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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last day for "Celebration Challenge"

Today is the last day to get your "celebration" themed
challenge art linked to our post.

Our "Red, White and Blue Bird " challenge is still on.

A new Challenge will be announced on July 1st.
Here is a little hint.

(Yes, I know it is Summer)

Please click on our Challenge page for more information.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

ATC Background Swap announced

For Paper Traders Members Only
by Connie Holso

7-for-7 ATC  Swap
Theme: Backgrounds
Skill: 2 budding
Postmarked by: 7/25/2011

Hostess: Cathy Calamas

Backgrounds!! The starting point for every ATC and the hardest part for me.  One of my favorite "extras" when I get a swap in the mail is a piece of someone's background art.  Often it's, "how in the world did they do that??" With that in mind, I am hosting a Background ATC swap.

Create one background, on a 8.5 x 11" sheet of cardstock (watercolor paper,bristol board, etc.) using your tried and true methods, happy accidents, or something new you've just learned. You will be cutting this one sheet into ATC's.

Please include 7  index card size "instruction" sheets  with your ATC's, with either a link to a site where you learned the technique or your own written instructions. Then we can all learn from each other and share the fun.

Follow the method in the link below for cutting your paper into 10 ATC's. You will have 7  to swap and 3 for yourself.

There is also a file with the link in the Files/techniques folder on the PT home site:
PT Techniques
You will find instructions for some techniques there also - in case you need some inspiration.

Please sign up here:
Swap Database

Post pictures here:
Background ATC Swap 2011

This is a fun, easy and quick to do swap.

Cathy Calamas

If you are not a Paper_Traders member and would like to join this swap, click on the purple button to the right to start your membership process.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Member Spotlight

We are starting up our member spotlights again. As we have so many new
members to Paper_Traders we thought we would start with our Group Moderators.
This month the highlight is on Cathy L.Calamas


How did you find Paper Traders?
  I was in a Barnes and Noble in Asheville , NC  reading a magazine
on mixed media art and they had a link to Yahoo Art groups. I explored
the different groups until I came upon PT and thought that this was
a perfect fit for me. And it has been!

How long have you been a member?
 I joined in the summer of 2009 and became a Moderator in the summer of
2010 when Keron Lee resigned.

Where do you live?
I live in Columbia , South Carolina where our city slogan is “ Famously Hot!”
(Tomorrow it will be 100 degrees and it is not even summer yet.)
We have a beautiful zoo and botanical gardens where  I take pictures
very frequently. I moved here from Charleston , SC five years ago,
 which is home,but  the place is growing on me. 
 They do have a very good Art Museum, I should add.

How have your surroundings affected your art? 
I have always been a beach person so I love anything ocean/sea related.
 I tend to be drawn to whites, creams, blues, soft greens which
 is a beach color theme. I think I am probably all over the place 
when it comes to color in my art but
my favorites are always the monochromatic pieces.

Please share a little about your own art experience. 
I decided that  I was an “ artist” in high school and  have dabbled
 in just about everything.  I was into quilting and embroidery arts first. 
Then raising a family took over and I mainly sewed for 
my home and kids.  I started back into drawing and painting
 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was my wake-up call 
to get back a part of me that had  been locked away. I had my 
own greeting card company for awhile but really disliked 
the “production” side of the business. Now, I do some free-lance work
 but I mainly create to fulfill my “bent” and to share and swap.

What are some of your favourite techniques or genres?  
This changes all the time as I see and learn and experience new things. 
Right now I ‘m into  beeswax, distressed inks,  mini-book making.
 I love pretty much everything in the vintage altered arts area. 
I love old photos and learning how to create great backgrounds 
(something I need work on)!

What inspires you?
Right now what inspires me is seeing how a swap theme can translate
 into such a myriad of different expressions . 
 I am inspired by the creativity of others.
Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what 
especially appeals to you about this? 
I have always been an Impressionism nut. I love Monet and  Mary Cassatt
I remember the first time I saw my first real Monet and Cassatt at the
 National Gallery in DC. I couldn’t move, I was so amazed by their 
brush work and use of light.

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room? 
I just, this spring, got my own craft room. As my kids are growing up and 
moving out, I took over a bedroom. It’s been wonderful. I have my 
computer and scanner in here as well as a closet full of 
craft supplies (just recently organized!). The best part about it is
 to be able to walk out and close the door to my mess.
 Or to walk in and close the door to the world! That might actually be better J)

What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche
 for your supplies and art?
Plastic shelving units from Staples and Walmart ,
 couldn’t live without them. And I label everything!

Please share a little about your family and pets...
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 28 years. 
I have 3 grown children and  one 13 year old still at home.  They are all so different and unique and I wonder sometimes how they all grew up in the same family.
 One recently married and another to be married next Spring. Life is good.
 I have a Mini-Daschund named “Leo”, a 14lbs. Maine Coon cat 
named “Rusty” and a gold fish named “Spartacus”.

If you'd like, please share a little about your childhood, where you grew up, 
and when your creativity began. 
 I was born in Spain and then moved to Northern Minnesota
 where my father’s family was from.  (Yes, quite a culture shock for my mom!)
 From then on , we moved about every 3 years and I have lived all over the US as well as Puerto Rico . I have lived in the south since I was 15,
 so I consider myself a “Southener”. 
      I really can't remember when my creativity began. 
For many, many years my favorite thing was a new box of crayons. 
I even wanted to keep them when I bought them for my kids for the new school year :))

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?  
I love to read, especially southern authors like
 Fanny Flagg,  Dorothea Benton Frank, and Sue Monk Kidd. 
 I’m an American Idol fanatic although not a singer myself.
My husband I are very involved in a local Special Needs Baseball League.
 I am a big supporter of the Special Olympics.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Banner Swap Gallery

by Beckie Holso

by Connie Holso

Red, White and Blue Birds Challenge

This challenge is now closed.

It's June 15th,
so that means....

Our Second Challenge Event
is here!!

The theme for our second PaperTraders Art blog challenge is ""Red, White and Blue Birds" . You don't have to be a member of Paper_Traders Yahoo Art group to participate but if you would like to join us and be privy to even more great paper crafting swaps & 
challenges plus better than ever artistic support, that would be super!

When the challenge closes, we will pick a winning piece that best showcases the theme of the challenge and/or supply requirement.

 Challenge Rules

1. Make a paper craft or mixed media piece of art ( any size). The theme is "Red, White and Blue Birds" and your creation must include a bird/bird image (does not have to be a bluebird) and feature reds, blues, whites (or variations of).

2. Post your art to your blog, Flickr, Picasa (online albums). Mention our name PaperTraders Art Blog with a link back to this post.  You are more than welcome to grab our button and post it on your blog as well. The last day to post for this challenge is July 14, 2011.

3. After posting your "Red, White & Blue Birds"art on your site, come back to this post and leave us a comment. You must include a direct link to your image or post, not a general link to your album or blog.
All you will need to do is copy and paste the url address of your post found at the top of your browser window.
   If you would like to leave a "live" link (html) to your post entry comment, please do so in this format in the comment box:

                  <a href="Your Url">my entry.</a> 
      (place your entry image address in the "Your Url" spot)

4. The winner(s) will be awarded our "Trader Treasure" blog badge which they can choose to feature on their blog. Their art will also be posted on the PaperTraders Art Blog for 2 weeks.

Free Clip art to get you inspired. 

Art from our team members !

by Cathy Calamas

by Beckie Holso

by Heather Robinson

Hope you can join us!