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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Old West Coaster Books

Here are some of our member creations from
the "Old West Coaster Books Swap"
Our swap host Jeri A. bound these
into books for our members before
sending them back out.

Amanda E.

Karen H.

Abby L.

Pam C.

Beckie H.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Member Spotlight - Beth Pollock

How did you find Paper Traders?
I hate to admit it but I discovered Paper Traders totally by accident one of those many days of just blog hopping.

How long have you been a member? 
I have been a member for 2 years.

Where do you live?
I live in rural New England in a small town called Harrisville in New Hampshire (USA).

How have your surroundings affected your art?
I live in the woods in an old converted barn that is 100+ years old. I am surrounded by peacefulness and calm and tons of wildlife. It is as if the 21st century doesn't even exist and I love it. This environment has contributed to my art in my photography... I can just run out the door and there are a myriad of wildflowers to take pictures of (well, only in the summer, of course - otherwise there is usually just lots of the white stuff! LOL). It has contributed to my nature writing since where I live is so rich with nothing but nature! In general, my studio looks out into the woods from two different sides - just serenity everywhere one looks. Of course you have to be one that loves this kind of setting - in the wild, removed from the modern hustle-and-bustle and, of course, I am one of those people.

Please share a little about your own art experience.
My art experience began early on in grade school where I became interested in drawing. In college, I took studio art classes in design, photography, calligraphy, drafting, pottery, and color theory. Then came the "real world" and work which was in no way related to art. After getting married, I became interested in fiber arts and took many, many quilting classes and amassed an enormous fabric collection, LOL!! Time meandered on, divorce occured, and I fell away from art completely for quite a few years. When I remarried, my new hubby took an interest in making me happy and art began reappearing; and in 2009 when I became permanently unemployed due to illness, I discoverd art on the internet and have not looked back since! I have taken mixed media classes with Suzi Blu, Christy Tomlinson, Monica Zuniga, Tam at Willowing, Effy at Wild Precious Studio, and so many more. I recently discovered handmade cards and am now on four different and wonderful design teams and having a blast. To sum things up, I would say both my art training and art are quite eclectic. There is no right or wrong way to approach art and the learning of... just have fun doing it and the rest will take care of itself.

Do you have a blog or photo site?
My blog is and is called Mossberry Cottage.

What are some of your favorite techniques or genres?
My favorite genres are mixed media collage, mixed media acrylic painting and of course making handmade cards.

What inspires you?
That is a difficult one to answer but if hard pressed for something I would have to say color inspires me. I get excited when I see beautiful color combinations and the rest grows from there.

Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what especially appeals to you about this?
Not having studied art formally I don't know a lot of "famous" artists names but of course one is Georgia O'Keeffe with her amazing talent at taking a few shapes and colors and turning them into something beautiful. Two present-day artists whom I love and have taken many classes with and learned most of what I know are Moni Zuniga of Hands and Heart, and Tam of Willowing. These two ladies work and teaching styles have just spoken to me and made everything make sense... if you know what I mean?!

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room?
I have turned the extra bedroom in our house into my studio - it is only 9'x10' but after redoing it over and over again this past summer and I finally got a layout that works. Perhaps what added to its functionality is that I realized some things about how I need to work - everything must be in sight otherwise I simply forget I have it and it never gets used. In order to accomplish this without making it look chaotic I lined all my walls with the plastic bins you can get at places like Walmart and they all sit on top of wooden crates as the base. The crates are my bookcases and this brings the plastic bins up to window sill level. It works fabulously, was inexpensive and looks pretty wonderful as well. I have a whole page on my blog of my studio remake that everyone is welcome to browse.

What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche for your supplies and art?
Figure out what is important to you in organizing things - do you like coordinated furniture to store things out of sight? are you the comfortable messy type? or are you in the middle where you need to see your stuff but you also must have some semblance of order? Understanding how you work will help you immensely in setting up your studio space.

