Canning tomatoes- scary!

Dear Reader-

I’m an active pickler, but I haven’t delved into a lot of other canning. They scare me! Ptomaine this, botulism that, who wants to give their friends and family food poisoning?!

But I make a lot of spaghetti sauce, and making it with my own canned tomatoes is an inviting idea. So, I attempt one lowly jar of tomatoes in my canning bath with a batch of pickles.

The recipe is easy. Peel the tomatoes and put them in the jar with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to balance out acidity and kill botulism as it matures. Great, my #1 worry come to pass. I put the jar into the canning bath and set the timer for a long 85 minute processing time. Thirty minutes in I yell out a string of expletives, realizing I forgot the death-averting lemon juice. Failure.


It cools on the counter, waiting to be tossed. I’m so mad at this point I get in the car, drive to the fruit stand, and buy more tomatoes because now I have something to prove. Sterlizing more jars, remembering the wretched lemon, I cook on, for 85 long, hot minutes.



My stove was working overtime. It was a lot of work for two prideful jars of darned tomatoes!


Not my best pickling day. But I will forge on!


AS The Curl Turns


Cherry Coke Perfection

Dear Reader-

Today we are veering away from the usual hair topics to discuss something extremely important. Cherry Coke. Not that roughness in the can- homemade.

Hubs and I were at Peggy Sue’s malt shop in Downtown San Jose, and they had the best Cherry Coke I have ever tasted. I swooned over it to the manager and he gave me the secret- maraschino cherry syrup! Forehead slap, of course!!

First in is the ice. Second, spoon in some syrup and a few cherries direct from the jar. Then add the Coke. Finish with a straw. The straw is an important factor in this scenario. It allows you to sip up both juice and soda at the same time. Voila! Cherry Coke at its finest! And for all you retro kids out there, that is indeed a paper straw.

You are welcome.



p.s- changing your baby somewhere other than your own home? Travel with puppy training pads. They are perfect to lay your baby on while changing a diaper, and they are disposable.

Christmas Tree Hair Accessory-DIY

Dear Reader-

This hair accessory, like some of my others, is not for the faint of heart. You will be wearing a Christmas tree in your hair. Literally. If you are ok with that, then let’s get started!

First, I had to find a tree small enough. What an odyssey that was. Of course manufacturers of these little hobby trees are making them for home display, or office holiday cheer. Not hair. So I bought the smallest one I could possibly find, and disassembled it. It had a cement stand!


Then I had to use wire cutters to dismember the poor thing. It was far too heavy. I needed fewer limbs and a flat back so I could lay it on some felt, and ultimately, on my head.. It took two different types of wire cutters to get through this bad boy! It needed to be thinned out, A LOT.


Once that was done, I could start decorating. First to be added were the ornaments. I tied them on, one by one, strategically placed.


Then came the lights. I couldn’t find dollhouse lights that had a battery pack light enough for my hair to support the weight, so unfortunately, they don’t actually light up. Disappointment.


And what is a tree without gifts? I laid the tree to the felt and glued the gifts onto the felt and the bottom of the tree.


Cut the felt, add the duckbill hair clip, and it’s done! I could not find a small enough angel for the top, another item for the search- along with working lights. Now you have to decide how you will wear your hair to best accent (and support) your newest accessory.


Now, be prepared to take a bit of blowback from your friends and passerby. You are after all, taking a fashion chance by wearing this piece of glory. Others of a lesser station may feel the need to say something snippy about your choice of accoutrement. Just tell this riffraff that you love your style and will never compromise. Period.

Merry Christmas Crafties!


p.s- don’t forget to at least tidy up your living room before leaving the house this holiday season. You never know who may be dropping by with good tidings.

Keep The Spirit Of ’45 Alive! August 9th Festival In San Jose

Dear Readers-
Saturay August 9th is the Keep The Spirit Of ’45 Alive festival in San Jose at History Park

It is a great time for vintage fans as well as any military enthusiast. Keara and I will be rolling out vintage updos, so please come and visit our booth!10562938_679537368791853_7059281497770771724_n




V For Victory! My Very Own Victory Garden Sign

Dear Reader-

Since so many things were rationed during World War 2, Americans planted “Victory Gardens” as an easier food source, and as a way to support the war effort on the homefront. By the end of the war it was estimated that 20 million gardens had been planted. These gardens were a huge source of positive propaganda-


I just love this sign, so I used it for my inspiration. In the spirit of Make Do And Mend, I decided to make my own sign for our victory garden, using only what we had here at the house. Hubs had a perfect sized piece of plywood that he donated to the cause.

It was filthy.


It needed to be sanded because it was a bit bristly.


I used the circular sander first for the top and bottom, but used a hand sander for the sides.


Then it needed to be primed.


I freehand stenciled part of the design onto the painted surface, but that didn’t really work out…….I had to paint over it.


I stenciled the V and then used blue painters tape, there was no way I was taking a chance free-handing that!


It took several coats of paint to make the colors opaque, but it was worth it! I used a clear spray paint shellac to protect it from the elements.

It dried with our gnome.


We found a broom handle that we had saved (hoarders!) and used it as a stake. I attached a wall mounted broomholder clamp thingy (technical!) to the back of the sign to attach the stake. It slid a little so there is also a high tech rubber band in there as you can see. I learned this handy dandy trick when my shower caddy slid down the shower head without a rubber stopper.


My victory garden is complete!


Kindest Regards,

Erin Lopez, of As The Curl Turns