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!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I Am Not A Carpenter

We made just a little progress on the house last weekend. We hung curtains and a rod in the master bedroom closet. The curtains went up without a hitch. Sorry no photos of the window treatments. It also illustrated what a genius Scarlet is when it comes to picking colors.

Me: "Wow, the curtains match the clawfoot tub! That looks great! Did you do that on purpose?"

Scarlet: "Thank you. Yes, I did."

Me: "Genius!"

Maybe I'm easy to impress?

We've been putting off hanging the rod in the master bedroom closet since we moved into the Queen. We kept hoping that we'd save up enough money to have it lined with cedar and have some built-in shelving installed too. Gasoline at $4.00 a gallon and rising food prices sucked up all of our financial slack a long time ago, yet the dream lingered on. Finally, we decided just to hang the damn rod so we could unpack all of our clothes and get all the freaking boxes and tubs off the floor.

Hanging the rod was pretty easy, and it went really well except for the part where stuck a 1 1/2 drill into the back of hand just below my thumb. I was drilling out a hole in a block of wood to hold one end of the rod. I'd already done the one for the other side, so this was the last one. At the very end, the bit hung-up in the hole, jumped, and slashed a checkmark shaped cut in my hand. It was a new bit, so it was a very clean cut. I experienced profuse bleeding and a moment of total shock as I convinced myself that I'd cut it all the way down to the bone. In truth, it was deep, but only skin deep.

This illustrates two important points. First, I have a great imagination. Second, I am not a carpenter. While I theoretically know how to use tools and occasionally do so with some success, I am not a carpenter. Instead, I am pretender at best or at worst, a man with a latent death wish and an inability to recognize his own limitations. To be honest, if I wasn't a damn snob who liked to build his own canvases for oil painting, I'd probably sell or give away all my power tools once we're done with this place. It's something to think about at any rate.

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Blogger Jayne said...

Sorry to chuckle at your misfortune with the drill bit, but I was reminded of a similar injury my ex suffered. He was putting up a purple martin house for me and the kit contained one of those hollow posts that you put long bolts through to hold the birdhouse--kinda like a big Christmas tree stand. The post didn't have enough holes to put the house as high as Doug wanted it. So, he drilled another hole through the hollow post while holding on to the post with his other arm. The drill bit went suddenly (as he might've guessed) through the hollow part of the post, through the other edge of the post, and into Doug's elbow. Ha ha. I mean, how sad.

Hope you're okay.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I have a lot less injuries now that I'm 1500 miles from my house. I think you got it right for most of us DIY folks. We're mostly wannabe carpenters who mess around with tools until we get something that works. Case in point: Wood to Caulk ratio in the corners of my crown moulding!

12:19 AM  
Blogger John said...

Jayne, thanks. I will live as long as I don't get exposed to some flesh-eating bacteria. Hard to say what my odds are on that though.

Nathan, I think 1500 miles is a nice, safe distance. I might have to try it. Love the caulk to compitence ratio. We ought to have someone develope a calculator for houseblogs; enter your the average width of your caulk seam and get rated 1-10 on your compitence.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I do hope you will be fine. We can't have you injuring the hand that makes those lovely paintings!

4:13 PM  
Blogger John said...

Sandy, well I've got a bit of scar, but I think I'll make it. I'd rather paint than do carpentry at this point. Hopefully, I survive long enough to do so.

11:42 AM  

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