Tag: tissue paper

Visual Journal Page 11: Take Responsibility

Visual Journal Page 11-Take Respondsibility

It was the time of year when hot sticky summer nights transition into the cool crisp fall. It’s my favorite time of year, witnessing the changing season through every sense. The air smells crisp, the air moves from warm to cool, the leaves crunch under toe, and goosebumps come and go as the changing atmosphere tickles my skin. It was the perfect fall evening, and I decided the best way to fall asleep was to the sound of the great outdoors, with a cool breeze coming through a slightly cracked window. Or so I thought.

As I finally began to settle and felt the first drifting of dreams coming in, a low howl rose to our second story window and in through the crack. It gradually pulled me from the brink of sleep to full awake, until I could no longer focus on anything but the howl. I tried my best to ignore the sound, to cover my ears, and once again find sleep, but it kept finding a way in.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that poor dog. While it was a beautiful night, not a bad night to be sleeping outdoors, I knew exactly which dog it was, and this wasn’t the only night they would be spending outside. A sweet pup down the street, on the corner, confined to a backyard wrapped in a chain link fence. Whenever my pups and I walk past the house, we stop for a moment and visit. Tails wagging, huffing and sniffing sounds exchanged, everyone excited to see a new face. I have never walked past that house without seeing her outside. Whether it’s in the dead heat of summer or the frigid chill of winter, there the dog sits. I have never seen another human interacting with her. I have never seen another dog playing with her. She is all alone, most likely kept only to keep others out.

Why spend the money to have a dog? Why spend the money to feed a dog? Why have a dog if you aren’t going to enjoy the amazing company they can provide? If you are concerned about security, make a one time purchase of an extra bolt for your door, a fence for your yard, a sign advertising an alarm system, whether or not that system exists. Why subject a living being to a lonely existence? Even if said dog was well feed and watered (which was questionable in this situation) they are still lacking the basic need of interaction, contact with another living, breathing being.

That howl haunted me all night, until I had no choice but shut the window, and attempt to ignore the situation down the street. I wasn’t able to sleep with the window open again, the howls continued, and continued to break my heart, until one day my pups and I passed the house, paused for a visit, and she was gone, never to return again. I can only hope she was taken to a loving, happy home. We have very active neighbors who rescue stray and abused dogs in the area, and this particular situation had been a recent topic. I choose to believe my neighbor was able to take action, and rescue the sweet girl. I need to believe that in order to maintain some belief in the existence of humanity, and to be able to walk past that house everyday. At the very least, she hasn’t been replaced by another “security system” doomed to the loneliness of an empty backyard.

When you choose to own a pet you choose to be responsible for their physical and mental well being. Your animals rely on you to meet their needs. They need food, water, and play. They need love, snuggles, and kisses. They need to be pet and held as much as they need physical sustenance. There is nothing like the connection between a dog and their owner in a happy home. I would recommend it to anyone, I think my life would be a little emptier without my babies in it. As much as I give to them, they give right back in every wag of the tail and desire to be near me. But, you must take responsibility.


  • Visual journal
  • Tissue paper (black, blue, white)
  • Silver sharpie
  • Book page paper
  • Pencil
  • Prisma markers
  • Fine and extra fine sharpie


To create this visual journal page I decided to use a variety of material. Other than sharpie, I hadn’t experimented with art markers, and decided this could be a good opportunity. Living with a landscape architect husband means I have a whole separate set of art materials to test out, and his Prisma colored markers were just what I was looking for.

I decided to draw the back of my house, focusing on the left side, second story where our bedroom is. I sketched it out in pencil first, then went in with the markers. To maintain an even look, I applied one layer at a time, and always continued my lines off the page, rather than stopping in the middle, and accidentally crossing marker lines, creating a darker color where they cross. Once I filled the drawing in with color, I went back over the detail lines with an extra fine sharpie.

Once I completed my marker house, I cut it out. I decided to cut out the window of our bedroom, to emphasize the fact that it was open. To create the background I decided to layer strips of tissue paper. I love the texture it creates, and by including both blue and black, I hoped to show it was dusk, just after sunset, but before total darkness fell.

Once I glued down the strips of tissue paper and the house cut out, it felt a little empty. To add interest, I drew a tree silhouette on white tissue paper with sharpie. I carefully cut the tree out, leaving a thin white outline around the tree. I glued it to the left side of my visual journal.

