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... 

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

{Our Bird Cages from Exotic Indonesia}


  • Living and working in Indonesia did give us many opportunities for exploring exotic places and also for finding unique gifts to bring home with us. 
  • On November 29 of 1999 we did go to a huge market for birdcages. Pasar Ngasem west of Kraton Palace in Yogyakarta, was the place to go to! BATIK DARMO Sangkar Burung & Aneka Kerajinan.
  • Speaking the language is always helpful in finding out where exactly to go for certain items. In one of our hotels in Yogyakarta those birdcages were hanging above the buffet line in the restaurant. It was at the Hotel Santika Jogja. Make sure to click on Gallery when opening this hyperlink. 
  • Most people have no idea  how exotic Indonesia really is!

This is the one hanging in our Veranda...
Also did get one for dear friend Becky.
Those were the days we could still travel with additional luggage; not as many restrictions then!
Two large ones, now finding me two smaller ones... One for my sister Diny  and one hangs in our Living Room. Links are shown below post.
How I would have loved to take lots of them home but when flying, there is a limit!
Asians in general do keep birds in cages so the choice is big!
Does any of you have a bird or a bird cage for decoration?
This makes a nice Indonesian corner in our Veranda (see link below post) with the Bali wood carved statue and the Balinese silk batik, framed on the wall. The larger bird cage just hangs from the ceiling down, in front of my hand crocheted curtains.
The blue Delftware houses show that we made many trips back and forth to Indonesia; 21 times we went for work on KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines.
The smaller one, hanging in our Living Room, see link below post.
This is available here in the USA from Cost Plus World Market... and you also find them here on their FB Cost Plus World Market's Page. We came home with our bird cages on the plane; four of them and we paid probably a fraction of the sales price elsewhere with our Rupiah 250,000 but that is also several years ago. It was at the time we were still millionairs... see post about that below as well!

Related links:
Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts | link to FB Fan Page
{Our Veranda} | previous post by me where you can see the large bird cage
{Our Living Room} | previous post by me where you can see the smaller bird cage
{Winter Sale | At the time we were Millionaires} | previous post by me

Monday, April 29, 2013

{BIRTHDAY}

April 29 is dear husband Pieter's Birthday! We both are grateful for yet another year together after all our health problems. Pieter is going strong and has worked so hard the past couple of months. He did put a multiplex board floor on our attic and he compacted the viscose insulation to work it in an even layer underneath those boards. 
Installing a railing on the pull-out stairs and also installing lights with a hotel switch so it will turn itself off automatically, IF we would forget... Proud of my handy-man and let's hope that God will grant him many more years in good health.

Related link:
{Royal Wedding invitation + PIETER's Birthday!} | previous post by me

Sunday, April 28, 2013

{Our Russian Icon - The Mother of God of Smolensk }

Not only do we love East European music but also its very rich culture in general. So it just came naturally that Pieter did purchase this rare and beautiful 17th Century Russian Icon - The Mother of God of Smolensk.
Here she is; very old, directly painted onto wood in a beautiful manner.
The symbolics
A closeup
Our Religious corner in our living room (minus the bottles of course!)...

CHRISTIE'S auction of course is about a very ancient 16th Century Icon of The Mother of God of Smolensk but it does give some interesting insight.
We do have the Dutch book: De wereld der Ikonen, Historisch, theologisch en esthetisch belicht
The world of Icons, Historical, theological and aesthetic highlighted
 Author is Dr. W. Theunissen
Inscribed:
Ikonen halen de hemel neerwaarts en trekken
de aarde omhoog. Zij zijn als vensters op de Eeuwigheid.
W. Theunissen
Translated:
Icons get the heaven downwards and pull up the earth.
They are like windows to the Eternity.
W. Theunissen

Related link:
{Our Living Room} | previous post by me where you can see the smaller bird cage
Christie's Listing of Icons | Icons and Artefacts from the Orthodox World - 26 November 2007
Christie's Listing of Icons | Icons and Artefacts from the Orthodox World - 11 June 2007

