Saturday, January 15, 2011

Creative Expression, Independence through "Weaving Dreams"

Picture shows Mr Pradit Prechanont, President of The Healing Family Foundation, demonstrating the free-form weaving that they refer to as "weaving dreams" when we dropped in recently at the centre located in a quiet part of Chiang Mai. We also met with their Japanese adviser Mr Haruo Nakayama who introduced this activity to the centre as well as to a number of Asian countries.

We decided to visit the centre after reading about its interesting hand-weaving programme for the intellectually disabled that not only provides them an avenue for creative expression but also a source of income. The colourful hand-woven fabric is made into T-shirts, scarves, table runners, coasters, rings and other products which are then retailed to finance the centre's activities.

We wanted to learn more about this weaving technique that encourages artistic expression and that can be learnt by anyone, to explore creative uses for the colourful woven fabric as a way to contribute to the centre's fund. Our initial impression is that the cost of the material would be a major obstacle as the fabric is ten times more costly per square-foot compared to quality cotton fabrics with beautiful prints in the marketplace.

Sadly, we've found that high cost is the major barrier to our attempt to support the services and products which welfare agencies provide. If agencies can be more competitive in their pricing, they'll definitely be able to raise more funds for themselves.

Note: Visitors can purchase products made by The Healing Family Foundation at its premises. Details of the centre's products, activities and location are on its website at

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Max and Jon with their MaXX Bears

What a great start to the new year for Jon (right) seen here with his Shifu Max, showing off the bears that they had just finished making. Compared to the Sunshine Bear that we learnt to make not too long ago, this was far more difficult, requiring long needles, plyers and even surgical instruments!!!

We consider ourselves truly blessed that Max, the creator of our MaXX Bears and Bunnies made from recycled jeans, offered to take Jon in as his pupil and shared with Jon his closely guarded bear making techniques and skills.

It was an ultimate act of trust in us because if these bear-making secrets become known to others, it could affect Max's livelihood. We are therefore duty bound to safeguard these secrets to protect Max's interest.

Here's a close-up look of the MaXX bears that Jon and his Shifu Max made:

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Rugged Backpacks Made from RECYCLED JEANS!

Talking about CREATIVE RECYCLING, here's a collection of rugged-looking BACKPACKS MADE FROM RECYCLED JEANS and embellished with embroidered badges that are sewn (not glued) onto them. The backpack, made with good quality zip, has two side-pockets decorated with badges, a big zip pocket in front, and a slip pocket inside.

Online price is $28 (with FREE delivery to a local address outside ERP zones). Email us for our catalogue to make your selection. TeddyThotz's other CREATIVE RECYCLING products featured in this blog include MaXX Bears and Bunnies made from recycled jeans and Leather Journals made from leather scraps.


If you think we've got a Karang Guni business going on, you're partly right. Promoting CREATIVE RECYCLING has been one of our social enterprise projects. Recycling isn't new of course. In fact, long before it became a buzz word, the karang guni men were already doing it, collecting unwanted stuff and turning them into cash or usable items.

We spent some back-breaking time rinsing these coffee bean sacks from to rid them of the jute particles and strong smell. Next we'll be embarking on an adventure of discovery to see what useful-and-attractive things we can turn these sacks into. It'll be our most ambitious CREATIVE RECYCLING venture to date.

We hope to have some interesting results to show.