ByrdCall Studio
Happy Fall!  

Life actually does slow down a little bit in the fall, doesn't it?  Let's breathe.
I have plenty to tell you about, so here we go:

In this issue: 
  • No Mistletoe Mart for me, but Drop-In Day:  Wednesday, November 9  from noon to 5:30 PM.
  • New Thoreau Shirts at Walden Pond!
  • Major Book Progress! Yes, really....
  • Norwegian Kits On-line!
  • Rya Kits ready to go in the Studio!
  • Thank you for the Alzheimer's Association Support
  • Festival of Weaths at Carroll Arts Center
  • Children's Art as Rya Artistry
  • Mark Dec. 3-4, 2016 on your calendars for the Carroll County Artists Studio Tour
  • Spotlight on an Rya Rug Maker from Arizona
  • Non-Rya Art this Summer


Do Drop In Byrdcall Studio
Wed., Nov. 9th
Noon - 5:30 PM
(If you can't make it, come Dec 3 or 4th)

Since I will not be at the Mistletoe Mart this year, I know many of you are concerned about not being able to buy shirts this year.  This day is designed especially for you! The Mistletoe Mart is on Nov. 10-12th, but you can get your shirts early and still go the the Mart.  Stop by for the best pick of T-shirt....YES, I have plenty in all sizes.

Also, for you newbie rya rug makers, I welcome you to stop in to work on your ryas, or to buy one of the kits I have available (and I'll help you get started).  In addition, if you have design ideas or want to look through my many catalogs of adaptable design, this day is for you.

A third aspect of Studio Drop In Day is to have a day in the studio with friends who help me keep the yarn sample cards prepared and assist with preparing kits and custom orders.  Hope to see as many of you as possible. Please let me know if you can make it so I can have enough projects ready for you.

The  address is 1103 Hoods Mill Road, Woodbine, MD.

Park in the driveway, walk up the gravel drive to the building in the back--Byrdcall Studio. If the gate is closed, come in and close the gate behind you.  I need to keep the friendly dogs in the fenced back yard. 


The Thoreau Society Opens a New Visitor Center at Walden Pond
(Guess whose shirts are being sold there?)

Click to check out the new color Brick
I'm honored to have my Thoreau linocut silkscreened shirts on the shelves of the new Visitor Center's Gift Shop.  If you are in the Concord, Massachusetts area, stop in and buy a shirt while you are there. Notice the three nice, new colors. I may be supplying them with other woodcut or linocut images with Thoreau quotes in the coming months.  

If it isn't convenient to stop by Walden Pond, just click on these images and I will mail one right to your house.  I offer these among other colors in my etsy shop.

Click here to see Sage shirts
Click to see the Wine Shirts


Major Book Progress in the past Couple of Months

Did any of you notice that I sent no newsletter last month?  I apologize if you missed me.  I had high hopes of sharing with you the news that the book was complete, and it isn't.  BUT It has made some major progress I am happy to say.  For those of you new to the Byrdcall Studio scene, let me bring you up to date  (long story short) by telling you that I have been writing a book on Designing and Making Off-Loom Rya Rugs.   The more I write, the more I realize that there is more to know and I keep delving and finding new supplies and techniques.  What I thought was going to be a 6 month endeavor has become full-time for nearly three years!   This is in addition to running a very active art studio, doing shows , teaching classes, managing a big vegetable garden, and tending to the exercise needs of a n active little pseudo-Labrador retriever.

This summer I was thrilled when my niece, Jenna LaConte, stepped forward offering to read and edit the text of the book.   She is a professional in the field of writing and editing, and I have total faith in her.  Plus she is really nice, fun, and sweet, which might rub off on my book when it is done... so thank you, Jenna, for all your contributions to this project.  

She has been reading several chapters at a time and giving me "spot-on" feedback.  Once I've made note of her suggestions (and made the changes), I have been passing the "completed" text on to my photographer (and book producer) to make additional revisions to flow with the photos as they go in.

