The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Beast Named Ambivalence is Slain

That is right. We’re sick of all the indecision, so we put it out of our misery with brutal, decisive action. The beast has been slain, and the walls of the master bedroom will be painted. All of them. No half and half or accent walls. We want the cracks filled and the room to be light and airy. The time for progress is now.

I could go into a long, drawn out explanation of it all, but we think that this will be the best path. Moreover, we’re keeping two of the original dinning beadboard walls in a glorious, naked, and oiled state, so I can’t feel too bad about covering this wood up.

Gary, in one of the comment sections, suggested that I research the original treatment for walls like these. I haven’t done extensive research, but I can tell you what most folks did with walls like these, they covered them with tack & canvas wallpaper. This is all of the moldy, brittle shit we’ve been finding under the wood paneling, sheet rock, etc.

Here is a picture of our most recent find.

Apparently, to get a nice finished look, the original layer of tack & canvas wallpaper was put on before the base boards, door trim, etc. This has made removing it tricky. In a couple places, we’ve had to gently pry the boards out a little and pull the paper loose from the tacks with needle-nose pliers.

I’ve spent some time over at Enon Hall reading about the colonial style, face nailed boards. Mostly, I want confirmation that nails (or tacks) can be driven into the wood (at least flush with it) and painted over and still look nice. I’ve been won over, so all we have to do is scrub 100+ years of filth off the bare boards. This has been slow going. I you angle the brush the right way, you can scrub the canvas remnants off their tacks without too much trouble.

[Sorry this picture is so dark. I didn't realize it until I went to post it, and I'm too lazy to fix it now.]


Blogger Gary said...

Damn! I was certain that you would push for the lodge look of plaid and antlers all around the room. I really wanted to get you guys one of those singing reindeer head trophies for your bedroom!

8:41 PM  
Blogger John said...

Yeah, me too. When this project started, I was going to have a room of my own (man cave?). Since I now have a son, my domain has shrunk to a gentlemen's wardrobe. Nice, but not exactly a room (hell, even the cat gets the pantry).

On the other hand, it gives me a perfect excuse to build an art studio out in the woods.

12:55 PM  

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