When I first moved in & started getting situated, I picked out a piece of black walnut to be my bathroom counter.  A friend of the family, Alfredo, took the wood & ran it through a planer and got it sanded all purty for me.

The piece stood against the wall in the bathroom for over a year.  I was skeered!  The wood was so beautiful and perfect, I was afraid to cut it.  Making the mantle gave me courage and confidence to move to the counter.


Above is the frame Michael built for me for the counter.


Above is where I committed to the project and cut the end of the wood. It caused me great anxiety.


I set it for measurement.  Tango wanted to help: IMG_6705


The start cut for the sink hole – trust me, every cut I did caused intense anxiety and stress. I was so scared I was going to screw it up!


Now it was time to start with the varnish. I used satin spar varnish.


I was getting excited!  Now I had to make a splash guard to go with it.  I went to the wood pile and selected a piece that was narrow enough that I would only have to rip it once.  I then used joining pieces for each side so they would match in the corners.


Once I cut the pieces, I set them in place to see:


I finished these pieces with varnish also. When everything was ready to be assembled, I used some simple L brackets to attach the top to the frame.  It sat nicely, but I didn’t want anything moving.


I installed the faucet to the sink, then the sink to the countertop like a pro. I mean, I expect HDTV to call me any day now.


Here is the final picture. It’s not a true final look, as the caulk that is white in the picture, dried clear  – so use your imagination:


The next project is that I am going to paint the bathroom walls, so the counter is more noticeable.  It kind of gets lost against the dark wood walls.  I will leave the ceiling and trim the original dark.  I will use a wash type paint, so the beauty of the wood won’t be lost behind paint.

Until next project…..or ghost story…..

Ladder Shelf

My mantle (& new boyfriend Matt to help) inspired me to finally hang my ladder.  This old ladder is so old it has simple rope to keep it together!


This ladder has been around the house since I can remember.  I don’t know where it came from originally, but it is fabulous old, decrepit & purple. I mean, who has a purple ladder? Held by ropes?  Ever since I moved in here, I wanted to use this ladder as a shelving unit of some sort. I didn’t know if I would hang it on the wall, or stand it upright with shelves between the rungs.  But now that I’m moved in and reasonably settled, there is NO room to have it on the floor, so it was going on the only wall I have left, which is in my bedroom.  Oh, wait! I just spied a spot I could put it in the living room – hmmmm……I may not change it, but I could.  OH! I could put my old mantle in that spot I just discovered.

Anyway, I digress.  In the above photo, you can see the small metal bracket I bought at a large chain hardware store.  I put two of those on the side I had chosen to be the bottom.  I could pull the edges together tightly and prevent the ladder from opening.   I also decided to use the pipe brackets again (they are super cool!).  However, in this project, I decided to use 1/2″ pipe based on the size of the ladder – the 3/4″ was over kill & looked too bulky. Again, I used the black iron pipes.

I didn’t take as many photos as before because I get caught up in the project and forget.  Matt was at the house, so I used him to hold up the ladder, the level, the brackets – anywhere an extra hand was helpful.

Here it is hung on the wall:


Pardon the explosion of sun on the right. I took the shade off my lamp for better lighting while we were working.

Here it is decorated:  (now, mind you, this is just the initial ‘throw something up there quickly’ decorations)


Now, if you want to see a professional amazing DIYer who is my hero, go visit Jamie at  She is super cool.  This is not a solicited commercial – I just adore her!

Kitchen Mantle

I will not make any guarantees, but maybe I will post more this year.

One day, Scott (my friend’s boyfriend’s dog’s cousin’s wife’s brother) sent me a picture of a couple really cool shelves made from Black Walnut, with pipes as brackets and front live edges. It motivated me.  I decided to make a new mantle shelf over the kitchen fireplace.

A couple years ago, I hosted my annual picnic – but I did not have a mantle in my kitchen. Myra whipped one up.  She mis-measured and had to make it longer quickly by adding little wings.  It worked, but I never did care for the look. I had planned to take it down & reassemble.


The original shelf – note the end wings.


Jack swore it would fall down – it never did.


I love the wood she used – she pulled it out of the burn pile.


The old paint look – especially when it is genuine – is lovely.

It worked for the moment, but now I had an idea I could do.  I did take it down & reassemble:


After I deconstructed & rearranged the wood


Gotta love the originality. 

I love it enough that I will use it elsewhere.

So, I went to a local big-chain hardware store & bought a few things:


I decided 3/4″ pipe would look the best with the board size.


