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My work in the studio is often solitary and focused, and I really crave that kind of restorative, contemplative alone-time. However, I think art takes on a whole new, wonderful dimension when you make it with someone else. A dear friend and I made a batch of these fancy little fellas together, and we had such a good time doing it. When you make art with friends, not only do you get to share in each other’s inspiration, it’s also a lot of fun to see how different people use identical materials to make a completely unique set of choices, discoveries, and finished products. (not to mention our highly individualized mistakes and messes :)

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For me, part of the appeal of this project is pairing substantial, earthy river rock and ethereal, barely-there sheets of shiny silver leaf. I love contrast: my favorite snacks are all salty-sweet, and I am drawn to color combinations like pale sky blue and deep red, or soft pink and bright chartreuse green. I find instant allure in these small, simple pieces of art that carry such weighty messages.

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I made about a dozen rocks with my favorite inspirational words and phrases, then a few with only single initials as gifts for friends. While I usually gravitate toward more detailed, time-consuming artwork, there is a lot to be said for this kind of straightforward project. It requires only a handful of items, is easily transported, and lends itself to being crafted in stages as time allows. If you yearn for a little instant gratification, it is also easily do-able in a single sitting.

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The items needed are all readily purchased at your local craft store or on-line. I used a bag of large, polished river rocks; Mona Lisa brand silver leaf sheets, adhesive size, and sealant; and a few sheets of letter rub-ons and stickers. The only other requirements are a pair of small paintbrushes and a work surface that can stand up to all the silver leaf dust you’ll create by the end. I personally consider a project extra successful when I finish looking like I was caught in a tiny silver snowstorm, but if you feel differently, you might add a tablecloth and art smock to your project materials list. ;)

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