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the Whatevers: Creative StoryTelling

the Whatevers -- are you ready?

I am so excited to introduce you to The Whatevers - a creative story telling project by Nat Kalbach, Vicki Chrisman and me. We've been planning, designing and mostly giggling about this project for the last 2 months or so. It's so much fun I'm already working on July and August -- I'm NEVER that far ahead of myself!

What all three of us have in common (besides enjoying each others company, creating art and having a blast) is the love for vintage photos, whether it be family treasures or the found ones -- you know the ones that have no story. They are the most intriguing ones to me.

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 more? They are forgotten as long as they have no name and no story...but no longer.

Here's the cover for my Whatevers Story Book. I took 12 pieces of 9" x 12" Strathmore Mixed Media paper --- 140 lb., along with two heavy duty chipboard covers to Staples and had them punch them for a coil bound book and brought them home without putting the binding on.

Then I got to work creating the fun cover using my two sweeties. Once the covers were all fancy and colorful I wound the coil in there and I was ready to get to work. I can't help but admire it and take it with me as I plan and scheme the lifes of my Whatevers.

I love working with the Strathmore paper - it's perfect for the Mixed Media treatments I'm using to create my story on each month. It's going to end up like a sweet picture book for adults. Art, laughs and maybe a few tears in the end -- the perfect bedtime story.

Here is how it works
  • Vicki, Nat 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 to download 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 and show 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
The first Whatever Post will be up tomorrow - make sure to check out our blogs :)

Are you ready for the first Whatevers? If you missed the post of what this is all about- check out yesterday's blogpost.
Click here to see what Nat made out of this photo and details of the story she tells of the Whatevers!

Click here to see what Vicki made out of this photo and details of the story she tells of the Whatevers!

My two sweeties are called Newton and Winston Whatever, named after their father. This is where their story starts:

Winston Nicely Whatever – or Winnie for short – was 8 years old when this photo was taken. Her brother, Newton – also known as Newt – was 5.

Sitting in front of this contraption, the Daguerreotype Camera – or whatever they called it, holding her body completely still for several moments was absolutely horrifying. Under ordinary circumstances Winnie could sit completely frozen for quite some time, but today she was furious.

Newt on the other hand was so happy he could barely contain himself, making it nearly impossible for HIM to sit still too.
One phrase kept running through her head, HOW COULD SHE? How could Mother make plans for the entire month of August without calling a family meeting. She could have consulted with me first. Winnie was horrified at having to spend the entire month of August smiling, curtsying and visiting her cousins at the beach. Those girls were mean and crabby, and maybe even crazy. She just wasn’t going to go. Eldridge and Forget-Me-Knot would have to find someone else to tease this summer. 

I've had so much fun with the cover to my book and this first page that I'm already working on the pages for next month -- and planning out my story -- oh this is so much fun. Since we are having such a great time with this, the three of us thought you might like to play along too. Here is our first photo that you can download and use to play along if you want to:

It's that time of the month again -- time to share our stories of the adventures of the Whatevers. Since I have so much extra time on my hands (ha ha) I thought I would make this a true story-telling experience and read my story to you.

I hope you like it!

Time to Meet Mother from Catherine Scanlon on Vimeo.

And, to go along with that -- here are the images I used in my little video, and some fun facts. 

Cordelia Marie really is my Grandmother's name.  Except that she is French so on her birth certificate it reads Marie Cordelia -- it's a Catholic thing I think. My mother's is the same.

I love watercolor paints, I guess that you probably already knew that though. 
I recorded the Voice Memo to add to my story 7 times because I kept messing up at the little red-headed handful part -- and then I would laugh and have to start over. And then would mess up at right after I said Eldridge. ha.
I really love wild birds, in case you couldn't tell. But we had pet birds once and I hated them. They were messy and loud and cleaning the cage grossed me out.
I am a creature of habit and find I use the same colors all the time. I recently bought some purple toe nail polish to get out of my color rut, it looks just like Claudine Hellmuth's Purple paint, which I do love but hardly ever use.
Mother's eyes came out of a magazine -- and they are from the same person. On the front cover of the mag she was in color and the article she was in black and white. It made me laugh to see how funny Mother looks with her wonky eyes and curly hair. My Grandmother Cordelia did NOT have wonky eyes or curly hair.

I am really LOVING this Creative Storytelling project -- and can't wait to share NEXT month with you. But in the meantime, if you want to share your Whatever story with us, click on the Linky at the top of my blog and enter. Please only share projects that are related to the Whatevers. Also, you can share your art in our Flickr Group and Facebook Page. 

If I've held your attention this long, check out what Nat and Vicki have created and links for Facebook and Flickr:
    It's that time of the month again -- time to find out what Winnie, Newt and Mother Whatever are up to this month. In case you need a reminder, in July Mother decided to take her little family to the beach to spend the month with her Sister. You can read about it here, on this post.
    Now that August is here -- let's see what kind of trouble Newton Whatever is getting in to!

    Whatevers August at the Beach from Catherine Scanlon on Vimeo.

    Watch out Boots!” Newt shouted as quietly as he could. He didn’t want to to be the one that got blamed for the beach ball hitting her squarely in the head, but he also wanted to see Winnie laugh as the ball – almost in slow motion – smacked his much older cousin Boots with a loud schwack. Winnie seemed so sad since they arrived at the beach that he would do anything just to see her smile. 
    Boots and her sisters Forget-Me-Not and Hermione tortured Winnie every moment of the day so it only seemed fitting to see karma hit one of them squarely in the face. He was going to deny kicking the ball, after all he was only 5 and three quarters so who would blame him. When no one was looking he gave his big sister the thumbs up. Unbeknownst to him, Aunt Elldridge caught the whole thing out of the corner of her beady little eye. She vowed there would be hell to pay for that boy Newton, even if he was the youngest son of her only sister Cordelia.
    Elldridge was not happy for many reasons. She was the most upset about her sweet and beautiful Forget-Me-Not. Only 17 and already head over heels in love with a man 10 years her senior – and to top it off that Castell man touted himself to be a Count in Germany.  Count Alexander Castell, “my heavens people will tell you anything and think you dumb enough to believe it”, she thought.
    If this Alexander really was a Count, Ellie knew this meant her beautiful daughter would marry and move away to some castle far, far away and she might never see her favorite daughter again.


    It's that time of the MONTH again, that glorious and giggly time when we share our new WHATEVERS stories!

    This one is my favorite so far!


    October Coming Soon!

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