ByrdCall Studio
Well, it's still July, isn't it?  When newsletters are late, rest assured a lot is going on in the studio.  Follow me in for details.  Lots of pictures will entertain your eyes!

In this issue:
  • The Future of my Hand-Printed T-shirts
  • T-shirts and framed work at Off Track Art
  • Byrd Shirts at Machu Picchu
  • I squeezed in a FUN Floorcloth last month
  • And a custom-painted T-shirt for a special friend
  • Great Rya Experience at Common Ground on the Hill
  • I took a few weeks OFF from Book Writing--Sorry!
  • And, in parting, another "Story of Coincidence"
  • See you at Hot Aug Music Festival, August 15th


To Be ... or Not to Be...  The future of Byrd Shirts
For me, deciding if I can be "Melinda Byrd the T-shirt Printer" as well as "Melinda Byrd the rya rug lady" has been an all-consuming whisper in my brain.  Since I am getting deeper and deeper into the rya world over the past year or two, I have been thinking about stepping out of the role of "shirt lady."  In the June Newsletter I suggested that "change is gonna come".  Thanks for the feedback.


New Relationship with Off Track Art
Off Track Art is an artist co-operative in the heart of downtown Westminster, Maryland.  It is a pebble-toss from the railroad tracks near the library.  I was an original and active member of the coop for a few years, but opted out when my studio work load became too heavy.  But happy to say I am now selling my art on consignment there.  This summer they are featuring two of my shirt designs:  "Kitty Waits" and "Great Blue Heron."
Kitty Waits Handprinted on 100% cotton ladies 
Comfort Color shirts in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL for $25 - 28
Hand- Printed with two linoleum blocks: Great Blue Heron. 
Both Men's and Women's style in all sizes, Multiple colors.  $30 - 33

I will rotate new designs of shirts every couple of months.  Stop in to see them along with all the other amazing art from some very talented artists and artisans in the area.


Byrd Shirts Travel the World
What a pleasure to open my email a couple of months ago to find photos of my friends, Jan and Dave Flora overlooking the miracle of Machu Picchu.  And they just happened to be wearing my shirts. That made my day.    

I wanted to mention to shirt fans, I would love to use photos of YOU in my shirts in occasional newsletters, blogs, and in my etsy shop--especially in my etsy shop.  Feel free to play it up as a model. 

Currently I shoot selfies of myself (redundant?) wearing the shirts, or I grab guys and say,"Would you might putting this shirt on for a few quick photos.  Since it is more the shirt that is featured that the person wearing it, don't be upset if I crop your head off.  

My best
etsy listings show a person wearing my shirts looking happy, havin g fun in  one photo, then closeups of the shirt etc.  You would actually be doi ng me a
big favor. Thanks in advance.  (Can't guarantee I'll be able to use every photo sent, but I'll do what I can.)

Here is my friend, Ron, chilling on vacation in his Thoreau shirt.  Lots of people buy this shirt on etsy and I think it is because Ron looks so comfortable in it.

Thank you, Model Ron!


Custom made Floorcloth 
                    ..... Guaranteed to Make You Smile

If you don't smile, you might be a sour-puss.  You know I'm not making many floorcloths these days since I started writing my book, but this spring, my friend, Sharon, friend asked me really nicely if I could squeeze in a little time for a floorcloth for her son and future daughter-in-law. How could I say no?  (Story of my life...   ;-)

It was a fun and challenging one.  Three caricature/portraits of their pet cats dancing on the greens.  I love work that makes me smile as I paint it.  See below...did you smile just a little?  Hope so!
2' x 3' Princess, Premium, and Prince  amid the Azaleas


And sometimes you just have to make time ...
This was a custom shirt painting I did for a special friend, Tom, who has been very kind to me in the past years.  He provided me with some old photos of himself on horseback (looking very much like Man from Snowy River) and asked for me to paint it on a shirt.  

