ByrdCall Studio
Happy Spring!

You know, Spring makes me feel very optimistic.  It's a new beginning, like a Monday. I like Mondays, too.  

Lots to share in this issue, so relax by your computer monitor (for best pictures) and enjoy my Studio stories.

I know your time is valuable, so I try to keep them short and sweet.  The only long story is the blog story about making calculations for a rya rug where the design is drawn on the backing.  But it is abbreviated in this newsletter. Click on the link if you have time. Thanks for keeping in touch through reading my newsletter.  You make me feel connected to the world outside the studio!
In this issue: 
  • The book is coming along very well
  • Phone calls being screened during pre-elections
  • Byrdcall Studio is Sponsoring a Movie at the Carroll Arts Center--Free Tickets!
  • A huge loss for our Community
  • "Today I Will Create" shirts just printed. First dibs to Newsletter Readers
  • Rya Lesson:  Drawing on the Backing and Calculating Color Requirement
  • It is time to register for Classes at Common Ground on the Hill July 2016!
OK, dive right in... In case you haven't guessed, this looks better on a monitor than it does on a smart phone.


Artists Are Not Supposed to Set Work Timers!

Well, you wouldn't think an artist worth her salt would have to, but with my easily-distracted mind, I have found it harder and harder to wrap up the details and last chapters of the book I'm writing on design and making a rya rug.  So I have discovered the amazing effect of making attainable goals and setting the timer and trying to meet those goals before the timer goes off. 

I know you are probably thinking something must be wrong with me, but surprisingly, it works.  My productivity is up and I am amazing myself each day by what I've done with the help of the timer.  The system has a name:  The Pomodoro Technique.  If you have this same problem, go to Youtube, type in Pomodoro Technique and try some of the fancy timers such as the sound of ocean waves, or birds singing in the woods--most appropriate for Byrdcall Studio.

That is all to say that, Yes, the book is progressing nicely and I'm getting some great additional stories for the book from creative and interesting people all over the world. 
Please stay tuned.


Call Screening a Necessity!

 It used to be embarrassing if someone discovered you were screening your phone calls.  As though you might not pick up if it is someone you don't feel like talking to. That is not the case here.  As a matter of sanity-preservation I feel I must ignore my landline phone unless it is clearly a human. 

Without a doubt the vast majority of my calls are solicitation or "no response," and now all the computerized voices extolling the virtues of a candidate.  

Byrdcall Studio does not have a designated line.  The landline is our personal line as well as the arts-line.  In over ten years of working as a studio artist, sharing the line has never been a problem.  Thank you for calling at reasonable hours. (My husband thanks you, too.)

So I welcome all who read this and want to talk with me about a project or supplies, to please do call and leave a message.  If I am in earshot, I will pick up. Most likely I am not in earshot, and I'll call you back as soon as possible.  Please do not be shy about leaving a message.  This will also help me focus on THE BOOK!  Thank you!


I Hope you Love your Local Arts Center 
as Much as I  Love Mine

An Arts Center can provide the community with food for the heart and soul: music, visual arts exhibitions, classes, camps, bus trips to nearby venues, and MOVIES.  

One way I have decided to help out the Carroll County Arts Council (based at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, Maryland) is to donate a little extra funding each year to help in sponsoring a movie. This year, we are sponsoring "Woman in Gold" starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.  

Won't you join us on Friday, April 15th?  The movie starts at 7:30, but why not come a little early to visit the galleries, have a beverage (perhaps), and relax with nice folks.  And since you have read this far, I am offering FREE TICKETS to the first 8 people who email me requesting one.  (Just ask for one please so others can enjoy the savings, too.)  I'll confirm by email and meet you in the lobby with your ticket that evening around 7:15.  If you would like to see the movie trailer, click here.  Regularly priced tickets are $7 Adults / $6 CCAC Members.  For more information about this movie or the Carroll Arts Center, click here to go to their web site.


Our Community Loses a Gem
The Westminster community lost one of its most vibrant members last month when the life of Jeannie Vogel was taken in a predawn vehicle accident. She was known to most as JeannieBird for the bakery she opened just over a year ago. The JeannieBird Baking Company was and still is thriving in the heart of Westminster.  She is sorely missed by all who knew her, but her legacy is being carried out by the amazing young bakery "Croo."  Visit them often and help keep Jeannie's dream alive.  Miss you, Angel.


Once Again Featuring T-shirts at Art in the Park

As my work and personal life are gravitating towards all-rya, all-the-time, I am still trying to keep the hand-printed woodcut shirts out there for those of you who have made them part of your daily life.  I've got a good plan for making plenty of shirts easily available to you at Art in the Park, June 4th, at the Westminster City Park.  Please mark your calendars.

