About Me

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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... 

Translate to ANY Language | Click on▼ to select, than on ► to translate...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

FINALLY two successful grafts of our Grand View Gold Live Oak

On April 3, we received the great news from tree enthusiast Adam Black, that he had FINALLY two successful grafts of our Grand View Gold Live Oak!
We got to know Adam in November of 2012, when he was still with the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, FL.
He made the trip to our garden several times, trying to graft this very rare species.
On April 16, Our Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold looks almost as golden as my Escada leather skirt!
April is Grand View Gold Oak's most stunning season and on April 13, Adam got to see it in all its glory as he once more did make the LONG drive to our garden...
Coming all the way from Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, Texas!
You can find the article by Adam about Preserving a Stunning Golden Live Oak in their Peckerwood Garden Newsletter, just scroll down to read about it.
Of course, Pieter too is feeling very proud of the fact that this unique tree will get preserved for the future!
Pieter is wearing his Patrick James Herringbone Tweed Ibizza grey sport coat, woven in Italy with Alberto Tonal Stripe Five-Pocket Jeans from PatrickJames.com. with his Ermenegilda Zegna shirt and Escada silk elephant tie.
My Escada leather skirt and Escada shoes.
Wearing it with my RED Valentino sweater.
To the left you can see our Spooky on the lawn...
Of course, our loyal Spooky boy is always near us, he follows like a doggy!

Thanks for your visit!
Catching up on things, slowly...

Related links:
{Princess Diana's Elephant Tie just like Pieter's} | previous post by me showing Pieter's silk tie
{My Escada & RED Valentino Score} | previous post by me showing the above outfit...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

WOW Finally my Tonelli Design Strata Desk from Italy is HERE!

A very long wait from March 2, but so worth it!


When I found this DREAM desk Strata by Tonelli Design in Italy, it made me search for a USA connection.
Sure enough UltraModern could handle that!
It had to be shipped all the way from Italy and of course there had to be a FULL order for making it worthwhile.
Speckie-girl is inspecting it...

But this morning at 10:50 AM we got our truck delivery with the heavy 80 kg/176 lb plus the added weight of pallet and crate.
This photo shows the removed crate...


This was the picture that made me fall in love with it... from the above link at the top.
Perfect ergonomics!


FB Page Tonelli Design does show the special structural glue, used for the welded glass parts!
It looks like a dream...


Quite an upgrade from June 2013, when we just had remodeled our office.
This old PC crashed in August of 2015 and we replaced it with an Apple.

So my Summer started off perfect; even if the weather was a bit rainy.
Perfect for getting the office ready, cleaning it out and receiving my new treasure.
Hope you like it too.

Thanks for your visit and comments!

Related link:
{Our Smaller Office} | previous post by me, showing the remodeled office










Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Surprise Clematis Josephine - Bird Poop GIFT

Already inside the greenhouse, on March 29, this new Surprise Clematis 'Josephine' was blooming.
We never purchased it so it must be another gift from some bird...
It sure is a lovely one with its very double center!

Do you love Clematis?

Thanks for your visit.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day to my Father-in-law in Heaven

Guess I have seen my Father-in-law when I was a teenager, going to Church in Horst, The Netherlands but I never officially met him. Sad, as I would have loved to meet him in person! He passed away on Friday, April 21, 1967 when I was only 16 years old.
On Sunday, August 15, 1920 this photo was taken of my Father-in-law.
A very handsome young man he was!
Husband Pieter always told me that he was a kind of a philosopher...
Even I can remember those kind of shirt collars, as my Dad also wore them.
They got buttoned on.
Visible is his tie pin, which was very common at that time.
Also a pocket square.
One more photo of my Father-in-law, wearing a hat. 
The way people dressed up at that time is so different from nowadays' often way too casual dress style.

One day we will meet.
So far I am lucky for still having my own Dad being alive at the age of 96!

Happy Weekend to all and thanks for your visits and comments.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

{Angels engraved on lucky calendar coin of 1969}


It was in June of 1969 when I had read the weekly local paper 'De Echo van Horst' and spotted an advertisement from the practical Training College for Mushroom Growing. So before lunch, I did go over there to apply for the job; and got it. The founder and principal, Mr. Vedder, told me that with my long hair I reminded him of his daughter Lizzy... Later I got to know that cute little daughter of age five. Well, I loved the job, attended also the very first ladies course ever given on the subject of mushroom growing. That was in 1970! Sounds like ages ago that women were not considered to do the very same things as men do... Mr. Vedder turned out to be one of my most favorite teachers. Over the years, thousands of students would agree with me on that! His book, translated into eight official languages, has often been called the Mushroom Bible. It is still available in print in Spanish, as well as in English, at least here in the USA and in Spain. He wrote his first Dutch edition in 1962.
There certainly was a mutual sympathy but nothing else. As I've mentioned before in the blog: {Our Daughter Liz}, that my first cousin Bertie was Lizzy's friend; my paternal grandmother was Pieter's Mom's best friend and my paternal uncle was Pieter's friend at the photo club... I had no inkling that fourteen years later I would become his wife! Up till 1980 I didn't even know his first name as we always referred to him as Mr. Vedder...

