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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gallery: Good Witch / Bad Witch

Beckie H

Bevlea R

Carolyn A

Cathy C

Eileen K

Mel D

Pam C

Pam P

Shelly R

Friday, October 25, 2013

Member Spotlight Time - Bevlea Ross

 This month our Member Spotlight is shining on Bevlea Ross.

How did you find Paper Traders?

I heard about PT through three friends who are members.. they seem to be having way too much fun without me so I applied for membership.

How long have you been a member?
This time around... About six months... I originally joined the group in 2006 but left after a few years due to ‘real life’ time pressures... However as things settled down, and I was only working part time now I asked to rejoin

Where do you live?
Home is Mill Park, Melbourne, Australia... Its an outer northern suburb of Melbourne. Mill Park is a ‘new’ suburb and only came into being about 20 years ago...we are on the outskirts with National Parks and forests at our back – and yes, its not unusual to see a kangaroo hopping down the road due to our close proximity to the bush lol

Please share a little about your own art experience.
I come from a family where something was always being made.. Mum knitted, sewed clothes for us kids as well as my dolls, embroidered... Dad made wooden toys (wish I still had that dolls house he made me), hook rugs, also embroidered... It rubbed off on us... I have knitted, sewed, embroidered, cross stitched, macrame'd, painted, made cloth dolls, porcelain dolls, cottage crafts (oh the lace we went through making those tissue box covers)... Around 2002 I became interested in ATCs..which lead to altered books.. Which lead to art journals. I went 'off the boil' for a while with ATCs while I experimented with the altered books etc., but have come full circle back to them.. And now like to include them in my art journals etc

What are some of your favorite techniques or genres?
I love vintage and shabby chic... and playing with paint to create backgrounds.. I have a ‘texture box’ that contains all sorts of found objects that I use for adding texture and layers to the piece I am working on... gesso is my friend.. I use it in about every piece lol..

What inspires you?
images.. hands down every time.. I usually see an image I like and the rest of the piece is built around it.

Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what especially appeals to you about this?
love the work of Finnabair.. took a class with her this year.. love the way her work is tactile.. there is depth to it... also love DJ Pettitt...the way she incorporates her photos into her artwork (I’m also a shutterholic) .. I admire the work of Susan Lenart Kazmer and Stephanie Baron Lee.. and still make jewellry using what I learnt from them

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room?
We moved in April and I have a small studio – its only 8ft x 10 ft but I love it.. .I had to divest myself of LOT of supplies I had collected but never used to fit it in there.. and as I like ‘neat’ and ‘pretty’ that I have the rule that if it doesn’t fit, theme or spacewise, then it doesn’t go in there lol. I painted the walls a soft turquoise, all the fittings are white with touches of black. I have a shabby chic table as my workbench... it has built in wardrobes across one wall so I filled the robe space with cubes and book cases and lots go in there so the room doesn’t look crowded. ... I blogged about the setting up of the new room here

Please share a little about your family and pets...
We were a family of myself, hubby, grown up daughter, three dogs and a cat... but Cino, our bichon/maltese cross passed away at 15 yrs old a few months ago.. and last week my daughters poodle Teddy was euthanised with liver failure... so now its one dog and the cat.... our little Cavalier King Charles girl called Maggie.. she’s only 5 but is stone deaf – has been since we got her as a pup... and my daughters rag doll cat who considers himself totally in charge..

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
I love to take photographs... started with a box brownie when I was 13 and over the years have owned instamatics, polaroid's, 35mm film camera etc., three years ago I bought my first DSLR and love it.. I now have a Canon 7D ... shoot in RAW .. thanks to lessons from DJ Pettitt on a holiday we took together... I’m not a professional.. just a keen amateur... but love to enter competitions (never won any lol) and share my work on

Thanks Bevlea!! We enjoyed learning more about you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Swap!! The "Flat Arty" ATC Swap

This swap is for Paper Traders members only
but we would love to have you join our fun.
Please click on the purple yahoo button in the sidebar
for more information on how to join Paper Traders.

The “Flat Arty” ATC Swap

4 for 4 ATC Swap
Theme: Any
Hostess: Cathy Calamas
Sign-up by Nov. 11th
Mail out deadline by December 3rd

Meet Flat Arty, Flat Stanley's artistic cousin. Flat Arty is an ATC that has
no embellishments besides ink, paint, rubber stamping, embossing powders,
 pencil, or crayon, etc. You may also use an embossing folder to create texture.

