Thursday, September 22, 2016

The "Your Spirit Rocks!" Story

Thank you for visiting the "Your Spirit Rocks!" blog spot.

To begin this,it has to be said that the name,"Your Spirit Rocks!"came to me as a result of the enthusiasm I wanted to share with others,and how "Your Spirit Rocks!"all began.

Although I like to refer to the items I now sell as "Spirit Rocks",they are spiritual only in the sense that they are entities unto themselves, and contain only the universal spirit for which they are imbued. That being said,I do not want anyone to think that this site is in any way connected with the renowned Spirit Rock Retreat Center in Fairfax,CA. I honor their practices,and respect the contribution they have made to the community,and society in general.

This story began in October,2009 when I headed to the coast to do some thinking after having been shown the door after working eight years as a Concierge in a prestigious cooking school.

Here,at sixty, and looking for guidance from a Higher Power,I did not know where or what to do next in my life.What I found pretty much answered those questions for me.

Russian Gulch is an area just north of Jenner, CA...I parked my old Ford in a small,not-so-obvious turnout off the coast road and began hiking through the underbrush towards the ocean where I heard the waves crashing in the distance. After walking approximately one quarter of a mile,you reach a clearing and inlet where a small stream of water will block your entrance to the beach. When the tide comes in, Some people will throw logs and branches to make a bridge to the main part of the beach, but it probably is just as easy to roll your pants up and take your shoes off to wade closer to the shoreline.During the summer, these measures are not necessary. The surf crashes hard on this private little beach that is enclosed both on the north and south sides. It is only about one hundred yards in length.The undertow can be very strong,so caution must be exercised.

Most of the rocks here are smooth and plentiful, as the tides have pounded them for centuries.I picked one up and thought about how life washes over each one of us... smoothing out our rough edges,so to speak.I noticed how good it felt in my hand, and how it helped me center my thoughts.At once, I felt at peace and knew instinctively that everything was going to be okay no matter what direction I chose to take.

Late in the afternoon, I stuck a few of these rocks in my pocket and headed back to my car.The ride home was exhilarating as my mind entertained pleasant memories of times spent near the Russian River area in summer's past.The warm days and balmy evenings playing miniature golf and going to teen dances are the stuff of youthful dreams.

Later when I arrived home, I emptied my pockets and began to paint one of the rocks with some metallic paints I had around. Once it dried, It looked really beautiful and so I took other colors and started to decorate it. The acrylic paint adhered very nicely to the surface of the rock and it occurred to me that a small amount of glitter may embellish it nicely. Lastly, I had some glow-in-the dark paint and began adding small dabs to see how well that took to the rock. It worked beautifully.

Turning the lights off, it looked like the rock's own spirit was emanating from as I held a flashlight to the white, glowing paint.Gradually the glow would fade,but could get recharged depending on how long I held it under the light. Lastly, I sprayed varnish on the outside to coat and protect all the layers of paint and glitter.Now this was really something to behold!

I began giving these rocks away to friends and family. Eventually they were getting sold as personal gifts, that one could keep or pass on at will. Naturally,they contain only the good fortune and power you attribute to it.Who knows where it's journey will end. Perhaps in a hundred years it will be back at Russian Gulch, where it was initially found.All I know is that these rocks give me a lot of joy as they get passed along.Now I have a much better idea as to how and what I want to do in the years to come.Today, I thank my Higher Power for what has been given me, what has been taken from me, and what has been left.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Napa Rock Hunters

It had to happen.This great idea also occurred to me a few years ago.Now Naparocks has done something about it.Painting and hiding rocks for people to find and post on Facebook.I know that you can still find Your Spirit Rocks™ at Bothe State park, Lake Hennessy and out on the coast near Jenner... and they will be yours to keep.However,It pleases me to hear that a Facebook group has formed in Napa with over 1500 members and growing fast. People are painting and planting them in public places to be discovered by those lucky enough to find them.