I initially picked out galvanized pipes (see prior picture), but when I saw the black iron, I fell in love! These will be the brackets for the mantle.

Then I picked out the wood from the pile.  I don’t have a planer for the wood, so I just used my simple orbital sander on it.  I decided I liked the rough look from the saw mill, so I didn’t work too hard to smooth it; I was happy if I just knocked the splinters off.


Nice close look at the stains


I love the live edges. One edge of the board was cut straight (in this picture, it’s on the right)


I had to cut the board to length, square it up & knock off that splintered part.  I will admit, I was petrified to try to cut the board with my simple skill saw. But, it worked like a charm.

That was my board.  It was long enough, thick enough & straight enough.


This is one end after sanding – the cross cut lines are from the saw mill.


The stains mostly sanded out and the color began to peek through.


Here it is after sanding. I’m getting excited!


This was what I covered it with.  3 coats with a light sanding between each.  Savannah was my supervisor. 


AHHHHHHH!!!!!! Here she is after she dried.  She doesn’t have a name, but she probably should.  The color pops!


This grill looking thing was when I covered it for fear of rain. It was overcast and humid out. I didn’t have room to bring it in to dry.  Fortunately, it did not rain.

I got kind of nervous about the brackets.  That’s when things get detailed and I’m not keen on details – I like the artsy abstract stuff.


Look! It’s level.  Yay me!


The old mantle after it had been rearranged.

I could not hold the board, the brackets, the level and mark the wall.  That required me to have to wait – something I’m not good doing. Waiting. Patience.  Everyone was at work and couldn’t drop by for 10 minutes (insert eye-roll emoji).


She is up & installed!


Remember my dandelion? It’s still my favorite in the house.



Love this end!!!


And there she is – all decked out.  Everything other than the glass terrarium ball & contents are original Twisted Swisher!!!  The pictures on the left are of my daughter & friend at a huge waterfall, the staghorn fern I replanted in an old car headlight I found back in the woods.  Not sure if you can read the little sign, but it makes me giggle.  It says “Sarc:  my second favorite -asm” <insert laughing emoji>.  The tea light holders I made out of 4x4s.

I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did.  Next up: Something Else I may find to do.

DIY: How to Make Your Own Sliding Barn Door

Here is a great door. I made a door for my bedroom & hung it. I did buy the hardware for the rail & hangers from Home Depot for about $150 in a kit. I wanted to do it all myself, but I don’t quite have the skill set. Yes the barn door hardware can be cost prohibitive, which is why it took me over a year to find a set I could afford.

During one of my trips to the Christie Antique Show, I found an old door that was picked up from a diner they were tearing down.

Pantry door

Originally I wanted to hang it for our pantry door but that didn’t work so we decided to make it slide across the opening to our servery from the kitchen. See the final reveal of our kitchen here.beforeafter

Let’s talk about the finish of the door. I struggled with the colour of the door. A lot of people (including Tommy Smythe and Suzanne Dimma) told me to leave it, don’t touch it. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided I wanted a whitewash look. When we went to sand it down, the original paint wasn’t coming off easily so I decided to paint it grey and then lightly brush white over and lightly sanded it down…. I really had no idea…

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Breathing Room

Oh my gosh – Glenda & her husband came today to cleanse the house & land.  Now that they have gone & all is quiet, I can feel the difference.  It is palpable.  They went through the house three times, then they did the land and out buildings.  They used specific incenses, prayers, and ceremony.  It was weird and intense all at the same time.

Part of the ceremony, she calls on the Archangels Michael & Azrael to assist anyone who needs to cross over, bring comfort, peace & reassurance to them.  She said that R.T. was like the first in line – he was happy to “get on up outta’ here”.  Maude was the hold out, due to fear.  Once Glenda reminded her that her mother was there & her brother, Maude went.  I will miss them, I suppose, but perhaps others will come visit.

There is a lot of Native American energy here. Glenda sought protection for the land, the home, the homeowner (hmmm….maybe we should’ve reworded that? I don’t know how literal the other world is), and my pets.  Watch out, folks, RedRum may live for several more years!

With a few final ceremonial prayers, the deed was done.  Glenda left me the remaining incense mix, as it was developed for this house.  She said if things get hinkey, I should just burn it and remind the folks of the rules of my house.  I have slept good here, but maybe I’ll sleep even better.

Ghosts Among Us

Ghostly Evidence at the FarmHouse!

