Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yesterdays Art On Fire - Iron Pour Festival

I could not figure out how to show a slide show so I filmed this slide show off my monitor with my camera and uploaded it to Blogger, please forgive it's imperfections. It was a good day everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves. I talked to bunches of wonderful people and had a fun day.

Today I am taking it easy and packing for Girdwood. Yay! one week at the gallery GCVA aka Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts next to the Bake Shop. I'm staying in a house I've yet to see, I plan to move right in and take advantage of all the amenities it will be like a vacation of sorts. Although the gallery can be a little boring sometimes, there are plenty of people to talk to from all over the US and the world. I plan to walk everyday, do whatever I want and enjoy my alone time.

BTW no Forest Fair this weekend I guess it was too much of a party, so much so they found a woman a couple of days afterward floating in the river. Thats all I know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion for the Salmon

VOTE FOR A Natural Beauty at 50

See it at: Once In A Blue Moon corner of 4th Ave. and F Street, Anchorage, Alaska

This year the numbers of early salmon returning to the rivers in the Mat-Su to lay their eggs has been sparse the subsistence fisherman who rely on the salmon to feed their families and the local industry is suffering. People are asking why? I'm just a layman, but did anyone think of the commercial fishing boats from Japan, Norway and everywhere else in the ocean hauling up salmon by the millions, could they be depleting this natural resource? It seems obvious to me but then again I'm not a biologist or a rocket scientist.
They are just earning a living - right? Why is it that people can't/don't stop being greedy until all the fish are gone, gone, gone. On the other hand farmed salmon pollute the oceans, have parasites and and taste bland. There are no easy answers.

For you sport fishermen and fisher women go ahead have fun take your fishing gear and land yourself one of these beauties, not ((10)) that's different. Wild salmon live freely. They swim thousands of miles in clean cold water and jump waterfalls. Their lives are a challenging circular journey. They provide a feast for the gray whale, the brown bear, and the bald eagle. We are honored to share this feast, therefore we should preserve one of Alaska's greatest resources and limit the amount of salmon that we take.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Chantix Dreams and Solstice Wishes

taken when I was 29
OK so yes I have a secret, a smoking addiction, although most people don't know it and I don't often do it around certain people, or in my car, or anywhere that I might be seen. I'm taking the miracle stop smoking cure Chantix. This marvelous blue pill has killed my desire for cigarettes by blocking the receptors in my brain that craves a smoke but the side effects are tough. Last night I did not sleep at all and my gut feels gross not to mention the hot flashes HELP! This night I plan not to sleep because it’s Solstice. 21 years ago today I got clean and sober on the 21st of June, I choose the longest day of the year and it seemed appropriate since it is "one day at a time." So I picked the longest day to do it (yes I have misogynistic or masochistic tendencies) whatever. The Chantix has caused my dreams to be weird, like flying above the city and swimming in the ocean with the fishes and an endless parade of people.
But it's time. I want to live as long as I live and to be healthy as long as I can so I've joined a health club Body Renewal, quitting smoking, eating better, keeping positive.
It’s one of those times when I have got much to do and no focus what-so-ever, I have adult ADD, there a pill for that! Kidding, I try to keep things simple and really don’t like to use prescribed drugs and definitely not the other kind but sometimes we all need just a little help.

BTW my 18 year son took a little road trip to Denali National Park it’s only 250 miles up the road he called me and is having a wonderful time hiking, flight seeing, he saw a bear and three cubs, took the bus ride to Denali or Mt McKinley the tallest mountain in North America.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Funkey Vintage Anagram Game Pieces

Art to Wear....Anagram Game Peices
Judy Vars

As if I don't have enough things to occupy myself with, for the last two days I have been in production on these alphabet charms. I have had this box of Anagrams for years waiting for an idea then I found it, in a magazine, my embossed anagrams converted into necklaces and selling for $17.00 each.
I nagged and nagged my daughter to do it for me (she loves to sodder) but night before last I dreamt all night about those Anagrams all night long, so I got up and asked her if I could borrow her sodder iron, she was reluctant but couldn't very well say no; since she is the borrower. This is my first attempt and perhaps my last because each one took 30 minutes to produce. If I sell 4 I will break even, I made just 30.

