My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1230: Ballerina Kit Production

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-26-2014 12:05 PM 3113 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1229: Additional Options for Drilling Thin Stock Part 1230 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1231: Diversification »

I had a fun, full and relaxing day of cutting yesterday. On Thursday, we updated our website and we have had a tremendous response from people who like out new items. Keith’s new patterns Napkin Holder Patterns have been selling very strong and my new little Tiny Dancer Ballerina Kits are dancing their way out the door quicker than I can say “Swan Lake!”

I can’t tell you all how thrilled I am that they are so well-received! It is very encouraging for both Keith and myself to see such wonderful support from you all and it makes us feel wonderful and eager to make even more fun projects for everyone!

But first things first – I wanted to cut a good supply of ballerina kits so that I would be able to fill my orders quickly.

I spent most of the day yesterday working on cutting ballerina ornaments. It had been a while since I had done production type cutting, and I truly looked forward to spending time at my beautiful Excalibur scroll saw. While I am able to stack them and cut more than one at a time, cutting these pieces was much slower than the witch boots or hats or other ornament sets that I offer to Artist’s Club for wholesale. These girls were pretty picky with their delicate limbs and fingers and I needed to take my time and not rush.

I had a friend ask me if I had offered them to Artist’s Club to sell, and I told her that I did not. One thing that I have learned with being in business as long as I have is that there are some items that you just can’t sell at wholesale prices. It just wouldn’t make sense for me and Keith to sell these for anything less than what I am charging on my site for them, and I don’t believe that the market would bear the additional markups necessary if we were to sell them to a larger distributor such as Artist’s Club. That is just the way it is.

But there is no harm in having a couple of special items such as these that we sell exclusively on our site. I think it is good to have some products that our customers can only purchase from us, as it will bring them back to our site to check what we have if they enjoy it. And I think that is just good business.

I wound up cutting 16 dozen pieces yesterday. I thought that they looked pretty impressive all together when I was done:

While it was nowhere near as huge a pile as when Keith and I were cutting nearly 1000 pieces a day for wholesale, the pieces were much more detailed and I know they are all perfectly accurate down to their little fingers:

No laser could have done better. And while I didn’t rush through them at all, they went smoothly and quickly and are all drilled and ready for a quick final sanding before sending them off to their new homes tomorrow. I felt like I accomplished a great deal.

Today I am going to take it easy and spend the day doing odds and ends. I have a gift for an exchange that I am finishing up painting and I want to work on that. I also will pack up all the orders and kits and get them ready to mail out tomorrow morning. Then I will take a breath and see what the day brings.

It’s good to feel on top of things. After many, many years of doing this business, I think I am finally beginning to figure things out. Things are really in a good place for us, and I hope we can keep it there.

Thank you again for all of your support. A day doesn’t go by when I feel very grateful and happy that I am able to spend my days doing something that I love so much. It makes for a pretty good life.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Today’s Featured Product

SLDK110 Pike and Catfish in Puddles Plaque by Keith Fenton

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

6 comments so far

View CFrye's profile


10293 posts in 1897 days

#1 posted 01-26-2014 12:31 PM

I was stunned, yesterday, when I read ‘16 dozen’. Now you say at one point you were doing nearly 1000 a day?! Wow Sheila! That sounds a lot like work. As in, a four letter word. Even split between the two of you that’s crazy. No wonder you left that behind. I’d say you deserve a day off today. However, as the saying goes, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life! I think you left the ‘work’ part behind. Enjoy your Sunday!

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 01-26-2014 12:41 PM

I live by those words every day, Candy! No – it wasn’t a hardship at all! Just a lot slower than the simpler ornaments that Keith and I cut. Last summer, we had cut over 6000 pieces in six days between us! This is one day’s work from the simpler projects from us:

But these little girls take probably five times as long to cut. They have much more detail and for painting, they need to be spot-on accurate. I think I did pretty good.

It is all fun though. NEVER a hardship for me! As I said, I just have learned to pick and choose what I do and that makes all the difference. I hope you have a wonderful day as well! :)


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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3360 days

#3 posted 01-26-2014 02:20 PM

wow, you did some fantastic cutting, bravo for you guys, i hope this keeps going great..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2977 days

#4 posted 01-26-2014 02:21 PM

Thanks Bob! I find it very relaxing to cut like this. It also helps polish up my skills. I wouldn’t want to do it every day, but once in a while is nice.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2130 days

#5 posted 01-26-2014 09:29 PM

Even stack cutting I don’t think I could cut that much in a day! I can imagine though it being very relaxing – some good music and your great Excalibur, a great way to spend the day!
Very foggy here today and damp. I hope it’s warming up a bit in your neck of the woods.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2861 days

#6 posted 01-27-2014 01:28 AM

With what you do, this is thee way to do it for sure.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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