Meet the girls


    Mak and Jill have been friends since seventh grade. They both were lucky to have creative mamas who encouraged their artistic sides. 

  They have 45 years experience between the two of them upcycling furniture, creating works of art, styling and interior design. They have a beautiful store "The Abode" - located on Avenida Del Mar in downtown San Clemente, where you can find their upcycled furniture, unique finds, and so much more.

They are stockists of Chalk Paint® decorative paint and offer furniture painting workshops, teaching others what they have learned over a lifetime.






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Not really, but he should be.  Because Mak & Jill grace the pages of This Old House Magazine this month, with this amazing headboard-turned-bench!

Isn't it beautiful!?  

We made this bench a little over a year ago, and somehow the people at This Old House Magazine found it and asked if they could feature it in their next issue.  Uh - ya! This Old House?  Seriously?  We LOVE This Old House!!  Simon Wilson, (my husband - in case you didn't know) had This Old House on the t.v. all weekend long, back in it's hey day.  All weekend long.  He really did think that Norm was his friend.  Felt like he knew him well.  Norm taught him almost everything he knows!!  Really.  So not only was it exciting for us (Mak & Jill) but it was exciting for Simon.  

Have you seen the article yet?Isn't that so cool!?

Here is the cover of the magazine.  I know you will want to run out and buy it if you haven't already, and maybe frame it, like we did. :)


 See where it says Best low-cost blogger projects?  On the cover?  Ya - that's us!  They are talking about us - on the cover!! :)

Okay - enough about us.  For those of you who would like a little more detail about the "how-to", here it is.  But first lets take a moment to talk about shop safety.  :)  Not really!  Just had to throw that in there for all you Norm Abram fans.


Find a cute/interesting headboard/footboard.  Chop up the footboard to use for the arms.

Attach it all with the railings of the bed frame, or maybe some 2x4's if there are no railings...


Then attach it all with glue, screws, brackets - you name it!  Simon Wilson likes to build everything to withstand hurricane force winds, so he did all of the above.  :)






Then it's time to make a seat.  Simon chopped up an old coffee table.  You can also use planks of wood.  Get creative!





And then put a fabulous finish on it.  We always paint our things with Chalk Paint®.

 We LOOOOVE that stuff!  You can paint it and leave it raw to weather in the elements, looking chalky and beachy, or you can wax it (if it's going indoors) or you can do a number of other finishes.  We finished this project with a minwax stain/poly combo, to make it more weatherproof, and antique it at the same time.  Not or normal finish, but why be normal?

Here are a few more fabulous headboard benches to inspire you....

This is actually not a headboard bench.  Mak made this bench out of two chairs.  We LOVE it though, so we had to share.


This is another headboard turned bench made by Mr. Wilson.  Notice this seat was made using wood planks.

This is an image I found on line, and don't know who did it, but it definitely feels like a Mak & Jill style piece.  Love it!

And this is another I found on line.  Also beautiful, and very much our style!









So there you go.  Lot's of headboard benches and inspiration.  

If you are inspired enough to build one of these babies, we would love for you to send us pics so we can share it!  We'd love to see what you come up with!  And Norm, if you're out there, Simon says "We love you man"!




Do you ever come across a really boring piece of furniture and wonder what to do with it?  Well here is your answer!  Typography!  

Just slap on a coat of paint, stencil on some words, and whalah!  Look what you get!

This is Marjee's masterpiece.  Iconic surf spots along the California coast.

On this particular piece, Mak painted the base coat in French Linen.  Then she did a thin coat of Old White on the drawers, and a white wash on the body. She then stenciled on the white drawers with French Linen, and sanded it back a bit to get that beachy, weathered look.  Nice job MaK!!

Surf spots are pretty popular in San Clemente.  But the possibilities for typography on furniture are endless!  




How cute is this!  For the photographer in your life.


























Or this - for the British Subway rider in your life! :)









Or you could try some numbers.....                                                   

Some crazy, crazy, numbers....
























Or some fancy French numbers....

