Friday, October 14, 2016

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is one I call molten crackle. I use this one-step crackle coat that not only gives a high gloss finish, it also has a nice random splay of cracks that get filled with a contrasting color ( in this case, florescent orange).The rock itself is palm size and can fit nicely into a purse or pocket.Ideally used as a meditation device or what was popularly called a "Worry Stone" back in the day.It looks fabulous under a black light as well.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This week's rock

Most people who have visited my booth recognize this rock I call my "Disco Ball". It's been around for a long time, and took a long time to paint.Painting on this rock was difficult because of all the various colors and small dots I laid down in a spiral pattern.The paint I use is very viscous and is almost like painting with Elmer's glue.The rock itself is quite large and could probably be used for lawn bowling or even as a shot-put! I like it because it has become a friendly display rock that can be found on the corner of the display table at every market.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The "Your Spirit Rocks!" Story

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

"Your Spirit Rocks!"came to me as a result of the enthusiasm I want to share with you.This is how it began.

Let me start with a disclaimer...Although I like to refer to these as "Spirit Rocks",they are spiritual only in the sense they contain a connection to the spirit of the earth for which they are imbued.

That being said,This site is not connected with the renowned Spirit Rock Retreat Center in Fairfax,CA. I honor and respect the contribution they have made,and the good work that they do.

This story began in October,2009 when I headed west to the coast to follow the dictates of my heart. I had left a wonderful job,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 to hike towards the ocean where the waves crashed off in the distance. After walking a quarter of a mile,you reach a clearing where a small stream blocks your entrance to the beach.

When the tide comes in, People will throw logs and branches to make a bridge to cross to the beach, but it's probably 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, but the surf crashes hard on this private little beach.It is enclosed on the north and south sides and is only a hundred yards,in length.The undertow can be very strong.

Most of the rocks here are smooth and plentiful.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.I noticed how good it felt in my hand, and how it helped me center my thoughts.I was at peace,

Late in the afternoon, a few rocks were kept in my pocket as I headed back to the car.The ride home was exhilarating.My mind entertained pleasant memories of summers past.Warm days and balmy evenings playing on the beach,swimming in the Russian River, and going to teen club dances in the evening are the stuff of youthful dreams.

At home, I emptied my pockets and began to paint them using acrylics.Once dried,I took other colors and started to decorate several rocks. The paint adhered nicely to the surface,and a small amount of glitter embellished them even more. Lastly,some glow in the dark paint was applied.It all worked beautifully.

Turning off the lights,it seems a spirit emanated as a flashlight was held to the glow paint.Gradually, the initial glow faded,but easily recharged depending on how long it was held under a light.Finally, a clear coat of varnish was applied to protect each component,so as to render a lasting product when dry.What a thing to behold!

These rocks have been given away to friends and family. They have been sold as personal gifts, and are kept or passed on. They contain only the good fortune and power you allow them. Perhaps far in the future someone will venture off to Russian Gulch where they too will acquire the same or a similar experience... just by holding a simple rock!

These rocks provide a lot of joy as they get passed along.Now I have focus and direction about what I want, and where I am going.I thank my Higher Power each day 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"