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 13, 2007

Paranoidal Floor Crawler

Filthy, floor crawling, frantically scraping away varnish, wood putty, and gouges I toil, mind driving in erratic loops. Scrape, scrape, scrape, sharpen with singing file, repeat, repeat, repeat. Man as relentless machine. Mind wanders far, seizes a thought and flips it like a shining silver coin.

Again and again the phrase repeats, "Steve wants us to do this! You know hand scraped floors are very in now. Sigh."

I shake it off and dine with my paranoid menagerie. "I love this iPod Shuffle, four hours of music in a match book. But, would I hear them? Pernicous intruders, stalking me, drawn by the steady song of blade on board, takinging up the large scraper and driving it down into my skull. Would the stain come out of the grain? Poor floor."

Stupid thoughts, but still I turn to face the doorway side wise as I work. No good ever came from sitting with your back to a door.

Such beautiful blonde and amber wood grain.




Later in the evening tide. Prone and submerged in steaming bath, Gatsby perched tub's lip, I regard the purple and madder blooms, my knees a full flush of tender petals. Tired but satisfied, I calculate, one more hour of scraping, and hour sanding with 150 or 220 grit, vacuum, tack cloth, and finally stain. So much time and work for such a tiny space.

Again, insistent, "Steve wants us to do this! You know hand scraped floors are very in now. Sigh."

WHY! Why would someone do want to do this to themselves!? Poor Jocelyn, tell him no! Say it! Save your back, your hands, your knees!

Again, why? I must know.

A thousand web-spiders are sent crawling and a small few return with answers.

"Hand-scraped and Distressed hardwood floors are becoming a popular choice in today’s upscale homes and commercial buildings. These floors are a newer trend but are rooted in history. Before today’s modern sanding methods, floors were hand scraped on site to make the floors flat. Today’s hand scraping is done to add texture, richness and uniqueness."

And,

"Not all flooring is smooth – texture is popular.

"Hardwood flooring does not have to be smooth. Many companies are offering hand scraped, distressed and reclaimed flooring. These floors have a classic look and add great value to upscale homes. They do not show much wear or scratches since they have a great deal of character interest to draw attention to different parts of the floor. These floors will be a guaranteed conversation piece with your friends and neighbors and are often the focal point at luxury home tours."

Unbidden this image rises.

"Guaranteed conversation piece," indeed.

"Go, look at the floor, and, while you're up, please hand me the walker. Oh you are such a dear, thank you so much. My knees have never been the same."

Are beauty and suffering forever twined?

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Leslie said...

Yes, beauty and suffering are often entertwined.

However, so are beauty and insanity. :::Insert image of VanGogh's "Starry Night:::

12:23 PM  
Blogger John said...

Starry Night

1:36 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

LOL! So I'm not the only one who has bloggers on their mind when doing some torturous and arduous task! I'll have to give Steve the smackdown on this one. He's always coming up with the "fun" (ie most difficult) way to do something.

I don't know if my back can take it. But I bet your floors are gonna look really cool.

Thanks for the laugh :0)

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