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ByrdCall Studio
I am a New England girl transplanted to Maryland in 1982. This summer has been a cool New England summer which makes me nostalgic.  There are several other highlights in this issue that make me think back to my youth.  Magical things keep happening and I love to share them with you.  But first, TAKE NOTE: Last month I told you that my art opening at Birdie's Cafe was this week, but the owner requested that we change due to the fact that Labor Day week is always slow for business, so If you marked your calendar, erase, and re-write the new opening date:  Friday, September 12 from 6 - 9:00 PM. Details below. Sorry for any inconvenience.
In this issue:
  • Byrd at Birdie's Cafe - Sept. 12 (6 - 9:00)
  • JeannieBird Baking Company gets ready to open!
  • Mormor (age 93) completing her rya rug
  • Mistletoe Mart -- Nov. 6, 7, 8
  • The 4th Lesson in designing your rya rug from scratch
  • A Rya kit my Grandparents prepared donated to help YOU learn the skill!
  • Finding Joy--or Joy found me!
  • Dec. 6-7 Studio Tour--come visit local artists in their studios 
  • All work--No play makes Mel a dull girl: Fun on the side 


Date Correction: Sept. 12th 6-9 PM
Solo Art Exhibition:  
Byrdcall at Birdie's Cafe Coffee House

Mark your calendars for Friday, Sept. 12th for an evening Artist Reception at Birdie's Cafe at 233 E. Main Street in Westminster, MD.  I would love to see you all if you can make it.  I will be showing some familiar original works as well as many lesser know pieces.  And frankly, lately I have been in need of wall space in the studio, so you may find some real bargains just so I can start creating more work to replace earlier pieces with NEW.  This exhibition will be on the walls of Birdies from Sept. 8th though Nov. 2nd.  I will be hosting mini-workshops at Birdies during those months in print-making and rya rug-making.  Let me know if you want details on these talks.


JeannieBird Baking Company opens soon in the old Heinz Bakery at 
42 W. Main St. in Westminster

I am doing artwork for them during their last month or so of preparations to open to the public.  Jeannie is an amazing pastry chef and a super nice person.  I will share my block printing skills to help them bring beauty and local art to the bakery and community.

Watch for the next newsletter to see how Melinda Byrd and JeannieBird collaborate.

Support your LOCAL businesses.  Amen.


A Tale of Kismet, Fate, and Destiny
At the end of World War II, a young Swedish woman named Ann met an American soldier in Sweden.  They fell in love, married, moved to the USA, took a trip back to visit Sweden where she bought a rya rug kit in 1945.  

Fast forward about 69 years... Ann is now 93 (going on 94 years old).  Life has been good, but her rya rug is not yet complete.  Her daughter found me on the internet.  Lo and behold they were on their way to visit the son in Mt. Airy, Maryland just 8 miles away when we arranged a visit to see if I had the yarn she needed to complete her rya rug.  (What are the odds that her son would live here in Mt. Airy???)  Ann, known as Mormor (Swedish for Mother's mother) is now back on track with all the yarn she needs to finish her rug.  When I met Mormor in my driveway this month, I felt as thought we had known each other for years.  She felt the same.   This is why I have jumped into the rya world with both feet.   Nuff said. Loving life. 
PS  Mormor invited me for tea the next week.  Being with her was like being with family.  Before I left, I got her back on track with the knotting she had done decades earlier.  Her rya backing was the oldest I had ever seen!  


The Mistletoe Mart
Mark your calendar:  November 6, 7, and 8.  Go to this web site for details:  Click here.
I wouldn't do a three day show every year unless it was a really good show, now would I?  It's a great show to find unique things including my hand-printed shirts!  I'm on the 2nd floor in Room 209, a nice big booth in the far corner of the room. Find me!  (And bring the shirt sizes for your holiday shopping list.)


Mini-Lesson #4   Designing a Rya Rug:
Calculating the amount of yarn you'll need
This is really just for the folks who are very INTO rya.  For the rest of you, don't even bother clicking on this link or you may feel overwhelmed.  It's not that hard, but to just glance at it without soaking in the last three lessons...well, don't do it. 

After all the designing work you witnessed in Lessons 1, 2, and 3, 
this is what we calculated will be required to make this 4' x 6' Monet's Bridge rya rug.  Anyone else want to make it, now that the work is done?


A Gift of a Rya Rug on which you can practice  and a whisper
from my grandparents again
My grandparents keep entering my life in the most unexpected ways.  I got an email a couple of weeks ago from a lady whose name I actually recognized from her mother's active rya supply purchases back in the 70's.  My grandmother and Barb's mother had worked together to adapt a Swedish design for Barb to make.  It was a large rug to be made in two halves and stitched together.  But Barb had young children at the time who kept her very busy.  She completed half the rug and has enjoyed walking on it for many years, but the other half never quite became a priority in her life.  So (with the help of the internet) she found me the other day and asked if I would be willing to accept this partially knotted rug perhaps for students to learn on.  YES!  So here in the studio I have a rug you can practice on to see if you enjoy knotting a rya.   When the package arrived, there were notes in my grandparents' handwriting to Barb wishing her success on her project and giving extra instruction on the graph paper.  Nice to see you again, Gramma and Grampa.  Barb, thank you for the contribution to keeping rya rug-making alive!


Finding Joy!
Or maybe I should say, "Joy found me."  One last magical moment to share with you in this issue.   A few days ago, the phone rang.  "Is that Melinda Byrd? ... I just saw your web site ...I have been searching for rya yarn to finish my rya rug which I bought supplies for in 1972 ...I live in Brookville only a half hour away."  I said, "Come on over right now and I'll see if I have what you need."

Joy's half-made rya came from my grandparents, the Lundgrens.  There were hand-written notes on the graph. The amazing thing was that her yarn was old Berga Swedish yarn made of natural gray colors (not dyed) which I have not had access to for decades.  But just a few months ago, I started to buy Rauma rya yarn from Norway which was exactly what Joy needed to complete her rug.  She was a happy camper.  So was I.
Joy displays her handwork--a gorgeous image
called Attontrask designed from a topographical map.  (I knew it well!)


Mark your Calendar for Dec. 6-7 Carroll County Artists' Studio Tour
And this date will not change at the last minute!  Dec. 6-7 from 10 AM - 5 PM.  The brochure is out and the web site ready for you to peruse!  Click on brochure below to go to web site.


And for my parting images, I want to share that I'm still doing some playful glass painting.

Here is a custom-ordered Piggy Bank:

And here is a custom-painted cat portrait on a stemless wine glass for the winner of last year's silent auction at Carroll County Food Sunday's "Off the Shelves" fund-raising dinner, which, by the way is coming up on October 23. Click here to see the details.

As always, I love receiving your comments.  Let me know what you'd like to see more or less of.  
Ease on into fall... and don't forget to breathe.
PS  Always feel free to forward my newsletters to those you think will enjoy them.
Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

Hot August Blues
(Now Hot August Music Fest)
Sat., Aug. 16, 2014
Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville, MD

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

Carroll County Artists' Studio Tour
December 6-7

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