Tag: Dog

Visual Journal Page 55: Bedtime Bear

A collage with a dog and sleeping zzzzs, made for my Kody Bear a German Shepard, Husky mix.

When I realized what visual journal page I was blogging about today I was equal parts heart warmed and melancholy. This visual journal page is for my Kody Bear who lived a long 13.5 years, but went on to puppy heaven two and a half years ago.

Kody Bear was sweet, snuggly *at his discretion,* so fluffy, a close talker, pushy, stubborn, and so very smart. His stubborn/intelligent combination caused a great deal of frustration in college. But he eventually settled into the perfect dog.

Loosing a dog as an adult was different than loosing a dog as a child. I was so close to my family dog growing up. He was my baby. But, by the time he headed up the white staircase to puppy heaven I was two years into college and didn’t see much of the end of his life. Kody Bear was different because I was there, I witnessed his last breath, which I am forever grateful for, but it was almost impossible to bare. I am endlessly thankful that he was sick for such a short period of time after living a very healthy 13.5 years before that. I am thankful I opted to drive home from the beach just in case this was it. Because it was and I was there for Nick and him.

But, this post isn’t just about losing Kody in the end, it was about the sweetness I witnessed those last few years. Kody was a wild pup who took a lot of discipline and training to wrangle. But, he eventually found a balance that worked for all involved parties. He loved being outside, sitting near you (but never touching), and was 100% Nick’s dog. I believed he viewed me as a bonus, but not his person.

I can’t blame Kody for that. After all, when I met Nick he and Kody were already a pair, they came as a package deal. At 19, a sophomore in college, he had inherited him from his sister. I think Nick was the only one who could handle his wild spirit. I think Kody realized he had met his match with Nick and he developed great respect and love for him as a result.

And although for 11 years of his life it was all about Nick and Kody, those last couple of years he settled into some routines with me. My favorite was every night when I would go to bed he would follow right behind. It didn’t matter who was still awake, if a party was going on, or if it was 5 pm. My bear was right behind me as we headed up the stairs together.

It’s the little things that make you realize you are bonded with someone. It’s the everyday, repetitive, tiny moments that add up to such beautiful things. The moments that Kody showed me he cared, by supporting decisions for an early bedtime or laying nearby when I was upset or simply warming myself next to the fire, I truly felt connected to him.

Today, I have another bedtime buddy named Harper. She is about 80% as fluffy, 25% of his size, and is just as wild. Despite her high energy, as soon as I hit the steps heading up to bed, she is right behind me. I like to think that she represents a piece of Kody, a piece of me, and a piece of my life right now.

Sweet dreams Kody Bear.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue
  • Book pages
  • Bleeding tissue paper
  • Sharpie
  • Packing tape
  • Laser printed image

VISUAL JOURNAL HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I started with a printed image of my bear snuggled up and snoozing. I had come up with the idea of having snoring zzzs floating around him as I began developing this visual journal page. It was easy to opt for a tape transfer, so you could see the layers of zs coming from Kody and spreading to the rest of the pages.

To create a packaging tape transfer you need a laster printed image, you can also use newspaper or inkjet but they aren’t as successful. Tape strips of packaging tape directly on top of the image. Flip the image over and rub the back with something hard, like scissor handles or a wood spoon. The burnishing process helps stick the ink to the packaging tape. Next, run the back of the image under water until the paper starts to raise up and peel away. Rub the paper off of the tape, leaving only the ink stuck to the tape.

The end result of a tape transfer is a semi-transparent image. Any white sections are completely see through and any dark sections are semi-transparent or fully opaque. Next, I set aside the tape transfer and started working on the background.

I first glued down strips of bleeding tissue paper I had set aside in my visual journal stash. In a previous project I had wet sheets of bleeding tissue paper to stain paper with color. I then set aside the used sheets to dry, which can result in tie dye looking tissue paper.

Next, I began writing the letter Z on pieces of ripped out book pages. I cut each one into a square then glued it down to the background. I filled the area I knew the trap transfer would be placed and slowly spread them out as it moved away from Kody. Once I was satisfied with the way the background looked, I glued the transfer of Kody on top.

Last but not least I wrote out my text on book pages, cut it out, and glued it to the right page.

