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Seeing Stars

Aug 1, 2014

by Shoko Wanger

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Summer, it seems, is all about the sun, from the bright-and-early mornings to the long, neon-streaked evenings. But with so much to celebrate about the season’s clear, warm nights — campfires, s’mores, sleeping under the stars — why should the sun get all the glory? In tribute to the night sky — which always seems to hold the most magic in the summertime — here are eighteen items inspired by the moon, the planets, and the many mysteries of after-dark. Happy stargazing.

Forget diamonds and pearls. Tiny birch studs laser-cut in the shape of Saturn inspire just as many oohs and ahhs.

A racerback tank puts the moon within reach any time of day (or night).

Held together with pink staples and lots of love, Into the Black Hole is Ashley Ronning’s self-published work “about black holes and feelings.” A zine after my own heart.

This furoshiki — a traditional Japanese cloth gift wrap — is emblazoned with a Liberty of Arts star-print fabric. Think of it as part of the present, and it just might come back to you one day.

This bamboo felt bear, hand-stitched with the Ursa Major constellation, glows in the dark.

A 1970s version of a book from the ’50s, H. A. Rey’s The Stars: A New Way to See Them introduces novice stargazers to the wonders of the universe.

Who wouldn’t want to sleep among the stars? Designed to accommodate tuckered-out toddlers, this organic cotton mat folds up for easy transport — excellent for on-the-fly napping.

With punchy colors and a smart, simple design, the solar system never looked so chic.

I’d like to think that stickers as pretty as these might encourage more old-fashioned letter writing. Really, though, I’d buy them just to look at them.

The stars on Anita Puksic’s hand-painted canvas tote bag absorb light by day and emit it by night. Consider it solar-powered style.

This lambswool pillow is as charming as the words Colette Bream uses to describe it: “wind (or breeze) shaped.”

Liz Rodriguez, of the California-based Sargasso Shop, accents her embroidered stars with twinkling thread.

Handmade in Frankfurt, Germany, this stoneware mug with gold-painted crescents is (almost) too pretty to use.

It’s no surprise that a shop called Constellation & Co. would make such exquisite star-speckled sketchbooks. With letterpress detailing, sturdy chipboard covers, and 120 crisp, clean pages, they’re a writer’s dream.

This zippered pouch, with its playful, starry-sky print, is just the right size for night-on-the-town essentials.

I love imagining where this vintage map might have traveled during its ninety years on planet earth.

An extra-special gift for the astrology-obsessed: a custom moon calendar for the year of your choice. Perfect for expectant mothers, or, as artist Ella Moe suggests, those about to marry.

And finally, a concise card in black and white: for lovers, for friends, for those who’d travel beyond the ends of the Earth.

Find more celestial products on Etsy.

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