Career Perks: Facts About Being a Fashion Designer

Do you have a knack for art? Does fashion excite and inspire you? If so, you should consider (and likely already have considered) becoming a fashion designer. After all, it’s the ideal intersection between artistic expression and work in the fashion industry.


Whether you’ve been mulling over the idea of becoming a fashion designer for a while or have just thought of the notion, take a look at this article. Here, we’ll show you all the fashion designer perks that might tip the scale for your decision.

Constant Creativity Exercise

One of the more obvious perks of being a fashion designer is the fact that you get to express yourself creatively. The entire job is based on you coming up with new designs for clothes and accessories. This inevitably leads to you channeling your artistic chops into your work.


But why does that matter? Well, the feeling of putting a piece of your creative self into your work is immensely satisfying. It adds meaning to the job, and the pride in seeing your product worn and enjoyed makes all hardships before that moment worth it. 


Who knows, maybe you even end up starting a fashion trend that goes worldwide. We don’t need to tell you how the opportunity to have your work celebrated at fashion shows and stores would be a good thing.


However, you needn’t become a fashion superstar to get pleasure from your work. The simple act of expressing yourself regularly through your designs is enough.


Travel Opportunities

Fashion is worldwide. Depending on your success, you’ll get in touch with clients farther away from you as time goes on. You’ll have fashion shows to attend and boutiques to visit, and not all of them are down the street from you.


In other words, to be a fashion designer means you will have to travel a lot. If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting Paris, London, or Milan, being a fashion designer might be the ticket you need. You’ll get to see places you’ve never laid eyes on, be they sprawling metropolises or bucolic fashion hubs.


Mind you, all this traveling isn’t purely for pleasure. You are going to these places for business, after all. Rest assured, however, that you’ll manage to squeeze in the time to go sightseeing. That’s owing to the work schedule of fashion designers, which is what we’ll cover next.

Time Flexibility

One of the biggest fashion designer pros in most people’s eyes is the flexibility such work offers. Tons of people struggle to strike a work-life balance that feels right, leaving them overworked and drained. 


Luckily, fashion designers have the benefit of flexible, as-needed work hours. They can set work aside to better fit their personal schedule. They can also cram their work into a few intense days to meet a deadline, leaving more room for other stuff before that. That way, you can point your creative juices toward your work whenever you feel they’re at their strongest.


We don’t want to give you the impression that being a fashion designer is a breeze, though. You’ll have plenty of work to do, especially if you’re just starting out. Once you’ve gotten a foothold in the industry, this perk will become more apparent.

Deals With Huge Amounts of Money

At the end of the day, everyone wants to get paid for what they do. So, what’s the money like for a fashion designer?


Depending on the success you have, you can make hand over fist or earn just enough to be comfortable in life. At the start of your fashion career, you’ll probably enjoy a fine salary. However, it will pale in comparison to how much you can make when you make it in the business, especially if you partner up with a massive brand.


Big deals like that are still far away for a novice, though. The odds are that people starting out as fashion designers will have to work under a mentor. Typically, this also comes with doing assistant work for a not-so-glamorous pay. All of that builds up your skillset, however, so the effort won’t be in vain.

Active Social Life

There are two major parts of being a fashion designer. One is artistic, and the other is social. In this line of work, you’ll have ample opportunity to revel in both.


As you keep working, you will inevitably grow your network of friends and colleagues. Meeting clients, mentors, and countless others at shows, exhibits, and business deals will leave you with a vibrant social life.


That notion sounds appealing and fun, but it’s also a necessary part of the job. You need to be socially savvy and active to get noticed. This is why social butterflies often do well enough in this profession. Naturally, a great talent and hard work can compensate if you’re more of an introvert. However, at least a little socializing is a must for a fashion designer.

You Are Your Own Boss

Among the biggest yet rarely highlighted fashion designer perks is the independence you enjoy. Granted, you have clients, and you have to abide by their wishes and instructions to the extent they lay those out for you. However, most clients entrust the details to you. That leaves you able to work at your terms and at your pace.


It’s difficult to overstate how important and freeing this kind of autonomy is. You have nobody breathing down your neck and pushing you to do everything their way. You don’t need to rely on someone else to get the work finished, either: it’s all in your hands. What better way to do your job as a creative person with a strong vision?

Why Does High Fashion Go Over The Moon For The Stars?

The night sky is a perfect canvas for the stars—and for fashion designers seeking inspiration. Celestial objects are inherently stylish, because designers can translate them into simple shapes (think circles for planets, streaks for comets, five-pointed polygons for stars) that look pleasing as patterns on fabric.

Which is why the universe of, well, universe-inspired clothing is everywhere. For every moon necklace on Etsy, there’s a pair of “galaxy” leggings available on Modcloth. Constellation-themed formal wear dot Pinterest boards. And Tumblr just can’t get enough of star dresses.

On the runway, high fashion borrows from astronomy less frequently, turning only to the celestial in phases, if you will. But it happens: Back in 1913, the cover of the first issue of Vanity Fair featured an illustration of a woman gazing at her reflection while sitting on a perfect crescent moon

Other collaborations between art and the stars in the 20th century and onward often avoided showing the stars themselves. At the height of the Space Age, the French designer André Courrèges created the “moon girl” concept, envisioning the future of women’s wear dominated by bold colors and quirky accessories. His fellow French designer Pierre Cardin used unusual textiles including vinyl and plastic to make helmet-like hats that mimicked those of astronauts. And astronauts themselves have been in fashion’s spotlight: In 2009, Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin, and Jim Lovell joined an ad campaign for Louis Vuitton, prompting New York magazine to declare that in fashion, “Astronauts Are So Hot Right Now.”

RELATED: 5 Unusual Fabrics and How to Use Them

That brings us to today. This month, Valentino unveiled its pre-fall 2015 collection, which used cosmic motifs for the key pieces in its grand finale. The brand’s designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli collaborated with the British designer Celia Birtwell and Italian pop artist Giosetta Fioroni to create dresses, boots, skirts, and even outerwear decorated with planets, crescent moons, and stars. “We want to believe in a fantastic future,” Grazia Chiuri told

Valentino isn’t the only high fashion brand looking to the stars again. Marc Jacobs’ 2015 resort collection also features the Space Age as a key theme, while Tommy Hilfiger’s spring 2015 women’s collection repeatedly uses star patterns.

But why is haute couture paying attention to astronomy now? Emily Rice, an astronomer and professor at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, and Summer Ash, an astrophysicist at Columbia University, say it’s mostly because astronomy is having a moment. They should know—the duo run the part-science, part-space blog STARtorialist, where they chronicle astronomy-inspired fashion.

