering all of my personal and sewing supplies to take with me. Only about 4 weeks and things are starting to come together.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Uganda preparations

Well, I didn't get any sewing done this weekend. This is report card week, so a boat load of us spent our Saturday at school working on report cards. I really resent having to work all day Saturday at school when I have other things I'd rather be doing. I'm usually so tired when I get home from school during the week, that I don't get much done, so the weekends are MY TIME! OK, enough of that.

My trip to Uganda is coming up quickly and there is a lot to do to get ready. I need to find out how many women I will be working with and how many machines there are. I will be teaching them to make choir robes for the church, but this will give them the skills they need to make other things to sell, to do repairs, make clothes for their families, etc. I will probably need to bring shears, pins, needles, sewing machine needles, seam rippers and patterns. We will buy the fabric there.

I am thinking about what I will be taking with me. The village I am going to, Busana, is very primitive and I will need a translator since the majority of the people do not speak English. The official language of Uganda is English, but in the rural areas, less than 3% of the population know English. I don't know what language they do speak. Pants are not appreciated in these rural areas, so I will be wearing skirts. Mosquitos are a problem, so I will be wearing mostly long sleeves. I will be doing a lot of walking (I think) on dirt roads, so I will be wearing comfy shoes. I would rather wear sandals, but there are parasites in the soil that enter the blood through the skin, so I'm not taking any chances with my feet.

I only have about 1 month before I leave. That's one month to make something that I will take with me. I'd like to make 3 things. I'm thinking I will make another pair of the Mary Tilton pants to wear on the plane. I will be en route between 24-36 hours, so I need to be comfortable and be able to move and stretch when I can. Even though women don't wear pants in the villages, they do in the larger cities, so pants for travel will be OK.

I'd also like to make this Safe T Pockets vest. It has lots of pockets that I can carry my stuff with me and not have to worry about lugging around a purse all the time. I would also like to make either another long skirt, or a long sleeved white blouse. I'm not one for wearing long sleeves when its warm, so I really don't know what I want here.

I am very excited about this opportunity to share the love of sewing to a group of women who so desperately need the skill. I have learned that I am the only one going from California and that I will be in charge of how everything will work. This ought to be interesting since I have no idea of what I am going to be getting into when I get there. No worries though, God knows what I will be getting into and He already has it all planned out.

I need to start getting all of my immunizations. I will have to get hepatitis A&B, typhoid, yellow fever, tetanus, polio, a flu shot, and malaria medication. To top it off, I just found out from my school district that I will need to get a TB test this month as well :-)


Not everyone wants to go to Uganda to teach women to sew, but are you interested in helping? I need to raise my support to go. Total costs will be between $3,000-$4,000. Some costs go directly to International Messengers, and others are out of pocket expenses (immunizations will be close to $700) for me. If you would like to help support me, you can send a tax deductible donation to
International Messengers,
PO Box 618,
Clear Lake, IA 50423-0618
Be sure to include a note saying that the donation is to help support Nancy Winningham

If you do not care about the tax deduction, you can send a donation directly to me at
1430 S. Grand Street, Visalia, CA 93292

Also, I would really appreciate your prayers. Prayers that all would go well during travel, that I would stay healthy and not have any rheumatoid arthritis or Fibromyalgia flare ups, and most of all, that our ministry would be effective in sharing the love of Christ.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Weekend

My husband has been cooking up a surprise for this weekend for Valentine's Day. Well, it was a fun weekend. Friday, I received some beautiful roses at work. Then, yesterday (Valentine's Day) we went to a local Bed and Breakfast called The Ben Maddox House and had a wonderful dinner, spent the night, and had an even better breakfast this morning. The owner is from Ireland and provided great hospitality and was interesting to talk to. Also, a great cook I might add!

Yesterday I had to go into work to work on grades a little bit. I took these pictures right before I left. As soon as I left, then cat knocked my flowers on the floor and some of them broke :-(

This afternoon we decided to go for a drive. The mountains have been just beautiful lately and I wanted to really enjoy the view today. I'm so fortunatate that I get to see this on my way to work each morning. (Of course, that makes up for all the days when you cant even see the mountains at all due to the smog!)

This was taken on the road from Lindsay to Visalia

We took the back road to a small foothills town called SpringVille. Believe it or not, the name of the road was Yokhol Valley Road! (I thought that was the funniest thing when I moved here from the SF BAy Area, that there was actually a town called Yokhol where the local Yokhols really do live!)

And, I even got some sewing done this weekend. I cut out this Loes Hinse New York Dress yesterday morning and sewed it up when we got back from our drive. This is a super fast dress to make. I did the whole thing on my serger and did the sleeve hems, bottom hem, and neck edge on the cover stitch machine. I have more details about what I did on my review at P.R.
I have more pictures here.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Blouse #2

Yesterday I finished another version of BWOF 2-2007 #108.  OK, first of all, please excuse the hat hair. It was cold here this morning and I was wearing a hat. I didn't fix my hair to take these pictures! That being said, I basically made this blouse the same as the last, but this time just did a few fit adjustments.  I let out the sideseams a bit and this eliminated the pulling across the bust.  I also made the elastic in the arms about 1/2" longer, so they are a little more comfortable too.  I'm not sure I'm so happy with how high the collar is on this pattern.

 This fabric has a little more body that the one I used on the first version, and so the collar really stands up high.  I'm not sure if that is just the cut of the collar, or if I need to lower the neckline a little bit.  The one on the model looks like it lies down flat.  Since this blouse only has a partial stand, you can't make the blouse using just the stand and not the collar unless you design a new band.  You can, however, use binding around the neck instead of a collar for a different look.  I've made a few more adjustments on the pattern now, so I'd like to make this again in a long sleeve to see how the adjustments work out.
I'm not sure what to do about the collar.  I think I need to lower the neckline by about 1/4 inch all the way around and that might help.

