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, March 29, 2007


Well, very little report in the way of progress. I worked an 11 hour day at the day job, so I didn't really have much energy to put into the house. Boiled and stripped hardware then shellacked it a few times. Nothing too big.

I had a little time left before bedtime so I thought, "Gee, I could prep that closet door for some paint and maybe slap on a coat of primer before bed." In hindsight, this probably wasn't the best idea. However, I blame the heat gun, or at least the manufacturer of the heat gun. I mean, I don't recall seeing a warning label stating, "WARNING: Use of Heat Gun May Induce a Hypnotic Trance."

Hell, I didn't even plan to use the heat gun as I dragged the door out and tossed it up on the sawhorses. I was just going to give the door a good scuff sanding, tack-cloth it, and start painting. The chocolate-poo colored paint was holding okay, so what the hell. Why not paint over it? We have a deadline to meet, right?

Well, once I got the door up on the sawhorses, I saw there was this one long, lumpy spot on the bottom mullion and rail of the door. I couldn't figure out what it was, but the paint over it was flaking off so it would have to go. I decided to use the heat gun on the bugger, and it worked great.

I'm guessing the lump was a lot of sap that oozed out of the door over time. It boiled under the heat gun and turned into syrup (pancakes anyone?); that was a real bitch to get off, but it was manageable.

Soon, I was completely entranced by the hum of the gun, the blistering paint, and boiling sap. After a while, my eyes started burning. I thought maybe it was the heat or the fumes, but as time wore on it occurred to me that I was really tired. I've been ignoring this sensation for so many years I apparently no longer recognize the symptoms. In any case, I figured it wasn't too late yet, so pushed onward. I finally finished rendering all my pine syrup for the evening, so I decided to take a shower and crawl into bed. I was shocked to find that what had seemed liked 30 minutes was in fact closer to an hour and half. Not good.

So, I'm really tired today, and I'll probably be stuck at work late again tonight. On top of that, the zombies are clamoring for more primer and paint (20 gallons of primer used on the exterior to date in case you're curious). If I don't get it to them soon, they may start eating each other, the neighbors, or me. So, that'll blow another hour or two after work. I'll be lucky to get the laundry room door hung tonight. I can't tell, does that count as optimism?

I need to get the living room ceiling finished by early Saturday, so it looks like I'm going to be putting in some long hours Friday night.

Remember, only pussies need sleep and second gear.

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Anonymous aaron said...

Ah the heat gun. I stripped a transom, the white paint around our windows (interior), and a closet door jamb with solvent this weekend. I was supposed to shellac the trim for the baby's room, but it didn't dissolve. I thought I would kill an hour and get stripping done while the shellac dissolved. Six hours later I was done.

9:58 AM  
Blogger John said...

Oh, you've heard the siren call too.

Really though, is a tool that lures you into a manic workathon all that bad?

10:20 AM  
Blogger My Marrakech said...

I find that blogging is linked to acute sleep deprivation. Hmmmm....of concern. I feel I am aging fast. Hope you are well otherwise.

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