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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Bed Turned Into Bench


This beautiful bench, made by my talented husband Simon, was a somewhat useless twin head/footboard in a former life!

If you have some old bed frames lying around collecting dust, you may want to pull out the chop saw and get building!  If you don't like using the power tools - I don't - then find yourself a Simon!  

Here is how Mr. Wilson did it.


First he found a bed frame on the side of the house collecting dust.  Yes - on the side of the house.  The garage is completely full of more important pieces!  This one was intended for scrap wood.



Next, you chop it up and stuff.  Really.  I don't know exactly what he did to it.  But I do know that he used almost all of the bed.  The sides are the bed rails.  The front is the footboard, minus some of it - so you could actually sit on it.  And I know he took great care in measuring the seat height before he chopped things up.  Lot's of measuring was going on.



And then some scrap wood was used to make the seat.  

We debated over whether it should have arms on the sides, and decided not to put them on, as it was made from a twin bed, so it's not very large, and we wanted it to feel more open, and roomy.



And then I came along with my fabulous Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  This is a mixture of Florence and Napoleonic Blue.  I painted it, distressed it, and then finished it with a minwax polyurethane/stain in one.  I hadn't tried that finish before, but I imagined this bench living outside, and I wanted it to look antiqued, and I didn't want to spend too much time doing all sorts of layers to get the look I wanted.

I love my Bed Turned Bench. 

This twin bed did have a twin.  There were two!  So keep an eye out for the next one!



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Salon Wall Extravaganza!!

I LOVE a salon wall.  I really, really, do!  I love art, and I love eclectic, and that, to me, is a salon wall.  I have a ton of pictures of salon walls, and this morning as I was looking through some of them, I decided I needed to share them.  

So here you go!


An eclectic bedroom with some great artwork to make it even better!



Oh, the beautiful colors!  


And more beautiful colors!  


And how fun is this!?  No expensive artwork here - just a great grouping of random stuff, put together to look amazing!


And this is not a great quality photo, but how great is the color here?  I love, love, love it!









This one looks very unified by the black frames.  Usually I prefer random, but of course, I LOVE color, and the color in these prints makes this pretty fabulous.














And I will end with one of my favorites.  I love religious art work, and put together in this little nook (love nooks too!) I think it looks amazing.  I love everything about this.



















I have about 1/2 a million more salon wall images that I need to share, but not today!  Hope you are inspired.  I am!  I'm off to rearrange some artwork!



MaCKeNziE~ChiLdS  Inspired!!!

Wow - it's been a REALLY long time since I've blah, blah, blogged.  I like to blog, but I'm soooo bad about photographing my work.  I almost always forget to take a before, which I'm sure alot of you can relate to.  And I am your typical artistic type - very unorganized - so sometimes finding where I've stored the before shot is a challenge!  And then there is just tooooo much going on lately, so the blogging falls to the wayside!  I think this will be the first of many more to come though, and in a much more timely manor.  Hopefully!  Lucky you!!

So - I just finished a very cool, and very different custom project!  And I took befores!!  And Mr. Wilson took some very nice afters!


Here it is:


And the before:

I had these very nice ladies contact me about painting their old furniture to fit into their newly purchased home.  They had a nice dining set that was very well made, but dated.  But size wise it fit into the new space perfectly.  So they decided to do the right thing and recycle it.  I mean, why not?!!  You save something from going into the landfill and you get a custom look for a great price!   Typically, the older furniture is much more sturdy and well made than the furniture they are making today.  At least if it is affordable!  So recycle if you can!!

So we had talked about doing the typical painted furniture look - lightly distressed and antiqued, in some color that would fit into the space.   But when I showed up to paint, they had their MacKenzie~Childs catalog out and wanted to talk about other possibilities.  We talked alot about colors, stripes, checker boards, etc., and finally came up with a plan.  I wasn't too sure I was going to love this - it's definitely not my typical look.  But I wasn't painting it for me - so I just put my head down and started painting, trying to do the best job I could.  I was sure I could come up with something that they would love.  But I didn't expect that I would love it too.  But I do!!!  Their kitchen is beautiful, but it was a little plain.  It definitly needed something.   And this dining set is just what it needed!  It has just the right amount of color and fun.  It turned their beautiful but slightly plain kitchen into something slightly FABULOUS!!!

Here's a few more shots.

