For those of you going through, ahem, "rocky" times or simply need a small pick-me-up, creative do-gooders are out to spread a bit of happiness through small hand-painted rocks. And now, they're forming their own community groups on social media.
So what exactly is the purpose behind these groups and what is it that they hope to accomplish? It's simple, really. By joining a rock painting group, it's your mission to make someone's day in the form of a hand-painted rock given a friendly face or an inspirational message. Of course, you'll then have to anonymously leave the painted stone in a public place (think parks, stores, parking lots, etc) for someone else to find.
While this may seem like a social media phenomenon or a fun hobby, it's actually becoming more and more common. Nancy Pierson, the leader of the North East Ohio Facebook Painted Rock Group spoke to WKBN 27 about her pet rock project and mentioned that over 100,000 people have already joined in. "They're about cheering somebody else up," she says. "You don't know who's going to find the rock, so they're about everybody." In fact, North East Ohio has the largest painted rock group. However, there are an estimated 500 rock painting groups formed across the United States.
Another popular rock painting hub is located in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, formed by the Taziole family. Melissa Taziole told Fox 29, "We just hide them throughout the neighborhood and people hunt for them."
Aside from making someone's day, another amusing part of the project is seeing where the colorful rocks land after they are dropped off by their maker(s). "They've been found in Tanzania, Africa, they've been found in South Korea, they've been found in Bora Bora," Pierson said. "It's just amazing that people take them on vacation with them and leave them or put them in other states and it encourages other groups to be formed."
Similar to the Superhero Crochet Ninja's hide-and-seek game, participants are advised to leave a little tag on the back of the rocks linking to their formed Facebook group with instructions on posting and re-hiding the rocks for someone else to discover. If you're interested in making your own friendly rocks to hide and (hopefully) spot reappearing one day online, there's always a need for more rock decorators. Groups suggest using chalks, tempera and acrylic paints for rock decorating mediums. Sunny images and even good-natured jokes are welcomed painting topics. Don't forget to include 're-hide me' on the back of the rock along with posting instructions!
Feeling inspired? Watch Martha Stewart and crafter Jodi Levine make their rock craft animals: