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, December 19, 2012

2013 Word Prompt Journal Challenge

"Life Mantras"

This challenge is open to members and non-members of Paper Traders.

Hostess: Cathy C.
Kickoff Date: January 15, 2013
All skill levels...even if you are a newbie at journals, please think about entering this challenge and stretching yourself a bit. 

In 2011 ( wow, I can’t believe it was 2 years ago), we had our first Word Prompt Journal Challenge hosted by Connie H.  It was my first foray into art journaling and I loved it.  It really ignited a love for art journals and I have been doing it ever since. 

This year we are going to base our journal on 12 Life Mantras with a  corresponding technique or theme requirement: 

1.Live Simply : Must include some stamping.
2.Follow Your Heart: Easy-peasy, include some hearts. 
3. Live in the Moment : Include some symbols of time. 
4.Choose Love: Use patterned tissue or paper napkins in the design. 
5.Give More : Graffiti style lettering 
6.Do the Right Thing: Use a tag or tags in the design 
7. Be Thankful: Use only 3 colors of your choice 
8.Be Truthful: Make a pocket as part of your design. 
9.Forgive : Include flower images.
10.Be Kind Always : Use paint in your design. 
11.Be a Blessing: Incorporate an image from a magazine 
12.Laugh Everyday : include images of children 

Swap Description: 
First, before our kickoff date, each participant will need to make a 12-16 page journal (including covers) approximately 8x10 inches. We will be decorating only 12 pages using our prompts. You may decorate your covers and extra pages as desired. Please use sturdy paper (water color, Bristol Board) for your pages so they can support the work you will do on them. I used canvas sheets for my last Word Prompt Journal and they worked beautifully. You can buy a ready made journal as well [but bear in mind that you are going to want to paint, glue, and attach things to it so it needs to have paper that is sturdy enough to hold up to all that]. No hard and fast rules here as this is for you and you will not be swapping with anyone. 

You may make your journal however you like but Teesha Moore has an easy to make journal that is done with one large sheet of watercolor paper. She suggests Fabriano Artistico [but any heavy weight watercolor paper will work just fine]. 

Her easy to follow instructions are found on YouTube.
 It is in two parts so be sure to watch both.

For inspiration you may want to watch some more of Teesha's amazing collage journal instructions. She has some good suggestions for penwork there also.
There is a listing of the videos here: 

And some basic journaling tips here:

Another YouTube video on making a journal out of manila folders: 

Another good source for journaling techniques and supplies is Julie Fei Fan Balzer’s site: 

Every month, on the 15th, I will post the new word prompt Life Mantra  and design requirement and you will  have one month to complete your page for it.  If you are not a PT member please post your image link in the post for each corresponding month. If you are a PT member please post your images within the appropriate PT Challenge album. 

Each month, we will select our Trader Treasure from the entries and your page will be displayed in the sidebar of our blog for the month.

If you complete a journal page for any or all of the challenges you will be entered in a prize drawing for a $15.00 digital gift card from Stampers Best at the end of the year. You will receive one entry/chance for each monthly challenge that you participate in. Your journal page must be uploaded to the PT  group album ( if you are a member) or linked to the appropriate post at this PT blog by the 14th of each month to be considered. The first challenge will open 1/15 and close 2/14. So, if you do all twelve you will get twelve chances to win the gift certificate!!

Please contact us at Paper Traders if you have any questions. 


michelle said...

Looking forward to joining in on this !

butterfly said...

Heard about this from Cathy Calamas, and it sounds just wonderful... hope I will be able to fit it in!
Alison x