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!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday, My Mental Health Day

Not only does all work and no play make Johnny a dull boy, it makes him an evil monomaniacal bastard. And that is just not fun for anyone. So aside from a little tinkering around the house and a good mental exorcism, I sat quietly, drank tea, ate a light dinner, took a nap and went to bed. How do I feel now? I feel great! Who knew seven hours of deep sleep could make such a difference?

With that rude little deadline encroaching upon us, how can a justify this therapeutic slackerdom? Easy, we worked on the Devil Queen all weekend. Things were caulked, primed and occasionally painted. And, more notably, Ms. Scarlet put two coats of poly down on the laundry room floor.

Of course, she had to contribute to the scraped vs. sanded wood floor debate after spending several hours crawling around on it. She prefers the drum-sanded look to the scraped look. And, she said the rougher surface of the scraped floor made it more difficult to apply the poly. Not an earth-shattering difference, but enough to annoy her. And no one wants an annoyed Scarlet.

In an attempt to burn your retinas with my sub-par photography skills, here is a close-up of the scraped flooring.
What I'm trying show is the variation in the surface. The photo flattens everything out, so you can't really see it here. In particular, more of the soft wood (light blonde) was scraped away than the dark grain which is slightly raised. To the best of my knowledge, this wood hasn't been wet, so I don't think that accounts for the raised grain.
As part of our family outing on Saturday, we stopped at a cool little junk/antique store in Dardanelle, just over the river from Russellville. They have some pretty incredible stuff there. But, what was I so annoyingly thrilled to find for $6.00?

See, exciting isn't it. In case you have no idea what these rusty, painted smeared bits of metal are, they are latch catches for 3 1/4 inch rim locks. They are a perfect fit too, so I won't have to cut any of the door trim to make these fit. All I need are a few good screws.

For Exhibit #2 in my effort to prove that I should not seek a career as a professional photographer, here is what I used as my excuse for enjoying the good weather and playing with Gideon outside.


These are terrible photographs. Really, it looks much better in person. In case you can't tell from the photo (My eyes! My eyes! I'm blind!), this is a dry-stack (i.e. no mortar) rock retaining wall. In theory this wall is supposed to continue on for another 60-70 feet in front and to the side of the Devil Queen. For the time being, we would settle for getting the section directly in front of the house finished before the appraisal. If the current issue of This Old House can be trusted, having a nice front entry not only makes a good first impression but can add 10%-25% to a home's value, and we need every penny we can get.

In addition to the wall, we're planning to lay a brick patio in the for ground, a slightly raised flower bed in front of the porch, and a lot a flower beds at the top of the wall too. By the time we've finished planting, a lot of the rock should be covered in creeping or climbing vegetation.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

I love you for referencing The Shining.

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Blogger John said...

It was my pleasure.

Besides, how can you ever have too much REDRUM?

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