Please check out my e-bay auctions they are pretty cool.
To get to my auction go to and put my name into the search Judy Vars and my listings should pop up, click on one and then say View Sellers Other Items.
I can't seem to link up my blog directly to the auctions, drat I'll work on it some more.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers and Daughters

Growing up and later on I never could find just the right card for my dad our relationship was complicated, the sentiments were all wrong and way too sweet. Usually I settled on something funny or straightforward, if I forgot his birthday or fathers day which was most the time he never seemed to notice. His love is always there. We weren't close in the traditional sense but at times we talked on the phone for hours.
Time is a funny thing now I only remember the best of my dad and have forgotten all his faults. He was a tough old guy and would always protect me and loved me no matter what, we are part Shanty Irish and Jack Mormons and we were very dysfunctional. When I was small I thought we were the only people in the world that fought like us (glad to learn that I was wrong) has almost gone full circle and I'm the parent and grandparent.

Today we are having a big barbecue for Fathers Day and invited about 17 family and friends but one daughter is conspicuously absent with no card or call for way too many years, it is Peters daughter Lola. This independent girl that left home when she was 16 and never looked back. Now probably she thinks that it's been so long since she's spoken to her father that a call on Fathers Day would be lame or perhaps her life is too busy to even give dad a thought or maby she still pissed off...Get Over It! and give dad a call. I know he would appreciate it, even though he knows you love him and he loves you, there is nothing like reaching out and touching someone with a good heartfelt conversation. I don't want you to have any regrets later on. Even though you will not read this perhaps you will hear it Lola phone home.We love ya...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Contemporary Encaustic Wax Squares and the Weather

Title: Urban Sunset #1 and #2
Artist: Judy Vars
Medium: Encaustic Wax Collage
Dimensions: 12" X 11"
Price: 90.00

check them out on e-bay and save some money or BUY IT NOW! search for Judy Vars cabinfeverinalaska
It's 10:00 pm it's not dark and I can't sleep! The longest day of the year is approaching, on that day I stay up all night and keep my annual vigil. These days are unique, choose, what is your favorite time of the day, morning, midday, afternoon, sunset? Whatever time you pick the hours linger, my morning cup of coffee can last hours. This year summer is dragging its feet there have been too many cloudy days, yet when I start to whine for those 75 degree days I see the weather in the (lower 48) hot riotous weather and I'm glad I'm not there. There are things I miss like crickets and city lights still Alaskas a great place to live.
Factoids: Wasilla, AK climate is cool during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 50's and extremely cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 10's. The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 69.90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 6.70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sunrise 4:20 am
Sunset 11:39 pm

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Iron Pour Fest

Saturday June 28th

The museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry

3380 W. Museum Drive near the Wasilla Airport

for more information visit
I will be there along with the other flamers (people who play and make art with fire) giving Encaustic Wax Demonstrations and facilitating some make and take away art.
There will also be an art exhibit in a newly restored barn.
Adults are only $5.00 and Children under 12 are free!
We do it for the love of art!
Come and celebrate the Summer Solstice with us.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sneek Preview of the Salmon On Parade 2008

There are 25 salmon on parade this year in Downtown Anchorage. The sneak preview at the Conoco Building was huge there were cocktails at the pre-party for the artists and sponsors, finger food, live music, newspaper, T.V. and hordes of people eyeballing the salmon and voting on their favorite, I spoke to 100s of people from everywhere, posed for photos with my fish, talked with some of the other artists, it was a great time. My fish will be at Once Upon a Blue Moose 4th Ave. and L all summer then at the State Fair at the end of summer with the other salmon.
This is Sluice Box Sal done my my friend Jules Wolfe.
Translam"Alaska Pipeline by Kimberly Sikora. I wonder if this entry was political with oil dripping from the Salmons mouth while it's spawned out?
A Natural Beauty at 50! This is me next to my silver salmon throwing my fish face. A Natural Beauty at 70 said to me are you two twins? because you're both natural beauties; How lovely and kind is she. Everyone commented on how real my silver looked. Oh baby
I love fishy kisses......

