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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Featured Artist - Kim Smith

How did you find Paper Traders? 

I was referred to the group a year or so ago by someone I knew from another yahoo group...she has since left PaperTraders and I don't recall her name. I loved the variety of swaps that Papertraders offers and also that they are rated for skill level. It's a very nice group to swap with!

How long have you been a member?

 I joined about 2 years ago, was inactive for a while and now am an active member once again.

Where do you live?

 I live on a small hobby farm in Gettysburg, PA but I am originally from Baltimore, MD.

How have your surroundings affected your art? 

 Our property includes a small patch of wooded area so I get alot of inspiration walking in the woods. Also taking care of our horses and my dog Bear really help me to stay centered. I tend to be a bit scattered at times and being outdoors really helps me to find my creative muse, especially when I'm feeling a little 'dry'. I also love to wander all the great antique/thrift stores in our area....I get LOTS of inspiration and ideas from browsing antiques and vintage odds 'n ends.

Please share a little about your own art experience

 I have been creating for as long as I can remember. I loved  to draw and paint when I was in grade school. I was considered artistically gifted and went to summer school at the Maryland Institute College of Art for two years. This was around 1966 and it was so cool going to an art college in downtown Baltimore when I was so young. I saw alot of amazing art done by the older students during that time and I think that exposure has influenced my mixed media art now. I stopped drawing and painting when I was a teenager, something I now regret. But at the same time I found that I loved to make began doing needlecrafts, sewing, crochet and mosaics. In my thirties I learned to weave and to make soft sculpture dolls. In my forties I went thru another dry spell and then one day I came across an issue of Belle Armoire magazine and there was a crocheted shawl on the cover. I made that shawl and then started looking at the other Stampington magazines. I bought an issue of Somerset Studio and I've been obsessed with altered art/mixed media ever since!

Do you have a blog or photo site?

What are some of your favorite techniques or genres?

I adore anything to do with beeswax and am currently learning to do encaustic painting, something I've always admired. I am very simple when it comes to creating...give me scissors, a glue stick, vintage paper/images...and something sparkly and I'm a happy girl!  I also would like to learn how to solder but I don't have much patience when it comes to things like jewelry making. As anyone who's been to my blog knows, I take ALOT of online workshops. I learn so much from each and every class. My current obsession is altered tins so that has been taking up most of my creative space these days. I also have several altered books in progress but they take a little longer so I try to have smaller projects to work on in between so I don't get burnt out. I love vintage, gothic, steampunk, grungy as themes for my art. I like art with a sense of whimsy, with lots of layers to pull you in and a touch of glitter...can't forget the glitter!

Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what especially appeals to you about this?

I love Mark Ryden's work, although his art is a little strange sometimes...but his faces and the use of color are so beautiful. I love Mucha, Waterhouse and the illustrations you find in vintage fairytale books.

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room?

I have a small spare bedroom to use as my craft room but it doesn't have much natural light so I do most of my art at the dining room table or kitchen counter. My computer, printer and tv are all accessible from the dining room so it works really well. I painted the spare room pink so my hubby and son wouldn't be tempted to put anything in there and that's where I store all my art 'stuff'. I also collect vintage dolls and clothing so I keep that in the 'pink' room too!

What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche for your supplies and art?

Clean out your stuff and give away what you are no longer using or no longer makes you excited! I do a blog giveaway occasionally where I clean out my art stuff and sort it by color...the winners choose a color and get a box of art stuff from my stash. I have found it's one of the best ways to motivate myself to try something new, by cleaning out that unused stuff and clearing the energy for something new to come in.

Please share a little about your family and pets...

I am happily married to a wonderful man who supports my art obsession and we have a son who will be 21 yrs old in December. He commutes to college and is a great kid. He is into computers, video games, etc.  He doesn't 'get' my art but he's also very supportive. We have our dog, Bear, who is the sweetest, happiest dog I have ever met. He's an Alaskan Malamute, weighs over 150 lbs and is 3 1/2 years old. He likes to go to Petsmart because they always give him dog treats and one of  his favorite things to eat is the roses in my garden! 
This is Bear!
We have three horse, Scout, is an Appaloosa gelding, a very, kind gentle soul. And then we have two Haflinger geldings, Jake and Micah. They are very sweet but always in some kind of trouble. Having horses keeps me very busy but I love it!

One day I would like to have miniature horses...goats or chickens might be fun....and pot belly pigs are growing on me, they look so cute in the pictures I've seen! I love animals and would like to have a larger farm one day so I can grow my 'herd'.


Aimeslee said...

yAY, Kim! I loved seeing your photo and learning more about you. And Heather, great interview. xoxo, Aimes

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Awesome interview!! If we lived near you, my husband would be dog napping your "Bear". He is obsessed with malmutes!!

frasltd said...

i love Kim's art. She has a generous heart, a very giving spirit and freely gives of her idea books and encouragement. I've been lucky enough to get to know a little bit about her and her fabulous art.

Sam Bonney said...

Hi Connie I love your Atc's I have a beeswax ATC you made for a butterfly wax swap, I was wondering what you used for the lovely little gold beads on the art work, I cannot find anything like them anywhere! and would love to use this in my capsules I have been making.

BLISS angels said...

Kim I've learnt some much more about you dear friend...I knew you had a farm but I didn't realise you had horses.. I look forwards to seeing the pig and other animals added ... How do you find time to create? Bear looks so handsome..give him a hug from me... and willow and acorn love the pet store too Hugs wendy