How about this?

Or this?












Subtle, yet awesome!










How about some reverse stenciling?  And leave some nice wood peeking through?  Oh the possibilities!


                                                                                          You can get really involved.


Or keep it really simple.
























Just let your piece of furniture speak to you!This one had a whole lot to say.

I better stop now!



Kathleen Jensen - One of a Kind!!

I would like to introduce you to my friend and very talented artist Kathleen Jensen!  Kathleen is one of our very talented artists featured at Mak & Jill's Abode.  If you have ever been to our store you will have noticed her amazing paintings.  They are gorgeous!

Kathleen has been a friend of mine for almost 10 years.  We met when our daughters were in the same ballet class.  10 years ago!!  Hardly seems possible! We would sit in the waiting room and chat.  One day she told me that she paints.  I said I did to, and was wanting to get together with some girls on a regular basis to paint together.  So we did!  Four, sometimes five of us would take turns hosting, and we would all sit around working on our latest paintings while the kids were in school.  We would give each other advice, have a little lunch.  Just hang out creating.  It was so fun! I miss those days.  Everyone got too busy and it kinda died off.  Maybe we can start it again when we retire!

This is Kat sitting at the front desk at the Abode.  She helps in the store one day a week.  Right now she is there on Mondays.  Sometimes it varies, but for now, if you want to meet the amazingly talented Kat, you can probably find her here on a Monday.  She's so great with the customers - such a kind soul!  We feel so lucky to have her be a part of our store!  Look how amazing her art makes our store look!

Kat grew up in Mission Viejo and graduated with a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.  She likes to paint landscapes and seascapes, as well as succulents, flowers, shells, etc.  

Here is a recent painting she did of the view from below the Montage in Laguna Beach.  She has such an amazing style and perspective!  



All of her paintings just amaze me.  She specializes in the landscapes and seascapes, but she is always mixing it up and throwing something completely different in the mix.  I love that about her.  Here are a few more of some random paintings she has done:

She painted the crown on the left when Kate & William were getting married.  

So fun!





This is one of her latest Seascapes.

And this is another recent one.  She took a picture of a window while on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and created this!

This is a picture of a tree she took while on vacation in Pensacola, Florida.  She goes there every summer with her family.  Wow!


And those are a few more of her incredibly amazing, random, fabulous paintings.  I could just go on and on.  I LOVE THEM!!

So - if you are looking to get rid of some of those cheap framed posters, and become the owner of some amazing, original, affordable art, come to Mak & Jill's Abode, and get a Kathleen Jensen Original.  I'm telling ya, this girl is going to be famous.  Get em while you can afford em! :)


Thank you Annie Sloan

Hello Strangers! It's been a while! I don't know how people own stores, have kids and blog. And do all the other stuff in between. But I'm about to find out, because we have alot to share, and we are going to do it darn it!


This month has been crazy busy. Kids are out of school, paint classes are filling up, furniture is being bought by the boat load. Seriously. It's been a whirlwind. And we couldn't be happier. And we couldn't do all this without the help of a fabulous paint created by an amazing lady, and brought to us by an equally amazing company. Yes, we are talking about Chalk Paint® decorative paint.


Mak (Marjee) and I started selling Chalk Paint® about two years ago when we discovered it on line, ran out to buy it and give it a try, and were lucky enough to get in early and become stockists. If you don't know the history of Chalk Paint®, it was developed by Annie Sloan in England over 20 years ago, and was discovered by Lisa Rickert of Jolie Designs in New Orleans after her house was destroyed by Katrina and she was rebuilding and wanting to find a budget friendly way to make her kitchen cabinets look old world. The two fabulous women joined forces to create Annie Sloan Unfolded, to bring this amazing stuff to America. It is now made in Kansas City and sold by over 300 independant retailers in the good old USA.


We thank these women every single day as we open our paint cans and turn ugly, dated furniture into beautiful works of art. Seriously. We would not be able to do it all without this amazing paint! It makes it all so much easier than the old latex stuff we used to get at Home Depot. We never sand or prime. Just pop the lid on whatever color speaks to us, and begin creating. 


