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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Shabby Shabby!!

So I found this great Duncan Phyfe style dresser for a great price, but wasn't sure how I wanted to finish it. So I did what I always do, which is spend endless hours on the computer looking at other blogs and Pinterest, etc - looking at pretty things. I came across a picture of a dresser that is almost identical. It was super duper distressed - not my normal look, but I decided to go for it.

Here's my Shabby Shabby Duncan Phyfe.


It had a great Mahogany top, so I sanded it, re-stained it and waxed it. I am painting a serious amount of furniture with Aqua, so I decided to be different and go with green. I put on the green and hated it, so put Aqua over it - so easy with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I did the body in good old "Old White" and then got out my orbital sander and distressed like crazy.

Like I said - not my usual look, but I kinda love it!






Stripes, Stripes, and More Stripes!!

I love, love, love stripes!  So today I'd like to share some fabulous furniture painted with stripes!  There are so many amazing pieces in my files, I think I'll have to do a part two sometime in the near future.

This is one of my favorite striped pieces done by myself. 

 A friend and client of mine, Patti Polucha, told me she was looking for a new coffee table, and asked if I could get her something and paint it.  Patti's house is very "Coastal Living" and I had this round table in my garage and new immediately how I wanted to paint it for her.  She has a few of those picture frames in her house that are made from reclaimed wood, in beautiful beachy colors.  So I painted up this table to go with it all, and it is one of my all time favorites!  I had told Patti that  I really wanted to paint her piano, and she said her mother said absolutely not - it was of course a family piece, so she had to go along with her mothers wishes.  However.....after her mother saw the coffee table, she gave her permission for me to paint the piano!  You can see it here in an earlier blog.

 Anyway - that was my first stripey piece of furniture.  Since then, I've done a few more beachy striped pieces:  



This little teak cart was nothing special as is, but with a few different shades of aqua and white, it is a little more interesting.  And so easy to do!!  No taping - just got out a small  brush and painted random stripes.  Quick and easy, and if you ask me, very cute!














 And who doesn't like Chevron stripes?!!  This one was a little more time consuming - I did have to break out the tape and ruler.  But it really wasn't that difficult, and it really dressed up these night stands.  I would like to do this again - in grey and white, yellow and white, green and name it and white!  Love Chevron stripes!!

 Oh - just one more beachy, stripey table.  Well, actually, it's an Ikea shoe storage piece that I picked up at a garage sale for $2.  And now looks like a million bucks!  Or maybe $20?  :)


And here are some photo's I've found on line, from who-knows-where, that are beautiful and inspiring! 




How fun is this!?  I'm looking for the perfect piece to try something like this!










 I think this desk is really clever and different.  I love the wood showing through on top.  A great treatment if you have a nice piece with some small stains.  Cover the stains with stripes!  


I love this one too!  This was done by painting the drawers black and then using a paint pen to draw this pattern over it.  So interesting and clever!













And how about if we finish up with a stripey painted ceiling!  Oh how I'd love to do this some day!















 So are you inspired?  I am!  I'm going to go get my tape out and start painting.  Have a great week!


I've Been Busy!

I've been painting like crazy!  While my partner MAK has been lying on a beach somewhere in Hawaii, I've been producing some really fun stuff.  I was in a bit of a funk for a while, painting everything the usual Duck Egg and Old White.  You really just can't go wrong with that combo.  Paint it Duck Egg and they will come!!  But I've been a little obsessed with Pinterest, and it got me inspired to do some things a little bit different.  Here are a few of my recent projects:


This is what I call Red Delicious!  It was a time consuming project - stripping the Mahogany top and drawers, and the mirror.  Stripping a mirror frame is not fun.  Lots of crevices and it's fragile!  But the beautiful Mahogany together with the tweeked Annie Sloan red (a bit of Primer Red with Emperors Silk) look very rich and interesting.  It was well worth all the hard work.














This french cabinet was probably supposed to be Paris Grey.  I was planning on painting it Paris Grey.  But then I got on Pinterest, and all of a sudden I was painting it Provence.  And then I was covering it in a mix of Antibes Green and Olive.  I got completely inspired by amazing images of fabulous interiors in greens and aquas.  I decided to leave the detailed carvings in it's natural wood, as the wood was really beautiful.  It had lots of problems that needed to be painted over though, so a combo was perfect.  I'm really happy with the way this turned out. 











