Paint it forward

Janet Meister-Kline, of Onekama, spends her free time crafting messages and drawings on rocks, which she hides around Manistee County. (Courtesy Photo/Janet Meister-Kline)

Janet Meister-Kline, of Onekama, spends her free time crafting messages and drawings on rocks, which she hides around Manistee County. (Courtesy Photo/Janet Meister-Kline)

Onekama woman hides decorated rocks to spread kindness

It all started with a couple of rocks, some brushes and acrylic paint, then it flourished into a life-long hobby to bring joy into others’ lives.

With plenty of inspiration and creativity, Janet Meister-Kline, of Onekama, spends her free time crafting uniquely decorated “feel good rocks” that are meant to be found and cherished, or passed along for others to enjoy.

“Some people paint really intricate things on their rocks, but it’s not about always painting the masterpiece,” she said. “It’s about doing something that you like to do. Usually I paint about 10 to 15 rocks at a time.”

In the past, Janet saw others hiding rocks around Ludington, and got the idea to do the same thing around Onekama.

“I thought, ‘what a nice way to put a focus on Onekama,’ because it’s a small town,” said Janet. “It’s kind of fun; it’s a nice way to give back.”

MEISTER-KLINE

MEISTER-KLINE

With the help of her family, Janet hides her creations all around Manistee County.

“I will paint some rocks, we will go out somewhere as a family and they will hide the rocks,” said Janet. “I usually have a few rocks on me whenever I leave the house.”

Kay Meister, Janet’s mother, said the rocks have been found outside of Michigan, as well. At times, Kay even helps her hide the rocks, whenever Janet is unable to venture out further in the county.

“The rocks have been found in many locations like businesses, churches, restaurants, a friend’s car, outside when weather permits and party stores – you name it, they have been found all over,” Kay said. “This includes all over Michigan, California and even Hawaii.

“There’s no monetary value to them; she feels good painting them and others feel good finding them.”

In the summer, Janet said the rocks are often hid outside like on the beach or along the streets; in the winter, the rocks are left inside of local businesses. Typically, she said, business owners will give permission before she hides the rocks.

“It helps bring people into businesses sometimes,” Janet said.

“At the fall festival, I had someone in town hide the rocks in places like the park, on a stump, outside or inside of a building, basically places where people normally go.”

Janet said from time to time, she even receives requests from community members to create special rocks. During Manistee’s Paint the Town Pink event during the first week of October, Janet painted pink rocks and left them all over

For those who are not sure what a “feel good rock” is and what to do when it’s found, Janet shared a picture of a humorous rock that was painted with rules and tips.

For those who are not sure what a “feel good rock” is and what to do when it’s found, Janet shared a picture of a humorous rock that was painted with rules and tips.

River Street.

In the fall of 2017, Grace Servinski, a seventh grader at Onekama Schools, went to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., to present a 4-H donation; her mother, Elaine Bossingham, asked Janet to paint something for the children at the facility.

“I try to put nice sayings on them like ‘you are amazing’ and ‘never lose hope’,” Janet said. “People sometimes call me ‘the rock lady’ in town, when I am out hiding them.”

When her rocks are found, Janet invites others to post a picture online at her Facebook page “1, rocks – Onekama, MI.” Part of the fun, she said, is watching others smile when they find her creations.

“It’s fun to watch when people find them, when they post something online saying that I made their day or that they are sending them to another person,” she said. “Sometimes they ask to keep them, and that’s alright too.”

Janet plans to continue her hobby for years to come.

“I definitely will continue this — I enjoy it,” she said. “Some people knit or crochet but I happen to paint rocks.”

 

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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