Tyler Texas Rocks

HOME | DESIGN
2017
September/October

We all know Tyler, Texas rocks but April Roycroft has brought a new meaning to the word “rock” to East Texas. The Kindness Rocks Project has become a worldwide treasure hunt on Facebook. The basis is simple: paint a rock and leave it for someone else to find. In doing so, you spread kindness to unsuspecting recipients. After visiting her hometown of Silsbee, April observed The Kindness Rocks Project in full force.  She brought the idea home to Tyler and began the Tyler Texas Rocks Facebook Page. Little did she know the impact these rocks would bring to our communities. With over 15,000 members, Tyler Texas Rocks Facebook Page is brimming with inspirational tales and spreading childlike joy in East Texas. 

In Silsbee, April saw “many residents walking around outside with their kids or friends; mingling and meeting new people. It was obvious they had a common link, and it was really neat to be a part of it.” Once home in Tyler, she began Tyler Texas Rocks. April says “I’ve had the privilege of seeing the same thing (as in the community of Silsbee). A lot more people are out and about.” One of April’s favorite stories on her Facebook page is that of Ashleigh Hancock and Gabby Grace Maberry. Ashleigh’s original post shared this inspirational message: 

“To the person who decided to hide a rock outside hospitality ER (by Newk's), I want to sincerely thank you. I'm sitting in a room with my brother, who has been admitted and is in serious pain, and I had to go outside to make a phone call. I'm supposed to be leaving to move to Corpus Christi this evening. Plans change and adapting is all I can do. Anyways, it's been a stressful time, and seeing that rock outside was a great reminder of the power of the ultimate Healer. My brother and I both appreciate the bright spot in the middle of a rather tough day. I'm going to find a good spot to hide this, where someone else might need a reminder in a tough time.”

Julie Maberry saw the post and the picture of the lime green rock with the words “peace” that Ashleigh had found. She recognized it to be the rock that her six-year-old daughter, Gabby Grace, hid several days before. Julie replied to Ashleigh’s post: “It was my six-year-old daughter who hid it, and you have literally made our day! Can we pray for you guys? God always knows just what we need before we do and I am so grateful He used our little green rock that has been there for SEVERAL DAYS waiting just for you to remind you!” Ashleigh said that finding little Gabby Grace’s rock was “perfect timing.” After a few messages on Facebook, Julie and Gabby Grace told Ashleigh they would like for to keep the rock. Ashleigh is now living in Corpus Christi, and her “peace” rock is a reminder of the kindness shared
by a stranger.

 If you are new to Tyler Texas Rocks, you may initially see a game of hide and seek with colorfully painted rocks. A closer look and you will understand that there is so much more involved here than just rocks. Some families enjoy the hunt for the perfect rocks to paint. My own family hiked in a nearby park while the kids searched for their blank canvases.  (After 45 minutes in the hot sun, I have decided that we will purchase nice, smooth river rocks from a store with plenty of air conditioning!) Others enjoy the artistic side of Tyler Texas Rocks. A scroll through posts on the Facebook page reveals carefully and beautifully designed rocks. Rock enthusiasts have painted everything from beloved television characters, rocks that look like real food, to a “quilt rock” in which finders add another picture to eventually fill all spaces of the rock in a patchwork quilt-like manner. Members of Tyler Texas Rocks also enjoy discovering how far their rock has traveled. There have been posts of rocks found in upstate New York, Florida, Louisiana, California and as far as Honduras, Paris, London, and Edinburgh! For April Roycroft and her family, they “ love every part of it. We really enjoy painting the rocks. I have a pretty creative family, and we like thinking of new things to create with our rocks. We especially enjoy hunting for rocks too. My kids change it up all the time. They like to get on teams to see who can find the most in one day. Or they like to see who can find the biggest one, the most creative one, etc. I’m thankful they can entertain themselves while running errands around town.”

Anne Myers, a member of the Facebook group, has found inspiration among the posts of Tyler Texas Rocks. “A group of people that have been on my heart is our seniors … just a little kid and a colored rock might just be the best thing that happens to them in a while.”  She planned Young N Old Rock Painting at the Hamptons at Pine Forest where children, both young and old alike, painted rocks at the assisted living facility in Tyler. Her goal is to hold a painting party at different nursing homes and assisted living facilities in our area each month. Five-year-old Peyton Jackson of Tyler visited with the residents during the Young N Old Rock Painting. He painted with “Miss Rita” and enthusiastically shared his visit: “We took a bunch of rocks! I gave Miss Rita an aquarium rock with an eel, fish, and coral on it!” Miss Rita (whose real name is Rita Hodges) said of Peyton and the rock painting event, “The young boy made my day! I painted my rock to look like jewelry. It is so nice to have children come through the building. It’s so refreshing to have them as company this morning.” Both Miss Rita and Peyton are anxiously awaiting the next painting party!

More stories of hope and healing fill the pages of Tyler Texas Rocks each day. In August, Murray Clarke, along with his grandchildren, painted two rocks as they joined in on the fun. Tragically, this was one of the last acts the family enjoyed together before Murray passed away in a motorcycle accident just days later. Robbin Clarke, Murray’s wife, reached out to the Tyler Texas Rocks Facebook page seeking the return of the two rocks; a green alligator and a duck. “I know it’s only a rock, but it was done by my husband days before he passed away,” Robbin said. The community, however, sees more than just a couple of rocks. They view a way to offer healing to a grieving family. After her original post was shared over 5,000 times and multiple  rewards from caring citizens were offered, the alligator was found and returned to Robbin. The duck is still missing and this is where our readers of BSCENE can help! Murray’s duck was hidden at the park in Whitehouse, at the top of the gray steps. It’s carries the “Whitehouse Texas Rocks 2017” label.  We are requesting the help of our readers in bringing this significant rock back home to Robbin. Please share her story and to whomever finds this special duck: we are offering a special reward! 

I asked April why she thought something as simple as painting and hiding rocks is causing such excitement in East Texas. She replied: “I think it is something simple enough that everyone can do it, everyone can afford it, and everyone is looking for entertainment during the hot days. Also, I believe people like to do nice things for others. Sometimes we do this by hiding a rock or helping our kids hide one. Other times we get to find them and post the rock with our excited kids in the picture, which makes both parties happy. It’s a joy and a gift either way. I think everyone wants to be a part of something and because of Tyler Texas Rocks they are.”

BSCENE cannot pass up an opportunity to join in the fun! We have painted three of our very own Tyler Texas Rocks. Find our rocks and post a picture on the Tyler Texas Rocks Facebook Page and our BSCENE Facebook page with the hashtags #tylertexasrocks and #bscenemagrocks for a chance to win gift certificates from local area restaurants. Catch our LIVE Facebook video on SEPTEMBER 15th when we reveal our clever clues. 

Happy rock hunting and keep East Texas rockin’!

 

ROCK PAINTING MATERIALS

 

There have been many questions as to what supplies are needed in creating your own Tyler Texas Rocks project. April has found the following supplies to work best:

1. Rocks – smooth river rocks are our favorite as local rocks can be porous and make for a challenging painting surface

2. Acrylic paints

3. Paint brushes (all sizes)

4. A plastic tray (or paper plate)

5. Tags –printed from “Files” in the Tyler Texas Rocks group (this makes tagging and locating your rock a breeze)

6. Mod Podge - to adhere tags 

7. Clear spray paint - to protect the rocks from rain and weather (spray several coats on both sides of your rock)

 

HOW TO PAINT YOUR ROCK 

 

1st Step: Wash your rock well to remove any dirt and grime. Let the rocks completely dry before you begin the painting process.

2nd Step: Apply your paint to a plastic tray or paper plate and begin painting your desired design. Give the painted rocks plenty of time to dry before moving on to step 3.

3rd Step: Once your painted rock is dry, apply a layer of Mod Podge to the surface of the rock and then place the Tyler Texas Rocks label. Apply another layer of Mod Podge on top of the label to adhere to the rock. 

4th Step: Using clear spray paint, cover each side of your rock, sealing the paint and label from outdoor conditions. Let dry.

5th Step: Share a picture and a clue as to where you have hidden your rocks and let the fun begin!

 

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