TwistedSwisher Tries Life

Scott, of Inner Light Paranormal, the team that came out to my house, sent me this video today.  He’s been sending me teasers of miscellaneous evidence gathered at the house last week.  This one? All I can say is “Ho-ly Shit!”  So, while ya’ll enjoy this, I’ll be snoozing in my bed with no worries.  Enjoy!

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In the Spirit of Exercise…..

Speaking of Ghosts….

TwistedSwisher Tries Life

I have lost my GhostVirginity! No, a succubus did not come in the night.  I saw my first ghost.

I’ll tell you what it wasn’t:

transparent, floaty, a sheet with holes in it, creepy, normal, spooky, scary or even unsettling.

What it was:

full bodied, should not have been there, unexpected, glimpsed.

So, here’s the story:

Last night I worked 4 hours over due to training, an officer needed off and we had to cover the shift.  It was my turn, so I worked until 3:00 a.m. I had always wondered what The Park did after hours, as I’ve never seen a gate on their gates (Stone Mountain Park).  I pulled by the west gate and saw a person in there.  I drove up to chat – which I do during the day, too, when I see an attendant without traffic.  Well, Ms. Sue was the gate attendant.  She answered…

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I live in a haunted house.

I wasn’t sure if I should put this here or on my other abandoned blog – but since it is about the farmhouse, I thought I’d post it here & cross post it over there.

I live in a haunted house.

There are lots of stories, but nothing creepy.  I’ll just give you the gist of it:  Since I’ve moved here the first thing I noticed was lights that went across the living room wall.  It was like light reflecting off a car windshield pulling down the driveway.  I would get up and look – and nothing was ever there.  To the point that I quit looking when I saw the lights.  Either I quit noticing them, or they stopped. However a couple weeks ago a friend was here with her kids.  She was woken twice during the night and saw the lights.  She likened them to a light house beam going by.  One three other incidents a man has been seen in the woods or walking by.  I’ve not seen him.  A female was seen through the window of the out building.  I need to go through all my farm pics and see if I can see anything in the photos.  Savannah and Buttercup both have had several incidents of laying around and all of a sudden jump up & bark at something unseen.

I got in touch with Innerlight Paranormal, led by Scott Tolbert.  His team of paranormal investigators came out last night (8/28/15).  They documented two ghosts in the house; Maude and R.T.  Maude is in her 30-40s, timid, curious, shy.  R.T. is a grumpy old man like Archie Bunker.   Glenda (team member) saw the creepy guy out back in the yard.  General idea is that he is not good.

I almost feel bad for Maude and R.T. Now I have their names, I won’t shut up talking to them.  I just hope they go somewhere else when I have a…

Where have I gone?

Believe it or not – no where.  I’ve been depressed, working, lazy, fixing up the house.  I know I promised lots of pictures and have been quite derelict with my word.  I just wanted to pop in and let you know (if anyone is still out there – heeellllooooo) that this is still a working blog, albeit slowly.

I have done lots of things around the house, with the assistance of my fabulous girl friends, have gotten some decorating done.  I have a tendency to think “once decorated, it’s done forever”.  That’s how I grew up.  In the 35ish years my mom lived in her house (the one I grew up in), she only changed the color of the kitchen twice.  Pictures and paintings on the walls were where they were first hung.  Forever.  It was very rare for my mom to change decorations.  She made some remodeling changes once, but that’s not the same as decorating.  Via my friends, I am learning that decorations are fluid, furniture is portable, things can be changed.   This is good, because I had so much sitting around with blank walls waiting for my massive decorating idea – such that nothing got done.  So a few friends came over and just put art out, hung up decorations, rearranged furniture and viola! A house again.

I will take pictures real soon of the current state of affairs.  I will say, the house is coming along right smartly. Knowing that something isn’t going to stay where it is (to make room for my big awesome project), does not deter it’s contribution until the big awesome project is finished.

A few things to look forward to:  My kitchen cabinet hardware is in.  I FINALLY found something that grabbed me and said “put me on your cabinets!”.  Was it originally cabinet hardware? Noooo. It’s much cooler & perfect for my eclectic mess I call my nest.  My kitchen island is getting nearer to fruition. I have a night stand (only sounds boring, trust me), closing in on an idea for decorating my murphy bed (which has yet to be built, but we are getting closer!), crate signs are being made, prayer wall has been started, twinkly lights on the porch…..  I promise: Pictures will be forthcoming very soon.