A woman has spent 20 years collecting over 150 heart-shaped rocks from all over the world.
Kris Ballinger, 67, spotted her first, a stone shaped just like a heart, while walking on the shore of Lake Michigan near Leland, Michigan, USA.
She was thrilled and has spent the last 20 years looking for romantic rocks and now has at least 150 – some from as far afield as Scotland, Italy and Denmark.
Retired artist Kris, 67, of Cookeville, Tennessee, USA, said: “When I found my first heart rock, it was beautiful. I noticed the rock on the Lake Michigan shoreline in 1992.
“I thought it was really neat and it got me going. Heart rocks are not really easy to find but the more you look for them, the more you see. They are always like a special little gift when you spot one.”
Kris has decorated her home with her vast collection of heart-shaped rocks, scattering them over window sills, on her porch and throughout the house.
She added: “I’ve got a big bunch of them on my front porch. As you walk to my front door, there’s a whole table full of heart rocks.
“When I first started collecting the rocks, I posted about them on Facebook. People became aware of my collection and they started giving me heart rocks.”
Kris now has a small collection in her bathroom that she calls her ‘international heart rocks’.
She said: “One was given to me by a friend who found it in Italy. My daughter-in-law found another one in Iceland.
“Another friend found one in Ireland and a different friend bought me one from Denmark. I found one in Ontario, Canada, and one in Scotland. Several different countries are represented.”
Kris’s collection is varied with rocks of all different sizes and colors.
She added: “I’ve got heart rocks that are fossils. I have rocks in all different colours. Some are big, some are tiny.
“I have come across many wonderful heart rocks on my travels that are beautiful and I wished that I could bring them home but they are too big.
“I have always liked the meaning of the heart. At first, I thought my stones were unique and cool. But my favorite part now is sharing them with other people.
“I’ve given so many away. It has been a way of opening up and sharing the love. It is a positive message of love and hope and it feels good to share that.”