life (132) community (99) guahan (70) crafting (57) gallery (50) viewed (45) Celebrate (43) album (41) shopping (24) cast (16) oishi (12) hooping (5) growing (4)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Community in Wonderland: Gef Pa'go

My mom has some guests in from Austin and Saipan and my parents took them around this morning. Allan and I decided to wake up early and tag along. We went to the southern village of Inalahan and visited Gef Pa'go Chamorro Cultural Village. It was really interesting. We were both glad we didn't sleep in.

This is our guide showing some pandanus woven items.

My mom and the master rope maker. The rope is made from hibiscus bark.

Our guide harvests sea salt which they sell at Gef Pa'go. Of course we bought some. :P

Coconut woven products.

They also make and sell coconut candy. I love coconut candy.

Part of the tour included a visit to a historical home. These homes had ifil wood floors and the one we went in survived the war with bullet holes in the floors to prove it. It was pretty crazy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gallery in Wonderland: Watch me sketch!

My two new odosketches. I'm addicted.

I sketched this one out while listening to my Deep Forest station on Pandora.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun in Wonderland: Odosketch #1

My first odosketch!!! So much fun.

Try it out. and leave a link in the comments so I can check yours out!!!

Community in Wonderland: A good night.

Reclaim Guahan

Last night Allan and I took a nice ride down south to Malojloj with our friends Quincy and Luke. We went to the art show I was participating in. It was a really great night filled with wine, art, culture, and great company. Nella and her mom were able to make it, too. And we all got to enjoy the pleasantness of the former Carmelite convent. It is a beautiful place with a great breeze and a calmness to it. The night was spent reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. And the art was amazing. For such a small island we are blessed with many talented artists. We spent some time discussing the build up and our mixed feelings towards it. It was nice having a gathering that spanned backgrounds and generations. One of the things I was most curious about was the fashion show. I wasn't disappointed, either. The only thing I regret is the sinus headache that was brewing even before we left the house. It would've been just that much more enjoyable if I wasn't hurting so much.

Isn't this awesome!!! It's a barbed wire high heel.

I love this piece!

This dress symbolizes all the fenced in spaces on our island. my favorite in the fashion show.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Community in Wonderland: Extreme tree planting

Long story short: We went to help plant trees to help prevent erosion and the destruction of our coral reefs. We weren't mentally prepared for the hike we didn't expect and the weather. The hike was steep and slippery. We were halfway to the planting site when it started to rain, but we kept going until the lightning and thunder started. It was too close for us to really move. Either direction would've taken us higher and closer to being struck. So we hit the ground. When it cleared up a bit we had to head back. So we didn't get to plant any trees. Maybe we'll go back when they start doing the carabao rides and install the zip line.
Moral of the story: Please don't be a lazy hunter and start fires!!!

We look so happy in the pics because we SURVIVED!

To read Nella's post on this, visit her blog!

Crafting in Wonderland: Throw pillows

I Had some left over fabric from previous projects and decided to make some throw pillows for the couch. They're funky and match our curtains and foot stool, but they also have the red and Japanese vibe from the kitchen. :) I love them.

I made 2, but this is a pic of the first one.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life in Wonderland: My Artist's Bio

I'm participating in an art exhibit that coincides with the 7th meeting of The International Women Against Militarism. The exhibit is featuring local female artists and will also have a film screening, poetry and music, as well as a fashion show. I'm really excited, but I had been struggling for days to work on an Artist's Bio. For a few nights all I had was a paragraph and then I found out it needed to be a half page to a full page. I was stuck with just a couple sentences after hearing that. Finally last night I sat down and forced myself to think about the influence art has in my life and why it is so important to me and how far I've gone with it . . . not very, yet. So here it is. Thanks to Luke and Allan's encouragement and Nella's editing services I completed it.

Andrea Nicole Grajek

Born and raised on Guam, Andrea is the daughter of Michael and Berni Grajek. Growing up in a household where art and music were as essential as food and shelter, Andrea has always had a strong appreciation for the arts. Her father and brother both draw and her parents were art dealers when Andrea was a little girl. Some of her earliest memories take her back to art shows and artists' studios. She's always loved painting and drawing, but never had the opportunity to take an art class until she started attending the University of Guam. Until then all her knowledge of art was absorbed from her experiences and from what she observed and read in books. She has gone through many phases in her art including an abstract phase, influenced by local artist Vivian Chargulaf, and a pen and ink phase she attributes to Al Lizama, another local artist.

During her high school years Andrea signed up for art classes year after year, but never ended up in one. She still continued painting and drawing. One year, at the suggestion of her mother, she entered a piece in a silent auction for Guma' Mami. Since then she continues to donate to Guma' Mami, year after year. All her art work is given as gifts to friends or given as a gift to Guma' Mami.

Mostly working with acrylics on canvas, Andrea creates artwork inspired by life and emotions. Her fondness of acrylics is rooted in the movement and energy expressed through the medium's texture and vibrancy. Andrea also enjoys sketching with charcoal and gets lost for hours in pointilism with ink, a technique she learned in Art for Non-Majors, a course she was taking at the University of Guam. Of all her works, Andrea's favorite piece was created with scraps of construction paper arranged on a discarded sheet of dry wall in a pixelated manner, depicting a portrait of her boyfriend. Andrea tries to be as resourceful as possible. She saves everything and anything, knowing it can one day be the perfect addition to a beautiful piece of art. Andrea also mixes her own henna paste, which she uses to tint canvas, wood, and skin. In addition to the traditional arts, she sews and crafts and would love to one day learn to knit and embroider.

For Andrea, art is escapism. It is a retreat to a place with no boundaries. Art is her connection to other planes, worlds in the future, and times long gone. Her artwork is a reaction to emotions felt and a reflection of her experiences and her dreams. More than anything, Andrea would love to share her appreciation of art with future generations. After taking a break from the University of Guam, Andrea realized that what she'd really love to do is give others the nurturing, as far as a love for art, that she received as a child. After going back to school, Andrea hopes to start an alternative after-school program with a focus on appreciation and skills in the arts. It is in this way that she hopes to give back to the community that has given her the ability to dream and create.

If you would like to learn more about Andrea, you can visit her blog at or email her,

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Life in Wonderland: More than a muse

This month Guam is hosting the 7th annual meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism and on September 18 there will be a women's art exhibit. I'll be submitting some pieces. I'm really excited, but it also got me thinking about women artists. I took an art history class at the University of Guam and yet the only female artists with major recognition that automatically come to mind are Frida Kahlo and Georgia O' Keefe. So I got online and decided to broaden my scope of female artists.

The first one I stumbled upon was Kathe Kollwitz. This is interesting because Kollwitz lost her son in WWI and her grandson in WWII. Although she was born in to a well off family her art was sympathetic to the poverty stricken and struggling society.

Never Again War, 1924

Woman with Dead Child, 1903

The Mothers, 1921