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.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Open Challenges coming soon to our Blog!

In a couple of weeks we will be announcing 
our first Open Art Challenges.
We are so excited about this new feature to our blog.
You will be able to participate in themed challenges
whether or not you are a Paper _Traders Yahoo Group member.

We will have 2 challenges  per month and they will run
for 30 days so you will have plenty of time 
to get your creative juices flowing.

You will need to have a blog where you can post your art
and link back to us as well as leave us a comment on
our challenge page with your blog post link. 

Very easy, very fun and very exciting!
Come back for more specific rules mid May and for 
the official launch and first challenge on June 1st.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Stuff/Your Stuff Swap Partners

Karen B & Connie H.
Beckie H. & Amy W.
Cathy C. & Linda F.
Janne R. & Debra C.

1. Mail out your envelope ( #9 or 10 size) of supplies by April 30th
    to your partner. (nothing too bulky)

2. Post your finished ATC in the album and please mention 
    whose supplies you used in the description

3. Mail out your finished ATC back to your partner by May 30th.

4. Enjoy seeing your supplies used in a new, fresh way in 
    the ATC you recieve back. :D

Thanks and have fun!!
Cathy C.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Stuff/Your Stuff Swap Announcement

Paper_Traders Members only

My Stuff/Your Stuff Swap
One for One ATC swap
Any theme
Level:  2 -Budding
Sign-up deadline is April 21st.
Supply mail-out deadline : April 30th
ATC mailout deadline: May 30th

One of the benefits of hosting swaps is all the wonderful ephemera that the
 participants send along with their art. I always get inspired because it makes me think outside of my supply world and the things I usually am drawn to. Some of my favorite pieces have been made almost entirely from someone else's supplies.  So, I got inspired and thought how fun to have a swap where your creation is made from someone else's supplies. Here are the details:

1. Sign - up by April 21st in the Database/ Swaps & Challenges  . I will assign everyone a partner randomly and post it on the blog as well as the Paper_Traders Yahoo group site.

2. By April 30th, mail your partner a #9 or #10 size envelope of supplies and ephemera. Don't buy anything special, just raid your stash!!  (nothing too bulky).

3. Make your ATC using your partners supplies. Yes, you can incorporate some of your  supplies in, but really try to use the new supplies to keep the spirit of the swap.

4. Mail-out your ATC to your partner by May 30th.

5. Post your ATC to the My Stuff /Your Stuff Swap album on the PT swaps site  and please don't forget to mention whose supplies you used in the description.

This is only a one for one swap so it should be easy for anyone to fit it in between the start of  round robin and the new Seaside Swap.

If you are not a member of Paper_Traders Art group and would like to join this swap , please click on the link to the right and get started!

Anxiously awaiting your supplies!!
Cathy Calamas

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gallery: Beeswax Encaustic ATCs

Sam Bonney

Beckie Holso

Cathy Calamas

Connie Holso

Darlene Rolls

Karen Boatright

Marion Bockelmann

Quincy Richardson

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beeswax Tutorial

Finished Beeswax ATC

Materials: 1 qt size crock pot, set on high, natural beeswax from Michael's,
 Heat Gun ( Nicole Heat Tool),  Natural  bristle brush
Wax (small chunks) took about 15-20 mins to heat.
I wrapped a piece of foil on the edge of the crock pot to catch drips

My first step was to glue down the background of 
a piece of a French book page and the vintage image of the girl.
Let  it dry.  Next step is to paint the first layer of wax. 
You need to work fast and paint your wax in the same direction,
 moving across the shortest side, top to bottom.
 Reload your brush with wax after each stroke.

This step is important. You must fuse your wax layer with 
your paper otherwise it will flake and chip off eventually.
Gently, move your heat gun across your paper until the wax just re-melts
and gets shiny. If you place it too close your wax will move around,
 which is not always a bad thing. Sometimes happy mistakes happen. :)

I placed the butterfly image on by slightly re-heating the wax
in the area I wanted it and quickly laying the image down with slight pressure. 

Second layer of wax is painted over entire card.
This layer will cover the butterfly.

Again, fuse this wax layer with your heat gun. Important.

Then I placed the card stock text onto the card 
by first slightly re-melting the area and quickly placing it down 
with slight pressure.

I added the chipboard gold heart and glitter by the same
method of slightly re-heating the area and applying the heart
and sprinkling the glitter. I then added the third layer of wax.

Before I fused this third layer I rubbed a red oil pastel around the edges.
Then I used my heat gun to fuse this last layer . This is where I found out that 
if your heat gun is too close, your wax will run around.
But, I liked the mistake as it caused the red oil pastel to
move around and created a wispy effect.

Finished ATC

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

By the Seaside ATC Swap Announced

Open to Paper Traders members only

"By the Seaside"
6-for-6 ATC Swap
Hosted by: Beckie Holso
Due by: May 16th
Skill level: 1 - Sprouting

This past year, I moved back to San Diego and I love being close to the ocean again! That, along with the approaching summer, has inspired me to host a fun ATC swap just in time for warmer weather (at least here in the States... for those of you Down Under, maybe you'll be inspired by your fond memories of a summer departing =)

For this swap, we'll be making 6 ATCs (similar or all different) with a seaside theme. That's it... no special technique or color or style - just whatever floats your boat!

Paper Traders members can sign up for this swap in the database on our Yahoo site.

Happy Arting!

Beckie Holso

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Pennant Banner Swap Gallery

Darlene Rolls

Linda Freeman

Ruth Anna Abigail

Beckie Holso