ByrdCall Studio
Happy September!  I hope nobody noticed that I didn't send out an August Newsletter.  I actually had a lot to show and tell, but couldn't find the time to put it all together for you.  So without further ado....  and lots of photos for those with short-attention spans.

In this issue:
  • Comfort Colors brand Shirts just purchased by Gildan Shirts Co.!
  • Recently-Completed Amazing Rya Rug Photos
  • As busy summer winds down, I'm back to writing the book and looking for YOUR rya stories to supplement
  • That nagging feeling like you've forgotten something important
  • Imitation:  The Sincerest Form of Flattery?
  • Cinnamon Roll Speaks to Me!
  • Once a month Newsletter... unless...


New Changes to the Hand-Printed Shirts of Byrdcall Studio
This young lady visited me at my booth at Hot August Music Fest wearing a shirt she had ordered a year ago!
No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but, I can assure you that I have been keeping my shirt baskets full and getting the orders printed from Hot August Blues--a few more to go at this moment.  I have started announcing a week ahead of a printing day exactly what designs I will be printing that day.  You have an opportunity to get a spontaneous order in just by letting me know what you want.  Just ask me what colors I have on hand in your size and style of shirt.  "Like" my Byrdcall Studio 
page on Facebook to be kept up-to-date on my printing schedule.

HOT OFF THE PRESS!  I just learned this week that the mega-T-shirt company, Gildan, has just bought my cherished Comfort Colors line of shirts for $100 million dollars!  I am really hoping that I will still have access to Comfort Colors and that Gildan is wise enough to not make any changes to the quality of a winning shirt brand.  Stay tuned.  (Note: In case of any confusion, Gildan did not pay me $100,000,000; they paid the former owners of Comfort Colors...just in case you thought I was now a multi-millionaire. ;-)

At Mistletoe Mart this year, I am offering a small number of ladies long-sleeve denim shirts hand-printed with a few of my woodcuts or linocut prints.  I'll be experimenting 
with this new line in September.  Check them out at the Mistletoe Mart.


A Few Recently Completed Rya Rugs:
Made by You.

Photos of your homemade rya rugs keep rolling in every day (or at least every week) Thanks so much for sharing.  I intend to put them all in this newsletter or the blog, but if I skip a newsletter because I'm too busy, I hope I don't forget to put your work in the following issue.  (Remind me if I forget you, OK?  My head is full of too much!)

The first two rugs completed after our Rya class at Common Ground on the Hill are spectacular. No pressure of the rest of my students, but don't forget to send me photos of your completed ryas.  I personally can't wait to see them.
Inspired by a Navajo design, Barbara Easter from Glyndon, Maryland created this colorful wall-hanging in less than a month.  She started knotting Thursday of our week-long class, after learning the designing process and how to calculate yarn requirements for just a few days.  

Here is another proud rya rug-maker.  Jackie Snelson from Frostburg, Maryland took on a challenging design adapted from a photograph of corals.  Some very challenging color blending there.  Beautiful work!  (And great photo, too!)

Half way completed...A dog always knows a good rya when they lay on one.
Some people ... I don't know where they get their energy to create.  But Lynne Raymond from Massachusetts has completed two (or three?) in the past month (or two?).  


And it seemed like only days...maybe a week later, Lynne sent me this photo of her second rya.  Both are completely of her own design.  I am impressed.  She has never had a rya lesson.   So you see, folks, it can be done without my book in hand. Hopefully my book will make it easier, but for some, just put the supplies in their hands.  Lynne, by the way, made all her yarn and backing purchases  via etsy.

And another amazing rya rug-maker is Angie Michal from Florida.  I've shown you some of her earlier works.  (Go ahead look through the archives in the right margin.) Here is her design process and the finished rya.  Notice that she edits and revises her design as she works. When you are the artist, that is your prerogative. 


I Want Your Rya Story.


By Suzannah Sinclair from Greenville, Maine
As my book is starting to get kinda close to possibly maybe soon-to-be complete, I am realizing that some of the most interesting stories are from others.  

My happiest days are when I am contacted by people who tell me the most amazing rya stories.  I want to add some of these to the book, and I want you to post anything you would like on the subject in the blog post.  

Whether you know me or not, no matter how rya has affected your life, please read this blog.  How did you get introduced to rya?  Do (or did) you have family members who did ryas? What makes it special to you?  Share (or read what others share.)  If your story is selected for the book, I'll send you a free copy.   Click here to read more about story sharing.


