ByrdCall Studio

Drive-Thru Rya Service at Byrdcall Studio.
    Actually Nina Damashek from Hampstead, MD, a friend from my Nature Center days, stopped by with a 1960s Danish Ege rya rug that needed repairs. I taught her the knotting techniques and luckily had yarn to match for her. This rya was too big to lug out of her trunk. Mission accomplished!

Hi, Friends, 

Okeedokee!  Now we're talking!  Lots of good things happening as you read these words. Jump right in and see for yourself. 
And Happy FALL! 

In this Issue:
  • THE BOOK Status Report
  • Two Shows for my T-shirt-Lovers!
  • Harriet Tubman painting "Harriet's Tracks" joins other Harriet images on the internet
  • New and Improved Web Site in the Works!
  • 160 Rya Rug Friends Group ~ why not join?
  • Mentors Available and Needed
  • Frequently asked Questions and ... Wishes for a great Fall!


Status Update on 
my  Rya Rug-Making 
Book Adventure
We are getting down to the final couple of months on work on the book. This past week I sent the last of my edits (my second complete read-through) to my book producer, Ken Koons, for his final edits to the book. I can tell you it felt so good to hit "Send."

Still, there is a bit more to do (by Ken) like creating the Table of Contents with actual page numbers next to the headings, and then the proof-reads by editor, Marilyn Dorfman, and rya designer and editor, JoAnn Zaleski. Then off it goes to Holly Janzen, a certified member of the American Society for Indexing (and a rya rug fan) for the icing on the cake! Stay with me. I so appreciate your patience. 

I would love to know how many of you reading this are planning to buy the book so I can order enough in the first round of orders so I have plenty on hand. I don't know what the cost of the book will be since I'm not sure of the exact number of pages though it is about 300 pages. About 25% is the book is full color instructional and artistic photos.

Now I have a favor to ask of you. It won't be long before I place my initial order of "my book" from Amazon. It will be difficult to decide how big an order to make so I ask you, let me know if you are planning to buy a book.  You will have no commitment to do so since I don't know the price yet, but Click Here to take you to my survey of people who might want to buy a book. 

You'll get priority of available books if I have an onslaught of orders and some folks might have to wait for another printing (maybe a few weeks).  I am very optimistic at this point.  My plan is to keep you up-to-date with monthly newsletters so you will not miss out on your opportunity to order a book or just to be in the know.  Again, thanks for your patience.


T-Shirt Fans!
I Haven't Forgotten You!

With my book so close to being published, why on earth would I want to focus on my block-printed T-shirts at this time. Easy. I've got a lot of them, and I know many of you are in love with them. They need a good home.  I am doing TWO--not one, but TWO shows this weekend that you should know about!

Saturday, September 21, 2019
8am to 2pm
at Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Boulevard Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
FREE and open to the public.
Part flea market, part craft bazaar, and all fun!
Support MPT by purchasing novelties and  shop unique & handcrafted items from dozens of vendors.

Mark your calendar, you won't want to miss this event.

And if Saturday doesn't work for you, stop by the
Farmer's Market in Sykesville, Maryland on Sunday, September 22nd 
from 9 AM - 1 PM. 

If you are a Byrdcall Studio T-shirt fan, you might want to share this with everyone who has "loved the shirt you are wearing" over the past few years.  I have no more T-Shirt shows before the Holidays, so come on out this weekend!
Whatever is left, you can buy at my Etsy shop.


Sharing Harriet Tubman 

When I was with the Westminster Artists Co-op, "Off Track Art" we hung an exhibition at Carroll Community College's Great Hall Gallery. The theme was Tracks or Railways or anything to do with "Off Track." 

It happened to be Black History Month, so as I pondered where my painting would begin, I listened to stories about Harriet Tubman on WPFW 89.3 FM. I thought about incorporating Harriet into an underground "railroad" painting. Hours of searching for photos of her online gave me three images which I fused into the face I imagined Harriet Tubman to have.

