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.

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Follow Your Heart" Our Next Word Prompt

If you are here to continue on with us in our first ever
art journal challenge at the Paper Traders Blog,

If you just stumbled upon us,
Yay, too!
We hope you stay and join us.
You can join at any time.
(For info. on the complete challenge guide lines go here.)

Our second  prompt is
"Follow your Heart"
and the technique required is to
include a heart in your design.

What does that mean to you?
Does it mean:

Turning your passion into a business?
Changing daydreams into life goals?
Bucking the trend and doing your own thing?

Some inspirational quotes to get you kick-started:

Many of us are afraid to follow our passions, to pursue what we want most because it means taking risks and even facing failure. But to pursue your passion with all your heart and soul is success in itself. The greatest failure is to have never really tried. ~Robyn Allen

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. ~Vincent van Gogh

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gallery: From the Heart

Amanda E

Beckie H

Cathy C

Jo M

Melissa W

Misti S

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Press 'N' Seal tip

I discovered a helpful tip this week while working in my studio.  I was painting on the backside of a page that had already been completed in my art journal and I didn't want to accidentally get the paint on the finished page so...  I tried pressing a piece of Glad Press'N'Seal wrap over the finished piece and trimmed the edges close.  It worked perfectly!  I know this won't work for all mediums and you must be very careful when peeling the wrap off but I found it to be a tremendous help for me.

Let us know if you have similar tips to share that you've discovered on your creative journey.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Member Spotlight Time!

From time to time at Paper Traders
we like to spotlight one of our members,
so that we can all get to know each other  better.

Today, our Member Spotlight is shining on

How did you find Paper Traders?
I had joined several ATC trading sites, but they had limited membership and I seemed to be always trading with the same people, so I searched the web for a larger group. Paper Traders is enormous and also has various challenges that appeal to me.

How long have you been a member?
Only since July last year (2012)

Where do you live?
I’m a fortunate resident on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It is, as the name implies, usually sunny and has beautiful beaches that go on forever.

How have your surroundings affected your art?
After moving from Sydney 12 years ago my palette has become more colourful, and sunny. I often use the colours of the sea, and plenty of yellow for the sunshine. I used to make pottery more often than paintings, but have recently given it up so that I can spend more time at the easel.

Please share a little about your own art experience.
As a very late starter (almost 40) I had to catch up quickly so spent seven years at college doing Visual Arts, Studio Ceramics, and Glaze Technology. The pottery was intended to pay for art materials as it is easier to sell pots than paintings, and I wasn’t up to prize-winning standard for years. Since coming to Queensland my painting has brought me more regular awards, and sales, so I felt free to give up making pots.

What are some of your favourite techniques or genres?
I LOVE mixed media, and am moving towards more abstract work. Collage has become a big part of my creative life.

What inspires you?
Good art, of any kind, is inspiring. I am an avid collector of art books, both on technique and individual artists. The more you look, the more you learn. Gallery visits are fairly regular, particularly if I can get a few ‘arty’ friends together for a gallery crawl.

Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and
what especially appeals to you about this?
It depends on what sort of art I’m doing at the time. Overall one has to be inspired by Picasso whose work was groundbreaking for its time, and still has relevance in today’s art scene. Currently the expressive paintings of Barbara Rae ( ), a British artist, are whirling around in my mind. My collage hero is Steve Specht ( ). For mixed media…friend and local artist Noela Mills ( has an enormous range of skills, from jewellery, to making art books. I admire artists who are true to themselves and don’t slavishly follow trends but are trendsetters themselves.

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room?
I have my own workroom; it’s too messy to be called a studio. It is simply the area below the house. Our house is on a slope and the back is quite high, and bricked in. I guess the previous owners used it for storage. My husband put in a concrete floor, and sink, and added windows and lights, so that I have a well lit work area. Sometimes I am working on several projects, in different mediums, at once. Collage makes the biggest mess of all.

What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche for your supplies and art?
Network! Visit local galleries often and tell the owners about your work. Enter any art competition you can. Just get your work out there! Some of my friends have open studios every so often, and have had a great response…and many sales. As for art supplies, do your research on the net. There are many discounts around, and loyalty cards.

Please share a little about your family and pets...
My only family, and pet, is my husband Richard. I adore him. He’s cuddly and cute, easy to take care of (tho’ a little difficult to train, but perseverance pays off), and loves me unconditionally.

If you'd like, please share a little about your childhood, where you grew up, 
and when your creativity began.
I was born in a small town in country NSW, before the days of drugs, and violence. We had a carefree existence, roaming free around the countryside. I left there to go nursing, but found that I was not emotionally suited to be around the sick and dying. I tried lots of jobs, settling on office work, a fairly dreary way to spend the days. I moved to Papua New Guinea in my twenties, where I met my husband. After we moved back to Sydney he was studying at night for his job so I decided I should do something too. I went to a community school at night and thus began my artistic career. I soon realised that I needed to know a lot more, so I began a seven year commitment to college. Now I’m obsessed by art.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
Many…. photography, making beaded jewelery, reading, surfing the net. If only the days were longer.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know our Paper Traders member, Jo Murray.
We invite you to check out her blog at:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Our Snowflake Tags

Since we are in the thick of Winter 
we thought we would share some of our tags
from our Snowflake Tag Swap.

Pam C. hosted this swap and
she will be binding them into Snowflake books.
Can't wait to see what our books look like.

by Debra C.

by Amanda E.

by Beckie H.
by Cathy C

by Pam C.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ribbons Dolls swap announced

This swap is for Paper Traders Members only but we would love for you
to become a member and join us. Click the purple yahoo button in
the sidebar for more information and how-tos.

Ribbon Dolls - embellished paper doll bodies with ribbon skirts
1-for-1 or 2-for-2 (indicate how many you want to make when you sign up)
Skill: any/all
Sign up by: February 15th
Partners announced on: February 16th
Mail out by: February 25th
Hosted by: Beckie Holso

This project is inspired by Ten Two Studios ribbon dolls tutorial seen here:

The theme for this swap is completely open - you can make your doll pretty, quirky, gothic, whatever you want! Please try to keep the doll's upper body about 3-4" in size with ribbons trailing another 8-9" to make the doll about 12" long when completed.

This will be a 1-for-1 or 2-for-2 swap. To participate in this project, please sign up in the database and indicate how many dolls you want to make.  Please sign up by February 15th. I will announce the mailing partners on February 16th and you need to have your dolls sent out to your partner by February 25th.

Don't forget to share photos of your dolls in the project album.

Have fun!

Cabinet Card Freebie

This month's Freebie is a collection of cabinet cards courtesy of Beckie & Connie Holso, two of our moderators.  They are sharing this great collage sheet for your personal use in your art.  Please click on one of the links BELOW the image to download the full size file.  Have fun!
Download below:
To download from 4Shared (login required), click here:

To download from MediaFire, click here: