Monday, June 02, 2008

Beauty at no cost

I came up with a unique solution to one of my problems recently.
You see, I have been really strapped for cash, but I love to spend money.
I like going to thrift shops and finding a deal.
I like finding hidden treasure.
But after the initial rush of finding and acquiring, I'd be pissed at myself for being so impulsive.
I'd be disappointed to have that less money to spend on something I really need.

What to do?
Well, I started collecting rocks.
Yep, I said rocks.
Aren't they gorgeous?

Everytime I go to the beach to walk a dog, there are usually rocks (often more plentiful than shells, depending on location).
I figured I could use pretty rocks to delineate planting areas in my garden.
So I still get the rush from finding and acquiring...
I just don't have to experience the down of spending.
Hmmm...that sounds like a win-win to me.

Granted, I have to keep within the limits of the law--not every area I go to allows you to take stuff.
"Leave only footprints", if you will.
I have been spraying the rocks with a clear gloss acrylic to keep them shiny and wet-looking.
I think this makes the colors pop.
I wish I had a digital camera to better capture some of my fun finds.
The scanner can't handle the extra large stones I've collected, but here are some of the small and medium ones.
Rocks are my new obsession
The ocean tumbles these into gems.
My favorites are the white agates.
But the beauty of stripes and veins and colors is amazing and varied.

The irony is that no one has known about my new obsession, yet Jen of The Felt Mouse sent me Stone Cats for my birthday.
It's a book about how to paint rocks to look like cats.
Really, how perfect is this?!

I have a rock set aside on which I have been penciling in a cat design.
I'll post it later when I've painted it.

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Blogger Patty said...

Your rocks look really cool, Barb. I love the idea of collecting rocks and then using them in your garden. My grandmother picked up a rock in every state she and her husband visited (they drove cross county several times). I wonder if they're still in her front yard in Phila.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Your rocks are beautiful and what a smart solution to not only your garden markers but to your treasure hunting need. (Boy can I relate to that.)

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hia Barb, yes I too am a rock and shell collector. As an ex-archaeologist I also find pottery in the bottom of my pockets too. LOL The pottery goes on a rockery bed and looks unusual.

My Dad started me years ago with river washed pebbles. He used some old enamel paints to decorate them then like you varnished over them. One of my favourites was on an odd shaped stone of a desert scene with cacti and a cowboy. The yellow of the rock and the lumps in it was perfect. Wish I still had it- must've got lost in a move.

I can't wait to see what your cat one looks like!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Claudia said...

Hi Barb,
over the years I have brought home some handful of pebbles and rocks, which also tend to end up in the garden. I use to collect different shapes or nice colors, or things like lava or pumice stone or stones with dendrites. But they're rather small, I must admit.
I also take sand of the different places I go to on holiday, and I store them in a variety of clear bottles on a windowsill.
Yes, it's a kind of treasure hunting :o)

9:41 PM  
Blogger kt said...

Your scanner-shots are great!

I think you should use flickr's "Moo" to make cards of them!

10:22 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Lovely rocks. A girl can never have enough rocks in her yard. Well, maybe she can. It seems I have a limitless supply of fist-sized pieces of quartz in my garden. THey aren't as pretty as yours though.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to collect rocks too. I am forever finding them in old coat pockets from walks I've taken far form home. Funny, I can't give them up.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Jennifer W. said...

Hope to see some cats soon!!

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We collect rocks too. We have lots from Lake Superior. They are so beautiful when wet. We want to somehow make them the floor of the shower when we redo our bathroom. Sort of like standing on the beach. I have not yet figured out how to make it safe (not slippery) and easy to clean.
I have seen some nice rocks made into drawer pulls and cabinet knobs. We have a box set aside to try that too.

8:10 PM  

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