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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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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{Surprise Your Guests with Champagne on Tray with Romantic Rose Petals...}

For a romantic {Tuesday May 4, dinner with friends}, I presented our silver tray with Italian Prosecco, in French Baccarat champagne flutes, this way.
On page 41 of the beautiful book from Nouveau Tafelen in Stijl (at Table in Style) you will find this romantic tip for surprising your guests in summer time with a glass of champagne, or Prosecco. Arrange the flutes on a sparkling tray that has been covered by rose petals...
This gorgeous book about Decorations; Recipes; Etiquette and Reception is full of practical and romantic ideas.
Some of those ideas I have put into practice a few times and it gives always a nice surprising effect!
We used our solid silver tray that we had custom made in Kotagede, Indonesia.
For another special occasion, actually when Pieter's Goddaughter Myriam was here.
And what about a romantic toast with the love of your life?
Crystal fluted champagne glasses are French Baccarat Piccadilly and they are available at Replacements Ltd.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{Our Kitchen Improvements}

It is almost impossible to keep up with posting all that is going on in our garden and in the home... But today I proudly want to share some projects that my dear handyman Pieter accomplished just before summer. It made me so happy and it is a daily joy to work with it. Once the weather will cool down a bit (after Labor Day...) I will enjoy my kitchen even more. For now it often is salad time, or something that doesn't require much 'heat' in the kitchen! How about you?
Our kitchen is white... my favorite color. To the left are our Miele dishwasher; plate & cup warming drawer and oven. All +Miele US  appliance is a lot more eco friendly!
The white hot-water faucet has been replaced and also the white kitchen sinks.
Here you see the new hot-water faucet in chrome.
The Atag kitchen sinks and Atag electric cooktop have been replaced after 20 years of use.
One of our 3 Kichler All in One Xenon Under Cabinet Lights as I've written here in a previous post.
They are very slim and have two settings.
New Italian Ilve stainless steel kitchen sinks installed, all by Pieter himself.
+ILVE Appliances available in Australia and New Zealand
Ilve Padova, Italy near where we lived...
The two sinks together and the faucet, which does have a pull out hose and it swivels over both sinks.
Our Amana Energy Star easy reach pull out drawer bottom freezer.
That fridge is super for placing large platters in for special occasions.
Will show more later...
Here is the newest Miele KM 5840 Electric Cooktop.
Pieter had to cut out the Corian counter in order to put this in.
The previous cooktop was 24" (60 cm) wide and this Ceran one is 30" (76 cm) with as bonus a new drawer underneath. This Miele Ceran Cooktop is so slim...
By the way, the mouse is a pink cat toy; not a real one!
There it is, our Miele KM 5656 Ceran Glass Electric Cooktop with 4 heating elements and 6 cooking zones (2 variable zones).
Oh, how happy I was with this additional drawer that Pieter installed!
The Miele Built-In Hood is also a very sleek one. Click Miele Built-In Hood to see how it pulls out.
Great halogen lights and easy to clean removable, dishwasher safe metal filters.
Here you see the back element which is either round or large oval.
The same for this one that is in a variable round size.
The bonus for all my Rösle gadgets... a new drawer!
It is a blessign for having such a great husband with golden hands, who's always eager to please others.
Show more about our kitchen later.

{More of Our Kitchen} previous post by me

{Vintage Signed and Numbered 33 Limoges Lampe Berger by Charles Ahrenfeldt}


  • From France again comes this beauty of a Lampe Berger with an artful Anémones bottle by Charles Ahrenfeldt from 1963-1971. 
  • On page 134 of the book Lampes Berger: A Century of History by Gérald Vilcocq you can read more about the history of Charles Ahrenfeldt. 
  • This is a stunning bottle and in perfect condition as well; complete with ajoured brass crown, snuff cap and burner wick. 
  • That is remarkable for such a lamp, being half a century old! Available at my on line boutique Mariette's Back to Basics  ←click it! Worldwide Shipping!
  • Also see on my website the information about Lampe Berger with History video and Air Diagnosis quiz; click here and select:→ Air Diagnostic and go to the blue hyperlinks with title.

