Bubbly Moments | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

We are at the end of another year of work. We might have reached some or all the goals for this year. We have put efforts in keeping the good friends near us and manage to stay healthy, or have helped someone in the process. We have passed good and bad moments and we might had had some challenges to overcome. It has been another year and another chapter. Life situations are such that we have everything to celebrate and to be grateful. This is the month for bubbles to celebrate life and the new lights coming.
For exciting celebrations, we need special glasses. Some glasses will alter the taste of the bubbles and some will improve it. We can choose the Coupe, the Flute or the Tulip shape glasses to fill with our favorite bubbles.

The Coupe shape, or otherwise called Champagne Saucer  was in vogue in the early 1900s, became most popular in the extravagant years of the ’20s with the Great Gatsby and remained popular until the ’60s. However, before the roaring ’20s, someone else in the upper crust of French society,  thought of making the coupe champagne glass very famous. She was the beautiful and famous French Marquise Madame Pompadour,  a valued aide and court advisor, but also a mistress of the King of France, Louis XV, from 1745 to 1751. She was a patron of architecture, decorative arts, porcelain and a patron of philosophers. The gossip columns of the era mention that Madame Pompadour, in love with beautiful things, lent her breast to a glass designer to make a mold of her breast and thus to create the Champagne coupe glass. The picture below speaks for itself. This fun 8×10 print is available at Meluseena on Etsy goo.gl/tUhHzq

(Click on each photo to view it better).

Is this a myth? I don’t know. It is an amusing tale and I like to tell it. Apparently in more modern times, other famous women have lent their breasts for the same reason. Claudia Schiffer loaned her left breast to a Karl Lagerfeld-designed ceramic coupe for Dom Perignon in 2008.

I like my champagne or sparkling wines very fizzy, I am sure many people do too, but the bubbles in the coupe glass dissipate quickly. Before they go totally flat, one must drink up fast and that’s not the scope of a pleasurable drink. Pleasurable moments, holding a nice piece of glass with bubbles come in small sips.

I have a coupe glass set I use to drink foreign blond beers and for cold desserts.

The flute, today is considered a classy, sophisticated glass for sparkling wines. Pouring the sparkling wine in this glass, let the bubbles sink at the bottom, then quickly rise to the top and immediately delivery a fuzziness to the nose. We have grown accustomed to this visual impact.

The tulip, just like the flower, is an elegant glass shape, it has a wider aperture at the top, maintains bubbles fizzy until the glass is empty and allows a better development of the aroma of the wine. The bubbles will touch different parts of the tongue, instead of going directly to the nose.

As far as juicy stories, the flute and the tulip glasses have none that I know.

In a nice piece of glass, one can feel and hear the work of those who made it; holding it, is like holding a piece of art. Enjoy bubbles all year around and celebrate even when there is nothing to celebrate.

My next TV show Drink Up will be December 8, 2017 with a young sommelier as a guest. Nicole Stevenson, will mix non-alcoholic drinks for those people who can’t drink for one reason or another, but still want to be part of the festivities.

Happy Christmas. Ciao,
Valentina
Valentina Designs Universe TV Channel https://goo.gl/2tbN3N

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990 improving people’s life by changing their spaces. Most often she designs kitchens and wine grottos; outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms; great rooms and entertainment rooms. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being. Finally, she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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Glow | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

 

Sleepy life in the afternoon glow has its charm.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

I had forgotten how it was to slow down life activities in the afternoon for a relaxed siesta, until I went to Albuquerque on business and experience it again. The Old Town is just as I had envisioned: Abobe style architecture, earth colors, brick sidewalks, natural stones, row hides, pleasantly warm weather, friendly people and sleepy corners glowing in the golden light of the afternoon. Memories of the past came back when I saw Guajillo Peppers drying in the air. My grandparents used to dry the same peppers and they weren’t Mexican. I guess drying earth summer bounty was a way to ensure good food for the winter as well. I find a common denominator in various cultures and drying or canning food for the winter is one.

I am observing the Adobe style and how I can reproduce some details in a different climate and environment. Colors here are warm, mostly ochre, sandy, green and turquoise, while brown dominates. Here, the light is different from the area I live, we are at 5000 ft of altitude, the air is thinner, the golden glow in the air is enveloping, it adds to the quiet and slow life. I feel the vibrations of this spiritual land.


The lintel beam over the iron gate is very appealing to me as a rustic garden feature, especially when the opening leads to another glowing garden vignette with colorful flowers. This is the rectory’s courtyard of San Felipe de Neri Historic Church built in 1793 in the Old Town Albuquerque.

Yellow fits in the brown like two peas in the pot.

I sat here between flower beds for half hour and saw the world going by. I can feel the earth’s vibrations in this old town. In that glowing atmosphere of a warm afternoon, I actually learned from my silence and the quiet around me. Every moment counts, live it in colors!

 

 

I returned home in the glowing afternoon, accomplished, full of ideas and happy.