The most challenging chapter that I am re-writing now is on DESIGNING.  I just took all the segments of this extensive chapter, clipped them into general headings and started to rearrange for the most logical progression of sharing it all with you.  I am so thankful for your patience and understanding. And some of you have been waiting for a long are always on my mind which keeps me motivated.


Direct Link to Hundreds of Norwegian Rya Rug Design KITS!

It has been a treat for me to have access to the Rauma rya kits.  It's been about one year now since I posted the first photos of these amazing kits in the Byrdcall Blog. But here is a link that you can have fun exploring.  I can give you the price for any kit you choose. 

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 weeks!  I provide my instructions which I have written IN ENGLISH!  I make many preparations to take the mystery out of starting your first project, including making the first few knots for you.  If you live nearby, you can come pick it up, and I'll give you a mini-lesson in the process to build your confidence.

This is Anemone made by Marsha. Click on photo to learn more about the kit.
I have a delightful customer--now friend in Arizona, Marsha, who has taken full advantage of this online catalog system. 

She has discovered several rya kits there and has been making them for herself, her sister, and her mother.  She has been making one rya each month through the whole summer!

And Marsha's sister, Beverly, is very happy with the rya Marsha made for her called "Tre" (Tree).

I'm looking forward to seeing Marsha's rendition of the design, "Vinter".
Marsha, you GO, girl!


Rya Kits Immediately On Hand
I have not bought a lot of kits to have on hand because I don't have a lot of space for them, I don't have a store front for walk-in visitation, and it is a large capital outlay when there are so many to chose from.  But I recently went out on a limb and bought four kits which I thought would be very popular...since I like them!
This rya is titled Gry. Click on it to learn more about it.

See if you like them, too.  T ake a look at this blog post from last month to see what is currently available in Byrdcall Studio.  I can mail to you, or you can pick any of them up and get a mini-lesson.

Gry comes in three color choices:  greens and rusts as shown, cool blues and grays, and reds and pinks!


And a little bit more.... 

Me and my Boozum Buddies getting ready to walk around Centennial Lake.
Many thanks to the generous contributions made toward my efforts to generate funding for the Alzheimer's Association in August.  My fund-raising went from 0 dollars to $365.00  in one day.  

I tried something new and different for my contribution to the Carroll county Arts Council's Festival of Wreaths: a 3-dimensional rya wreath.  It was more challenging than I thought it would be, but the end result is better than I imagined.  It is solid yarn and backing.  It is stuffed with rya yarn scraps so it is solid, but like a pillow, and you could throw it like a frisbee.  Go to the Festival of Wreaths to bid on this entry.  And, yes, I will describe this process in the book, so you can make your own.   Learn more about the event here.

Do you have a child, grandchild, or a little friend who paints really cool abstract paintings?  All kids do if given paint and paper. I am looking to illustrate in my book how the paintings of young children can be made into amazing rya rugs, but I don't have any little kids to prove my point. 

If you can bring me, or send me, digital images of abstract child paintings, I will select from the art submitted the best one to represent how a child's art can become your rya artwork. In turn I will document the process for the book, include your name and the child's name, and I will also give you very reduced price for materials if you are willing to make the rya rug or wall-hanging yourself--and it will be all yours.   I would want a photo of the finished rya for the book and this newsletter, but what fun to make it happen!  What a great family project!  Do it.

And every now and then I find the occasion to get back to some of my ol' painting and drawing skills.

As a special birthday present for a good friend, I painted his dog on a pint glass last month.


Mark Calendars for the
Carroll County Artists Studio Tour
First weekend in December

December 3 and 4.
10 am - 5 pm

Please come visit me this weekend.  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.

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.

You could spend all day both days touring around the county to visit these amazing creative artists.  Hope you'll put me on your tour plan.
Click on image to go to web site.


That's all for now, my friends.
Wish me luck in staying focused on completing the book!

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.

small_town_america.jpg T hanks for sharing this time with me.

 See you next month!



Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

Byrdcall Studio
 Drop-In Day
Noon - 5:30 PM
Wednesday, Nov. 9
(No Appointment Required)

December 3 & 4
10 AM- 5 PM

(Note:  I will not be  at  The Mistletoe  Mart this year.  Sorry!)
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