Shop Etsy

Star Search

Jun 18, 2013

by Mallory McInnis

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods
mallory-mcinnis

Mallory McInnis spends most of her time on the Internet amassing awesome things to share on her blog, Gems.  She lives in Maine (the woodsy, Stephen King-book-setting part, not by the ocean) and drives all over New England looking for vintage books to sell in her shop, Elwood & Eloise. She’s happiest when sipping an iced coffee, wearing a robe and watching a movie (or reading a book), with a sandwich on a plate beside her.

There’s an episode of Friends where Rachel is at the obstetrician getting an ultrasound and she can’t see the baby. Ross and the doctor helpfully (and repeatedly) attempt to show it to her, but she still can’t find it.

This goes on and on.

Rachel has an inability to see fetus-Emma in the blurry muddle of her ultrasound photo, just as I have an inability to make out a single constellation in the night sky. I suppose not being able to see your gestating baby is a little more distressing, but still! You get the idea.

It’s almost summer, I live in a totally smog-free zone. Stargazing conditions are ideal, yet it doesn’t help. You could stand beside me connecting the celestial dots with your finger for an hour, but you’d just end up frustrated because I only see a beautiful mess of lights.

Thankfully, I’m quite a bit better at finding items on Etsy than I am at finding constellations, so I put together a bunch of wonderful constellation-inspired items.

mallory-mcinnis-etsy-constellations-1

[Clockwise from top left: Clementine crab print by tinyfawnVintage Sartre book from NewDocuments; Bear necklace by finestimaginaryConstellation onesie by Little LarkUrsa Major print  by HileyRemarkable; Scorpius pin from CacheAvenueGolden Scorpion book from UnusualBooksDragon print by Paul BommerDominoes from Red Star VintageDragon onesie by EarthCadetsGemini ring by Julie Nolan JewelryCeramic lion from MonkiVintageZodiac Cancer card by MARGINS.]

If I think about it, this ineptitude may be some sort of mental block my brain set up as a favor. I can count the amount of nightmares I remember having on one hand, but one of those just so happens to involve constellations (to be specific: getting ingested by them).

The exact details have faded a bit, but as it began I was wandering around the sky on some sort of “Let’s Meet the Constellations!” tour. Things quickly went sour and I ended up being chased by a bunch of starry creatures that wanted to eat me (and did). Look at all these guys! Cancer, Leo, Scorpius, Ursa major, Draco — it’s a scary crew, and with all those teeth, claws and stingers I had no chance.

mallory-mcinnis-constellation-etsy-2

[Clockwise from top left: Gemini mug from WestCoastModernCeramic ram from MonkiVintageStuffed goat toy from BabyTweeds; Taurus sticker from MarysBeadsandGemsRam print by smalladventureTaurus ashtray from OrbitingDebris; Taurus card by Leah Greenberg;  Articulated Pegasus by benconservato.]

I had the dream when I was in high school, but before that I associated constellations with happy memories. We learned about the constellations in 3rd grade at my elementary school, and the unit involved visiting a planetarium and putting on a play (I was Pollux – one of the Gemini twins). Plays, planetariums…originally my constellation thoughts were pleasant ones.

mallory-mcinnis-etsy-constellations-3

[Clockwise from top left: Hare tote by Libris LunariaCygnus original illustration by Megan BentleyCassiopeia pin by Minini; Vintage crown brooch from Diana Divine VintagePisces bowl by SweetGoodsNYCArcher print by Jessica Rae GordonArrow hat by Zipper Teeth ShopArrow pouch by SlideSidewaysFish tea towel by Karolin SchnoorLeaping hare tea cozy by Megan Ferguson-Smyth; Rabbit head earrings by elainehostudioQueen salt shaker at MidModMom.]

I go camping every summer. This year, when night falls, I’ll try to push all traumatic constellation memories aside and attempt to pick out a few. Maybe I’ll start with Pisces; it is my zodiac sign, after all (and a fish probably wouldn’t try to eat me).

