The Whatevers – A Creative Storytelling Project

May I introduce you to the The Whatevers – a creative story telling project by Cat ScanlonVicki Chrisman and me.

Cat and Vicki are two of my oldest Scrapbooking Friends…in is all their fault, because when I started in 2004 they were my idols. And they still are. They were oftentimes crossing Mixed Media with Scrapbooking and use all kinds of techniques, which back then was what draw me right into this whole adventure.

What all three of us have in common (besides enjoying each others company and having a blast)  is the love for vintage photos, whether it be family treasures or sometimes found ones.

Have you ever been to a flea market and then had this weird sensation of those faces from long ago times looking at you? Sometimes you find a little trace of the history on those photos, the name and city of the photographer, a scribbled note or year on the back of the photo…but that is it. There is no more ….Really…no more? They are forgotten as long as they have no name and no story…

We want to give those Whatevers a name- we want to make them part of our family and if you want…you can make them part of your family too. Here is my album/art journal cover

Here is how it works

  • Vicki, Cat and I have made a one-year commitment to each other and picked twelve photos with Whatevers whom we will give a story.
  • Every month – if possible always on the 15th –  each of us will do a post with an individual story that goes along for us with the same photo.
  • If you want you can play along and we will have the photo for you todownload and show us your version of The Whatevers.
  • There is no rules to the story itself- it can be funny, sad, uplifting, breathtaking- WHATEVER
  • There is no rules on the length or the form of the story– it can be a short sentence, an essay, a poem or a soap opera – WHATEVER
  • There is no rules on the artform you choose – it can be a scrapbook layout, an altered art project, an artjournal page – WHATEVER
  • Here is a rule though: if you take the photo you have to link back to us andshow us your story.
  • These pictures are from our personal stash and are for personal use for you only! If you want to use them for a publication whether a book or magazine in print or digital form please ask for permission!
  • If you want to participate we’ll have a linky list for each Whatever Post.
  • You can also join our The Whatevers -Facebook Page

Whatever #1 – The Bow

Seriously, a photo with his sister? She always found a way to tease him. Just before Dad was going to take the photo of them, she made fun of this stockings. He didn’t like stockings anyway. Maria, always uptight and orderly – just look at her white stockings – puh! But ha…this time he got her back – pulled her ridiculous big bow on the head. Looks all crooked now. She almost cried, but Dad told her to hold still for the photo. Her crooked bow will be forever banned on a photo – so there Maria…You are NOT perfect!

Their names: Mathias and Maria

Supplies: tissue paper, Liquitex Heavy Body gel Medium, various Acrylic Paints, Maya Mists, Dylusions Stamps, 7Gypsies Tag, Lace, transparent tape I found at a french market, 7Dots Paper, 7Gypsies Paper Tape, Prima Resins, Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze, Canvas Fabric, Gerstaecker Gesso, Heidi Swapp Chipboard Letters, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Crafty Power Tape

Here is our first photo:

Click here to see what Cat made out of this photo and which story she tells

Click here to see what Vicki made out of this photo and which story she tells

Whatever #2 – Today

“Women cannot be trusted” he had shouted and ended the discussion why women should not be able to vote. She was so tired of this – maybe she should join Virginia, Mary and France to the next Suffrogette Meeting! If he would ever get done with taking the photo?

Her Name: Myrtle – Mother of Maria and Mathias

You can see how I created the background for the pages and the supplies I used in this Post: Sgraffito

added some ripped Donna Downey Prima Canvas and 7 Gypsies Tags and Tape.

And here is the photo for you:

Click here to see what Cat made out of this photo and which story she tells

Click here to see what Vicki made out of this photo and which story she tells

WHATEVER #3 – Become

“Stop looking grumpy into the camera”, mother said between her teeth. “I am not looking grumpy, just squinting because of the sun!” But of course Elizabeth was lying. Why would she have to come a seamstress? She wanted to be a painter…a painter!

Her Name: Elizabeth – Cousin of Maria and Mathias and Niece of Myrtle

I used the pages to try some stuff with wax paper- it turned out la-la- LOL. But I love how bright the Liquitex spray paints show up :)

Also played around more with the Liquitex Acrylic Inks- just love them .

And here is the photo for you:

 WHATEVER #4 – Deep Down His Heart

Deep down his heart, he knew Claire wasn’t his child – but in the end all that counted was that Francine decided to be with him. He never told her he knew and he loved her and Claire more than anything. He would never tell anyone. His brother would never understand, he already despised Francine. The only person who would understand was his sister in law Myrtle. But oh well…just don’t tell!

His Name: Marco –  Myrtle‘s brother in law and Maria and Mathias‘ uncle

I played a lot of mono printing this time – it was fun – I added the prints on tissue paper to my background. It is a bit wild and deep, layered…deep down ;)

I gave myself permission to do whatever with my whatever art journal- so there is a lot experimenting- and it is fun – even though I know that people will see it in the end ;)

And here is the photo for you

WHATEVER #5 – Why…?

Why look so far if the good is so close by? Wilhelm would never understand why his son Heinrich went to America. Being a tram conductor wasn’t a shabby life! At least Karl was still with him.

