Surreal Moments | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

It looks so familiar, so Italian, clothes hanging on the balconies and food in the streets, it looks colorful and lively, doesn’t it? That’s the way it is usually in the alleyways of Italy. This time something changed all of that. I was in Italy before the coronavirus broke out. The virus was contained and isolated to China, people were traveling without restrictions, I thought it was safe to go to Italy, but after three days I was in the country, the virus broke out in the North region of Lombardy, then in only a week, it spiraled down to the South where I was. What I saw is exactly what you see in my photos: solitude, closed shutters, silence, no people, no tourists, shops closed, and merchandise unsold. Of course, shop owners are desperate. The North of Italy has been hit really hard with the coronavirus, a little less the South, but the government ordered the entire country to stay home in quarantine and avoid all contacts possible until finally, the virus will not have anyone to hit anymore.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

BalconyPersiana

Balcony with shutters

The atmosphere is unreal and surreal, it seems as if something terrible has just happened and humans have left for another planet. I hear no noise, no music, no voices, no laughs, no one arguing. Kids proliferate in these alleyways but they are not there. Italian streets without rascals are lifeless. The mailman is going through the alleyways with a mask on his mouth leaving mail under the doors. In this old part of my hometown, there are no mailboxes, if someone is not home, the neighbors will take the mail, but at this time, the mailman is not getting closer to anyone and that’s the reason he is leaving the mail under people’s doors.

 

Robe-Stese

Italian balcony with hanging clothes

Even though the sun is shining and the February weather is not particularly cold, the atmosphere is somber. I am walking with my head up in the air trying to spot a person with whom I can talk to. I cling to my coat and go on towards the fashionable downtown thinking perhaps it will be a tad different there.

 

Old Bari Balconies

Old Bari Balconies

Nobody will buy all these handmade typical food of the region, at least for a while. I bought some of it to take back with me to the US. My small contribution makes the shopowner smile, the limitation of weight in my luggage doesn’t allow me to take a lot more.

Typical Puglia Food

Typical Puglia Food

 

Puglia Food

Handmade Puglia Food

The coronavirus will pass, just like the bubonic plague of the 1600s and the Spanish flu of 1920s passed without medications and medical knowledge. The only thing that made those pestilences go away was social distancing, just as we are ordered to do today. Stay home, my friends, find something interesting to do, take this forced break to do something you have been wanted to do and had no time to do it. Read more books, perhaps write one of your own, it’s an exciting experience. Find a hobby, learn a new language with DuoLingo, sleep or make love, get your friends and family on video calls and catch up with them.  Spring is near, plant some new seeds and watch them grow. At this time, we can only plan our future and come back stronger after the virus is defeated.
Stay positive and healthy. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com 

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

 

Valentina in RED

Valentina Cirasola is a storyteller by nature. Stories are very important to her design career to convey ideas because making someone’s home or personal images is not only about building around shapes, lines, forms, and colors. It is about the story one can create around their spaces and how they want to appear to others. It’s about life experiences and how Valentina can incorporate them in her clients’ homes. She is the author of five books, all available on
Amazon and  Barnes&Nobles 

 

 

 

 

Solitary Benches | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

 

Solitaire Benches

Solitary Benches

“Sitting here at these benches, I hear the voices of women telling tales of love and I can’t help listening to older people telling stories of a lived life.

I hear the crying of infants in buggies and feel the fatigue of the athlete resting for a moment catching his breath.

I hear the click of a camera and I feel the swish of dry leaves falling.

You looked lonely and I chose you, but I feel the vibrations of the stories you secretly keep, I feel the warmth of the sun that tempered you, the moonlight that painted your curves in silver, the rain that penetrated your wood and soaked it.

Sitting here at these benches, I wanted to wrap myself in your solitude, instead, I will carry your energy with me for several hours and my thoughts will be occupied.

So much noise you make…and yet you seemed lonely…like me!”

This is an excerpt from my next collection of thoughts, ebook:  ©The Drawer Of My Thoughts.

