Sunday, September 08, 2019

Introducing my Exit Strategy

In the spirit of anticipation, celebration and learning, I am starting a new project.


In less than 3 years and 2 months, I will be 60! People are generally not eager to grow older, but I believe that the perks of age and wisdom more than make up for the laugh lines and grey hair (which I've had for over 15 years anyway!)

60 will begin the next phase of my life - Fibre Artist!

So, how am I going to get ready for the fibre artist phase of my life without living in the future? Well, pretty much the same way that I've approached most things.
  • Learn
  • Have a flexible plan
  • Keep expectations low and gratitude high
I hope that you'll join me on my journey. Let me tell you about my very flexible plan.

Amy's Creative Side
It started with the blocks that I made while participating in the One Week Improv Challenge with Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side. The challenge was by subscribed email and through Instagram at  #improvwithamy.

As with most challenges, I followed at my own speed. I did manage to make the first five days of seven days (see the post in Related links). At some point after the challenge, I made a few more blocks. 
Block 1 - joining strips
Block 3 - playing with triangles
Of course, the next decision is....what to do with those blocks?

The first time I thought about Exit Strategy
A few months later, in late spring, I felt especially tired and needed something besides rest to help me stay positive. What's better than a new plan, a new project to help my spirit soar with anticipation, celebration and learning? 

The name, Exit Strategy, came very quickly but the rest took me a while to figure out. It's so easy to get caught up with grandiose plans but more than anything, I want this to be realistic and doable.

These are the notebooks that I keep with me to jot down ideas. The idea for Exit Strategy was slowly percolating.
3 notebooks that I keep around

The next step of this plan came about when I bought a gently used version of the book, Exploring Textile Arts in June at Quilt Canada. The book was published in 2002 by the Editors of Creative Publishing. There is a more recent version, but this one is fine for my purposes.

I've been very inspired by some of the techniques in the book. That's when the rest of the flexible plan started falling into place.

 The flexible plan
  • Try out new techniques
  • Use the improv blocks as background
  • Blog and reflect on what I've learned
  • Repeat
  • Time frame: very flexible....3 years and 2 months 😊
Using 8 inch blocks as background makes these projects less intimidating. It's about learning, playing, taking chances and trying new things. I'm hoping that I'll be able to put some of the blocks together as they are completed....or not. That's also part of the very flexible plan.

You may have seen the first block that I posted about, without specifically saying what Exit Strategy was. If you didn't see it, the post is below in Related links.

A Felting Miss-Adventure,
part of the Exit Strategy project
I've been hard at work practicing my embroidery stitches and learning new techniques. Here is a sneak preview of my design wall. I will be posting about these techniques in the next few weeks.

A sneak peek at my design wall - things are progressing

I created a page for Exit Strategy, and as I progress, I'll add links to the related posts. I hope that you'll follow me in my journey.

What I learned
  • I've been thinking about this for a very long time, ever since I discovered what I wanted to be when I grow up 😊
  • I used to say that I wanted to be a full time artist when I retired, but then I thought about it....I'm going to be retired. This should be fun, not just another job! So now I'm keeping the full time out of the description. I'm hoping to play full time but as far as art making goes, I'll do what I want, when I want, and then, if I feel like it, I'll find opportunities to show my work and accept the deadlines that go with them.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many great linky parties. Let's go see what's happening in blog land! I'm linking up with Muv at Free Motion Mavericks, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Off The Wall Friday, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Moving It Forward, What I Made MondayMidweek MakersTuesday Colour Linky Party, Peacock Party, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Put Your Foot Down,


  1. It is going to be fun following your fabulous learning curve as you play along the path as you skip to 60. As a gal who is in her 60's let me tell it is a wonderful time.....(notwithstanding the aches and pains). =)

  2. Your piece is looking great. Enjoy your retirement and being a fiber artist.

  3. Great post. I feel very excited for you! I shall watch your progress with interest.

  4. This is a great plan. It sounds like your retirement is going to be a wonderful adventure :)

  5. Grins. Just yesterday I told someone I turned 50 last month and thought it was time to stop using "blonde moment" as an excuse. And that I should start using age and no available memory for additional knowledge. Your improv blocks are gorgeous.

  6. Sounds like a fun plan. Love your improv blocks! Thanks for sharing with moving it forward

  7. Nothing beats retirement (well, retirement with a lot more money might be good). When I retired I decided to just do what I wanted for a year and 6 years later that's what I'm still doing! I should settle down and gets some projects finished, but there's so many ideas out there to play with. Have fun on your journey.

  8. How exciting! My mom used to call 60 'sexty' - feel free to use that!

  9. Oh, how exciting that we get to follow along! I can't wait to see your Exit Strategy in process. Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday.

  10. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down, I enjoyed looking at your blocks again, they are lovely.

  11. Your blocks are amazing! Your attitude to the next phase of life is just perfect, and that it will bring you much joy. I look forward to following along the whole way. :) Thanks for joining the Chameleon's party.


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