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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

{1818 Jeanne d'Arc Rose in Our Garden}

On April 2nd already our French Jeanne d'Arc Rose started blooming, from Pickering Nurseries, Ontario in Canada. These nursery people were Dutch immigrants who arrived in 1950. We got our 1818 Jeanne d'Arc in January of 2001 and it is a very prolific, very early bloomer. You also will find this noisette rose at The Antique Rose Emporium. On April 12 ours was in full bloom already. Join me for a Mariette's Back to Basics Garden Tour.
These are on the fence of our wood garden, facing the road.
A very vigorous grower indeed!
Facing the wood garden.
A rose to highly recommend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

{Royal Wedding invitation + PIETER's Birthday!}

Today is a very special day as it is the Royal Wedding + my husband Pieter's Birthday!
The latter is a special day because in September things didn't look that good but we both are grateful for having special medical friends who took very well care of both of us. In a previous blog about: {Angels engraved on a lucky calender-coin of 1969} you already saw several photos of Pieter but I have a few more here below...
Those 'Austrian trailing geraniums' we had bought as little plants. But how to bring them into the US? Well, what do you do if you WANT something really bad? We had them canned! And once we let them out and nursed them back to full strength, they thrived. Poor things, when they got canned the snippets of the little green that was on them, kept flying off the conveyor belt. What an idea! Complete with mushroom label and all... but no liquid added.
And yes, I did have once a fuchsia plant but they don't last long here with the hot summers. So I gave up on them. This was in the mid 80s in our previous home in Georgia.
This was in 1986 and now you understand why both of us joined the Fitness Center... We want to get back in shape again! UGA = University of Georgia Football.
 At our present home in the late 90s when our huge Clematis lanuginosa candida was at its showiest. We lost that one, though we still have another. But the good thing is that both of us are still there!!!
That is the most recent photo where Pieter is on top of our balcony.
Less hair but with a bigger heart that has been mended.
May God give him many more years with me as I do love him more and more...
And now to the Royal Wedding!
Enjoy.



youtube.com/theroyalchannel

A very special day: April 29, 2011.
♥♥

Thursday, April 28, 2011

María Cecilia from Casa Dulce Hogar & Andie MacDowell

The more Pieter and I traveled around the world as consultants, the more we discovered that there were so many look-alikes of people we know well. Scary... Of course there are doubles for numerous famous people or for statesmen. But also in daily life we run into them.
María Cecilia from the beautiful blog: Casa Dulce Hogar could be a twin-sister of movie star Andie MacDowell.
On the stairs is María Cecilia to the right, bottom row, with the hot pink shawl (?) over her shoulder.

And here comes María Cecilia's double: movie star Andie MacDowell of 53.
This was in the French LINTERNAUTE

Both ladies even prefer the same colors... hot pink with taupe!
But I DOUBT if Andie can also grow such lovely roses in her garden???

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{Our 'GREEN' Bedroom}

As promised yesterday, today I will show you our bedroom itself. Maybe you get an idea for keeping the planet Green, by conserving energy... We at least tried to reach that goal. Too bad that those Historic Windows indoor shutters from Virginia are no longer available. We fell in love with them and had them already in our previous home in Georgia. My brother Harry than even made a set for us, for the guest bedroom; proving his woodworking skills successfully! So we were thrilled when we built this house in 1990 to find once more those solid oak Historic Windows indoor shutters. We painted them white however! But come on in...
This is where we left yesterday, the new 'Green' indoor shutters hung by Pieter himself. These are ready made Masonite bi-folds from Home Depot. 
Our floors are Bruce solid oak planks of 5" width and we're very pleased with that quality. Consumers Report gave them the highest rating at the time we were doing the research.
Our furniture we did ship 3 x across the Atlantic Ocean and due to the solid French oak, it survived each time, without any damage.
Here you see those solid oak (painted white) Historic Windows indoor shutters. The six panel is called 'Charleston'. The same hand crocheted filet lace valence, in French DMC, for the window as I had on the shades for the French door. We both love the unobstructed view without curtains and yet have privacy with the shutters and they're the ultimate for Going Green for saving energy!
When opened, they fold away to the side and they close with a magnet that you see at the top.
Closed view
Our six pound Tiggy Tiger, she loves the French Yves Delorme bed linens... We've been lucky with an Yves Delorme Outlet in Chattanooga, TN; a four-hour drive for us. They also sell the lightweight batiste down duvet and down pillows. We have on all our beds the European squares and the standard down pillows from +Yves Delorme. That makes you sleep like a rose... while being watched by wooden Cherubs from Italy.
The double oak armoire with tassels from Yves Delorme...
The door to the hallway, of the same Masonite with six panels and matching the oak indoor shutters.
Our build-in closet with the very same Masonite bi-fold doors that Pieter got the idea from! Except that he needed to add a third one to each folding unit.
The door to our bathroom and again back to the balcony...
Our walls + ceiling are painted in Benjamin Moore® Natura® 2096-70 Early Sunset an eco-friendly choice.
The all cotton Vista area rugs in natural are from Solutions and are very practical and hygienic.
Hand crocheted filet lace rose doily in fine DMC thread and cross stitch alphabet letters are done by me. Not the tablecloth. The braid on the ombré silk in the shadow box, is of course mine and not Pieter's...
Hand embroidered silk doilies on the table are from China. Pieter did bring them back from his trip as Citizen Ambassador.
Our Balcony with teak table and chairs...
Vintage Woodworks balustrade in wood...
Home is where the heart is...
Heart shaped bird feeder with pull out drawer