Have you ever felt this way? You sit somewhere alone and suddenly you feel the energy of someone else? It’s a weird sensation.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

Reingstorff House

Reingstorff House

This park is a nice one, quite wild but well kept, I don’t think is haunted. I exercise here, and a lot of other people do too. Canoes and paddleboats flow leisurely on a man-made lake, creating a relaxing atmosphere under the sun reverberating on the water.
The historical Rengstorff House is furnished in the Victorian style and opens its doors to events, weddings, and similar ceremonies.

Peddleboats

Paddleboats at shore

 

Shoreline_Bridge

Shoreline Bridge

I like to come here when everybody is closed in the offices. I listen to the voice of silence, it speaks to me loud and clear. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 5 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Valentina became a TV producer/host and she produces shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire and inform, while she is living her passion. Get a copy of her books here:
AmazonBarnes&Nobles

 

 

The Evening Of Seven Fish | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

It was a long shopping the day before Christmas eve, from one fish market to the other to find the freshest fish, and then it was the longest day cooking the seven fish dinner on Christmas eve. The search was about finding langoustine, mussels, clams with a red tongue, razor clams, sea urchin, sea truffles, octopus, baby cattle fish, any bluefish for grilling, lobster, oysters and any fauna the Mediterranean Sea produces.
The sitting down dinner started at 6:00 pm and lasted close to midnight when we finished with a champagne toast, then church at midnight.
That was such a long ago in Italy in my parents’ home and it was the same in most of the homes in Italy. The celebration on Christmas eve was an incredible custom, we ate until our hearts were content and welcome the new spiritual Christmas light in our homes.
As it happens in all families, at one point kids leave the nest, when my turn came, I moved as well to build my life and all of that ended. My new-found friends could never eat a large amount of food and never had the time to be sitting at the table for so many hours. The Christmas celebrations took a different turn.

Somehow I maintained my tradition on a smaller scale. On Christmas eve, I prepare a few fish specialties and Christmas day is about meat. On the eve, caviar opened the dinner experience, followed by shrimps with fregola and dandelion cooked in a clay pot, cod and potato cakes, blue crabs, Christmas cookies, coffee, and Belgium chocolate with sea salt.

Caviar Crostini

Caviar and prosecco

 

Shrimps with Fregola and Dandelion

Shrimps with Fregola and Dandelion cooked in a play pot

 

CodPotatoCakes

Cod Potato Cakes

 

Blue Crabs

Blue Crabs

 

 

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

This was sufficient for Christmas eve, Christmas day was a different experience, oh my! Everything was delicious and even though I feel like a blimp today, I am very happy. 😀
The end of the year requires courage, the Italian rule is to have 13 courses dinner, one for each month of the year and one extra to honor the new year 😱. This one is no longer my habit.
I hope your Christmas was good and serene. Ciao,
Valentina 

 

Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValentinaRedHat

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 5 published books so far, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Three years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host and she produces shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire and inform, while she is living her passion. 
Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and  Barnes&Nobles 

 

My experience in a tailoring in Salento

It is my pleasure to reblog Paola’s post of her experience designing her first important tutu’ at Degas Tailor in Italy.
This is what the owner of the shop had to say: “It is always a big pleasure to dress beautiful and prepared ballerinas such as Paola. She is one of the Maestro Domenico Iannone’s pupils at Compagnia AltraDanza and a student of Maestra Sabrina Speranza at Unika School Academy in Bari. Paola reached a high level of grades performing at an international competition and she wore this candid white tutu’ made here at Degas.”
Brava Paola, you will go a long way! I wished I was there to see you wearing that beautiful tutu’.

