Thursday, February 25, 2010

Science Fair


I know I’m not the only one who has created their own “language” with family and friends. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. For example, my best friend (since 6th grade!) and I call each other “Bird.” ALL THE TIME. When we call on the phone. When we’re at dinner. ALL the time. 

It comes from the “pretty bird” scene in Dumb and Dumber. I believe we rewound that part of the movie about 80 trillion times that night at her house, laughing so hard we cried. From that evening, “Bird” was born. And it stuck, even 16 years later.  ;)

My husband and I don’t even call each other by our names. It’s usually a variety of cute, loving, puke-inducing terms instead. We have also picked up phrases over the years that mean something to us but no one else would ever know.

Translation = when we are at the store and talk to each other, I’m quite sure folks think we are either foreign or just nuts.

This brings me to “science fair.” It’s a term our friend Mike made up a new meaning for years ago. It basically means a total, complete MESS.

Like, “Wow, that traffic was a science fair!”

Or, “The license branch line was a total science fair.”

Or my current favorite -- “Our basement is a complete science fair.”

(More on that soon.)

You have no idea how many times I have typed those words here and had to delete them because you all would wonder what in the word I am speaking to you.

No more. Now that you are in the know, let me introduce you to my latest science fair. Many of you ask if I ever have a project go wrong. Yes. I do. But I do my best to roll with it and make it work. Like I did with this table. It turned out GORG.

I told you the other day  how I switched some art around from our foyer and family room. Since the day I brought that Ballard Designs art home, I have wanted one of those cool art lights shining down on it.

Since just switching out the art was FREE, and we can always use more light in our family room anyway, I decided to splurge and finally get one.  ($26 from Lowe’s.)

It only came in brass and brushed nickel, so I just spray painted it:


In oil rubbed bronze of course. ;) As you can see if you look carefully, my spray paint job left much to be desired. It looks good from the front, but a mess in the back.

Ah well. I was OK with that. No one will look at it from the back. If you ever come to my house, please don’t look at it from the back.

My only hesitation with this light was the cord issue. You know how I much I desperately despise cords. With a serious, burning passion. So I really didn’t want to see the cord hanging down behind the art. Since my cord trick with the flat screen TV worked so great, I got a wild hair and decided to put more holes in the wall.


I drilled a hole at the top that would go behind the art. I was all giddy in my cord hiding bliss – then I drilled the lower hole so I could pull the cord through and plug it in.


Then couldn’t get the blasted cord snaked through the wall. I tried and tried, but it wasn’t coming through. I finally gave up on it, after about six tries. I was left with this:


Oh yeah, and one down below too. (Both have since been covered.) Perfect little round holes. In my wall. Two. Actually, more like six. I had to hang the light twice to get it in the right spot. OK, more like eight holes. But only two are large. Oh dear Lord.

SooooI have cords showing.

That’s right, I said it. I have cords showing.

I tried to hide them as best I could:

014 016 

I know. Just say it out loud. I know you can see it. Plain as day.

I’ve lost my mind. I’m OK with it.

Come on, you don’t see it right? RIGHT?

019 020  

It’s there just cackling at me. Every time I walk by.

To add to all this, I was a total dunce and just taped over the light bulbs, instead of just taking them out before I spray painted, so when I went to finally turn on the stinking thing and bask in the pretty over-the-art-light…nothing came on.

BOTH bulbs were burned out because the spray paint must have gotten on them.

So I couldn’t even enjoy this bleeping pretty light until the next day, after another Lowe’s trip.

I don’t know if it was worth all that, but I do love it:

026Two words: 

Science fair.

Say it yourself a few times. I guarantee you’ll be using this term tomorrow. All. day. long.

Like, “This chick who writes a decorating blog I read is a total science fair.”

And before anyone yells at me – the electrician is coming. (No, not just to deal with this.) And I will get my cord hidden. Oh yes. I will.

So, are there terms you use that no one else gets? I’m not alone, right?


P.S. I plan to post the how to on our stairs this weekend. And don’t forget about the next Before and After linky party on Monday!

