I received the most special gift this Christmas. My husband, Chris, was holed up in our garage most nights since November, feverishly working on a secret project for me. He’s never attempted woodworking before, but tackled this project with absolute determination. I’m a huge space geek, and have been fascinated with the night sky almost all of my life. I’ve talked of wanting a good telescope, and it would have been very easy for him to just make a stop by the store to pick one up. That he spent weeks working on this for me makes it the most special gift I’ve ever received.

Watching him get so excited about the project’s progress and work through difficulties and come up with ingenious solutions of his own was so much fun. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t be out in the garage working with him. When he unveiled the telescope on Christmas Eve, I was stunned and very excited. When I looked through the eye piece and gazed upon the moon – crystal clear and full of gorgeous craters – I started crying. We’ve already taken it out almost every night since Christmas Eve, and I can’t wait to get it out to a truly isolated spot to really see what she can do!

There’s just a little leftover staining to do, but otherwise the scope is complete and working beautifully. Now Chris thinks I should sew a nice dust cover for it.

In the Maker Shed:

The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders
Our Price: $29.99
Amateur astronomy is now within the reach of anyone, and this is the ideal book to get you started. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders offers you a guide to the equipment you need, and shows you how and where to find hundreds of spectacular objects in the deep sky — double and multiple stars as well as spectacular star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.


Rachel Hobson is a writer, editor and social media enthusiast with a background in the DIY/Maker and science/geek communities. She's also a life-long space geek, and enjoys living five minutes from Houston's Johnson Space Center where she can get her fill of rockets any time she pleases. Her hobbies include hand embroidery, modern quilting and all things Lego.

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