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ByrdCall Studio
Happy March!
Metal Groundhog
OK, Groundhog, we've had enough!
Greetings, friends, did any of you notice that I didn't send a newsletter for February?  I figured you would either forgive me or thank me.  Things got too crazy busy and I just decided to give you a nice Feb.-March Newsletter with lots of pictures and not too much writing.


In this issue:
The Ice Storm
My Latest Rya Rug
Web site Boogeymen and Poltergeists
My Woolie Sheep Design
Ladies' Studio Assistance and Lunch Sessions
Life of Pi



February's Challenges

First there was the ICE STORM.  We planted dozens of white pines when we first moved to Woodbine.  This ice storm took down about 15 large branches ... and in fact it took me down on the patio stairs which left me gimpy for weeks and forced me to the doctor to be sure my ribs weren't broken.  They weren't.  Guess I'm just a baby.  (I'm better now, thank you.)

This is the driveway back to the studio--quite impassable!

Boogeymen, Poltergeist and an Angel

     When I tried to look at my web site one evening a couple of weeks ago, my AVG security program warned me not to open it! What up!?  I thought my computer was messing with me, but early the next morning I asked my friend and web site designer, Jeannine Morber, to check it out to see if there was a problem.  There was.  My web site had been hacked.   Messages about Cuban cigars, how to talk with women, and "certain drugs for men with issues" were being promoted on  Luckily, Jeannine had scheduled a quiet day for herself, which she immediately totally devoted to rescuing me.  She rebuilt my whole web site scouring it clean of all the boogeys.  We are in the process of changing web site host and server and domains --and I don't even know what those things are, but Jeannine does, and she's got my back. Thanks, Angel. (Web Site of the Angel)


PS...I don't take lightly the responsibility of keeping a healthy, clean web site.  I apologize for any risk or inconvenience to any of you.  I'll do everything in my power to maintain a safe site for you to browse whenever you feel like it.  Thank you for your trust.  


My Latest Rya Rug Design Complete
I get such pleasure from simply knotting a rya rug.  I made my first when I was in 6th grade. Since I recently acquired about 100 yards of a backing with which I was not familiar, I decided to make a rug with it.  How did I create this design?  You could easily to the same thing I did, or I could draw it on the backing for you.  Read my blog to learn detail and see more picture--click here.
This design is called ColorPlay.  It is drawn onto the backing so there is no graph to follow.  27" x 36".  Uses about 14 skeins of rya yarn.
Before I began knotting ColorPlay, I hemmed the backing to form a loop where a hanging rod can be inserted.  This is going to be a wall-hanging in my sun-room.  Click here to see close ups and read about completing the rug..

I noticed that I am starting to get many new subscribers to this newsletter who are particularly interested in the rya supplies, the book I am writing on the subject, and classes that I'll soon be scheduling.  I recommend rya-lovers also sign up for the, as I will be updating them more than once a month with images and updates pertaining to what is happening.

In a nutshell, I am about 3/4 done with writing the book.  (the more I research, the more I realize that I need to know more!) I have displayed the many colors of my Lundgren yarns in new cubbies in the studio.  I am ordering yarn to fill my color voids from Norway, Finland, and Sweden.  I have access to about 430 different colors now and can match just about any color you are looking for.  I have a very generous supply of backings now.  And the very best part of this adventure is the wonderful people I am meeting through email in Sweden, Finland, and New Zealand.  The phone calls I've been receiving everyday from all across the USA and Canada tell me that there are a lot of you out there who love this handcraft.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


My New Woolie Sheep Design
(Drumroll, please.)
Remember the Poster Competition for the Sheep and Wool Festival?  Remember how long you kept your fingers crossed for me?  Well, I got Honorable Mention.  Yeah!  I haven't seen the winner yet, but it better be GOOD!!!  Oh, I am sure it is. Though I was disappointed for a few minutes, heck, now I can print and sell this gorgeous linocut.
Here's what I did with YOU in mind.  I printed a limited number in limited colors which I listed today on  What the etsy shoppers won't see, is a special offer for my newsletter subscribers!  If you want a shirt, order through my etsy listing before March 31.  When you go to "check out," type in the words NEWSLETTERREADER on the coupon code line.   You will not be charge any postage, saving you $4.  This is my "thank you" for wishing me well in the poster competition.
The ladies shirts are all Lavender.  The unisex shirts are all Yam.  The Youth sizes are all Blue Spruce.  I'm keeping it simple.  Click here to view the Woolie in my etsy shop
 If I get more orders than I have shirts printed, I'll print more, but allow 3 weeks in that case.  (I'll let you know)  I'll honor the discount for all of you who order by March 31.



Looking for Volunteers:
The Ladies Studio Assistance Group 
Since I brought home the Lundgren Rya business a couple of months ago, about a dozen of you have offered to help me with anything I need help with. Well, I'm not too proud to say, I could use some help . . . and I could use some good conversation and laughter in the studio.  So if you have some weekday morning time free, and you'd like to help with work that needs no experience, please let me know by email.  
Even if you already told me, please remind me!  (I've told you about my brain-thing.)  In turn, I will train you in anything that needs expertise, I'll provide a comfortable setting, a generous to-do list, a homemade pot of something for lunch and maybe a homemade loaf of bread to go with it.  I'll schedule small group sessions (4-5 helpers) so we have plenty of elbow room, friendship opportunity, and I will be able to keep my eye on you all.  ;-) 
Depending on the response, you might just work once or twice before I'm caught up.  I'll give you more details by email. Tell me what weekday mornings you are free.  
Slave for a day!



Byrdcall Studio is Sponsoring a Movie at the Carroll Arts Center!
As a long-time supporter of the Carroll County Arts Council, it's about time that I sponsor a movie there.  So please mark your calendars for Friday, March 14 at 7:30 PM to see 
Life of Pi.  I have read the book and seen the movie.  It is a spectacular story.  Please join me in supporting the Arts in Carroll County.  Let's pack the theater!  $5/member $6/nonmember



Well, that was longer than planned...

Thanks for hanging in there with me until the end.   I had more, but I didn't want to risk tiring you out.  I'll save it until April.  
Happy Spring, yes, it IS coming.  Keep in touch.
By the way, if you enjoyed this newsletter and know someone else who might, feel free to forward it on.  Thank you.
Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

Art in the Park
Sat., June 7, 2014
City Hall Park
Westminster, MD

Mistletoe Mart
Thursday - Sat. Nov. 6, 7, 8

Carroll County Artists' Studio Tour
December 6-7

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