It seems that the idea and subsequent Facebook page was spurned from the recent smartphone App game that has had everyone walking off cliffs,running into walls and getting robbed in blind alleys.Yep,We've heard of Pokemon Go™. But Unlike that game, These winners enjoy finder's keepers or pass it on! And... where else can you get hidden treasure these days.It's family friendly and as far as I know,relatively safe.I love it! Check out this link:

Napa Rock Hunters

So, if you have painted a rock and are about to hide it,make sure you have "Find on Facebook at Napa Rocks" on the back.Then,as the instructions say...Post a picture and a hint to where it can be found (park, school, etc.) Lastly,Hide the rock for others to find.

So,you've found a rock? Take a picture and post it so hiders know it was found. Keep the rock or re-hide it. If re-hid, post a hint to where it can be found.#naparocks

Below is my first entry in this Naparocks Game.Hint: It's somewhere between the Sharpsteen Museum and the Calistoga Police Dept. (Drop by on Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market, and I'll take your picture if you spot it) Happy Hunting!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rock of the Month

Okay,so I've decided to post this as "The Rock of the Month" only because I have been unable to keep up with this blog. It has been a long busy summer, and just keeping the inventory stocked has been challenging.The popularity of these items has surprised me from the beginning, and it sparks my curiosity to see which rocks move.Especially those which one may consider to be "abstract".

Figurative pieces like a dragonfly or a cat may be popular only in the sense that people would identify with them.Initially however, these rocks were meant for meditation.As such, concentric designs have been the most prolific.Size,texture,weight,color,glow,shine and "Feel" have been the characteristics that people consider when choosing a rock.When I say "Feel" people may look at me funny, but in a sense, every rock is individualized,even without adorning it with a specific color or texture.

Most of the rocks are smooth and flat enough to paint on.The rocks are for the most part,symmetrical to add uniformity to each piece.The rock featured below has a hologram in the center to add dimensionality to it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Hot August Rock !

Last weekend I received a nice heart-shaped rock from Bob and Penny who are vendors at the Calistoga Market.It is not my style per se, but the mere fact that they were thinking about me was touching. Many rocks were sold last Saturday and now I am in the process of replenishing my inventory.Luckily,I have some standard designs that inspire me to make updated versions. When people visit my table, it is usually expressed that "No two rocks are alike" which is basically true.Just as no two snowflakes are identical;But I do repeat certain motifs and illustrations.My hope is that every customer is completely satisfied with their purchase, and that they find their rock to be particularly special to them.

This week's rock is one that is almost reminiscent of the yin-yan rock that I've done in the past.This one has a triad motif that symbolizes the dynamic of three complimentary forms in one shape.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Rock(s) of the Week

Every week I try to post this week's "Rock of the Week" but admittedly,I've been a bit late in this effort.More importantly, is that my visitors will appreciate that I have always come up with something new to inspect as collectors.

This week I am featuring several rocks to make up for the rocks I haven't posted. What you see below is a collection of rocks on top of a plexiglass table I designed many years ago. The rocks were featured at the Farmer's Market in Calistoga back in 2013.The table seemed a little impractical after that time because it was getting pretty scratched up.Today, I am happy to report that all those rocks you see found happy homes.More to come in the weeks ahead.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Magic of Rocks and Relatives

A few weeks ago, my nephew Mark and his two daughters Nicole and Brianna (my grandnieces) as well as my grandnephew Noah came to visit the west coast and catch up with their extended family during their stay in California.Along the way,they planned a drive up the northern coast road towards Oregon.This would be after they had spent a night or two in San Francisco at my sister Martha's house.I was going to meet them there, but would be working on Sunday and would be too bushed to drive down to the City and back.It was then decided that we could meet at a small cafe in Jenner, where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean.This is small, quaint little town where one can order fresh salmon sandwiches to eat at a picnic table while listening to seagulls squawk along the waterfront

