Sunday, October 29, 2017

New Hobby (Old Hobby Expanded) {Art on the Rocks}

On October 21, hubby and I were walking at Indian Camp Creek Park, a short distance from our home. In the landscaping along our way, I spotted this rock.

Front and back:

my first found rock

I was curious. I left it where I found it, and looked up the Facebook group referenced on the back. Who knew? It was a group out of St. Charles, MO, with over 10,000 members. Really? Looking through the posts, and in my subsequent research, I discovered this has been a “thing” for quite a while. I am surprised that I didn’t know about it, through some of my other art/craft groups…but I learned that the “craze” is an extension of the Kindess Rocks Project.

Hooked. Decided this would be something I could do with my art that would be more fulfilling than just painting in an art journal that I will eventually toss. My intent will be to inspire, comfort, or be a positive blessing. Many of my rocks will contain a Bible reference.

This will not replace Bible Art Journaling, as THAT hobby is also something that is not just for me (but in the case of Bible Art Journaling, for legacy).

I learned that my area has sort of gone off the deep end with painting and hiding and finding multitudes of rocks, rather like an Easter egg hunt. For me, I want the rocks to have meaning and to offer inspiration. I will not “drop,” as we say in the rock painting world, my rocks just anywhere, but maybe in locations where someone might be contemplatively walking or whatever (walking trails, parks, etc.). I would also like to leave them as we travel, which will be especially fun with our RV travels. It will be a challenge to see how many states I can “rock.” There are rules against placing them in state or national parks, but there are plenty of other places of nature. That’ll be my goal. I will also be fine with keeping as many of them as I would like, for now.

So, right away, after finding the rock (which I would have re-hidden had I understood “the game” at that point), I was ready to go rock hunting, to find some good ones to paint. That very day, as Russell was buying chat at our local Outdoor Emporium, he noticed a big “bin” where there were rocks for sale for rock painting (cheap). Seriously? I bought my first 10, came home and applied primer (my old favorite gesso, from my more active mixed media days).

I researched Facebook groups, joined several, and started to learn about the techniques, discovering it is basically the same art as I have done before, only on rocks instead of on paper.

I learned that most people’s rocks are never reported found. The emphasis is on the giving, not the receiving. “They” also say that if it is nice art work, the person who finds it may well keep it, and that’s just fine. If I want to offer the possibility of someone reporting their find, I need to label the back.

My first rock:


I placed it in the same park where I found my first rock.




So far, no one has used the contact info to let me know it has been found. That’s okay. I hope someone was inspired.

I decided to do several of my first ones on the fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23).

Here are numbers 2, 3, and 4. I may keep these, at least until we travel where I can drop them in new places.


I noticed on the Facebook groups that people usually take the photos of their rocks with a quarter, obviously because just from seeing a photo with no perspective, the rock could be 2 inches, or 20. Most of mine will be about the size of my hand.

Anyway, fun new project/hobby that hopefully will allow me to be an inspiration to someone, somewhere.

#KindnessRocksProject #paintedrocks #rockpainting #FaithArtontheRocks #ArtontheRocks #fruitsofthespiritpaintedrocks #handsketch

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Russell’s Birthday {My Family, My Heart}

I always want to try to make this man feel special on his birthday. He is all about taking care of everyone else, but he certainly deserves extra attention on his special day. He got cards from family and enjoyed calls and FaceTime with several.


We went out for a nice lunch at Outback.

#hubbybirthday #bestmanintheworld #myfamilymyheart

Saturday, October 21, 2017

MO Road Trip {Out & About}

Prior to purchasing the RV, we had made reservations at a new state park in Missouri that was getting rave reviews. So, we took the Explorer and headed out for a 2-night stay, October 16-18, at Echo Bluff Park, close to Eminence. We planned visits to several of the MO springs (most of them fondly remembered from our camping days when the children were small).


First stop, a great lunch along historic Route 66, Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q in Cuba, MO.


Next, we visited Maramec Spring, close to St James, MO. The water was beautiful, and it was fun to see the trout swimming in the clear stream. Russell wants to return for some fishin’!






Arriving at Echo Bluff Park, our cabin and the lodge exceeded expectations. Very new, very well-appointed.







We walked over to the lodge and down a short trail behind it, taking a picture of the bluff that towers behind the lodge, and of the lodge from the base of the bluff.



We ate dinner that evening at Creekside Grill in the lodge. Beautiful decor in the lobby.


(Our second night we opted to stay in the cabin, with a wood fire and our own chili that we brought from home.)


Our side trips included several springs that are a part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways now (at one time, I remember most or all of these being state parks).

