If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have been recently inundated with painted stones.
It all started with a Christmas gift.
I’m a crafter, always have a project on the go. So, the go to gift for me is a craft kit. Last year I received a metallic stone painting one.
With way too much time on my hands, after a weirdly quiet Christmas I got started on the kit to pass the time. I’d never painted stones before, well there may have been the odd time as a kid when I gave it an attempt with my two minute attention span. But I’d never taken it seriously. Until now.
Who knew at 35, in the middle of a pandemic, I would become addicted.
This years #The100DayProject was starting soon. I’d really enjoyed taking part in this last year with my collage of cross stitch squares. So decided it would be a great opportunity to work on my stone painting.
The kit I was gifted came with 4 stones, and so didn’t keep my craving under control for long. I began searching for stones everywhere, pinching a few from the garden, being drawn towards pretty rockeries in others gardens (I didn’t pinch theirs).
With shielding and lockdown going on, shopping wasn’t the easiest. I haven’t been in a shop for 14 months, that must be some kind of record. It feels weird but not weird. I’m not in any hurry, my bank account has thanked me, but a browse soon would be nice. If only there weren’t so many irritating people around.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Stone sourcing. I found the best place to buy nice large smooth ones online was HobbyCraft. Then I made up the numbers with smaller garden shingle.
My first stone took forever, creation spanning across two days. The little tools included in the kit took some precision, getting just the right amount of paint and dabbing at the right angle. After a couple of stones, when I knew the obsession was getting serious, I invested in some dotting tools. I say invest, they were £8. Easily found online, they are pretty plastic sticks with various sized metal balled ends. Give them a Google.
My shaky hands took a little practice, but I soon got in the zone and really enjoyed it.
Planning designs ahead was fun, with Pinterest finally coming to use rather than multiple crafting ideas just sitting forever in my pinboard in the cloud.
Wow there are some good stone painters out there though. Even after my 100 I’ve got some mastering of technique to do. It was a little overwhelming realising that mine may never look that good. But you can’t let the talents of others put you off!
My first bunch of designs were of whatever came out of my head or sparked from Pinterest scrolling.
And then I got a little more focused and decided I wanted to make collections. This was partly to use up paint (as I’d squirted loads out) but also because sometimes there are too many ideas and you can’t decide which one to do.
I particularly like this monochrome collection.
And this group have an Indian mandala feel to them with the luxurious colours.
Some of the smaller stones I put together to create one larger piece, where the dotted design spread across the stones. Some lovely person on Instagram said that the white dots on these appeared as pearls. I also think the indulgent purple colour reminds me of a certain chocolate brand.
I went all out in neon on my final eight.
I had a great time getting stuck into this project. Although still intricate and detailed like the other crafts I enjoy, I hadn’t painted for years. When thinking of painting I’ve always imagined something on a larger scale. My arms reach and movement have gotten more limited over the years, which is why I’ve always stuck to the delicate crafts. Not wanting to lean on and smudge all my work. This has made me consider painting different though. In a much finer, compact way.
You know how you can tell a painter because they always have a dash of paint somewhere on their person? Well I looked and felt a bit like that. If only I could wipe my brow.
The #The100DayProject started earlier this year, at the end of January, with the consensus that people needed something to do during various lockdowns all over the world. It’s weird and amazing thinking that there are people all over the world taking part in the same project. While at the same time going through similar experiences of the pandemic. I enjoyed following others and the hashtag on Instagram. We live in a world of creativity.
I don’t currently have any plans set in stone (ha!) for all these mini artworks. I’m considering scattering a few around Norfolk for people to discover. But, if you have any ideas, do let me know.