So that means ONE layer of paper only. If you want to start with a white or
 solid color background that's fine, but you can also start with a designer
 scrapbook paper background, sheet music, etc. Remember, no ribbon,
 trim, buttons, flowers, or extra layers of paper/tissue.

In case you haven't heard of Flat Stanley, he is a flat little paper doll
 that travels the world getting his picture taken and those
 photos are in turn sent back to the school children
who initially mailed him out.

Some inspiration:

If you have any questions please contact me on the group site.
Sign-up by Nov. 11th in the database here:

Post your photos in this album here:

Cathy Calamas

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kitchen Stuff FREEBIE

Here's a little freebie as inspiration for our Digital Cookie Recipe Swap.  A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this lovely collage sheet for your personal use.  Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the high-res version of this file.  Enjoy!
Download here: 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Life Mantras Word Prompt #10 - Be Kind

We are on to our 10th Life Mantra
Word Prompt for our Art Journal Challenge.

If you just stumbled upon us,
stay and play with us.
You can join at any time.
For info. on the complete challenge guide lines go here.

This month's prompt is "Be Kind"
and the requirement is to
use paint somewhere in your design.

Here are some inspirational quotes as
well as our DT contributions:

"Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible."
~Tenzin Gyatso

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than 
the grandest intention.
 ~Oscar Wilde

If you would like to join us in this month's challenge
just link up your blog post in the linky tool below.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Digital Cookie Recipe Swap Announced

This swap is for Paper Traders Members only but we would love for you to become a member and join us. Click on the purple yahoo button in the sidebar for more information and how-tos.


One for One digital recipe card.
Should be standard recipe card size (3 inches high by 5 inches wide)
or a double (folded) recipe card size of 6 inches high by 5 inches wide at 300dpi
Skill: 2 - Blossoming
Due: Email to Connie by November 12, then she will email all of them to all of the players.
Hosted by: Connie Holso

This will be a DIGITAL recipe swap featuring a favorite cookie recipe. That means you will do the whole thing on your computer, decorating your card and adding the typed recipe. If you need some digital files for this project there are lots of freebies on Connie's blog and there is even a kitchen related kit here: Some of the older links may have expired, but if you let us know, Connie will reactivate any that don't work.

Check out DeviantScrap for the recipe card swap they did a while back for some ideas:

You can also find three pages of kitchen-related images at Pixel Scrapper here: You do have to register to download but it is all free.

We hope you will give this a try and share some of your favorite goodies with us.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Swap - 8th Anniversary Project

This swap is for Paper Traders Members only but we would love for you to become a member and join us. Click on the purple yahoo button in the sidebar for more information and how-tos.


1 for 1 Altered Book
Level 2-3
Sign-ups until October 17 
Partners announced : October 18th by random drawing 
Mail out: November 18th 
Hosted by: Contact Cathy Calamas 

We are going to alter books. We want you to carve a little niche inside your book and embellish it with your choice of theme. No nudity please. You may design it based on who is going to receive it but that is not necessary. Please keep the size of your book to approximately 5”x 7” (12.6mm x 17.8mm). Thickness is up to you but keep in mind shipping costs. Decorate/alter the front/back as well. The only design requirement is to work the number 8 into your art, either by 8 objects or the literal number 8. International members welcome. As postage is expensive, please let me know if you prefer not to mail internationally. Please pack your book up carefully for mailing.

New Swap - Chipboard Stand-Up Dolls

This swap is for Paper Traders Members only but we would love for you to become a member and join us. Click on the purple yahoo button in the sidebar for more information and how-tos.

one-for-one chipboard doll
Skill: Any
Sign up by: Oct 25th 
Partners announced: Oct 26th 
Mail out by: Nov 5th
Hosted by: Beckie Holso

The idea for these dolls was inspired by some wood cuts I saw over at Artchix Studio: I thought that I would really love to have a fun doll standing on my art table as a muse to inspire my creativity. For this project, you can buy or make your own doll shapes - from either thin wood or thick chipboard... they need to be sturdy so they can stand up and not get bent or broken with handling. Be sure to make a little stand to prop them up with too. Please make your dolls about 6" tall (not including embellishments such as antlers, crowns, etc.). They can be any style/shape you feel inspired to create. You will embellish the front entirely using pretty papers, ribbons, paint, images, or whatever you'd like. Please finish the back side so that it's presentable and don't forget to sign your work. You will mail your completed doll directly to your swap partner. Partners will be announced on Oct 26th.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October Freebie - Kindness

It's time for another freebie courtesy of your Paper Traders Moderators.  A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this lovely collage sheet for your personal use.  Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the high-res version of this file.  Enjoy!
Download HERE: