This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!
I love being able to go into my backyard in summer and look up at all the stars. I love seeing the moon and the jewels surrounding her, thinking about galaxies and their beauty.
I ran across a cool craft last week and I thought I would try my hand at it and show you guys how to do it. It makes an unbelievably beautiful shirt. This technique could also be used with shoes, a handbag, or pants.
But, while making the shirt I began to think that a stargazing post was in order. I mean this is something that you can do as a family, it starts a great discussion on myths and beliefs, and you can learn science facts. Plus, you can make these shirts beforehand and wear them while you are stargazing!
Checklist for stargazing:
1. Choose a site with low lighting. You don't want light pollution to ruin your experience.
2. Preferably a site with good, flat land. You don't want it to be close to running water if you have little ones. You don't want accidents to happy. Also avoid large trees so that they won't block your views.
3. If you have a telescope, take it!
4. Things to sit on: chairs and blankets.
5. Insect repellent, preferably organic. You don't want bug bites ruining your night. My wonderful friend and fellow Stew author, Autumn, makes a great essential oil repellent. You can find it here.
6. Know where North is.
7. A red light flashlight.
8. A logbook if you want to record what you see. Here and here are great log pages
Something that would be helpful to have for Stargazing would be a planisphere.
You could also make one. Here's a great site with PDFs to print.
To use a planisphere, hold it in front of you and face north. You want the planisphere's north pointer to point towards your stomach. If you want to look in the east, you will turn it 90 degrees to the right and rotate it so east is then pointing toward you. Do this with each direction.
Directions for a pinhole viewer here.
I love to take pics of the moon. Here are a few that I have taken:
Things to discuss about the moon include the phases, eclipses, blue moons, black moons and mythology and stories, and superstitions.
Mythologies that you can discuss:
Your main things that you will be looking for in the summer sky will be Vega, in the Lyra constellation; Altair in the Eagle Constellation; Deneb in the Summer Triangle; the Keystone in Hercules; Antares in Scorpius; and the Teapot in the bow of Sagittarius.
The planets that you will be able to see with the naked eye are: Mercury (rarely), Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn
Now it's time for the craft!
You'll enjoy doing this craft, then you'll enjoy wearing your creation.
You will need:
small spray bottle
a used toothbrush
plastic sheet to put inside the shirt
variety of paints, I used puffy fabric paint and also some glitter acrylic paint
small natural sponges
Lay out your shirt.
Put plastic inside to keep your bleach and paints from bleeding through.
In a small bottle put some bleach. I put 4 parts bleach to 1 part water.
Spray a pattern. Any will do. You can look at galaxy pictures on google to get ideas if you wish.
I doubled sprayed a couple of spots to make them lighter and I also dripped some bleach in spots. When you are finished, let the shirt set for 20 minutes, then rinse and dry.
Put your shirt back on your worktable and return the plastic inside. Next I took the toothbrush and dipped it in the glitter paint. To apply to the shirt, just run your finger on the loaded toothbrush and make it spatter the shirt.
I have chosen turquoise
Dip your sponge into the paint and lightly pound the sponge on the shirt, just randomly but connected.
If you want to make a spiral galaxy, pinch the shirt and twist. Hold on to the spiraled twist in the center and lightly pound the wrinkled fabric with the paint sponge.
Now, I'm going to add some turquoise glitter to the turquoise puffy that I have already applied.
It really made it shine and stand out!
Pink is next
I just randomly put the colors on with no patterns, I just put it where I thought it would look best.
Next, I took the toothbrush and spattered the white to make distant stars.
I decided that I wanted to add a bit of purple.
When I was finished adding the purple, I let it dry for a bit. The reason that I did this was so that I could lean in and paint some larger stars on the shirt. To do this you can add a large spot, and drag outward from the spot in a cross shape. It gives the allusion of a twinkling star. You can also add some larger dots without dragging the twinkle, just to give a variety of stars.
And it's finished! Let the shirt dry for several hours or overnight.
This is another that I made for the hubs. I gave it a large white spot with a twinkling star in the center. His shirt really glows.
I hope you enjoyed the gathered information on star gazing and the shirt tutorial.