February 13 Creative Logo


A bit of news, a bit of inspiration, a bit of new work... a bit random, a bit blogish. “bits” is where it all hangs out.

noteworthy holiday gift idea


Our industrious friends over at Cardstore.com have a brand new product out just in time for holiday gift-giving and thank-you-note-writing: boxed notecards, including several february 13 creative favorites. Many designs can be personalized on the front with a name or brief message. Nicely priced at $21, each set of 12 cards and envelopes arrives in a stylish keepsake box. Plus, you can use our Friends and Family discount to save 15%! (Excludes shipping and handling; order before December 30th and enter the code FRIEND15 at checkout).

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watch f13 on View from the Bay


We were back on View from the Bay today sharing some creative new DIY holiday card ideas. Mod CD ornament photocards and paper weave wreaths - both use recycled materials and double as Christmas tree ornaments! And of course you have to check out our February 13 Creative Holiday Collection at Cardstore.com.

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crafting: diy holiday photocards and ornaments


We’re on view from the bay again today! In this live tv segment Betsy shares instructions for fantastic holiday photocards that you can create yourself.

create ornaments from your old cds!


Check out the instructions for creating these mod CD ornaments, using old compact discs and tissue paper. It’s a highly addictive little project... many of our intrepid testers in the f13 craft lab found they couldn’t stop once they got started.And the best part is, you can put a photo on the back, pop it in a 5” square envelope, and mail it as a holiday greeting!

Paper Weaving project for beautiful wreath ornaments


Amy discovered another ingenious use for old magazine pages, in this project inspired by all the fun jewelry and home decor pieces we’ve been seeing in craft and museum shops lately. Check out her instructions for these beautiful paper weave wreaths.

And last but certainly not least, Betsy will be touting our brand new collection of holiday photocard, invitation, greeting card, and thank-you note designs, available exclusively at Cardstore.com. Jump right to our Holiday Card Showcase to see our favorite new designs, all of which can be personalized online with your own photos and text.

Now is the time to get a jump on the season! Sending out cards early equals more relaxation and celebration. We hope that you enjoy the fun ideas and art that we’ve put together this season!

….. betsy, pam and amy…..

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inspiration: color harmony


I’ve always been fascinated by color combinations, and often, it is a special color harmony that calls my attention and draws me to an object. That was exactly why these beautiful bracelets caught my eye. They evoke an earthy, rich feeling, and yet feel calm and serene. So I just had to have them. They ended up inspiring the color combination that I used in my “Bottle and Rocks” art print.

….. amy …..

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celebrating : el dia de los muertos


Saludos de Tepoztlan, Mexico. My mom brought me to this beautiful town for a little culinary vacation at La Villa Bonita and we’ve been fortunate to be here during Day of the Dead, a major cultural celebration that takes place throughout Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America (as well as in many homes in the United States, of course). Beginning around October 31st, families prepare to welcome the spirits of deceased family members back into the home for a brief visit. Day of the Dead is actually celebrated over two days, the 1st and 2nd of November. Although it may sound sad or even macabre to non-Latin sensibilities, it’s a very joyous occasion here in Mexico and I’ve been so delighted to learn more about it and to take part in the celebrations with our hosts. Here are several photos and a bit more information about this wonderful tradition.

Marigolds play a huge role in the Dia del los Muertos celebrations. They decorate doorways, altars (ofrendas), and graves and—perhaps most important—they’re used to create a pathway leading into the home, so the deceased souls can easily find their way back inside to enjoy the elaborate offering of food and entertainment the family has prepared for them. With our La Villa Bonita host, Chef Ana Garcia, we visited the market in Cuernavaca to buy masses of marigolds to create the many beautiful decorations and pathway shown above, as well as food and other decorations for her home and the ofrenda.

We helped Ana prepare the ofrenda, dedicated to her grandmother and great grandmother. The altar typically includes a cooked whole chicken, salt and water, pan de muertos (sweet bread, often baked in the shape of skulls and other figures), incense, candles, more marigolds and a photo of the deceased. It may also include any number of other items, often things that the deceased greatly enjoyed during their time in this world. For example, tequila is popular in ofrendas; for the spirit of Ana’s grandmother, we left her favorite cocktail ingredients: vodka and tonic. I love to imagine her strolling in along our golden path of marigolds and kicking back with a tall, cool glass of vodka tonic, taking in the beautiful vistas of Tepoztlan.

On the evening of November 1st, many Mexican families open the doors of their homes to anyone and everyone, offering hot beverages and treats and an opportunity to view the altars they’ve created for their loved ones. Ana and her husband Robb took us to nearby Ocotepec, where this tradition is particularly lively. There were lines around the block for many homes! We also took a dark walk through the cemetery, where some families had begun to clean and decorate the graves of their family members in preparation for the big celebration the following day.

