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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Member Spotlight: Ellen Lai

I’m Ellen Lai, a Chinese, born and living in Singapore.

I found Paper Traders by chance while clicking links when hopping between blogs, and joined Paper Traders about a year ago.  This is about one of the most active groups I’m in, with a number of swaps going and a good number of participants.  I also enjoy the variety of different types of swaps we have here. I counted 10 swaps I have joined so far.

I have been crafting since young.  I remembered sewing lots of hand puppets and making crepe paper roses with my grandmother in my primary school days (7 to 12 years old) for school charities.  A little bit of cross-stitch, crochet and knitting too.  And there was my favourite set of origami books my father bought for me then.  Fond memories of childhood! I always joined the schools’ Art Club.  I remembered doing all those face masks for my secondary school’s play “Animal Farm”.  We had so much fun thinking up the concepts and spent hours and hours making all the animal masks, starting from paper mache over blow-up balloons!  I also took paid classes and join free workshops since I started working some 20 years ago.  Here in Singapore, art and crafts are not as popular, we do not have those craft fairs or guilds. However, people are now more exposed and there are more happenings than before.

I’m not so much an artist and my drawing sucks, especially drawing portraits!  I’m more a crafter and likes to try all sort of crafts, but tatting is the one that I have been doing constantly since I learnt to tat 14 years ago.  Now my forte, I design tatting patterns and teach whenever there are opportunities or when people approach me.  With a full-time day job in the construction industry and 3 schooling children (a boy and 2 girls between 12 and 17) , my hands are usually full and in fact up to my neck, I can only do small projects. For the past 8 years, I have been participating in swaps in tatted laces (though seldom now), and more in ATCs, inchies, postcards, Moos, paper dolls, button fairies, little books and whatever interesting that comes, and I can still squeeze out time.  My proudest collection is the set of fabric ATCs on the alphabet theme which I hand-sewed over a year and a half, featuring a tatted critter for each of the alphabet.

I’m not drawn to any particular artist or crafter, or perhaps, I just don’t have the time to study anyone, though I really love and are inspired by nature, especially flowers and butterflies.  Well, I’m working on a little tatting book on hearts now and looking to finish it before mid-year to self-publish it, and slowly fine-tuning more tatting patterns to go in hopefully a 2nd and 3rd books.  That’s my dream!

Some original tatting patterns designed and tatted by Ellen: Merlion, Vanda Miss Joaquam, hibiscus, goldfish.


Jo Murray said...

Lovely to know more about you Ellen. Your tatting is absolutely gorgeous...congratulations.

Pam said...

It is lovely to see an art form that I am not familiar with, the goldfish is so beautiful.

Nydia Dominguez said...

It's great to know more about you! I have wondered since you live in Singapore and I love learning about different cultures and places! I recently received one of your atc's in the My Wish for you swap and was wondering how the heck you did those cute flowers! I am in awe! your work is beautiful!

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Wow, Ellen, these are so beautiful! SO glad to get to learn more about you. We love having you part of our group.

bockel24 said...

so lovely to learn more about you and to see your great tatting! I´ve learned tatting when I was a teenager but have never made my own designs ...

fairyrocks said...

So nice to hear a bit more about you. I almost fell off my chair when I read you have a 17 year old. You look so young! I can see you are very talented at anything you tackle. The tatting alone is an adventure in patience. Keep smiling and creating.

Singtatter said...

Thank you gals for all the lovely compliments on my tatting. Everyone here does beautiful mixed media works and I enjoy all the trading. Keep it up, all of us!!