My seven year old daughter found a pebble near our local beach with a footprint painted on one side, on the other side it had the word ‘smile’ with three hearts on it. She was delighted and took it home with her, in agreement with me that she would have to replace it with a stone of her own creation. A week or so later I was out walking on the seafront, something I often like to do in the summer after my children are in bed. I was feeling a bit tired and frazzled and I noticed on a stone bench somebody had left a pebble that was painted with a pink heart and the words ‘shine bright’. I chose to leave it there as a message to anyone else who might need it.
This inspired my idea for gratitude pebbles. I had seen or read about people using stones to remind them to be grateful. I created a series of designs which I transfer printed onto pebbles, they say things like ‘today I am grateful for…’ and ‘don’t forget to smile…’ The first few that I did weren’t quite up to scratch so now I have one, my husband has one, my son and daughter have them too. They live next to our beds and are a daily reminder to be thankful for so many things.
Last week my five year old son wasn’t quite well enough for school, to get some fresh air, I took him for a walk to the beach. Our beach is large and sandy with a variety of smooth, white pebbles among a line of shells and shingle. He wanted to take some home, so I let him choose a couple. On the way back he found a large stone painted like a bumblebee, with the name of the artist on the back, it was by another five year old. He loved it so much he took it home; again he would have to replace it.
It turns out in our little coastal town there is a project growing: children are painting pebbles often with messages of positivity, and leaving them for people to find. Other kids are moving them or replacing them with their own. A Facebook group has begun where parents are posting pictures of the stones they have found with the location. This project encourages children to be creative, away from their computer screens, they interact with other kids, make friends and get out in the fresh air looking for and leaving stones. My daughter painted a lovely heart one to put back by the beach, and my son has swapped his bee pebble for his own ladybird creation.
For me, making pebbles is a nice interlude between sessions at my computer. I enjoy providing positivity to people and find great pleasure in creating something beautiful. Sending the pebbles when they sell gets me out of my studio and to the post office. And I am grateful for that, especially when I can walk there by the sea, where I never know what other treasure I might find.
PS You can buy my pebbles HERE. X