PHILADELPHIA -- One Bucks County woman is pursuing a different path as she sails toward her retirement years.
Meet an artist from Washington Crossing, who has created a line of eco fabrics and prints, as her retirement plan.
"I literally look for items that are flat," said Kathy Metaxas, owner of Organic Imprints Studio.
On any given day, you'll likely find her scouring her yard and the banks of the Delaware River.
She's foraging for leaves, seeds or even discarded keys and then takes what she's gathered back to her home studio.
And transforms her finds into beautiful works of art.
"Silk scarves and aprons with nothing but found plant material, kitchen scraps, and found metal," Metaxas said.
She sells her scarves online and in local boutiques.
And each one is a unique, colored by everything from red cabbage.
"I actually microwaved it a little bit to get it going," she said.
The variations in schemes and colors and layout is fascinating.
In many ways, Metaxas feels like she was born to do this work.
She grew up in a small New Jersey farm town on the outskirts of Mercer County
"I spent my entire childhood stomping around in the field and in the creeks and in the woods," said Metaxas.
From the time she was 5-years-old, she knew she wanted to be an artist. But she spent the bulk of her adult life working in business.
"And I woke up on my 40th birthday and said oh my goodness, I've never done this art thing," Metaxas said.
So she took an art class then became an art teacher and one day she was asked to fill in for a colleague who taught eco printing.
She said, "And it was just so much joy and I walked away thinking oh my god what I could do with this, and that led to the scarves. "
From a career in business that bored her, she now faces a world of endless discoveries.
"Everything's right here for me," Metaxas said.
At age 60, she's looking forward to spending her retirement years on long walks in search of the materials that will make her next masterpiece.
When asked what it means for you that while a lot of people are winding down, you're cranking up on something you love. She said, "I can't imagine it being any other way."
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