Rice and Ash point to the past year’s worth of astronomy-related news and pop culture as the culprit behind the space fashion boom. 2014 was particularly productive: Christopher Nolan made a film about exploring the outer reaches of the universe (not to mention the fifth dimension), Star Wars named the next installment of the saga set to hit theaters December this year, and in real life, the European Space Agency landed a robot on a moving comet. On top of it all, NASA continues to release jaw-dropping hi-res photos, like the gigantic composite image of the Andromeda Galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

“There’s a general consciousness of what’s going on in space science and astronomy and astrophysics,” Rice says. “It’s so powerful to have a live landing like the Rosetta one, to have the world watching.”

“Astronomy is not a subculture anymore,” Ash adds. “I feel like scientists are being more integrated into culture overall.”

Therefore, the accessibility of space—and science as a whole—has made people pay attention to it, and prompted many to wear their fascination literally on their sleeves.

At least, that’s what May-Britt Moser, one of the recipients of last year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, did. To accept the prize in December, she wore a dress decorated with a neuron grid. Created by British engineer-turned-designer Matthew Hubble, the dress managed to represent her work with neuroscience through art and formal wear. Moser put it this way to the Scientific American:

A good designer has a lot in common with a good researcher. Both hunt for excellence and perfection. And you have to really focus on the details, and you don’t really know what the final result will be before you have it.

The idea of merging the scientific and the artistic hit the runway last fall with Descience, a project that paired designers with scientists in different fields to create innovative garments.

The project’s executive director, neuroscientist Yuly Fuentes-Medel, tells me she realized designers and scientists are similar when she went to her first fashion show on a whim for a friend. “[Scientists and designers] think, develop, and create in very similar ways, but it has never been put together,” she says. “Fashion is an amazing visual language, and fashion designers are amazing translators for scientists to communicate their work in a completely different way.”

In 2014, Fuentes-Medel recruited designers and scientists to create teams of two. One designer, New York-based Amanda Curtis, joined after years of working on her own collection. The experimental, scientific aspect of the project didn’t seem strange to her when she joined, she says. Instead, she had noticed that “a general science or technology renaissance” had started permeating fashion. Business models were changing—designers could use Kickstarter to manufacture and launch brands, for example—and she wanted in on the action.

Plus, the world of science is more accessible than ever. Echoing Rice and Ash, Curtis points out how easy it is to seek out and learn about space: All someone has to do is download an app, point a device toward the sky, and examine a map of constellations. So, when Descience began, she wanted to interpret this shift. She ended up designing an interactive dress with MIT Media Lab’s César Hidalgo that would respond to social-media mentions by lighting up, though she never created the dress itself (her company moved from Boston to New York while she was working on it).

“Fashion is a translation of the world around us, of what’s happening and where people are paying attention,” she tells me. “Designers interpret that and make that visual.”

Another team, designer Tatiana Tejedor and synthetic biologist Tal Danino, designed a glow-in-the-dark dress that used microscopic images of cancer-detecting bacteria—and even some of the bacteria itself. “When you turn the lights off, you can see that these small little sprinkles are real fluorescent bacteria that are painted onto the dress,” Danino explained.

It may seem gimmicky to put cells on a dress and call it a day, but to Fuentes-Medel, Descience’s concepts and dresses—finished or unfinished—were meant to show how scientists and designers can collaborate. The teams may not produce scientific breakthroughs or discoveries, but that’s not the point. The point, Fuentes-Medel says, is to help both sides understand the other’s and in the process, draw new inspirations for their work.

RELATED: See Top 20 Scientific Breaktrhoughs

After all, she notes, Valentino can only conceive of its cosmic motifs because the house’s designers can see actual images of the cosmos. And those images came from scientists and engineers, the ones who produced and fine-tuned telescopes and cameras to capture images of space in the first place.

“There’s this connection between how we discover the world around us through scientists and how fashion can bring it to life through designers,” she tells me. “It’s a constant loop of inspiration that you create around two worlds that are supposed to be super far apart, but are now together.” So in other words, fashion and science are now, finally, in orbit.…

To The Moon And Back: The Most Dramatic Space-Inspired Fashion Through The Years

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first crewed mission to land on Earth’s only permanent satellite. Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong set foot on a surface no human had reached before. It was an epoch-making moment watched by an estimated 600 million people, crowning a decade in which the West and the Soviet Union had vied to be the first to reach the moon. The Cold War’s space race had far-reaching consequences, not only inspiring fervent conversation and uncertainty about our relationship with the cosmos, but also hugely influencing cultural output. For fashion designers André Courrèges, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin, it meant devising a whole new way to dress. As we head towards the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, Ungravity looks back over half a century of design inspired by constellations, astronauts, aliens and everything else in the great unknown.

André Courrèges

Partly credited with inventing the miniskirt (it’s a two-way tie between him and Mary Quant), designer André Courrèges was at the forefront of fashion’s preoccupation with exploring the solar system. Beginning with his “Space Age” collection in 1964, Courrèges’s lashings of white and silver quickly became part of an era-defining aesthetic. In fact, beyond thigh-skimming hems, he also helped to popularise other items that came to define the “Moon Girl” look, including flat boots, goggles and trouser suits, as well as garments made from wipe-clean PVC. His obsession with comfort, innovation and forward-looking design continued through to the moon landings and beyond – he even made a mirrored all-in-one to commemorate the much-anticipated landings. It was a fashion fixation that found its way into all sorts of high places; Courrèges even received a personal invitation to visit NASA’s mission control at Cape Canaveral.

Paco Rabanne

In the hands of Spanish designer Paco Rabanne, the Space Race became perfect stimulus for envisioning an avant-garde future. Working with a series of innovative materials – including paper, plastic and, most famously, metal – Rabanne’s designs often resembled very beautiful (and sometimes scanty) armour from a mysterious universe. Playfully claiming to have “travelled to Earth from the planet Altair to organise civilisation on this planet 78,000 years ago”, Rabanne’s art-clothing hybrids allowed for a particularly evocative form of time travel, bringing suggestions of medieval-era chainmail and other historic attire into an uncertain modern age. His daring cutaways and pioneering methods of construction featured in the 1968 sci-fi film Barbarella and have been copied many times over the decades – updated versions of his chainmail dresses have been sported by celebrities including Paris Hilton and Bella Hadid, while a recent reissue of his much-beloved 1969 metal bag was an immediate hit.

Pierre Cardin

In line with his 1960s peers, Pierre Cardin’s output took on the challenge of heading out into the universe. With a love of unusual design details (think vinyl, oversized zips, geometric patterns and body stockings) and an architectural approach to proportion, Cardin’s clothes were enchanting and humorous in equal measure. His 1969 show titled “Space Age and Futurism” was heavily influenced by the fervour around the moon landings, featuring shiny capes and dresses with rocket-style flaring at the hem. Like Courrèges, he was also given a tour of NASA – becoming the first civilian in the world to try on Armstrong’s famous spacesuit when he allegedly bribed a security guard into giving him access. The experience left such a deep impression on the designer that he went on to create his own spacesuits for NASA, and in 2000 he said he still dreamed about having a house on the moon.

Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler’s dramatic proportioning and human-cyborg fantasies owe a clear debt to 1960s space-age designers. His models frequently looked like fearsomely alluring beings from another planet (no surprise that his perfume was called Alien), with plenty of Paco Rabanne-style metal armoury and daringly cut dresses. The late 1970s was a particularly outer space-focused time for the designer – from tinfoil-shiny, silver, pleated dresses through to belted, gold spacesuits complete with helmet-style headgear. The latter, found in his autumn/winter 1979 collection, looked simultaneously backwards and forwards, combining classic 1960s futurism with foreshadowing of 1980s decadence.

Issey Miyake

Extraterrestrial life – strange spacecraft, stereotypical green aliens and other fantastical fare – has also offered up inspiration for designers. Issey Miyake’s famous flying saucer dresses provided a startling meeting point between Japanese paper lanterns, biomorphic sculpture and UFOs. Produced in numerous shapes and colourways during the 1990s, the carefully pleated polyester garments saw “saucer” shapes cascading over the body, offering the wearer the look of something extraordinary in motion – a curiously eye-catching object hovering just above the ground.


Alexander McQueen’s designs frequently alluded to imagined spaces – not least in his memorably unsettling final show, which featured futuristic visions of Plato’s Atlantis complete with animal-human-oceanic hybrids. However, perhaps his most space age-y moment came during his tenure at Givenchy, with his autumn/winter 1999 collection riffing on technology, androids and an uncertain future on the eve of Y2K. As with designers of earlier decades, McQueen transformed this potent mix of anxiety and possibility into a series of forward-looking, bold-shouldered garments. Models with severe bobs strode down a metallic runway clad in shiny, sci-fi fabrics, moulded body casts, Blade Runner-esque fur coats, knee-high go-go boots and even circuit boards, some of which were elaborately embroidered. Others, startlingly, were wired up with real, flashing LEDs – a clever merging of clothing with machine, illuminating what might lie ahead in disconcerting style.


Space has long ignited pop culture’s imagination – from sci-fi books to long-standing film franchises to concept albums – leading to a particularly rich glut of reference points for designers to draw on, too. In the case of Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2007 collection, this included Nicolas Ghesquière citing movies The Terminator and Tron as inspiration, but also seemingly making some not-so-subtle nods to expansive space opera Star Wars in a series of gold, armour-style leggings that could have been lifted straight from the legs of protocol droid C-3PO. Shifting through various appearances (and reassembled machine parts), and possessing the ability to speak in over seven million forms of communication, C-3PO has proved to be something of a slow-burn style icon. Rodarte also featured him with R2-D2 on a gown in its autumn/winter 2014 collection, alongside fellow characters Luke Skywalker and Yoda.

Hussein Chalayan

Like the designers of the 1960s, Hussein Chalayan has also found himself preoccupied with futurism – and the implications of what we might wear in a much-changed universe. For spring/summer 2007, Chalayan not only presented his much-feted bubble dress, but also took show attendees through a rapid sartorial history lesson via six garments that changed in front of watchers’ eyes. His technical wizardry, developed by the same team who worked on the special effects in the Harry Potter films, allowed clothes to bloom and transform on models, changing from Victorian get-ups to short gowns, diaphanous baby-doll dresses to beaded affairs, and in one instance, from a 1950s-housewife-on-a-space-ship ensemble (complete with wide-brimmed hat) to a heavily Paco Rabanne-influenced metallic shift and helmet with visor. Each metamorphosis was met with awestruck applause as Chalayan once again pushed the boundaries of form and function via his otherworldly flights of imagination.

Christopher Kane

Technological advance has provided other sartorial possibilities too – not least the ability to both witness and capture the often jaw-dropping evidence of what lies far beyond our planet. The early 2010s saw a glut of galaxy prints, the colours of the cosmos scattered across dresses, T-shirts, bags and every other available surface. The explosive popularity of this particular pattern can be traced back to one source: Christopher Kane’s 2011 resort show. Titled “Into the Galaxy” and featuring images of flaring nebulae captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, Kane’s designs turned these dazzling displays into immediately desirable garments. Black leather detailing played off against chiffon printed with orange flashes, glittering pinks, cool turquoises and deep-sea blues. From a distance the eye might interpret these patterns as anything from marbled ink to roaring fires. Up close the galactic fireworks proved even more mesmerising to observe.


The question of clothes in space isn’t just centred on abstract inspiration, it’s a very practical one too. After all, anyone who makes it beyond Earth’s atmosphere is entirely reliant on their attire to keep them alive. And in an age of potential space tourism, the next stage of spacesuit development is crucial and full of intricate considerations. These concerns probably weren’t at the forefront of Raf Simons’s Dior couture show for autumn/winter 2014, but his designs certainly showed an awareness of the sartorial implications of space travel. Choosing, like Chalayan, to juxtapose designs delving into centuries worth of history with more futuristic fashions, Simons presented a series of silk-taffeta flight suits, glittering embroidery undercutting their utilitarian shapes. There was an echo of Simons’s forerunner John Galliano in them too – the designer took his bow in a full astronaut suit at Dior’s couture show in 2006.


It’s perhaps …

10 Science Gifts People Will Actually Want for Christmas

Science nerds can be difficult to shop for. They’ve seen it all — and probably know it all, too.

When the holidays roll around, another gift card or throw blanket just isn’t going to cut it. But rest easy, we’ve got you covered. We’ve taken the guesswork out of gift giving, presenting you with 10 cool science gifts for your science-loving friends, family and significant others.

These science gifts were hand-picked by Ungravity and cater to the science enthusiasts on your Christmas list — no matter their quirks or interests.

We think this curated collection of gifts checks all the boxes. Dinosaurs? Yep. Outer space? You ’betcha. Chemistry? Of course! Math? Right on.

1. The Science of Beer Pint Glass Set

Every science (and beer) nerd knows that brews are best enjoyed when poured into a glass. Much of beer’s flavor is locked in its aroma, and an artful pour releases its hoppy, malty goodness.

But any old glass won’t do. A great beer glass can completely elevate the beer-drinking experience. The beer snob on your holiday shopping list will love this pint glass, which comes with a “shot” of science. The Science of Beer pint glass showcases the molecules commonly found in their favorite brew, annotated with the qualities they impart.

There’s versions for wine and spirit lovers, too: The Science of Whiskey glass set and The Science of White Wine glass set. Cheers to science!

