Happy Chilly Fall!
The freezing winds have given my asparagus bed a golden hue. My funny little dog balances along the wooden border to keep her paws from the freezing wet grass. I'm feeling winter chill in the air already. Aren't you? Time to hunker down with a rya rug in your lap. Or a dog. And a good book. Chilly Fall is part of the circle of life, so we might as well enjoy it. Let's breathe.
I have plenty to tell you about. I hope you have a few minutes to spend with me.
Design for Healing and Sharing
It was a stressful campaign we all witnessed this year. Almost a week after the election, I went into the studio and
this is what happened.
This Week-end--Dec. 3-4!
We'll Make it Worth Your Drive.
Carroll County Artists Studio Tour
10 am - 5 pm.
Why leave your comfy home to travel to see me and my studio?
1. I'm making very tasty cookies which everyone loves!
2. I have a new homemade Italian wine that I'll be sharing.
3. I have been working all week to make the Studio tidy and comfy. This is the only weekend of the year when you will find it "presentable."
4. I have easy-to-look-through bins of hand-printed T-shirts and a new design.
5. I have a vintage rya rug kit in progress that you are welcome to work on to your heart's content! No sales pressure. I just like to show what I'm up to in my new life as Rya Revitalizer. On the other hand, if you want a kit, I just might have one to suit your tastes ready to go.
I am in major transitional mode and will have some crazy good specials to help move along some items I am not planning to create much longer ... just to make space for my new work.
7. Shirts are nice gifts. Hand-printed shirts are the cat's meow. If you are shopping for others, get it all done this week-end.
8. I am proud of the work I do and want to share it with you.
If the weather is nice, the buildings and fences will be covered in artwork. If the weather is nasty, come anyway and enjoy some homemade cookies with me. (A reporter from the Carroll County Times just called to say they may stop by Saturday around 1 PM ... come and photobomb the Times!)
Check out all the amazing artists on the Studio Tour. It takes a lot of work to bring this event together for you, so please visit. It really makes for a joyous day. Hope you'll put me on your tour plan.
Byrdcall is "Tweet"-free!
When I first started to think "business management" for Byrdcall Studio, I listened to the social media marketeers who tend to preach getting your message out in every social media venue possible. I am active in the following:
- Facebook page
- Byrdcall Blog and
- Newsletter (you are reading it now!)
I became a Twitter member, but I never really understood why. I thought it would grow on me, but no. So I deleted my account. I doubt many of you will miss me on Twitter, but if you do, my apologies. ;-)
If you like my work,
- Like my "Byrdcall Studio" page on Facebook.
- On Instagram, I am "byrdcallstudio".
- My Byrdcall Blog is always available on my web site (right-hand margin) and you can subscribe to it there, too. The blog is fun because you all can respond to what I write and what each other write.
- And if you are getting this newsletter in your email box, you are already subscribed. (Thanks!) If you want to subscribe, again you can do so in the right hand margin of my web site.
I love keeping in touch with you all. YOU are my social life at this point!
Remember how once a month all this summer I offered Studio Drop-in Days? The best fun we had was on the days when new rya rug makers stopped in to work on their projects. A little party broke out. We laughed, talked, worked on rugs, sometimes snacks appeared! I helped when needed, but mostly I worked on things I needed to do in the studio. Also some of my studio helper friends would come by to help make yarn sample cards, help me package orders, or assist a new knotter. So I have decided that as long as I have local rya rug makers who are interested, I'll continue to offer informal Rya Sewing Circles . I've got perfect seating space for 4-5 people. Just let me know you are planning to come, and I'll save you a seat. (No charge for the Sewing Circle!)
Why am I telling you this? Because it is human nature to assume that something you know nothing about is probably to difficult to learn.
If someone is remotely interested in trying their hand at rya, I think it would be encouraging for them to know that they are not alone and it can be fun to learn and share with others.
At a Rya Sewing Circle, you can work on a project in progress, you can buy a small kit and get started with me and others helping in your first couple of hours, or you can bring your ideas for what you want to do, and I can help you find the path to success. I have all the supplies you could possibly want.
If you order a Kit from Norway, you can pick it up at the studio and work on it while others keep you company. In case you missed last month's article on the awesome Norwegian designs I can order for you, check out these designs. Click here to look at the Rauma Catalogs of Rya Designs.
