For those who don’t know, my wife, Tara, is a collector. She used to collect the things that one needs in order to do a hobby, which was fine by me. There was one snag, however, once she’d collected (purchased) the accouterments, her interest in the hobby ended abruptly. It took us a few years to figure out that she really just likes to collect things. That is her hobby, which is kinda fun.
Her most recent obsession is rocks. Seriously. Rocks. Not just any rocks, of course. Special rocks. Painted rocks.
There’s a new trend sweeping the world. Okay, that’s a bit of hyperbole there. But it is, at the very least, sweeping my house, along with our local community. People (random people just like you and me) paint designs (some simple, some elaborate) on rocks and then hide them in public spaces such as parks, trails, and even the local grocery store.
This new collection of hers speaks to me at a very base level. The whole point of collecting these rocks is so you can hide them again and hopefully give someone else a little pick me up for their day.
Everywhere we go, Tara searches for rocks. A week or so ago, we drove up to our island (okay, we don’t own the whole island), and she found (and re-hid) rocks there.
You all want to paint and hide rocks now, don’t you? Here’s some hints and tips to help you to successfully rock.
Buy your rocks!
- Yes, you can find rocks for free at the river and at most beaches in my corner of the world (Pacific Northwest). Picking up those free rocks, however, has some big downsides. First, the rivers need their rocks. It’s part of the natural filtering system for rivers. The local flora and fauna thanks you for leaving them there. Second, most communities regulate those places. This means that it’s illegal to take the rocks and you can get a big fat fine for your troubles.
- Take heart, though, you can pick up rocks for next to nothing at rockeries. Tara pays ten cents a pound for rocks, which is much cheaper than the fine for picking them up at the river, and she’s supporting a locally owned business in the process.
Tara has the paint thing down to a science. Here are some tips from her:
- Use the spray paint for the base coat. It’s faster and cheaper than anything else.
- Use a pencil to sketch on your design.
- Smaller brushes are much better for lettering.
- Acrylic paint, the kind you can buy at your local craft store for a buck, is perfect for painting your design.
- Sharpie markers are awesome, too, but it turns into a crazy bleedy mess when you spray sealer on it.
- Spray acrylic goes on over the design just like spray paint and provides a protective layer that will keep your rock happy for longer.
- Make sure your image/message is appropriate for the potential rock finder. For example, if you really want to paint a penis on a rock (I don’t judge), don’t hide it on a trail frequented by families. Nobody wants their two-year-old to stumble across a random rock dick.
Share the love
- Some people put a facebook page on the back of the rock. If they do this, take a moment to share a picture and let folks know you’ve found their rock. HERE‘s an example.
- Re-hide the rock. Let someone else enjoy it too!
If you decide to adopt Tara’s latest hobby, be sure to share some pictures.