Friday, January 30, 2009

A Reminder

When I feel out of sorts, riding puts me back on top of my world, it diminishes those things that are transient and focuses for me the things that are eternal. Plus I love to jump off shit!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Blog!

What, am I crazy or something! In the best interest of my business, I've created another blog for myself, except this one is for Alina Arts and my Etsy retail shop. I thought it would be a fine idea to separate this blog which is for my riding and non-art activities, though I'm sure some of that will show up here as it is a part of who I am after all. The new blog which is called Alina Arts will be dedicated to my art, my process, shows, sales, events and the day to day artist life and all the goo that runs through my mind and out my hands, the art experience as it were.
When you have a chance, come by and check out the new blog!

Winter Weather

This weekend marked the return of winter to our neck of the woods, snow and colder temperatures descended upon us which is fine by me, we need some winter around here. I've been feeling tired lately and there's a part of me that wants to just rest and read. I just finished an excellent book entitled, Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival by Allsion Wright, I think I finished it in 4 days, so inspiring to me and the idea of never giving up, keep going forward.
At any rate, I'm feeling like I'd like to go snowshoeing instead of riding my bike so much, I know it's hard to believe even for me. So on Saturday and Sunday we went for hikes, good off the beaten track kinda hikes in the snow. Saturday we hiked up by Craig's brother Randy's place near Rollinsville and then on Sunday we did a hike on the backside of our mountain. Lotsa post holing but a great workout, adventure and route finding. Besides that I've been working more in the studio and getting projects around the house taken care of. So the return of winter is welcome by me for now, it'll change again soon enough.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My New Retail Shop

Finally after much work and preparation, I have opened my new ETSY retail shop, Alina Arts. ETSY is a wonderful website featuring all things hand-made including artwork. I'm excited to showcase my ceramic sculptures here, there is minimal overhead which allows me to reduce my pricing on some work and it affords me the luxury of not having to travel so much but run some of my retail business from home. I'll still do a few art shows a year, mostly local or regional but my hope is my retail shop will pick up a good deal of the business for me.
So if you get a chance please stop by and look around, I'll be adding new work every week or so, say hi and if you have any suggestions please let me know!

Visit me at Alina Arts

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Josephine, Mom..

My Memories of Love Will Be of You.This is a picture of my Mom, Josephine Helinski, senior year. She is so young and beautiful.

Mom, Karen and myself in my Grandfather's garage.

It's been exactly one year since my Mom left us so suddenly. She was a lovely, sensitive, kind, funny, compassionate and generous Mom and friend too me and I miss her terribly. I think of her each day and I miss her even more, that deepest ache is still there. Time does make things more managable and life is to be led fully, she would agree with that, though I am thankful for my dreams as she visits me on occasion and we once again are together, sharing dream time. You are in my thoughts each day Mom, you live on in my heart and in my mind, my strength is yours and I am so grateful to have you as my Mother. Na Strovna!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warm Winter Weather Means Lots of Riding..

It's been really warm here lately, too warm, freakishly warm. It's also been a long weekend with my birthday on Friday and today is MLK Jr. Day, so with those two things I've managed to do a lot more riding than normal lately and on trails that are usually questionable to ride this time of year. I haven't taken any pictures because, well, it's just Hall and PR, nothing new or different to see really.
Friday I rode Picture Rock in Lyons by myself, it was a good 15 mile ride. Then on Sunday I rode Hall Ranch with Emma, rode up the front side which feels easier each time I do it, though certain sections get harder as they erode and lose dirt, we did two loops up top and then down. Rocked the DH with some tunes on the new IPOD, I love ridin' DH with some music helping to create a flow. Needless to say, it was so much fun, just the two us.
Today, Monday I headed to Picture Rock again with Craig, Jimijames and Craig's brother Ron who is visiting us from Olympia, WA. We did the same ride I did on Friday, PR to Wild Turkey loop and back down. The trail was ultra tacky from the last bit of moisture we got and it was easy to rail the corners in places on the way down. I focused on my flow today as well.
This warm weather is supposed to continue for a few more days, so I think the riding will continue until I'm exhausted, worn out or the weather changes back to winter.
My bike feels good though I need a new set of cranks really bad and soon, yikes! It's always something!

Friday, January 16, 2009

40 Years and going Strong.

My 4th Birthday Party at our (my Mom, sister and I) apartment on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 1973. Looks like I got a new jewelry box and some cool cake figures on top my cake too..yum! I look so happy. (The girl to the right was a childhood friend, I think her name was Mary Mallery Boyd.)

Today is my 40th birthday. I'm officially at middle age, that's bizarre, but I don't feel old or half done, I feel no different than I ever have as I begin this new decade of my life. I've been blessed over these years with many adventures, good memories, love from my family and friends and good health. My hope is that the goodness in my life will continue to unfold, that I will continue to grow and explore my world and find my truth and connect with others. Life feels very precious to me, I know there's only a finite amount of time each of us has and perhaps the difference between me before and me at 40 is that I realize this truth.
Thank you to all my friends and family, my Mom and my sister Karen and especially Craig, who have been there for me in one way or another over the course of my life, I am who I am today because of you! Oh and Uncle Dan, thank you, thank you for the cookies you sent from New Ken, they are amazing and very special, they taste exactly as they did 30 years ago and bring back some very fond memories with each bite.

This picture was taken by my Dad in 1975, I am 6 years old it was taken outside of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. I love this picture of myself, my firm, set gaze, hand on hip chugging my Coke. That's my sister sitting in the background. I love the confidence and true sense of self that I'm projecting and I can only hope and try to continue to be this tough, strong girl ready to meet things head on.