There will be ten catalogs listed in the left-hand column. Take your time and click through each one. Make note of the name, "product number" and the size you want. I can give you a price based on the Rauma company's specifications for the amount and types of yarn used. I can place the order and usually have it for you within 4-5 weeks! I provide instructions which I have written IN ENGLISH! If you live nearby Woodbine you are lucky. 99% of my rya makers do not live within an hour's drive.
Check out my RYA WREATH
Festival of Wreaths
Last month I shared a sneak preview of my wreath contribution to the Silent Auction Fund-Raising event at the Carroll County Arts Council at 91 W. Main Street in Westminster, MD. It is definitely one of a kind. In fact in all the years I've been around rya, I have never seen anyone make a wreath like I did. It is solid rya wool inside and out!
But wait! The Festival of Wreaths has about 150 awesome and unique wreaths, so go! It is underway as we speak. It will end on Sunday, Dec. 4. You will see wreaths that redefine what a wreath can be! Don't miss it.
Here's a more close-up and personal image of my rya wreath. It has about 50 colors in it. Click on the image below to learn more about the event.
A Stitch in Time...
Stitches United in Hartford, CT
Fiberartists! Check out this new conference of classes and resources! This is my first year as an instructor for Stitches as they start their new venture Stitches United for all the needle and yarn crafts. I will be teaching no-loom-required rya rug making. Join me at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Read more and check out all the other amazing classes for knitters, crocheters, felters, weavers, and quilters ... and more. Now is the time to sign up. I understand classes fill quickly.
Share with others who might want to attend. Thanks! Isn't it about time that I shared my unique knowledge about off-loom rya rug-making with the world? When my book is published, that will be a huge step, but this is too.
I'll tell you, I can't believe how fast time is passing. Most of my days are spent working on the book--or looking for a free moment to work on the book (more of the latter, I'm afraid.) One of the highlights of my days is when I receive a photo from a rya rug maker sharing their newest (and usually first) creation.
Janet Ducote stopped by a couple of months ago on her way from her home on the New Jersey
shore to visit her son at college in Virginia. She bought a small rya backing and enough yarn to cover
it in stripes th
at she was going to adlib as she made it. Take a look at her finished project!
I point out her strategy because YOU could do the same thing in your own favorite colors. Every backing size has a known number of knots possible on it, so with a few clicks on the calculator, I can tell you how much yarn you will need. The rest is up to you. Nice job, Janet.
If you visit on the Studio Tour this weekend, you will be the first to see a new way that I am trying to get my woodcuts and linocuts from my storage bins onto your walls. The problem is, since I'm not showing my printed paper work many places, you might never know that I have them available (not just on shirts!) So I am experimenting with adhering prints onto block of wood for instant hanging potential.
You can still buy them on paper and bring them to the framer, or you can buy it and take it home and simply hang it on a nail.
Where Else Can you Find
my Work Locally?
Currently, Off Track Art, next to the Westminster Library (across the tracks) is carrying some of my hand-printed unisex shirts in many designs. Be sure to stop by next time you are in Westminster. They have some fantastic artists at this unique artists cooperative now.
Click here to learn more about Off Track Art.
And The Market Tavern in old Sykesville, Maryland is now selling most of my greeting cards--some hand-printed for $8 and some photo-reproduced for $3.50. You'll find them on the counter by the free chocolate samples. By the way, this is my favorite place to meet with friends and make new friends these day. I highly recommend you check them out.
Click here to learn more about the Market Tavern!
And Remember the
Lady from Arizona last month?
Many of you commented on how amazed you were that anyone could make a rug every month for the past four months.
Well, I don't mean to embarrass Marsha, but here she is with her most recent creation (and I know there is another in progress!)
I think she is "hooked."
(Sorry, I had to.)
Marsha, too bad you don't live close enough to stop by for our Rya Sewing Circles.
That's all for now, my friends.
Wishing you all a peaceful and stress-free holiday season.
I wish you all a peaceful fall and all the beautiful things in life that really matter.
Thanks for spending time with me. Looking forward to seeing you -- or meeting you if we have not yet met.
hanks for sharing this time with me.
Save the Dates!
December 3 & 4
10 AM- 5 PM
April 27 - 30, 2017
100's of classes including my
Rya Rug Making