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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/

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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/.  

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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/.
 
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 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paper_Traders/.
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, September 18, 2016

September Freebie - More Halloween Goodies

It's time for another freebie courtesy of your Paper Traders Moderators. A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this terrific offering for your personal use. Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the high resolution file. Enjoy!

Download Hi-Res Version HERE:
https://1drv.ms/i/s!ApNPaUGF98dM3DdnKpro5LCrxCNV

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Freebie - Halloween preview

It's time for another freebie courtesy of your Paper Traders Moderators. A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this terrific offering for your personal use. Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the high resolution file. Enjoy!

Download Hi-Res version HERE:

Friday, August 5, 2016

New Swap - Tombstone Diorama

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.


Hostess: Connie Holso
Sign Up by: September 20, 2016
One for one
Mail to partner by: September 30, 2016
Skill level: 2 - Budding**

I love Halloween - the silly, whimsical, kind of spooky, stuff. When I saw these darling dioramas by Annette I just fell in love and decided we should do a swap like this.
Each participant will make a diorama and post a picture in the album on the PT Gallery site by September 20,2016 . I will randomize the names on September 21, 2016 and only participants who have posted their images will be swapped.  Swappers will mail directly to their partners by September 30, 2016.  If you wish to swap more than one diorama, please let me know via email and post the image of each in the album.
I made a pattern for the shadowbox, including a cutting file for those who have Silhouette machines. There is even an advance copy of the August Blog Freebie in the folder as I included some alternate tombstone shapes in it. You can find it all, plus instructions at the link available in the swap email.
You can, of course. make your own tombstone shaped shadowbox. This is just to help you get started and to help those who are less experienced with making structures. Please try to keep your shadowboxes about the same size: approximately 3.5 to 4 inches x 4.5 to 5 inches when finished.

Please sign up in the database and post your pictures in the album.  See my Pinterest board for ideas.

**2) BUDDING - Participants will be open to trying new ideas and materials, without necessarily being competent yet with their applications

Monday, August 1, 2016

Speed Swap - Cubism

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.

Georges Braque

2-for-2 Speed Swap
Skill: 2 - Budding
Sign up by: Aug 15th
Mail out by: Aug 31st

Swap details
This swap covers the era of Cubism which was an art movement led by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during the early 20th century.  The definition of Cubism is as follows:
In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.   (Wikipedia)
For this swap, we want you to make two pieces of art
in the Cubism style.  Create a picture and cut it into pieces and rearrange the pieces to represent a Cubist creation. Here are couple of links, one is strictly Picasso’s work, the other is a Cubism board in my Pinterest account:

We will be swapping two pieces of art,
3.5”x5”size. Notice the size change, a half inch wider.

Sign-up in the database.
Post your Speed Swap Artwork to the swap album.


Each month, on the 1st, we will announce
a theme or technique for your art.
Anyone interested will have until the 15th to
sign up. The list will be randomized,
announced on the 16th,
and you will mail one 3'x5” piece of art directly to each of
the next two people on the list.
A total of two pieces of art each month for the speed swaps.
You don't have to sign up every month,
just when you feel like it or like the theme
or have the time.

We don't anticipate this costing more to mail
as a 3.5”x5” will still fit in a standard note card.
It's approximately $1.20 to mail internationally for
one ATC in a note card envelope. You must be able
to mail internationally to participate in this swap.

New themes will be announced on the 1st of each month.

Thanks!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Burned and Layered Holes Tutorial



Water colored

In this tutorial I will share with you a method for burned and layered holes.  Since the actual technique is pretty straight forward, I’m going to put my slant on what my experiments taught me, and ideas for how to make your creations more dynamic.

First things first – safety!!!  It is obvious but – this involves a soldering iron and it is HOT!  Please don’t leave it unattended while it’s turned on.  Also don’t let children or pets anywhere near it! I don’t want to be the cause of any disaster (as much as I can help it).
                                                                                    Thanks, the management


So to begin, lay out your work space.  I always do this on a heat proof mat, with some kind of metal tray to hold the iron. Don’t skip the tray.  You have tedious work ahead and you’ll need to put the thing down occasionally.  Optionally, I have a TV or computer screen in viewing distance.  As I mentioned, this is kind of tedious work and besides, it’s a good excuse to catch up on all those old Veronica Mars episodes. J The soldering iron I have is one I got at Michael’s with a coupon making it slightly more than $10.  It was meant for crafters and came with multiple screw on heads.  Two of these could work for our purposes (see fig B).  The pointier one is best since it gives you an advantage for size of hole – we want variety in the hole department.  If you are using a different kind of iron you may only have the standard tip which will also work.

Heat-proof mat, tray, soldering iron

Fig B
Size Variety
So now you have your table laid out and safety on your mind, time to pick the paper.  For this demo I’ve used cut up maps.  They don’t need to be anything special.  I just used an old RoadMaster standard road atlas that was riding around in my car for years (even after it became obsolete due to smart phones).  This is a good weight paper for hole burning (light weight, not shiny) and if you goof, which is pretty hard to do, you can toss it and start over without worrying about the expense ($0).  I also experimented with craft weight paper which I’ll talk about later.  I cut my sheets to the size of my project first because, as mentioned, it’s boring to burn holes and I don’t want to do any more than I have to.  This is also where you need to think about how many layers.  Two or three with holes and one base layer without holes is a minimum, I’d say.  If you are a maniac (or fire bug) and love burning holes, knock yourself out!  More layers will look way more cool.