To visually represent the howling, I used a silver sharpie to write “howl” all over the page. To complete the visual journal page I wrote “take responsibility” on a ripped out piece of book page, and layered it on a cut out piece of black tissue paper.


Create a visual journal page about something you want to take action on. It could be as small as helping your elderly  neighbor or solving world hunger.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about visual journals by sharing with others. Check out my visual journal lesson plan here and bundle pack here. Thanks for stopping by!

Visual Journal Page 26: Night Sledding


It was day three of Snowmageddon. Nick and I were enjoyed our third day off of work, we were glued to the sofa, bundled up, trying to stay warm. We were still recovering from the first day of sledding, continuously checking our bruises, rubbing our sore muscles, and moaning and groaning every time we had to move. After a full day of sledding on day one of snowmageddon, my body felt like that of an 80 year old, but slowly I began moving back in time, at this point my body was beginning to slide past my forties, into my thirties, and I almost felt like a mid-twenty-year-old again.

The first two days were filled with fun and excitement, however being holed up in your house begins to get boring after awhile. Sections of the city were beginning to open up, however our sreet was still a solid sheet of ice. Every day we checked the weather, everyday the high was just below freezing, and every day another layer of freezing rain and sleet fell on our already ice skating rink street. While the ice continued to coat the outside world, a fog of cabin fever began to settle in our house.

We didn’t know what to do with ourselves, and it was beginning to show. Luckily, before we completely went out of our minds, Nick’s brother, Dan, and a few of their friends, decided it was time to brave the outside weather and take a trip to our house. Their cases of cabin fever urged them to navigate through ice roads and poor conditions, just to get to our house, our hilly neighborhood, and red flyer sled. After being cooped up for three days, enjoying the snowfall from the warmth of the indoors, it was time to go outside and play.

They arrived late afternoon and as quick as they got in our house, they were back out again, sled in hand. My body still hadn’t reached it’s normal state, and I opted to stay in my heated living room during round one of sledding, which was a decision I didn’t regret. They found the steepest street in our neighborhood, and began sledding down the center of the road, every now and then surprising our fellow cabin fever sufferers, who also chose to brave a drive through the ice roads.

They were beat by the time they got home, and the sun was beginning to settle on the horizon. However, the cabin fever wouldn’t let go, and before long they were ready to go out again, and experience the Candler Park golf course hills we were constantly talking up.

This time I couldn’t resist.

Before I knew it I was in their car, headed to the now icy slopes of the golf course. By the time we finally arrived, the sun was gone, and we were officially night sledding. The boys went down the slope first, and I was shocked at how fast they went. I thought snow sledding down the steep inclines was intense, and now we were dealing with snow, with a layer if slick ice, propelling us down the hill into the darkness. I patiently waited my turn, and finally when it was time, I began to chicken out. It was so cold, it was so steep, the ice was so slick, it was going to hurt if I fell off. My dear husband noticed the concern creasing my face, and suggested we squeeze on the tiny red flyer together, he promised he would hang onto me tight.

Nick is true to his word.

We scrunched on, Nick in front, steering, me in back, fearing for the bones in my body. We kicked off, and immediately flew down the hillside. It was amazing, despite the frozen air biting at my cheeks, and my frozen fingers barely grasping onto Nick, it was fun. It was fun until we hit the halfway point, and a slight dip in the slope. We bounced, and I bounced off. However, Nick being true to his word wouldn’t let me go, grasped my legs tighter, leaving my butt dragging the ice covered ground the rest of the way down. No amount of squealing, squiggling, or jerking around loosened Nick’s grip. What Nick perceived as joy, excitement, and the fun kind of fear was actually my response to the pain of my butt being dragged down a hill, over rocks, and through ice. No amount of layered pants helped my poor body as I dragged down the hill.

Finally he let go. He released me just before the bottom, and there I lay. I wasn’t sure I could get up, or make it back up to the top of the hill. My night sledding adventure was over, I was done, and for the rest of the night I was the bystander, gently rubbing my poor, broken, and surely bruised butt.

Once we got home I assessed the damage, a nice red welt had settled on my left cheek, and slightly overlapped my right cheek, but it wasn’t so bad. I slept like a rock, exhausted from our trek through the park, up and down the hills, and digging through the brush to find the lost sled… again and again. In the morning I revisited the mirror and was shocked to find the red welt had gained additional colors. Every day a new color appeared, and shades of red, blue, green, and brown graced the cheeks of my very sore butt.

