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:

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:  

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:
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
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, June 5, 2011

Dance Card Swap Announced

Open to Paper Traders members only

sample dance card by Nancy Slaby
Please join us for a fun swap.  Dance cards are from times gone past and are very unique.  Nancy is looking forward to hosting her second dance card swap and waiting to see all of the Paper Traders artists join and provide different interpretations of the dance card.

The due date will be July 31, 2011.  Nancy  must receive the dance card swap entries by the due date; if she receives them after that date, they will be returned.  This is so she can get the cards back to everyone and not have anyone have to wait for late cards.

Swap will be 4-for-4; send in 4 and receive 4 back.  All of your dance cards should be made the same.  Any theme is fine, let your imagination run away with your art!

Dance card must be 4 inches tall by 3 inches wide.  The cut of the card-stock or substrate should be 4 inches by 6 inches and folded in the center.

Front should include the Dance title and the dance date (limited only by your imagination)... maybe a ball? a cotillion? a Latin dance, a holiday dance, etc.  (Dates can be current or vintage).

Preferably a portrait layout; Booklet style.  The inside should include a slip sheet with numbered dances - filling them in is optional.  Ribbons, beads, pencils, etc. are optional,  but a wrist strap is a requirement.  Back cover of booklet must be filled in with the following:
    Title (Dance Title)
    Date of Dance
    Artist Location
    Artist Completion Date
    Number (Dance card 1 of 4, LE etc.)
    Artist email

You can see some samples of dance cards in a photo folder on the PT Swaps group site:

Open to Paper Traders members only.  Please sign up in the database here:

Mail finished cards to Nancy Slaby with $1.00 for postage and an addressed envelope or an address label.

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If you have not heard of Dance Cards, here is an explanation and some interesting sites:

A dance card is a small booklet which lists the order of dances at a formal ball. Each dance is on a line with a space so that a lady may write down her dancing partner for the dance. Traditionally, dance cards were filled out before the start of a ball, so that a lady knew that her evening was mapped out for her, and they served as souvenirs for women who wanted to remember the events they attended and the people they enjoyed them with.

The origins of the dance card appear to lie in the 18th century, although the widespread use of dance cards at balls and formal dances did not begin until the 19th century. The card is really more like a booklet, although it may be made from a single sheet of folded material. The list of dances on the inside typically also indicates which style of dance is being performed, allowing women to choose partners who are well suited to that type of dance.

The cover of a dance card is decorative, and it usually references the host of the event. It may include the date and time of the dance, along with art which compliments the sponsor, such as elegant ships for a ball sponsored by the Navy. Many vintage dance card covers are quite beautiful, featuring the work of well known artists, and some people actively collect vintage dance cards for their covers.

Some people also call dance cards Ballspenden, after their German name. By tradition, only female attendees of a dance carry dance cards, which are typically attached with decorative cord or ribbon. A wise lady also carries a pen for her dance partners to use when they fill out her dance card. Especially elegant dance cards may even be decorated with jewels, gold leaf, or other expensive features.

The use of a dance card can be challenging. Although there are no formal rules, there are some social conventions which are important to keep in mind. For example, a lady generally does not give more than three dances to the same gentleman unless she is greatly attached to him. It is also traditional to take the last dance with a special someone, leading to the request to "save the last dance for me." Courteous gentleman always ensure that all ladies at a dance have partners, and they may dance with less than desirable partners to make sure that everyone at the dance is having a good time.

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