Here is the shirt I painted for him a few years ago:
Deer Handpainted on a T-shirt


Amazing Week at 
Common Ground on the Hill.
July 5-10, 2015

As you might know, for the past 16 years I have attended the Traditions Week(s) of Common Ground on the Hill as a "camper." For a whole week each July, I have immersed myself in the arts with talented instructors from all over the country and the world. 

Through a multi-cultural curriculum of every imaginable genre of the arts my world has been broadened in more ways than I can describe in a short blurb. 

This year I was a TEACHER!
I had a class of seven very creative and hard-working women who successfully designed their own ryas, calculated (yes, with math) the amounts of yarn colors they were going to need, and began knotting their ryas.

 The students used the yarn as though it was paint to knot with their needles.  Three strands of heavy rya yarn on a needle can yield a blending of color that rivals what you can do with paint.  

Another creative designer, Becky Hall, came up with a "Tree" inspired 
nature image  with luscious earthy tones.

Left-handed Christine Rudd was the first  to start knotting her multi-colored rya.

Barbara Easter's Navajo-inspired design with
 graph,  threading card, and yarn ready to knot

Barbara (right) is well on her way knotting her rya as she demonstrates during the studio art show Friday evening.
Gabrielle Hughes was the only one in the class who had a little rya experience.  In this class she adapted an intricate design which I really look forward to sharing with you in a future newsletter.  Look at those colors from Norway, Finland and Sweden!
Heather Gibson working on squaring off her graphed design.  Hot colors!

J ackie Snelson making fast progress on her rya with amazing blendings of nature's colors.  Watch for photos of their completed ryas in future newsletters.

I have taught many rya classes before but this is the first class I have taught where the students had access to Lundgren rya yarn (USA), Rauma ryagarn from Norway, Asborya of Borgs in Sweden, and Vuorelma rya yarn from Finland.  How multi-cultural can you get!?

I look forward to offering this class at Common Ground next year as well, so bookmark your browser to  Common Ground Traditions Camp


"So, how is your book coming along?"


Ok, I'll be honest with you.  My life has been so full of other activities, commitments, (and even a bountiful garden) I have taken almost a month off.  But now that Common Ground is over, almost all waiting orders filled, I will be getting back into it with a vengeance.  I PROMISE!  In fact, through teaching the class, I was inspired to add things I had not thought of before to the it is getting better even though I haven't actually been writing.


And since you read all the way to the end, I'll share this fun story with you...


I had a bustling business day at Art in the Park this year.  I enjoy talking with everyone so much.  Well, I struck up a conversation with a nice family.  I thought the man looked familiar, but turned out that was my imagination...then he held up a Henry David Thoreau shirt and said, "Maybe you were mixing me up with Thoreau."  He actually looked a little like Thoreau, well same beard anyway.  He bought the shirt.

Apparently, later that evening, they were visiting a house they were in the process of buying.  They took a close look at the sign out front, thinking maybe they could commission someone to make a sign just for them, when they noticed a familiar signature on the bottom of the sign.  They compared it to the shirt they had just bought and realized that I had carved and painted the sign on the property they were buying!

Imagine my surprise to realize that my "new friends" had just bought the home and farm of my "old friends" who lived there years ago.  I carved and painted the sign for them maybe in 2007 with Sylvie the dog and Elliot the goat.  Coincidence? do-do-do-do.  do-do-do-do.

Have a great summer...See you in August!

PS  If you enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to share it with a friend.  Click on the "Forward email" button below.  Many thanks. 
Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

Hot August Music Festival
August 15th at Oregon Ridge in Cockeysville, MD
I will have my shirts for sale. Read article in the newsletter regarding shirts.

The Mistletoe Mart
Church of Ascension
Westminster, MD
November  12, 13, &14 
And YES I will be featuring my shirts at this show.  (Possibly my last t-shirt-featured show.)

Carroll County Artists Studio Tour
December 5 & 6
10 - 5:00
Drop by Byrdcall Studio or any one of the participating studios in Carroll County to see the studios and stuff we use to make the art we make!

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