At The End Of The Year | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

The end of the year marks a passage of time and the hope for new experiences, new love, new peace and new expectations. Whether it is celebrated on December 31st or not, people worldwide do celebrate it, and in much different ways. I remember how we celebrated it in Italy, long time ago. It was colorful, fun and very dangerous.

As midnight struck, heavy fireworks started from every windows and balconies. Kids played with the less dangerous fireworks and adults played with heavy ones, often losing parts of their body with it. Loudest and powerful fireworks lasted for more than an hour and during that time, it was customary to throw everything old and no longer wanted out of windows.
It was not advised to come home from parties before 5:00 am, that’s when people finally quieted down. This practice is now prohibited by law, but for some people is hard to desist from this custom.

Before the Southern Italians went absolutely crazy with fireworks and throwing things out of the windows, they went totally crazy with food. They sat down at dinner table around 6:00-7:00 pm surrounded by many people, usually family, with the intentions of eating 13 courses, one for each month of the year passing and an extra one as a good wish for the new year. The 13th course was a plate of cooked lentil eaten soon after midnight. Lentils represent money, more lentils we eat, more money we will have…. and everyone hopes…..
Eating lentils is still a custom of today.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

 

No matter what color Italians like, at the end of the year, every woman from North to South wears a red pair of underwear to wish for a new love or to keep the one they have. That’s is something I still do today.

(Photo above: https://www.zappos.com/p/b-temptd-lace-kiss-thong-haute-red/product/8343688/color/401264)

The last and the first day of the year are two days equally respected and celebrated in Italy. Italians never pay bills on Jan.1st even if they expire on that day.  We believe that whatever we do on the first day of the year, it will repeat itself all year round. Laugh, make love, travel, eat in company of people, cook, create art, visit museums, go to the beach, start writing a book, play music, whatever we do, must be a fun activity that we want repeated again and again throughout the year.

(Photo above:
http://nonciclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Trenino_di_capodanno.jpg)

 

Those who decide to go out at the end of the year, willing to pay a high price for dinner and dance, after midnight, will end up in a single file, making a train with people, often strangers, rolling through tables and going around the dancing hall, at the tune of Brazilian music. I never understood why Brazilian music became the brand of celebration for the end of the year. The best part of going out at the end of the year is that most everyone waits until 5:00 am to get warm croissants, freshly baked and just out of the baker’s oven. They go so well with a cup of cappuccino or a double espresso. The aroma of a fresh croissant is a prelude that something sweet will happen in the new year…..and so everyone hopes….
True or not, it is good to have hopes and beliefs. I wish you a splendid 2018, all the way through and celebrate what you want more of.  Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, my native land, it is my intention to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. I want to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism. Through stories of local customs, art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, I want them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out my books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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Ditch The Black And Dress In Red | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Girl-Pink-Green-1aWelcome to my Friday Fashion episode.
In less than 24 hours 2016 will be here and we will celebrate the new energy of the baby year. My suggestion for this end of the year is RED.
“Red is predominantly an action color since the beginning of time. It has been found in caves of primitive people as the main color to express a desire to hunt (…). Many primordial tribes and cultures have used red as the color for body paint to express beauty or admiration and have used it for their rituals. (…)
Red is a winning color for active people who like to lead (…)
Red has the power to increase enthusiasm, to stimulate energy, to increase blood pressure and heartbeat, to encourage action and confidence.
Red demands attention and will bring out the extrovert in you (…)”. This is an excerpt from my book ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors.

With all these attributes Red is the perfect color to welcome the New Year. If you are going to a formal party with dinner and dance I suggest a layered red dress short in the front and long in the back.

MacDuggal-Red(Mac Duggal)

For conservative women who want to look very chic without revealing much, one shoulder and a flowing dress is a good solution.

Kerr-One-Shoulder-Red-Aliexpress(Kerr, One Shoulder Red-Aliexpress)

For a less formal party wear a crisp, smart short red dress, close toes pump and a studded pave’ with pearl or glitz.