I found this table and benches on Craigslist.  It had been out in the weather too long, and was in sad shape.  The varnish had turned yellow and brittle and looked pretty sad.  The base was a mismatched wood, and it just didn't work.  But obviously there was potential.  Mr. Wilson spent an afternoon with a belt sander and stripped this baby.  We restained it, put a couple of fresh coats of marine varnish and then white washed the base with what else - Annie Sloan Old White!  It didn't last long in the store.  It sold immediately to a nice young San Clemente girl, who is using it for her dining room table.  I'm jealous ;)


This dresser with a secretary top was made from a cheap grade of wood, and definitely needed some paint.  I found some beautiful hand made paper at Cost Plus and I was dying to use it on something.  I painted the outside in Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange, and attached the paper to the inside back of the secretary.  I love it!  Another great transformation.


















 And last, but certainly not least - some Duck Egg and Old White! 


I painted this dressing table that winning combination of Annie Sloan Duck Egg and Old White.  The bench seat needed recovering, and I thought I should go with something plain and neutral.  Kinda "old white".  But my favorite fabric store didn't have anything neutral that would work.  Then I found this fun paisly, and decided to go for it.  And I think it was meant to be.  It sold the first day it went in the store. 




And this is just a detail of a little side table painted in the Duck Egg and Old White.  Heavily distressed and waxed to a beautiful shine.  Yum!

I'm teaching a class this Saturday, March 31st, at La Casa Verde de Granada in downtown San Clemente.  We will be painting in the beautiful back garden from 1-4 pm.  There are still a couple of spots left if you'd like to learn how to turn your tired old furniture into something new and fabulous!  Call me at 949-412-4499 and I'll sign you up!



Make An Entrance!

I just finished a beautiful piece of furniture, and I was thinking how great it would look in someones entry way.  It would actually look great in MY entry way. :(  I love this painted dressing chest, and it's one of those pieces that will be hard to let go.  But let it go I must. 

Here it is.

This great dressing chest with unique "Charles Knapp" scalloped, pegged dovetails was made between 1871-1900! I finished it with an antiqued, distressed paint finish using Annie Sloan "Provence", mellowed out with some "Paris Grey" and hand waxed it to perfection with clear and a little dark wax.  It has major charm and character. Look at the fabulous details - the original, unique hardware, rarely found today, - the scalloped, pegged dovetail construction, the cute little drawers on top with a perfect little cubbie to drop your keys in.  It would also look great in a kitchen (although Simon - my opinionated husband says no mirrors in the kitchen - I disagree!)  dining area, or in your teenage daughters bedroom.  A really great Valentines gift for your teenage daughter! It will add tons of charm where ever it is put.






Look at the details!
















I love a great entry.  It should be special, as it sets the tone for the whole house.  It should also be functional.  A great piece of furniture with some storage for all that clutter that accumulates by the front door is a really good thing.  And a place to drop your keys and a mirror to check yourself as you are walking out the door are must haves.

I found some pictures of some amazing entry ways to inspire.  Enjoy!






Don't you love a great entry?!  If the above dressing chest would work in your entry way - or any other room in your home - you can contact me at

Have a great day!



Barcelona Baby!

Myself, and many other Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fans and Stockists, have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the newest Chalk Paint color - Barcelona Orange.  Orange is everywhere at the moment.  And I love, love, love it!  At the moment.  It's amazing how my taste changes depending on what's in.

I was about to go pick up my order, and before I left the house I did a quick Craigslist search and found the perfect pieces to break in the new color.  A pair of ugly, dated, boxy nightstands with some AMAZING hardware! 




Yes - that is my dining room table.  That's where it all happens.  Show this to your husbands - they will so appreciate you, and your far more reasonable practices of painting in the garage, basement, etc.  I do clean up for special occasions! :)

So....I put the first coat on, and quickly realized it wasn't quite the right shade of orange.  Not for this piece.  So I added some Emperor's Silk and got the perfect shade.   What do you think?


I know - not the greatest photo.  I barely finished them before I had to work in the shop, so in they went.  No time for staging and proper photo taking.  The usual.  I'm super happy with the way they turned out though.  And did you notice the plant stand in the pic?  I was inspired with the whole asian theme, and broke out the Emperor's Silk.  I'm also really happy with that one!  They are currently available for purchase as La Casa Verde de Granada.  Hurry up - they won't last long!

And now, a little ode to Orange.  I have some amazing pictures to share that will hopefully inspire you to break out the Barcelona Orange.  Enjoy!!




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