In catching up with past orders where the Comfort Color shirts were back-ordered, I just this week printed lots of "Today I Will Create shirts."  As a treat for my newsletter readers, I will give you first dibs at buying any of the Today I Will Create shirts:  
Ladies Short-Sleeve T-shirts--Take your pick:  first request - first sold.  $25. ($30 covers MD tax and I'll cover postage to mail it to you!)   No new orders, please.  What remains after a couple of weeks, I will list in  my Byrdcall Etsy shop.

SMALL:  Hemp and Violet
MEDIUM:  Hemp, Flo Blue, Sea Foam, Crimson, and Chocolate
LARGE:  Crimson, Hemp, and Sea foam
X-L:  Violet and Flo Blue
XXL: Crimson and Chocolate

If you were very observant, you might have noticed the long-sleeved ladies denim button-up shirt in size Large in that photo.  There is only one of these.  $35.  They are very difficult to print, so I won't be ordering more blanks.  Take advantage of this one if it is your size.  I have one and wear it all the time as a light jacket. ($6 P&H)
(Not shown is a Ladies long-sleeve shirt in khaki/beige for $30 by Comfort Colors.)

And below are the same woodcut print on Unisex shirts.  Same price as above.  $30 and you'll receive it in the mail within a few days.  (USA orders only, please.)

Easiest way to buy is just email me saying which one you want.  I'll send you an easy online invoice for credit card payment.  Or if you'd rather send a check, that is fine, too.

Here is the Low-down on Comfort Color shirt availability:

Update From Gildan Shirt Company:  Over the past few months, we've received a tremendous amount of orders, more than at any point in the history of Comfort ColorsĀ®. We've been working diligently to improve our customer support and to reduce the delays in shipping that some of you may be experiencing. In order to meet this increased demand, we have added more dyeing machinery and have also recently opened a new, modern distribution facility in Eden, NC.   With our newly expanded customer service department, increased dyeing capacity and our new distribution center, you will see improvement.   Thank you so much for your patience and continued support of Comfort ColorsĀ® during this period of rapid growth.


Mini-Lesson for Rya People
"How to Draw a Challenging Image on to your Backing and Calculate the Yarn to make it"

This is the blog post that I warned you about. Some will find it helpful and fascinating, and others, not so much.  I understand.  I am working hard to simplify this for that chapter in my book.  Generally, designs are a lot easier... but this does make a great story.

Too bad you can't chat with other readers regarding these newsletter articles, but you CAN on the blog post.  Feel free to comment and you can learn so much from others' comments.  I sure do.  

It all started with an email from an interesting-sounding woman in Ontario who had a very specific goal in mind.  Could I help her?  


Time to Register for your Classes at 
Common Ground on the Hill--I'm teaching again!!

This gorgeous rya wall-hanging was Barbara Easter's very first rya design in my class at Common Ground.. 
I had a great first year teaching at Common Ground last year. In one week, my rya students designed their rya, made technical yarn calculations, and began knotting their very first ryas.  We are going to do it again this summer.  I will be teaching the second week:  July 3 - 8 in the afternoon.  So if you are interested, mark your calendars. 

I recommend that you go to their web site.  Warning:  There are so many great classes to choose from, don't forget that you want to sign up for my class. ;-)

For my past students, you may not need to take another rya class since you know plenty now, but please stop by my class later in that week with your projects from last year to inspired my 2016 students.  Class will probably have full enrollment, so don't put it off.   
Click here to go to Common Ground web site

                       The Common Ground Mission:
To provide the opportunity to teach and to study various musical instruments and art forms representing various ethnic and cultural traditions. To sponsor a series of musical and artistic events from cultural and ethnic groups who are marginalized in our society or who are in conflict with each other and listen to their voices, e.g., Indigenous People, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Euro-Americans etc. To encourage and facilitate dialogue, by way of the arts among different cultural traditions, in order to discover that this artistic common ground unites us, and that, as a result, the world might become a more human place.   


Enjoy Your Spring 2016
spring_forest_sunrise.jpg I'm looking forward to chatting with you next month.  Things are really moving here for me.  It is very exciting.  

I have a new type of rya yarn from Rauma in Norway arriving in a few weeks, so I must prepare information for you all of that. 

I have a studio helper who is starting to help me adapt designs for the new backings and yarns--a whole new world of designs will soon be a reality...

Aside from Art in the Park, I am struggling with the decision of what other shows to attend this year.

Relax and breathe... I keep telling myself that. Good advice for all.

That's all, folks!  See you next month!



Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

June 4, 2016
10 AM - 4 PM
Rain or Shine

December 3 & 4
10 AM- 5 PM

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