Visual Journal Page 26: Night Sledding

Night sledding themed visual journal page

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!

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