Vintage Caribbean Colors


Hi Everyone! I’m so excited to share my first mixed media canvas! I’ve had a box of my Grandmother’s photographs, and have wanted to use many of them for a while now. However, I didn’t want to ruin the actual photos. So my awesome hubby bought a Canon color printer for my birthday so that I could copy the originals for my art. Here is my first canvas, and I’m also entering it in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, We Can See Clearly.


This is the first picture that caught my eye, and I knew it would be the first canvas. The picture was taken in Cuba in 1929. My Grandmother is in the middle, and her mother and step-father are to her right. The tropical turquoise blues of the Caribbean became my inspiration.


There are far too many steps and details to describe for this piece. So I think it will be easier to list the products, and just give some important hints and highlights. Almost all of the products used are in stock at Simon Says Stamp, and I will try to include as many links as possible.



I distressed all Prima papers by tearing, using Tim Holtz’ distress tool, and finally blending Antique Linen and Vintage Photo Distress Inks around all the edges. After  adhering the background layers with Mod Podge, I applied a thin coat of Finnabair Clear Gesso so that all other products would adhere. I think my favorite part of this entire canvas is the texture created using Ranger Opaque Texture Paste and Transparent Gloss. Also, I used two new stencils that I adore: Prima’s Doily and TCW Mini Art. Do you see examples of the three different stencils?

After the texture pastes dried, I sprayed water over much of the canvas, and then used Distress Spray Stains in Peacock Feathers and Antique Linen. I held the canvas up and turned it so that the stains would run over the textures. Then I blotted excess with a paper towel, and dried with the heat gun. You can use a baby wipe to gently wipe away excess from the transparent paste, but the stains color the opaque paste. That’s why I use both. I love the effect. Can you spot the difference?


Next I stamped a few effects using Altenew’s Painted Butterflies and Doodle Blooms with Archival Ink. Also, I used TH Ledger Script stamp for added dimension. Finally, I softened the background by dry brushing with Dina Wakely’s White Gesso. Do you see how it caught on the texture paste? I love this effect also!

Canvas before adding the brown Faber-Castell marker.
After adding the marker, I blended it with my finger for added shading.

I added tons of interest through layering with cardboard between the pictures, die cuts, punches, and flowers. The final touches were to added twine, and shadows with a brown Faber-Castell Big Brush pen. These markers are a great tool, because they stay wet long enough for you to blend with your finger. Then they dry permanently. Did you see how I added it around the outer edge of the canvas?

Isn’t this bird die cut from Simon Says sooooo pretty? I purposefully left some of the pieces inside the bird. I like to do this with some die cuts. I think the Tim Holtz Trellis die softens the edge of the pictures and paper too.

There you have it! What do you think? Could you spot all of the different pieces of interest? What’s your favorite technique or product? Of course, my favorite part of this canvas is the picture of my Grandma.

Can you see the Altenew and Tim Holtz stamps?

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Love and artsy hugs!


I thin these Tim Holtz leaves die cut match perfectly with the Prima flowers.

Papers: Prima Marketing Nature Garden and Garden Fable

Distress Spray Stains, Inks, Paints: Peacock Feathers, Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Mowed Lawn

Dies: Simon Says Stamp Bird of Roses, Tim Holtz Alterations Frameworks Trellis, Tim Holtz Alterations Bigz Garden Greens

Stencils: TCW Mini Art Is, Prima 6×6 Doily #582845, Tim Holtz Stamper’s Anonymous Harquin

Stamps: Altenew Painted Butterflies, Tim Holtz Ledger Script

Flowers and Butterflies: Prima Marketing

Punches: Martha Stewart


10 thoughts on “Vintage Caribbean Colors

    1. Thanks! I’ve been waiting to use so many of them. I also plan to use ColorSplash with the black and whites for pops of color. We will see how they turn out.


  1. Wow!! This is amazing for your first mixed media canvas and I have to say, you got some amazing skills. The design is beautiful! What a lovely keepsake for a photo that you hold so close to your heart. Awesome job! Thanks for entering it in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Cathie ❤


    1. Cathie, thank you so much for stopping by, and for your wonderful comments. I must say that I was quite nervous as I approached this project, but I’ve been watching tons of videos so I just made myself do it! LOL! (Thanks to Marta Lapkowska and Gabrielle Pollaco!)


    1. Hi Cathy! Thanks for stopping by, and your kind words are truly appreciated! I will have to check out the Emerald Creek Dares Challenge. Thanks for telling me about it. I’m always looking for new inspiration and challenges.


  2. Oh Erin, this made me cry! What a beautiful way to honor your Grandmother’s memory! The special bond you shared with her, is apparent in every beautiful detail. I absolutely love it! The Victorian era details are perfect!


    1. Thank you! I do miss her so much, but you are right. This is how I decided to honor her best. I knew when I went through her old pictures that I had to create some canvases. She lived an amazing, amazing life!


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