My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1224: Pretty Maids All in a Row

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-20-2014 12:28 PM 957 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1223: Color My World Part 1224 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1225: Looking at Things Differently »

What a wonderfully busy day I had yesterday!

Even though I arose early (just after 4:30) I got to work right away and remained focused for pretty much the entire day. I was excited about seeing my twelve little ballerina ornaments come to life as I painted them in one by one.

What started out last week as a “just because” pattern has quickly turned into something that will be quite significant for me. Apparently I am not the only one who enjoys ballerinas, and as it turns out there don’t seem to be many available patterns in either the decorative painting sector or the scroll sawing sector of the crafting world.

Lucky me!

I honestly can’t remember the last time that I had so much interest and anticipation from people with one of my patterns. As a designer, it is truly thrilling to have so many cheering me on and encouraging me to continue. With working here on my own, I find that I often draw on the support of the many people I reach both here through my blog as well as on the forums and on Facebook. It isn’t as if I am reporting into an office and discussing the projects with my colleagues and associates, as would occur in a ‘regular job.’

Or is it? . . .

In any case, as I posted each finished dancer to my Tole Painting Facebook page as she was finished, I received amazing feedback and enthusiasm from the onlookers. I felt as if I had my own cheering section and even though in the end I was rather tired, I continued on – not wanting to disappoint. It was an incredibly exhilarating way to work and create and it made me want to strive to do even better.

I truly thank everyone not only on that forum, but ALL of my friends who read and comment throughout the day. Your motivation is something that to me is immeasurable!

With that said, I will present my twelve pretty little ballerinas – a painted up in bright and beautiful colors:

Unfortunately, you can’t really see the DecoArt Glamour Dust that is applied to the dresses and shoes. It makes each of them look like they are coated with sugar candy:

I am really proud of them and I think they came out beautiful. They are even nicer than I pictured them in my mind.

As always – there is a method to my madness regarding colors. I decided to paint these in a dozen different colors schemes, so that my customers can mix and match. The basic dresses/slippers are the same instructions, so that colors can be replaced easily with any color scheme desired.

I also did four different hair tones (blonde, brunette, auburn and dark brown) so that customers can easily further customize their ballerinas that way. I know that everyone will appreciate this feature a great deal.

The dancers stand approximately 5” tall. This size makes them suitable for a variety of purposes such as ornaments, small sun catchers, magnets or even placed onto a picture frame.

I plan to offer these pieces in kits, with the tops pre-drilled as I showed in yesterdays’ post. I also think that I am going to include the thin gold cord in the kits as well, as it will save my customers from running around and finding the proper thickness of cording.

I have had several requests for different sizes of ballerinas. I will be willing to do this as well, as many of my painting friends and customers don’t do wood cutting. I think they would make beautiful wall hangings either individually or in a small group, and be a special project for anyone who loves ballet.

So for the next couple of days, I will be writing pattern packets and working to get the site updated. I am sure that I will be cutting several sets of these lovely dancers, as I have already had many requests for the pieces. I have had many woodworkers ask about the patterns as well, and I am thrilled that the scroll saw pattern will be just as popular as the painting pattern promises to be.

It just goes to show that I need to follow my own path at times. What started out as a “just because” pattern is turning into something pretty nice for me. I sometimes doubt my own ideas and thinking, as many of us do. but I have been wanting to do this type of pattern for quite a while now and I am glad that I resolved myself to do it no matter if anyone liked it or not.

So often when we are in our own business, we get caught up in pleasing others. There is nothing wrong with that, as thinking about our customers’ wants and needs is essential to keeping our business healthy and helping it grow. But every now and again, we need to look inside ourselves and do what makes US happy. If for no other reason than to feed and inspire our own soul. It helps keep us fresh and excited about what we do.

Thank you all for your support and friendships and encouragement. You may not realize just how much you contribute to my life.

Have a fabulous Monday! :D

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

9 comments so far

View Roger's profile


18325 posts in 1963 days

#1 posted 01-20-2014 12:38 PM

These flutter just like real people, I’m just sayin. Every movement has such meaning and grace. Very awesome Sheila, very beautiful

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8713 posts in 2079 days

#2 posted 01-20-2014 12:39 PM

Thank you Roger! You have been cheering me all along and I truly appreciate your kind words! :)


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

View littlecope's profile


3018 posts in 2661 days

#3 posted 01-20-2014 01:48 PM

I guess you don’t need any more cheering on, but these are Beautiful Pieces Sheila; as Roger said, they’re so vibrant and alive
Isn’t it Grand, when you make something for your own heart’s content and enjoyment, and everyone else enjoys it just as much?! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Handtooler's profile


1267 posts in 1292 days

#4 posted 01-20-2014 02:00 PM

In a previous post you showed the Glamour Dust clearly. WOW, what great opportunities for both scrollers and painters alike. Not being critical, just a remark. But, as a non artist, on your previous close-up, I would have expected to see a curl to define the nose at the lip, a dot for an eye, and maybe a touch of rouge on the cheeks. However, the purchaser can paint to their satisfaction.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View kepy's profile


256 posts in 1433 days

#5 posted 01-20-2014 03:26 PM

You do excellent work Sheila. These don’t fit in my work but would make a beautiful mobile to hang in a little girls room. I don’t have any little girls in my family.

-- Kepy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8713 posts in 2079 days

#6 posted 01-20-2014 04:31 PM

Thank you all very much. It IS very satisfying to do something that I love and have others like it as well.

Russell – I am never offended with thoughts or comments. Especially in art – each has their own idea of what is to be.
As far as the facial features go – I did greatly weigh which avenue to take with the painting. Remember – the ballerina’s heads are about the size of my baby finger nail. I wanted this pattern to be something that most painters (even those who were new to painting) would be able to successfully recreate without much difficulty. Painting facial features is somewhat difficult. Painting small facial features is even harder. I tried on purpose to keep them as simple as I can, yet still give them an elegant feel. The brush I used for the wispy eyes, nose and lips had about three hairs in it. Anything more than a quick sweep and it looked blobbed on and would ruin it. I am hoping that most will be able to make these faces look decent with this quick design. Of course, as the pieces get larger there will be more details added. Or as you stated – the customer can put their own twist on it.

Thanks so much for your comments. They are always insightful and help me do better next time. :)


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1103 posts in 1232 days

#7 posted 01-20-2014 05:49 PM

I like Kepy’s idea of a mobile. These would look great in any girl’s bedroom. The black background really pops out the colour and detail. They do look so alive. I can visualize them dancing on stage!
Another week or so and I’ll be able to get back in my workshop if this weather keeps up like this – springlike!

-- Anna

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8713 posts in 2079 days

#8 posted 01-20-2014 06:35 PM

Thank you Anna! I hope you get back to your shop soon. Winter is returning here to Nova Scotia as snow is falling as I write. We are supposed to get much colder temperatures as well.

Have a great day! Sheila

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

View Handtooler's profile


1267 posts in 1292 days

#9 posted 01-20-2014 07:44 PM

Thank you for your in-depth explanation. I totally agree that the patterns would be delivered to the artist for her/him to do as they wish or have the capability and tools to do with. I deeply admire the artist in you, wish I were more inclined. I do see (though only with one eye) and appreciate the works of those that can. My hand eye coordination just isn’t there.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

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