Written in stone: Fort Wayne rocks covered in positive messages, fun pictures

Adelyn Clevenger holds a rock that was left by a Fort Wayne Rocks member at a Cracker Barrel. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Redding Clevenger)
Holly Hudson, a member of Fort Wayne Rocks who paints pictures and inspiration messages on stones, hid last week this one of Santa's legs sticking out of a chimney by posting the clue that it was " at the best family restaurant in town." (Photo courtesy of Holly Hudson)

Holly Hudson enjoys bringing smiles one stone at a time.

Hudson and her 7-year-old daughter, Karma, like to spend time by painting stones with positive messages and then hiding them around Fort Wayne. She’ll carry a bunch in her vehicle and place them along park paths in good weather or anywhere she goes in the winter.

Those who find the rocks can keep them but some rehide them to pass along the positive messages like “LOVE” and “HOPE.” The Fort Wayne Rocks – not to be confused with the landscaping company – public group page on Facebook has over 2,500 members and contains photos posted by those who have found the stones, many held by smiling children.

“I’d say 20 percent of them get posted,” Hudson said. “We notice when they’re gone and don’t get posted. Either way … people get a smile.”

“Found at Cebollas,” one finder posted, with a photo of a stone painted aqua with polka dots and the word HOPE.

“My first FW rock!! And delicious pizza!” posted another after finding a starry-nighted stone at Big Apple Pizza.

Another poster found two rocks from Florida. Hudson got started after finding one in Michigan.

A message on the bottom of the stones tells people it’s from Fort Wayne Rocks.

“It’s starting to catch on,” Hudson said.

A local craft store and the Allen County Public Library have had painting sessions.

The public library has a variety of books devoted to stone painting, including “Let’s rock!” by Linda Kranz that includes tracing patterns and “Rock art!: painting and crafting with the humble pebble” by Denise Scicluna.

While humans painted on cave walls at least 40,000 years ago, the modern-day art hobby is credited to The Kindness Rocks Project. It started in 2015 when Megan Murphy, 49, of Cape Cod, Mass., started looking for signs from her deceased parents in the stones she found on her daily walks on the beach – a heart-shaped stone reminded her of her father, sea glass of her mother, according to a video on the website http://thekindnessrocksproject.com.

The News-Sentinel has found a couple of Fort Wayne Rocks. The St. Francis statue on the University of Saint Francis Spring Street campus held a gold one with the word LOVE earlier this fall and another sat on the stairway in the Allen County Courthouse a couple of weeks ago.