Okay, let's pull the curtain of that special year 1969 and have a look: 


Angels are my favorites and on this huge 3.75" (9.5cm) bronze coin they playfully open the curtain ~ so the year can begin! Famous French Engraver G. Simon, designed it and he also had become instantly famous with the design of the 50 cents (centimes) coin for Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. That made him become the Royal Engraver! He has done numerous coins.
My angel coin is in French, listing the beginning of Spring; Summer; Autumn and Winter. As well as the dates of Pentecost and Christmas.
Things have changed in 41 years!



As the angels pull the curtain at the end of the year 1969, let's have a look at some of the highlights since then:


That's me with the long hair at that time... loving roses already! Some antique French roses from an elderly lady that I helped out for some pocket money at the time.


Pieter at the same age as I am in the above photo... in the Dutch military.


Pieter a couple of years later with a head full of hair...


Our civil wedding at the City Hall in Horst aan de Maas, The Netherlands


Happily married, regardless the jet-lag as we landed the day before from a flight back from Atlanta, Georgia USA to The Netherlands...


After our Church wedding in a parish near Osorno, Chile


Honeymoon in Chile, looking into Argentina. I am proud to have readers from both countries!


At the harbor of Cape Town, South Africa on November 24, 1985.


In front of The White House, Washington DC 1987.


After having lived and worked in Pennsylvania and Italy, we moved back to Georgia, USA into our new build home and my Dad from The Netherlands helped us move in.


With our foster daughter Anita, in Indonesia where we lived and worked in Central Java.


Photo taken for the book: A Profile of Dublin & Laurens County Georgia where our story appeared.


At the banquet of the millennium Rotary District Conference.


Trip to the Geuldal in South Limburg (my former Province), The Netherlands during the May 2000 Mushroom Science International Congress.


Going to our annual Crescendo of the Dublin Laurens Arts Council.


Even get to wear my Dirndl to go to the Oktoberfest that was held bi-annually by our best friends Col. John A.Whigham and Dr. Rebecca Whigham.


Picture taken by our foster daughter Anita after midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Spooky our cat is in the picture too, on the left of me... he passed away because of heart-worm!


Again for a reception of the annual Rotary Club's District Conference. Since we no longer are International Consultants we at least get to go! We missed so many opportunities while being abroad someplace else... weddings of friends and such.


This picture is taken at a wedding in Dublin, Georgia.


Another Rotary District Conference banquet where they always ask for wearing the 'Dublin' green jacket. Got Pieter a Brioni 30% silk with 70% cashmere jacket from Neiman Marcus Last Call that is a brighter green than they wear here. The Dublin green jacket we once took to the Rotary Club of Dublin Viking in Ireland to the their Club meeting. When they asked what an ugly color green Pieter was wearing we got cured! They were not in agreement in Dublin, Ireland with that being their Irish green. Indeed, from my fashion education I know better so I've taken care of that one.


Anyway, Pieter looks a lot sharper in a Burberry tuxedo than in the green jacket! I am wearing a silk batik top that I've made from an Indonesian formal shawl, being hand painted with gold. Added frogs closures (Brandenburger sluiting in Dutch or Brandenbourgs) that I found in Spain while on a tour there. Lined it with black silk lining from my favorite West Coast specialty store (HUGE!) in San Francisco Britex. That are the perks when you travel the world; you find all the luxury that is out there and happen to come upon the most unique stores... For those of you that sew or design, check out Britex Notions.
Let's end with this and toast to many more happy years in good health!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Happy with my Scuba Skirt

We all have had no doubt something that we fell in love with right away, until the price ticket scared us off!
One of Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th emails showed such a gem.
Of course I tried to wait till it got on sale but then it was SOLD OUT!
Wearing it here, with my sewing creation that I've shown you before.
It goes perfect with this Silk Quilted Vest that I paired with silk Escada blouse.
The Scuba Skirt is in a moss green and so are my Escada shoes.
Here is the J BRAND Kimberly Scuba Skirt that I've posted on Pinterest, just scroll down.
Also the back side with special zipper.
Just like a dream object...
One rainy day I thought, why not Google this J BRAND Kimberly Scuba Skirt?
Low and behold, at Poshmark.com I found it; new and half price and in a size S!
Laughing with this cast iron 'OWL', It can hold a votive candle for special light effect.
We got it long before I joined the Choir of the Knight Owls...
Love the length of this skirt so much and the freedom.
I had an A-line Escada skirt but our late Spooky boy did claw it while carrying him on my hip to the mail box. I got two holes from his hind legs where he dug in!
At that time he was still an indoor only cat and he got excited about some dog...
But finally, I found this replacement!
Blending in with nature...
This is taken on April 2.
Pleats in the back too and for the zipper you have to check out my Pinterest as it is not visible here.
Yes, we still had azaleas here!
Not much of a show this year, due to the late frost.
Spooky boy did approve of my skirt! They love to linger in our Gazebo.
So does Barty boy, our eldest 13-year old.
And above all, the photographer, husband Pieter who is holding here our HUGE Clematis Lanuginosa Candida blooms.

Thank you for your visit!

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