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, May 01, 2007


The living room walls are finished. I'm really pleased with how the red looks since it would be my fault if it looked bad. After the whole Pee Wee's Playhouse Incident, I swore that my wife would have to pick out all of the other colors for the Devil Queen. Otherwise, the we'd be those people living in the Clown House. So, Sunday morning we ran out of paint for the living room and I was dispatched to Lowe's with Gideon in tow.

Since I've begun obsessively hording and labeling every paint chip we've used, getting more paint for the dinning room was pretty easy.

I was really worried about the red though. Why? Here is the conversation I had with Scarlet before I left for Lowe's.

Me: "So we need 2 more gallons of both the browns and more white too."

Scarlet: "And red too."

Me: "Red like those curtains there?"

Scarlet: "No, darker."

Me: "Darker?"

Scarlet: "Yes, like wine."

Me: "Dark purplish-red?"

Scarlet: "No. Red like wine, not purple."

Me: "Right."

Scarlet: "Can you do this?"

Me: "No, probably not, but I'm going anyhow."

Thirty minutes later I'm standing in the painting section in Lowe's looking for wine. Fortunately, they have a bunch of "theme" brochures one of which is "Decorating with the Richness of Wine Country." I'm ashamed to admit how excited I was. I open the brochure, and it is immediately apparent that there are only two colors remotely close to what I believe my wife wants: Gooseberry and Merlot. The problem is, I'm not sure which is the winning color. I'm leaning towards Gooseberry, the darker of the two, even though it's a little too dark and too brown. I'm suspicious that this is the wrong color, but the Merlot doesn't seem dark enough. I need help.

"Gideon, which of these colors do you like best?" I show him the paint chips. He grabs one in each hand crushing them. He grins, waves them around, and slaps them down on seat of the cart. Then, he very carefully points to the one on my left. I look, it's Merlot.

So, buy two gallons and Ms. Scarlet loves it. Moral? When in doubt, trust a three year old.

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Blogger Anna said...

Merlot sounds like a really good choice, well done Gideon!
Although personally, I'd prefer the drinkable version of Merlot - and after a glass or two, maybe the color of the paint is not that important anymore ;)

8:54 AM  
Blogger John said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:58 AM  
Blogger John said...

Absolutely! And, if I quit spending all my money on paint, caulk, and carpenters, I could buy quite a bit. Once we "finish" I plan to too.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Beeee utiful!! Gideon made a good choice, but I agree it would look great in the glass. Once this is all done - and I am sure it never will be, but almost done - sit together and share a bottle of merlot! It will never be completely done, as when you sit and look at something, you will want to just tweak it a bit!!
The only time a garden is done is when its dead!!
I have watched your blog with amazement. Sometimes I got tired just reading it!

9:37 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks Peg. You're right. Like my neighbor said, "A house is done when you decide to quit working on it." Hopefully, that day will be soon.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

That red is plenty dark enough in my opinion - great choice. It looks realy sharp. Personally I might have gone with an Amber Beer colour - not because it'd look nice, but merely as a reminder that all I can afford is beer.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Poppy said...

LOVE the paint color. I think you and Gideon scored a hit! Nice going fellas!

3:59 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I love the color... is it this Valspar from Lowe's or is it one of their other lines?

7:58 PM  
Blogger John said...

I think the paint is Valspar . . . unless it was American Classic (?). We have a lot of both, and I can't remember which. I'll see if I can remember to check on that.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I was at Lowe's last night and I spotted the Wine Country brochure. It looks like it's Olympic. Thanks!

6:44 AM  
Blogger John said...

Olympic? Right you are. We have a lot of that too. Damn mess with all this mixed brands of paint.

10:18 AM  
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