Journals & Collaborative Projects

Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous collaborative projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/

Tutorials & Techniques

Below are some of our favorite tricks for adding depth and dimension to your art.  We hope you have fun giving these a try!

Current Group Swaps & Projects

Below is a list of current swaps and projects available to group members. If you are interested in joining our group and participating in these projects, please visit us at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/.  

For existing group members, you can sign up to participate  in these projects here: Swaps & Current Projects.  

We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
 
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/.
 
Come play with us... Join today!

Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

Paper Traders is hosted on Yahoo Groups at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/.
We hope you will consider joining us on an artistic journey!

In order to prevent spammers and to insure that all applicants are actual persons interested in creating art, a questionnaire will be sent to all potential members. When applying, please submit digital examples of your work or direct us to a website where we can view your art. The intent of the questionnaire is not to judge the merits of your art but to safeguard the integrity of our community.

Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Technique: Citra-Solv Papers

Citra-Solv Papers

Ever since I first saw this technique, I have been dying to try it! It was super easy to do although very messy and smelly. I took my stuff out to the garage for this project and I could still smell it inside the house.

You'll need just a few supplies to get started...
  • Citra-Solv concentrate
  • National Geographic magazine (you can try others but I've heard these work best)
  • a shallow pan or tray to contain your mess
  • paper towels
  • rubber gloves


Basically, all you do is sprinkle the solvent on each page, close the book, and wait about 20 minutes. That being said, here are a few things I learned from this first experience...

1) You only need to sprinkle the pages. If you use too much solvent, the ink will just run off your pages. Here you see can how the pages that were just sprinkled turned out quite well:


While the ones that I soaked in solution were complete duds:


2) Don't smash your book too hard or you'll squish out all of the dissolved ink.
3) Don't be afraid to play with the wet pages.
4) Try masking off interesting areas where you want to preserve the imagery.

This is a great video to watch before you get started:
https://youtu.be/FskgfDxI__M

Citra-Solv also has several tutorials and galleries on their website here:
http://www.citrasolv.com/art/index.html

Here are some of my favorite pages from this experiment... Which one is your favorite?





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Swap: Flutter By Butterfly

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.


Flutter by Butterfly

3-for-3 ATCs
Skills Level: 2 - Budding
Sign up by April 30th
Due by May 16th
Hosted by Nikki Smith

This swap is all about Butterflies! You will be making 3 ATC cards and all three cards need to have at least have one image of a butterfly - the more the better! Lots of fun things to do with this swap... butterfly gardens, people with wings, etc. The rest is up to you - whatever moves and inspires you!

Here is a link to Pinterest for ideas:
https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=butterfly%20atc

Please include an address label and $1 for return postage. Bulky cards with 3-D embellishments - please send $2. International participants may send ephemera in lieu of postage.

Skill Level: 2) BUDDING - Participants will be open to trying new ideas and materials, without necessarily being competent yet with their applications. Swap Hosts are encouraged to add the requirement of a technique or process such as creating texture, using crackle paint, doing photo transfers, painting with watercolor, etc.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April Freebie: Cinderella

It's time for another freebie courtesy of your Paper Traders Moderators. A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this terrific offering for your personal use. Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the high resolution file. Enjoy!

Download HERE:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

By The Numbers Art Journaling Challenge "THREE"

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.

art by Betsy B.
"THREE" - our third By The Numbers Art Journaling Challenge

The third challenge for our monthly art journaling project is to use Paivi Eerola's "Masking Tape Magic" technique for your third page/spread. You can find instructions for this technique on her blog here: http://www.peonyandparakeet.com/masking-tape-magic/. She used a random placement for her pieces of tape but you can place yours any way you like - get creative!

After you've created your masked areas, you will use them as journaling space to write down your thoughts using an idiom for the number "three". You can find a list of idioms here:
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/three. Just pick one that inspires your thought process and journal about it.

I think the number theme of this project can add a fun element to your pages... you might want to use the respective number prominently in decorating your pages. Don't stop with a simple saying - that's just a prompt to get you started. Let the creativity continue to flow as you journal and decorate your pages.

You have the entire month to complete your pages for this challenge. We won’t be swapping or mailing pages – you will keep the journal you create for your own.

Here are some idioms for "THREE" to get you going...

  • a three-alarm fire
  • didn't exchange more than three words with
  • phony as a three-dollar bill
  • the three R's
  • three bricks shy of a load
  • three cheers for
  • three dog night
  • three sheets to the wind
  • Three strikes and you are out
  • three's a crowd
  • three-ring circus

Skill Level: 2) BUDDING - Participants will be open to trying new ideas and materials, without necessarily being competent yet with their applications. Swap Hosts are encouraged to add the requirement of a technique or process such as creating texture, using crackle paint, doing photo transfers, painting with watercolor, etc.

Don't forget... As a little incentive for this project, the moderators are offering the opportunity to win a prize for participating.