The day was a total blast I had a great time even Mayor Mark Begich showed up and gave us our cudos :) And we are not finished yet; September 8th there is a fancy fish fry dinner and auction where the salmon will be auctioned off to the highest bidder and I've heard that people really get competitive and bidding wars happen, I've been told people have paid up to eight grand to own one of these salmon! It could happen......
Here is the link to see the other Salmon on Parade

Saturday, June 07, 2008

In My Backyard

In my backyard I am blessed with animals all around me, there is the squirrel that lives in the tree nearby; I like this one because he doesn’t live in my walls. The picky chickadees want only sunflower seeds, a robin that keeps dive bombing me. I love the shy muskrat that lives under the dock. He has been here at least 7 years every night he comes home very late cutting a path through the lake; he is getting so huge I thought he was an otter! The two loons that come here every year and raise a young one, the swans that stop by for awhile then move on, an eagle comes from somewhere to hunt (beware little poodles), the ducks, the trout, dragonflies, countless critters cohabitate with me in my little slice of paradise. When I see a spider in my bathtub I’ll ignore it or take it outside, bees don’t bug me either. I wish we had snakes in Alaska they would be welcome in my backyard also.
When I am feeling all stormy and blue, I remember that I am alive in this improbable place and I am fortunate to be so blessed in so many countless ways.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wax Is Not Your Friend

Be prepared to laugh out loud...I laughed till I almost cried as I could
just see this happening!

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy,
painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play
with the kids.

I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few
hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So
I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom.

It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, You just
rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart
and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right
off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I
am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!)

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck
together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out
the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees.

("Cold wax," yeah...right! )

I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull.

It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad.
I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of
all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I Sneak
back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop
my panties and place one foot on the toilet.

Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my
bikini line, covering the right half of my *hoo-ha* and stretching down to
the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and
brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!.... OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! Vision returning,
I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip.


Another deep breath and RRIIPP!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I
may pass out...must stay conscious... Do I hear crashing drums???

Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused Me so
much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory
that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip!

There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the
hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax.

CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now
covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG
mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need
to do something. So I put my foot down. DANG!!!!!!!! I hear the slamming of
a cell door. "*hoo-ha*" sealed shut!

Butt?? Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out
what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My
head may pop off!" What can I do to melt the wax?

Hot water!!

Hot water melts wax!!!

I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, Immerse the
wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off,
right??? WRONG!!!!!!!

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture
prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit.

Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together is
having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the
scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax.

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied
myself to the porcelain!!

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put
in the bathroom!!!! !

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret
of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter

- "So, my butt and hoo-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!"

There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but
she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where
the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or hoo-ha?"

She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and
she suggests I call the number on the side of the box.

YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions, I resort to scraping the wax off with
a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie goodies covered in
hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then
dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm
pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace....the
lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose
at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend.
It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. "IT WORKS!! It works!!"

I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I
successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and
despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE....... ALL OF IT ! !!!

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could
have amputated my own leg at this point.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Bat House

This is Dawns new bat house, if you build it they will come.

This cute little moose in my yard just munching away.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Child From the Sea

Title: Beth
Medium: Oil
Size: H. 20" X W. 18"
Price: 299.00

The child awoke with the sun, as was her custom, and shot up instantly from the nest of blankets, her brown feet reahing for the uneven floor almost before she had rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She was one of the vital Quicksilver children born beneath a star. Even when her father roared at her, "For God's sake child standstill!" she was tense as springy heather beneath his hand on the top of her head, and the moment he lifted it to aim a clumsy blow at her backside she was gone and his language, once more, was cross that her gentle mother bore with such patience.
Excerpt: The Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge
I love old Gothic romance novels and this is story is one of my favoritesIt's time to reread it. The book has been out of print since the 70s but Elizabeth Goudge's books are coming back. There is a part in the book where Charles II playes his violin for the seals, its so rich I love it.