  • Beautiful relief work and to the lower left you also see a signature, near the stems with thorns. 
  • That is very rare!
  • A detail of the Anémones, See signature at left?
  • Anemone tomentosa Robustissima is the botanical name of these flowers. 
    Also called Japanese Anemone, Windflower. 
  • Part of the back side, beautiful detail too.

  • Triple initials CA with Limoges France and Porcelaine Charles Ahrenfeldt Limoges France.
  • Also numbered 33.

  • Made in France on this side of the brass neck... 
  • All complete in brass as the vintage models used to be made. 
  • The new ones nowadays have a very light aluminum crown and are no longer made from heavier brass, bronze or tin. 
  • Even the earliest catalytic is in tact. 
  • Again a signature visible here.

In about two weeks I will list two more of these Charles Ahrenfeldt Lampe Berger but they do NOT have this special signature and are not numbered either...
  • Made in France

  • Lampe Berger

This is page 134 from the book I have for reference.
  • This is the book I got from publisher NOÈME
  • I could not scan that part as this hard cover is too large, but it is written under the Lampe Berger at the bottom.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

{Vintage Christofle Pastry Tong}

For serving your guests some of your home baked sweets, you can use this lovely Christofle Pastry Tong. Very fine, old craftsmanship is being shown here and it is just simple elegant. Again, available at my Zen Cart powered on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics. Prepare a special tea for your lady friends and create some charm from a bygone era at your own home. 
Here are some 'cashew clusters' from Costco, served on Royal Doulton English Rose China with the elegant Christofle Pastry Tong.
Simple Elegance...
The antique enameled porcelain Camille Tharaud Limoges cocoa shaker I did show in a previous post: 1930s Camille Tharaud Limoges Shaker for dusting YOUR Cappuccino's with Cocoa
Also the Christofle toast /napkin/letter rack I did show: Antique Christofle Toast Rack + New Ideas for You!
As well as the antique Christofle sugar sifter spoon to the right on top of the blue berries. Of course it can serve a dual purpose! Look for it here: {1862 Christofle Sugar Sifter Spoon 'Filet Violon'} .
Christofle mark shown up close.
It is dating from the 1935-1983 era.
Sold out...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

{4 Antique Christofle Napkin Rings for Tray Service or Mixed Set Use}

Like to show you some more of the lovely antique Art Nouveau Christofle napkin rings that can be used as a mixed set at table or for a special tray service setting. Choice is up to you! Again these are available at my Zen Cart on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics. For more ideas look at my previous post Antique French Christofle Napkin Ring for 'Service for One'
These are available as a set of two for a romantic dinner tête-à-tête. Look at my Zen Cart powered  on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics
My flatware is Gero Zilmeta Menuet 528.
Beautifully worked!
This is a set of TWO identical rings. Perfect for setting a romantic table for your LOVE, for having a dinner tête-à-tête...
OR for a big tray with breakfast à deux in bed, or a tea on the veranda...
Detail with the actual Christofle mark. This is an older version.
Sold out...
This is a very elegant oval Christofle napkin ring with a pleated design.
Available at my Boutique
Such a lovely design!
Going back in time...
Christofle France from the Collection Gallia
Another perfectly round Christofle Gallia napkin ring
Makes for a very elegant setting!
Surprise a loved one...
Gallia by Christofle mark.
Sold out...
On page 74 in the Chonology of my book Christofle you can read:
1898 To create objects for their art nouveau line, Christofle develops a new alloy, gallia. Christofle outfits the Ritz.
Who knows? Maybe you can posess now an item that once was used on a Luxury Liner or at the Ritz...
Christofle is still selling these high quality silver plated napkin rings. Look at: Christofle and type in Recherche: ROND DE SERVIETTE.
China is Princess Anne by Royal Albert. You can find limited pieces still at Replacements Ltd.

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