Ciao.
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 


Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients 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
available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Windows | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

They say you should never lose your child curiosity. I never have lost mine. I came to San Francisco many moons ago and still feel I am a tourist in my life. The city to me is a great opportunity for learning, never lose the chance to visit buildings which contain arts and culture. The restaurant scene is my second interest, of course, learning about food of various cultures is very interesting, it’s always a good subject to talk about at dinner parties.

Walking up to Coit Tower is an enterprise, the Greenwich stairs on Telegraph Hill are steep and intimidated, but I like the challenge and always go up that way. Most people drive to Coit Tower, only to find out, parking up there is limited and waiting time, to take someone’s spot, is about  45 minutes. On the long climb up the stairs, I can admire the gardens and residents’ houses made of redwood, the only one that survived the earthquake of 1906. In their windows is easy to see parrots, of which at times, I hear their voices. If I turn around while climbing, it is like looking in the window of San Francisco bay, framed with trees and foliage, breathtaking!

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Inside Coit Tower, the murals are a window in the history of America life during the Great Depression era of 1930s, a very difficult time for Americans, who lived the roaring ’20s and then suddenly knew poverty, as the economy stood still for about 5-6 years.  Those who have lived the Great Depression, lived the rest of their lives saving and conserving anything they could.

(California agriculture – vignette by Maxine Albro’s)

(Police calling for an emergency vignette)

The murals were part of the city’s Public Work Art Project. Various students collaborated in the projects,  inspired by painter Diego Rivera’s style. The murals depict the struggles of working class Americans. Through various vignettes we can see in the windows of chemical and steel mills working day, scenes in the cannery work, news gathering, packaging line, striking miners, women washing clothes and men panning for gold in the river, farming and wine making. In the window of city life, we can see a splash of everyday life, fashion of the era, a traffic accident, an armed robbery and a policeman calling for an emergency.

(Mural of the Library by Bernard Zakheim was one of the most controversial)

(Traffic accident and arm robbery – City Life mural by Victor Mikhail Arnautoff)

(Washing clothes at the river and gold diggers vignette by John Langley Howard)

(Chemists vignette)

 

(Industries of California – mural by Ralph Stackpole)

(Wine shop vignette)

The murals created around a real window, make American life of the era very real.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”― Augustine of Hippo

Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves to write travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design home interiors of her clients .
She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w  

Structure | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

During my travels, I carry a note pad to write about anything that strikes my fancy and that is different from things I see every day in the places I live normally. Most of the time, when I visit foreign countries, I walk around with my head  turned up to discover things above me. I take notes of building structures and architecture details. I note people face, gestures and the way they dress. I am interested in learning how foreign cultures structure vegetation and arrange flowers, then upon my return to my base, I am able to offer a new knowledge to my clients.
In America, city vegetation is tightly structured together in an array of colors and shapes composition, so very different from the arrangements of European countries.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

I remember in Japan, flower arrangements outside shops, are made only of one color composition, very subtle and structured into cascading effect.

In Barcelona, Spain, I noticed something new. In most city intersections, buildings are squared off or rounded off, in such a way that the intersections look friendlier, more open and inviting, instead of the typical 90º angle buildings all looking at the center of the intersection.

 

 

Corner balconies in those squared off buildings are beautifully structured and decorated to add interesting architectural details, visible in all sides of the intersection.


Fountains in European cities, set in the middle of the piazza, had two utilitarian functions in the past. Usually, women went to the fountain to fill up their buckets with clean running water, walked back to their home, used that water in cooking and bathing. Next day they repeated the chore. The second function was to provide cool drinking water to people strolling in the piazza at leisure.

That water is still amazingly cool and so much-needed under the scorching Summer heat, when nothing works but water. Street fountains in Europe are charming, some are historical, many are anonymous, yet, everybody knows them and some have witnessed many love stories.
It’s common to say: “Meet me at that fountain….in Piazza……” they are still structured as a point of social gathering.

“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo.
What is your quirk when you travel? Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 


Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves to write travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design home interiors of her clients .
She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Elemental | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Northern California skies are hardly an interesting elemental nature, they are always flat blue, rarely have any clouds, it doesn’t rain for years, in fact we suffer severe drought, nature is mostly yellow-brown even though colorful flowers embroider it. Palm trees and odorous eucalyptus compete with the blue skies.
I love California weather, it is always Spring-like, windy and mild, the perfect weather for work days and now, I am spoiled.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).


It isn’t all perfect, however. There isn’t much change of seasons. We wear the same clothes all year around and often I see people in short pants in the middle of December and January, when the temperature goes down a little. They look awkward and confused in their perception that, here, in California is always summer.

On the other hand, summer is a real surprise for tourists. They expect to find a summer warmth, instead July and August cold and grayness greet them. As Mark Twain said: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”Blue skies, sunny days and palms are deceiving when summer temperature ranges around mid 50 to low 60 F.

