featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, award-winning author Paty Jager not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. She has published twenty novels, three anthologies, and seven novellas, all with Western or Native American elements. Learn more about Paty and her books at her website and blog. Today she stops by to show us how she converted a buffet into a vanity for the house she and her husband built.

Buffet to Vanity

Last year my husband and I sold our semi-rural property (8 miles from town) and moved to our rural property (40 miles from town.)  We were both excited to start this new semi-retired adventure. Only moving to the rural property we had to live in a 200 sq. ft. cabin while we built our next home. We lived in the cabin from July 2014 until February 2015. Yes, we built a 2026 sq. ft. home in seven months! We busted our fannies to get it up because we were getting tired of living in the small cabin. We had some friends put up the walls and do the sheetrock, but we did the rest of the house ourselves. Getting up in the morning and working until dark every day.

The fun part about building the house was deciding what I wanted in each room and how I wanted it to feel. Yes, I like a room with ambiance.

One day we drove past a second hand store and a piece of furniture that was in the window caught my eye. I asked my husband to turn around so I could check it out. He said we didn’t have time today. The next time we went to town I had looking at that furniture on the list of to-dos.  I went in, looked the old buffet over, and decided it would be the vanity in the master bathroom. But I had to convince my husband of it.  
After explaining to hubby what I planned to do with the buffet and how I planned to do it, he said I could get it as long as I got the man to drop the price. I only managed to get him to drop the price $25 but that was dropping, so hubby couldn’t say otherwise. ;) I brought it home, contacted a school friend who restores old furniture and asked her the best method to remove the ugly brown coat on the buffet.  She gave me some advice, and I went to work scrubbing the brown off and finding a lovely oak underneath.
Once I had the idea of the vanity in my mind, I started scouring the home improvement stores for tiles to put on the top of the vanity and finding articles on how to convert a piece of furniture into a vanity (the plumbing had to be dealt with.) And while at a plumbing store getting our toilets and such, I found the perfect sink. It was a demo and they had to take it out of the display, but they were willing to sell it to me. 
Our oldest daughter came over one weekend to help me tile the master shower and we also tiled the buffet/vanity. We used 12” x 12” tiles for the main part of the counter and added 1/2” accent tiles to the edge of the top. The hard part was getting them to lay well around the rounded front. [insert finished photo]

This was a project that started with an idea and slowly was pulled together, much like writing a story. I come up with a germ of an idea, and over time I gather the pieces that enhance the story, and before long I have a finished manuscript.

My writing project at the moment is a series about Shandra Higheagle, a Native American potter who becomes tangled in murder and is led to clues by her deceased grandmother who comes to her in dreams.

Double Duplicity
Book one of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series


On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth.

Detective Ryan Greer prides himself on solving crimes and refuses to ignore a single clue, including Shandra Higheagle’s visions. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Ryan believes in them and believes in her.

Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?

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Angela Adams said...

Awesome, Paty!

Angela Adams said...

Awesome, Paty!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Angela! It was a fun project. But so many steps I was impatient to see the outcome. ;)

Paty Jager said...

Thanks for having me back at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers!!

Dawn Morse said...

Awesome project. .looking forward to the new book.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Dawn, Thanks! I'm having a blast working on the next mystery. But it's taking lots of research since part of it is on the reservation.