ANGELINA HELIOTI

 
ABOUT
 

My name is Angelina Helioti and I recently graduated from the architecture school of NTUA.


After months of thinking, I took the risk of leaving life in Athens. The reason, the very quality of life of the metropolis. The fast pace, the pressure to “meet the deadlines”, the crowd of people and the lack of natural environment were things that led me to change.

 

I moved to a small, mountainous village in Arcadia, Stemnitsa. Although I grew up in Laconia, Arcadia is my place of origin and so in a sense, I feel like I have come home. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay here, but whatever it ends up being, I’ll try to enjoy it to the fullest.

Here I am enjoying everything I have been craving! Trees, rivers, lakes, quiet, everyday life at a slow pace. I have a simple lifestyle, but it gives me inspiration for my artistic pursuits, photography, painting, and video making. At the same time, I am studying the art of silversmithing in a public school located here. In this blog you will find journal articles about my life here.

I hope you enjoy everything I’m about to share with you.

F I L E

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Exhibition of young creators

In mid-May I participated in an exhibition for young creators with the School of Silversmithing. The NGFL exhibition was held in Zappeion, in the center of Athens. There we had the opportunity to watch catwalks with creations of young designers and graduates from IEK fashion design, paintings, jewelry, sunglasses and bags.

The feel of this exhibition was completely different from other trade shows I have participated in. Exhibitors and visitors were lighter and more inclined to buy something or just look at the art on display.

All my fellow students had brought very beautiful and sophisticated jewelry and I admired their work. I participated with some pieces from my collection. I’m currently working on a few more designs and in mid-June I’ll be showing you more completed jewelry.

It may be a luxury to wear designer clothes or jewelry, or to have a designer piece of art in our home, but ultimately every design since it has a specific creator has something of its inner world. Each piece has its own story and ultimately this is what we carry when we wear such already “luxury”, its story as well as ours. The jewelry and clothes we choose, from the fabric, the metals, the methods and conditions in which they are created, the colors, the styles, etc., all those things that frame our choices, complement our personality and are a way of expression and placement in society.

This particular visit to Athens was perhaps the first I have enjoyed in the last two years. I saw it more as a pleasant excursion than a necessary business-related trip. The only bummer is that I caught a cold and am now closing in on the second week of a bad cold (hence the delay here on the blog). I see this cold as a message from my body that it needs to rest and I know that it will soon pass and I will be back to all my activities with more energy.

 

Until the next article, I hope you have a great time!

Opening to spring

One of the most beautiful things I can do in nature after the cold winter is to lie on the ground when it is full of flowers, while the sun warms my face. This past weekend, the weather was wonderful and I had the opportunity to enjoy the spring wonder all around me both in Mainalos and Parnonas, as I took a short trip there.

Another thing I enjoy is collecting various things from the forest. In the last few days I have devoted several hours to learning mushroom picking from Panos. Now is the season of morchella, an unusual mushroom, which has a great flavor and is rich in PRO-vitamin D. We picked quite a few, mostly of the morchella elata species. It’s incredible how many useful things nature offers here, next to my house!

They have now bloomed beautiful flowers in various colors and I would love to have a vase or more around the house, but something is stopping me from cutting them. The thought of them dying once cut makes me keep putting it off until the next time I’m in the woods…

The birds are singing, each one its own song. When I meet them with my eyes I get great joy. In Parnonas, as we were walking on the path outside of Vamvakou, a tree nut stood on a branch in front of us. Of course I didn’t get to take a picture of him, he was gone as quickly as he appeared. But I don’t mind because sometimes when I’m in nature I don’t want to take pictures at all. In those moments I am completely calm and prefer not to do anything.

The hours on the mountain pass very strangely. When I sit for a long time in the forest and allow nature to “speak” to me in the only language it knows, silence, then I feel that time is distorted. It’s very strange, it doesn’t just feel like time is slowing down, it’s more like it’s stopping, or even more specifically, I’m completely forgetting that time even exists. I don’t care what time it is and where I have to go next. Only when it inevitably gets dark do I realize that something is changing. When I’m in the forest, everything melts… I melt and my boundaries begin to fade. I don’t know where I end and the forest begins. It’s a really unique feeling, and it might sound a little crazy, but those of you who spend a lot of quality time in nature, I’m sure you understand.

Until the next article, I hope you have a great time!

See you soon.

Hugs!

A new activity

Good morning and happy May!


