About Us

Thanks for stopping by!  We are 4 friends who love paper crafting. In an attempt to stay more connected with each other and motivate ourselves to be more creative we decided to form a club. Each month we all use the same kit or challenge to create layouts, cards and other goodies. We also use this blog to post other crafts we complete in between the kits.

Our History:

I (Marieke) met Theresa during my orientation at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) in the Fall of 1999.  I met Rachel about a year later in August of 2000, when I decided to attend the Education Abroad Program in Hungary.  All of the UC (University of California) campuses get together and send a batch of students to Hungary.  She was from UCLA.  I was from UCSC.  We ended up sharing an apartment for the fall semester I was there and we became good friends.

During October of 2009, Rachel - who lives between Sacramento and San Francisco in Fairfield - came to visit me in Portland.  We spent a lot of time scrapbooking.  Rachel hadn't scrapbooked in several years and she had a blast.  She went home with her passion for this hobby renewed.  I knew Theresa liked crafting, though we had never crafted together.  We decided to get together for some crafty time in November of that same year when I would be in the Bay Area for the holidays.  I met my husband through Rachel. They attended high school together and both grew up in Fairfield.  I would go to Fairfield for holidays since my in-laws still lived there.  Fairfield is close to Berkeley which is where Theresa lived, so I was able to see her while I was down there.   We had a lot of fun crafting together.

When I got back to Portland, I started thinking about gifts for Rachel and Theresa for Christmas which was only a few short weeks away.  Rachel and Theresa didn't really know each other and had only met a few times (they were my bridesmaids at my wedding in 2004), but I now knew they both liked scrapbooking and papercrafting.  I had been talking to Rachel about how neat the scrapbook magazine articles were that showcased the results of two scrapbookers who used the same supplies.  One thing led to another and I started thinking we could replicate the same kind of thing.  I made up identical kits for each of the first six months of 2010, set up this blog, designed the kit guidelines and club guidelines, and gave them each a big box at Christmas time full of kits, instructions and the blog info (login id, passwords, etc.).  Since we were all kinda newish to scrapbooking and didn't all have the same tools, we decided to restrict the tools we could use.  It kept us on an even playing field.  Also, since we were free to create outside the kit, it seemed like no big deal to complete one project a month that challenged us by limiting the kinds of tools we could use.  We had so much fun the first six months that we just had to share it, so in July of 2010 we added Claudia to our little group. Claudia is Rachel's best friend from high school.  Rachel designed the kits for July and August and I finished out the last four months of the year, designing the kits for September, October, November and December.

In the fall of 2010, we decided we needed to all get together since we had never scrapbooked together.  In fact, Claudia and Theresa had never met and I had only met Claudia once about 9 years ago.  Earlier in the year, I had stumbled across Tresa Black's blog doing some sort of scrapbook search on google and instantly became a fan.  She is creative and energetic.  I read though her blog and found her posts about a retreat she puts on called Creative University. I told Rachel about it, saying how neat it would be if we could all attend.  The more we talked about it, the more it sounded like a great idea. We decided we all needed to attend Creative University in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho so that we could actually get together and scrapbook in person. Creative University is great for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is it's affordability.  Most other retreats cost between $500 and $1,200 and don't include meals or lodging.  By comparison, Creative University was a bargain at a cost of $225 dollars for three days and two nights, including meals and lodging, and 5 awesome classes.  Also, there was an option to pay an additional $60 for an extra day and night of free-time cropping.  We all made it a priority to attend and signed up for the camp in September of 2010, which would take place 5 months later in February of 2011.

As stated above, when we first started our club, most of us only had basic tools - scissors, paper trimmer, adhesive, etc.  So to keep things fair and on an even playing field, we decided to really challenge ourselves and keep the tools allowed to a bare minimum.  It was a challenge!  I missed my Martha Stewart punches something bad.  But as the year progressed and our addiciton grew, all of us started acquiring more sophisticated tools: Cuttlebugs, Cricuts, border punches, stamp sets, etc.  When we talked about the changes we wanted to make to our little club in 2011, we decided that we wanted to have some months that were less restrictive, but keep a few months that were "classic" ORMV.  We decided that each of us would take three months and play "hostess" for those months.  One of those months would be a kit like we'd done during the past year (limited supplies and tools) and two of the months the person hosting that particular month would pick a challenge and define the rules as they saw fit.  To see examples of the types of challenges we thought would be fun, click here.

So far, the break down in months for 2011 is as follows:

January - Hosted Challenge -  Title Challenge (Beatles Song)
February - Classic ORMV Kit Month (Love Theme)
March - Hosted Challenge - Alphabet Challenge (Circle Letters)

April - Hosted Challenge - Photo Inspiration Challenge (Easter Theme)
May - Classic ORMV Kit Month (Beach Theme)
June - Hosted Challenge - Card Challenge (Ugly Birthday Kit)

The great thing about doing it this way is that we aren't restricted during the hosted challenge months, but no one needs fancy tools, either.  We could always use basic tools during the hosted challenge months, too, if we wanted to.  So far, so good.

Now if only I could catch up.  I haven't posted February's results and I haven't even started January's challenge.  I was too busy preparing for Creative University.  I think I participated in everything, so there was a lot to prepare for.  I made roomie gifts, a fourby (a 4 x 4 mini layout of ourselves using the CU colors this year - red, black, grey, white - that my roomies and I exchanged with each other), my piece of the CU group art project (a twinchie), charms for the charm swap, and goodies for the secret sister exchange.  I didn't get my cards for the card swap done until I got to camp, but I managed to get 8 done so at least I had some to exchange.

And it was all worth it.  We just got back from Creative University two days ago and it was fabulous!  Our cabin was awesome!  The food was great!  The classes were wonderful!  But, honestly, the best part of it all, was just hanging out with each other, laughing, chatting and crafting the night away.  Claudia and Theresa got to meet for the first time.  It was essentially the first time I'd gotten to know Claudia, too.  She's a sweetie who has a great sense of humor, and it was as if we'd all known each other for years.  We had so much fun!

We are already talking about when we can get together again. :-)

Updated: 2/22/2011 by Marieke