This Site is Moving! Please Follow Me @

It has been fun here getting my feet wet on, but within the next day, I will be transferring all of the content on this blog over to my new self-hosted site, Snazzy Little Things @   All things remain the same:  the theme is vintage inspired DIY methods & vintage decor, and I embrace Steampunk and industrial decor, and distressed finishes.  We are still doing home improvement projects…and now we’ve expanded into furniture rehab and antiquing.   I’m constantly experimenting with something new over there.

I also started a Facebook page, where I post my DIY dilemmas and videos of projects I’m working on.   That is where I am the most active.

Won’t you please join me on both platforms, and use the “Follow” button as you have in the past?  I would love to see you all there.

Saving this old site was a good idea initially, but the theme is no longer supported and I’m afraid will disintegrate before our very eyes over time.   I’m still learning about the self-hosted platform and love it, but I’m making changes daily.   There are new features there that I can enable there, such as:

  1. A DIY Supply Store:  I have hand-picked every item, with a limited selection on what you can find in my DIY supply store.  This way, you know exactly what to look for when you’re out shopping
  2. A Project Gallery – including all 26 projects I’ve done to-date, with more coming.
  3. More sidebar options
  4. Ways to monetize my blog that I couldn’t figure out how to do here on and stay within guidelines.

So everything really is the same…just more features than before.

Thanks for all of your support here at Streetwise Decor…I loved this platform and my theme, but times are a-changing and I have to keep up with it.

Best regards,



My New Facebook Page!

snazzy cover2

Won’t you join me (please)  in Facbook-land?

Oh…and by the way…“Announcing my new blog name!”    Didja catch that?   “Snazzy Little Things” met the approval of my kids, so I went with it!   Still working on a new WordPress self-hosted site along with a new logo, but for now, the Facebook cover above will suffice for a brand identity.

Hope you like since it’s something I find myself saying OFTEN when I’m out thrift store shopping.   “Well isn’t THAT a schnazzy little thing??”    I dropped the “sch” off of “snazzy” but that’s truly how I tend to say it.   Seemed fitting since I’m going to be doing a lot of schnazzy antique rehab this year.

This is a huge step for me, putting myself out there (even more so) on the web.  Blogging has mostly been a creative outlet for me, but I wanted to find others who shared my excitement for budget DIY, antiques, steampunk, art nouveau & art deco and mixing all together with new stuff.    Facebook works best when I’m “in the moment” and want to show you something quick.   When I want to write about something…Wordpress it is!    Sometimes you’ll get a glimpse of something that doesn’t warrant an entire blog post.   So I hope to get to know all of you a bit better on the “dark side” on Facebook.

Oh…and THE NEW BLOG is being built…stay tuned!

Now a couple of questions…

Are “site redirects” allowed once I set up the new blog?  I don’t want to lose any readers along the way as I move to a new self-hosted WordPress blog.   (It’s on my list of “to-do’s,  just haven’t researched it yet). 

Thanks all!

My Painfully Neutral Home

A confession.

I live my entire life in black and white movie. Ok, sepia tones. (for real. see pictures below, no filters or special films were used in the taking of these pictures).

Between that and the nasty Ohio winter, I am starting to need light therapy.


Sure, a year ago I sort of preached that one should decorate in neutrals for the sake of making their homes more marketable in case of resale. I am hating myself for that right now. I’ve been talking like a bigshot like I do things that are cutting edge, and a design risk-taker, (hey, I’m getting there, like the Union Jack headboard) but the fact is, I’m a chicken-$h!t when it comes bringing color in my home decor. Not sure why I’ve done that…maybe it’s the apartment living all those years where the wainscoting and neutral walls were never my own? Maybe I’m just lazy. Who knows…

Try this sometime. Take pictures of your own house, then look at those pictures objectively. That’s pretty much what did it for me. My plan was to proudly present you with a house tour, but I was derailed by my brain short circuiting after fighting with the WP gallery widget. Nothing’s simple. And I’m slightly embarrassed that I’ve let things get this out of hand and didn’t buy anything other than taupe or brown for the last 15 years.

The fact is, I really haven’t shopped for anything this year. I’ve given away two household’s worth of stuff, every two weeks my kids seem to out grow their jeans and shoes, and we’ve been paying contractors. When I do shop it’s out of need vs. want. Annnd….what’s left in the house are the items I thought “had potential”. But before I’m too hard on myself, I will say that last year, we took on A LOT of major projects. Most of the shell of the home is complete. I’m still working on the steampunky man cave in our industrial basement. Yes, I’ve eradicated all existence of builder’s white, and the orangey throw-up-ey builder’s oak…so that’s a major step.

In the spirit of honesty, I posted a picture of my kitchen tonight. Sorry, not quite the “gallery” I was hoping for. Didn’t even empty the sink or stage it for ya. But look how neutral, huh? {Note the blue Dawn container-which is PROOF it’s not a black & white photo}.

So now, it’s time for a


In DIY blogland…I’ve encountered women who have achieved magazine-worthy homes by just driving by a pile of garbage on a rainy day, and transforming it into a beautifully staged French country farmhouse dining room set by that weekend. Complete with their perfectly groomed children dressed in white suspenders and a bouquet of daisies.  Every project is like an episode of craft wars, so it’s hard not to get envious when I step outside of my own blog. As I watch DIY projects unfold by these talented ladies, I find myself getting major trigger-finger to do a few projects of my own. My paint brush is almost always loaded, and an arm’s-length away.