This scene was idyllic, and a wonderful afternoon where we had plenty of time to share stories and laughter.So before they had planned on leaving, I suggested to that we stop up the road about four miles,so that they could take a short hike and get the full experience of a west coast beach. So what better place to visit than Russian Gulch where I go to collect my spirit rocks! Naturally,they were all enthusiastic about the idea, so off we went for this quick jaunt across a curvy, switch-back highway (which would be just a small taste of what was in store for the one hundred mile trip planned for that day). Eventually we pulled over into a not-so-obvious turnout.Then we got out of the cars and hiked a quarter of a mile through a jungle until we reached the shore.

The weather was gloriously sunny and a bit windy, but the fresh air did us all good.It was explained to them that they now had a job to do. They would look for this specifically described sandstone that would be used to make a Spirit Rock. It must be perfectly symmetrical, flat and round without blemishes and preferably small enough to put in ones pocket. Now the hunt was on.They all scoured the many areas along the shore to come up with a big sack full of these type of rocks.This pleased their great uncle immensely. Left to his own devices, it would have taken a few hours to accomplish what was accomplished in a much shorter time.Aside from this,My nephew Mark climbed up the face of a cliff while young Noah took pictures of the shoreline with his fancy camera.Then my niece Brianna proceeded to climb up on the most prominent rock there to have her picture taken. She looked absolutely beautiful facing west looking out over the ocean.This view was not to be missed.

When we eventually headed back to the cars, it was a given that they would each have a painted rock to take with them on their adventurous escapade.Below are some of the pictures taken that day

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Catching up

This past few weeks have been very busy at both the markets where I sell rocks, especially Sebastopol. I am grateful for all the new collectors and have enjoyed meeting all the people who have stopped by my vendors site.Today I am busy replenishing my supply of rocks to sell. Admittedly, this is a "Good problem" my sister might say.It tells me that what I am doing is attracting a degree of popularity and that people find the product I've created valuable.

The "Product" if you will, is more an exercise in free form creativity. I can honestly say that I don't always know what the outcome of each rock I paint will be. This is why I will freely state that all my rocks are individually painted and that no two are alike; Essentially, your rock will pick you if you are meant to have it. This may be a stretch, but it does emphasize the particularity of each creation, and it's appeal.

My hope is that everyone is pleased with their purchase, and if they have any questions about the process I follow in creating these rocks, I will be happy to share what I know. Below is the most recent,"Rock of the week"

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Begins

June 20th found me out at the beach near Jenner. I was joined by my extended family as we savored a delicious lunch of Salmon and Arugula sandwiches.Later,we headed up the road to a secluded beach where we followed a path to a enchanting,rocky cove.There we collected many rocks of all sizes.My relatives were most helpful in finding the smoothest,roundest,most flat, and perfectly-sized sandstones ever.These were the exact type used later in the "Your Spirit Rocks!" creations.After we bid our goodbyes they continued travelling on up the coast to Fort Bragg,a long, winding road trip 100 miles further.

Below is a large rock that was painted for my neighbor Kathy, whose sister is in need of prayers and spiritual consolation.Her totem is an owl, which was styled after a drawing that Kathy handed me to reinterpret on a large sandstone rock.

Monday, June 20, 2016

This week's Rock of the Week

Here I have been saying to recent purchasers of my rocks to visit this blog site to view "The Rock of the Week" and it has been weeks since I've posted this ongoing feature.I try to do this on a consistent basis but admittedly will sometimes get behind. Not so much on painting the rocks themselves, but on finding a suitable rock for posting.The rocks don't always get photographed, and are subsequently sold before they are added to my inventory. This Spring has been a busy season for me now that I am working two popular markets on a regular basis.

So... what you see below is a rock of many colors that aren't really apparent until you turn out the lights and put it under a black light.This particular rock is painted with a high grade phosphorescent paint, with a glow that will keep throughout the night if held under a regular light for thirty seconds.