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ByrdCall Studio
Happy New Year 
     from Byrdcall Studio!
 Sit back and enjoy a minute or two with me in the studio.  It is a lot neater now than it was a month ago before the Studio Tour.  I am ready to kick into high gear for 2014.
I don't know about you, but I get totally fired up for a new year. Things will be different!  I won't let important things slip by or pile up in a mountain.  So I take action, set up organizational systems ... a new planning calendar with all the bells and whistles.   It feels so good, but yet I know best intentions will waiver, and I have plenty of good excuses for slacking off again, but hey, there's always a fresh new year just around the corner.  It's all good.
Here's a glimpse at my 2014 Action Plan:
  • Finish writing my "Designing and Making Your Rya Rug" book and GET IT OUT THERE.
  •  Design some new rya rugs and get some kits together
  • Continue painting--one a month just to keep the creative juices flowing
  • Lighten up on the number of shows I do so they don't take over my life preparing for them, working them, and putting everything away.
  • Make at least 3 floorcloths
  • Maybe phase out the painting of glassware...the paint I love to use is not manufactured anymore so maybe it's time to let one thing go.
  • Do more Gallery Exhibitions.  I've got two lined up so far for 2014.  (Details later)
  • Have more fun, brew more beer, get together with friends more often.  (Why did I put this one last?) hmm.(Anyone else have that problem?)


Interesting Job Last Month


If you asked me if I paint or illustrate buildings, I would probably say, "Eh, not really.  Not my forte.  I'm a nature girl, remember?"  But when a friend came to me and asked me for a "sketch" of a favorite vacation house, heck, I don't like turning friends down so I said, "Sure."  I knew it had to be done before the holidays and that was just a week or two away, so I knew I couldn't stress over for an extended period. 


My way of doing things that I "don't do" is to just do them. It works every time.  So I sat down with a nice watercolor brush, a small jar of Walnut Ink (light-fast) and a piece of fine linen handmade paper and this is what emerged. 


I must admit, I am pretty pleased with it, and so is my friend, and so is the recipient of a nice thoughtful and unique gift.  Win-win.  But I feel really good about having developed a new skill in the process.  


Farewell to Artworks & Apparel Boutique in Westminster


At the end of January, Artworks and Apparel Boutique at 15 East Main St  (Suite 117) will be closing the shop, but opening a new door of freedom and time to spend on other priorities.


Between now and the end of the month, why not stop in? Besides carrying unique clothing, they carry my full line of greeting cards--both hand-printed woodcuts and linocuts and the colorful reproductions of my paintings on cards.  Owner, Nikki Ratti, has been a pleasure to work with over the past 6 years.  Thank you for taking such good card of my work and for your meticulous bookkeeping.  Good luck in all your future endeavors.


Do any of you have recommendations for venues where I might offer my greeting cards in Westminster after January?


Updates of Past Projects:
  • The Carroll Arts Center 's Festival of Wreaths was a big success again this year.  $15,700 was generated for the Arts Center.  My hand-painted mirror wreath went for $200 to the highest bidder.  I'm dying to know who got it. Was it you?



  • I still haven't heard any word on my poster entry for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (May 3-4, 2014).   I think next week is the week they announce the winner.  Keeping your fingers crossed for me?  They must be cramping up by now.  Thanks.
  •   The Carroll County Artists Studio Tour (Dec 7-8) was really fun this year.  Of course from my perspective I only see my studio, but I LOVE seeing familiar faces year after year and making new friends.  Lots of shirt sales as well as other things.  Lots of cookies, cider, and a bit of wine shared among visitors.  One couple brought a shopping list for 10 family members and bought a very thoughtfully chosen shirt for each of them.  That made my day.  THEN came snowy Sunday...and only one visitor (Joel!) braved the weather, but that gave my husband and I time together to decorate the tree, so it was a great weekend.  Hope you can make it (again) next year.



A New Print Available:

I love doing the art work for my friend, George Humbert, owner and brewmaster of Pub Dog Brewing Company here in Westminster, MD.  Click here to learn more about Pub Dog 
This image below will soon be on a special new brew in 2014.  But in the meantime you can have a print of it on archival quality paper with archival quality ink to hang in your home.  (Do you recognize my old sweetheart, Hooper?)  
"Old Dog, New Trick" Reproduction on paper 12" x 12"    $50
Interested in buying a print of this image?  You can just contact me and stop by the studio to pick it up or do it the easy (lazy) way and buy it from my etsy shop.  Click here for Listing on etsy



So take on the New Year with Gusto!  
Try a few things that you "don't do" and see what happens.

Thanks for reading this far.  I look forward to sharing the fun stuff of January with you next month.  Let's make it a great year!
Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


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