So if I didn’t mention it before…Phase II of my decorating this year

I will be FORCING myself to use color!!

And…let’s just chalk up last year (Phase I) as “preparing the canvas”.   Thank you, Bob Ross.


P.S. – here are some updates:

1) The new blog is under construction, AND….

2) We’ve chosen a NEW NAME. (to be announced)

3) A Facebook page where people can share furniture re-purposing questions and post photos of projects that are nearly curb-bound. I would LOVE it if my other DIY blogging friends could help out.

4) I’ve hired a great designer to help out with my new logo…very pumped.

5) I am also stockpiling a few Goodwill purchases for some future projects as I declare the Phase II color assault on my home.

Tonight’s purchase:

A Goodwill treasure

A Goodwill treasure me out. What COLOR do you think this should be? I’m considering a Decoupage treatment to the drawer facings. I’m also thinking and where it will live–maybe in the overexposed morning room off to the left in the awesome picture I took below. Part of me is still wanting this to be a white or French Grey table. Here is a shot of the rest of my house (and before you pity me, I am making a trip to Ikea this weekend and on the list: a new, colorful rug…and brighter pillows for my couch and new art. Yep, I have a lot to do.


It’s a canvas, right?

DIY In Progress: Sofa Table $40 Score!

Click the picture to read the full tutorial on my new website, Snazzy Little Things.


Front Door makeover + lessons learned

House on the Way

You remember my Purple Rain inspired front door, right? Here it is, before:


Continue reading

What color is your front door?

5/5/12 update:


When I painted my front door a Purple Rain inspired purple (it has since faded in the sun), I got a huge kick out of watching other front doors in the neighborhood follow suit. But now I’m lagging behind trends and I’m ready to paint mine black. The only problem is, a few neighbors beat me to it. So now I’m second guessing myself. Should I start a new trend? Or become a disciple of conformity?

I even have my all-green boxwood wreath ready.

What color is your front door?

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Friday Foto


New tradition: Friday picture uploads capturing random chaos, things within my view, motivational messages. You get the point 😉

Closet Granola Chick (full hair & makeup required)


Now that my butcher block island made it’s initial debut (finishing touches & tutorial still pending) I can’t wait to start gathering our bi-weekly harvest at our local CSA. See, I joined the CSA first…then I had no choice but to create the perfect setting in my house in which to prepare my fresh organic harvest. (It’s all about the presentation, right?)

Our share is a “working” share, which means that I pay a fee to the local organic farm to become a shareholder, but I also commit my time as hired help. (Maybe this will educate my kids that corn doesn’t “get made” in a store!) We are scheduled for 5 hours this summer, and in return, we get a generous portion of organic vegetables, goat cheese, and Amish-made pies.

I love food blogs and finding new recipes online, so feel free to comment and recommend any blogs and hobbyists with great recipes. Canning is something I may try also, my grandmother canned her food and I’d love to start that tradition.

The good news is…the cosmetics that I plan to wear (while farming) also have sunscreen. Don’t judge me 🙂

Butcher block progress update

A few more tweaks left to do, but wanted to give you a quick update on the island. We will put the finishing touches on it over the next few days:



I love how it opened up the kitchen!

Autism & Empathy 101

This was published recently in our local newspaper. I was inspired to write it after a particularly bad day my son had at school. Today is another one of those days.

Autism & Empathy 101

That was my son. The one in the shirt and tie with no coat in 38 degree weather holding open the door for you as you left the band concert.

He did this for you, and the 300+ people that also left that night. Your family walked through the door, but failed to smile at him and say “thank you”. Regardless, he saw it as a way to connect with you. You see…he did this because in his eyes, YOU are part of his “family” and he would like to believe we can all be friends.

My son looks just like yours, except my son has Aspergers.

As a toddler, my son was once non-verbal and had difficulty making eye contact, even with me. He spun in circles, humming to himself while other toddlers were tossing their first football with their fathers. Today in the sixth grade, my son has learned eye contact but remains very shy. Socially, things can be very difficult for him — the school day is especially cruel for a boy with Aspergers. The casual jargon and sometimes unkind banter in middle school leaves him confused. He is extremely literal and sometimes socially awkward. Because of this, your kid sometimes calls mine “stupid” or “weird”, or better yet “psycho”. My son is a kind soul and will always give your kid a second chance, even if yours doesn’t deserve one.

My son looks like an athlete but is a late bloomer. He will try baseball again this year, even though he’s been told he isn’t very good. Neighbors have been unkind to him by poking fun at the way he throws a baseball or football. When he comes outside to play, yours is one of the kids that scatter in the neighborhood. You see…it’s your kid that created a void in his life at that very moment. And as his parent, I attempt to fill that void. It’s my son that sits inside wondering when he can play with yours. He is in the house waiting for his “good” friends to call – the friends who are kind and accept him for who my son is. Regardless of how many times your kid will reject mine, my son will always look to for an opportunity to accept yours. Even if it takes a second, third, and even fourth attempt. Even if your kid doesn’t deserve another chance.

Groups can be difficult for my son. Maybe now you can see why.

By the way…my son is academically advanced. A brilliant writer. A musician. A wonderful artist. A video game expert. A blooming athlete. Oh, and he’s pretty good a passing a football, and he loves baseball, too.

But none of that matters, does it? What’s important is that he is a kind and gentle soul, and a trustworthy and amazing friend. It’s because of these challenges that we’ve become the family that we are, and we are grateful for finding the wonderful friends that accept him for who he is.

Is your kid capable of being one of them?