#amadisonmom ROCKS!

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This past Wednesday, my daughter and I spent a delightful afternoon doing two of our most favorite things: (1) spending time with friends, and (2) being creative. We joined up with Colleen, her two daughters, and my craft-loving friend Kirsten to be a part of the "latest trend" (according to this article that was recently posted on the Madison Area Parents Facebook page) of painting rocks.

When I was young, one of our favorite summer activities was painting rocks. In fact, my parents still use the rock I painted when I was seven that looks like a horse head (or it could be a dog head--my painting abilities are questionable) as a door stopper in the guest room. This new trend takes this fun craft one step further--it encourages kids (and adults, too!) to spread beauty and happiness around their local towns, and, in this age of digital everything, share it with the world through Facebook and Instagram via hashtags.

Colleen had seen this rock craft idea at a blogger event she attended a few months ago, so we decided to pull out our smocks and paintbrushes, and get started. Before Becca and I arrived, Colleen had taken the initial steps of buying the rocks. Though we could have searched our gardens for potential stone canvases, we opted for buying a bag of rocks at J&M Home and Garden on 201 Main Street, Madison. Good choice as the rocks were a perfect size in a nice variety of shapes, to help spur on our creativity. She then washed and dried them, and painted a base coat of white indoor/outdoor paint on one side. Once they dried, she used a fine-tip Sharpie marker to write her chosen social media sharing message: Share my picture with #amadisonmom

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Once all this prep work was out of the way (thanks, Colleen!), it was time to get creative! We each selected a few rocks to start, and painted a base color with our indoor/outdoor paint. The first few designs came easily. I did my typical palm tree picture, Becca painted an emoji, Ana used glitter paint to make a starry night scene, Zoe did fish, Colleen did flowers, and Kirsten painted a multi-colored bug. A few rocks later, and I was stuck! It was a great test of on-demand creativity for all of us! As the hour moved on, more and more ideas started to flow. Rainbows! More emojis! A banana! Polka dots! A watermelon! By the end of the afternoon, the six of us had created about 50 uniquely beautiful rocks!

After they all dried, and a quick group pic of all the rocks together, we gathered up the ones we created. Over the next week or so, we will be planting these rocks in public places, playgrounds, and parks throughout Madison. Be on the look out for them! And when you do, snap a photo of the rock and share it with us at #amadisonmom. You can then leave it be or move it to a new location in the area for someone else to find and enjoy. It will be fun to track how our fun day of crafting can spread smiles and beauty around!

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