Saturday, December 31, 2011

Home & Garden Painted Rocks

With Spring around the corner, I'm anxious to get started on painting more rocks to add to my yard art and garden decor collection.

rock painting, food, painted rocks, strawberries, home, garden, Cindy Thomas
Painted Stone Strawberries in a Crate
Home & Garden Painted Rocks showcases gnome homes and other buildings painted on rocks such as a church and Tudor chalet. You'll also see address and memorial markers, flowers, and even a hamburger - all colorfully painted with acrylics on a variety of stones and rocks.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Painted Rock Animals & Critters

They say a picture is worth is a thousand words and you can now see many of the painted rocks I've completed since 2007 gathered together in one place online.

Photos of my painted rocks have been organized into 5 categories and today I'll highlight the photo set with the largest collection of hand-painted river rocks I've completed.

Painted Rock Animals & Critters showcases the following animals and critters I've hand-painted on rocks and stones:
painted rocks, rock painting, wild animals, critters, Cindy Thomas
Click here to see more of My Painted Rock Animals & Critters

  • Wild animals - brown bear, polar bear, walrus, chimpanzee 
  • Farm animals - sheep, cow, pigs
  • Birds - owls, toucans, penguins, baby chick
  • Pets - Siamese cat, black cat, calico kittens, stylized cat, cats on sticks, guinea pig
  • Reptiles & Fish - alligator, snakes, lizard, turtle, fish
  • Other Critters - mouse, lady bugs, caterpillar 

I was surprised to see the amount and variety of animal & critter river rocks I've painted since I've picked up the rock art hobby a few years ago. What a menagerie!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baby Jesus Painted Rocks – Gifts for Sunday School Class

Sunday school is a vital ministry within the Christian church where young people acquire the foundations of faith that will guide them for the rest of their lives.

Through regular attendance at Sunday school, children progressively learn where they fit within God's plan and how to please the Lord in their everyday life. Children's church teachers are tasked to create meaningful activities that are engaging, fun and appropriate for each age group.

During the Christmas season, I wanted to show my appreciation to a neighbor who taught Sunday school in a disadvantaged neighborhood and blessed her with the gift of painted Baby Jesus rocks, confident that she would find a meaningful teaching lesson using the painted rocks.

I thought the painted rocks could be used in one or more of the following ways:

Sunday school, gifts, painted rocks, rock painting, Jesus, Cindy Thomas
Baby Jesus Painted Rocks


Provide the teacher with something unique and different as a teaching aid to engage her students.

Illustrate the story of Christ's birth and humble beginnings as told in the Gospel of Luke.

Bring a smile to the face of each child when they cradle the painted rock bundle in their small hands.

Become a pocket rock each child could carry as a reminder that Christ is always with them.

Be Christmas gifts the teacher could give to each child.

Become an activity for the class by gluing a ribbon to the back to make an ornament for the child's family Christmas tree.


    It was a blessing to share my painted rocks with the Sunday school teacher and through her bring joy to her class. I have since blessed another children's church ministry with the gift of painted Baby Jesus rocks and hope to continue gifting them to Sunday school classes each Christmas season.

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Collectors Acquire Many Unique Nativity Sets

    One collector has 70, another has over 600, but the largest collection totals 2,200!

    As reported by Kyle Munson on DesMoinesRegister.com on December 3, 2011, It’s unlikely that anybody else in the world, owns as many Nativity sets as Michael Zahs of Washington County, Iowa: 2,200 at last count.

    One is carved from the back-leg bones of beef cattle. Another Nativity is forged from square nails. Zahs crafted one himself by bending and twisting barbed wire. In yet another favorite Nativity, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus were carved out of oak beams from the historian’s great-grandfather Zahs’ barn, set within a stable of intertwined raspberry twigs.

    “If you don’t have a story for it, does it get pitched?” Mr. Munson's photojournalist colleague, Mary Chind, asked while sorting through Nativity sets. “Usually you can find a story for it,” Zahs says.

    To read more about Mr. Zahs and his quest to ensure that the story of how Iowans have made Christmas their own is preserved in the 21st century click here.

    WIFR.com reported on December 4, 2011, that another Midwest collector displayed 750 nativity scenes that he's collected over 30 years at the United Brethren Church in Rockford, Illinois. A short video of this collector's story can be found here.

    Even my hometown of Pueblo, Colorado has joined in the nativity festivities; one of the local Methodist churches just launched their inaugural Creche festival.

    Loretta Sword reported in the Pueblo Chieftain on December 3, 2011, that at least 70 creches of all description, and that many more Christmas ornaments depicting nativity scenes, would be on display at the church. The collection acquired over a span of 50 years is a mix of nativities from secondhand shops, church socials, catalogs, Christian bookstores, and gifts from friends and family. They range from the delicate and artful to the quirky and even comical. To read about the Pueblo, Colorado collection, click here.

    I didn't realize that collecting nativity sets and scenes was such a popular hobby. Perhaps these collectors will add to their collection with a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted rock nativity set lovingly crafted in Pueblo, Colorado.

    Three unique, one-of-a-kind painted rock nativity sets

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Heartfelt Sympathy for My Rock Painting Mentor

    I just learned that in early September, Lin Wellford (author of the rock painting books that inspired me) unexpectedly lost her 33-year old daughter who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. As a registered organ donor, Lin's daughter donated her kidneys, pancreas, liver and lungs to 4 individuals before she passed away. My heart aches for Lin and her family and they are in my prayers. As I mentioned in my earlier post, "It's amazing how an ordinary rock can come alive and bring joy in so many ways, including healing a broken heart."

    To read more about Lin's moving account of this terrible tragedy, click here.

    To learn more about Lin's daughter, Erika, click here.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Updated "He is my Rock" Nativity Set Website

    I've been working on the expansion and update of the "He is my Rock" website featuring my unique, hand-painted rock nativity set figures. The updated site includes information about the history of the nativity scene, facts about the biblical nativity story, how my nativity sets are made, a nativity resource page and more.

    My updated website has a new address, too. It's www.uniquenativitysets.com. For a short while www.he-is-my-rock.com will be available but I urge you to check out the new site. I think you'll find it much more informative and enjoyable.

    unique nativity sets, painted rocks for sale, Cindy Thomas
    He is my Rock - Unique Nativity Sets Painted on Rocks