That Nagging Feeling ... 
that I've Forgotten Something


OK, a public confession that I am prone to forgetfulness
lately. No, nothing serious, no sympathy cards, please. But I just want to say that aside from being pretty slow in completely my book, I believe I am pretty well caught up on all the "other jobs" people have asked me to do.  If you have placed an order that I have not filled, or if you have asked for something "no hurry" you just might want to gently remind me or ask me again.  I have a nagging feeling that I have forgotten something and who better to ask than YOU?


They Say that  Imitation  is the Sincerest 
form  of Flattery...
I don't know... Copying is copying.  Just sayin'


When designing my Dancing Cats floorcloth a couple of months ago, I googled images of Dancing Cat Floorcloths to make sure no one else had anything like what I was about to create.  I chuckled to see an old floorcloth of mine with a Smiling Pig that I had created in 2002 on the Google Images page.  On the same page there was another smiling pig which to my eye looks totally copied, but with a few added decorations on the border.  I have heard other artists lament that someone was selling a copied rendition of their work.  This was the first time I experienced it first hand.  It bothered me for a few minutes, then I realized that my original was not a masterpiece.  I was just playing around, and I am a lot better than that now, so LET IT GO. What do you think?  Do you see the similarity here? I think I did better pig lips than she did.
My Smiling Pig painted in 2002

"Somebody else's" Smiling Pig with decorations 
In an Artist Business conference I attended years ago, the subject of having your work copied was discussed at length.  The bottom line is that the copier will always just be a copier, but the artist can move on an create new works.  It is not worth the time and trouble to delve into negativity and costly legal battles when an artist can just create new fresh work.  Oink Oink, little pig!


On a Cinnamon Roll ...


Some good friends have been concerned that I may be working too much on the business world of rya rugs, and perhaps not feeding my inner artist enough.  Yes, this is a bit of a concern for me, too. So while on a mini-vacation to visit my father in Massachusetts, then onto a few nights in Chatham on Cape Cod with my sisters, I was moved by the splendor of a Cinnamon roll.  So I ate it.  But I mentioned to my sister, Laurie, how I would love to paint a portrait of a cinnamon bun for the beauty and challenge.  She hustled me to the local discount store where she bought me a stretched canvas, a mini-acrylic paint set, and a pack of discount brushes... then a quick trip back to Marion's Pie Shop for another roll.  Three hours later, we had this completed cinnamon bun painting.  So, yes, I still have it in me to "do art."  I am looking forward to finding more inspirations.  Maybe I'll head over to JeannieBird Baking Company and buy myself a treat.  (Once the book is done!) 
I'm thinking about getting a small number of prints made of this painting on archival quality print paper. Let me know if you just might want one so I can be sure to print enough, but not too many.  (The print will not have the watermark name as above.)  I plan to have them available at the Mistletoe Mart.  I gave the original to my enabling sister, Laurie.


And on a Final Note for the day....


If you signed up to be on my newsletter mailing list at a sign-up sheet at an art show, I probably told you, "Don't worry.  I won't fill your email box with lots of mailings.  I only do one newsletter a month." That is true (and last month, I didn't even do one.) So I have kept to my promise.  

If you signed up on-line you were given a list of four or five "interest mailing lists" to be on with Byrdcall Studio.  Most people just check "General Interest in Everything" and you get all my newsletters.  But you also could have checked:

  • Rya Rug Interest
  • Upcoming Shows
  • Classes with Melinda

If you checked them all, so far you have received just one newsletter a month.  What I would like to do on occasion is an interim email only  to those who checked a specific interest.  So if you want more rya stories, designs, updates and you checked the rya box, you might get an additional mailing from me.  Or if you are just dying to take a class, and fear you might miss the announcements in the newsletter, check the box regarding classes and when I teach a class, you'll get a special mailing.


You can change your interest designation any time  by clicking on Update Profile/Email Address at the bottom of any newsletter.  No major changes, just asking for your permission to send more than one email a month to you if you have checked multiple interests.  Thanks.  I respect your email box.


 And thus brings closure to the September newsletter.


Thanks for sticking it out to the end.  You are amazing!

September and October should be major book-writing work for me.  No shows.  No classes.  Off we go...BACK TO WORK!


PS  If you enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to share it with a friend.  Click on the "Forward email" button below.  Many thanks. 
Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

The Mistletoe Mart
Church of Ascension
Westminster, MD
November  12, 13, &14 
And YES I will be featuring my shirts
 at this show. 

Carroll County Artists Studio Tour
December 5 & 6
10 - 5:00
Drop by Byrdcall Studio or any one of the participating studios in Carroll County to see the studios and stuff we use to make the art we make!

Bring your T-shirt Shopping Lists.

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