Category archives: Lili’s Room

Painting in the New Year

Although she took a few hours off to enjoy dinner with us at one of our favorite restaurants, La Laiterie – , our friend Sara Lee has pretty much been painting non-stop,  powered almost exclusively by Chex party mix and the Gypsy Kings. As you can see much has happened since the last pictures.  


 Animals no eyes

 I inadvertently insulted Sara Lee by asking her if the animals were going to have eyes – her head almost exploded and she started invoking her many advanced art degrees by using 9-syllable art words which I think mostly meant – What are you? An idiot? After many mea culpas and an offering of tea to appease the artist, I think she forgave me. Apparently I was being a little impatient, as you can see below. 

  Panda Eye Painting 

 The walls simply look amazing and Catherine and I are truly lucky to have such a talented friend give us such an awesome present. Hopefully our daughter will like it as much as we do.   

  Animal Convention  

Which animal in the room likes treats? Maggie has been very anxious with all the activity, so we appeased by giving her, her favorite thing in the world – a Kong ball filled with Peanut Butter. It’s the equivalent of doggie crack since Maggie will do just about anything in order to get one and it keeps her completely occupied for about 45 minutes.

We’ll post more pictures after Sara Lee finishes the room today. -t

The Room takes shape


Despite an indoor reenactment of the Dust Bowl earlier in the day the room is beginning to take shape.


The trunk in the center will be part of a cherry tree. The layers are being built and the animals will be painted tomorrow

What happens when you mix a power sander and a philosophy major?

Dust and lots of it. More than you can imagine. Yes, that’s me in the center of the picture doing my best Jesse James impression… And no it’s not a black and white picture, there was just that much dust.



Of all the bad decorating decisions in the history of the world, the one we currently dislike the most is the textured ceiling trend. At some point in the history of our house a textured ceiling was installed in Lili’s room. Ceilings are normally nice and high and we usually don’t pay too much attention to them but the problem with this one is that it was cracking and chipping.

Let’s see young baby, chipping paint, 100-year-old house – even Homer Simpson knows that is not a good combination. So I chipped, and chipped, and when my arms were too heavy to lift, chipped some more. After successfully getting about 40% of the ceiling scraped clean, I began the sanding process, first with a hand-sander and then with the palm sander. When I was done sanding, the room was a giant cloud of dust. 


It’s a little anti-climatic on the blog, but as surfers the world over say  “you should have been here this morning….”

More pictures will be posted shortly.


The Nursery Prep begins

After days of furious cleaning, boxing up unwanted books for donation to the library, and slaying numerous “dust dragons” (the older, more vicious, and surprisingly hard-to-kill relatives of dust bunnies), Catherine’s former office is about to be transformed into Lili’s nursery. This was her office, now Lili’s room.



After days of frantic scrambling we finally got the room ready to paint. For this task we’ve brought in our friend, and artist, Saralee. That’s her with the brush.

Saralee Room

Over the next three days she’ll be painting, and we’ll be helping and hopefully not hindering, a mural on all 4 walls of Lili’s room. The exact scenes aren’t finalized yet but there is wildlife, Bamboo, possibly some mountains, and of course no nursery is complete without a naked mole rat. (too complicated to explain)

Link to a webcam at the naked Mole Rat exhibit from the Knoxville Zoo

Stay Tuned more pictures will be coming.