2. Women of Science Tote Bag

How about a science gift that celebrates the trailblazing women who changed science — and the world — with their breakthroughs and discoveries?

This reusable tote features Ada Lovelace, Rosalind Franklin, Maria, S. Merian, Marie Curie, Mae Jemison, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Jane Goodall, Chein-Shiung Wu and Rachel Carson. More people should know their names. Gift this unique tote to someone who’s a force for science.

3. Tardigrade Plush from GIANTmicrobes

No gift says “forever” quite like the tardigrade plush from GIANTmicrobes.

Tardigrades, also known as waterbears, are strangely cute and chubby microorganisms that have proven to be indestructible. Seriously, it is virtually impossible kill a tardigrade. In fact, they’re the first — and only — animal that has survived the harsh and inhospitable conditions of outer space.

Tiny and tough, tardigrades will probably outlive us all. Likewise, this GIANTmicrobes tardigrade is a gift that any science nerd would cherish for years to come.

4. Climate Change Mug

This Climate Change Mug would be a great science gift for anyone who’s concerned about the consequences of climate change. It’s a great conversation starter — adding hot coffee or tea reveals what will happen when the polar ice caps melt.

5. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Cosmos by Carl Sagan was the book of a generation. This timeless classic is the definitive guide to how the universe works. It’s full of Sagan’s thought-provoking insights into the science of astronomy and space exploration. But it’s also a beautiful reflection on the origin of life and humankind’s place in the cosmos. No science buff’s book collection would be complete without The New York Times bestselling science book, Cosmos by Sagan.

If you’re looking for book gift ideas this year, Sagan’s powerful and philosophical masterpiece would be a memorable science gift for all ages. This edition of Cosmos features a foreword from Neil deGrasse Tyson, another prolific voice. Cosmos is the perfect science gift for anyone who’s curious about where we came from and why we’re here — and it’s a great way to introduce younger generations to one of the greatest minds in modern science. There was nothing like it before it was published — and, arguably, there’s been nothing quite like it since.

6. The Planet Mug

Could dark matter — the mysterious substance that holds the universe together — be coffee? It’s a controversial theory, but it sure makes lot of sense at 6 a.m. If your space geek loves coffee, give them the best gift in the universe: The Planet Mug. Adding hot tea or coffee reveals the secrets of the solar system. Who wouldn’t want to start every morning by going on a galactic adventure?

7. Moon Hat

It’s not just a phase. Astronomy-inspired clothing will always be cool. The Moon phase beanie is the perfect combination of fashion and science. It’s a great space-themed gift for both men and women that’s cozy and practical. This beanie will keep them warm as they sky gaze on long winter nights.

Illustrated Instructions are sewn inside the hat to help decode the Moon and its motions. Here’s how it works, roughly: Face toward the Sun, and the hat shows you where the moon will be at different phases. Who doesn’t love a gift that makes them think?

8. Disappearing Dinosaurs Mug

Dinosaurs didn’t go extinct because they ran out of coffee. But we’re pretty sure the “caffeineosaurs” among us wouldn’t survive without their morning jolt.

This science mug combines two of our favorite things — coffee and dinosaurs. When you pour in a hot beverage, the dinosaurs on the coffee cup transform into fossils. The aspiring paleontologist on your holiday shopping list will love watching 66 million years pass by over a cup of coffee or hot tea in the morning.

9. 2020 Deep Space Mysteries Calendar

It’s impossible to look at a space photo and not be filled with awe and amazement. There’s beauty, mystery, enchantment and drama everywhere you look in the universe. But stunning space images aren’t just eye candy — they also teach us about the final frontier and help us appreciate our place in the cosmos.

The 2020 Deep Space Mysteries Calendar is a great gift for astronomy fans who dream of exploring the realm beyond our home planet. It’s filled with dramatic images of nebulae, spiral galaxies, planets, star-forming regions, and other mysteries of deep space.

Each month in the calendar provides an overview of what’s happening in the night sky, which makes it an attractive gift for sky gazers, too.

10. The Space & Beyond Box

What would it be like to have an astronomer do your personal shopping? The result would be something like the Space & Beyond Box. This subscription box, curated by the minds at Astronomy magazine, is the ultimate gift for people who love outer space.

Each Space & Beyond Box is filled with an impressive collection of space swag — including beautifully illustrated posters, globes, gadgets and educational gifts. Every quarter, the Space & Beyond Box focuses on a different theme or topic in astronomy, ideal for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the cosmos and have a little fun while they’re at it.

If you’re feeling extra generous, get the space lover on your Christmas gift list an annual subscription. After all, having a package delivered makes any day feel like Christmas, no matter the season.…

3 Incredible Nesting Doll Value Tips And How To Appraise Them

Semenovskaya matryoshka or nesting dolls appeared in 1922. By this time, in the village of Merinovo there were more than a hundred craftsmen making a variety of fun toys. The matryoshka nesting doll that was popular and walked around the world for 3 decades was brought from the fair and the masters liked it very much. But do you know what is a nesting doll and the operation behind the making of the same? Let us find out.

  • The first began to make detachable doll steel Mayorov and Vagin. Imitating Zagorian masters Averyan Vagin began to sharpen the mixture of nested dolls: bald peasants with beards and mustaches and peasants in portly hats.
  • But Arseny Mayorov matryoshka was somewhat different. His Oldest daughter Lyuba made a drawing on a doll with a goose feather and painted it with aniline dyes.

More nesting doll designs are available for affordable prices at

  • Glorious turned out matryoshka, elegant: In the center of the apron is a bright scarlet flower a daisy, on the head is a kokoshnik. Liked the drawing of the younger daughter Zinaida very much, after which she also contributed to the doll. So both sisters began to show off to each other – who would write it down better.

The Essence of Creativity

Once the creativity of the sisters saw a visiting artist! It was he who gave the sisters good advice – write rural beauties. Since then, the Semenovskaya matryoshka finally found its image and no longer competed with the Zagorian doll. In the Zagorsky nesting dolls there is a lot of urban, more rigors in clothing. In Semenov’s – more brightness, as if pulled out of a round dance, the blush on her cheeks – was out of breath. So she went just such a light, where she was received with great joy.

And what is surprising – today, few people know about the Zagorsk matryoshka, but everyone knows Semenov. Of course, it should be called Merinovskaya, but the craft there began to fade and the masters went to the city – to factories and artels. Therefore, it is so rooted: Semenov matryoshka.

Until recently, everyone who went abroad carried the main souvenir – painted Russian traditional and non-traditional dolls. It was the most visiting and business doll in the world.