The last few days in Stemnitsa has been very strange and bad weather. The temperature varies between 7 and 10°C, it is windy, it rains and heavy fogs surround the village from morning to evening. Nevertheless, in the last few days I try harder than any other time of the year to follow a schedule of waking up at five in the morning, a few yoga exercises and other specific activities every day of the week. One of the activities is horse riding training, with the aim of taking on lessons for children in the near future.

My teacher and his wife, Vassilis and Titika, are very good to me and I have slowly started to get familiar with horses and especially with riding them. Now I only train with Nara, but at some point I will train with the rest of the horses so they can get used to them and train them too. Nara is an excellent horse with a very good character. Many times I notice her on other people who come for lessons or even on me that she looks out for the riders. That is, she understands if they are not experienced and watches her steps. She is very sweet and calm in our cooperation.

As for the benefits of horse riding I have spoken again in another article of mine. It is a very good sport that exercises all muscle groups and helps to improve body posture, while at the same time improving mental health, through the relationship that develops with the horse. If you find yourself in Stemnitsa, don’t hesitate to ask about the horse stable located here.

At the same time, I deal with many other things related to the school of silversmithing. But I will tell you about them in the next article.

Until then I hope the weather has improved and I can enjoy the flowers that have bloomed in the meadows.

Have a nice weekend!

Colors, awe and memories

Good evening my dear readers! Easter was spent with him all those moments of joy with family and friends. For the last week I am in my hometown, Laconia, at my parents’ house. This year’s Easter was somewhat different. I was not able to see all my family members, but still I tasted at least a little of the warmth of the house and relaxation around the festive table, I met friends I had not seen for a long time and rested. It’s a fact that I haven’t taken many pictures with the camera, lately I have to admit that I’m not as inspired as I used to be. But one thing I can’t resist is the light at dusk here.

From the balcony of the house, through a few tree branches and some PPC cables, I can see far away the peak of Taygetus and a large part of its mountain range. It’s one of the reasons I love summer mornings and evenings here on this balcony. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time may have an idea how much the mountain means to me. I don’t know why, but it has always caused me awe and especially since last September, when I managed to climb to its top and witness the mysterious phenomenon of the pyramid. For those of you interested in learning more, I have written two articles about my climb there and you can read them HERE and HERE.

When I arrived in Vlachioti a week ago the snow on the top was noticeably more, but in just a few days enough of it has melted, due to the very good weather. This very view reminds me of the one when I was below the peak, near the shelter. Wow, I shudder just at the memory! The photo below was taken that September evening, a few hours before I summited. It was a beautiful afternoon with a bright blue and pink in the atmosphere. As I beheld this view of Taygetus, I felt within me a great sense of strength and joy!

After going out with the telephoto lens to capture the view from the balcony, there was no way I was going to stay on it alone. With the photo it’s up to me to start! If I get the camera in my hands, then I get lost in it for hours, or at least until it stops having interesting lighting conditions. And telephoto portraits are one of my favorite subjects! The easiest victims of my target were the neighborhood birds of course…

The bird in the pictures below was carefree as he was standing away from me on the power lines, but I don’t know what happened and he suddenly turned and looked at me, right into the lens!

Tomorrow I will return to beautiful Mainalos and my daily life there. As spring approaches I have a craving to create again and I think my inspiration is coming back again! She also makes her circle along with the seasons…

I will be there very soon.

Hugs to everyone!

Exploration and jewelry photography

In Mainalo mountain there are really many dirt roads to explore and many corners to discover. So on Friday when there was some sunshine after a streak of bad weather, I decided to go for a walk in the woods with a fellow student, Ilias, who also likes photography. I drove up to half of the way and then he took the steering wheel, so I can keep my mind on various points, on the side of the road, that were worth stopping.

At the first stop we walked down a dirt road, which I had had my eye on for months, but in the end it wasn’t long and didn’t lead anywhere, except through the fir trees… I was completely camouflaged as my clothes were the same colors as the landscape. Even if it didn’t lead anywhere, as the path was short, I still learned something about the point I had been thinking about for a long time. This is also a conquest.

Then we passed Rapouni and turned towards Elati. It’s a magical place. Whatever I say is little. Beautiful fir trees, clearings and small meadows stretch by the side of the road, the chirping of birds gently enters through the open window… At some point a stream began to stretch to our right. I knew we would stop there as the spot had caught my interest from previous times I had driven past.

