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Rock art ‘bugs’ come to life

Kelly Lipp shows examples of ladybugs and bumblebees at her home. (Linda Sailer/ The Dickinson Press) 1 / 3
Kelly Lipp displays a tic-tac-toe board with the bugs as game pieces.(Linda Sailer/ The Dickinson Press) 2 / 3
Kelly Lipp stands beside a floral wall hanging made out of a textbook at her home. (Linda Sailer/The Dickinson Press) 3 / 3

Mexican beach pebble stones come to life as ladybugs and bumblebees by the inspiration of Kelly Lipp of Dickinson.

Lipp was inspired to paint the rocks as fundraiser for three local charities, as well as helping her brother-in-law, Kris, who is fighting a rare form of  bladder cancer.

“I work on the dining room table --  it’s a place where i can keep an eye on the kiddos,” said Lipp who is a licensed day care provider.

She’s been painting rocks since January at the encouragement of Laurie Willett, who works at Scull Construction. Laurie, along with and Kelly’s husband, Tim, are both employed at the company.

Laurie asked Kelly to make paper art wall hangings, and then the rock art as fundraisers for Make-a-Wish, the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center, and Oreo’s  Animal Rescue.

The paper floral art started with a college Algebra book.

“I put it to good use,” Kelly said with a smile. The paper art starts with half-sized sheets of paper, rolled up and attached to a disc with hot glue.

Laurie tells how she was researching backyard games as a fundraiser. She saw a tic-tac-toe board and presented the idea to Kelly.

Kelly and Tim ran with the idea. Tim cut out a log and designed the face as a tic-tac-toe board. Then Kelly made the bumblebees and bugs as play pieces.

When the idea was posted on Facebook, it really took off. Today, people are asking for sets, individual bugs or bringing in their own rocks to be painted.

“When Kelly does something, it’s always 200 percent,” Laurie said. “She has a wonderful heart for giving and helping and I love collaborating with her. She’s a great, great girl.”

When it was suggested that Kelly go rock hunting along the beach, there was three feet of snow covering the sand. Instead she ordered the rocks online, and decided enamel paint works best for outdoor use.

She has made several tic-tac-toe sets of bugs for sale and has filled individual orders. One woman came with the larger rocks for patio displays. Another woman bought two sets of bugs for a family reunion.

Other ideas for the bumblebees and ladybugs  include putting them in planters or as  paperweights.

“People seem to like the ladybugs the most,” Kelly said.

Always full of ideas, Laurie suggests that Kelly start painting dogs and cats for Oreo’s.

Kelly considers the rock art as a hobby, but has had at least one customer suggest she starting selling them retail. She hasn’t set a price on them yet. More information can be seen on her her facebook page, kellypoppenlipp.

Kelly continues to sell the bugs strictly as a fundraiser for her brother-in-law. She plans to surprise him with a donation on Easter Sunday when they drive to Rapid City.

To place an order, call her at 605-787-2280.