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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1222: Fine Tuning

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 221 days ago 749 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1221: Tiny Dancers Part 1222 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1223: Color My World »

Yesterday seemed to fly by faster than usual. I had so many wonderful things to work on that even though I got an earlier-than-usual start, it seemed before I knew it time had slipped by me and it was dark and I was running out of steam.

After I posted my blog here yesterday, I found I wasn’t really satisfied with the photographs of the little ballerinas that were wearing the tulle skirts. The pictures (while clear) seemed to have not shown the skirts very well at all.

I decided to take a step backwards and try some different lighting and backgrounds and see what would work best with them. After several different combinations, I found that using a black background and natural light did the best job showing the fine detail.

Below you can see the difference:

While the skit is still whispy, you can see it much better on the black back drop than the white. It took me a great deal of time to re-photograph and adjust all 12 ornaments, but I feel the final effort was well worth it, as it does a much better job of showing the pieces as they truly look:

NOW I am happy! :D

Those of you who read frequently know that I do this type of thing all the time. If I see a better way to do things or even if I just THINK of a better way, then I stop and do things over.

Yes – it takes a lot of time. And YES – it slows me down a bit. But I do believe that this is all part of the TEACHING and LEARNING process that we are a part of, and I find myself playing BOTH parts – teacher and student – when creating new projects such as these. In the end, we all win because (hopefully) others will learn from my mistakes and experiences and their own journey may be a little easier.

Another issue that I wanted to discuss in a little more detail today was the issue of adding a hanger to these beautifully delicate ornaments. Something about me didn’t like the idea of drilling directly into the side of the heads of these graceful creatures. I think it would have truly ruined the look of them. But one of the main functions of these pieces was to be used as ornaments, in which they required some type of hanger or hanging cords.

What to do about that . . . ?

I considered making a very, very small hole and threading thin fishing line through. At least that wouldn’t be too noticeable. But it still left me with the ill feeling of drilling through their faces and the thought of it made me cringe.

Another thought was to drill through their extended hands, but their arms and hands were so delicate that I felt that they would certainly break. I came to the conclusion that the best way to hang them was to bore a hole vertically into their heads. This way it would not be seen or interfere with how they looked.

It would have been much better if this brilliant idea had come to me BEFORE I had cut them out, as it is MUCH easier to drill prior to cutting the delicate pieces. But alas – I did not and now I had to take the risk of drilling 1/16” holes through 1/8” rounded surfaces without breaking through the sides.

Long story short – I was 100% SUCCESSFUL in my efforts! (YAY ME!!!) Not ONE blow out from the bunch!

I had this wonderful, thin gold cord that I got from a place called Home Sew that is 1/32” thick and is a WONDERFUL choice for ornament hangers. It only costs $3.75 per 100 yards and is thin and beautiful and fits into these holes perfectly. You can get the cord HERE. I just knot the loop, pulling tightly to make the knot as small as possible, trim the ends, drag it through a small puddle of glue, and push it into the hole with the end of a toothpick or pin. There you have it!

Only one of the ballerinas needed to be drilled other than the head because of her positioning, but I was able to drill her foot just as successfully:

I really think it makes a beautiful difference in the presentation of these ornaments.

In any case, I have a full plate of work to do today. I have decided (after many requests) that I am going to develop this pattern into a full painting pattern as well (not the simple painting I showed here, but shading and highlighting for the painters) and offer the wood kit of these ornaments. I think they will be enjoyed by many people this way and it will be fun to do.

I appreciate all of your comments and encouragement on my projects. I have been really working hard and I do read them all throughout the day. I have been waiting until evening or morning to respond however, because otherwise I am typing all day instead of working. :)

I wish you all a fun Saturday and a beautiful weekend! Thank you all again for your support in my journey!

Today’s Featured Product

SLD372 - 12 Conversation Heart Fretwork Ornaments

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



12 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

13016 posts in 1972 days


#1 posted 221 days ago

very nice sheila
they truly come alive

i think you have a winner here

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7586 posts in 1551 days


#2 posted 221 days ago

Thank you David! To me, it isn’t just drawing the silhouettes, it is documenting and teaching the process of successfully making them into ornaments. The response on these has been tremendous. For a “just because” pattern, I think they will do well. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile

Roger

14367 posts in 1435 days


#3 posted 220 days ago

This is like a live performance.. Very awesome, Sheila

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

2833 posts in 471 days


#4 posted 220 days ago

I love the way you walk us through your thought processes on these projects Sheila! My hands started shaking just thinking about drilling those tiny holes in the finished projects. Looking at the new ones with tulle skirts I wonder about taking one of the originals and painting (I can’t believe I am writing this) the skirt portion black and THEN putting the tulle over that. It would then not be so dependant on the background, maybe? Anyway, lovely little dancers you have created here. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7586 posts in 1551 days


#5 posted 220 days ago

Thank you both!

Yes, Candy – that is certainly an option. I did want ONE set that had NO paint on it because some woodworkers don’t want any paint at all. Something for everyone, I say!

I am also planning to make a set of Damask plaques with the ballerina silhouettes in the near future, but I have to finish these up first!

No rest for the wicked! (I must be REALLY wicked! LOL)

Thank you again! I am glad you appreciate the process. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View kepy's profile

kepy

155 posts in 904 days


#6 posted 220 days ago

Interesting as usual but are you going to put these in the adult section. Topless ballerinas are new. LOL

-- Kepy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7586 posts in 1551 days


#7 posted 220 days ago

They are wearing unitards, Kepy. (That is what MY imagination sees!) You envision them how you like. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Steven Davis's profile

Steven Davis

110 posts in 1545 days


#8 posted 220 days ago

Sheila -

Would it work/ be easier to cut a slit in the edge of the piece to slide the string in?

Beautiful work!

Steve

-- Steven Davis - see me at http://www.playnoevil.com/ and http://www.stelgames.com/

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

768 posts in 704 days


#9 posted 220 days ago

Ah yes, the black background brings out the detail a lot better and shows off the grace of this set. Now I don’t know which is my favourite set!
Enjoy the day.

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7586 posts in 1551 days


#10 posted 220 days ago

Hi, Anna and Steve!
Steve – the slit would still interfere with the flow of the piece I think. But that is OK – I just cut four sets on 1/8” BB plywood and was easily able to drill 1/16” holes into them without trouble. All it took was a little concentration. I think it is worth the extra effort. :)

I am glad you like them Anna. I am working on the painted set today. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Bigrock's profile

Bigrock

237 posts in 1593 days


#11 posted 220 days ago

Sheila, they are looking good. I dis like to say it, but I still like the painted ones with the glitter paint best. I guess I am not a lace type person.
What wood are you using? What is the thickness of the wood? What kind of saw blade are you using? Will all this information come with the patterns? Do you have any idea when the patterns will be ready for sale?
I am sorry I am asking so many questions, but I have little experience scroll sawing thin material. I am looking forward to making a couple of sets or more for my granddaughters.
Thank You

View nancyann's profile

nancyann

106 posts in 524 days


#12 posted 220 days ago

Love them!

-- Nancy Antley

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