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All the Stars are Closer

Posted on Friday, August 30th, 2019

Dave!As I mentioned last week, I used my new Apple Card credit card to buy a print from The Night Sky. You tell them the time, date, location on earth, and they will create a star map for you using the design options you choose.

I picked a nice navy blue color with coordinate lines and constellation lines with a dark blue background. Then I personalized the text in remembrance of my mom from when we were looking at The Milky Way while on safari in Zimbabwe.

I also made the big mistake of getting it framed. But more on that in a minute.

My home has a weird, narrow, angled wall leading to the stairwell. Originally, the handrail wrapped along it, but my mom would consistently fall down the final two stairs because her hand would run out of rail and she wouldn't see them (I nearly fell a couple times myself). I solved this by designing a small shelf so the handrail went all the way down.

For the longest time, I filled the space by putting one of my National Park posters from around the corner there. But I always wanted to find something else so my Park posters would be complete again. I thought the star map print would be perfect...

My Night Sky Star Map Print

The print itself is pretty great. I've seen other companies that do this, but the design from The Night Sky was the best I had seen. I wanted navy ink instead of black ink because I through it looks more like the sky I remember...

My Night Sky Star Map Print

It's an eerily perfect match...

Zimbabwe Night Sky Milky Way

Using the Star Walk app on my iPhone, I've been able to draw in the horizon and The Milky Way so I can see the area of the sky I was looking at that night...

Zimbabwe Night Sky Milky Way

Pretty cool.

It's printed on acid-free paper with archival inks, has a great design aesthetic, and ships free... so the $60 price tag feels worth it.

The $60 frame that came with it, however? Not so much.

It's not even made of wood and glass... it's some kind of lightweight composite with a thin acrylic sheet. But the worst part? It's garbage. For $60 I'd expect that, AT THE VERY LEAST, would have corners that meet and are filled. But they don't. Even worse? The paint job is utter crap...

A close up of the crappy $60 fram showing that the paint is bubled and peeling in the corners.

A close up of the crappy $60 fram showing the corners are all split.

They put a Kraft paper on the back, which is nice. There's a sawtooth hanger at the very top and felt feet on the bottom, which is also nice. But the feet aren't thick enough to offset the hanger, so I had to add some silicone bumpers to make the print be truly vertical on the wall...

A close up of the crappy $60 fram showing the corners are all split.

   
I cannot for the life of me figure out how they justify a $60 price tag for this terrible frame. I wouldn't have paid $20 for this mess. So now, in addition to the $60 I've already paid, I'm going to have to sand it, fill it, then repaint it so it looks half-way decent.

If you're going to buy a print from The Night Sky, I would pass on their frames and go buy a much better one for much less that's on sale at Michaels or something. Or, if you're like me, you could build a similar one for under $10.

If you want a star map print of your very own, The Night Sky is the place!

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