We returned to Ocotepec the next morning to find the cemetery transformed into an explosion of color and festive activity, including live music and picnics at many grave sites. Even the humblest graves were tidy and festooned with bright flowers. Those who have died during the past year receive the most elaborate decorations (see Roberto’s, below). It was an amazing and undeniably upbeat scene... a real eye-opener for this gringo (gringa?!)

There have been many other incredible experiences on this trip, including lots of great food, of course! I’ll share more in my next post.

Hasta pronto!

..... betsy .....

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celebrating: spooky entomology


My husband and I have hosted a party every October 31st for 7 years now. I love decorating in general, but I love Halloween decorations so much that, despite our lack of storage, I end up adding new ones every year! I especially love creating mood through lighting. Here's what I just finished putting together for this year's party.

Black llight is the only source of illumination on these apothecary jars, which I’ve placed in our guest bathroom. They’re filled with spider webbing, glow sticks, plastic centipedes and tarantulas. I also did a third jar that contains bats! This project is a cinch to put together and the effects are positively spooktacular, don’t you think?

Happy Crawl-o-ween!

... pam ...

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celebrating: the smell of pumpkin


OK, so it’s another Halloween, and for the first time ever I got a serious jump on the pumpkin carving. I figured since this is my absolute favorite part about Halloween (this and the Butterfingers I sneak from time to time) I may as well do it twice. So my girls and I eagerly got busy carving, and these are the results. I know these will probably rot before Halloween so we are enjoying lighting them in our living room each evening. Can’t wait for pumpkin carving round two!

….. amy …..  

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celebrating: henry's annual halloween costume challenge


It's been quite a while since I've made a Halloween costume for my son Henry (now 16), but back in the day, he set some pretty crazy challenges in front of me. I have a post up at Designing Moms, sharing one of the earlier costumes I devised for him (before he really started giving me art direction.) In the process of writing that post, I pulled out photos of all his costumes over the years, and had fun reliving those insane experiments with spray paint, fake fur and glue guns. It always seemed a little sad to me that our creations only lived for one day, so indulge me while I present a “virtual” Halloween parade of some of my favorites! If you’re interested in tips on recreating any of these yourself, just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help.

Bartholomew Collins, prisoner of the Terwilliker Institute.
If you’ve never seen “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T,” go rent it NOW!

A prairie dog... “popping out of his mound.”

Meerkatus Giganticus

African Pygmy Hedgehog
Those are toothpicks. I’m still picking splinters out of my fingers...

I’m not quite sure what to say about this one except that the little guy has a retractable tongue that “ate” candy. Major credit is due to the wonderful artist, David Kirk (author of “Miss Spider’s Tea Party,” among others), who created the coin-collecting sculpture that this costume is (faithfully) based on. And, it must be noted that this was the year that Henry really took control of his own Halloween costumes. I was a mere technical adviser.

Our last hurrah, from 2005, a gigantic WORKING iPod.

And speaking of Halloween costumes, head on over to Cardstore.com’s Silliest Halloween Costume Contest to share photos of your silliest Halloween costume (of you, your pet, or your kids!).

What are you going to be this Halloween??

..... Betsy .....

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paging dr. izzie stevens!


Hi there. I’m Pamela Nudel, one of the Three Musketeers here at f13 creative. I’ll share a little more about myself in a future post, but today I’m just excited to jump right into some exciting news: we’re celebrating the arrival of fabric samples from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. These represent the very first licensing deals for me and Amy!

Amy’s butterfly art and Pam’s feather heart art


So now we are waiting to see just how the scrub designers decide to stitch-up these adorable fabrics! I’ll be sure to remind you in a few months when the scrubs will be available to purchase. From what we’ve been told, the finished uniforms will be available to buy in January 2010 at whiteswanscrubs.com. In the meantime Betsy, Amy and I are smiling big, and busily designing more art for the fabric and scrub world!

….. pam …..

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a fancy for flourishing fashions


A quick introduction might be in order here. My name is Amy, and I am part of the dynamic trio that makes up f13. While my background lies in graphic and web design, I am an artist and creator at heart. And, I have to be honest this writing thing is not really my forte. I am such a visual person, that I rely on my art as part of my expression, so you are going to have to bear with me as I work on my writing skills. I am a wife, and mother of twins (identical girls... "my mini-mes" as I like to say). My amazing kids and my always supportive husband inspire me daily. I am also thankful for and greatly inspired by my creative partners here at f13. I love to imagine all of the possibilities when it comes to art, and how we can use it to celebrate our personal style. Nature forms and vibrant color combinations have always drawn my attention. I think that's why I've been dreaming up these beautiful skirts based on a series of inspiring botanicals created by another great artist here at f13 - Pamela Nudel. Pam's art has a vibrant flair, and often incorporates rich textures. Her botanicals are warm and contemporary, and each of them would make a uniquely stunning skirt. Imagine them big and bold with rich textures! They would be oh so sumptuous!

These beautiful botanicals are already available as greeting cards at Cardstore.com.  

And also as wall prints in our shop. Enjoy!  

..... amy .....

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