Lifestyle & Retirement / Members Share

A Retiree’s Guilty Pleasure – by Suzanne G. Beyer

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Carol Ann Anderson

Carol Ann Anderson

Carol Ann Anderson decided to follow her passion for arts and crafts during retirement…in a big way! She would open a business.

As her Bothell, WA home continued to swell with yarn, beads, stones, fabric, wires, sewing machines and camera equipment, what possibly could have been her husband, John’s, reaction!

“For John, who has always thought that ‘less is best,’ my accumulation of arts and crafts supplies has been one of quiet tolerance,” she says.

When Carol’s projects expanded beyond a small bedroom, John helped to move her supplies into a bigger area. When they outgrew that, he relocated himself out of his large office and moved her stock in.

Carol describes John as a perfect gentleman and partner who only once uttered a word of exasperation regarding her

"BOWL" - An original by Carol Anderson

“BOWL” – An original by Carol Anderson

ever-increasing yarn and fabric supplies.

“I have three dressers full of yarn and one whole closet full of fabric,” she says. “It’s a small stash compared to other quilters I know.”

John also puts up with her falling asleep each night knitting in front of the TV.

She adds, “Yes, I can even knit in my sleep.”

Eventually, all family members had everything they’d ever need in the knit department. With that, Carol branched out into fiber art, wire art and free-hand embroidery.

“I love to color with thread, rock, metal and light,” she says, adding, “So many designs float around in my mind. I call this my addiction. It could be worse.”

EMBROIDERY - Original by Carol Anderson

EMBROIDERY – Original by Carol Anderson

The fiber art includes use of all types of fiber, with many ways to work them. “It is all left up to my imagination,” she says. “I love to crochet and knit bowls, jewelry bags, placements and scarves.”

Carol also uses twisted wire which she wraps and bends around stones and shells, creating unique jewelry pieces.

Free-hand embroidery and her love of photography make the perfect combination for Carol.

“I take a photo, print it on fabric, then free-hand embroider the main lines of the photo on a stiffer backing.”

NECKLACE PENDANT - Original, by Carol Anderson

NECKLACE PENDANT – Original, by Carol Anderson

She can also take this art piece and mount it in a frame, creating a wall hanging.

Carol, a world traveler, says her designs are influenced by the vivid colors and sparkle she saw while spending time in South East Asia and Russia. She’s also visited numerous great art museums worldwide, providing her ideas for textures and colors.

“I can spend hours in a yarn shop just looking at the colors and feeling the yarn.”

Her love of crafts marries nicely with her business acumen. Before retiring, she worked for major companies like Bechtel, Boeing and Aerojet. She brings a 38-year work ethic and knowledge to her arts and crafts business, named, “Artfully Ann’s.”

Carol holds demonstrations at an artist co-op in La Conner, WA, called “That’s Knot All.” She’s also planning to teach classes at her new home on Camano Island, WA. The new, 4000 sq ft home will provide plenty of room for her growing arts and crafts supplies as well as room for her ever-tolerant and supportive husband!
Editor’s Notes:  After Fifty Living thanks author Suzanne G. Beyer for sharing Carol Ann Anderson’s story. Carol Ann, in her mid 60s, is a true guiding light for retirees everywhere. She’s taken the business acumen that she learned working for corporations and combined it with her favorite hobby and has created an exciting retirement. Her belief?  Where there’s passion, there’s life!  You can learn more at her website,

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