Hold Paper Upright
I tried two basic methods for making holes.  The first was laying the paper on the heat-proof mat and “drawing” the holes with the tip.  This didn’t work so well for me.  The second way was better.  Holding the paper up off the mat and poking it with the iron was pretty successful for multiple sized small holes. Holding it up and “drawing” with just the pointy tip worked great for larger holes.  As I mentioned before, a good variety of sizes makes a more interesting piece overall.  I did most of the big holes first and then peppered in the smaller ones between for a good effect.  The composition of where the holes are and how you can see through them to other layers is what will make your art unique.  I personally think lots of holes on all layers makes for the most interesting completed project but it is all up to you.  Also, I found that some of my holes didn’t burn cleanly through and left some paper ‘sludge’ around the edges on the back of the sheet.  A couple of light swipes with a sanding block gets rid of those.

Contrast
A word about the artistic aspect of the project – CONTRAST.  It is the contrast of your layers that will make it interesting (isn’t that true of anything in life?).  I like to go from lighter at the base layer then darker as you go up.  Again though, depends on your personal aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to stack and re-stack the layers before you glue.  For this demo I just used Distress ink to add a bit of color to the layers.  I have also used watercolors (see photo collage at top) which works well too but then you have to let it dry and it can wrinkle and warp the paper.
Stacked
As for glue, I like to use Sookwang double sided tape because it stays stuck and won’t wear out over time.  Also, no drying time and won’t wrinkle the paper.  I’ve also used Diamond glue, though mostly for touch-ups.  Also, for this I don’t want every bit of paper glued down.  I want to leave the layers free to create shadow and give more of a sense of depth.
Tape Loosely 
So I mentioned that I tried craft weight paper.  It is thicker (this was double sided) and not as easy to burn the holes through.  It did look kind of cool though.  Also, since it was thicker, I could burn shapes other than rounded holes (sort of).

Shapes of Holes with Heavy Paper

So that’s it!  Easy and sort of relaxing in a pyromaniac sort of way (especially with Veronica solving crimes while you work).  One last word on the topic – FINISHING.  By that I mean clean up the edges, clip corners and ink around the edges.  Those are good ways to complete any project and I always do.  Not required but I think you’ll find it will lift your work to a new level with those easy additions. I also usually spray the finished piece with clear acrylic sealer to keep the colors crisp.
Finished Edges

Thanks for sticking with me all the way through!  I hope this is the first step toward some cool new projects in your craft room!
Heather

Friday, July 29, 2016

Halloween MOO Cards

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.

An 8 for 8 swap of Moo Cards
Skill level: Budding
Due in hand by October 6th
Hostess: Karla Jackson

PLEASE include an address label and $2 postage.
I will cover postage for those who gift me an extra card.

This swap is for those paper lovers who like tiny bits of art.  A Moo card is 1 X 3 inches.
Although these cards are small...they can be a challenge
You will make 8 cards and must decorate BOTH sides.  There is not much room, but please sign your art!
Use your very best tiny bits of treasure that you have been saving, lace, ribbon, fiber and make an
enchanting bit of Halloween magic in vintage or retro style...nothing cutesy please.
Please make sure that your computer generated images are not distorted or pixilated.
There are lots of domino sized sheets on my Halloween Pinterestboard that you can add lace to make them the correct size.

Sign up in the database
Post pictures of your work in the album.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Swap - Halloween Haunted House

This project is for Paper Traders members only but we would love to have you join us. Please click on the purple Yahoo button in the sidebar for more information on how to join.


Hostess: Heather Maxwell
4 for 3 (see definition)
Sign up by: August 25th
Due in hand by: September 25th
Skill level: budding
For this swap you will be making three sections of a haunted house by following the template provided.  Please use a medium weight chip board, covered on both sides with Halloween paper.  Each section will have an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’.  I will add the fourth section for everyone, that being the graveyard (can’t have a haunted house without that!).  When all the sections reach me I will take three sections from separate artists, add the fourth, and bind them into a stand up house you can use for Halloween decorating.  You will receive a house made up of sections created by other swap artists. On August 26th I’ll do a random drawing of all signed up swappers.  The winner will get a prize package of Halloween themed craft goodies!
A few guidelines:
·         Please use the template so that everyone’s pieces will fit together
·         Print out on 8.5x11 sheet of paper and transfer to medium weight chip board (like heavy cereal box), decorate with colorful Halloween papers (orange, black, purple, green…)
·         Leave about ¼” on each side clear of any important design elements, to allow for binding
·         These will fold flat for shipping and storage so try to have dimensional items no taller than 1/8”
·         Sign each of your three sections
·         For each section, have one side represent the outside portion of the house while the other side is the interior
·         Please sign up by Aug 25th to be entered in the prize drawing
·         Please have your finished work to me by September 25th to allow time to bind and ship everything so it gets to you in time for holiday decorating
·         Include a decent sized return address label and $4 postage (US) $6 (international)
I hope everyone will join in for some Halloween fun.  I know it may seem a bit early but I wanted to leave plenty of time for everyone to do their best work and to be able to get it turned around to you before you start to decorate for the holiday.
Sign up in the database.
Add your photos to the album.
Get inspired HERE.