Greetings, Friends . . .
How is everyone holding out as we enter the third month of distancing ourselves from one another.
It isn't a normal way to live. Everyone has their own challenges and blessings. Hopefully you are discovering the lesser- appreciated bounties in your lives. For us, it is finding time to take a hike with the dog in the quiet parks each day... and cooking some yummy homemade meals my mother used to make (Anadama Bread, for one). I really enjoy Zooming with friends in the late afternoon.
Byrdcall Studio is in my backyard with no "Open Hours," but it never has had public drop-in visitation, so that is normal for me. The book has been selling well, and now has relaxed into a one or two books-a-day going out in the mail. So what else is happening?
In this Issue:
Monday, May, 18 7:00 Author Interview Rescheduled Online on Facebook. Join us!?
- Got Time to Make a Rya? I have Kits!
- Curb-side Rya Pick-ups available
2 More T-Shirt Tuesdays (Giveaway!)
- Book Sales and Reviews "Thumbs up"
- 233 Members in Rya Rug Friends Group
- Mentors Available and Needed
- Frequently Asked Questions and ...
MAY 18th, 2020 7:00 EST
Back in March we had scheduled this interview to be held on April 7th at a community auditorium. As everyone knows all public events had to be canceled to ensure minimal transmittal of the COVID-19 virus. But this is even better because no matter where you live, if you have Facebook and can click on this link on Monday, May 18th at 7:00 PM, you can join in! OR for those of you in other parts of the world where my 7 PM isn't your 7 PM, you can go to this link the next day or maybe for a long time and watch and learn.
Ted Zaleski is an excellent interviewer. I have been to author interviews where he has come up with the most fascinating questions for authors. I'm excited. He and I will be talking face to face on Zoom. You all will be watching (if you choose to) on Facebook. You can ask questions or hit emojis. The moderator will interject now and then with questions she sees, so feel free to chime in. I've put together a little slide show and will click on nice images as the conversation moves forward. Please join us because I know of no other time FOR SURE that I will be able to talk to a large group about this RYA thing.
(NOTE: My Common Ground on the Hill class will not be held this summer.)
What Kits Are Available
I have had several requests over the past week like this: "What kits do you have on hand right now? I don't want to wait for one to be shipped from Norway."
The other response I sometimes give is "Look at all of the
Rauma catalogs on my website
Write down the ones you like and ask if I have them."
The second response is a little wishy washy, so until I find time to photograph all the kit components and list them on Etsy and on my website, here is a list of the kits or graphs I have bought that could become kits within a day or two. No waiting.
I provide all kits with instructions in English, the first row started for you, a hand-made threading card to show you what all the color combinations look like, needles, backing, graph (or design drawn on the backing for a few designs) plus sometimes little notes for tips.
Rauma Designs Available as Kits Now
(I don't have all sizes for these, so ask. If they are not listed on Etsy, ask me for a price quote. Easy to do.)
Barskog 140 x 200
Kilde 60 x 110 or 140x200
Markblomst -Jacob Weidemann
Markblomst (Not by Jacob Weidemann)
Curbside Pick Up of Rya Supplies
Ok, I admit, that may seem a little far-fetched, but here is what I offer now--and always have made possible.
For my nearby rya pals and friends who want to make a rya... rather than wait until quarantining is over, why not ask me to prepare a kit for you? You can stop by to pick it up while maintaining prescribed social distancing.
I helped 95% of those who buy my supplies without ever coming in physical contact with them. Not just 6' away but sometime 600 miles away. I can prepare a kit for you with the first few knots made, and all you have to do is read the directions, pick up the needle and continue knotting. I can have your order sitting by the front door for you to pick up, I can mail to you, or I can set you up at an outdoor table where you can get started and I can wear a mask and check on your progress before you go home. It's easy, and it will help you make valuable use of your time.
My friend, Melissa Kern Peters, recently shared that she has taken advantage to COVID-19 isolation by finishing the rya kit, Gry, she started a couple of years ago. All she needed was time to relax.
