A Design to Uplift and Heal

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Lately, writing my rya book has been first and highest priority in my daily life.  But with the stress of the recent presidential election and its outcome, I found myself sitting quietly in the studio last Sunday and wondering how to move on.  I had not even looked at my book document on my computer for nearly a week. I was not productive in any way.

Even though I had not carved a woodcut or linocut in over a year, I found myself taking a linoleum block from my carving bin and started to draw safety pins on it.  (The safety pin is being worn by many to symbolize standing together and uniting for the safety of others. When I saw a woman wearing a safety pin on her sweater in the market the other day, I felt a bit of optimism and comfort.  Such a small thing to wear a pin, but a big thing if it makes others feel camaraderie or united in some way. )

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This is a Unisex shirt in the color Berry. Click on the image to go to the etsy shop to see details.

I laid a little pin on the block and drew it, then moved it and drew it again, then opened it and drew it again.  Next thing you know I was carving it and within a couple of hours it was done! The process has been healing for me, but the real healing came when I thought, “I can not ‘market’ this art like my other designs, because there are too many people really hurting now and it would be unfair for me to profit on their loss.”  I got a big smile on my face (the first in days) when I realized that I could market them as printed shirts where a significant portion of the cost of the shirt would go to directly benefit marginalized people in our community and aid in creating unity among us all. I named the design: Unity.

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These long sleeve Comfort Colors shirts are now available in my etsy shop. Click on photo for details.

I selected two nonprofits which are near and dear to my heart and have promised $10 from each shirt sale to either of these nonprofits as selected by the person purchasing the shirt.  I have hand printed a total of 30 shirts in Ladies and Unisex style in long and short sleeves.  But I also have recently received from my local silk screener 200 more, so they can be distributed far and wide without taking up every minute of my life doing the printing by hand.

The nonprofits (to start with) and their missions are as follow:

  1. Common Ground on the Hill.  “Our world is one of immense diversity. As we explore and celebrate this diversity, we find that what we have in common with one another far outweighs our differences. Our common ground is our humanity, often best expressed by artistic traditions that have enriched human experience through the ages. We invite you to join us in searching for common ground as we assemble around theimg_5446 understanding that we can improve ourselves and our world by searching for the common ground in one another, through the lens of our artistic traditions. In a world filled with divisive, negative news, we seek to discover, create and celebrate good news.”          Walt Michael, Founder & Executive Director

You may recall from previous blogs and newsletters that nearly every summer for the past 15+ years I have taken classes during their summer camps and for the past two years I have been teaching rya rug making classes.

2. Mary’s Center  “Our mission is to build better futures through the delivery of health care, education, and social services. We embrace culturally diverse communities to provide them with the highest quality of care, regardless of ability to pay.”

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This is a Ladies style T-shirt. Click on photo to see the available hand-printed shirts in my etsy shop.  Hand-printed being rubbed from the inked carved linoleum block!

My niece, Emily, has worked in Washington DC at Mary’s Center since graduating from college.  Actually she did an internship there during college.  She has shared with me the wonderful service they provide.  I like to support them.

If you would like an original hand-printed T-shirt, you can buy them now through my etsy shop for $25 or $30 for long sleeves.  Each time one sells, I remove that shirt’s description for the dropdown menu of availability.

Later:  On Dec. 2nd I  picked up 200 more shirts from my local silk-screen printer.  They are currently listed in my etsy shop, Byrdcall.

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These ladies enjoyed a shopping frenzy knowing $10 from each purchase benefited a favorite nonprofit for unity.  Click this photo to see my new silk-screened T-shirts on etsy which cost $5 less than the hand-printed ones.

Designing, carving, and printing this design was healing for me.  generating funds for my favorite unifying nonprofits makes me feel good and I love knowing that each person who buys a shirt is wearing it with pride and love.

I am back to writing my book now. Yesterday I made progress, and today I plan to wrap up Chapter 5!  I am thankful to have art as an outlet in life to work through stress and challenges.  I hope you are all well and doing the same in your own way.  United we will make it better.  We will go forward with eyes open.

Donation Update:  As of 2/7/17 the sales of these shirts have generated $450 for Mary’s Center, $280 for Common Ground on the Hill and $140 for the Social Justice Committee of Cedarhurst Unitarian Universalist Church.  One day in the studio–with hopes for a more peaceful world has put $870 in the hands of people working to make that difference.  And the donations continue.

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And I also silk-screened Ladies style long sleeve in Lagoon and Denim and Black. And Unisex style long-sleeve shirts in the color Blue Spruce. Click this photo to see the etsy listing.

 

Grand Finale for Byrdcall Shirts at Art in the Park

A typical "double-wide" booth at Art in the Park back in about 2011.

A typical “double-wide” booth at Art in the Park back in about 2011.