Paola is very diligent with her training, very competitive, she is focused on her goals, and she is a high grades student in high school as well, but it is not enough.
As she rightly says, the ballerina school is very expensive and when only one person provides for everyone in the family, it becomes a huge challenge to continue her studies. She needs funds, let’s help her out, it’s Christmas, what’s one more gift? Here is the link to donate any amount: https://www.gofundme.com/f/continuation-of-my-dance-studies/donate
Thank you 🤗❤️

Paola, your lucky star is near, make sure you catch it when it falls off the sky. Wishing you a good rest of the holidays and a splendid year. With love,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Dancer Attitude

Hello everyone, in the past few months my life was on the high notes: I went to the Salento area to visit a tailor shop called “Degas” where you can create your tutù for ballet competitions or shows. It can be considered a normal dance shop because you can find ballet shoes, leotards, skirts, pointe shoes and all the necessary for every ballet dancer!😍 It seemed I was in another world!

Here, a beautiful and vibrant tailor showed me how to create a professional or semi-professional tutù.

First of all, she showed me which fabrics I want for this tutù. She asked me what kind of ballet opera I would like to do and I said: Aurora from “The Sleeping Beauty”. Then we started to create my tutù. I chose a white tutù with 7 veils and a particular lace with floreal decorations sewn by hand on tutù. Then I…

View original post 162 more words

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party – Just One Wish – Guests, Food, Music and laughter

We all have unfulfilled dreams and keep trying to achieve them. If I look at my dream boards of the past years, I must say proudly that everything I wished for me I got it. I call it hard work, perseverance, and discipline, sure didn’t happen by chance or luck. However, one dream is still out there, floating in the universe, and I am still asking myself what would take to make it, until one day last month, Sally Cronin of the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine announced she needed only one wish from her followers to organize a Christmas party. I participated, “you never know, more times you put it out there, more chances you have for someone to see it” I said to myself. The Dream I Am Still Dreaming is mentioned here in Sally Cronin’s Christmas Party One Wish. https://valentinaexpressions.com/2019/01/16/the-dream-i-am-still-dreaming-valentina-cirasola-author-and-designer/

Thank you Sally, for showing me part of the solution to realizing my dreams, a Coop might be the way to go, just like in the video. You are a very special person. I hope your Christmas is special and the New Year splendid all the way through.
Valentina

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The theme for this year’s party is ‘Just One Wish’. We are all familiar with the story of Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother, who was pretty liberal with that magic wand of hers and managed to turn a pumpkin into a golden carriage.

Unfortunately, she has long since retired and hung up her wand, but because I asked nicely (and she would like me to promote her memoir –The Prince Charmings I have Known!) she has agreed to allow my guests, just one wish…

My thanks to everyone who sent in their special wish and with a great deal of positive thought from us all, and of course a little assistance from the magic wand of the Fairy Godmother, they might just come true…

Please help yourself to food and drink and if you would like to dance on the tables… that is great. You will…

View original post 2,833 more words

A Ghost In The Kitchen Book Launch

Author and friend Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene this week is launching her new novel “A Ghost In The Kitchen”.
https://teagansbooks.com/2019/09/21/a-ghost-in-the-kitchen-launch-party-trolley-through-haunted-savannah/

Her book launch is unusual and fun. She is taking all the participants helping her in the launch on a trolley, touring Savannah, Georgia. With the group, Teagan will be waiting for me on the bluff above the Riverwalk. The foundations of some of these buildings date back to the late 1700s, the author says.

Now that I have learned about Savannah, this historical part of the American East Coast, I want to go there and learn some more. I read that in the 1950s, many of Savannah’s historically and architecturally significant buildings were demolished until seven local women stepped up and formed the Historic Savannah Foundation to keep, preserve and restore the old buildings once lived by real families who made their marks there. Many of the Savannah historic homes have been converted into museums, restaurants or inns and are open to the public.
It seems that Savannah is one of the most haunted places in the area, and very appropriate for Teagan’s subject of her new novel Ghost In The Kitchen“. The Book is about a kitchen mystery, where a 1920’s flapper Pip is learning to cook with her grandmama…..but there is some king of supernatural going on…

Back to Teagan’s launch party, take a look at her books, she is a creative novelist and she writes fantasy stories. She is on Amazon.

