My name is Carina

Hello! My name is Carina Y. Klein, I am from São Paulo, Brazil.

I love to travel, meet people, learn customs and cultures and hear about different histories and experiences. I believe that from the moment you really allow yourself to  learn new things and listen to people, you start to understand better, and what you used to see only one way starts being seen in several different ways.

I have always dreamt of living at least once outside of Brazil, and when I was younger I thought it would only be to study, but my mind changed and I wanted to do some volunteer work. So when I was looking on the internet I found Cultural Canvas Thailand, and I realized that with this program I am not only making this dream come true but also I would have the opportunity to help in a very beautiful project, which contributes to social change, and creative, emotional and spiritual development  through the arts.

I studied economy but I didn’t find myself in this area. As I’ve always loved photography since I was a child, I did a basic course. As I learned only the basics I still have a lot to learn. So living in Chiang Mai and working with this project is not only an opportunity to help and meet people but also an opportunity to know myself better and find something that I really like to do, what can be photographed, who knows…

 I think that I am going the right way now.


Creating Dream catchers from recycled plastic bottles @ WildFlower Home

Find solution to recycle plastic bottles

As we know, a lot of people use loads of plastic bottles but they don't know how to recycle them. Some people use plastic bottles and then when they are finished with them they just through them away, not caring about it being bad for the environment or not.

Animals dead by bad environment
Dream catcher
We must recycle to find solutions!

Beautifully created plastic bottles 

We can create many styles of plastic bottles, "love the Earth and the Earth will love you back".


We choose to teach the participants how to make a beautiful dream catcher. It's easy and the design is simple for the participants to make. We provided them many colors of yarn to choose from and encouraged them to use what they like or love and create their dream catcher freely. It will be a nice and wonderful dream catcher when it's finished and the participants can hang their dream catcher on the wall inside they room or outside the room to make their room look cool and feel relaxed when they see it. 

Creative dream catcher freely style 

The women decided to put the dream catchers in the nursery for the children to enjoy. It was really nice to see them put all of their creations together as one collaborative piece. One of the older children joined and everyone was keen to learn this new technique. It was fun to use the bottles in this way and recycle some plastic.

Let have loads of fun with creative 

The end of the creations all put together


Painting elephants at Wild Flower home

One of Thailand's most significant symbols is an elephant. You can see them depicted everywhere: in temples, at the entrance of homes, on all kinds of material prints... It symbolizes so many things such as strength, good luck, memory, intelligence and in Thailand especially, it's associated with royalty. So this makes it is a really positive symbol to work on to absorb all its good vibes whether you know the meaning of it or not! 

ARI has recently been donated dozens of blank elephant statues by the social entreprise "Elephant Parade". This  company runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation.

20% of Elephant Parade net profits are donated to elephant welfare and conservation projects. Have a look at their website: www.elephantparade.com. It's worth the detour.

We decided to use some of these elephants with the women at Wildflower home. We were sure they'd enjoy decorating them as they are particularly fond and skilled at crafty activities.

The great thing about doing workshops at Wildflower home is that it's a time for the mothers to get some creative time for themselves and have the kids taken off their hands for an hour and a half. So many times we do a bit of baby-sitting too and  have real fun playing with the toddlers. They are just so adorable...

And here we've got a row of beautifully coloured elephants!

Here's my wee little baby elephant: "Listen to your heart and believe in your dreams!" Yeah!!

Signed: Emily


Recycling Paper Rolls to create a Pencil and Flower Holder at the Healing Family Foundation

 My name is Srey Neang Lang. My project for our last workshop at Healing Family Foundation is about recycling empty toilet paper rolls to make a beautiful flower/pencil holder.

Toilet paper rolls
Many kinds of creativity

It’s really easy to make a nice pencil holder by toilet paper rolls. The beautiful pencil holder will make a nice desktop organizer to put your stationery in place on your desk or in your study room desk. Happy crafting!

All of the participants were very into the activity and it was really great to do each step of the process together with everyone. This helped to keep everyone on track and for the participants to know what we are doing without having too much personal assistance from a volunteer. 

They really enjoyed each part of painting the rolls and got really excelled at this. There was a lot of laughter and sharing between everyone. Then we colored some paper flowers with markers and glued the pieces together, front to back. The only trouble the participants had during the workshop was using the scissors, so we helped them to cut out the flowers.

We collected all the toilet paper rolls that had already been painted and glued them onto a piece of card stock to make an organizer and decorated it by adding beads to make it look more creative and beautiful. Finished, it looked beautiful like this picture. Loads of fun...!

The final creation


Print and Stamp Postcards at the Juvenile Detention Centre

This workshop was a follow-up to the Print and Stamp workshop we did at Baan Thammapakorn Elderly Care Center.

"I wish you all happiness"

Not only did we want to create that inter-generational bond but also bring two very different populations to meet in a fun and creative way. Although the boys were a bit too shy to read out loud some of the elders' thoughts to the group, they were definitely interested and curious. A pity I had forgotten the camera to share that on this post...

