Artist of The Month

Gift Shop Artist of the Month

Tom Costner

Karen Lingelbach not only brings an array of creative fabric gifts perfect for every home and family as the 15 year Manager of the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop, she brings a rich history of your “Gift Shop Just Around the Corner.”

A native of upstate New York, Karen began her travels as an Exchange Student during her senior year in high school when she visited Germany. It was her introduction to Europe where she often traveled during the summers after high school while attending and then graduating from Howard University. Because of her European travels Karen continued her education earning her PHD in German Language and Literature from Rutgers University.

It was here she met and married Kenneth (Ken) Lingelbach, who was a teacher. As Karen pursued her 30 year career as a social worker, she and Ken continued their travels throughout Europe and Asia and as Karen said, “Visiting China was extremely interesting as at the time there were virtually no cars nor smoggy days. Bicycles were the preferred means of travel. How times have changed.”

After retiring they left the cold and snowy days behind them and discovered SaddleBrooke and tried the Preferred Guest program. SaddleBrooke soon became their new home in 1999.

Karen found the Gift Shop and volunteered as an artist. She then became the Assistant Manager and in 2001 Manager, a position she has since held.

The SaddleBrooke Gift Shop opened in 1986 as the SaddleBrooke Artist Gallery as the community developed. The first Arts and Crafts Show was held in the courtyard space behind the Gift Shop and adjacent to the Arts and Crafts facilities.

Because residents were few, the Gift Shop only opened three days a week. But as more retirees found SaddleBrooke the Gift Shop continued to add more open days and is now open every day, year-round and staffed only with the 38 artist volunteers.

Karen’s artistry in fabrics started with her marriage when her sister made her own dress and then taught Karen how to sew. It was an immediate passion and now you will find a variety of gifts for the family and the home. Her gifts include fabric coasters, pot holders, hot pads, place mats, baby bibs, onesies and more. Several special items are the potato bags and microwave bowl holders.

The potato bags are made of 100% pure cotton and you simply wrap the potatoes in a paper towel and place in your microwave. They emerge perfectly cooked.

To use the microwave bowl holders, select the one to fit your bowl and place in the microwave. When you remove the hot bowl, you pick up the bowl holder. No more burning fingers. Place on the counter or the table and ready to serve. Neat!

Looking for a hostess gift, note cards, jewelry, fabric creations and more, please visit the Little Gift Shop Around the Corner located between the SaddleBrooke One tennis courts and clubhouse. During the winter season, open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.