George is sporting his new hand-printed Under the Palm
In an effort to have fun with you--my friends--during these difficult times, I decided a month ago to give away one of my hand-printed or silkscreened T-shirts in a drawing of names every Tuesday. I gather the names on my
Byrdcall Studio Facebook page
. I've given away four to date and it has been fun for me and the winners--hopefully everyone gets a smile from it.
There will be another drawing on Tuesday, May 19th and May 26. So if your name isn't yet in the hat, it is not too late.
All you have to do is go to my Etsy shop and look at the T-shirt selection and pick one out. It must exist because I am not making them any more. Be sure to click on the dropdown menu on the right side of the page to read what is actually available. Then go to my Facebook page and tell me what shirt design, size, and colors you want. If I pick you, I will mail you the shirt! Yay!
What's Happening with the Books?
If you want one, now is a great time to order one. I am more than happy to sign your copy and make a personal inscription if you request. (I don't assume you want the inscription in case you are getting it as a gift for someone else.) I've had GREAT success in sending within the USA with Media Mail. So happy for speedy and safe delivery.
If you know a Book Store that might want to carry my books, or your library, please give them my contact info.
Finnish readers, know that Jenni Vanhanen is selling the books there which will save you lots of postage. Contact her at her Iltamaa.fi website. Probably others in surrounding countries will do well to contact her. I hope to keep her amply supplied in the coming years.
I'm hoping for a Swedish outlet soon (and it may be in the works!) and also in Norway. I just lined up an account with courier DHL and they move things so fast!!
I've had mixed results from the postal service with International Shipping. Sadly, it can take a very long time to travel, or it could be a week or so. There is only one book (sent to Finland) that may not have reached the buyer yet. Let me know directly if you have not received an order. Thanks.
Since there is no Media Mail rate for international orders, check out my
Etsy shop just for international orders
in which the postage is quoted for the buyer according the the country to which it is being shipped. It will be promptly shipped.
The Book is hardbound with matte laminated cover. It has 298 pages with approximately 500 color photos. It weighs about 2.5 lbs. The price is $49.00. In it I have shared every morsel of my knowledge on designing and making your own rya rug, a little history, some good stories from across the globe, and all suppliers known to me at the time of publication.
For those of you waiting for the release of the soft-cover book, I may be printing them in a month or so.
A Few New Comments Shared:
"This is much more than a how-to book. It is a book of love, love of grandparents, love of family, love of a craft. Historical and biographical information are entwined with the step by step process of putting an abstract idea in ones head into a design on paper that grows knot by knot into a rug. Through photographs and thorough explanations, Melinda's book provides the guidance for all those interested to make one of their own rya rugs."
Shared by Margaret in Massachusetts
" . . . this book is a welcomed re-introduction to rya rugs. Middle chapters on how to determine the amount of yarn needed to complete a design are of particular value. Those chapters alone make this book an important resource for those of us interested in rya. Guidance, whether on rya backing or graph paper, compliments chapters on yarns. Sources for yarns and backings are listed in addition to Melinda's wonderful shop.
"Paper stock, printing, and colors in the book are well done and make it far more than a coffee table book. This book is a reference to be used often as you progress from idea to completed rya. Both novice and experienced rya people will benefit from this book. Information is presented clearly and concisely. Chapters flow naturally from one topic to the next, making the process easy to follow.
"Overall I find this book superb.
Thank goodness we have it now."
Shared by Paul in Tucson
You are not going to believe some of the rya works happening around the world. Stay in-the-know all month long! I am loving this addition to our Rya Rug Revival. There is a lot of brilliance in this group...keep sharing. I'll throw in my 2-cents on occasion. ;-) We have 233 members now!
If you are intrigued by making REAL rya rugs, the only good reason NOT to join is if you are not a Facebook person.
If you are a member of Facebook (even if you never use Facebook) you can request to join this Group. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you definitely should check this out.
Click JOIN GROUP and you will be asked about your rya interest (to filter out spammers or those without any interest). You can answer in any way you want. Then you can comment and share with each other.
Even if you just click on "like" when you see rya rugs that you like...that will make someone smile.
To join, just
Consider this a
personal invitation! No product promotions, please.