Oh, and if you want to laugh HARD, read the comments from this week’s giveaway below. I love kids! :) The giveaway is open until tomorrow at noon. (Eastern time.)


  1. Trust me this word has been strong in my house for three months! You see I have a middle school boy, and he just finished his "Science Fair" project...yes that took three months....I do not want to use the word Science Fair just yet...however I will think of it now in a new context thanks to you!!

  2. How about if you move the cord to the bottom right of the picture and then run it behind the books and the lamp and down the leg of the table? That way it would be a lot less noticeable than right down the middle because that would seriously drive me crazy.

    It looks great though!

  3. You are a science fair...but I loves ya!

  4. Oh my gosh, don't ya just luv "simple" projects that turn out to be so fun?? We've had plenty of those around our house.
    Your light looks great (so does the painting)
    Thanks for sharing ...I needed a good laugh!

  5. instead of running the cord straight down the middle, do it to the side, so your lamp and books will hide it. Then the table leg below will hide it, too. Hopefully the cord is long enough?

  6. You're hilarious. And I totally needed this post right now! Thank you for adding to our vocabulary. Squeezies...Gorg...Science fair...LOVE!

  7. I'm impressed with your creative attempts to hide the cords. You get MAJOR style points, even if you are a total science fair! ;> My hubby and I have a long running joke about something being a War Zone. ANYTIME we hear that phrase we give each other THE LOOK, and bust out laughing! Inside jokes make everyday relationships more fun.
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  8. Sarah - it's not as bad as you think, but I agree with Ashley and Looli. Try running the cord down the side and hide behind the lamp/books and down the table leg. Much easier solution than to involve an electrician. Gah! Best of luck. BTW, thanks for all the great ideas!!

  9. It's pretty. I TOTALLY make up my own terms. When we have typos, my best friend and I end our chats and all like that. Example.
    lovey ou
    seey ou

    AND, we use SALUTATIONS as goodbye...and peels revo is a sleepover...

    We're insane. But that's okay, right? ;)

    Fun post--nice blog.


  10. My little brother (little meaning 17 years old) and I have totally have our own language. Its crazy to others, but we just go with it. Crazy isn't so bad, right? :)

  11. Here is a thought on the cord cover, you actually buy the cord cover trim and then paint it the same as the wall, we did that in our bedroom, it looks good...or fine, you really do not notice it at all.

  12. I see you have the crown molding, you really do not see it much, and you can put any decor in front of it to cover it.....

  13. it! I will never think of the word "Science Fair" in the same way. lol

    I so understand about having your own words. My husband and I have certain key words or code words as we say when we need to say something to each other, but we don't want the kids to know or people. I get your language...o.k. maybe not you and your husbands, lol but I get it. ;)

    I was thinking...maybe something long and sits low to hide the cord? I will be dealing with a light switch in one of my is in the way of where I need to put a mirror...I have been thinking on how I will hide it...wait, that might mean we can't use the light. lol :) Oh, well.

    I love that painting and I too am obsessed with orb spray paint. Have a great night!


  14. Science Fair. I love it :D I'll let you in on a little secret. My house is one big freakin' science fair convention right now! ack!

  15. My 7 year old granddaughter is doing a science project right now.. growing mold or some such thing. Not sure if it's a science fair, but it is science... yes?

    You are too funny!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  16. What about running a cord cover on top of the chair rail...over to the right, hide it behind the lamp as it goes over the chair rail, and then another cord cover down the wall?

  17. Love the term! I may have to steal that ;o)

    We say lots of random things, but most frequently, we just mispronounce things. Like "Bobe Vans" (Bob Evan's, taken from their web addy), "Cizey" for CSI, "Ink-iss" for NCIS, "Numb-three-ers" for Numb3ers, of course, etc... There's no end to them, and it totally confuses people, so we have to be careful about how we refer to things lol! I know there are other things we say, but I'm soooo stinkin tired I can't think of 'em.

  18. This is so funny- very real life! I agree with some of the others- I would run the cord behind the accent pieces. Looks lovely after all your adventures...

  19. I think my whole life is a science fair and yes I will be using the term.

    I love you creativity in hiding cords. I will be going on a cord hiding rapage soon. Cord covers, rip ties, and all other tip you have listed. Thanks for the tips.

