I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog, and please feel free to contact me at my Etsy shop; https://www.BirchValleyStudio.etsy.com for price inquiries or custom orders. ~~~~~You may also like to look at my deviantART page; http://mslinden.deviantart.com/ or follow me on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/BirchValleyStudio for current updates and a wider range of examples of my work.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Busy, busy, busy...

I noticed this morning (as I sipped my first cup of coffee at the kitchen table, only the vague outline of my newly renovated studio visible in the moonlit darkness outside the window...) that it's been nearly a year since my last post... :o While I am both shocked and appalled at myself, my absence has not been without good reason...

Before... The old building had great bones, but needed heaps of work...
The biggest project, as mentioned above, has had me ensnarled in a many months long tangle of extension cords, power tools, sawdust, paint (and some very colourful language over banged thumbs) to create my very own little 'shedio' from the bones of an uninsulated, hundred year old, wooden building on my property. What was once a drafty construction, in which I could only work a couple of months out of the year, has become (once the electricity is installed later this week) a proper studio and workshop space! 
Before... Looking up into my old, seasonal workspace, having removed a previously existing dividing wall to open up the sight lines... 
After... Looking up into my new, year round workspace, from the area where I can now conduct workshops in jewellery making, painting, woodworking, etc...Loving the new door, and the spot where the garbage bag is sitting will be where I'm having a wood-burning stove installed, for extra cozy-warmth. <3
Inside my new workspace...That gorgeous railing (used to keep me, and other clumsy sorts from walking/falling through the 'Twilight Zone' door to the basement we discovered during renovations) was found back in the deepest recesses of the barn. As soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be worked in. <3
After... Having left the beams exposed, and the ceiling open for a lighter feel, it's all now thoroughly wind/water-proofed and insulated...

A new roof and windows were installed, and the ancient chimney (that was cut off for some reason many years ago) rebuilt and protected with a rain hood and collar...

 Definitely a labour of love, and it turned out far better than I'd hoped. I can't wait to 'move in' and get to work! <3

Besides keeping busy with that (hence the title of this post ;) ) I've been working on a slew of pet portraits, all now off to their forever homes...

And illustrating articles for SageWoman Magazine. You can pick up the current issue 'The Magic of Trees' online through BBI media. This piece, and others, were done for the article 'The Lady of the Sycamore'... (You'll also be able to see new work from me in the upcoming issue 'Worlds of Faerie')

Between illustrations, custom orders for artwork and jewellery, getting married, (Yep, my fella and I finally got around to making it official <3 ) and myriad other goings on, a lot's happened, but I think this brings us pretty much up to date. I hope you'll forgive me my long absence, and thank you all for hanging in here with me!
To keep up to date with all my activities and creations, don't forget to like and follow my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BirchValleyStudio

Until next time... (which hopefully will be sooner than a year) I wish all of you every joy. <3 <3 <3 *Pours herself another cuppa, and wanders off to get to work...

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

...As the Holiday Season settles upon us, with the longest night embracing us in it's inky depths, and 2015 screeching toward it's close, here's an update on a piece a looooong time in the making... ;)

From her very humble beginnings, started in a new studio, in a new country, with new friends and the prospect of bright things to come...to her completion, in a completely new studio, in a different location, where bright things definitely happen, and with the same wonderful Bestie present and encouraging through it all. (Though I did consider abandoning this piece, several times, I'm glad I allowed myself to be convinced/brow-beaten to stick with it. ;) ) 'Autumn' is complete! :D (Now to get started on the other three Seasons, which will hopefully not take nearly as long... ;) )

From my family to yours, I hope you all have a wonderful Yuletide Season, and a joyous, and prosperous New Year!

After two years of sporradic work on her, through surgeries, illness, moving house, and building a new studio, here she is! Done in inks, coloured pencils, pigment pens, and acrylics on heavyweight card stock, (and peppered with sleepless nights, rainy days and some pretty intense and colourful language on occasion ;) ) she has easily been one of the most time intensive pieces I've veer attempted...(Seriously, what was I thinking when I first began sketching in all that hair?! :o )

Inspired by local plants, animals and all the rich colours and textures of  the season, I'm pretty pleased with how it all came together.

