At Poles Direct we’re passionate about homes and interiors and love discovering new ideas. The DIY and craft projects published online every day are a great source of inspiration for anyone looking to add a personal touch to their home. To celebrate this blogging community we will be running a monthly feature where we promote our favourite craft and DIY bloggers alongside an interview with the people behind the projects.
Our first post features Eight and Sixteen, a British DIY and craft blog run by kindred craft spirits Erin and Skye. Both ladies have their own personal blogs but joined forces to create weekly craft and recipe posts and encourage their readers to join in too. We spoke to them about their fantastic blog…
What motivates you?
Skye: For me, DIY is a huge part of my life, to the point where I’d say it’s totally a part of who I am! I’m motivated by ethical reasons; I want to spend less on mass produced products which often leads to DIY’ing. If I can’t buy something second hand, then I DIY – or as is often the case I buy something second hand and then DIY it to suit me! I’m also motivated by the challenge; I get such a thrill being able to make something and know that it’s unique. There is something immensely satisfying in creating something for yourself or for others, and knowing exactly what has gone into it.
Erin: Creating and crafting is something that I’ve always done – I love learning new crafts and figuring out how to create my own unique versions of things. Blogging has been a huge motivation for me as after starting to write tutorials back in 2012 I now find it difficult to imagine not crafting and sharing the things I make! The idea that someone might stumble upon an online tutorial and that it could lead to them discovering a love of DIY is also really motivating; it’s such a compliment when a reader creates their own version of your project!
Who inspires you?
Skye: Erin, of course! Having such a great friend and partner to bounce ideas around with is so important! Being a long distance team can be really hard, but sometimes I read back through our emails and can’t help but giggle as to how they must read; to me it’s amazing being able to talk to someone who is on the same level as you, even if you’re talking crafty jibberish!
Erin: Like Skye, one of my biggest inspirations has to be other bloggers (Skye included of course!). There’s a huge community of amazing crafters out there all with unique ideas to share.
What project are you most proud of?
Skye: This is such a tough question! As a creative person I know that I will always look at my work and see the imperfections which makes it even harder. The first quilt I made will always be really special to me – there are a lot of mistakes, but it was such a learning curve and was such an amazing project to work on. My favourite e&s project to date is a toss up between my Film & TV Quote banners and my Ping Pong Ball Pumpkin Lights. The former because I think it’s a really fun way to make personalised gifts, and the latter because it’s a great upcycling project that can be customised to suit any occasion.
Erin: Out of the makes I’ve shared so far on Eight & Sixteen I’d have to say the Cobweb Coasters I created for Halloween. They were my first ever completed quilting project so I was proud to be able to share them having learnt a whole new craft to do so.
What has been your biggest project?
Skye: I’m afraid I’m gonna have to say my quilt again! On and off it took almost a year for me to make from start to finish, so it’s definitely the most long term project I’ve ever worked on.
Erin: This is a difficult one for me, I’d love to be able to say my first quilt as it’s the biggest project I’ve taken on to date but it’s still a work in progress! Earlier in the year I made a cushion for one of my friends which was designed to look like a classic Cluedo board. As I had to combine a variety of techniques to achieve the final design it was definitely one of my bigger projects.
Which tool do you always have at hand?
Skye: Oh, definitely FriXion pens! I have about a dozen strewn around my desk and I can’t sing their praises enough.
Erin: I’d have to agree with Skye on this one – FriXion pens are a firm favourite for both of us! As a lot of the projects I share online are jewellery/accessories I’d also say jewellery pliers are an essential! They’re a really inexpensive tool but are handy for so many basic jewellery techniques and really expand the possibilities of what you can create.
What would your top tip be to any rookie DIY’ers?
Skye: Never be afraid to get stuck in! It sounds corny, but it really is true. Sometimes you might try a project and it just won’t work out, but that doesn’t matter. You’ll learn something new, and for me that’s the best part. Also, be patient! I’m notoriously bad for rushing through DIY projects, but in pretty much every case, it’s ten times better if you take your time.
Erin: If you want to try a particular project just go for it! And don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work out, even regular DIY-ers experience craft fails, it’s all part of the learning process. I’d also say don’t let a lack of space put you off! I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past but there are plenty of awesome DIYs and crafts you can do even with limited space.
You can keep up to date with all the latest work on Erin and Skye’s blog Eight and Sixteen.
Erin’s personal blog ‘E-Elise etc.’ and, and Skye’s blog ‘Even Artichokes Have Hearts‘ can be found on the links provided.
Come back next month for our next DIY Blog of the Month!