Camp Krissy: Mother and daughters paint rocks to share positivity

FAIRFIELD — In a summer unlike any other, people walking or biking past a home on Katona Drive may happen across colorfully painted rocks and shells with inspirational messages on them.

Feel free to take one.

A Fairfield mother and her two daughters paint the rocks with spreading positivity in mind, according to Krissy Futia.

Futia, who said she left an office manager job to spend time with her daughters when the coronavirus pandemic started, said she started “Camp Krissy” in March to keep her girls occupied during the months of social distancing. She said arts and crafts were a big component of camp.

“I basically bought the Michael’s store, and we started painting the rocks as one of the activities,” Futia said. “It turned out to be one of their favorite activities (as well as) mine, to be honest.”

Futia said she and her daughters Isabella, 7, and Sienna, 3, started with colorful designs but moved to more inspirational art as the summer went on. the idea is to help improve the outlook of people who may be feeling down this summer because they’ve cut down on activities and social interaction, she said.

“Things to make people smile,” Futia said. “I can see parents reading them to their children as they go by. Kids love them and they take them, and that’s great, because we want people to stay positive.”

The rocks, which Futia, Isabella and Sienna place along their front fence next to the sidewalk, are painted with messages such as “kindness,” “laughter” and “inspire greatness one day at a time.”

She said neighbors took notice immediately.

“We get people (noticing) them all the time,” Futia said. “They comment on them. They love them.”

Sienna Futia said she likes painting the rocks, especially adding her favorite color, red, to the rocks’s message.

Isabella likes “Happy stuff that make people happy. Sometimes I put my dreams on there,” she said, adding that she gave a neighborhood friend rocks after he went through a minor surgery.

She gets a sense of joy, Krissy Futia said, when she sees other people enjoy the art she and her daughters work on. She said she is trying to teach her children to “put out positivity” instead of focusing on the negative.

“I think all of us can learn that. I know I’ve had days where it’s like, ‘This is exactly what I needed,’” she said, adding the transition to stay-at-home mom was a big change for her. “It’s hard for anyone to stay 100 percent positive all the time, and I like to have reminders myself. I figured, why not be someone that can make someone smile?”

Krissy Futia said she and the girls have upped their game, looking at designs online. Although, she notes, some of the stuff they see is above their level of artistry.

“However, it has taught us to try things that we didn’t think we could do,” Futia said. “There’s no such thing as a bad rock.”

Futia said more people should work to spread kindness instead of hostility. In a crazy world, she said, people need to stick together.