For each challenge in which you participate (there will be a total of 10), you will earn one entry into the random drawing to be held when the project is complete. The more entries you earn, the bigger the potential prize:

1-3 entries = prize value of $5
4-6 entries = prize value of $10
7-9 entries = prize value of $15
10 entries = prize value of $20

One lucky person will win a gift card to their favorite local craft store up to the value for which they qualified.  More participation >> More chances to win >> Bigger potential prize!  Plus... it will be lots of fun, too.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Speed Swap: Art with a Grid

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.


Time for ATC Speed Swap #14!
This month's theme: 
Art with a Grid ATCs

Sign-up dates April 1st - April 15th
Partner Mailing list announced April 16th
Skill level 1 - Sprouting

For this speed swap, your two ATCs should be designed in a grid pattern. There are so many ways this can be expressed so have fun with this and get some inspiration here:
https://www.pinterest.com/debclaxton/art-with-a-grid/

Each month, on the 1st, we will announce a theme or technique for your ATCs. Anyone interested will have until the 15th to sign up. The list will be randomized, announced on the 16th, and you will mail one ATC directly to each of the next two people on the list. A total of two ATCs each month for the speed swaps. You don't have to sign up every month, just when you feel like it or like the theme or have the time.

We'll have brand new creative excitement each month and this will keep postage for each of us to a minimum as long as you don't make bulky ATCs. But of course that will be your choice. It's approximately $1.20 to mail internationally for one ATC in a note card envelope. You must be able to mail internationally to participate in this swap.

New themes will be announced on the 1st of each month.

Skill Level 1 - SPROUTING: Geared toward the artist who has recently begun their journey into mixed media, these swaps are open to all group members, regardless of experience. Participation is the key - caring and sharing in the spirit of friendship and fun. Every artist needs to understand that contributors to these projects can be of any level of artistic experience.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Color Theory Part II


Creating Color Choices
By Debra Claxton

Even though we have many paper resources, often we do not have the exact color we want or need. What determines this need? Well, it often depends on the images we choose for a project. For instance, I was given the interesting lady in red below. To use this image I know I will start with an interesting background - which is probably where we all begin. I try some plain papers…first in complementary colors (green is opposite red on the color wheel). Then I try analogous colors; related colors around the color wheel (red, pink & purple).




I have decided on a green background. Now my issue is: I do not want just a plain background. I know I can paint something myself and add texture. But I can also alter the color of craft paper, and this is what I choose - because I want an interesting vintage pattern to match the lady’s vintage style. I have assembled my paper choices, and now I need to work with choosing the right tone of green.





I don’t have room to store every bottle of green paint from the craft store! So I stock a few, knowing I may need like to change them a little. There are two easy ways to do this. The first is to make the color less brilliant (or less saturated than the original manufacturer’s hue). And the easiest way to do this is to add little bits of the color’s complement to your paint. You can see below how adding drops of green changes red - and what drops of red do to alter green. In equal amount they make a neutral tone.




A second way to alter your paint color is to change the darkness or lightness - its value. This is done using black and white.




Before you begin: tape the paper down so it does not curl, then mix your colors (I use a paper plate or palette paper), and always use a flat soft brush. You may also need to thin the paint with water to be sure the pattern of the craft paper is visible.

Below are my experiments. For samples on the left of the lady in red: I put about a tablespoon of green paint on my plate, then I mixed a tiny bit (think a cookie crumb size) of red into my green - which should make the green change(if it does not - add a tiny bit more red). Then paint a section of your craft paper. Next, add a bit more red to the same green. Mix, & paint more paper. Then do it a third time - resulting in one pile of very dark green paint. For samples on the right of the lady in red: I put 3 separate teaspoons of green on my plate. To one I added white, to another I added a speck of black, and one was left untouched. I used these values to paint three sections of craft paper. I now have a variety of paper pieces to choose from, which gives me more creative choices.




Each hue on the color wheel can be changed in the ways discussed above. Color complements can be used to tone each other down in brilliance (saturation) and black & white change the lightness / darkness (value). You don’t have to spend a lot of money on craft paint in order to have fun with color and use it to your advantage!

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Swap: Tickled Pink Color Challenge ATCs

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.


Tickled Pink
(color challenge)

3-for-3 ATCs
Skills Level: 2 - Budding
Sign up by March 31st
Due by April 15th
Hosted by Nikki Smith

Love the color pink?  Come play in the Tickled Pink ATC swap!  The color PINK is fabulous.  This is a color challenge.  Most of each of your cards should be in some shade/tone of pink.  Anything from hot pink, pale pink too bubble gum pink.  Other colors may make an appearance, but should not dominate.  Black & White are always welcomed.  Also - each card should have three layers. This includes the base and extra embellishments. The theme is YOUR CHOICE.  Whatever moves and inspires you!

Please include an address label and $1 for return postage. Bulky cards with 3-D embellishments, please send $2. International participants may send ephemera in lieu of postage. Please mail out by April 15th.

Skill Level 2 - BUDDING: Participants will be open to trying new ideas and materials, without necessarily being competent yet with their applications. Swap Hosts are encouraged to add the requirement of a technique or process such as creating texture, using crackle paint, doing photo transfers, painting with watercolor, etc.