Frequently Asked Questions...
Q: What is the best way to reach me?
A: Email me at email@example.com. If you have a question too complicated to type as an email, then call me at
410-615-2473 and leave a message. If I don't answer, I will call you back as soon as possible. Please do not google-message me or facebook-message me because it's hard for me to keep track of all those messages systems. (I have completed disconnected from the AOL email address I had so make sure you don't have that one recorded anywhere.)
Q: Where am I located and what are my hours?
A: I work out of my studio located in my backyard in Woodbine, MD. I do not have regular business hours, but I am more than happy to make appointments at the studio with anyone interested in what I have to offer. Give me a call at
410-615-2473 and please leave me a message.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I will respect social distancing and will be happy to set your orders on the front steps for contact-less pick-ups if you like.
Q: So how did I get into this whole rya rug thing?
This is such a frequently asked question, I'm leaving this link here because it is nicely put into a nutshell. Credit to Lyndi McNulty and
The Carroll County Times.
Finding My Work
My Etsy Shop
has just about everything for online buying. My Etsy shop is convenient because you can see up to 10 photos of each item for sale. Etsy also calculates your postage automatically according to size and weight and where you live. That saves me lots of time....Not that I don't love communicating with you, but that is my #1 time-consumer in the day.
My Website Byrdcallstudio.com
is now up and running. It doesn't have everything I offer at this point, but in time, it will grow to reflect all I have to offer. If you have any problem in navigating or ordering from the website, let me know, OK?
As shops start to carry my books, I will list them as resources on my website.
Other Ways to Keep Up-to-Date:
And as always, feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you think might enjoy it.
24 Mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe
Welcome our newest additions to the mentor list: Laura Allen from Blaine, WA right on the Canadian border. Let's be creative in how we help each other. It wouldn't be wise during self-quarantine to have strangers over to share rya tips, but Mentors can Skype, Zoom, Bluejean with individuals or several people. I don't have to be the only one to host gatherings of like minds.
A woman in Virginia bought a book for her college age daughter. She and her friends are forming a rya rug group for the summer instead of attending the Arts Program they usually do (because it has been cancelled.) So I offered to meet with them via Zoom if they design their own ryas and need a pep talk this summer! I will enjoy that as much as they will.
When someone feels stuck in their rya work. Maybe they forgot how to make the knot. It happens. Rya help could be just a phone call away I'm keeping track of everyone who is willing to assist a beginner get started with a kit or a design. I gladly share the mentor's contact info with the person who needs help (but I do not post their phone numbers or addresses to ensure their internet privacy).
- Larry in Hyde Park, UT
- Gail in Black Mountain, North Carolina
- Holly in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Jackie in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
- Kristin in Deland, Florida
- Tina in San José, California
- Kris in Paynesville, Minnesota
- John in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
- Janet in Monmouth County, New Jersey
- Inger in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Marsha in Sun City, Arizona
- Madeline, south of Tucson
- Paul in Tucson, Arizona
- Laura in Blaine, Washington
- Denise in Snohomish, Washington
- Robbin--Vancouver/Savory Is., British Columbia
- David in Cincinnati, Ohio
- Eleanor in Fleischmanns, New York
- Laurie in Chatham and Boston, Massachusetts
- Angie is near Mexico City
- Polly in Oakville, Ontario, Canada
- Mia in Stockholm, Sweden
- Marie in Scunthorpe/North England
- and Marian in The Netherlands
You need NOT be an expert. All you have to do to change from a little white tag to a bright pink tag is be willing to help someone in your area get started. I will contact you to make the connection...and no mentor to date has had more than one contact, so you are not going to be swamped! Email me today.
I am only one person in Maryland. But you all are all over the country and the world. I'd love to share my joy of getting people started on their first ryas with YOU if you are interested. Just let me know. If you want to be connected to a mentor, just ask me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hang in there.
Life is totally not what we were expecting, but let's go with it.
have much choice.
So I leave you in hopes that every single one of us not only survives the coming months, but comes through with new appreciation of the the good things in our lives.
May your families and friends
stay close in creative ways.
Byrdcall Studio, LLC