Gift Shop Featured Artist of the Month: Carolyn Barkley McLean

Carolyn in her craft room; photo by Keith McLean

Carolyn in her craft room; photo by Keith McLean

Linda Whitehead

This month SaddleBrooke Gift Shop is proud to present Carolyn McLean whose craft is “personalized” greeting cards. Carolyn tells us that she loves the challenge of creating a card which will “just fit” the person receiving it.

Carolyn and her husband Keith found SaddleBrooke in a very unique and romantic way… the two of them met in 9th grade and dated off and on through high school but then went in different directions. They saw each other at class reunions every decade but at their 50th Reunion, in 2013, Carolyn was widowed and Keith was single and it seemed that no time at all had passed since high school. They were married in 2016 and visited friends in SaddleBrooke while on their honeymoon. That’s when they decided that here is where they wanted to be.

SaddleBrooke made such an impression on them that they returned to their home in Marysville, Washington, sold their house and moved here, their new forever home.

Carolyn is originally from Charleston, South Carolina and grew up a Navy brat, moving around every two years or so. She believes this is what instilled her love of travel. Taking cruises is a favorite thing and, happily, she was able to teach her craft aboard the Royal Caribbean Line. Carolyn is Italian and would love to revisit Italy which she enjoyed so much on a previous trip.

Office management was Carolyn’s career. When she retired from the Boeing Company in 1984, Carolyn became a Yuma, Arizona snow bird.

In 1989 she saw a television ad about Paper Crafting and got hooked immediately. She began making cards then started teaching and sharing in Yuma in 1990. Carolyn launched a paper crafting group in Yuma which is still going.

Along with being a member of the SaddleBrooke Paper Crafters, Carolyn stays active with the Sputters and the Mixed Putters. She is also the Volunteer Representative for Unit 16. Carolyn really enjoys the new friendships, camaraderie, and sharing with other paper crafters.

Carolyn’s husband, Keith, converted their third bedroom into a custom dedicated craft room for her card making and she says it’s a fun place in which to play. In June 2019, she joined the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop and enjoys meeting new people and greeting visitors to the shop.

Located in SaddleBrooke One near the clubhouse and next door to the Fitness Center, SaddleBrooke Gift Shop is staffed alternately by member artists who volunteer their time to help ensure the shop’s success. All of the items offered for sale are made exclusively by SaddleBrooke residents. If you are looking for handcrafted gifts, clothing, books, jewelry, artwork, games, or greeting cards, please stop by and visit Carolyn and your resident artisans. Beginning this month, Jan. 1, the gift shop’s opening days will be Monday through Saturday, the shop will no longer be open on Sunday.