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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life in Wonderland: Cost of War

I was scanning Yahoo News today and I saw this article.  I though I'd share it with you all.

Anti-war graffiti group become Afghanistan's 'Talibanksy'
by Lynne O'Donnell

KABUL (AFP) – On walls around Afghanistan's scrappy capital, where million-dollar mansions line rutted roads, anonymous graffiti artists are daubing their disapproving take on the devastating cost of war.

Styled after the anonymous British vandal-artist Banksy, Kabul's streetwise stealth stencillers go by the moniker "Talibanksy", a reference to the Islamist Taliban who have been waging war in Afghanistan for almost nine years.

The street art forms a commentary on the cost in blood and treasure of the war, which has brought 126,000 US and NATO troops to Afghanistan and kills about 2,000 Afghan civilians a year, according to the UN.
Black, spray-painted silhouettes of soldiers and dollar signs, poppies, helicopters and tanks, and children running hand-in-hand began appearing in downtown Kabul a few months ago.

Some show the shadow of a helmeted soldier holding an assault rifle, inside a red circle with a line through it. Others have a silhouetted gun-toting trooper and a dollar sign joined by an equals symbol.

Or simply the words: Cost Of War.

Financially the war is estimated to cost some 100 million dollars a day, according to US media reports.

The human cost to foreign forces so far this year is close to 170, according to the website which keeps tally and says that of the 1,737 who have died since the war began in 2001, 1,051 were Americans.

The people behind the anti-war graffiti call themselves Combat Communications, and claim to be "a small anonymous group of international artists founded last year with the sole aim of advocating/promoting free expression".

According to a statement, they wish to remain anonymous and call their work "social and politically driven graphics".

To read the rest of the article Click Here

Picture source

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All dressed up in Wonderland: Originals

My first semester back at school is nearly over.  Yay!  As you can see I've been busy with more than just the day job and school work.  I've been spending a lot of time in the art room sewing.  I wish I could say I've been painting, but lately my medium has been thread and  t-shirts.  I'm actually really proud of these two dresses because these are all me.  I didn't use tutorials or online patterns.  I didn't even draw these out first.  I just went with it and made it up as I went.  They turned out pretty good too.  

I can't wait for school to end and summer to begin.  I want to make more dresses and hope fully start building an inventory to sell some pieces.  ;)  I need to pay for school somehow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life in Wonderland: Eigo o hanashimasu.

Watashi wa Andrea desu.
Chamorro jin desu.
Eigo o hanashimasu.

In order to get a degree I need to take two semesters of foreign language.  I chose to take Japanese.  Many people take Japanese because Guam's main economy is dependent on Japanese tourists.  I don't really intend on working in this industry forever.  I just wanted to learn Japanese.

Anyways, in my last class we worked on a dialog where you had to say what ethnicity you are and what languages you speak.  My class is made up of different ethnnic backgrounds.  What I found interesting was that many of the students from the Philippines and Chuuk speak their native language as well as English.  All of us Chamorro students could only say, "Eigo o hanashimasu."  I speak english.  Not one of us speak Chamorro.  Although I do know of one student who took a semester of Chamorro at U.O.G.

It's strange that we haven't left our home, like many of our other classmates, yet they can speak their native language.  Okay, so it's not that strange and it isn't new info.  It was just really weird, hearing it out loud as my classmates declared their mother land and the languages they speak.  I wonder if any of the others picked up on this.  I wonder if any of them were as mamahloa, or embarrased, as I was at that moment.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Life in Wonderland: Blessed

I am truly blessed.  I am surrounded by so many amazingly talented individuals. 

My brother, although he doesn't have the time for it now, is a great artist and poet.  My sister in law, Erin, is also an artist in both the visual and culinary realms.  Nella, my sister in heart, is fun and passionate in her drawings, vectors, and paintings.  Quincy's art work is so detailed and just jaw droppingly beautiful.  The Hope's and the mini army of artists at Hope 4 Pain produce unbelievable works of art on skin and on canvas.  Zhandro is amazing with his calculated vectors and his paintings that just flow with dumbfounding ease.  Tessa has an amazing eye for spotting beautiful fleeting moments and eternalizing them with a click and a flash.   Luke, who produces like a factory, is filled with endless inspiration and the energy and talent to put his vision down.  There are countless other visual artists and musicians who fill my life with so much beauty that sometimes I just can not believe I am this lucky to experience it all.  

And when the thought of all these blessings are just about to make me burst, there is that voice that is filled with more passion than one person should be able to express out loud, and I can do nothing more than just be thankful to be given my life and the people in it.

I love painting, drawing, crafting, and sewing.  I love that I have the opportunity to share my creative side, but more than that I am thankful that amazing people share their art with me.  I wake up everyday next to someone who never ceases to amaze me and inspire me.  His love for music is so natural and pure.  And we go through our days together with others who appreciate, support, and create so much beauty.

Our lives and our island are filled with so much talent and beauty.  We don't have a grand and glorious gallery.  Our island is the gallery and there is so much on display.

This post was supposed to be short and wordless.  I just wanted to share a painting my friend Luke did.  But the painting got me thinking about all the people who touch my life with the beauty they create.  I just wanted to take some time to recognize that and give thanks for the blessings that they are to me.

The Environmentalist

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crafting in Wonderland: Peace Love Charity

A couple weeks ago, Nel and I were going to the $1.50 store and we spotted a new thrift store.  This shop was really nicely put together.  Unlike the other thrift shops on island it was not dusty and crowded.  They didn't have as many items as the other thrift shops, but what they did have was in excellent condition.  I saw a Le Sportsac Toki Doki bag and even a Harajuku Lovers clutch.  I bought this cute t-shirt for only $3 with the intention to turn it in to a tube top.  It sat in the art room until finally last night I decided to work on it.  I thought about maybe doing a halter instead, but finally decided to add some scrap tulle and this cute piece is what I came up with.  I'm not usually a big fan of one shoulder tops, but I like the way this turned out.

Here is the info on the thrift store if anyone on Guam is interested.
Peace Love Charity, a vintage store, features a collection of gently used, vintage, brand name and previously owned apparel, accessories, and shoes for men, women and children plus house wares, toys, books, and other items in good condition at great prices. The best part of shopping at Peace Love Charity is that 100% of the proceeds from the store benefit the Edward M. Calvo Cancer Foundation. Peace Love Charity is located in the Calvo Commercial Center, 600 Harmon Loop Road, Suite 101 in Harmon (next to KUAM). The store will be open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in December (excluding holidays) from 10am-5pm. For more information, please call 632-4PLC (4752) or