Round Spring (on the Current River) was very close to Echo Bluff. Here, and at most of the other places we visited, we were the ONLY people there. Russell got a bit emotional at Round Spring, as he remembered visiting there with his parents. It may have been the most beautiful spring we saw.



Getting to Blue Spring (Current River) was quite an adventure. We almost didn’t find it. We traveled down about 2.5 miles of gravel road (pretty drive).


We hiked about .3 mile from the parking area to the spring.



The water started just below the stone steps—it looks like a sand bar, but that’s just how clear the water is.



Alley Spring, my favorite because of the picturesque mill and the history surrounding it. In my memory, there was a water wheel, but the knowledgeable young man inside told me that Alley Spring Mill was a turbine mill (no wheel), because they made white flour (requiring more power than a wheel). Other mills that have wheels make wheat flour. (At least that’s the way I remember what he said!)




We hiked along the stream.



There was one other spring/campground that I wanted to visit, as I had a memory that I was fairly certain originated at Pulltite Campground, also on the Current River. We drove to the campground, and my memory was correct. I expected it to be unrecognizable, because the memory was from 1975. But, actually it looked very much the same. I took a picture of the Current River (really down at the present time) accessible within the campground, and then of a campsite that was our exact site or very close (I know, because I remember seeing the Current River flowing outside the camper “windows,” and there was only one or two sites that could have been it). I took these two pictures:


The rock bed of the Current River at Pulltite Campground, October 2017.


The campsite that I believe was ours, taken October 2017.

When I got home, I looked it up in my Life Story. Here is what I found: "May 23, 1975 - My 28th birthday. We four went camping at Pulltight on Current River, with our used pop-up camper. Mark and Sharida had matching bathing suits. They loved wading in Current River, and we found "the bread rock," which we kept for several years."

Then I looked at my 1975 photo album and found these pictures:

Pulltite on Current 1975002

Picked wildflowers for our campsite, on the way (it was my birthday). My handsome 30-year-old husband. (Mark, looking at this picture today: “STUD, even with the black socks!”)

Pulltite on Current 1975001 ed

Our very first camper, a used pop-up. We loved it. Here it is on the same campsite I photographed this week (I’m just sure). We hooked a hose from the water faucet there, and I was thrilled to be able to use the little sink to give the kids a “bird bath” (we called it). Our previous “camper” had been a 3-man tent. This was awesome.

Pulltite on Current 1975003 ed

My two beautiful children. Mark was almost 5. Sharida was 3 1/2. They were such fun, and they had such fun!

Pulltite on Current 1975004 ed

Their awesome dad was helping them build a “dam across Current River.” They found a rock that was shaped like a loaf of bread. We kept “the bread rock” for several years.

About an hour from home on this trip, we stopped at Dutzow and hiked for a while on the Katy Trail.


It was a great trip, full of fun and relaxation, time spent enjoying each other’s company, and time spent down memory lane!

(And about when can I expect to STOP thinking about how much I wish our children were with us, on our trips and adventures?)

#OutandAbout #EchoBluffPark #OzarkNationalScenicRiverway #RoundSpring #AlleySpring #MaramecSpring #BlueSpring #PulltiteCampground #CurrentRiver #lovemyfamily

Sunday, October 15, 2017

MO Road Trip/Camping {RV’ing)


Headed out for a 2-night road trip through the southern part of our state, hoping to see some fall foliage. First stop, a little break an hour or so from home. Already can tell that if we wanted to see fall color, we should’ve stayed home. We have lots of maple trees on Peaceful Acres, and we have more color there than we saw on the road trip! Still, road trips are fun!


Spent the first night at Big Spring RV Park (Private—the state park was closed due to flooding).


We were right on the Current River (lots of memories from camping trips and float trips through the years as our children were growing up).

After we broke camp, we drove the short distance to Big Spring (Van Buren).


Big Spring is amazing. Beautiful. More than 288 million gallons of water flows from this spring daily.

After visiting the spring, we hiked briefly and then parked at the entrance to the closed state park for an incredible “indoor” lunch of Vermont Sharp Cheddar and Honey Crisp Apple Slices on Oatnut Bread with Whole Grain Mustard (accompanied by Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips). This was our first time to try out the generator (used it to run the a/c—it was still pretty hot out, even though October!). Worked like a charm.




Driving through the backroads of MO, we “landed” for our second night at a private campground near Maramec Springs (close to St James).



Still a little warm for cooking outdoors, so we had delicious Italian Sausage Soup that we had brought already prepared, along with corn muffins baked in that combination microwave/convection oven visible in the above picture, under the countertop. Worked great!


#RVing #ThorCompass #RoadTrip #MOTravel #BigSpring