The oldest Russian matryoshka is the Sergiev Posad. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a teaching and demonstration workshop in Sergiev Posad began to produce a wooden matryoshka painted with gouache and varnished. Sergiev Posad matryoshka dense, squat, with a smooth transition of the head into the body. In the images of the first such matryoshkas, the wizard embodied characters taken from life, depicting peasant girls, shepherds with a pipe, old men, the bride and groom, as well as heroes of fairy tales, fables and even historical events.

At the same time, the production of dolls began in the Semenovsky district of the Nizhny Novgorod province. Semenovskie matryoshka slimmer, with a small head and a more rounded body, and they are also brighter colored. Craftswomen gave them the image of a lively, smart girl in a flowered shawl and beautiful apron. Painted them with aniline dyes, which, unfortunately, quickly fade.

After them, matryoshka appeared in Polkhov-Maidan, in the industries of Kalinin, Kirov, Naro-Fominsk and Babenok (Moscow region), Krasnokamsk (Perm region). Matryoshka Polkhov-Maidan is very diverse in shape. There are among them elongated single nesting dolls, nesting dolls, dense and squat, but several elongated shapes with a narrow head, as if cut from above, with sloping hangers, predominate. They are painted, as well as Semenov, aniline dyes.

In the village of Krutets in the paintings of matryoshk household lines appear. From the colors covering the toy, only the strict face framed by black curls looks out. These curls are a genuine detail of an old local women’s dress. Matryoshek faces draw succinctly, creating a generalized image of a village girl. Each Maidan master dyer in her own way embodies this ideal of beauty. They have recently added contour drawing with free brush strokes. Enriched and palette. Cold and warm colors boldly coexist, creating tension gamma.

The peculiar form of Kalinin dolls. They are more elongated than the Sergiev Posad, they are not so clearly identified transitions from the bottom of the figures to the top. Kalininskaya matryoshka gives the originality of painting, the technique of which was also borrowed in Sergiev Posad. However, due to the small size of the figures, the clear lines of the pattern, made by the burning needle and recessed into the wood, acquired an additional decorative sound that enriched the color range of the painting.

Modern kirovskie dolls are available in two types: painted and additionally decorated with straws and traditional forms, with the identification of the outlines of the head, shoulders and with a conical body.

Manufacturing technology

The matryoshka is a hollow doll consisting of two detachable parts, therefore, they grind it in two steps. Like any turning product that has an internal cavity, it is made from a cylindrical blank. Hollow products are turned on lathes with a cup, cam or disc chuck. For reliable fixing of a blank on a lathe, its end face is tied to a cone, if the cartridge is a cup, and in the form of a cylinder, if it is a cam. The blanks processed in cup and cam cartridges should have an allowance for processing along the length of 40-50 mm, thickness and width of 4-5 mm. A product consisting of two parts should have an additional allowance along the length of the blank. It is strengthened on the wall, centered and cleaned the end. Then, in accordance with the sketch produce rough turning of the head.

The Sharp End

The sharp end of the shoal cut off the head. When turning out internal volumes, care must be taken to ensure that the disc is stably reinforced. On the butt from the outside they grind a fold, the outer diameter of which should be 0.5 mm smaller than the internal diameter of the head. The fold is an edge treated as an incoming right angle with unequal sides. Edge for better donning the head cut at an angle to the ledge. Then mark the height of the bottom of the matryoshka. Using a semicircular chisel, they grind out the internal volume and, using a hook of the desired bend radius, clean it and then the bottom. On the machined lower part they put on the head and grind both parts with a jamb, pushing them to each other. Next form the protruding ring base matryoshka. Sand the surface. The butt is cut off at the sharp corner of the joint, and the matryoshka is ready.

In the process of turning nesting dolls, the turner periodically uses templates, marking up the blanks along the length and adjusting the diameter of the carved figures. This is especially necessary in the manufacture of multi-seat (multi-school) nesting dolls, the exact observance of the dimensions of which ensures the free entry of one into another.

In the 20th century, matryoshka dolls by artist Nechaev gained popularity, it was in the 80s. He created dolls for every taste: there were different shapes, styles, and sizes. Tourists simply dismantled matryoshka, they flew away like pies. Today, by the way, there are not only five-seater nesting dolls, but also others – in which 7.10 or even 15 figures. In 1913 a record was set, the craftsmen made a doll from 48 dolls.…

Popular Animal Onesies That Are Taking The World By Storm

The word onesies comes from two Japanese words kiru – to wear and nuigurumi – a plush toy. Phonetically pronounced “Key your ou me”. There is a wide variety of designs and styles of onesies pajamas, from animals to prehistoric Jurassic dinosaurs, which makes it relevant for each family member. It is now possible to meet people dressed in Onesies not only on the streets of Japan, but also in any city in the world.

As mentioned above, the onesies has a large variation of styles, but all pajamas have common elements back zipper, as in pajamas with feet. There are no onesies feet, but there is the possibility of buying plush slippers-pads separately and a wide hood that imitates the head of a loved one character.

Check out more designs and styles for animal onesies available today at

Usually, onesies are sewn of two types of fabric light fleece or warm fleece. Light fleece is a wonderful material that will warm in a cool evening, and warm fleece will provide better protection from the cold in winter. It is easy to take care of these two fabrics and you can safely wash them in a washing machine without further ironing. You can find stitched onesies from other fabrics, there are jeans and polished cotton.

One of the small joys of children is a dream in their favorite animal’s pajamas. In fact, adults are not much different from children. The most popular categories of Onesies are:

  • Animals and nature
  • Cartoon Characters
  • Fairytale characters
  • Ghosts and Monsters

Perhaps for us this is not relevant, and you have nowhere to find this, but in Japan, on certain days, an office worker can freely come to work in Onesies. Also, onesies is a beautiful costume for Halloween, its advantage is that after celebrating your pajamas you can wear it repeatedly for other purposes, not only for sleeping.

Most onesies are undemanding in washing, they can be washed in a typewriter and dried in a dryer, but we insist on checking the tag, it is possible to meet pajamas made from a material intended only for dry cleaning. Information on the care of pajamas can be found on the tag attached to pajamas, so read the information carefully to extend the life of this beautiful product.

Being popular among teenagers and adults in Japan, Onesies has spread throughout the world and is becoming a must-have in the wardrobe of young people in the United States and Europe. Funny, warm, sweet, these properties, as it turned out, are enough to win the wardrobe of people all over the globe.

Onesies is quite popular. Therefore it is available for sale in any part of America. The price in America is on average from 1,300 dollars to 6,000 dollars, depending on the model.

What is onesies?

This is pajamas. But her difference is that she looks like an animal costume, a cartoon character or a fairy tale. The name is an abbreviation of Dzintai Tukoyo Nuigurumi, where Dzintai is the human body, Tukoyo is worn, Nuigurumi is a soft toy; that is, it literally translates as a soft toy for wearing on the human body.