A Ghost In The Kitchen

A Ghost In The Kitchen

 

So many books to read, don’t let time slip away. Happy reading. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com 

Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Val in a Hat Shop

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior-fashion designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts, including books, literature, music, and theatre. She is a “colorist”. To her, suggesting expressive art means to share the best energy with her clients/friends and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves writing travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design her interiors. She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors.
All other books of her collection are on Barnes&Nobles  as well.

One Day In Geneva | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

It’s midnight, dark, winter and cold, I want to take a walk on a long straight street and smoke a cigarette. Geneva is very cold this time of the year, I am not used to it, and now it’s raining too. Illuminated stores across the street invite me to look at their merchandise, perhaps in the morning, I will be in the mood to buy something I can’t buy tonight. Their lights will go off at a programmed time, but now are still shining on beautiful objects for the nightcrawlers people like me. I want to go across the street, a red light tells me to halt. As far as my eyes can see, no cars are coming from any direction and the need to get under a protected portico in a hurry is stronger than getting wet waiting for the street light to change color.

 

Jack Ward Unsplash - Switzerland

Jack Ward Unsplash – Switzerland

 

As I cross the street, I hear the sound of a whistle as if a policeman is whistling. It couldn’t be whistling at me, I am thinking, but he is. Where did he come from? A minute ago I was the only one in the street. He really dropped out of the blue. He is gracious at first, his voice is soft while he is giving a 10 Francs ticket for walking on the pedestrian zone with a red light. I am so surprised a small act like mine can cause a pedestrian to have a ticket, I tell him but he doesn’t listen. I also tell him that in Italy, no one gets a ticket for walking on a pedestrian zone with a red light, not even for J walking dodging cars in the moving traffic. I soon realized it is the wrong thing to say in this circumstance. The policeman hands me the ticket accusing me of not observing the law. I protest, argue with him as much as I can and he begins his intellectual speech of anarchy. In his opinion, my disobedience for crossing the road with the red light is a libertarian act, a rejection of society based on the order. My theoretical flexibility and individual action in deciding which laws to obey and which to ignore could result in a revolution against regimentation and consequently in terrorist acts, he says. Mind you at that time, the world didn’t know terrorism as we know it today.

By now, I have unleashed my persuasion arts. I am trying to tell him I am not a terrorist or an anarchist, that I have no intention of starting a revolution and that I have only crossed the road on the pedestrian zone with a red light. What harm my action could cause to others since I am the only one in the street in the deep night? He doesn’t want to listen and gives me another ticket for disturbance of the night peace.

I better shut my mouth and pay for my ticket. Walking away I am thinking some people are made in blocks on the assembly line, no creativity, no compassion, no flexibility and are not even equipped with a vision to see two inches away from their nose.

My hotel room overlooks Lake Geneva, and it has the cutest balcony. it’s an old building with stone stairs, decorative cast iron gated elevator with glass doors, the type we see in films of a different era, vaulted ceiling, and the bathroom in the corridor. I should have stayed on that cute balcony to smoke my cigarette in peace and enjoy the rain hitting the waters of the lake.

Bern - Clock Tower

Bern – Clock Tower

 

Since then, I have returned to Switzerland and had great experiences. That episode had gone unnoticed in the maze of my memories until today. I don’t know why it has returned….., I guess my traveling experiences always leave an impression on me. BTW, I have stopped smoking since then, that was many, many moons ago. Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2

Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina with short hairValentina Cirasola is a storyteller by nature. Stories are very important to her design career to convey ideas because making someone’s home or personal images is not only about building around shapes, lines, forms, and colors. It is about the story one can create around their spaces and how they want to appear to others. It’s about life experiences and how Valentina can incorporate them in her clients’ homes. She is the author of five books, all available on Amazon Barnes&Nobles
The latest published books are ©The Road To Top Of The World
and ©Naled Lemons

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