Many of you know I have been planning a trip to Uganda.  I am scheduled to go at the end of next month, but now I'm not sure if I will be able to go or not.  One of the vaccines you have to take to go to Uganda is the Yellow Fever vaccine.  It is a live vaccine.  I have rheumatoid arthritis and have to take chemotherapy drugs in order to keep the disease from progressing.  You cannot take a live vaccine when you are taking immuno-suppresant drugs like methotrexate and rituxan.  You can, however, stop taking the drugs, and then get the vaccine after a certain waiting period, and then resume medications after another waiting period.  According to the CDC, I would have to wait 3 months.  According to the local travel health clinic, I would only have to wait 4 weeks, and therefore, be eligible to go because of when I stopped taking medications.  Of course, they are looking at selling me almost $700 worth of vaccines and medications for this trip, so of course they are going to tell me it is safe to go!  Anyway, I have a visit scheduled with my doctor tomorrow afternoon to discuss this and hopefully come to an appropriate decision.  If I do not get to go in March, I'm hoping to go this summer.  I really want to go, but not at the price of compromising my health.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'm a Marilyn?

Sometimes these online quizzes are fun:

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
* Be direct and clear
* Listen to me carefully
* Don't judge me for my anxiety
* Work things through with me
* Reassure me that everything is OK between us
* Laugh and make jokes with me
* Gently push me toward new experiences
* Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn
* being committed and faithful to family and friends
* being responsible and hardworking
* being compassionate toward others
* having intellect and wit
* being a nonconformist
* confronting danger bravely
* being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
* the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
* procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
* fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
* exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
* wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
* being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often
* are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
* are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
* form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
* look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
* are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents
* are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
* are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
* worry more than most that their children will get hurt
* sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

You can take the quiz at Hello Quizzy

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Another BWOF coming up

Thanks for all of the compliments on the white blouse. I am cutting out another one, this time out of a Japanese print I bought in Hawaii a couple of years ago. Since I got so many comments about the sleeves, I think I will be using the same sleeves on this version as well.

And check this out. My good friend, Maureen, takes awesome photographs and you can see some great pix of the town where I teach. I'm also a celebrity on her blog today. We have been friends for a long time (uh, we must have been infants to have been friends for so long LOL!)and have compared notes on everything from raising kids, food, theology, and politics to life in general. I know I could talk to her about anything and not have to worry about being judged in any way. Her husband is a pretty great guy too.

OK, gotta go, now, American Idol's on.

Monday, February 02, 2009

BWOF 2-07 blouse finished

Version one of this blouse is finished!  I'm pleased with the result (wearing it now) but can still see a few tweaks that I would like to make.    I think it looks great on, but every time I look at the pictures, all I can see is wrinkles and draglines!  I wore the blouse all day and it's very comfortable, even though I usually don't like anything on my arms like elastic.  I think the next time I make it, I will put a band at the bottom of the sleeve rather than doing the casing and elastic.

I'm very happy with the fit in the back, so I don't think I need to change anything there.

 I messed up on the button holes because I marked them on the band, lengthened the band, and didn't adjust the buttonholes.  Normally this wouldn't matter because I ALWAYS mark the top and bottom buttonhole and then use the simflex to mark the others.  For some weird reason, I didn't do that this time.  I got 3 buttonholes made out of 6 (now 7) before I discovered my mistake.  Fortunately, I was able to correct it without too much noticeability, but next time I will make sure I do it right.  Also, next time I am going to add 1/2" to each side seam at the bust.  I haven't decided yet whether to add just to the front, or to the front and back.  I'm trying to evaluate whether the side seam needs to move or not.  
I'd like to make this again right away, and have some asian print cotton that I would like to use.  I have some beautiful fabric that I want to make the longer sleeved version with, but want to get the fit a little better in the front first...

You can see more pictures here.  Next time I will also take pictures of the front pieces, since it has an unusual dart seam.

The other day, someone had posted a link to Wordle on her blog.  (Sorry, I thought I knew which blog this came from, but when I went back to check, I couldn't find it.)  That was

 too much fun to play with and this is what I made using words from my blog.  It was pretty fun, and it could really be a time sucker if you're like me and want to try every combination possible!  I don't know why it copies small.  Even though I saved it as a PDF and converted it to a  JPG,  it saves small on the blog, even though it is bigger on my computer.

And, I couldn't resist not putting this as a parting shot on my blog today.

Oh, and BTW, is anyone else having this problem?  I used to be able to adjust the size of pictures in the compose mode of blogger by just clicking and dragging.  Now I can't seem to do that anymore.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


If you have ever emailed me, or if I have ever emailed you, you probably got hit with some kind of malware today.  I got an email with the return address from myself and apparently it hit every address that has ever been in my email account.  I do not know where this came from, and I'm trying to check out both of my computers to find it.   I usually use a Mac, and I'm hoping the virus is not on this computer.  I also have a PC that I sometimes use (and my daughter has been using lately) so I'm assuming the virus is on that machine.  I do have NOrton, and am  currrently running other spyware programs on it to see if I can find anything.

Did any of you who got the email from me have it send out to your address book as well?  I'm just trying to figure out where this thing came from.  I did not even open the email before it started hitting all of my contacts.  arghhhhh!

I'm so sorry if this has hit your machine.