It was their turn now! To get their ideas going, we invited them to jot down what makes them feel happy and keep their notes for later and then I showed them a few stamping and printing techniques. And there we go, all of us, the ARI team and the boys on this creative journey. Oh how I love this group energy! Just being totally immersed in the present moment and at the same time getting this feeling of unity with the group, it's just addictive! I also think it stimulates creativity in such a way that is difficult to find when you're alone in front of your blank piece of paper or canvas.

By Nice (yes it's his real name!)

The group of participants really enjoyed exploring the different stamp techniques and a few of them even broke away from the instructions and followed what their hearts said. In Thailand, education doesn't usually encourage to think outside the box and disregard the instructions, so that was a very nice surprise. Some beautiful artwork came out of the activity. There is some talent out there! 

     After two hours of intensive productivity we came back to the office with a whole bunch of postcards and loads of messages that I just couldn't wait to have translated by Pepo.
     We had a few giggles because some of the writings were a bit cheeky (they are just normal young boys after all!) but a lot of  them were really touching. What struck me most is that the subject "share what makes you happy" actually brought up what they are missing in their lives at the Detention centre and I was surprised to see the number of "homesick" cards expressing who they miss...  That was very positive because that means they spontaneously allowed themselves to express their feelings, which is also culturally not very common in Thailand.

Behind he wrote "Homesick. I miss you Mum and Dad."
"I miss my girlfriend"

Here one of the boys wrote a love postcard...

"You are the only one in my life. I will always be beside you."

And many others wrote nice wishes or words of wisdom...

"I wish you all luck"
"I'm so happy when I'm with my family. I hope your family is happy and will remain united."
"This postcard is not beautiful but I made it from my heart"

"Time waits for no one so do the best you can now." by Nice again.
"The past isn't important, focus on the now"
What a rich and amazing collection of messages...I feel so happy that the boys used this opportunity to take the risk of opening up and expressing their feelings in a spontaneous way. Next episode soon with Elderly Care Centre! 

-  Emily

Printing and Stamping at the Elderly Care Centre

For my workshop at Baan Thamapakorn Elderly Care Centre in Chiang Mai's Old City, I wanted to get the participants' creativity going using all kinds of stamps - ready-made ones but also challenging them into making their own. After a brainstorming session with the ARI team, we thought we could add another objective, inviting them to give their hand-made postcards with messages or thoughts they'd like to share with the boys staying at The Juvenile Detention Centre. As I had never really facilitated a print and stamp workshop before I had fun trying all kinds of stamps, experimenting in making my own and going through Tracy Bunker's inspiring book found in ARI's library, "Print and Stamp Lab".

There were a lot of first times for me as it was also my first workshop at ARI as well as having such a big group of 30 participants who don't speak English! I wanted to make my lesson plan as prepared as I could get it so I thought a poster with all the different kinds of stamping techniques would make it easier for both me and the participants.

Once we were there, there were a whole lot of things I hadn't anticipated, like fans blowing the sponges all over the place and realizing that I had prepared far too many techniques for them to grasp in such a short time! But that's part of the fun, trying to adapt to the circumstances and taking it with a smile! The participants were so eager to start, I hardly had time to finish giving all the instructions and they were already stamping away like kids! 


1) Spread out some paint evenly on the stamp with a sponge
2) Place it on your piece of paper
3) Press it down and use a roller up and down a few times.
4) Surprise! Your print is there, never as you expected it to be!

Here are some of the postcards made by the elderly that we will deliver to the boys at the Juvenile Detention Center:

"I wish you all to be happy. Do the best you can." From Grandma Sod-Sai
"Young people, I wish you all to be happy. Never stop learning and getting to know yourself better." From Anuwat Thaitawat.

From Khachi

I really believe in the importance of recreating an inter-generational bond between elderly people and the younger generation. Art is a great way to make that happen in a fun and creative way! It was great to see how some of the Elders took the task seriously and were really focused on sharing inspiring messages or loving wishes.

 Next week, we're going to the Juvenile detention centre and we will give the boys all this bundle of love and colourful art. In return, they will create a postcard for the participants at the Elderly Care Centre telling them what makes them happy and joyful. We hope it will reconnect the Elders to their own young days...

We'll keep you posted on how it went!

-  Emily


Urban Light Upcoming Chats: Creating a Collaborative Poster with the Boys

Neang making Urban Light's logo
Maggie, the long-term volunteer working at Urban Light, came up with this great idea: ask the ARI team to create a back-drop poster for the upcoming chats organised by Urban Light to take place after the Thai New Year, Songkran, in April. So here we are with a great collaborative workshop to do with the boys! We prepared the main elements and composition on the canvas to make the workshop more effective, to give them structure so as to not feel too intimidated with a blank canvas- but not too much so that they still had the freedom to express their style with a few guidelines.

Getting the canvas prepared

Loads boys showed up that day and there we were - volunteers, the boys and whoever passing by interested in joining us - out of space and time totally unleashing our creativity. We had a nice feeling of just being humans creating together without all this society labelling. Even though Urban Light boys usually have a short attention span, a few of them stayed until the end, painting and adding their own touches on the poster.

This workshop was a great success and collaborative work like this seems to be a great way to unite them in a fun, non-verbal and creative way as well as keeping a relaxed environment.

And here we are with an amazing colourful poster!

Signed: Emily and Neang.