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Welcome to “Sweet Lou’s Bayou”!

September 26th, 2010

Vicky Kleist, from Denmark, really impressed us with this 1930’s Swamp House and its musical inhabitants!  We’d love to be sat on that porch with a bowl of gumbo, listening to them jamming!

“In this “Creole” styled swamp house, lives the blues musician “Sweet” Lou Harvey.  Visiting from New Orleans are his friends, Theo “Curley” Banks and Bess Malone.  While alligators are lurking around the house, they enjoy a nice blues jam on the porch.

Inside the house the gumbo is simmering on the fire and the car, Teddy, is relaxing in an old worn armchair.  Clothes hang to dry on a leash, alligator hunting equipment is ready in the scullery and in the small kitchen, dinner has been prepared earlier today.  Mounted on the wall are three trophies that Lou has shot while hunting.  The top part of a scull from a 16 feet long alligator, a big swamp turtle and a “nutria”.  Beside the fireplace Lou often sits in his wicker chair, reading books and enjoying a good cigar.  Under the ceiling Lou has his sleeping area and takes a shave in the morning and gets ready for another exiting and adventurous day.  On the porch,  after a cosy jam, the three friends can enjoy the famous regional dish of Louisiana, the wonderful and spicy gumbo.

The inspiration

Inspired by a crime novel, I wanted to recreate the style of a Louisiana swamp house in miniature.  This was just before I discovered that The Dolls House Emporium gad launched a new competition for 2010.  I immediately thought that this cold be the chance to create a swamp house.  But I must admit I couldn’t see how I could turn the “Village Hall” building in to swamp house.  Nevertheless, I bought the village hall kit in March and began the hard work.  I’ve spent so many hours researching pictures of the Louisiana regions, New Orleans, musical influences, African Americans, architecture, food specialities, animals of the swam, hunting, period dress etc. all of the 1930’s.  I chose the 1930’s because I wanted to have some blues playing musicians on the porch to set the mood in a swamp area, playing the traditional old style blues.  It’s also after the great depression and before WWII.  It’s a tough period and poverty is all over.  It’s also hard to be an African American in the 1930’s and the blues music expresses the many emotions and difficulties they experienced.  I wanted to show a more happy side of this period though and I hope that there’s a positive feel to the house in the swamp, after all. I generally enjoy the style of the 1930’s, which also was a reason for choosing this period.  And the swamp?  Well alligators are cool, I think!

The making of the swamp house

First of all lots of research.  I used lots of balsawood, polymer clay, thick card, acrylic paint and fabric etc.  As I am a bit of a DIY person, I made the most of this entry myself.  It wasn’t easy, but I really enjoyed it.  I made the most of this entry myself.  It wasn’t easy but really enjoyed it.  I made the dolls of Fimo and cotton fabric.  The furniture is made of thick card/balsa and fabric. The fireplace/chimney is made of self-hardening clay.  The trophies are made of Fimo and fake fur (no animals were harmed!).  I’ve also used a lot of “antiquing” paint to achieve that cosy old feel to the house and interior.  The exterior is wooden panels with crackled paint.  The house stands on small tree trunks and the whole scenery is set on an MDF board.  The landscape is made of stones covered with thick fabric with plaster poured over to make it hard.  The shingles on the rood are cut from balsa and painted with thin acrylic paint. I bought a few things like cans, bottles, and glass containers, a flower and also some pots for plants.  The plants are made of Fimo.  I also made the guitar of balsa.  I hope you will enjoy my entry, that I’ve put so much work and time in to it!”

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3 Comments to “Welcome to “Sweet Lou’s Bayou”!”


  1. Marvelllous : Dream and ideas perfect : I love it

  2. Christina Mallaby Says:


    What a Fantastic project good on you girl keep up the good work I love making Gardens for my dolls houses

    If you would like to know how email me or if enough of you are interested ill post it here Stay safe every one and enjoy your projects Christina


  3. These ideas are great! I’m trying to come up with good ideas, but I think I have run out of them!

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