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

My Thoreau Linocut in Maine Woods!

Brookie-In-Color-sepI was very happily surprised to be found by Maine Woods Discovery last week.  They have coordinated a spectacular event to rekindle our spirit to connect with the woods of Maine. In 16 days, 7 canoes, and 14 paddlers retraced the 325-mile route taken during the 1857 trip made by Henry David Thoreau and Penobscot Guide, Joe Polis. The event was designed for the dual purposes of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of “The Maine Woods” and to draw attention to the outstanding opportunities for quality, nature-based recreation, vacation, and travel experiences available in the “uninterrupted” landscape that makes up the The Maine Woods. Thoreau Simplify-Discover

I was contacted by a behind-the-scenes logistics man, Matthew Kovacevich, who wanted to know if they could use my linocut image of Thoreau with a “slight change” for printing onto shirts for the participants when they reached final destination on June 1st.  Of course I said yes, to be a part of this great event.

They blogged daily during the 16-day trip, posted progress, photos, weather reports, and basically relayed the feel of the adventure to the thousands of us at home watch via internet.  They asked me to write a blog posting which I will share with you here.  You can see that Henry and I go way back.  Read my blog here.  (Yes, that is a blog within a blog, but worthwhile, I think.)  And if you like this kind of thing, follow Maine Woods Discovery on Facebook…read previous posting to get a look at posted photos-really good photos!

Check out their web site to get a taste for the event. Click here to learn more about 150 Thoreau.  The crew of CBS Sunday Morning was filming where possible along the trek…and they filmed at the take out point.

Added on 8/13/14:  here is the link to the video of the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trek:  Click here to see 5 min. video.

Thanks for reading….Feel free to comment.