Please share a little about your family and pets.
My family consists of my DH who puts up with my art supply spending habit and spending most of my time in my studio! He critiques my work upon request and even makes suggestions! My pet is Raphael my loving adorable brown tiger kitty. I have a basket on my studio work desk where he can be close to me but still allowing me to work on my art... I call him my little Lancelot - he is just the sweetest kitty on the planet!

If you'd like, please share a little about your childhood, where you grew up, and when your creativity began.
I was born in Georgia and grew up in Chicago and New York City. I am an only child and have been on my own since I was unusually young... long story - bad choice on parents shall we say.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
Ahhh, now you have hit on a nerve... my problem is I am interested in everything. I get bored easily and am constantly trying new things. Currently I am working on trying to settle down into just a couple of mediums but there is just so much out there to learn today I find it quite difficult to sit still. I mean who said one has to be a specialist and focus on just one medium in order to accomplish some level of competence? :D

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New ATC Swap Announced - Art Nouveau

This swap is for Paper Traders Members only. If you would like to
join our group and participate with us click the purple yahoo button
on the right sidebar for information.

Art Nouveau ATC Swap
5 for 5 ATC size
Theme: Anything within the Art Nouveau style.
Host: Cathy Calamas
Postmarked by April 15th
Postage: $1.00 or ephemera in lieu of postage
(International members welcome)
Please include return address label.

This style of art just shouts “Spring” to me. I have always loved it.
For those of you unfamiliar with this art style, here are a few
excerpts from around the internet:

What is Art Nouveau?

 ~A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants but also in curved lines. Architects tried to harmonize with the natural environment.

~An international style of decoration and architecture which developed in the 1880s and 1890s which lead into the “Arts and Crafts Movement”.

~Art Nouveau was in many ways a response to the Industrial Revolution. Some artists welcomed technological progress and embraced the aesthetic possibilities of new materials such as cast iron. Others deplored the shoddiness of mass-produced machine-made goods and aimed to elevate the decorative arts to the level of fine art by applying the highest standards of craftsmanship and design to everyday objects. Art Nouveau designers also believed that all the arts should work in harmony to create a "total work of art," or Gesamtkunstwerk: buildings, furniture, textiles, clothes, and jewelry all conformed to the principles of Art Nouveau.

Sample of art from the famous Art Nouveaux artist Alfons Mucha:

Please sign up in the Paper Traders database here:

Hope you will join us!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gallery: Vintage Fashion Moo Card Tags

Amanda E

Beckie H

Cathy C

Debra C

"Hello Spring!" Challenge

A few days ago, my little Carolina Wren
was back scouting my porch out for her yearly nest.
It looks like she is going to make her home in
my wall mounted hanging pot again.
(Which means I will have to bring out my 
metal folding screen to protect her nest
 from our family cat. )

This all means, Spring is in the air and
our next challenge is "Hello, Spring".
We would love to see how creatively you
can express this season of new birth,
 baby birds, flower buds and warm breezes.

You don't have to be a member of Paper_Traders Yahoo Art group to participate but if you would like to join us and be privy to even more great paper crafting swaps and challenges plus better than ever artistic support, that would be super!

When the challenge closes, we will pick a winning piece that best showcases the theme of the challenge and/or supply requirement.

Challenge Rules

  1. Make a paper craft, mixed media or digital piece of art ( any size). The theme is "Hello Spring".
  2. Post your art to your blog, Flickr, Picasa (online albums). Mention our name PaperTraders Art Blog with a link back to this post. You are more than welcome to grab our button and post it on your blog as well. The last day to post for this challenge is March 31st, 2012.
  3. After posting your "Hello Spring!" art on your site, come back to this post and leave us a comment with link to your post/image. You must include a direct link to your image or post, not a general link to your album or blog. All you will need to do is copy and paste the url address of your post found at the top of your browser window.
  4. The winner(s) will be awarded our "Trader Treasure" blog badge which they can choose to feature on their blog. Their art will also be posted on the PaperTraders Art Blog for the month.

Free images to get you started!



Member Inspiration

by Cathy C. 

by Cathy C

by Beckie H.

by Aimeslee W.