The land is rugged, ideal element for hiking and discovering driftwood sculptures.


The fog is the characteristic elemental nature of this area. People seem to think fog is magic and mystical. In the early afternoon, it rolls in like a huge cotton ball, even thought it might be still sunny.


Although, I am used to this mild weather, I must say, not having a change of seasons and having the same weather elements just about all year around it is a bit boring to me, thus I tend to distort or manipulate the nature I see, with my vision of colors and textures.


At time, a regular pine tree, might seem to grow under a vanilla sky.


Other times a path might look like a fall path, when in reality it isn’t.

And other times, camelias take electrifying colors of its own.

If something doesn’t excite you, free your fantasy and find ways to see it differently. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves to write travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design home interiors of her clients .
She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w  

August Textures | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

My Zen garden is such a paradise on earth! In the morning, I salute the sun there, have breakfast, I read a book in my private corner, sometimes I like to stay still, watching the birds chasing each other and all the textures I created. During the week, I hang laundry to dry in the sun, the old fashion way. That’s right, I don’t own a dryer, never wanted one. Call me old fashion, some people call me a Martian in fact, but my way is simpler, saves electricity, saves the environment, the clothes smell like nature and not like chemicals, but then I can enjoy the textures in the wind hung laundry creates.

I am in love with my garden and not only because I designed it to transcend the ordinary look of a traditional garden. I made it mystical and playful for an intimate union of my soul and Mother Earth. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

My Zen garden it’s a working garden as well, it keeps me healthy with a great production of fruit and vegetables. The oranges abound most of the year, when the orange trees stop producing, the apricots come out and then apples. These fruits produce many textures for my table, from tarts, pies, muffins, ice-cream, vinegars and marmalades. The rest I can create with fruit and vegetables is all still in my fantasy.

Of course, it takes two to tango, the garden alone wouldn’t produce anything if I didn’t put any work into it. And what a work it is….!

In the month of August, the garden gives me a lot to do. Zucchini plants blossom with beautiful yellow flowers so big and open that the only thing I want to do is to stuff them with various ingredients every time. I make them ready for the winter, cook and pack them for the freezer.


I stuffed the zucchini flowers in the photo below with brown rice, gorgonzola cheese, arugula, olives, onion, ginger and Parmigiano cheese. Filling is low in calories, texture and taste are delicate. They bring freshness to the table and are perfect for a warm day.

 

With the potatoes I grow, I made potato bread, super delicious with a rough texture outside and soft inside. It’s ideal to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven.

This blue plant was once a red cabbage forgotten in the veggie drawer of my refrigerator, when I noticed it was growing in the bag, I planted it in a pot and now I have a beautiful ornamental blue plant with great textures and shades of blue purple.

 

Ultimately the textures of my august garden, satisfy my subconscious body, my emotions, my physical body and give me the pleasure of the table in every season. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of http://www.wine-fi.com says: “Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

I was in the old far West | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

On the way to my friend in Woodside, California, I got lost in the hills, went around and around to find my way out, instead I stumbled in this little gem hidden among the sequoia redwood trees. Being the curious person I am,  I took the time to browse around and found a pleasant surprise. This is the general store of rich Woodside area, where many American wealthy entrepreneurs of the late 1800 and the roaring ’20s lived.
Woodside was originally home to native Ohlone tribe. In 1769 Spanish explorers led by Gaspar de Portolá spotted the site while searching for an area where to camp the troupes.

Going to the General Store in Woodside, now a museum since 1947, one has the impression of stepping back in the old far West of the gold rush. Redwood trees surround the rugged area, the same wood which in the 1800 supplied the booming construction industry in San Francisco.

Dr. R. O. Tripp and M. A. Parkhurst built the General Store in 1854 and soon became the center of the town where notable families of the era attended their daily businesses. It operated as a general store, United States post office, dentist office, a stagecoach stop, a bank with the only armored safe in the area, a lending library and a community gathering spot. Today, visitors can see artifacts on display that reflect the varied activities of the people living in Woodside in the 1800.

Notable people of modern era living in Woodside have been George Whittell, Jr. who had an odd collection of exotic pets kept on his 500 acres, Steve Jobs, Willie McCovey player in the San Francisco Giant, Michelle Pfeiffer actress and Shirley Temple Black, the cute and clever girl actress who charmed the world over. The General Store is very secluded among the sequoia redwood trees, there is no public transport, visitors must have a car and drive through winding roads where at times it is possible to see some famous homes with horse stables, well hidden away from public reach.


The area is beautiful, it smells like a clean earth, silent, no city noises, every so often the gate or the top of a wealthy home appears, one feels in another stratosphere, the one of riches and powerful.
I have been living in California a long while now and I am still considering myself the tourist in my life. Summertime is made also for discovery and taking time to do things I normally wouldn’t do. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves to write travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design home interiors of her clients .
She is the author of her book on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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