These are some of the amazing pieces we have created lately:












Marjee named this beauty "Old Man's Bar". Old Man's is a surf spot in San Clemente, and she pictured some cool surfer dude buying this beauty to use as a bar. In his hip beach house. Living his hip beach life.

Is it not just sooooo yummy!?



We just love the way this turned out. We really, really loved it. Yes. Loved. It's gone. Some hip surfer dude bought it. But he is using it to put his flat screen on. We were close!



















What do you think of this little beauty?

 One of our regular customers, whom we love so much, brought this to us. He was getting ready to give it to Goodwill, and thought maybe we could do something with it. And we certainly did!





It was a little sad, and Marjee and Martine, our new intern at The Abode, whipped out some painters tape and Florence and Old White CHALK PAINT® and did their thing! 




















We just love it!




Ombre baby!




































And then how about another beautiful but totally different work of art:
























 Is there anything you Can't do with this paint!? 





This Saturday is the Day!!!

This Saturday is a big day!!  A really, really big day.  Annie Sloan is coming to our store 'The Abode' for a book signing!

Her new book 'Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and more' just came out and we have it, and we have her!!!  Crazy, isn't it!!  


That right there alone is reason enough to come to beautiful downtown San Clemente.  Annie Sloan!  Here!  At The Abode!!  What more do you need?   But downtown San Clemente has so much to offer, so you might as well just make a whole day of it!

This Saturday is the perfect day to have a perfect day.  And really, it should be "A Perfect Day in San Clemente" day.

This is how it should go:

Start the day with a nice breakfast.  A couple of good places:  The Beach Garden Cafe - right across the street from the pier - yummy and a great view!  Or Cafe Mimosa, right across the street from The Abode.   So also a great view! And also delicious!



Both great choices.













Then it's time for the book signing!  Don't delay - get over there and get your book signed!  Annie will be signing books from 11:00 to 12:00 and then it's social hour from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.   You will probably want to hang out with Annie for a bit.  She's not only extremely talented, she's quite good fun.  And nice.  Really, really nice.  And did I mention that she is the author of over 20 books, and the inventor of the amazing Chalk Paint®, - that phenominal paint that sticks to virtually anything? That paint that gives your furniture amazing fine finishes with very little effort?  And she is nice.  Did I mention that?  And did I mention that this new book 'Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and more' is already in the top 5 of's top interior design books?  And that it is a REALLY GOOD BOOK?  Because I think I should mention that!  And that we will have some refreshments for you all to enjoy at The Abode?  Because a perfect day involves lots of refreshments!



And if that wasn't enough - right next door is the annual San Clemente Community Garden Fest!  It's just next door and it's a big deal. It comes around only once a year, and it is this Saturday! People come from all over for this thing.  And it's kid friendly.  And there will be flowers!!  Lots of flowers!!

And all this is a good reason to come for breakfast -  parking could be a problem.  San Clemente will be hopping this Saturday.  Annie, Garden Fest, Perfect Weather at the Beach!  I'm telling you - get down here early!

And bring the family.

And did I say get here early?









And after the Garden Fest, you need to just wander Del Mar and shop in all the great shops!  There are so many!  Lots of great restaurants, antiques stores and boutiques.  

And it time for lunch yet?  There are so many great places to eat I don't know which to recommend.  Too many!  Yum!


















This one might be my favorite.  

And then more shopping.

And then the very important walk down to the pier.  It's very important to end your "Perfect San Clemente Day" sipping cocktails at The Fisherman on the pier.  Go to The Fisherman "bar" on the right side of the pier.  The food isn't anything special, but the atmosphere and the view, and of course the drinks, are perfect.  Just follow Avenida Del Mar all the way to the end.  You will end up at the pier.

And there you have it!  A perfect day!

Hope to see you all this Saturday!


228 Avenida Del Mar

San Clemente, CA 92672


Any questions?  Call Jill  949-412-4499