    So here is my tip for you. You probably hit the cross brace between the studs. Sometimes they call them fire brakes. Where the studs run vertically the brace runs horizontally. We ran into this problem for the first time years ago when the hubby and I moved the phone line. I am always suprised by what is behind the sheet rock if we open up a wall.

    I hope your electictrian can fix it.

  20. How is it that you and I have never met and that you come to mind during the day? It's when I see my cords of course, and I think, "Oh dear, Thrift Decor Chick would NOT like this situation at all!" Tee hee.

    My husband and try not to talk to each other at all, so there's no need for a secret language. Just a few grunts, nods or raised eyebrows do the trick. ;)

  21. wow so brilliant saw lights on the front of pictures but this on the top rocks.

  22. Ditto what Ashley and Looli said about the cord, or you could just stack 2-4 indiscreet books right there in the middle of that table in the meantime... .

    I hate cords, too, but I have them showing. It doesn't bother me much because it's obvious I don't try to hide them (afterall, I don't write a decorating blog), but if it were obvious I wanted everything to be "just so", a visible cord would drive me crazy, too.

  23. "Science Fair" and its new meaning is now in my vocabulary. Awesome. We use the term "fun suck", referring to someone who sucks all the fun out of a situation. I have teenagers, but this term may not be one you want to use around small children. They are sure to repeat it, and you know....get the letters in the wrong order! :)

  24. You gotta love a good science fair. Our house is in some state of science fair at all times. We have mini ones in every room it seems and some bigger ones throughout!

    Thanks for sharing your cutesyness to :). My hubby and I speak our own language, so I always appreciate seeing and hearing when others do too :) (and, we are often that cutesy couple that used to make me gag when I witnessed it.. I LOVE IT!)

    Off to host my own science fair...

  25. I'm pretty picky about cords too and I honestly don't think the cord looks that bad! I mean, you can see it but it's not very OBVIOUS because you did a great job concealing it with the paint. Meaning, it's not the first thing my eye would jump to if I were looing at your art and table. You could try sitting something on the table like a little wooden box or vase to hide it in the meantime maybe?

  26. you REALLY DO have issues! I'll forgive u yours, if u forgive mine... I can't STAND any residue, rain, snow, or dirt on my windshield... I go through a lot of washer fluid! But that's actually very mild compared to yours. Settles it- you are a science fair.

  27. ok seriously... my best friend and i are at working dying laughing right now... we LURVE you :)

    are you local, as in Southeast Virginia? we'd love a coffee date to discuss our "issues" :)

  28. I love your blog. Sorry it's taken me so long to comment.

    My weird little saying is "burning bed". As in, "Crazy Heart" is Jeff Bridges burning bed. i.e. a breakout performance. Reference Farrah Fawcett in "The Burning Bed", made for TV movie. Have used it ever since...

    Keep up your fantastic projects and sense of fun!

  29. You are so funny. But if you weren't such a science fair, we wouldn't love you nearly so much.

    I was in a friend's house the other day, and she had a beautiful painting illuminated with one of these lights, but then there was a huge cord hanging down below the painting, trailing on the floor a bit, and then running over to the outlet. The artwork was gorgeous, but what really caught my eye was that cord! So you're not crazy with your cord fetish. I must say, though, that your cord is hardly noticeable. If I were in your house, I'd stop to admire the artwork, and I don't think I'd notice the cord. I also wouldn't look at the back of the light. I'd be too busy looking at all the other wonderful things in your house!

  30. I am with you on the cord issues. I am waiting, so patiently, for my hubs to help me take our tv down so I can poke some holes in the wall. Thanks for all the ideas! I am working on my science fair today, cuz I have some craftin' in mind for the weekend!

  31. Science fair is awesome! I'm so using it. My fave made up term is one from my BFF Josh and I in 6th grade. We started saying "Muup" (the p is silent) to indicate when someone does something dumb and should be embarassed. Like if we're walking and I accidentally trip over my feet, he'll say "Muup!" It's really pronounced kind of like the word "mute" without the t and the u sound is a little more drawn out, hence our creative spelling. Love made up words!