To wear it is not just fun, but also pleasant, as it is sewn of soft types of fabric, mostly fix. Therefore, many dress it not only at home, but also at festivals, ski resorts, children’s matinees, corporate parties and even used in shows. Especially viral it spreads over the Internet Almost every blogger has videos in such clothes. Often it is put on the stream. In order to know more you may always take the help of the internet.

A couple of tips when buying

It is very important when choosing to look at the seams, whether the threads stick out. If this catches the eye immediately, the fabric will quickly disperse at the seams. You have to either self-hemmer or throw out. It is better to take from stores with a high rating. It will give a guarantee for a return if you notice a defect already when worn. You can also take it a size or two more, it looks like a chip, and you will be more comfortable.

Regarding the size and sport, if you are going to wear a character over outerwear, it is better to measure everything together especially if you are going to play sports. Directly during the fitting, sit down, walk, and wave your arms and legs. It is very important that the costume does not hold down the movement and is not too large. Otherwise you will only be engaged in tipping and tying it.

Pay attention to the additional parts, such as the tail, wings and the rest. They should not bother you. Remember, any clothes should be comfortable; otherwise the purchase will not be a joy. There is still a moment in appearance. Onesies is almost always decorated with fabric pieces. For example, if a girl adds sequins, rhinestones or crystals to her pajamas, this will really make her image unique and more interesting.

You should not limit yourself only to additions in the form of gloves and sneakers. What prevents you from wearing a backpack, socks or glasses of the same color? If you take it as a gift, you will completely guess. Firstly: this is a truly original gift, and secondly: it will be very difficult to make a mistake with the size, as it is worn freely. If this is a gift for a child, believe me, now you will become his favorite.

It should be said in advance that in pajamas you can not only sleep, but also use it as clothing for your home. There is a huge variety of women’s and men’s pajamas. Today we will focus on female models in more detail.

Onesies: new age pajamas

Earlier pajamas were an ordinary set of clothes, pants and a long-sleeved T-shirt. But now, with the suggestion of the Japanese, the trend of a new line, the Onesies, began to take shape.

Advantages of Onesies over analogues:

  • The presence of the hood
  • Cheerful appearance

The hood may not be required if you only sleep in onesies. But modern youth wear onesies even to the street.

The choice of fabric: synthetic vs. natural

You need to understand that absolutely natural paintings today do not exist. The reason is that they can sit down after washing, no matter how cold the water is. In addition, natural fibers fray significantly faster. Naturally, consumers will not be satisfied if after a year of active use of pajamas, it turns into a doormat.

For this reason, synthetic fabric is added to the fabric. It will make the canvas more practical when used in the long term. It is unlikely that onesies is suitable for grown-up and wealthy people. For them, there is also a version. He is a whole suit. It is worth recalling that before the 19th century there were entire collections of home clothes. Today we have only pajamas and bathrobes. However, there was a whole industry of shoe making for home use.…

6 Things the Media Hasn’t Told You About Rose Gold Charm

Be it beautiful silver bracelets with engraving for your loved one, made of 925 silver or the rose gold plated or silver plated ones, you can find all at online shops. Indent bracelets, bracelets with pendants or round pendants are ideal for engraving messages. Present your own style with Rose Gold Charm Love Bracelet with a very personal message, starting from $ 19.90. It is an engraving great gift idea for fashion conscious men and women.

Engraved silver bracelets- a unique gift for men and women

Modern and timeless are the silver bracelets with engraving, for unique women and men. With an individual love message engraved in our online jewelry store, your silver bracelet becomes a remarkable one of a kind item. All of the silver bracelets are made of 925 sterling silver and plated in rose or gold. The high quality engraved silver bracelets are timeless classics under the engraved bracelets and a popular gift for any occasion.

Check out more rose gold charms in various designs and materials only at

Silver bracelets- huge selection including engraving

Almost every one of silver bracelets is engrave-able on both sides. Depending on the model, the engraving is made with a diamond or laser. Personalized bracelets made of silver are fully in line with the trend that at the city has been following and influencing for almost 10 years. As an expert in engravable silver arm chains, we have already been able to realize many creative engravings, make your choice and order online now. The high-quality silver engraved bracelets have an unbeatable value for money and are a great gift idea for a birthday.

Silver bracelets are one of the oldest and most popular pieces of jewelry in the world. Numerous artifacts prove that they were already common at the time of the Maya and Egyptians. In these ancient cultures, both women and men wore clasps like bracelets that either spanned the wrist or the upper arm. With increasing jewelry art, the texture changed and the rigid silver bracelets were often decorated with mobile pendants, which served as charms or amulets against the evil.

Silver bracelets at Leaf

Bracelets available from us pick up on this style and convert it by the material used or different sized chain links. The design of the pendants is subject to numerous variations. Here, women and men have the choice between movable and firmly integrated charms which can also be filled with cubic zirconium or gemstones.

Bracelets made of other materials

But it does not necessarily have to be silver bracelets. An additional opportunity to vary the popular arm jewelry offers the extensive variety of materials of our online store. Rose or yellow gold is an elegant alternative to silver, giving even simple chains without pendant an interesting expression due to their color.

Silver bracelets are a fashionable alternative for those who prefer white jewelry. The precious metal harmonizes with colorful gemstones or colored style elements made of different materials and goes with white crystals a visually pleasing connection. In the branded collection you will find silver bracelets of different styles as an expressive accessory that emphasizes your individual look.

The Bracelets are a must have

This is a great gift for special occasions such as baptism, communion or wedding and a timeless classic. A delicate bracelet made of fine 925 sterling silver, high-quality stainless steel or precious gold is a perfect companion, where you can enjoy every day. The bracelets can be worn perfectly for an everyday outfit, business look or evening wears. Romantic and very girlish are pearl earrings or a necklace with a small pendant.

If you love it individually and personally, you can put on a charm bracelet with pretty charms and colorful or silver beads. The bracelets tell their own story through the individual design and can be extended and changed again and again. You like it really striking? Then massive, silver bracelets with big links are just the thing. Well combined with black leather straps, the Rock star style is perfect.

With silver bracelets for men, you can easily emphasize your own personal style. The precious metal adapts discreetly to any outfit and is socially less biased than gold, which many often perceive as pretentious. Nevertheless, you should heed one thing. your silver jewelry should best consist of 925 silver. Skylight introduces you to the three most popular silver bracelet categories.

Link chains: Rock fans want to attract attention

Black leather jackets, black boots, band T-shirts and tight skinny jeans rock fans love the big show, and it may be a bit partial. Think big. At festivals and concerts, you can wear exactly what you would like to notice in your office every day, heavy silver bracelet for men, for example. The thicker, the better anchor chains or tank tracks are well suited for this look. There may also be several on one wrist.