Their Names: Wilhelm – grandfather to Elizabeth and Karl – Elizabeth’s Uncle

played with Derwent Inktense Blocks and Liquitex Acrylic Inks

And here is the photo for you:

WHATEVERS #6: We did it

Virginia, mary and Frances could hardly contain themselves on the photo, but they knew Myrtle would get it if the photo would just state “We did it”. This was the boldest action that they as Suffragettes ever decided to do and the most dangerous and secret one too. No one but the women would ever know how the giant airplane all of a sudden appeared on the beach.

Their Names: Virginia, Mary and Frances – close friends of Myrtle

Background created with gesso and Liquitex Inks, also used some mono printed Paper and spray painted the heart.

And here is the photo for you:

Click here to see what Cat made out of this photo and which story she tells

Click here to see what Vicki made out of this photo and which story she tells

WHATEVER#7: If Father Knew


Heinrich felt really uneasy! When he was asked to play a little role in a gangster movie, he had no idea how close this role would reflect his nightly life. All the scenes bringing alcohol over the State Boarder from Canada…and it didn’t help that in the movie he would get shot….If father knew….


His Name: Heinrich – son to Wilhelm


I used some scraps of hoarded Danyeela Paper, some film stripes by Tim Holtz and painted over it with a glaze made out of Gel Medium and Liquitex Acrylic Inks. I cut out the stars from my old line eMOTions and painted them from behind with yellow acrylic paint.


I also painted the photo with Liquitex Acrylic Inks.


And here is the photo for you:


Click here to see what Cat made out of this photo and which story she tells

Click here to see what Vicki made out of this photo and which story she tells

WHATEVER#8:  Who Is Laughing Now?


Yes, he was annoyed. Just because he was German he wasn’t stupid. He would build the biggest barrel filled with beer and they’d like him.

Martin surely was grumpy.


Martin – brother of Wilhelm


I wanted a little bit of an industrial, rost, patina look. Not my usual pick of colors, but this was a good opportunity to do something out of my usual  color zone. I used mostly Ranger Distress Paints, Dylusions and Wendy Vecchi’s Embossing Pastes


And here is the photo for you:


Click here to see what Cat made out of this photo and which story she tells

Click here to see what Vicki made out of this photo and which story she tells

WHATEVER#9: Having a Ball

Having a Ball


Nobody ever knew what Margriete was doing behind her closed studio door. All she would ever reveal was that she was having a ball.


Her Name: Margariete – sister of Marco


I wanted to play with something totally different – and I had sooo much fun – I can’t even tell you :) Putting this old Sachertorte box to a whole new thing together was just cool. I am not so much about assemblage usually and I am having a hard time working in with boxes…but this was different. There is so much I used- but probably is only making sense to me …and Margariete ;) Paperclay, wire, tissue paper, scraps of technique papers, spray paints, found objects, …


the canvas on the wall is a miniature of my “Free Your Creativity Canvas” and I made the lightbulbs on the left with resin and Amazing Mold Putty. I posted a tutorial on how to work with it a couple days ago.


Here is the original of the canvas which I taught many times in Australia, the U.S., Canada and many other countries- still one of my faves :)


I love playing with our whatevers- it is such a great way to just let the phantasy carry your creativity :)

And here is the photo of this month’s Whatever for you:


WHATEVER #10 or The Herblady

The Herblady


There was no doubt, without Hermaline nothing would work in this family. Daughter, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter, all living in her house. The remains of the three husbands…unknown. Behind the glasses were the knowingly eyes. “They are, where they belong!” The herblady she was called by some, Mama by others.


Her Name: Hermaline – Mama (what else ;) ) to Margariete


I played with some Liquitex Professional Spray Paints and Paint Markers and with some Luminarte Silks I just received. Love the way you can add layers.


And here is the photo of this month’s Whatever for you:



WHATEVER #11 coming soon 🙂


  1. Thanks for the opportunity to make stuff up!! Love the photos you chose!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love the Whatevers! So creative and so much fun. I do have a question – do you adhere the images directly to your page or do you transfer the images to the page? I’ve been playing with image transfer techniques but can’t seem to get the hang of it. Please share how you get your images on the page. Thanks.

  3. sabelljones says:

    So funny! And what a great idea for fun! Love it, and love your artwork! Thanks for sharing.

  4. What I also find hilarious is my 15 year old keeps telling me to stop saying “Oh Whatever!” Now I will have a legit reason but will have to say “Oh Whatevers!” hee hee

  5. Nat….I LOVE this. How do we get the photos when you say they are for us? I LOVE THIS!!!!! It is brilliant!!!!!!!!! And your pic creations are absolutely awesome. The white stockings is hilarious! Lovies, Samara p.s. please email me …(I only go on facebook 1/month. Thanks.

    • Hi Samara,
      you can just rightclick on the picture and save it to your desktop – and then you have it 🙂
      I took your email addy out of your comment to keep your privacy
      Looking forward seeing what you do with it 🙂

  6. Hi I just started this project. I love the idea of telling a story with the pictures. But I find it too c
    omplicated to enter hte ink linkz thing so here is a link to my blog showing the post for no 1 ans no 2.

  7. I just love your idea! Thanks

  8. i am just so happy you have all these wonderful ‘whatevers’ available to us. thank you so much love all your stories and your journals in general fran

  9. Hi Nath! when you put the second picture Whatevers I was on vacation, but I’ve caught up, as in the inlink I can not upload my picture, I leave here the link for me is very important your opinion, I’m working on the 3rd.
    Thanks and hugs

Hurrah - you make me happy by leaving a comment! <3 Nat

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