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!

Friday, August 24, 2007

What I Mean to Say

I meant to have a post up yesterday (actually, yesterday last week whenever that was), but, if you can believe it, I couldn’t write anything worth a week-old shit. Normally, finding the time to write is my problem not what to write. Tonight it came to me, why I couldn’t write. I wasn’t writing what is on my mind. It may be of absolutely no interest to anyone besides me but here it is.

The last few months have been extremely busy and difficult for us at the Devil Queen. The posting on the blog has suffered because of this. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that I haven’t been the only one. Jocelyn has been on vacation; Chris has been out to sea or at the office; Greg is enjoying the wide-world outside of his houseblog; Gary has been busy too; and so on it goes. And, incase anyone has any doubts there is nothing wrong with this. Do I miss having a new post every day or so? Sure. Do I begrudge anyone a life outside of his or her house or blog? No. What sense would that make?

Out of the folks I mentioned by name above, all of them beside Chris we here on Houseblogs before I discovered the site. We’ve all been here posting about our respective houses for over two years or more. I can’t help but wonder what is the shelf life of a houseblog. Enon Hall is still going strong after what? Seven years? Eight? And, while the aforementioned folks haven’t abandoned their blogs, a number of folks have.

I was very excited when I first found Houseblogs. It’s kind of like going to high school in a small town where you didn’t really fit in, and then going to college and meeting a bunch a people just like you. I guess it’s kind of funny in hindsight since there is something like 700 or 800 houseblogs now, but finding nearly fifty other people doing the same thing we were was huge. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic, but the first few months (or more?) were a huge how-to, home improvement orgy. It was great. I can’t begin to tell you how much I learned from everyone.

But, once Gary has preached the Gospel of Shellac and you have made the Lac Bug part of your life, what more is there for you to do? Sure, there is no harm in singing its praises from time to time, but, at some point, breaking out the shellac just isn’t as blog worthy as it once was.

What makes Houseblogs so great is how much detailed, first hand information is out there: insulation, plumbing, wiring, framing, plaster, et cetera. If you need to know something about you house, chances are there is someone out there that has the answer to your question. However, after a few years of working on a certain type of house (like an 1890 Queen Anne), you probably know that majority of what you need to finish the house. The novelty wears thin and projects become routine. You no longer need to ask 20 questions before you refinish your floor or plumb a sink. Sure, you may not be a professional, but, damn it, you know what you’re doing. Well, mostly.

Maybe it is just me, but I’ve found that my reasons for reading houseblogs have changed. It isn’t so much me scavenging for how-to information now (though Gary’s chimney liners are pretty good as was the “Traditional Petch Installation”); instead, I’m reading because I want to know you are up to now. I’m reading because I’m personally interest in what happens to you.

Since my Old Regulars have been otherwise occupied, I’ve tried strolling around the neighborhood and meeting new houseblogs. I’ve met a few I’ve rather liked, but it still isn’t quite the same. I don’t know where that leaves me. The old, balding houseblog hanging out at the all-ages show trying to connect with all the barely legal houseblogs?

Anyhow, for all practical concerns, this is probably irrelevant. I should have been asleep a couple hours age, so goodnight all.

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Blogger Anna said...

Well John, sic transit gloria mundi or better sic transit gloria blogospheriae (sorry, but from the time when you posted a pic of Caesar I feel tempted to show off my almost forgotten Latin ;)

I find it quite hard to see people, to see friends, to see relationships come and go. What is obviously - as far as I understood it after 34 years - kind of life's philosophy in real life seems even stranger on the fast moving web.
You make contact with people you never actually met and who might not even be who they pretend to be and still you miss them if they leave or stop blogging.
I think I made it to just in time to share the last weeks of the small community and I agree that it was somewhat "cosier" back then.
On the other hand a lot of interesting new blogs are coming up with valuable information, although it seems a bit difficult to keep up with them.

To be honest, I love houseblogs not only because of their diy content, but because they provide an insight into parts of American everday life I had hardly any clue about before.
The media coverage concerning America is usually limited to politics and Hollywood over here. So I learned and understood a lot by reading houseblogs...

Ok, what did I want to say with this sermon? I hope you'll go on blogging for a long time to come, I'd really miss your posts, so don't you dare!! :)

Best wishes

1:58 PM  
Anonymous jm said...

Mmm. I've been a little nostalgic too, lately. I feel torn because, on one hand, hey! People find useful! And they want to be a part of it...hurray! And on the other hand, it was cosier back then, wasn't it?

Aaron and I have been tossing around some ideas to make parts of cosier again. Me? I'd be happy with a "founding members" (old farts as in "Get Off My Lawn!") happy hour once in awhile. :)

10:18 PM  
Blogger John said...



Well said and thank you.

I'll see if I can keep you entertained for a good while longer. If nothing else, we have a lot of back story we could cover too. My wife and I both kept journals before the blog so it is well documented.


Exactly. I'm all for the happy hour too. Maybe we could meet in St. Louis?

10:05 AM  

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