If you’re an expert at constellation detection, feel free to leave some tips; I’ll probably need them.

Shop Constellations on Etsy

Paul Rand paperback book cover design, 1963. "The Condemned of Altona" by Jean Paul Sartre
Paul Rand paperback book cover design, 1963. "The Condemned of Altona" by Jean Paul Sartre
Sold
Ursa Major - limited edition cyanotype original print, blue, astronomy, stars
Ursa Major - limited edition cyanotype original print, blue, astronomy, stars
Sold
Gemini 14kt Gold Dipped Zodiac Constellation Ring
Gemini 14kt Gold Dipped Zodiac Constellation Ring
$45.00 USD
Scorpion Brooch Pin. Zodiac sign broach.
Scorpion Brooch Pin. Zodiac sign broach.
Sold
Elliot - Dragon Baby Gift, Organic Cotton Bodysuit, Eco Friendly, Gender Neutral, Baby Gift, Hip Baby Clothing Present for Baby Shower
Elliot - Dragon Baby Gift, Organic Cotton Bodysuit, Eco Friendly, Gender Neutral, Baby Gift, Hip Baby Clothing Present for Baby Shower
$25.00 USD
RESERVED // Mid Century Modern Gemini Twins Bone China Mug / Zodiac Horoscope Mug / Royal Windsor England / Pop Art 1960s Swinging London
RESERVED // Mid Century Modern Gemini Twins Bone China Mug / Zodiac Horoscope Mug / Royal Windsor England / Pop Art 1960s Swinging London
Sold
Ginger / Winged Grey and Gold Horse Articulated Decoration  / Hinged Beasts Series
Ginger / Winged Grey and Gold Horse Articulated Decoration / Hinged Beasts Series
$29.11 USD
Vintage Scandinavian King and Queen Shakers
Vintage Scandinavian King and Queen Shakers
Sold

3 Featured Comments

  • MikiTillett

    Miki Tillett from MikiTillett said 4 years ago Featured

    Despite having a GCSE in Astronomy, I still can't make out much more than Ursa Major and Orion on a clear night... Hopeless. I use the excuse that I'm a city girl and thwarted by light pollution! I love the night sky though, and there are so many great constellation-inspired finds on Etsy :)

  • epicstitching

    Mel Ladner from epicstitching said 4 years ago Featured

    As a child in Feb/Mar, Orion would come up to just the right place in my window for me to see him. For years he was the only constellation I could find, but only at that time of the year as then I knew just the right angle to look for him at. Stars are such a wonder, mystery and beauty to us all.

  • ste81wood

    Steve Wood from VancouverIslandPhoto said 4 years ago Featured

    Leo is my favourite! As an ex-merchant navy navigator you'd think I could remember at least some of the constellations, but not really! When I met my now-wife and had to go to sea for a few months, I picked out a constellation and called it "Joe the Cowboy." I would look up at the crystal clear sky in the middle of the ocean and pick out "Joe," while back home my then-fiancee would also try to pick him out so we could at least feel some kind of connection through the miles. You've chosen a cracking theme; good skills :)

92 comments

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 4 years ago

    Great finds Mallory. I recommend the Glow in the Dark Night Sky Book for help with your outdoor stargazing. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/listing/2688767707134?r=1&cm_mmca2=pla&cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-Book_15To24-_-Q000000633-_-2688767707134 You can hold it under the light inside, and then it glows when you take it out in the dark to help you find the constellations!

  • telepelekids

    ilanit bronstein from telepelekids said 4 years ago

    I love stars as i live in the desert and see millions of them every nigth,sometimes we don't need to understand the system just enjoy them...

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 4 years ago

    Great theme. The archer print is wonderful.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    I love stargazing. Its so beautiful! I too can't really make out what anything is other than Orion's Belt, the big dipper, and the small dipper..hehe :)

  • LittleGussy

    Kasia B from ShesGUtSSY said 4 years ago

    Mallory I know what you mean... They are hard to spot... But looks like you've spotted a great collection of them here... The closest I get is turning pretty galactic fabric into neat accessories. Much love xxx

  • SusanFaye

    Susan Faye from SusanFayePetProjects said 4 years ago

    I stick to the Big Dipper and Orion too. Anything else is just enchanting celestial sparkle. I LOVE all of your celestial picks, also enchanting!

