What do you get for the person who has everything…or always purchases his wish list items before you have the chance?This is always my conundrum with Phil. A couple of years ago I was searching everywhere for something to give him for our anniversary that had noted our wedding location…but I just never found the right thing; there was always something not quite right…until now! This year for his birthday, Phil received a Night Sky Poster and it’s perfect!
This post may contain affiliate links through which I may receive a small commission.
Many thanks go to Night Sky Poster for providing us with a poster so we could share our experience with you. Their website is incredibly easy to use, which means no raised blood pressure and frustration, which is a relief. It really couldn’t be much easier to use.
Obviously, as this was going to be a surprise for Phil, I couldn’t do much while he was around; but Tristan and I designed this star map while he was in another room and he was none the wiser!
The Basics of a Night Sky Poster
- Night Sky Posters come in 5 colours; black, midnight blue, gray blue, Caribbean, and pink velvet. There is also the choice to have a white poster with just the night sky and text in the chosen colour.
- There is only one size available, which is A2.
- They use museum quality paper and high-quality ink, and also offer a 28-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with your product.
- And also of note is that shipping is free in the UK and worldwide shipping is also available for a very reasonable price.
The Creative Process
Choose your colour scheme. After much discussion, we chose to go with gray blue.
Enter the location for which you want your Star Map to align to. I chose Banff, Canada.
Choose the date and time for your chart. I chose our wedding date and time.
Compose the message you want to have on your chart; with up to six lines, you can write quite a bit. I chose a line from our wedding ceremony, and it used less than half of the available space.
MAY OUR LOVE BE AS PURE AS THE SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN PEAKS,
AND AS ENDURING AS THE ROCK OF THESE MOUNTAINS
AMONGST WHICH WE CHOSE TO BE WED
Don’t forget to move your page down for more options! Now you can choose whether you want lines on your map to join the constellations or not. We chose to show the constellations so the children can better see how they are formed – yes, we can even use this map in our homeschool!
Do you want a grid on your Star Map, or would you prefer it not to be there – you have the choice. We chose to have the grid.
You can give your map a name. I titled ours,
OUR LIFE TOGETHER WAS WRITTEN IN THE STARS
Here down near the bottom is where you can get more technical with your map, if you choose to. I looked up the coordinates for the top of the gondola that goes up Sulphur Mountain in Banff, Alberta, as were were wed on a helicopter pad just outside of the top station. So for us the coordinates were 51.0725° N, -115.3320° W
If you want a more descriptive location than what appears in the first location choice you chose, this is where you can amend it. For this, I typed:
SULPHUR MOUNTAIN SUMMIT; BANFF, ALBERTA, CANADA
You will want to ensure you don’t have any spelling errors and that you are happy with your colour choice as well. You can see a mock-up on the screen, but if you need to take some time to think about it, create an account and then you can have a PDF mini-version emailed to you. This is what I did. Then I printed it out and took it around the house to make sure I was happy with our colour choice before making the final purchase. It was with this process that I did make a couple of changes to the name of the map and the grid lines. I really love the option to hold it before making the final commitment. I’m horrible when it comes to choices, and this helped a lot!
The Star Map was ordered on a Friday night and it arrived in Monday morning’s post! Of course, we had to have a sneak peak at it immediately. It was carefully rolled between sheets of tissue paper.
We had just a week left before Phil’s birthday…we ordered a frame to be delivered – you can get A2 poster frames, but I wanted to have a bit of a matte in there, too, so our frame is a little larger than A2. Won’t it look lovely all framed up?
We were in a town for Tristan to receive an award for an art project and Phil unexpectedly took the afternoon off work so he could also attend…which was great as that meant I could purchase a large piece of matte board from a framer’s and take it home in the car – there’s no way I’d have managed from Belfast on the train a few days later on my own! He just thought it was for a project for the camera club; not for his birthday gift.
The only glitch was that the mount cutter that I’d ordered didn’t do the job it was meant for so we couldn’t present Phil with the finished product all assembled…but here he is opening his Star Map…
But on the other hand, he had two gifts to open – and something to look forward to when it was all put together! The frame I’d ordered also had some technical issues in that whoever designed it hadn’t actually used it so we then had to figure out a work-around.
Why bother sharing all this with you? Well, we’re a real family and things often don’t go as planned…but they always work out one way or another with a little inventiveness!
After the road blocks we encountered, we appreciate it all the more! I could have made life easy and simply ordered an A2 poster frame that would have just fit the map, but I wanted it to look more professional, as it deserved to be. Instead, I ordered this frame that was a little larger and cut the matte to fit the poster.
Now that Phil’s Star Map is up on the wall, it looks gorgeous! We’re still deciding on a final place for it to ‘live’ but in the meantime it’s having a grand tour of the house!
We couldn’t be more pleased with our Star Map; it was easy to design, it arrived quickly, and it looks and feels professional. And I even learned a new skill of mount cutting along the way, which will be useful for entering photographs in the camera club, too!
What will you commemorate with a Star Map?
- New job
- Business opening
- First date
- Wedding gift
- As Tristan was born extremely premature, it would also be a great idea to remember the day he came home.
- First home
- Any day at all!