Check out more visual journal pages with tape transfers here, here, here, and here.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a loss in your life. Use a tape transfer to help illustrate it.

Interested in learning more about visual journaling or introducing them in your classroom? Get everything you need to teach or learn about visual journals, plus a ton of printable resources (including my tape transfer how to handout) here.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my post to my sweet Bear. Help me spread the word about visual journaling by sharing with others! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates straight to your inbox or follow me on facebook or instagram. Thanks for stopping by!

Visual Journal Page 30: The Fleas Disease

      If your dog has ever had fleas… I bet this image makes you shudder… I have always had a family dog, but until a couple of years ago, never saw a flea. Nick and I got Jacob and Kody Bear in college, and they are quite a pair. Nick had Kody before we started dating, and is a beautiful, HUGE, German Shepard, Husky mix. We got Jake after we started dating partially for Kody, mostly for me… because I wanted a puppy. He and Jake are an odd combination, a big, fluffy, quiet, calm dog with a beagle, coon hound mix, crazy dog.

      Nick and I did a pretty good job taking care of those pups through college. We missed flea medication here and there but never had a problem. Eventually, after 5 years, we finally left Athens, and I moved to an amazing apartment in Candler Park in Atlanta.

      After I first moved there I noticed that Jake was scratching and chewing a lot. I finally flipped him over, and checked out his belly, expecting nothing, but I found myself staring at a flea colony. They were EVERYWHERE! They were running and jumping all over him, and I found them on Kody as well. For once I had actually consistently kept up with their flea medication, but apparently it didn’t work.

      I tried everything short of flea bombing my apartment… and I really considered it. I flea medicated them, I flea bathed them (full gloves and everything), I washed EVERYTHING in the apartment, vacuumed 10x a day… Still fleas… I researched, I waited a few days, re-flea medicated them, re-bathed them, re-flea shampooed, re-vacuumed 10 more times a day.

      I couldn’t sleep at night… I kept imagining fleas crawling all over me… I felt phantom tickles, every brown speck in my sheets transformed into a flea out to get me. At my wits end I went to the pet store to find a different flea medication, maybe the Frontline just wasn’t working. Hours after I put K-9 Advantage on them the fleas were GONE!! Weeks of trying everything I could think of and one medication did it in an afternoon.

      I really wanted to create a sense of space in this page, so I found images of hardwood floors to construct a ground, and cut out images of the furniture I wished I had to create different rooms. I found pictures I had taken of Jake and Kody in positions that could work with the furniture, to help them look more integrated into the scene. I then printed pictures of fleas and scattered them around the room. I figured the grotesque images of the fleas were enough to get my point across… I opted not to add words.

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Play Hard, Sleep Well, Peaceful House

Every now and then I babysit my parent’s dog, Dusty, for a few days. Dusty and my dogs, Jacob (a beagle mix) and Kody Bear (a German Shepard/Husky mix), love to play. Most of the time 15 pound Dusty spends his time jumping up on 75 pound Kody, so he can show him who is boss. It’s a funny thing to watch because Kody just stands there while Dusty, fully stretched, just barely reaches Kody’s mouth. Jake will play with anything that moves, and when he and Dusty get going they are running around in circles. Every now and then Jake and Kody decide to gang up on Dusty, they flip him on his back and Kody spends his time putting his whole mouth around Dusty’s neck, then jumping back. Jake likes to trade off between poking Dusty’s belly with his nose (he loves squeaky toys and I’m pretty sure he is convinced Dusty is a living squeaky toy) and gnawing at his hind legs. Needless to say when Dusty is in town our house is practically a zoo.

The nice thing after an afternoon of hard playing, is when all of the dogs collapse from exhaustion and   don’t move again until the next day. Even better is after Dusty leaves, because it takes a day or two for my pups to fully recover from all of the excitement. I really enjoy it when they play hard, sleep well, and I get my peaceful house.

I was very excited when I stumbled across this picture of a West Highland Terrier yawning. Dusty is a Westie and this image fit him well. It’s good to flip through magazines and rip out any image you like, not just images for a specific page you are working on. I cut the image out and glued it down using rubber cement. I painted a thin layer of gesso to tone down the background a little, then glued ripped up pieces of construction paper on top. I added another layer of gesso to create an area where the words would really stand out. As usual I used sharpie to add the words.