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse said 4 years ago

    I love all of your finds. Very nice post..

  • FrancesMarin

    Frances Marin from FrancesMarin said 4 years ago

    Super fabulous finds! I love the Sagittarius archer print. I'm not sure how many stars I'll see this weekend while camping under a Full Strawberry Moon!

  • CuriousLemon

    Karine Fournier from CuriousLemon said 4 years ago

    Lovely !

  • picklehead

    Karina Pryor from picklehead said 4 years ago

    Wow, I'm really digging all these lovely items! That Cassiopeia pin is super cute! :)

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 4 years ago

    Beautiful and magical post.

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 4 years ago

    I remember that Friends episode - Enjoyed your article and the great finds on Etsy. I too have trouble connecting those dots in the sky. Thanks for sharing

  • FrenchHoney

    Maya from FrenchHoney said 4 years ago

    Love this! What a great collection. Just like with forests and trees, sometimes it's hard to see the constellations through the stars...

  • H88255

    H88255 from HillarysSuperfoods said 4 years ago

    So artistic and creative! Great collection.

  • materialrat

    Margarita Rat from PackRatJewelry said 4 years ago

    Awesome! I enjoyed your picks so much! Thank you Mallory (:

  • MikiTillett

    Miki Tillett from MikiTillett said 4 years ago Featured

    Despite having a GCSE in Astronomy, I still can't make out much more than Ursa Major and Orion on a clear night... Hopeless. I use the excuse that I'm a city girl and thwarted by light pollution! I love the night sky though, and there are so many great constellation-inspired finds on Etsy :)

  • kdchambers

    davidson chambers said 4 years ago

    Nice! I'm an astrologer so I find this especially intriguing. And while I study/interpret planetary configurations and their (possible) effects on us, the only one I can really pick out with any regularity is Orion's belt :) Thanks for this! kelly @ www.theastrologersdaughter.com

  • pumpkiandmo

    Kathi from PumpkiAndMo said 4 years ago

    Wow, what a beautiful collection!! Thanks for picking and sharing :)

  • nicolesweavingart

    Nicole Neal from Dreamingacrestextile said 4 years ago

    The only constellation I have ever been able to recognize is Orion. No idea why.

  • jessgreenleaf

    Jess Greenleaf from GREENLEAFblueberry said 4 years ago

    I've never been too into astrology, but star charts can be so beautiful. The mythology of it all is interesting too.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Nice!

  • lmouer

    Lynsey from lmouer said 4 years ago

    Great selections! I love the king and queen shakers!

  • carrieaubuchon

    Carrie AuBuchon from CarrieStitchbyStitch said 4 years ago

    Awesome display! Well put together and interesting as well. I don't think I could pick out any constellations any more. :)

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 4 years ago

    Nice selection!

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 4 years ago

    Wonderful theme and picks! I love the night sky!

  • NicolasKnitKnacks

    Nicola and Jessica Belton from CelticKnittingCo said 4 years ago

    Very nice selection of items! I love star gazing and it is such a great theme!!

  • pancakeandlulu

    Aimee Knerr from pancakeandlulu said 4 years ago

    love these picks! I have a similar but inverse disorder. I recognize star clusters, but have no idea if they are actual constellations and cannot figure it out when I look at sky charts. I guess I should make up my own names for them...

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 4 years ago

    Stars/ In your multitudes/ Scarce to be counted/ Filling the darkness/ With order and light/ You are the sentinels/ Silent and sure/ Keeping watch in the night ~Javert, Les Miserables

  • cberez

    CB DESIGN'S from CBDesignsPR said 4 years ago

    I love your post, very creative. Great selection!!!!