  32. Hello, as you may already found I'm newbie here.
    In first steps it is really nice if somebody supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
    Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)

  33. Bwahahaha!!! I use "pretty bird" to annoy my big brother when he's yelling at me. I'll pat him on the head and call him a pretty bird. Drives. Him. NUTS! Tee-hee :)

    My posse and I use Hammer Time to tell time. Hammer Time is 9. Mountain Hammer Time (our fave) is 10. Mid-Pacific Hammer Time is 12 (noon OR midnight).

    And no, the cords weren't that visible, I swear!!!

  34. I am about to tackle a project and am considering hiding cords also. I was just wondering if that is an interior or exterior wall? My wall is an exterior wall and I'm worried about the insulation getting in the way when I try to snake the cord.

  35. kk so this one is kind of dirty, but probably because it comes from a College Humour video my hubby and his brother were watching and he dragged me over to come see. (in our defense, early 20's all around. okay, so hubby is technically mid 20's. regardless) There's a video called Confused Ninja or something like that, and his father gets killed and he thinks "Avenge me" is related to, well, fellatio. Also marathon, construction, swimming, and a whole bunch of other random words, he thinks they all mean fellatio. So my hubby will randomly make a comment about seeking vengeance and I'll snort milk all over the table and everyone looks at us like we're completely nuts. Or he'll write "vengeance" on the menu chalkboard in the kitchen and I won't notice until somebody asks and then I just claim I have no idea and go strangle him later.

    I also call him "boss" which gets me a few looks sometimes, like people wonder if i'm being sarcastic or if i'm some wierdly subserviant wife or something, but it's just an affectionate thing, I dunno, lol. Also, hubby and his brothers say "that's hot" like Paris Hilton, and they're all big burly construction guys so that gets strange looks too, haha.

  36. Hi Girlie,
    If I were you, cause I hate cords to and do my deal level best to hide them. I would find a wooden box or a decorative photo box or something that would match your picture or blend into the picture since it looks like there is mostly brown at the bottom, It would have to be just the right heighth but I know you would find it!! lol
    Just a thought since I know you can't stand those wires, me either!!
    Blessings, Nellie

  37. Girl,
    Leave the pic and wire as they are if you can't move them. Just get a fat candle/holder and put it on your table, just a little higher than the edge of the pic as to not block too much out. Then you'd never notice the wires!

  38. Try raising your table up a little in front of it somehow...that'll hide the cord more :)

  39. I had just the same idea as a few others - move the cord to the right side of the picture and run it behind the lamp and books. Some- times we need another point of view to get it right. I always hide my cords!

  40. Add a lil somethin' somethin' in front of the cord! no one will notice. except you. which is probably worse.

  41. Haha....darn cords. I hate them too. I loved your post about how you hid them.

    I like the idea of moving the cord to one of the sides...then it will be hidden with the glass vases or the lamp. That way it won't be front and center.

  42. Girl, most of my house is a science fair. Love that terminology!!! ;)

  43. Haha! One of my coworkers and I just talked about organizing a science fair at our school today! Maybe this is a little bit of foreshadowing telling us it's a bad idea!

  44. Hubby is into family lingo more than I am. Sometimes I find it funny, but other times... Let's just say, my eyes make frequent visits to my eyebrows.

    You know what they say, "Behind every man...there's a woman rolling her eyes!" LOL

    You're quite the DIYer! The Yankee and I do most of our DIY home projects together.

    Come by and visit.
    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  45. I'm SO stealing that phrase! My entire house is so bad right now with our kitchen re-do and stuff from our move (that had to come in the house from the garage to make room for the kitchen cabinet boxes) that you could say we're beyond the local Science Fair! We're going to State! :) LOL!!

  46. Science Fair: A loathsome, emotionally upsetting and ridiculously demanding undertaking. Used in a sentence: The toys on every surface area of my home are a total science fair!!!