Silver braces: Business types make subtle statements

Many people swear by silver hoops because the precious metal has a healing effect. But regardless, men wearing silver hoops or bracelets signal inner independence. You may be dressed in a conservative cut shirt for conventional flannel suit and brogues, but you have not quite yet submitted to the routine of the job. At meetings, the tight-fitting silver bracelet for men under the cuff occasionally flashes.

Leather with silver: Rebel like a material mix

Noble leather straps in natural colors, braided or smooth, with a simple silver buckle or elaborate silversmith work, are something for men who do not always agree with everyone. As for her clothes, you will not be able to fix her style. In the three-piece with shark collar shirt and tie, they feel just as comfortable as in jeans and sweatshirt. In both cases, they do not wear their silver bracelet for men. Unlike gold, silver runs fast if not worn all the time. The simplest trick to bring back your silver bracelet for men is a bath of water, aluminum foil, and salt. Dissolve five tablespoons of salt in one liter of hot water and place the silver together with a piece of aluminum foil.…

The Best Matching Bracelets for Couples

Do you remember the friendship bracelets that we used to make for our BFFs back when we were younger?

We’re all mature adults now, but we can still give special bracelets to our significant others. The couples bracelets are not age-restricted, and they are an ideal way to show your loved one how much he/she means to you. The best thing here is that you don’t need to spend countless hours to make these bracelets, you can buy them instead.

These matching couples bracelets can be an ideal anniversary gift, an impulse buy, and/or even a trinket that you can get to mark a significant milestone in your relationship. Regardless of your decision, you should always choose a matching couples bracelet carefully.

Down below, you will find our top recommendations for the best matching bracelets that you can get for your significant other. Let’s get started!

1. His and Hers Bracelets

You’ve probably heard of Yin and Yang symbols, and you’re probably familiar with what they represent. There is no better way to showcase the stability of your relationship than having a bracelet that symbolizes the harmony of your love. The bracelet looks amazing, but you can also customize it even further if you use another color of the string (other than black and white). Regardless of what you prefer, this bracelet will undoubtedly look amazing on both your and your loved one’s wrists. You can get the bracelet here.

2. Turquoise Bracelet Set

The visual aspect is very important when you consider what bracelet to go for. Turquoise Bracelet Set is crafted very carefully, and it uses only the handpicked materials that, when bound together, form a very beautiful picture. Black Onyx, pyrite, turquoise howlite, silver-coated brass, and bayong wood bass all function perfectly. This unique combination of different materials is what makes these these bracelets best-buy products that you should absolutely check out. You can find them here.

  3. Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets are not as romantic as the bracelets that we described above, but they are no less good. They look amazing, and we can say that a combination of golden and navy blue colors works like a charm. If you want to show your friend how much he/she means to you, this is the bracelet to go for. You can get it here.

4. Sterling Silver Bracelet Set

Everyone knows that sterling silver is the best material when it comes to matching couples bracelets. Sterling Silver Bracelet Set not only looks great, but it’s also very unique. These bracelets are ideal for an anniversary gift, and they’re equally great if you want to give your significant other a gift that he/she will never forget. You can buy these bracelets here.

5. Hand Stamped Bracelet Set

If you prefer cotton over the traditional materials that are commonly used to make couples bracelets, Hand Stamped Bracelet may just be your ideal pick. The best thing here is that the bracelets can carry the message of your choice. While that may not be as important to some people, it’s certainly a feature that we have to point out. So, for example, you can easily choose to engrave “I love you” or “my special one”. Isn’t that amazing? If you believe that beauty lies in simplicity and if you want to send a simple yet straightforward message, this is the bracelet for you. You can get it right here.…

5 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About the Cosmic Microwave Background

“Science cannot tell theology how to construct a doctrine of creation, but you can’t construct a doctrine of creation without taking account of the age of the universe and the evolutionary character of cosmic history.” –John Polkinghorne

Out there in space, whether we look with our eyes or with a telescope — a far more powerful version of our eyes — we find that the Universe is full of stars, galaxies, clusters, and luminous objects everywhere we look.

But if we look in different wavelengths of light than what our eyes can see, we’re going to see the Universe in a whole new light, literally. X-rays show us where black holes, neutron stars, and ultra-hot gas is, ultraviolet light shows us the hottest, youngest stars in the Universe, near infrared shows us cooler stars and is transparent to all but the hottest neutral atoms that normally block visible light, while far infrared shows us warm and cool gas and dust, including the locations of future stars.

But if you look in the microwave part of the spectrum, you see something that is, perhaps, a little unexpected. You see, if you look in, say, the infrared, what you’ll see is completely dominated by the local group: our galaxy, the stars in it, and the nearest galaxies to us.

If you’re clever enough to subtract out those local sources from your sky map, what you’ll find is a slew of point sources that show off the structure of the Universe: galaxies, clusters and filaments lying beyond our own galactic neighborhood. When you look at a picture like the one below, we are looking at a map of the large-scale structure of the cosmos.

But what if we look in microwave wavelengths? Instead of seeing this rich structure that shows us point sources, galaxies, black holes, gas, dust, or something like this, what we instead see — once we subtract our galaxy out — is this.

Believe it or not, that’s the picture of our Universe in microwave wavelengths. The microwave sky shows us the same 2.725 Kelvin temperature radiation in all directions in the sky, a leftover relic from the hot Big Bang when our Universe was just 0.0027% of its present age! For perspective, if the Universe were scaled to be exactly one year long, so that right now is 11:59 PM on December 31st, this is a picture of what the Universe looked like at 12:14 AM on January 1st!

And this is a picture of the fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, or the temperature differences in different regions of the sky. Just a few hundred microKelvin separate the hottest regions from the coldest here, with the coldest (bluest) regions actually showing us the regions of space from 13.82 billion years ago that have slightly more matter (and hence a deeper gravitational well for the photons to climb out of, making them appear colder) than average, while the reddest (hottest) regions are the least dense regions.

That’s what we see when we look at the Universe in microwave wavelengths: the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). But that was all background: here are 5 facts about the CMB that you might not know, even if you’re a professional astrophysicist!

1.) The Cosmic Microwave Background actually extends far into the infrared and radio spectrum!

That number that corresponds to the temperature of the CMB — 2.725 K — is the photon energy (converted into a temperature via Boltzmann’s constant) of the peak of this radiation. But the photons in the Universe come from a thermal bath, where matter, radiation and everything else from the young Universe was constantly colliding with every other particle it saw, exchanging energy and thermalizing. This produces a very special spectrum to the radiation, known as a blackbody spectrum. Every photon in the Universe cools as the Universe expands and stretches the wavelength of each one, but the shape of this spectrum is preserved!