These are painted with Annie Sloan Decorative Chalk Paints of course!  Why, you ask?!  Because it is the best!  The finish on this set was shiny, and I would have had to sand and prime before painting if I had used regular latex paint.  It would have taken hours and hours! Also, the colors just always turn out right.  The colors I used in this:  The green color is Olive, the red is Emperor's Silk with a touch of Primer Red mix (I love to mix!),  the checkerboard is Cream and Olive, the yellow is Arles with a touch of Olive to tone it down a bit.  And the stripes are Provence and some of the yellow mix.  There is also a Duck Egg stripe on the table leg.  Lots of color!!

I also sanded down the table top and restained it with Dark Walnut and then sealed it with Polyurethane. 



I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, and the girls love it too!  They said, and I quote "Our kitchen ROCKS!"  

I couldn't agree more!


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Red Delicious

I have to start by saying that red is not my favorite color.  I used to really dislike red.  Alot.  Wouldn't wear it, wouldn't have it in my home.  Not even a little bit.  But oh how things have changed!  It started slowly - a little bit of red in the artwork here and there.  A few little accent pieces - a vase here, a little box there.  And now I have a red side table in my living room!  My living room!!!  Crazy, I know.  But I've learned, or maybe just decided, that you need to mix things up.  Shake it up!  Add some pizzazz!  And  red sure does that.

 With that being said - here is my latest favorite creation.  My Red Delicous Dressing Table.


Isn't she pretty?  Don't you just love how the red looks with the beautiful Mahogany?  Yum.

A friend of mine gave me this dressing table.  Yes Gave it to me.  Thanks Nancy!!  I totally owe her.

Nancy had started to refinish this herself, and quit after a few days of hard work.  I must say it was an ugly job.  Stripping all the finish off the drawers and mirror was not fun.  Lots of crevices to get into.  I was so worried while working on the mirror.  It's a lovely beveled mirror with just the right amount of age.  And I've broken a few mirrors in my refinishing days.  Not fun! But I managed to get it done, and it was soooo worth all the hard work!

Look how nice this tweeked Annie Sloan Red (Emperor's Silk with a little Primer Red) looks with the Mahogany.  I think it's so rich and interesting!























I think I'm over my dislike of red.  I have some more red projects on the horizon.  I found this picture of some amazing fabric that is the inspiration for my next red piece.









I came across this beautiful piece of furniture somewhere on the internet, and I'm not sure, but it looks like it is done in a stain.  I'm thinking I could do something similar with a wash of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I'm hoping to try it some day.  Kinda special, don't you think?









And then there are just endless pictures of interiors with little bits of red, big pops of red, and lots and lots of red!  I'm loving the red!!



Are these amazing or what?!


And to finish it all off, we should include some English inspiration.  Who doesn't love a Union Jack?  Or a British Phone Booth?  I'm thinking I need to paint an ugly old leather couch with a Union Jack, using some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Yes - apparently you can paint fabric with it!  I'll be trying that!



Okay - really, I need to finish with a RED PIANO!!!  I need to do one of these too!!



Okay - I'm done. Really ;)

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Desperately Seeking Lazy Susan.....

Okay, I'm not sure what that title means, but I found this amazing drum table, which has a lazy susan type top, and that is what I came up with........???

So this drum table is a Duncan Phyfe style table, with some nice Mahogany and some not so nice other wood, and it had this weird ugly leather inlay top. It sat in my living room in the corner for I don't know how long, waiting for a treatment. And it sat. And it sat. So after I did that shabby shabby dresser last week, and had such a nice response, I decided that maybe Lazy Susan should get the shabby shabby treatment too. And so she got it. And I'm not sure if I really like her, or if I really dislike her.

Susan before:


I had attempted something when I first got her - painted the top leather part a dark blue - it wasn't great.














And here she is now:


So what do you think? Is she weird? I seriously can't decide if she is great, or hideous. But either way, I think I like her. I mean the whole stinking table top rotates!! It's amazing. Someone who is reading this blog right now needs to go to La Casa Verde de Granada and buy her and then store all their fun games in the cubbies, and play a game of scrabble on her. When it's your turn, you just spin the whole table top around! Brilliant!


Let me know what you think about her. And if you aren't busy this Saturday, come down and see her, and me at La Casa Verde de Granada where I will be hosting a Furniture Painting Workshop. There are still a few spots left. Hope to see you there.;)

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