In June this year, out of the blue, I was contacted by Daniela Welton, an undergraduate at Duke University, asking if my painting could be included in a new web site of the visual representations of Harriet Tubman. It was for a nonprofit organization, so I offered the image to supplement their website. 

Check it out. When I created this oil-painting back in 2011, there were very few images of Harriet.  Check out what a researcher could find today in a search for images of this brave woman. Click to see the web site.


Prepare To See a  New 
Byrdcall Studio 
Website Format

I'm just giving you a heads-up that this format for my web site, blog page, and Newsletter will be changing in the next couple of months. My old format has served me well, but with so much new material to share, I have decided to revamp the whole web site.  Stay tuned.  It will be quite a new appearance and very easy to navigate. I will be offering my rya supplies for sale on the web site to make life more convenient for those who buy regularly. And of course I am always available "as a real person" to answer your questions and help where I can.


Finnish Ryijy Kit Still Available

And here is a Ryijy Kit from Wetterhoff Oy ready to go!

(Google Translate says "Starbridge in Red")
Design by Annukka Mikkola

81 x 81 cm
32" x 32"
$420 for complete kit 
with all you need.

This is the first Finnish kit I have purchased for resale. It has all the supplies you need including instructions in English, and I will include addition instructions to clarify techniques that you may not be familiar with. If somebody local in Maryland buys it, I'll give you a free personal lesson if you stop by to pick it up.


160 Members the 
"Rya Rug
Friends Group"
as of 9/15/19
Stay in-the-know all month long! I am loving this addition to the Rya Rug Revival.  In fact, it allows me to focus on getting my book done while you pose questions to one another and get great responses from your peers. In fact, I don't even have the "alert sound" turned on when someone posts a comment or photo because it would draw my attention away from my book writing (and that is the last thing I need in the final homestretch). I am just delighted every time I check out the Group, people are talking rya, sharing tips, and asking questions. There is a lot of brilliance in this group...keep sharing!  I'll throw in my 2-cents on occasion.   ;-)

If you are intrigued by 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. 

To join, go to my Byrdcall Studio Facebook page and go to GROUPS.

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  Click .  Consider this a  personal invitation! No product promotions, please.


Find a Mentor, or Be One!
21 Mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe

Eventually you will see a pink tag in your neighborhood--or at least in your state  Anybody else want a pink tag on the map? 
This is to assist someone who feel stuck in their rya work. Maybe they forgot how to make the knot. It happens. Rya help could be in the next town...or maybe the next state.  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).  

Thanks to those of you who have offered to be of assistance if there is a neighbor in need:

If you told me you'd be a mentor and you are not on this list, PLEASE remind me, because my busy brain may have overlooked adding you to this precious list! ;-)
  • 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
  • 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.


Rare Vintage Kits have gone to their new  Homes
Many of you have asked me lately if the vintage ryas that needed a home were still available. In fact both lareg partially knotted ryas are happily being worked on in their new homes.  I'm thrilled about that!


Frequently Asked Questions...

The most commonly asked questions are:  

Q:  What is the best way to reach you? vector_mobile_phone.jpg

A:  Email me at If you have a question too complicated to type as an email, then call me at 410-549-4889 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 are you located and what are your 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 410-549-4889 and please leave me a message. 

Q:  So how did you 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. When you buy through etsy, you allow me more free time to work on the book since written and verbal correspondence is minimal...Not that I don't love communicating with you, but that is my #1 time-consumer in the day.

Other Ways to Keep Up-to-Date:

Like my Facebook page:   Byrdcall Studio

Join the Facebook Group Rya Rug Friends  for all the latest in rya!

On Instagram, follow me at:   byrdcallstudio

And as always, feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you think might enjoy it.


Happy Fall!
Wishing you a great Fall! 

And to ALL of you . . . you are the best for reading all the way to the end!



Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


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