  • catconnell

    catconnell from SweetGoodsNYC said 4 years ago

    I love astrology; can you say Linda Goodman?!? Thank you so much for featuring my fish bowl! Awesome post

  • tinyfawn

    Darrah Gooden from TinyFawn said 4 years ago

    Nice post! And such a fun surprise to spot Clementine Crab in the mix amongst so many beautiful and clever pieces. Thanks so much!

  • SpaceMauve

    Caroline Bee from SpaceMauve said 4 years ago

    Great .

  • gossamer531

    Gossamer Tearoom from TheGossamerTearoom said 4 years ago

    This is a wonderful post and I love your picks! I also live in a part of Maine (not near the ocean) where the star-gazing is great. And I also have no clue what is what except for the Big Dipper!! But it doesn't really matter because the sky practically shimmers with all the stars you can see on a clear night! My grandfather, who was an amateur astronomer and built his own telescopes for a hobby, would be very ashamed of me, but it doesn't matter to me because I enjoy them nonetheless!

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami said 4 years ago

    Love it!

  • MidModMomStore

    Beatriz Macias from MidModMomStore said 4 years ago

    Fantastic post and so well put together. Thank you for the feature :)

  • christineshmisteen

    CHRISTINE SHMISTEEN from TheArtOfFinerThings said 4 years ago

    I love the stars.

  • christineshmisteen

    CHRISTINE SHMISTEEN from TheArtOfFinerThings said 4 years ago

    ...and the planets! I love those... living in a city means anything extra visible is a treat in the night sky.

  • cosmiksouls

    joan kelly from cosmiksouls said 4 years ago

    Lovely post and feature ... congrats :)

  • PlanetSusan

    PlanetSusan from PlanetSusan said 4 years ago

    Cosmic Collection!

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop said 4 years ago

    I suggest that you stop looking for the constellations and just enjoy the night sky and all its wonder. Those pictures where you stare at a pattern and suddenly you see the ship or the flower, that seems similar to what you are experiencing so try not to try. You might just be surprised.

  • RenataandJonathan

    Renata and Jonathan from RenataandJonathan said 4 years ago

    Creative and fun :)

  • deekish

    Deeksha Lakshmi from TheColorWagon said 4 years ago

    Very creative write up!

  • epicstitching

    Mel Ladner from epicstitching said 4 years ago Featured

    As a child in Feb/Mar, Orion would come up to just the right place in my window for me to see him. For years he was the only constellation I could find, but only at that time of the year as then I knew just the right angle to look for him at. Stars are such a wonder, mystery and beauty to us all.

  • futureschwartz

    Chantelle Chamberlain said 4 years ago

    The "Goole Sky Map" app on my phone is super useful! You point your phone at where you're looking, and it tells you what constellations you're looking at! Best part: it's free! :)

  • JillianReneDecor

    Jillian Carmine from JillianReneDecor said 4 years ago

    I love your finds! That crab is adorable!

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign from ArleenDesign said 4 years ago

    Wow nice!

  • Bessiescreations

    Bessie from BessiesCreations said 4 years ago

    Everyone always gets sooo frustrated with me because I can't ever find the big dipper :/ This is a fantastic article :-)

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 4 years ago

    Loving the star theme!! Great article!

  • susio

    Susanne Ryan from TheFeltedGnomeKnows said 4 years ago

    That is hysterical! I too wish I could find the constellations ( Vermont also has terrific stargazing conditions) but can only identify the Big and Little Dipper. That is even suspect because I tend to pretend I see them. Stargazing is definitely easier on etsy. Great items!

  • tatobalayan

    Tato from WrapItSnapIt said 4 years ago

    I love this article. Very creative, and great picks! :) I too have trouble locating the constellations, but I haven't seen a non polluted sky in a very long time.

  • Celticcatphotos

    Celtic Cat Photos Mary Catherine Campbell from Celticcatphotos said 4 years ago

    I would love to live in Maine - even the woodsy part! Love the article, and the treasury!

