Painted Rocks by Cindy Thomas

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unique nativity sets and nativity scene figures hand-painted on Colorado river rocks and stones

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Here you'll learn how I create nativity scene figures using river rocks and stones as well as other facts about nativity sets.



How "He is my Rock" Nativity Sets Are Made

Nativity scene figures painted on rocks First, I search for suitable rocks that are proportionate to each other and stand upright. Then, as each color of acrylic paint is added, the rock begins to develop a personality and eventually becomes the Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus nativity scene figures. Robe, skin, and hair color vary to give each nativity set a unique, one-of-a-kind look. One to two coats of sealant is applied to protect the colors and extend the life of the painted rock nativity sets.


See how unique nativity sets hand painted on rocks are made.



Nativity Scene Facts 

A nativity scene or crèche (also known as a manger scene, or crib) is a depiction of the birth of Jesus as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. While the term "nativity scene" typically includes two dimensional depictions in film, painting, printmaking, and other media, in the history of art and culture, as well as in popular use, the term refers to static, three dimensional, artistic, commercial or folk art dioramas, or pantomimes called "living nativity scenes" in which real humans and animals participate. Nativity scenes exhibit figures representing the infant Jesus, his mother Mary, and Joseph. Other characters from the nativity story such as shepherds, the Magi, and angels may be displayed near the manger in a barn (or cave) intended to accommodate farm animals. A donkey and an ox are typically depicted in the scene, as well as camels belonging to the Magi.

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The Unique History of Home Nativity Sets

The first nativity scene was believed to have been created by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1223. It was a pantomime, using live actors, and its purpose was to inspire worship in Christ. Soon after, many communities had staged their own pantomimes, and this later evolved to become nativity sets, composed of static models that use materials such as wax or ivory, dressed in rich clothes, and often set against beautiful landscapes. 

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Nativity Sets Teach the True Christmas Story

One traditional way to honor the origins of Christmas is the display of the Nativity scene. A standard Nativity set includes the Holy Family with the infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Other nativity pieces such as shepherds, the Magi, angels and animals are also commonly included in Nativity sets. The Nativity scene, also called a Nativity creche, dates back to the time of St. Francis of Assisi.  

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Manger Sets

Setting up Nativity and Manger Sets is the most cherished moments of Christmas. In fact there are many ways to set up a Nativity scene. Different parts of the world have their own ways of putting up the Nativity Scene. The choice is completely ours and we tend to follow our traditions. The only significant difference between a Nativity and a Manger Set is the inclusion of the stable - Manger. A Nativity Set may or may not have the stable, but a Manger always have the stable as part of the set. Adding the stable brings in much more relevance and depth to the Nativity Scenes.

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Nativity Figurines - Heralds of Peace Throughout the Earth

We may not even be consciously aware of them, The Nativity Figurines, sets that are part of nearly all Christmas decorations. Outdoors in particular, our attention may be fixed on the lights or the Santas or the animal figures. Indoors there is the tree and the presents and the food or other festivities. Yet the nativities are there and we are almost subliminally reminded of what they mean to us-the reason for all the rest. The Event. The Babe is there, sleeping blissfully as the mother, in robe and hood, watches over Him. The father, too, bearded and sandal-clad. Perhaps the shepherds who came next to the scene, and the three wise men with the camels that brought them from afar.

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 How to Arrange a Nativity Scene (Video) 

This short video illustrates how to arrange your nativity scene figures. (Please allow a few seconds for the video to appear.)