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, March 31, 2014

Gallery: Mixed Media Postcards

Bevlea made these amazing fabric envelopes to put our postcards in! 

Amanda E

Ann C

Beckie H

Bevlea R

Nancy S

Pam C

Pam P

Shelly R

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gallery - The "Selfie" Swap

Check out our members posing in
their own ATC's - Selfie style.

By Nancy S.

by Ellen L.

by Ann C.

By Eileen K.

by Cathy C.

by Pam P.

by Jo M.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Member Spotlight: Ellen Lai

I’m Ellen Lai, a Chinese, born and living in Singapore.

I found Paper Traders by chance while clicking links when hopping between blogs, and joined Paper Traders about a year ago.  This is about one of the most active groups I’m in, with a number of swaps going and a good number of participants.  I also enjoy the variety of different types of swaps we have here. I counted 10 swaps I have joined so far.

I have been crafting since young.  I remembered sewing lots of hand puppets and making crepe paper roses with my grandmother in my primary school days (7 to 12 years old) for school charities.  A little bit of cross-stitch, crochet and knitting too.  And there was my favourite set of origami books my father bought for me then.  Fond memories of childhood! I always joined the schools’ Art Club.  I remembered doing all those face masks for my secondary school’s play “Animal Farm”.  We had so much fun thinking up the concepts and spent hours and hours making all the animal masks, starting from paper mache over blow-up balloons!  I also took paid classes and join free workshops since I started working some 20 years ago.  Here in Singapore, art and crafts are not as popular, we do not have those craft fairs or guilds. However, people are now more exposed and there are more happenings than before.

I’m not so much an artist and my drawing sucks, especially drawing portraits!  I’m more a crafter and likes to try all sort of crafts, but tatting is the one that I have been doing constantly since I learnt to tat 14 years ago.  Now my forte, I design tatting patterns and teach whenever there are opportunities or when people approach me.  With a full-time day job in the construction industry and 3 schooling children (a boy and 2 girls between 12 and 17) , my hands are usually full and in fact up to my neck, I can only do small projects. For the past 8 years, I have been participating in swaps in tatted laces (though seldom now), and more in ATCs, inchies, postcards, Moos, paper dolls, button fairies, little books and whatever interesting that comes, and I can still squeeze out time.  My proudest collection is the set of fabric ATCs on the alphabet theme which I hand-sewed over a year and a half, featuring a tatted critter for each of the alphabet.

I’m not drawn to any particular artist or crafter, or perhaps, I just don’t have the time to study anyone, though I really love and are inspired by nature, especially flowers and butterflies.  Well, I’m working on a little tatting book on hearts now and looking to finish it before mid-year to self-publish it, and slowly fine-tuning more tatting patterns to go in hopefully a 2nd and 3rd books.  That’s my dream!

Some original tatting patterns designed and tatted by Ellen: Merlion, Vanda Miss Joaquam, hibiscus, goldfish.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Gallery - Let's Hear it for the Boys"

A sampling from our
"Let's hear it for the Boys" ATC swap.

by Nancy S. 

 by Cathy C.

by Lillian M.

by Debra C.

By Eileen K.

By Nydia D.

By Mel D.

By Jo M.

by Shelly R.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gallery: Lucky You Altered Tags

Amanda E

Ann C

Beckie H

Cathee S

Cathy C

Ellen L

Pam C

Pam P

Friday, March 7, 2014

Gallery: Color Swatch Books

covers - Pam C

White - Nancy S

Black - Beckie H

Red - Pam C

Orange - Shelly R
Yellow - Cathy C

Green - Debra C
Light Blue - Bevlea R

Indigo - Amanda E

Purple - Ann C

Lavender - Letha R

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Swap: Out of Africa

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.

Out of Africa 
World Culture Celebration
(A series of four swaps throughout the year) 
4-for-4 ATCs
All Skill Levels
Mail out by Friday, April 25th

With the Olympics recently over, it seems like a good time to travel around the world of art! There will be four swaps focusing on different continental regions - starting with Africa. There are so many possibilities when we consider the vast African continent. Here are a few ideas that come to my mind - but you can research a little and find many more things to consider!!

The amazing animal kingdom
Savannahs & safaris
Plants & trees
Religious icons (Khamsas, Ashanti figures, Tribal masks)
Sand dunes, mirages
Ancient Egypt
Coastal beauty
Marrakesh markets
Cape Horn
Tribal customs
Crafts (batik, mudcloth, ceramics)

Please send $1.00 for postage (International players may send ephemera) AND a LARGE return address label.  Mail by April 25th to Debra Claxton.

Future Themes:
A European Affair
Asian Adventure
Dive in "Down Under"

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Swap: Fairy Tale Deco Pages

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.

fairy tale

a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other magical creatures.
Also called fairy story.


Fairy Tale Deco Pages
Sign ups until March 31st, 2014 or when full.
Mail out by April 30th, 2014

Page size will be 5-1/2" tall x 6" wide. Please allow for a 1/2" uncut or decorated left hand binding edge on the 5-1/2" side. You will create one page for each participant in your chosen theme (I will cap it at 12 pages per group). Sign and date your pages. I will create a cover,and page for each book, divide them up and send them back to you to bind yourself.

Include the fairy tale of your choice when you sign up- first come, first serve. Please choose an alternate tale if someone has already selected yours. Everyone will need to pick a separate story so we will have a fun mix of fairytale artwork. Early birds will be happy they signed on.

Send WITH RETURN ADDRESS LABEL AND POSTAGE to Pam Colosimo. Postage exchange will be the same as it costs you to mail. Remember flatter is less expensive. Enclose in Canadian or US Dollars. International can enclose ephemera.

Here are some ideas to start you, but feel free to choose your own if you don't see anything that inspires you. It will be first come first serve.

Check that someone hasn't chosen your tale before you select. For more Inspiration, Google 'your fairy tale', 'fairytale art', 'fairy tale mixed media'.

Your pages can all be the same, or different, you choose. Let that childhood imagination take hold and play. Add your own special spin to the story. Use a discarded book for images, coloring books, magazines, draw your own. You could include a bit about the tale on the back or front of your page. Anything in good taste will be acceptable. They can be Grimms,  Disney, or Fractured fairy tales are a fun swing on the classics as well. If you don't want to put the title on the front, please put it on the back with your signature. This is an ambitious project, open to all levels.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Swap: Mother Nature Tag Flag Books

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.

Mother Nature Tag Flag Books
8-for-8 Tags to place in your own book
Skill: 2 - Budding
Due: Postmarked by May 6th
(International participants, please mail by April 29th)

For this project, we will be making "tag flag" books with the theme "Mother Nature." Each participant will make their own book using the tutorial found on the Pennywise Arts blog here.

Do not mail your books!  We will be swapping the tags only. Make 8 tags (2-1/8" x 4-1/4") according to the theme and send them to me by the deadline. I will randomize them and send back 8 different tags for you to mount in your book.

Please send $2 for return postage. International participants may send ephemera in lieu of postage. International participants should send their tags one week earlier to allow for the extra mail time.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Freebie - ATC envelope template & more

It's time for another freebie courtesy of your Paper Traders Moderators.  A great big THANK YOU to Connie Holso for preparing this lovely offering for your personal use.  The download is a zip file that also includes cutting files for the ATC envelope.  Please use the link BELOW the photo to download the the full zip file.  Enjoy!
Download HERE: