Posted in Moments of grace

A box of rocks

So this post is both a product review and a story of unexpected grace.

On our way to fast food for lunch and the community center playground to burn off some energy, my wife and I took our grandson to Hobby Lobby for craft supplies. We had spent the morning creating art with uncooked rice and penne pasta glued to cardstock. We wandered down a craft kit aisle hoping to level up for the afternoon.

He decided on Sea Life Rock Art distributed by the Horizon Group USA out of Warren, NJ. The painted rock on the box with a dolphin caught his eye and that’s what he wanted to make. The box promises everything you need, including two pounds of premium stones, paint (even some that glows in the dark!), a paint brush, and easy-to-follow instructions. We couldn’t wait to get started.

We did get a nice bag of rocks, but they looked pretty average to me. No matter, we were going to paint them anyway.

When I pulled out the paint pots, I realized we weren’t going to be able to paint a dolphin. We didn’t have any black to mix with the white to make gray or paint an outline. But we could paint the rock in a background color first. I scooped out some blue onto a mixing tray and tried to add some red to make purple, but it had already dried up in its little pot. No problem, we’ll just paint the rock blue. It took a while using the world’s smallest brush, but we got it done. But we used all the blue we had to barely cover one medium-sized premium rock.

While the first rock dried, we tried to paint another rock glow-in-the-dark green. 4.4 ml is not a lot of paint. And it didn’t really cover the rock. We did what we could and set it aside to dry.

Okay, maybe it’s me. Maybe I should read the instructions. I looked in the box and found a small piece of paper. No pictures, no patterns, no diagrams. Just these instructions:

  • Work on a flat surface.
  • Paint the rocks with the brush.
  • Let the paint dry overnight.
  • Show your creation to your friends and family.

By this time, I realized we weren’t really going to make any sea life rock art today.

But here’s the moment of unexpected grace. My grandson was enamored by the rocks. He picked out his favorites and set them aside. He sorted them by size, by color, and by shape. He gathered up his favs and took them outside to play with in the yard. Then he brought them inside to play with alongside Pokemon characters. Just a few premium rocks kept him busy all afternoon. Now that’s a win!

I’m going to get some actual acrylic craft paint and some sealer and we will make sea life rock art next week, including a dolphin, sea turtle, and starfish.

Every hear someone say, “Dumber than a box of rocks?” Don’t believe it. A box of rocks turned out to be pretty clever way to spend the afternoon.

By the way, the box had this tiny invitation. I’m going to contact them and give them some feedback. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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