Ida Tatelbaum had never touched a paintbrush before she moved to Orchard Cove in 2009. “I was a tennis player and an active person, but I just didn’t consider myself creative,“ she said. And then one day shortly after she moved in, another resident invited her to join a class to make a hand-painted silk scarf. Ida initially thought “no way” but, because she has always loved wearing a lot of color, she reconsidered and joined in.
Almost four years later, Ida is a co-leader of a popular monthly senior class at Orchard Cove that teaches the art of making a hand- painted silk scarf. The scarves reflect personal style—but they also give joy to the artists and allow them to share their creativity with others. “They are wearable art that can easily dress up your clothing and add color to any of your outfits,” she said. “I’ve met so many people because my scarves caught their attention and sparked a conversation. Everyone finds that this happens to them when they wear the scarves they have created.”
Ida also regularly volunteers to accompany other Orchard Cove residents on medical appointments. She said her scarves are always a conversation starter in these situations and seem to make these visits a little more enjoyable for everyone.
Orchard Cove’s scarf painting class—along with quilting, beading, knitting and art classes— take place in a new creative workshop that was built as part of the Orchard Cove renovation. The large light-filled room has work and storage space to support all the community’s creative endeavors.
With the support of her co-leader, Orchard Cove resident Faith Kantor, Ida plans to add classes for beginners and wheelchair-bound residents. She believes everyone can participate in this simple form of creativity and get pleasure from exploring their personal style through the painting and design of scarves.
Ida admits she never would have discovered all her creative interests—including beading, knitting, and quilting—if it weren’t for moving to Orchard Cove. “It opened a whole new world for me when I came to live here, and I discovered that I am a creative person. Doing these things helps me to share my excitement for living at Orchard Cove.”