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, January 31, 2014

Member Spotlight: Shelly Recicar

This month our spotlight is shining on Paper Traders member, Shelly Recicar!

How did you find Paper Traders?
I found Paper Traders surfing the Net.

How long have you been a member?
I have been a member three years.

Where do you live?
I live in Boca Raton, Florida (USA) which is about an hour north of Miami.

How have your surroundings affected your art? 
Florida is bright and sunny and tropical. Much of my art is bright and the flora and fauna of the region are often the subjects in my work.

Please share a little about your own art experience.
I find art to be a great outlet of expression.  I have a passion for creating.  I cannot imagine life without art.  I am not afraid to try new things and am constantly experimenting with different techniques.

What are some of your favorite techniques or genres?
I enjoy mixing paint and collage.  I like the look of layers and texture which this combination provides.  I also love to watercolor.

What inspires you?
Anything can bring inspiration.  Inspiration is often spontaneous for me.  I do rely on the Internet - especially Pinterest - and my photos for inspiration if something around me has not sparked my creativity.

Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what especially appeals to you about this?
I find that mixed media contemporaries inspire me more than traditional artists.  I really like the work of Julie Fei Fan Balzer, Teesha Moore and Roben Marie Smith who, coincidentally, all produce colorful work that combines paint and collage!

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room?
I have a separate room for my artistic pursuits.  I have a paper table and a sewing table and a cutting table which is usually piled high with things that I have not put up.  There are two tall bookcases - one for paper and one for sewing.  Above my paper table are shelves as well.  The closet has shelves on one side and I keep my paper things there.  On the hanging side, I have fabric things in labeled boxes.  I also have many cabinets with fabric and patterns and books in my air-conditioned garage.

What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche for your supplies and art?
I love to use boxes and bins. Whenever I cut out an image, I toss it in a box. I have shoe box sized cardboard boxes which are labeled by category such as winged animals, females, tags, etc. They are stacked on top of each other and do not take up much room. Then, when I work on a project it is easy to locate the images.  I keep 2 gallon baggies for cut-up paper (that is primarily one color) from junk mail and magazines.  I have a separate bag for each color.  These are placed in a wooden crate that tangelos came in.

Please share a little about your family and pets...
I have been married 31 years and have two daughters, 23 and 25 years old.  They both have their own places but you never know how many times a week they may drop by because they both live near us.  We have two King Charles Cavaliers and a tuxedo cat.

If you'd like, please share a little about your childhood, where you grew up, and when your creativity began.
I am an only child who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) with her parents and both of her grandmothers under the same roof.  My Mom and Grandmothers were always working on a sewing or craft project.  I never remember a time when something artistic was not in progress at our home.  I took art throughout high school and started out as an art major.  I changed my major to journalism my junior year and then pursued a Master's degree in English.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
I have two other major hobbies.  I am an avid quilter.  I have an art quilt group that meets at my house every week and I belong to two other quilting bees and two quilt guilds.  I find that if you can do it on paper , you can do it on fabric and vice versa.  Experimenting with techniques from both hobbies has really broadened my horizons.  I am also a boater/fisherman.  We live on the Intracoastal and have a 44 ft. Sea Ray Sundancer docked in our back yard. We fish, we do weekend raft ups, and we take trips to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.  The Bahamas are only  three hours by boat from our house. Our favorite marina is at South Beach Miami.  What fun!


Jo Murray said...

Hey Shelley...great to learn some more about you. Love your work.

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Hi Shelley! Glad to get to know you better. Love your organization tips. I might have to get you to come up to SC and help me in my studio.You've been such a great member of PT.

stlbarb said...

Shelley, it is so nice to get to know you better! I know you from the Correspondence Collage group and didn't realize you were here also.

bockel24 said...

thanks for the interesting interview, Shelly!

fairyrocks said...

So nice to have a peep into your real life. Love your art work. Terrific organization ideas. You live by the ocean?? What a treat that must be. Keep smiling and creating.