This colorful floorcloth sold at AIP on the rainiest day when I was ankle deep in mud!

This colorful floorcloth sold at AIP on the rainiest day when I was ankle deep in mud!

Drum roll, please!  The studio is preparing for the last day of presenting hand-printed shirts at the Carroll County Arts Council’s Art in the Park.  Please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 4 from 10 – 4 PM. I have lost count, but I believe I have been showing and selling my art there for 16 years without a break—rain or shine!

The first year I scraped together enough to barely fill a borrowed 10 x 10 tent….some hand-woven belts, some painted floorcloths… I can’t even remember.  I think I made $50 and that was about “booth fee.”  I was happy!

A few years later I had bought my own tent, folding tables, a van(!), and filled the booth with hand-painted glassware, a few hand-printed shirts, and floor-cloths. In the past few years, I have displayed my work in a “double-wide booth” with all shirts!

Frank Baylor shares Thoreau in Vietnam

Frank Baylor shares Thoreau in Vietnam

Jan and Dave Flora at Machu Picchu.  Jan is wearing "Bee!"

Jan and Dave Flora at Machu Picchu. Jan is wearing “Bee!”

The shirts are popular, they last better than most shirts, and they make people feel good.  They seem to be the shirt-to-wear when you want to share a bit of who you are. People wear them to amazing places. What more could we ask for?

bins reorganizedThis year, I have organized my work in a very different way–really better for you. Instead of 26 stacking baskets containing ONE DESIGN in various colors, styles, and sizes, the baskets are arranged according to size. So you just go to your “size basket.” There might not be all 26 designs, but so many you’ll still have a hard time deciding which to buy.

My friend and invaluable helper, Debi Robertson, and I are looking forward to seeing you there.  Come early if you have something specific in mind you are looking for.

I will recognize you (probably) but I’m horrible with recalling names, so have mercy and tell me your name as you say HI!  I’ll have my name tag on, so you have no stress there.  😉

Now you are wondering, “What if she doesn’t have the design I really want in my size?” My good friend, Jennie DeArmey (we worked together at Piney Run Park back in the mid-80’s)–and I inventoried ALL of my blank Comfort Color shirts. So if you want me to print one for you, we will look on the blank shirt inventory page, and if I have what you are looking for, I will print the design you want on it!

Shirts stackedWhy I am I leaving such a great show? Two main reasons:  1.  The rya rug-making supplies business requires more of my time, and nearly all of my studio space, and 2.  The shirt brand that you have come to know and love (Comfort Colors) has not been readily available since late last summer.  It was very challenging for me to meet all my fall and winter orders.  But I’m not sad about moving on…the rya world is on the move and I still have a book to complete…can’t forget that.

 

When the dust settles after the show, I’ll regroup and will probably maintain one basket for every size.

I’ll make them available to the public during the Carroll County Artists Studio Tour, Dec. 3-4 at Byrdcall Studio.

shirts in rackFor those of you who do not live within driving distance of Westminster, Maryland you can easily buy the shirts you want (while they last) at my Byrdcall Etsy shop… very easy to do.  In fact if you go to etsy now, you can see the actual shirts that I will have at Art in the Park.  (Don’t tell anyone but you could have first dibs today!)

I will be very sorry not to be part of this super show in 2017, but it has been the most wonderful annual art show for keeping me in touch with my extended community.  You have made me feel valued for the creative work I do, and you honor me by wearing my shirts. Fear not, I’ll keep you posted on where this all goes as it happens.

Love ya, Melinda

Is it a Boy, or is it a Girl? Shhhhhhhh.

The Mistletoe Mart is over for another year.  For me, this show is all-shirts and fascinating people.  Some people load their arms up with the artsy gifts for their loved ones, and others glance around the booth and walk away.  I just go with the flow and try to be helpful.

This year, I had an experience I have never had before, and it made my day.  Amy, a young woman who has bought my shirts in previous years came in all excited and gave me a sealed envelope from her OBGYN’s office.  In the envelope was a document revealing the sex of her yet-to-be-born baby.  From my “Baby Clothes” bin, Amy had gathered a pink baby-T and a blue baby-T.  She asked me to open the envelope when she left my booth, look to see if she was having a boy or a girl, then package up the pink or the blue baby-T accordingly.  So I was given the honor of knowing her baby’s sex before she knew!

She wanted to share this information with her husband (who had been away and was returning that weekend) and she wanted to be surprised right along with her husband.  So I happily complied along with all the giggling shoppers in my booth as we double-bagged the appropriate shirt.  I resealed the envelope with strong tape and hunted Amy down along the hallways at the Mistletoe Mart.  She was excited, and so was I!

A few days later, I got this picture and a thank you note from Amy:

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<<Hello Melinda!
I just wanted to write and say thank you so much for your help at The Mistletoe Mart!!! You were kind enough to package up the pink shirt for our sweet new addition!!! Norah Marie will be here in May and we can not wait to meet her!!! You helped me have a birthday that I will never forget! Thank you again for being a part of our great news!
Fondly,
Amy and Jason and James>>

IT’S A GIRL!

 

Easy way to Order Hand-Printed Shirts (if you can’t get to a show.)

Melinda holding new shirt design - CopyWhy didn’t it dawn on me sooner to make it easier for you to order a shirt?  Now, all you need to do is email me the information listed below.  I am printing about once a month, so get your order in for the next printing day.

I sell the silkscreened shirts on my etsy shop…click here.  But only a few of the handprinted shirts are on etsy.  You can buy or place an order at my shows, but here is another way.

Ordering a Hand-Printed Shirt — 2015

Email me your request.  I will check my bins to see if I have exactly what you are looking for, and if I don’t, I will hand-print one for you.  There is no added charge except postage:  $4—short sleeves; $6—long sleeves.  If buying multiple shirts, I’ll weigh them and quote an actual price for you.   My next printing day will be about 10 days after the Mistletoe Mart ends — the week of Thanksgiving.  Orders placed by November 17th will be printed along with all my Mistletoe Mart orders and should be in your hands by the end of November. 

If you would like to save on postage, you can pick it up at my studio in Woodbine, MD during the Carroll County Studio Tour Dec. 5-6 between 10 AM – 5 PM.  Just tell me when you order so I don’t charge you for postage.

All you need to do is tell me the following for me in an email sent to byrdcallstudio@gmail.com.  I will send you an easy online invoice and the process gets underway.

  1. Tell me the design name:  Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see about 20 of the designs.  Ask me to post a picture of any other design you want to see from the list below.

Action in the Riffles,   Bee!,   Blues,    Brookie,   Calf & Cow,  Canada Goose,  Cupcake, Peace-Dove, Three Fireflies,  Great Blue Heron,    Hops, James Ranch,  Kitty Waits,    Knotty Dogs,    Listening,  May the Road,   May the Wind,    Monarchs & Milkweed,    Puffin,  Serpent Ridge Original,   Simplify/Thoreau,  Three Crows,    Today I Will Create,   Tree Frog,    The Woolie,    Under the Palm,   Waiting for the Green Flash,    Wanna Play?   Waste Not,    Yin Yang Labs.

  1. Tell me the Style: (All Comfort Color brand Shirts)

Ladies T-shirt,          Ladies Long sleeve,

Unisex T-shirt     Unisex Long-sleeve T-shirt,  or   Child’s T-Shirt

  1. What Size?

Adult   S     M     L      XL      XXL     XXXL   or  Child   XS   S    M    or  L  

(XXL and XXXL additional $3)

  1. What Color?  (I may be able to get others, so ask if you want something different.)

Unisex (Men’s) T-Shirts:  Flo blue,   Yam,   Crimson,   Berry,   Hemp,  or   Blue Spruce

Unisex  Longsleeve Shirt:   Flo blue,  Yam,   Crimson,   Berry  or   Blue Spruce

unisex shirt colors copy

Ladies T-shirt:  Flo blue,   Violet  Sea Foam, Hemp, or Crimson

Ladies Longsleeve: Flo blue,  Violet,   Crimson,  Chocolate  or Denim (not shown)

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Children’s Shirts:  Flo blue,   Blue spruce,   Denim,   Berry  or   Lagoon

5.  Second choice if first choice color is unavailable.

6.  Name, Address, zip, phone number, and email address

7.  Do you want me to mail shirt or will you pick-up during Studio Tour?

8.  Let me know if you want me to add you to the Byrdcall Studio Monthly e-Newsletter mailing list.

9.  Absolute deadline for receiving your shirt.  ASAP is standard for me.  But let me know if your request is date-dependent so I can determine if there is a timing issue.

Prices:  $25 for Adult and Child T-Shirts, $30 for long-sleeves.

Maryland Sales Tax of 6% is added.

Add $5 for Great Blue Heron—a 2-color process.

Add $3 for XXL and XXXL

The not-so-fine print:  I move quickly on paid shirt orders, but occasionally the shirt company can not send me a certain size or color as soon as I would like it.  You can really help by making a 2nd choice, just in case 1st choice is on extended backorder.  

And from a crazy busy artist’s perspective, the easiest order for me is the one where I get an email that says, “Melinda, I would like the ‘Today I Will Create” t-shirt in a Ladies size Large.  What colors do you currently have on hand?”  I respond, then they can choose one or ask me to print one.  Often shirts go out in the mail the same day!

Thanks!  Remember this blog posting is always here, so refer to it whenever you need a shirt.

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