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Local family hopes to use painted stones with colorful designs to inspire people around town

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Bella and Mayda Mosqueda work on creating painted rocks. Along with the rest of their family, they have been creating the rocks to create positivity in the Estacada community.

An Estacada family is striving to add brightness to people's days — and a bit of color around town.

Mary Morris Mosqueda and her family have left painted rocks with positive messages and colorful designs around downtown Estacada and other locations. Since beginning the project a few weeks ago, they estimate that they've painted more than 200 rocks.

"It's all about bringing brightness to somebody's day and inspiring them," Mary said.

So far, they've left the rocks in areas near Lew's Drive-In, Dollar General, Wade Creek Park and the Estacada Public Library, among other locations.

"It's kind of cool when people get excited about (finding a rock)," said Mary's daughter Mayda.

The Mosqueda family embarked on their rock painting adventure after being inspired by the Kindness Rocks Project. Founded by Megan Murphey, a resident of Cape Cod, Mass., the movement encourages people to create inspirational rocks in their communities. The movement has appealed to people across the world and has amassed more than 68,000 followers on Facebook.

According to the Kindness Rocks Project's website, "Our purpose is simple, to cultivate connections within communities and lift others up through simple acts of kindness. We are simply a grassroots kindness movement."

"It's really all about spreading happiness. It's nice to be able to put (the rocks) out," Mary added.

In addition to leaving rocks for people to discover around town, they also hope to create several fairy doors — large, decorated stones where multiple painted rocks are available.

"It's kind of like a painted rock trading post," Mary said. "You can leave one and take one."

She added that she thinks the fairy doors are valuable to ensure the rocks are accessible to everyone.

"It would break my heart if someone were to go looking for the rocks and couldn't find one," she said, noting that if people are looking for rocks but can't seem to locate any, they will be able to find one at the fairy door.

The Mosquedas enjoy painting the rocks as a family.

"It's one thing we can just do all together," Mayda said.

Their designs are sometimes inspired by previous adventures together. One of the rocks they painted depicted Trillium Lake, a spot they enjoy visiting.

"It would be neat if someone found that one and went there to make their own memories," Mary said.

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - The rocks created by the Mosqueda family feature a variety of inspirational designs.

The family enjoys the process of creating the painted rocks, as well. Once they discover a rock for the project, they paint a design, add sealant and then pick a location to leave it.

"It's fun to go look for the rocks, too, and pick one up and see what it can be," Mary said.

Of the rocks they've painted, Mary's favorite is one that depicts a deer. Mayda's favorite depicts Snoopy. And Mary's daughter, Bella, particularly likes a stone inspired by Bob Marley.

They hope the decorated rocks bring a smile to people's faces.

"It's putting a little bit of kindness out there," Mary said. "I hope people enjoy them, and it brings them a smile. If you see someone had a hard day, pass them a rock. It's something to help them smile."

"People take things so seriously. This is a good way to lighten up," Mayda added.

Kindness Rocks Project

For additional information about the Kindness Rocks Project, visit www.thekindnessrocksproject.com.

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