  • sarantos

    sarantos from SARANTOS said 4 years ago

    If you are near Sedona search out Dennis Young. He gives star tours. He hand built his own telescopes and is amazing. His site is http://www.sedonastarlight.com

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Lovely choices! Interesting blog!

  • xutian1

    ya mo from 2013color said 4 years ago

    I like the sky, like stars I love this article. Very creative,

  • ESTATENOW

    VINTAGE NOW from ESTATENOW said 4 years ago

    Very interesting, thanks to our ancient GREEKS..

  • ovoNIJEnakit

    PetrA podnarcuk from notAjewelry said 4 years ago

    so many divines on one place :D Love star article.

  • abenakcreation

    Virpi Irene Bendandi from ABenakCreation said 4 years ago

    I live by the mountains -- before moving here I never knew there were so many stars. At times we make a camping trip to about 2000 m above sea level; the night sky there is just incredible. Stargazing in the wilderness in high altitudes just takes your breath away!

  • joanniel

    Jo from joanniel said 4 years ago

    I really can't make out constellations either, but I love the night sky. Great article!

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 4 years ago

    Could never make out the constellations, but I love the clear night sky with the stars shining bright! Great post!

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 4 years ago

    Wonderful theme and picks!

  • stephanieoram

    Stephanie Oram from LoveMyKitsch said 4 years ago

    What a fabulous post with some beautiful items, a clear night sky full of twinkling stars is an awesome sight :)

  • jamasters

    Jess Masters from RefinedRock said 4 years ago

    Great finds!!

  • erikareboucas

    Erika Reboucas from littlebigtopstudio said 4 years ago

    Love the theme and your beautiful finds! What a fun and interesting post, I think tonight I'll look at the sky :)

  • elizabethforster

    elle and belle Forster from elleandbellejewelry said 4 years ago

    Interesting blog, Mallory! Great finds. Thanks.

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 4 years ago

    uh, a lovely Gemini cup just for me :)

  • genisepark

    Genise Park from genisepark said 4 years ago

    Yes you have put together a great group of constellation inspired work. Awesome!

  • gboliver

    Gail Oliver from AttentionGetting said 4 years ago

    Good article. Constellations are a hot trend right now.

  • 915suzie

    Suzie Hoisington from Oldendesigns said 4 years ago

    Awesome. I love constellations I have many constellation and space luminaria bags in my shop fashioned from vintage astronomy book pages :)

  • isewcute

    June from isewcute said 4 years ago

    My most memorable grade school field trip was to the planetarium. Love the variety of constellation inspired works featured! Great article!

  • DarburyCottage

    Rosemary Wascher from DarburyCottage said 4 years ago

    Just had to laugh, I also look in to the night sky with out a clue. But still love the stars.

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry said 4 years ago

    Great Post!!! Clueless about the stars but love to Stargaze! Wonderful finds!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 4 years ago

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  • Crystlrayne

    Belinda Cowell said 4 years ago

    I love your collection and blog! I have an app on my phone that I just point to where I am looking and it shows constellations. Has a search feature also. My children and I love it. It saves me a lot of frustration.

  • Pumora

    Anne Mende from Pumora said 4 years ago

    The first constellation I could recognize was cassiopeia. It' a relatively small one and its shaped like a W or M. It's also visible at every time of the year. I have a star map with directions, but I find it hard to find constellations this way, too. But the good thing is, once you have found one, it's shape burns into your brain and you will recognize again! I would start with the smaller constellations, big bear or cassiopeia. The big constellations are harder to track if you don't find the right starting points. Also I find it harder to spot new constellations in the countryside BECAUSE you see all stars and not only the bright ones (which often are the ones in constellations). So starting to stargaze in a city might be a good idea. I wish you luck with your constellation hunt :)

  • EurekaGuides

    Eureka Internet Guides from EurekaGuides said 4 years ago

    I totally get it! My partner is always pointing out constellations to me and I can never see them! I know it's awesome but it's frustrating not being able to work them out for myself. Well done for this great selection and I'll just keep trying!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 4 years ago

    Beautiful post! Love this!