Photograph of Ilias

We sat on the banks of the stream for a few minutes and listened to the surroundings. Then the photoshoot began! I had taken my new jewelry with me just in case. And, although the lighting was not ideal, finally satisfactory conditions were found for photographing jewelry, which turned out to be tiring, but I was glad of it. I didn’t expect to like it so much! In a few photos I had my hands in the water and combined with the stillness, after a while I froze so much that it hit my head a bit… But I was so glad I finally did it. I don’t have all the clicks I need, but there’s at least something.

Here is a small sample of the jewelry photos, to give you a taste. Everything will be uploaded in the next few days on my Instagram profile: angelinaheliotijewelry. You can find me there in case you wish to place an order.

I hope you are all well inside and outside. Until the next article, have a great time.

Sending you hugs!

When the path is dark

There are also those moments when everything seems dark and you can’t see the road, you need to stop for a while. Lately I’ve been realizing that I’m maturing. No matter what plans we make for life, life itself can ultimately bring them completely differently. To create situations we didn’t foresee, to bring people from nowhere, to create crossroads or forks for us… But when the path is dark and you don’t know where to go, then a walk in nature can be really helpful.

I drove down to the church of Zoodochos Pigi and from there I walked to the river. I just wanted to be alone for a while. When I enter the mountain it’s always different. They may be the same mountain and the same forest, but they are never the same. It is alive, it has age, something changes every day, I don’t know what I will encounter every time. I come out of there cleaner and the mind is lighter… Without me doing anything, it empties itself…

I’ m walking aimlessly, enjoying the forest. I’ m standing to see and hear the waterfall. I’m balancing the river stones, a game that helps me with my own balance too. It makes problems seem like they never existed and questions get answers. It’s a mystery, but it’s true. For the first time I’m managing to balance three stones, one on top of the other. I think I’m getting better at it! It requires patience and calmness.

If you’re dealing with anxiety or questions that make you choke up, try visiting such an environment. It helps a lot to be alone… The sea is also a good option, for those who don’t have a mountain or forest near them.


I just wanted to say “hello” here as well, because I’ve been blogging less and less for the past few months. A lot has happened during this time, but mostly inside me. Seemingly things are the same.

So have fun! I’ll try to update you soon on the day-to-day here.

Until then I send you a hug!

Survival lessons in the forest

One of the previous days I participated in an excursion in the forest of Mainalos, near Mylaonta river. There I was with the beautiful company of a couple Maral and Angelos and of course our escort, Panos Panagopoulos, whom I have mentioned in my previous article.

In this excursion we had the opportunity to learn many of the secrets of the mountain, regarding the identification of many herbs, when we collect them and where each one is useful for humans. In addition, Panos presented us basic ways of survival in the forest, one of which was collecting water and filtering it. In the photos you see a structure with a triple filter made of three different materials, with the help of which one can clean the collected water in an easy way.

The wonderful path we walked unfolded along with the river offering us the wonderful sounds of nature, running water, chirping birds and rustling leaves.

On the way, Panos explained to us that when one comes into frequent contact with nature, it starts to “talk” to him and indicate ways of survival or dangerous situations that he should be aware of. The forest itself offers many tools and products to serve man in times of need. For example a certain kind of resin that is good for wounds or can serve as an excellent glue, or a wooded fungus, the bait, which is an excellent solution as kindling.

At one point we reached a hut in the heart of the fir forest. There we made a stop at the monastery table, consumed a small snack and brewed Greek coffee. Then we had the opportunity to learn two or three ways to start a fire in survival situations and to see up close various objects that are good kindlings, ΄΄like the tampon (!), due to the large amount of compressed cotton it contains.

Then it was time for the archery lesson. Panos explained to the children how to stretch the left hand, how to hold the arrow and move their right hand and that by closing one eye they can be clearly more accurate.

Maral and Angelos seemed to quickly find the trick and seemed to enjoy this sport in the green embrace of nature. Of course I didn’t resist taking a few shots myself, but most of the time was spent behind the camera, one of the things I can’t get enough of doing.

We also learned a trick to calculate the time based on the sun, read maps and with the help of a compass and azimuth to plot a course from one point to another avoiding sharp elevation differences. Along with all this, I always, as much as I could, did not forget the details. Below you see part of the skull of a weasel.

That eventful ride up the mountain was topped off with a fried egg with butter and grated fresh truffle on top. All that has value. Healthy environment, good company, delicious food and above all ourselves present. I am grateful for all that is generously offered by life itself and specifically for these walks in the forest of Mainalo, which I will remember each separately and all together as a whole.

Below you can see in a short video everything I mentioned above.

Until the next article have a great time!!!

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