Vuhera(Vuhera.com)

GMCollection ImeldaSeashell
(GM Collection-Imelda Seashell Pave’)

I don’t believe in the perfect black dress, muffin tops and large body size will still be there. Black is slimming only for women who are already slim. If I go to a party and everybody is dressed in black, it feels more like a funeral than a party and I want to leave. Why not then stand out with originality and pick one of 5000 Pantone colors that look good on you?

However if you must wear black or beige, I suggest one of Nordstrom layered beaded fringe tops or an eyelet lace top. This year lace is allowed but no sexy transparencies.
In my country in Italy, we believe all women of all ages must wear a pair of red undies for good luck at New Year’s Eve. Go ahead, you have one more day to get that pair. Have a blast in red and a splendid 2016 all the way through. Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinadesigns.com/services#fashion-services

 

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

VCXmasValentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. To better help people in the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Waiting For New Year | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

One of the pleasures of entertaining family or friends is the setting of the table process. Food of course should be the focus of the table. A well-decorated table with poorly prepared food does very little for the spirit and I would say for the stomach too.
Once I was asked to describe bad food and my answer was “food haphazardly scrambled together but presented well”.

Having a theme in mind is one of the important elements when styling a table. Creating light, dark, shadow and silhouettes are super ways to illuminate the space around the dining table.  Repeat the same trick on the table with the decorations.
(Click on the photo to vie it larger).

Christmas Table Setting by ©Valentina Cirasola

If a chandelier is over the table and candles on the table, you might want to create an ambience by turning the chandelier on dimmer and let the candles cast a warm shadow.
Recessed down lighting over the dining table is a bit tricky. If a down lighting is not placed properly, all the people sitting at the dining table will have a dark shadow under the eyes and everyone will look a bit more aged than they really are.

Inside of a theme, select the season, texture and the colors you want to assemble. The solutions are endless as you can imagine. You have the choice of keeping every thing in the same coloration or texture, which gives the table a calming effect. You also have the choice of making a creative or funky arrangement.

Let’s take a few colors as samples.
If you want to create a tablescape with the sea in mind, the underwater world includes all the blues from the darkest ocean to blue sky but also includes all the blue-green tonalities of the underwater garden vegetation.
For a nature inspired table setting, the green beauties will include all the variation of foliage colors to olive greens.
A fall arrangement will have a riot of colors to choose from. You can select the reds with an undertone of orange and pink; the oranges that lean towards pink, the purples with a red base, or you can mix browns bleeding into shades of grays.
If the colors of natural gems inspire you, add some metal texture to the tablescape. Gems and metals are both two elements formed in nature; they combine well with the drinking glasses and fabric cloth, two other kinds of texture.

Tablecloth and napkins must not be necessarily of the same set and colors.  Actually if they don’t match is even better, will make the table an interesting canvas to look at.

In my arrangement of the end of the year I did not want the usual red cloth most people use for festivities. Instead, I chose to use dark colors on the table illuminated by metal candle lanterns to emulate the dark winter night, the light of the stars over buildings and the new spiritual light that will infuse the night turning into a new year.

The year 2012 has been described as the year of the Aquarius, not as the ‘60s movies, but as a very spiritual year, a new era of rebirth and enlightenment. Colors will take inspirations from nature, but the exciting part is that we can create a mysterious combination with the undertone of each color and use it in a new way to set the mood, or create high contrast never done before.

This year let me help you projecting your personal image, your home image, or your party tables into new modern, graphic colors that will speak about you and your personality. The current millennium loves colors! Happy New Year, make it great, make it fun. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer and former Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe since 1990. She blends well fashion with interior and colors the world of her clients. She has been described as “the colorist” and loves to create the unusual.
She is the author of  ©RED- A Voyage Into Colors the forthcoming book on the subject of colors. She is also a published author of two Italian regional cuisine books available here on this site on the Books page and in various other locations.  

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

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