  • BlueEggsandTea

    Ruth Allen from BlueEggsandTea said 4 years ago

    I find they're like a magic eye picture....you need to just keep staring. but saying that it's always the same ones I see. You missed out my summer zodiac birds celebrating the arrival of summer but they are pretty small so I'll let you off ;-) lovely piece :)

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    Start with something easy to spot, like Orion, Casseiopia or the big dipper. Then, using these as markers, find others. It's just a question of being able to see patterns, & it comes easier with practice. Leo is like a backwards question mark, Pegasus is a large square with a virtually empty centre, Casseopia is a large "W", the Milky Way is a path of small stars that crossed the whole sky. Even if you never get to know or remember the names of the constellations, never give up soaking up the stars & the wonder of the universe that surrounds us.

  • terrymccullough1

    Terry McCullough said 4 years ago

    Such a neat collection! From the posts above me, it looks as if A LOT of us have the same problem. The first constellation I ever recognized was The Big Dipper. Riding in the back seat on a family trip, just looking out the window and suddenly, there it was. Because it was my first, it is still my favorite. Since then, I've learned to see, also, The Little Dipper, Orion, Cassiopeia, and Capricorn, my Birth Sign. Mostly, I just have fun making up my own constellations. Find a group of stars and just make up my own.

  • theloosegoose

    nicole from theloosegoose said 4 years ago

    Super interesting & fantastic finds!

  • ste81wood

    Steve Wood from VancouverIslandPhoto said 4 years ago Featured

    Leo is my favourite! As an ex-merchant navy navigator you'd think I could remember at least some of the constellations, but not really! When I met my now-wife and had to go to sea for a few months, I picked out a constellation and called it "Joe the Cowboy." I would look up at the crystal clear sky in the middle of the ocean and pick out "Joe," while back home my then-fiancee would also try to pick him out so we could at least feel some kind of connection through the miles. You've chosen a cracking theme; good skills :)

  • CharmingShopLove

    Marissa Howes from CharmingShopLove said 4 years ago

    When I was younger, my family would always spend the entire summer at the lake, and it was so amazing to me that at night the stars were so much brighter and clearer out there than in the city where we lived. I would stare up at the sky for hours looking for constellations and shooting stars. That's my favourite memory of stargazing. I don't get out to the lake too often anymore, but I think this Etsy post will do it for me. That Cassiopeia Pin is delightful!

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld said 4 years ago

    Is it not amazing that way back, some people looked up into a pollution free sky and picked out the constellations and gave them names, and that the patterns stuck and are still recognised as such until the present day. Good things last!

  • Nemki

    Nemki from nemki said 4 years ago

    Interesting treasury!

  • NeatoKeen

    NeatoKeen from NeatoKeen said 4 years ago

    FUN selections from a lady with a great eye! Tweeted!

  • openrangepres

    Jane from OpenRangePreserve said 4 years ago

    Fun! We all like Orion because it's so easy to find. And at the right time, I can see the Dog Star following him. But it's like watching the clouds. I might see a train where someone else sees a dragon. Great post, makes us all think!

  • kvanherik8

    Kim Van Herik said 4 years ago

    You there! You stars! You myriads! Which one of you is mine? Which one ordains my destiny with disembodied shine? Which speck, which spot, which distant dot in all the galaxy Projects itself across the spheres to mess things up for me? -Christine Kniebiely

  • PorterFig

    PorterFig from PorterFig said 4 years ago

    The stars - reminds me of the cool summer evenings in the desert while gazing at the night sky. :)

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 4 years ago

    Very fun and whimsical!

  • Leannamoonbody

    Catherine Fergerson from KingsfieldInn said 4 years ago

    Great finds! Love it!

  • CPaz17

    Courtney Pazdra from LEDlutions said 3 years ago

    Love this. Well put together!

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 2 years ago

    beautiful collection~

Sign in to add your own