I'll be making limited eddition, signed and numbered prints, and the original will be available for purchase, either as part of the set, or individually.

Hope you like her, and thanks for hanging in there with me.
<3 Vicki, I couldn't have done it without you! <3 

It all seemed so 'simple' when she was just a few lines on the paper... ;)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

My fiancé just came home all excited, with several copies of todays Hallandsposten. Apparently Zho-zho's in it! (Oh, and me too. ;) )


Friday, 24 July 2015

First; this itsy bitsy, 3mm (approx. 0.25ct) raw conflict free
diamond, bezel set on a solid silver casting of an adorable
heart-shaped leaf pendant,  will be coming later today to my Etsy shop.
Yay! :D
(Yep, I'm excited ;) ) 

Second; For anyone who hasn't yet, please pop over to my
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BirchValleyStudio
for a chance to win a customised version of this wonderfully
sparkly, mixed metal (solid silver, textured with granite from
my own back yard, with a copper accent ;) ) bangle bracelet.
Good luck! <3

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Hello again from deep in the wilds of Sweden! 

Let's see... So far Spring and Summer have been a flurry of activity, ranging from building planting and nurturing my very first veggie/berry garden, (during what is now apparently one of the chilliest Summers in a while, so I think the only thing I may get is a load of salad and peas, but still, omnomnom ;) ) to painting more 'pet portraits and some fantasy art, setting up the studio in the old guest house, designing and making a new line of jewellery using quartz found in my own back yard, making silver pieces textured with granit, (also from my yard, and SO sparkly ;) ) and experiments involving spray paint and flowers from the garden and hedgerow. (Whew! That was a mouthful! ;) ) I also took part in the first ever Hyltekonstrunda, and the local fair and BIG outdoor market Unnarydsdagen, and yesterday I was interviewed by a lovely journalist from Hallandsposten, for an article on my hobbies and creations, to be published next week. Exciting times! :D

Below are some of the projects/creations/madness I've been working on...I hope you enjoy, and I'll see you here again soon! <3 <3 <3

Since it didn't seem fair to have done a portrait of the puppy and not 'The Girls', here they are! :D

A lovely custom pair of bangles done for the sweetest of people. Other custom pieces this season included twiggy engagement rings... So romantic. <3

The studio all set up for the Summer and ready for visitors! 

One my new local quartz pieces, paired with a raw sapphire. Mmm...Rock candy. ;)

Friday, 9 January 2015

Last week was pretty busy with me making new jewellery pieces, starting a couple of new paintings, and getting the house back in order after the Holiday madness, as well as getting a slew of new 'likes' on my Facebook page, (thanks to the cuteness of the puppy-face, I'm sure ;) ) so I thought I'd take the wee hours of Saturday morning to catch up on here...

Below are pics of just some of the rings and pendants I've been working on as part of my 'Botanicals' line of jewellery, as well as some earrings that I'll be finishing up later today. I'm having great fun experimenting, and if you'd like to see more, please pop over to my Facebook page of more 'up to the minute' posts. ;)

Not shown are the bracelets and rings I'm working on, using local quartz and stamped with Runic inscriptions. A very exciting new 'Viking' inspired line I hope to show you more of in the coming weeks.

Thanks for looking and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! <3

Green Apatite and sterling silver leaf ring...

Raw Garnet and sterling silver twig ring...

Azurite ball and sterling silver twig ring with 'bubbles'...

A lovely rainbow moonstone and sterling silver twig ring...

A 'Celestial' pendant in sterling silver, and set with a yummy looking chunk of quartz from my back yard. A very fun piece that I think may inspire it's own line. ;)

Blue Apatite and sterling silver twig pendant...

Pink Sapphire and sterling silver twig pendant...

A sweet little forget-me-not pendant in sterling silver...

Rose quartz and sterling silver, stamped with a lovely curly heart... (Valentine's Day is coming...;) )

Two magical looking twiggy bar pendants, one set with a greeny-blue flashy Labradorite, and the other set with a dreamy Tanzanite...

Just a few of the earrings I'll be finishing up. <3

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Aaaand here he is! All mounted on a deep canvas, varnished and finished off. This was such a fun project. I definitely have to do more pet portraits. :D