#FollowFriday No. 5

By Taheerah | 31st January 2014 | 13 Comments

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! And welcome to the next in the series of  #FollowFriday!


Those of you who are avid Twitter users may be familiar with the term ‘Follow Friday’ or #FF. In a nutshell, people take to Twitter with the hashtag #FF to promote other users they suggest you follow. It’s a great little way to give people a shout-out and for a while now I’ve wanted to introduce a similar idea in blog form! It’s going to be an awesome way for me to give a shout-out to other designers I think *you* should be following if you don’t already do so!

I’ll be bringing you this feature every Friday and highlighting around 5 designers worthy of a special mention! It’s going to be so awesome!

So without further ado, may I present this week’s #FF designers:

Pamela Ho – Miao

If you looked up ‘CAS’, ‘sophistication’, ‘cute’ and ‘clever’, ‘fresh’, ‘trendy’, ‘colourful’ and ‘genius’ together, you’d probably get a picture of Pamela in your dictionary. If not, then as Chandler from Friends says, ‘then we have to, y’know, get you my original dictionary’. Pamela is another amazingly gifted designer who enjoyed a huge rise to fame last year. And with good cause. She was right there last year collecting all the accolades there are – publications, Moxie Fab Challenges, Stamping Royalty, Design Team positions… and she earned all of those with her fresh mix of clever, trendy, cute-with-a-difference designs. She blends ink colours like no other, her composition always goes the extra mile, her cards are chock-full of clever, clever details. For you pocket scrapbookers out there, her Project Life is so well laid-out you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at magazine proofs. She is the epitome of everything we look to in the ‘new breed’ of designer – and she is only going to get better as time goes on.

JJ Bolton – Ribbon Girls

All hail the Queen of Die Cutting! What JJ can’t do with dies isn’t worth doing. Which is nothing. So basically, she can do everything. JJ’s eye for design betrays her scientific/analyst background. These are cards with a lot of thought and calculation put in. Everything about her creations screams ‘precision’ and ‘perfection’. Nothing is down to chance. Yet if I told you her amazing work was purely down to ‘thinking it through’ I’d be doing a disservice to her obvious and immense talent. She just knows how to take things to the next level. She is trend-conscious (but not a slave, she does things her own way), she crosses styles like an expert in genetics, and she always knows just what extra little detail to include to go from ‘great’ to ‘spectacular’. For these reasons and more she is on several of the trendiest DTs out there, continues to impress and wow us all – and leave us trailing behind in her brilliance.

Agnieszka Malyszek – Just Made From Paper

Oh, Aga. I’ve been building up to featuring her for some time now, hoping that when the time came the words would too. And I’m still somewhat at a loss to describe just what an incandescent, brilliantly bright talent she is. Aga’s designs are truly unique. Each one looks like a one-of-a-kind, high-end masterpiece. If I saw her stationery-style work in a designer boutique, I would covet it. As it is I do this vicariously with every one of her posts. I am trying to work out what the magic formula is that takes simple elements like crisp white bases, a splash of colour, some thread, Dymo-label sentiments and maybe a sequin or some glitter here and there – and turns them into something other-worldly. Verdict? There isn’t. It’s all her. And it’s magnificent.

Kristen Foreman – Kristen Foreman Designs

Kristen is another fresh face that has exploded onto the scene. That sounds a little gruesome, but focus on the ‘onto the scene’ part rather than combining it with the ‘fresh face’ part. Anyway. Kristen pretty much appeared out of nowhere last year, and in the space of 12 months has gone on to win challenges, have work accepted for publication, and land some pretty sweet DT gigs (I should know, we share two of them *wink*). When looking back at her past year of work though what strikes me the most is the incredible growth she has experienced as a designer. You can pretty much see her work evolving with every post. Kristen’s ability to take the essence of a design and present it as truly fresh-CAS is remarkable. How she learned to do this so quickly is beyond me. It can only be down to natural talent plus incredible aptitude. Always zoning in on the soft and pretty, her designs are a true delight to behold, and, given they improve and grow so quickly, I am always on the edge of my seat to see just what she is going to blow me away with next. This year is going to be phenomenal for her.

Cristina Kowalczyk – My Paper Secret

I’m sure she is a household name to you all, but even so. It wouldn’t be a line-up of my favourite designers if Cristina wasn’t featured sooner or later. I called Donna Mikasa the Empress of CAS last week as it was a more fitting title for her – but also because, in my opinion, there is only one name worthy of the ‘Queen of CAS‘ label: Cristina. This lady needs no introduction, I’m sure. But allow me to indulge myself (and you). Cristina is probably the most gifted CAS designer out there. She is pure CAS. In fact, she is probably one of the originators of the modern, fresh, pure CAS we see being all the rage now. You’d think she must have been around for ages to have such a refined and poetic style. But no. Take a look at her blog archives. 4 years. 4. Now take a look at her accomplishments and accolades in that time. Makes your stomach flip huh? It’s little wonder that she has gone from strength to strength in such a short space of time. She is gifted. She is amazing. She is special.

So there we are folks – your Follow Fridays for this week!! Give them a cheer!! Please do stop by their blogs and follow them, give them some love, stare in awe, then come away inspired to try a million new things! I’ve also set up a special Pinterest Board to keep track of all my #FollowFriday featured designers!

I hope you love this new feature of mine – I would love some feedback on it! Thanks so much for stopping by – I would love it if you left some love for these ladies as you head on your way!

13 thoughts on “#FollowFriday No. 5”

  1. Wow! I am beyond speechless. I read this to my husband [he's never too excited about my crafty things] but he said it was pretty awesome I was recognized! I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to read this! It made my day, literally! Thank you soo much for featuring me! It's mean so much 🙂

  2. Adore this feature, Taheerah! I'm so captivated as I read every single word of these posts. I feel just what Kelly has expressed…though I know (and love) almost all that you've featured, I just love how you put words to what so often leaves me speechless.

  3. Are these the nicest things anyone has ever said about me? They might very well be. I cannot tell you how much it meant to wake up this morning and read this. I'm going to write you a longer email soon. But for now: thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. I get so excited to read your analysis, because quite often I can't put into words why I like something. So it's great when you do all that thinking for me!! Much appreciated, dear : ) Thanks for introducing me to Kristen … I checked her out and really like her style so I followed her. And yes, I've tried to figure out what it is about Aga's cards that are so magical too. There is no doubt Cristina is Queen … which I find so funny since card-making is her creative side job. Her books must be AMAZING then, I need to read them. Have absolutely loved JJ and Pamela since I started blogging. I don't know how you can top this list for next week. Good luck!

  5. It's a joy to read your FF posts, Taheerah. You did find words for Aga. I remember describing her as "my heart skips a beat when my reader tells me she's posted something new". And JJ. Yes, to have just a smidgen of that girl's talent with dies. Have to read Cristina's book – I assume it will be well done. And yes, yes to Pamela and Kristen.

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