The photons may still peak in the microwave, but they play a role in the infrared — particularly at wavelengths longer than about 300 microns — throughout the entirety of the microwave range and all the way into the radio, where wavelengths are the size of your hand!

2.) The Cosmic Microwave Background is a “surface” over 100,000 light-years thick!

The photons of the CMB smack into free electrons and protons all the time, whenever they see one. Once the Universe cools enough so that the atoms become neutral, the vast majority of these photons now stream freely for the next 13.8 billion years, until they run into something like our detectors. But the Universe didn’t become neutral all at once; nuclei and electrons have been finding one another for hundreds of thousands of years, only to be blasted apart by a high-enough energy photon! When enough time has passed and the photon background has cooled enough, collisions like this become more and more rare, and eventually, the Universe is cool enough so that photons will free-stream all the way to your eye. That’s why the CMB is sometimes called the “surface of last scattering.”

Only, it’s not quite a surface in any direction: it takes somewhere around 117,000 light years for the Universe to go from a completely ionized to a completely neutral state, and the photons we see come from all sorts of different points along the way in every direction.

But there is something remarkable about the CMB we see today…

3.) It only became neutral when it did because of a curiosity of chemistry!

The simplified picture I presented to you — a high-energy photon background cooling as the Universe expands — would explain why atoms became neutral and the CMB appears as a rough “surface,” despite having a finite thickness. But think about it: every time you get a neutral atom forming, it emits a photon, which can then be absorbed by another neutral atom, ionizing it again! Sure, eventually the Universe will have expanded enough so that we get our surface of last scattering, but that surface would have been a lot thicker than 117,000 light-years if this were the dominant effect.

In fact, there’s another effect that’s much more important!

4.) The hot-and-cold spots you see in the CMB today are completely unrelated to all the structure in the Universe!

Because the last-scattering surface has a thickness of about 117,000 light-years, that means with the passage of time, that structure changes! In fact, the last-scattering surface will look completely different 117,000 years from now, if we’re still around to see it. The structure we see in the Universe has evolved from a huge cosmic web of initial seed fluctuations, spread out all across the Universe. But the structure we see here is related to what the CMB looked like billions of years ago, not the CMB we see today!

Image credit: ESA, of a simulation of the CMB.

Sure, as far we can tell, the CMB would have looked different only in detail and distribution; the spectrum of fluctuations would be indistinguishable regardless of when we look.

But this spectrum tells us one final, very, very interesting thing…

5.) There’s a lower-limit to the size of gravitationally-bound structure in the Universe!

Due to the presence of photons in the early Universe, initially large fluctuations get washed out over time, and become smaller and smaller in magnitude on smaller and smaller scales. The lowest mass that can exist in its own bound structure at this time is on the order of a few hundred-thousand solar masses. If all of these were in the form of normal matter…

Image credit: John Nassr of Stardust Observatory, of Messier 4.

We’d get globular clusters, or collections of around 100,000 stars and up! We do get plenty of them, but remember, the Universe is also full of dark matter. And so we’d expect to also get structures dominated by this dark matter, where — after a little burst of star formation — only a tiny amount of stars remain.

The Universe, according to our understanding of the physics going all the way back to when the Universe is just a few hundred thousand years old, should be filled with not just globular clusters, but also tiny, dark-matter-dominated structures with just around 1,000 stars or even fewer! Good thing it’s 2013 and not 2005, because we’ve found them!

With just around 1,000 stars in a structure containing 600,000 solar masses (mostly dark matter, obviously), Segue 1 was the first one discovered, and now there are others! This is right around what’s predicted, and it tells us that there are likely hundreds to tens-of-thousands around every galaxy.

All of that comes from the physics underlying the cosmic microwave background, and now you know!…

15 Space-Related Gifts for the Astronomer in Your Life

Have a few friends who are always looking up at the sky? Here are some gift ideas that celebrate the celestial bodies they know and love.


The whole moon can be lassoed out of space and brought near you. Give this 4-inch lunar light to anyone who needs a little illumination on their desk or in their closet.


Take puzzles to another dimension with a 3D crystal model of Saturn. The jigsaw is made of 39 interlocking pieces that come together to form the shape of the ringed planet.



Now, your loved one can take drinks from all the planets in the solar system. This set comes with eight glasses (which can hold up to 10 ounces) that look like the planets, along with the sun (which holds up to 16 ounces) and Pluto (which holds up to 4 ounces). The designs are applied to the glass with a high temperature heat wrap, so they can’t be put in the dishwasher—but would you really want to get the sun wet?



Have a friend who believes they’re the center of the universe? Now, they can really assume that role with a miniature version of the solar system wrapped around their neck. This necklace from ThinkGeek comes on an 18-inch chain and features an array of colorful semi-precious gems. It has all the planets, plus the sun, Pluto, and an asteroid belt.



Skip the travel poster and go for something really out of this world. With the lights on, this nearly 29-inch poster shows the stars and constellations of the Northern Hemisphere. When you flip off the lights, the lines fade and the stars and Milky Way shine vibrantly.



This all-inclusive map from Pop Chart Lab details the history of cosmic exploration by highlighting every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor to ever enter space. In total, the chart features 100 exploratory instruments.



We can’t all be astronauts, but we can at least eat like them. Though the Neapolitan square was originally created for early Apollo Space Missions, it isn’t eaten by modern astronauts today because of its crumbly nature. Still, it’s a novelty snack worth trying. The ice cream is frozen at -40 degrees and vacuum dried, so it doesn’t need to be kept in the freezer. But do astronauts detox body and lose weight fast more than we do since they are in space?



A great addition to any space-themed kitchen, the melamine plates feature watercolor designs of the eight planets (Sorry, Pluto!) that will make any entrée seem otherworldly.



Global warming suddenly has a new—and less dire—meaning. These 60-inch fleece blankets feature actual NASA photographs of Earth, Jupiter, or Mars.



At first glance, this looks like a plush toy of Earth, but once you unroll it, a pair of colorful socks emerges.



Here is a humorous shirt for patriotic friends and family. It features an astronaut on the moon with the triumphant words, “FINDERS KEEPERS.” The shirts come in men’s and women’s, in sizes ranging from small to triple XL.



Give your loved one the gift of a planetarium that they can hold in their hands. The device has eight different modes and three hours of educational audio and is compatible with images of 150 different celestial objects, all taken by the Hubble Telescope.



Perfect for both the science-inclined and the mystics in your life, these brass earrings show the phases of the moon covered by little dollops of glass.



As it’s telling time, this watch certainly makes a statement. Lacking any numbers, the accessory has three working hands that dutifully move around the face of the watch.



Help your loved one show off their supernova “flare” with this skirt that features a faux-leather waistband and a vibrant design of a galaxy.…