Ok I haven’t updated this site for a while but I have been working on some new projects. One of those new projects is a shiny new blog called Hello and Create. The blog will still feature DIY’s, jewellery making and crafts but other posts too!
As much as I love Bead It and Weep I just wanted to have a site where I could write about a wider range of subjects. 2015 and the beginning of 2016 was a time of a massive change in my career and I needed a new blog to keep up with the shift in my interests and ideas.
Thank you to everyone who has read and/or followed this blog and I really hope you come over and to my new blog.
I have just got back from my holiday. I am struggling to adjust to the colder UK weather after 35°C heat we had in France. Where is stay is in the middle of the countryside and, apart from being very sunny in the day, has little light pollution at night. This makes for some stunning stargazing. On clear nights you can see the Milky Way and look all the way into the centre of our galaxy. It is really breathtaking.
On the second photo I managed to capture the big dipper that was nice and clear that night. It does seem to stand out against the background of other stars. You also get a sense of how fast our planet moves. My shutter speeds were only 10 to 30 seconds long but the stars are already starting to streak across the photo as the Earth spins around.
Next time I go back I will make an effort to stay up later to take photos of the Milky Way and not be a lightweight going to bed early.
If you want to give night-time photography ago I have some tips that will help you get started. With winter coming in the UK the nights are drawing in and can be clear (and cold, bbbbrrrr) so there should be some stunning photos to be captured.
Night time photography tips
01. Plan your composition before it gets dark – It becomes surprisingly difficult to compose an image and even to get the horizon straight, especially if you are on uneven ground like I was. Before it gets dark look to see what you want in your image and even set up your camera before it gets dark so you can see what you are doing.
02. Use a tripod – To be able to record any kind of image you need to use shutter speeds from 1 second up to 30 seconds. This is too long to hand hold so you will need a rock solid tripod. Make sure it is set up securely the slightest movement will result in blurry images.
03. Remote shutter release – Again you want to reduce the chances that you camera might move when the shutter is open and even pressing the shutter release button can cause camera shake. Use a remote shutter or the camera’s in-built timer to release the shutter. Oh and don’t touch the camera again until the shutter is closed.
04. Use mirror lock – Check you camera settings and use the mirror lock to keep the mirror from moving. The mirror moving out the way of the shutter can cause camera shake and as you spent all that time setting up your tripod and shutter release you don’t want the mirror causing blur. If you use a micro 4/3rds camera (which I did for these photos) turn off the screen. The light from it will ruin your night vision. With shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds you might as well enjoy the sky while you wait.
05. Use mid range aperture settings – Use mid range aperture settings between f8 and f16. No camera lens will provide the sharpest image at the minimum or maximum aperture so increase your chances of getting a good image by using a mid range aperture.
Are you planning some starry photographs?
The weekend is coming up. Here are some jewellery DIY ideas to help you get your craft on.
I like these rope bracelets by Made In A Day with a mix of metal beads, handmade cork beads and thread.
This pretty turquoise necklace by A Common Thread is made using vinyl record beads and looks like a great necklace for summer.
These earrings by Oh Everything handmade require some basic soldering skills if you want to make the teardrop connector from scratch.You can buy something similar from here and skip that stage.
I have been wanting to try making some shrinky dink jewellery for a while and I am tempted by this comic book style rings.
In other news
Next time you put on a piece of jewellery think about that a distant star going supernova made the gold or silver you are wearing.
I still haven’t worked out the answer to this puzzle. (It’s not 6)
I am currently obsessed with making rose milkshakes using my own homegrown rose petals.
So little time and so many lovely jewellery DIY’s. Here is a round-up of some lovely links to jewellery making DIY’s and some other things that have caught my eye from around the web.
I still can’t get enough on pastel green so this statement necklace really appeals to me.
I love the organic (and simple) wire wrapping on these earrings.
Still like chunky chain bracelets? (I do.) Then this is a really simple way to get a colour pop!
These rings look so dainty. I like how the beads almost look like they are floating.
And elsewhere –
How politeness almost ruined this psychology experiment.
A week of delicious meals for £25.
It turns out I have been tying my shoelaces wrong my whole life.
And the best granola recipe ever?
I am a bit of a fan of Wool and the Gang knitting patterns and yarn. This weekend they are having a knit along to celebrate the launch of the Lil’ Hold Tight clutch and I thought I would join in. I got my kit yesterday and I am warming up knitting needles ready to get started. I can get a bit distracted by other craft projects and usually have 2 or 3 things on the go so I am not sure if I can remain focused on actually completing a project in a weekend.
The yarn is made from recycled t-shirt material. I went for a bold coral and grey stripe yarn. The coral is pretty much fluorescent but the grey stops your eyes from watering. I love it.
You can find Wool and the Gang here if you are interested in finding out more about them. (Check out the shark gloves! I totally want to make some for next Winter… one project at a time though!)
I’ve seen quite a few zentangles on the parts of the web I hang out on. What I hadn’t realise (until I did some research) that it is a distinct style of drawing. If you haven’t seen any zentangles they are small black and white detailed drawings of repeating patterns on 3.5inch size squares.
At first it appears to be doodling but there are some guidelines that need to be followed to make it a zentangle.
- It should be abstract and not represent anything;
- There should be no orientation to the square;
- It should not be planned, the pattern should occur as you go along;
- No colour is allowed, it must only be black and white;
- Only use paper and pen, no special equipment is used or required.
There are some other ways it differs from doodling. Doodles are usually created when someone is having trouble focusing on something else. Zentangle is about making deliberate pen strokes and focusing completely on the task.
I had a little go at making a few zentangle inspired designs one evening.It takes longer than you think to fill a 3.5inch square. I did find myself totally focused on what I was doing and as a consequence was quite relaxed. It is nice to just draw without their being any pressure to have an end goal or worry about it looking right.
If you want to find out more you can visit the official zentanglers here.