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

{Going Green for our Bedroom + Confederate Jasmine in bloom}

Just before we went to Florida on vacation, Pieter did complete quite a job. Last year in August I had been searching for the possibility of having sliding shutters for our bedroom's French doors. Well, due to Pieter's open heart surgery on September 3, that ended the entire plan... Let's have a look at our bedroom and balcony.
These sliding French doors exit onto our balcony and right now, the Confederate Jasmine is blooming at its best. This Jasmine is making a pretty evergreen arch and if you could only smell their perfume as well! This is also the south west side of the house so in summer when temperatures are between 35°C and 42°C it can really get hot. So that's why we do have solid oak indoor shutters on all our windows except in the kitchen and veranda. Also this French door had the linen shades that we did buy in The Netherlands and I added a hand crocheted filet lace border.
This photo lets you see my hand crocheted filet lace border and also the highly fragrant Confederate Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides, more in detail.
Two birdfeeders for chopped peanuts and nuts...
From the inside looking at the linen shades with my hand crocheted filet lace edging. I used French DMC Cébelia size 20 thread.
Removing all the old molding to fit a new molding for the sliding shutters in order to go Green. That will have quite an impact on our electricity bill as well for cooling in summer as heating in winter.
Instead of having some costly sliding shutters, Pieter worked out his own, more economic version!
Bye-bye linen shades after serving us for almost 18 years. But they never darkened the room at mid-day when Pieter needs to take his nap... One more reason for replacing them and going Green!
The new made-to-fit frame is on and the Masonite bi-fold doors are hung from their rails.
Tomorrow I will show you photos of our entire bedroom so you can see how these six panel bi-folds go perfectly with our solid oak indoor shutters. We also have them on our build-in closet.
I felt mighty proud of Pieter for being able to manage such a project again, after his open heart surgery!
The third panel is being attached with two hinges each and folds outward on top of the bi-fold. On a cloudy day we can leave the center section open. It is even more romantic than having the shades pulled up partly, as that only worked for the full width. Clever design by my dear Pieter and for a fraction of the cost from those offered on line.
These photos I made yesterday while the Confederate Jasmine is still pretty.
It is so romantic to wake up to such a view... Two bird families have a nest on top of the pergola, in the Confederate Jasmine. They are protected underneath the roof extension and gutter. Often we get an early morning bird-concert when they want to express their happiness.
Tomorrow I will show you the bedroom itself!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

{Happy Easter with Our Pelargonium 'Rosebud'}

This year Easter is quite late and thus we have NO daffodils like for last year's {Easter Season} ← (click to go to that blog). So I had to fill my Villeroy & Boch egg vases with different blossoms this year. Our Pelargonium hybrid 'Pink Rosebud' and 'Appleblossom Rosebud' were just perfect! So have a look...
The 'Sheep' place card holders with a vintage cream porcelain egg tray and chicken salt & pepper with the Villeroy & Boch egg vases. Because of the color blossoms, I used only the pink and green egg vases. Those 'Appleblossom Rosebud' ←(click it) and 'Pink Rosebud' ←(click it) Pelargonium are available at Logee's Greenhouse. Click on each name to go to their website's page for it.
See my previous blog about {Victorian hybrid Pelargonium 'Red Rosebud'} ← click it. That makes now a family of three different Pelargonium hybrids with Rosebuds. They are so lovely! A study in poetry as Logee's is calling the 'Appleblossom Rosebud'.

  • Just like true roses are these 'Pink Rosebud' Pelargonium...


  • The real chicken egg gives you a good idea about the size of the blossoms!


  • Those 'Appleblossom Rosebud' Pelargonium are so special...

On April 12 they started budding up and were just perfect for a great Easter bouquet. Hope you all do have a Happy Easter with lots of sunshine! Thanks for your visit and don't forget my worldwide GIVEAWAY; ends on May 1st. Click at top right on side-bar to go there and good luck!

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