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.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Spring Cleaning - Crafter’s Style

I often dread spring cleaning, even though it’s a great way to clear up the clutter in my life. And I find it especially difficult to do this with my wardrobe. When growing up my mother always said, “If you haven’t worn it in 2 years you probably never will.”  Unfortunately, I struggle to be like Elsa in Frozen, who can so easily “Let it Go!”

The clothing metaphor leads me to wonder about the other areas of my life, especially my artistic realm. I know am guilty of holding on to things that I am certain I will never use; bits & pieces that have been in my stash for years. So I realize that it may be a good time to sort through my crafting supplies and re-distribute things…some to the trash, some to the recycle bin, and possibly send a few along with our current swap, “My Stuff, Your Stuff.”

This reminds me of an old saying, “Less is More” -  which might make some crafters shudder. But there is wisdom in the saying haunts me a little. I sense it when I go through my stash of paper ephemera and feel overwhelmed rather than inspired.  I am pretty sure that having an abundance of paper crafting supplies is not an insurance policy for creativity and I know this for sure when I stare at my “stuff” and draw a blank.

So maybe something as simple as spring cleaning can inspire and redirect us in our creative journey.  One online dictionary has defined inspiration as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”  I know my best work emerges when I “feel something” and I am guessing that the same might be true for many of us. In addition, I hope I feel something each time I choose an image, color, shape, bit of ephemera, trim, etc… for use in a project. And if I am not inspired by my choices, then I know a part of the work is shallow to me, and maybe to others.

Our crafting choices should excite us as artists and effect those who view and receive our work. So even if you are not participating in the “My Stuff, Your Stuff” swap, it could be inspiring for you to do your own “crafty” spring cleaning.  And instead of thinking, “Maybe I’ll use it someday”  -  it just might be time to “Let it Go!”

by Debra Claxton
     PT Mod and Member


Krisha said...

Great post Cathy!

Unknown said...

Deb, this is an excellent article! Thanks for sharing. I am struggling with this myself - having tons of ephemera that doesn't inspire me and I will probably never use.

artz said...

Glad to hear I am not the only one!!