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!

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's All About the Pain

You haven't really worked on your house until you have a giant, bloody hole in the middle of your palm. My wife, burdened by her morbid sense of duty, refused to be out done by me. Even though she is sick with the crud I had a couple weeks ago and looks genuinely pitiful, she refused repeated suggestions that she rest. Instead she gulped back copious amounts of over-the-counter cold medicine and struggled on with a paint brush locked in her white-knuckled grasp.

The worst part is the house looks even worse than when we began. That isn't to say that we didn't make progress, but we tore the house to pieces in doing so. Boxes, trash, displaced furnishings, dirty laundry, toys, tools, and God knows what else are everywhere. It's depressing to say the least. And, to add insult, we didn't finish nearly as much as we needed even with my mother-in-law pitching in for six hours Sunday. Our progress is probably comparable to half a dozen poor-bastards trying to row an oil tanker to Nigeria. You row all day, feel like shit, and really aren’t going anywhere.

Anyhow, there was some progress. I'd tell you all about the brick walkway I started with around 300 bricks, twelve wheelbarrows of sand and broken hoe, but I forgot to take a picture, so why bother?

Speaking of things I forgot to take pictures of, there is the half-way finished paint job in the foyer and the three half primed doors (looking nice if I do say so).

So, here is the one meaningful picture of progress that I did take this weekend.

The living room built-in is roughly 75% complete. I love the browns, and I swear I could smell chocolate when I opened the cans. Unless Lowe's has started scenting their paints, I assume there is a psychosomatic explanation for this. In any case, I've officially added these two colors to my list of Paints I'd Like to Eat.

We were pretty excited about the built-in so we decided to start painting the walls too. You know, we wanted to see the full chromatic effect of it all. Unfortunately, it was not pretty. If a very small person took a discrete dump in a gallon of Pepto Bristol and gave it a good whirl with a drill attachment paint mixer, this is the color "red" you'd have.

The origin of this paint is an utter mystery to us. That's right, we got so far ahead of ourselves at some point a year or more ago that we can not account for the color. We don't even know if this is the color we meant to buy. If it was, no one is claiming it now. So, back once more to Lowe's I guess. This time we hope to come home with something a lot more like alizarin crimson.
If I'm not a complete slouch, I may get you all some more pictures soon. Hell, tomorrow even.

As a side note, I would like to thank Chris for reminding me what sensible folks do with their weekends: have a tasty breakfast and leave the house to have fun. As one of those working-overtime-and-putting-in-three-hours-a-night-on-the-house crowd, I'd like to confirm that you are living the dream Chris. I hope to join your crowd in late May or June.
And, as a small token to my commitment to a life outside of scraping paint or plumbing, I finally planted our tomato patch and did some oil paintings this weekend. About bloody time, I know.

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Blogger Chris said...

We may be living the dream when we're out of the house, John, but when we come home we're greeted by a friggin' nightmare of an unfinished house. Pick your poisin I guess. You, on the other hand, are actually getting shit done, and for that, sir, I salute you.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

...or, you know, poison. See what getting out of the house does to the brain? Mush I tell you.

3:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

Point well taken.

My problem is that even thought we're getting shit done, the house still looks like a friggin' nightmare. Can't win for loosing I guess.

7:40 AM  

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