The one pic of me painting at art school - I really really hated acrylic (and thus painting) while there, and it wasn't until after graduation that I started experimenting with and enjoying working with oils. I still hate acrylics. ;)
The one photo of me painting at art school - I really really hated acrylic (and thus painting) while there, and it wasn't until after graduation that I started experimenting with and enjoying working with oils. I still hate acrylics. 😉

Create simple elegance

 

Peacock & Fig is more than a craft or design site - it's a way to learn how to tap into your own creativity. With people's lives becoming increasingly hectic and tech-driven, handcrafts and creativity are becoming ever more important to maintain balance in your life. It is not only possible to create beautiful objects with your own hands (even if you've never done it before), the process will expand your creativity in all aspects of your life. Problems at work can become more manageable, those little tiny annoyances that seem to keep cropping up can get solved. Once your creativity starts to get tapped into, your life can change. Working with your hands is incredibly calming and restful, but also rejuvenating.  Hand-creating objects is a moving meditation with your hands and a spa retreat for your mind. You'll create a beautiful object you can decorate your home with, or show how much you care with a gift to a loved one. More and more people are rediscovering the joys of making things by hand and how uplifting it can be. Create simple elegance and reconnect with a slower way of living here at Peacock & Fig.

 

Why cross stitch?

 

So why is the focus on cross stitch? There's one simple reason - not only is it the oldest form of embroidery in the world, it's also the easiest to learn. No longer is cross stitch the traditional predictable craft that it was decades ago -- it has exploded in recent years with vibrant modern fun designs. Even many men are learning the enjoyment that comes from stitching. Cross stitch also has a wide range of applications and techniques, so as your skill level increases you become able to tackle more intricate projects. In essence if you can make an X with a needle and thread (the fabric even has holes already lined up ready for your thread), you can cross stitch. With projects ranging in skill level from absolute beginners to more advanced stitchers, Peacock & Fig has something to help you unwind and learn to reignite your own creativity. The patterns are designed to be simple to stitch, but beautiful and modern enough to be a showpiece in any home. More information on tutorials can be found in the blog and also in the tutorial videos on the Peacock & Fig YouTube channel. There is also a free PDF booklet "How to Cross Stitch" available for free on the checkout page, so you can add it to your cart and be stitching up a storm with your new pattern in no time!

 

To see some of the range of patterns and styles on offer, please visit the Peacock & Fig Shop.

 

Take me to the shop!

 

What others are saying

 

These are some of the lovely comments left on blog posts, Facebook posts and YouTube videos. It's so rewarding seeing how such a simple thing as learning how to cross stitch and be creative can really help people.

 

Testimonials

free cross stitch patterns

 

Why "Peacock & Fig"?

 

Originally this site was named Handy Little Gadget in honour of my parents - speaking once to my Dad about some creative project my Mum was shoulder deep in (which isn't hard, she's tiny), he offhandedly remarked, "yep, she always was a handy little gadget." That really made me laugh, and years later I've realized how much it applies to myself as well (and of course still to my awesome Mum). However, my designs have been going in a more vintage-inspired elegant direction, and it was time for the name of the site to match that. Peacocks are heavily featured in vintage art and design and are of course a range of beautiful teals and blues. Figs are a rich deep purple colour on the outside -- purple and teal have featured heavily in my art and design for the past two decades. So the name Peacock & Fig not only reflects my design aesthetic, but also the inspiration and direction of the designs.

 

About Dana

Dana Batho

 

I'm Dana Batho, and I am an artist, designer, and disabled veteran. I have just medically discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces -- I was an intelligence officer and cyber threat analyst. Four years ago I was injured on military training, which threw my life completely upside down. Before I got hurt, I had exhibited in several countries and have been in the press -- the injury forced me to change everything. I have had to relearn how to draw and paint digitally as it's too difficult for me to use "real" media anymore. I've also discovered I can do cross stitch with my adapted sewing frame, and that has opened up a new world of creativity for me. I strongly believe anyone can be creative and make beautiful things. With my experience of losing that for a time, I am very focused on helping others be creative no matter what their limitations are. Whether someone thinks they just don't have the creative "streak" in them, they've given up making things because of time and life commitments, or they are physically challenged like myself, there is always a way and I want to help others discover that path. I also want to encourage those who used to be creative, but have lost that in their day-to-day life. It's been extremely rewarding getting feedback that my projects have inspired others to try again and adapt how they're doing things. Doing creative projects really does translate to having more creativity in solving life's little daily problems. That's why this site is geared towards any skill level -- cross stitch is a craft that can be easily learned by anyone, but the benefits of being creative really do transfer to all areas of your life.

 

Here are a few photos of my journey - without the creativity I have developed over decades of creating craft and art, there's zero chance I'd be as "adaptable" as I am now to my new life. If you'd like to find out more about my story as a military member, you can see me as one of the featured riders in "Warrior Rising," a documentary that was made about the Wounded Warriors Canada Battlefield Bike Ride in June 2015. Spoiler alert - in the documentary you'll see my wonderful service dog Coco's ears flying in the wind on the back of my recumbent trike like Batdog. 🙂

 

 

Please feel free to leave me comments and feedback in my posts, or you can use my contact page to get in touch. You can also become a Peacock Lounge member, or follow me on any of my social media accounts. I hope you enjoy my site!

 

Dana Batho