Shine On, You Crazy Solstice: Sun-Inspired Items to Celebrate Spring Equinox

March 20, 2013

Some days feel like they’ll never end, and others are just too danged short; with the Spring solstice here on March 20th, both the day and night are approximately equal lengths. Seems weird, right? You can thank the March equinox for that: the earth’s and sun’s tilt are in perfect alignment with each other, leaning neither away nor towards. It also marks the beginning of the spring season in the Northern hemisphere of the planet; this astronomical event introduces autumn to those sub-equator dwellers. And if you look up this Wednesday at noon, the sun will be directly overhead, so almost no shadows will be cast. Pretty cool, yes? The sun also consists of a quarter helium. Okay, enough education, let’s get into spring spirit with sun-inspired items!

1. Aquitaine Sundial Necklaces

Laurel Leaf Necklace

aCelestial Sundial Necklace

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The dawn of spring means longer days ahead, so these Aquitaine Sundial Necklaces would be of great use til the wee hours of the evening. Sundials might seem like an antiquated tool, but they are a testament to the sensitive level of observation that our ancestors had about the world around them. Plus, they look pretty magical, a sort of medieval feel minus the weirdness and wizards. The sundial pendants are also surprisingly easy to operate: move the brass band to the current month, shine the sun’s rays through the hole, and a number is illuminated on the inside to yield the approximate time. A very literal translation of the sun’s ability to help us keep track of time.

2. Pinhole Cameras

Pinhole Camera

DIY Pinhole Camera Solargraphy Kit

Pinhole Camera Sample

Pinhole Camera Photo Sample

Wide Pinhole Camera

Sharan Wide-35 DIY Pinhole Camera

Wide Pinhole Picture

Wide Pinhole Camera Photo Sample

Remember the days of photography film, when pictures were taken using a clunky machine and a roll encasing precious unused negatives? These pinhole cameras revive the dying art form with DIY kits that produce photos with a distinct blurry dreaminess even Instagram can’t imitate. Both of the pinhole cameras are completely DIY using a cardboard exterior to prevent premature exposure to film. Sunlight shines through the pinhole, and the DIY camera can be left to sit for a few seconds, hours, or days!

3. Sunography Products

Sunography Paper

Sunography Photography Paper

Sunography Fabric

Sunography Fabric

sunography-fabricSimilar to the pinhole cameras above, Sunography products use sun rays to develop photos. The only (and major) difference here is the complete absence of a camera! Sunography photo paper and fabric needs no technical aptitude, just a creative eye. Place any item or transparency on the paper or fabric, let it sunbathe for a bit, and then rinse. What you receive is really something amazing: silhouettes on a rich, cobalt background. Both the photo paper and the fabric have the option of using various household liquids to create a sepia or yellow-toned photo!

4. Clock Parasol

clock_parasol

I used to always secretly make fun of people who used umbrellas on sunny days, but now that I’m older, I realize why: it gets freakin’ hot! Plus, I also worry about the lingering threat of skin cancer (not having worn sunscreen when I was just a reckless lass), so this Clock Parasol fits my new aggressive regimen of sunscreen, shade, and more sunscreen. Besides provding UV protection, this umbrella features a sundial using graphics on the underneath of the fabric and a small compass built onto the umbrella’s handle. Now, as opposed to responding, “YES, I know it’s not raining,” I might say, “why, yes, I do have the time, and thank you, I do have good skin.”

5. How to Make Sun Tea

Sun Tea Maker

You might have heard about the great, refreshing taste of sun tea, and there’s good reason why: the absence of boiling water means tea bags slowly seep and result in a smoother taste. Plus, it’s just easy: water and several tea bags sit in the  heat of the sun for three to five hours. Remember to adjust the recipe as needed to make only as much as you plan to drink in a day: more than that can be a breeding ground for party-pooping bacteria. Try adding a little mint or lemon or using or mixing herbal teas for a flavored iced tea mix!

As the sun sets on this not-quite-long-but-not-so-short day, we gaze up at the sky and wonder what else might become of the sun’s powerful rays, warming heat, and spectacular visual display. Solar storms? The star’s death and end of our entire species? Melting skin from intense heat and UV rays? Or maybe just car seats too hot to sit on? Whatever you anticipate, chances are you’re not utilizing the sun as much as you could, so let’s embrace it now before it kills us all, or dies out, or something.

See you tomorrow!

See you tomorrow!

8 Responses to “Shine On, You Crazy Solstice: Sun-Inspired Items to Celebrate Spring Equinox”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Thanks for the ideas! Sun Tea is awesome when you put in your own herbs like Mint or Catnip. Yes, it’s the crazy cat lady – i need to change my icon..but seriously, “catnip’s calming properties can help relieve stress, anxiety, and help treat insomnia and migraines.”

  2. Gibbs Says:

    Well, I really like how the pinhole solargraphy kit achieves that authentic vintage, dreamy effect like it’s a footage in our dreams, that even the most modern digital editing software is unable to fully achieve! And it ironically looks like a toy out of our dreams lol.

  3. latelyleslie Says:

    I’m mesmerized by the retro effects of the pinhole camera. Now my life can be forever captured to look like a 90’s music video.

  4. latelyleslie Says:

    Haha! I just had to re-watch that video again since you mentioned it. Now I’m stuck watching vh1 Pop-up videos on youtube haha. Oh 90’s, how i miss you so…


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