For the rest of the snowmageddon week I stayed safely tucked in my house, beneath multiple blankets, enjoying movie after movie. The sled was packed away, the snow began to melt, and work began again. Life returned to normal, snowmageddon moved from present to past, and all that remained were the rolling scenes in my head of sled falls, long walks, cozy fires, and a very bruised butt.


  • Visual Journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Various colors of tissue paper
  • India ink
  • White paint
  • Paint brush
  • White paper
  • Prisma colored pencils
  • Sharpie


To create this visual journal page I decided to predominately use tissue paper. Recently I had been experimenting with gluing actual tissue paper in my book to create texture, and layers, since it has a semi transparent look. I thought the layers of white would look especially interesting, because you would be able to see the many layers of paper I planned on putting my book. I started with the sky, and layered blue and black. I chose to do both to help break up the color a bit, and because while we were enjoying the slopes of the golf course the sky transitioned from the deep blue of evening to the black of night.

From there I layered white, and off white tissue paper for the ground. I ripped out curved pieces, to help it resemble the hillside. Once I had my background and foreground set, I began working on the middle ground, the silhouettes of trees. To do this I took a sheet of white tissue paper and painted trees on top with India ink. Because I often use trees in my artwork I was able to easily free hand the shape. If it helps to draw an outline with pencil, that maybe a good way to go. However, tissue paper does rip easily. To avoid this draw the tree on a white sheet of paper, and lay the tissue paper on top, you should be able to see the pencil sketch through the tissue paper, and paint on top, using the outline as a guide.

Once my trees were painted and dry I carefully cut them out, taking the time to cut between each branch. Once I finished I glued them down. As much as I love working with tissue paper in my book, I have found the rubber cement seeps through the thin paper, causing the top to be sticky. I have had to carefully rub on top of this page many, many times to remove the excess rubber cement. A glue that dries to a hardened layer (like Elmer’s glue) may work better for this.

Next, I began drawing my sled. I referenced a picture to help with the details, I drew it with pencil, and filled it in with colored pencil. I chose this route because it is much easier to add details with colored pencil, and the colored pencil would help the sled pop against the tissue paper background. To complete the page I used white paint to paint a moon and stars in the sky.


Use tissue paper in your next page as the main material. This means the majority of the page should be tissue paper! Experiment with different glues, see if you get a better result than I did, and please share if you do! Good luck!

Crafty Project: Decorative Tissue Paper Puffs

A good friend of mine recently showed me how to make these decorative tissue paper puffs. They are a quick, easy, cheap way to decorate for a party, shower, or kids bedroom! We made them for a bridal shower, and I loved them so much I made them for a baby shower. It cost about $7.00 in supplies to make 20 of them!

To get started you need to pick up a few packs of tissue paper. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents each. For the baby shower I bought off white, brown, green, and blue. You will also need scissors, string, and if you want to make a bouquet, wire. I bought a pack of green wire from the flower arrangement section of Hobby Lobby.

For a large puff take 6-7 sheets of tissue paper and stack them on top of each other. For a small puff cut 3-6 inches off the edge of the stack of sheets, and stack 4-5 sheets of tissue paper. If you want multicolored or striped puffs alternate different colors when you stack the tissue paper. Once your tissue paper is neatly stack, started folding it back and forth, like a fan, folding approximately 1 1/2-2 inch sections.

After you fold the entire stack of tissue paper together, tie a string around the middle. If you plan on hanging your puff, allow extra length of string to hang it. To create the petal look round both ends of the folded tissue paper by cutting it with scissors.

After you tie the string around the tissue paper and round the edges, it’s time to separate the layers of tissue paper. Carefully pull each layer of tissue paper apart and spread them out until is creates a round puff. Tissue paper rips easily so be gentle!

Using the extra length of string hang the puffs to decorate! You can tie them around tree branches, tape them to tables, or use poster putty (think back to the gray sticky stuff they use to hang posters up in elementary schools.) to tack it to the ceiling.

Another great way to use the puffs is to wrap wire around the center of the folded tissue paper, rather than string, and create a bouquet. It create a very interesting and crafty centerpiece!