Painted rocks bring plenty of smiles

September 23, 2021 BY

Something special: Sandra Tomlinson has been painting and hiding small pieces of art around Bannockburn. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

WHEN Sandra Tomlinson moved to Bannockburn a year ago, she brought with her a fun idea that really rocks.

She’s designing, painting and hiding small rocks for the young and young at heart to find in an effort to bring more colour and joy into people’s lives amid challenging times.

In her Facebook group, Bannockburn Rocks, Ms Tomlinson posts photos and location clues to help about 150 members find the little works of art scattered around town.

“I thought this would be really nice to get families, individuals, couples or friends out in the fresh air, exercising and it’s good for the soul, as well as for the kiddies,” she said.

“Obviously at the moment it’s super difficult so we all need that extra push to go out and have a purpose rather than to just not know where to walk, what to do.

“It gives people more of a purpose on where to go and when the kiddies, or adults for that matter, find them it’s really great.

“I just absolutely love sharing that and seeing the smile on people’s faces when they find one.”

Ms Tomlinson ran a similar operation where she used to live and estimates she has painted some 1000 rocks in total.

Taking inspiration from Pinterest and Google, or requests from Facebook group members, she paints anything from animals and TV characters to patterns and flowers. She insists she’s no artist but “just a regular person that loves to craft.”

“I am so passionate about families spending time together. I love crafting, I’ve always crafted with my children,” she said.

“I’ve got two boys, my 12-year-old does like to paint as well, but it’s encouraged even for small children.

“If a little two- or three-year-old wants to put a blob of paint on a rock and hide it, that is still as perfect and wonderful as all the nice character stuff.

“It’s encouraged for anybody with no experience whatsoever, you can’t do a bad rock,” she said. “Somebody’s going to love finding it whether it’s a really polished piece or not.”

Community members regularly post their finds on the Facebook group, with some choosing to hold onto a rock as a keepsake.

Most, however, are re-hidden and Ms Tomlinson said her rocks have managed to travel as far as Gippsland, Adelaide, New South Wales and even the UK.

As for the next set of rocks to be hidden, Ms Tomlinson said she’s working on designs that include inspirational quotes and hopes to keep the initiative going as long as possible.

“I don’t plan on closing it, it’ll just keep going and going and hopefully just get more and more people involved,” she said.

To join in the fun, search Bannockburn Rocks on Facebook.

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