  47. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have noticed the cord if you hadn't mentioned it. But, of course, because you did it was the ONLY thing I could see!!! Light? What light? Picture? Huh? ;)

    I nominated you for the Kreative Blogger award over at my place today. Thanks for the thrifty inspiration! :)

  48. It won't let me add a comment on the giveaway post but I still wanted to share a kiddie story. I work at a daycare and was reading Humpty Dumpty to a 3-year-old. When I finished, she grabbed the book and said "Read the HONKEY DONKEY again!!!" It was priceless!!

  49. In our family, instead of "science fair" we use the word "custom" or in the case of your picture light fiasco (or any other DIY project gone not-so-well) we say, "homeowner special."

  50. you have a blog award waiting for you at!

  51. I laughed at you about the cords! sooo funny! I hate cords to and I will go to any lenght to hide them! Dont feel bad about the light bulbs..I have done silly stuff to, like this one time I poured hot wax down the sink..forgetting it would later form a solid!ya thank goodness I have a sweet understanding hubby! oh and by the way...the light is beautiful with your art! I luv it!

  52. Just gonna throw this out there: I just bought a cordless picture light with a remote control - yes, a remote control - at Costco for $16. I haven't put it up yet but I think I am not motivated to do it tomorrow!

  53. Oops! I meant I AM motivated to do it tomorrow.

  54. I just have to say, you are so damn funny!

    :) Kit

  55. I have been reading your blog for over a year now, but have never commented. Does that make me the blog equivelent of "long time listener, first time caller"?
    Anyhow, my husband struggles with horrible allergies. Thus, we purchase the behind the counter versions of 24 hour allergy medicine for him. In recent years, the true entrepreneurs of society began using this product to produce illegal drugs. We were both working in public safety during this time. At some point we started referring to it as Crack.
    As in, it is now not at all uncommon for one of us to yell across Walgreens "SWEETHEART DO WE HAVE ANY CRACK LEFT?" "YES, I BOUGHT A TON WITH COUPONS THE LAST TIME IT WAS ON SALE."
    So, yup, I totally get science fair and am relieved that it is not just us.

  56. Too funny! I love the use of Science Fair. I might have to try that one out. Call me crazy but I didn't even notice the cord because I was looking at everything else. Love how it all looks!

  57. First off, I LOVE your blog and have it in my RSS feed!

    I would definitely run the cord through the wall. I run cords through walls all the time and the easiest thing I've found is to snake it through. We bought a snake from Home Depot. Just run it though the wall opposite of the direction you want your cord to go. Then when the metal snake pops out the other hole, attach your cord to it (I use painters tape) and then just drag the snake back through the wall and pull your cord through. You can do it!

  58. Why don't you move the cord to the bottom right of the picture so the books and the lamp disguise it? At least temporarily so he's not laughing at you every time you walk by:) Just sayin!

  59. This made me laugh. We just redid a bathroom, and with the new vanity, the light isn't centered. I know it will drive me crazy every time I look at it :)

  60. Beatiful art! And I TOTALLY can't see the cord (wink).

    Speaking of Ballard Designs, I FINALLY got my wall art project finished if you'd like to check it out!

    I need to snoop around and see what I've missed! Hope you had a great weekend!

  61. , most of my house is a science fair. Love that terminology!!!
    rihanna video

  62. I came over to let you know that my blog has moved and I would love it if you would come to the new site and sign up to follow me there.

  63. My brilliant husband came up with an idea while we were hiding the cords when we mounted our tv on the wall. (We used your idea of cutting holes behind the mount and at the bottom next to the outlet.) First he used a hanger all stretched out with a rope taped to it to push it through to the hole at the bottom of the wall. So the rope was coming out of the wall at the top hole and bottom hole. Then he taped the cord to the rope at the top and pulled the rope at the bottom and out came the cord at the bottom, tada! We were able to fit the cords around a 2x4 behind the wall, right where I wanted to hide the cords. Does this make sense? Hopefully it helps you :o) I am working on posting pictures of it on our blog if it is too confusing :o) I love your blog btw, it is awesome!

  64. I hate cords too. I do everything I can to had them. My poor hubby is driven nuts by me:) He has to tack them down at the baseboards and I put sticky things on the back of furniture to hide them.

    Crazy, I know but you totally understand.


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If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!