Making bird feeders with the Young Lions

For ARI's Earth Week I decided to do an animal focused art workshop with the Young Lions. We started by going through the vocab list for the workshop which included the words bird, feeding, board, birdseeds, popsicle stick and Earth Day. After the kids had gone through the words I asked if any one could guess what we were doing today. They all said something to do with Earth Day but couldn't quite figure out what. Can you? We were making bird feeding boards out of popsicle sticks! 

Each child got 23 popsicle sticks each and got to work painting them. 

They concentrated on their work, creating a vast variety of different colored and patterned popsicle sticks.

When everyone had finished painting all their popsicle sticks we took a game break while the paint dried. We got all the chairs from the table and put it in a circle in the driveway, brought out speakers and played musical chairs. The Young Lions love to play games and this was no exception! They ran around playing and as they went out of the game they stood around cheering for the remaining competitors and controlled the music. 

 The Young Lions are such a happy, energetic bunch! 

After a few rounds of musical chairs we got back to work. Using glue and glue brushes we took the painted popsicle sticks and built our bird feeding boards. 

Each child god some birdseeds in their feeding boards, meticulously distributed by JJ, one of the Young Lions, and a bag with seeds to take home.  

Finally we tied strings to the boards so they could be hung up in trees. We were a bit short on time at the end so this part got a bit hectic, and the heat was intense, but it was very encouraging that all the kids really wanted to finish their feeding boards so we persevered and managed to finish them in the end! They turned out great and the kids seemed very happy with them.



THE Light. UrbanLight.

On request from the guys at Urban Light we did a workshop creating cards using different leaf print techniques!

We introduced a couple of different techniques using either watercolor or poster paint. We brought a selection of leaves both fresh and dried, pre-cut card sized colored paper, watercolor paper, paints and alphabet stamps so the guys could get creative and create their own individual designs. The dried leaves created clearer lines when stamping than the fresh ones. We also had scrap pieces of paper the guys could practice on to figure out the amount of paint they needed to create the prints they wanted. 

Once I had explained the workshop and we had handed out the materials the boys got to work. They worked hard and concentrated and most of them created several cards trying out different methods and creating cool designs. 

The turnout for this workshop was really good. It was so great to have a full table, and seeing all the great artworks the boys created really inspired me! I hope it will inspire you too:)

Goh made a Thank You card for an UL volunteer who was leaving Urban Light the next day. It was so sweet to see him working on it for her, and we know she was thrilled to get it from him! 


Searching for the Wildflower Home Signature Bracelet...

Happy New Year! We at ARI are back in action with our first workshop post-Songkran festival. We went to Wildflower Home yesterday and it was really good to be back at work and seeing familiar faces after the weeklong break.

Before the break, the volunteers and I discussed a game plan for Wildflower Home, as we have been concentrating on jewelry lately at the request of the mothers. We want to help them chose a Wildflower Home Signature Design for bracelets that the women can make and sell. We will teach them how to create them, as well as help package the design and decide how much to sell them for.

I started the workshop by asking them about what kind of designs they are interested in, and showed them a bunch of different examples. To our surprise, this workshop had two brand new residents of Wildflower Home! So this group was fairly unfamiliar with the past jewelry making workshops that we have been doing over the past several months. We asked them to think about what design they would want and started the workshop by teaching a new and simple beaded braid design.

To make this bracelet, you need wax thread, about a meter and a half in length, and about 40 small colored beads. 

To begin, fold your single thread into three equal lengths, and create a loop at the top. Begin braiding about an inch down from your knot, and here is where you will begin to add beads.

Below is a visual of how to add beads to your bracelet.

It's fairly simple, you just add a bead before braiding that strand of thread. 

It's also helpful to tape down your thread to the table or to a board. 

Take creative liberty in your pattern! The mothers at Wildflower Home all thought of their own patterns for their colored beads. The mothers were so quick to learn this technique and we think that they might be interested in something more challenging for their signature bracelet. 

These were some of our finished products! 

Wildflower Home was full of exciting news while we were there- two residents were preparing to leave the shelter to move out on their own and look for jobs! We are very excited for them, as this is the ultimate goal of Wildflower Home. We were also very happy to meet the new little ones that had moved in.

Pepo concentrating hard on her bracelet.

We haven't yet decided on the WFH signature bracelet, but will keep at it and hopefully bring yet another design for the women to test out next week. 

Here are the two that I made, one with the pattern of the Thai flag :)

Be happy and make a difference, (and happy New Year 2557!)
ARI Art Director


Give and Take and Goodbyes

A lot of people think about volunteering as an altruistic way of helping other people.  As selflessly giving back to others.  While I do feel I have made a positive impact on the lives of others while at ARI, I have been absolutely humbled by what I have received in return.

I got to see these smiles.

I got to be a part of these friendships.

I got to see the creation of this art.

I got to hear this laughter.

I got to run and play and paint and sculpt and think and create.

These are all things that I received from my volunteer experience with Art Relief International.  Ultimately this experience has been one of give and take.  I know I have given the children and adults we work with something to smile about in their days, and they have given me something to smile about for a lot longer.

Thank you to all of you who have given me so many of these incredible gifts.

Love to all,