Fast forward a few years to Me in Sedona..Never Give Up, Keep on Livin'

Monday, January 12, 2009


"Red Branch" by Betsy Walton

Woke this morning to about 5 inches of new snow, wasn't expecting it but glad to see it. It's been so dry here this winter and after last weeks wildfire, snow is exactly what we need around here. I do enjoy being able to get outside and ride on dry trails in the winter but not at the expense of our well running dry and mountains as brittle as old bones.
I'm slowly gearing up for another season of art shows this year, putting into place more local events which means less traveling and saving money. I think the only show I will do out of state this year is Scottsdale, AZ in March, which is a solid show for me and a lovely place to be in early spring. I'll look forward to it and we'll bring the bikes. There's so many beautiful places down there to ride and experience. I'm also opening a retail shop on Etsy that will showcase and sell my artwork. Etsy is a great site for artists and crafts people, it's well laid out and has a strong following, I'm really looking forward to this adventure in E-Commerce and have strong hopes for it's success.
Craig and I are putting ourselves on a very strict financial diet as well. We need to work with our current situation and make our future more secure than it is. This will take a lot of work from both of us, some sacrifices, longer hair probably, less holidays and trips to the desert (that one will hurt me, as my soul wanders there in my mind everyday) but in the long run it will place us where we need to be. There are times when you have to suck it up and then suck it up some more and that's now for us, for me, it's a shift of mentality. I believe that things work out mostly, sometimes they don't but probably because they weren't supposed to. You put your positive intentions into the stream of life and it comes back to you, you give out with kindness and the giving comes back, mostly. The best you can is good enough.
So the looking within continues, the snow is falling, the days are growing longer, the sun is climbing higher and burning stronger, the dark is receding with each day, new art is created and pedals are spun in circles over dirt.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wind, Fire, Wind

Image of the Old Stage Fire Looking North West.

We've had a hell of winter so far, no real snowfall but a lot of wind, wind storms to be exact, with wind speeds bordering on hurricane forces. Wind and Fire are both powerful elements that can either comfort or destroy..Yesterday we came close to the later. For the first time in my 15 years in Boulder we had a Winter Wild Fire, started by a down power line. The fire fueled by incredibly strong winds fed on brittle grass, eating everything in it's path. Incredibly beautiful but also incredibly dangerous, it puts a lot of respect in you for the elements of our natural world that are a hell of a lot more powerful than yourself and secondly don't give a rats ass about you or your temporary belongings.
The whole day from start to finish was full of challanges, but with heavy winds you never relax or rest properly, the wind gets into your deepest levels of psyche and slowly wear away at the nerve endings until you're ready to pull your hair out. Craig and I had a meeting in Longmont yesterday afternoon. I picked him up at home and we made our way back down into Boulder, the wild fire had already started but the roads were open..the thought crossed my mind that perhaps we shouldn't be going to this meeting but it was an important thing and we needed to make it happen. So on the way home we could see the fire was huge, the views west to the foothills are solid as you drive to Boulder from Longmont, the fire looked like a city of lights. When we got to Lee Hill Rd. it was closed and the officer directing traffic made it clear there was "no going home tonight", well with all due respect, yea right Mr. Officer! There's more than one way to get too our house than Lee Hill. So we put some gas in the little tercel and headed up to Gold Hill, dropped down Lick Skillet and then came up the back side of Lee Hill, no problem, we were home and that was good. It pays to know the back roads in BC.
Once home we tried to relax, eat, not worry about the fire, it was a good 5 miles as the crow flies from us, 7 or 8 by road and the wind was moving east rapidly but was supposed to die down by later that night. We've had other fires close by over the years and you learn to be prepared but not to panic or rush out the door, it's just a part of living in the mountains out here.
We went to bed around 9:30pm but about an hour later the phone calls began from concerned friends giving us updates, they meant well but it really didn't matter. We wouldn't need to go anywhere until we got our reverse 911 call to evacuate and we felt confident that wouldn't happen. The fire would have to eat it's way through a lot of territory and houses to get to us.
Around 1:30AM the phone rang again and a friend of ours who lives up here and works with the VFD called to let us know Boulder Heights was being evacuated, she was very concerned though she hadn't gotten a reverse 911 yet nor had we. We took this seriously though and got up and struggled to get together everything on our hit list for evacuation, meaning, bikes, gear, dogs, pictures, paperwork, artwork and clothes. Not neccasarily in that order but you get the idea, the things that meant something to us and that we couldn't easily replace. However we noticed that it was pretty quiet outside and I was starting to think we should just stay put when our friend called back and said that she had been to look at the fire line and it wasn't as bad as it was earlier and she was going to stay at home until told otherwise. The strange thing is that when you called the Command Center they were telling everyone mandatory evac but noone ever got a reverse 911, a case of left and right hand not communicating? Probably. We went back to bed around 3AM but it was difficult to relax and fall back to sleep, so it was a long night and dramatic in its own right. Much thanks goes to all the fire fighters and civil servants who spent an exhausting night fighting this one.
I sincerely hope the winds die down and we get some snow soon, we really need it, we shouldn't be having these kinda fires in January.
The wind will go hide in the ridges of the mountains for a little while but I'm sure it will be back, roaring down and out into the flats, knocking everyone around, messing with our minds and central nervous systems and laughing all the way.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Day Hike at Peaceful Valley

I met Emma and Keenan for a hike up at Peaceful Valley on New Years Day. It was sunny but quite windy and cold. We still had a nice time though being outside.

Keenan (sleeping and half the size of Emma), Emma and Myself. Soon Keenan will be able to carry Emma on his back! I think my down jacket is a little short on me, so much for women's specific.

Peaceful Valley Winter Lovliness.