Saturday, April 27, 2013

{Our Apartment in Cornuda, TV, Italy}

Just to give you an idea where we lived in Italy, while working there one year.  We left for Italy, from Pennsylvania, using the Italian Consulate in Philadelphia for all our paperwork. All our belongings went again into a 40-foot container across the ocean, back to Europe. Little did we know that in the harbor of Genua there was a strike so we had to make do 8 weeks without our belongings. Only what we carried in our 4 suitcases was all we had. We lived in an apartment at the top. We had bought a lot for building a house later...
That's the apartment building; part of it... Right above the coffee shop sign: BAR BELVEDERE you see two balconies. Those were ours at the time. One was from the kitchen and one from the living room.
Underneath the BAR sign was the entrance and via an elevator we went up.
To the right you could enter the very narrow parking garage. We just barely could fit our Ford Escort.
Dad's Ford Fiesta that we had to borrow to drive to Italy from The Netherlands, fit a lot better!
That's where we lived. Close to Venice in the Veneto Region.
Cornuda in the Province of Treviso, in Italy.
I did use Google maps because each time when we flew over this region, the weather was not clear enough and our cameras not good enough...
That's the map of Italy and you can see the snow in the Alps above.
Driving to the south to Sicily was as far as driving north to The Netherlands.
Italy is a very long, stretched out country!
The yellow marked places are Cornuda, below, where we lived. Pederobba where we worked and where the office was with two big mushroom farms and packaging. Quero, where yet another mushroom farm was, an older one.
That was in the mountains, on the foothills of the Dolomites and along the river Piave. 
I've never had a more romantic drive, very scenic, to my work as in the spring of 1989 when I drove to Quero.
By the way, Pieter was in the hospital of Valdobiadene, that's where artist Mirella SOTGIU made that beautiful chalk drawing from me. See link to that post below.
Here you could reach the back of the apartment and the parking garages, very limited in number though! To the left you still see the two balconies that were ours.
Stepping back from the apartments. You see there is parking adjacent to the building and that's what we had to use mostly. There was a dirt road going up the hill to an old farmstead with horse stables. We have walked up there several times. It is mountainous.
Here you get a little bit of an idea about the hilly part.
This is from another angle, from a side street. The two left balconies at the top was where we lived.
Below the apartment were shops.
Here I've marked the bottom of our balconies 'yellow'... that gives again a view up.
Shops below and also showing the parking places.
This is just around the corner and I only wanted to show the shop Rosetto where before was a gift shop for luxury items. There I sold lots of my imports in consignment. The lady was saddened when I left...
Zooming in on the streetlevel I used the Google map from this link. Interesting how we still can visit places where we lived by using Google! At the time we worked and lived in Italy we have made very few photos. Studying in the beginning each day a lesson Dutch-Italian and working 6-days a week did not leave much space for other things. But we enjoyed living there for almost one year. Not so much the fact that building there had to be following the rules for the earthquake region. That meant we had to put as much 'money' in the ground as above by constructing with big concrete pillars in the ground, a thick concrete foundation and all walls had to be very thick concrete as well. We went back to Georgia, USA where we have no earthquakes... But we miss the shopping as Italy is the best country for design, for jewelry, for leather goods like shoes and hand bags and also for lingerie... The food part we can find here in Dublin, Georgia as well and we are lucky with our Italian friend and Lady Chef Maria from Ristorante da Maria.

Related link:
{HELP ME FIND ITALIAN ARTIST M. SOTGIU mother of Luigi Tramarollo} | previous post by me with photos from the River Piave
{YES, I did find the Italian artist who did my chalk drawing!} | previous post by me

Friday, April 26, 2013

{Hats & Me}

  • As a young girl I always had to stand on my toes, nose against the window, when walking past the Millinery Shop 'Bonneterie Van de Beuken in the Steenstraat of Horst my birth place. 
  • My favorite Great Aunt Nelly or 'Oud Tante Nelly', the wife of my Paternal Great-Uncle Handrie, brother of my Grandmother and her sister Mia, did make such lovely hats. 
  • I always have admired the special bows, roses, pearls and ribbons they used as embellishment for those elegant hats. Mom used to buy her hats at their shop!
  • The very same Great Aunt Nelly, has instilled in me, my love for fine china and silver ware. 
  • Whenever I did sew for her a dress or suit, I did visit with her after High Mass on Sunday for fitting. 
  • She always did serve me coffee with pastry in her fine china. 
  • One never knows how such early encounters at a young and tender age do impact our lifestyle... For sure, Tante Nelly will be smiling down from heaven...
  • On August 25, 1984 I had found this matching hat, with veil... to go with my Royal Stuart Scottish Tartan plaid. 
  • Husband Pieter went to England for the British Mushroom Days, by himself and he found at the Scotch House in London a wool shawl, matching gloves and this fabric in a Scottish Royal Stuart Tartan plaid. 
  • So I did sew this pencil skirt out of the fabric. Later I have hemmed up the skirt and I still have it.

The shoes and skirt I still have...
Too bad that the Scotch House has been shut up by the end of 2001.
Just read: The Telegraph - Scotch House to shut up shop.
Pieter used to buy several things there; already for his little daughter Lizzy a Scottish Tartan skirt when she was a toddler.
Are you covering your head with a hat? 
If only for the sun in summer; that still counts!


Related link:
{My Jessica McClintock Hat & Christian Dior Suit} | previous post by me
Life is better with a hat | previous post by blogger friend Bea from Modern Country Lady
My Life in Hats | previous post by blogger friend Marie-Thérèse from The French Touch
{Do YOU all know Our Nations Oldest City - St. Augustine, Florida?} | previous post by me
Mad Women and Their Hats | previous post by blogger friend Marie-Thérèse from The French Touch

Thursday, April 25, 2013

{Sisters Dressed Like Twins}

Most of us that do have sisters probably have been dressed by our parents like twins. At least, my sister Diny, 19 months younger than I am, and I have been dressed like that by our Mom. Even in later life we did manage to get back to that 'TWIN' feeling...
This was in February 1999, when we just had arrived from Atlanta, Georgia/USA to the Netherlands. This is at my parents' home. Diny just received my gift of a Laurèl (by Escada) jeans suit with top. The price tags are still  on the table, next to my elbow... That was fun! For me a size 34, American 4 and for Diny a size 38 or 8.
 I still have mine and it fits.
This outfit I had bought also at the Escada Outlet and mailed it to my sister Diny in The Netherlands in December of 1996. This photos shows us getting together as TWINS once more on April 3, 1997.
Fun again. Even though I could not get the same rib cord top for her, it is still the very same collection.
The skirt came unlined but I guess Diny is showing here some kind of slip...
The men wanted to see who is the tallest of the two...
Guess there was no difference in height!
It sure was fun  to pull this off once more! 
Have you dressed like TWINS in your later years?

Related link:
Tweeling? | Twins? post by Willy from De Tante van Tjorven
Escada at Premium Outlets

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

{Our Dutch Atlas Zaanse Wall Clock in Oak}


  • Maybe you already did see our Dutch Zaanse Wall Clock in my previous post about Our Dining Room. Link you find below this post. 
  • It was a clock that I bought just before my wedding in 1972. 
  • I recall that due to the gas being on coupons (gasoline distrubution due to limited availability because of an oil crisis), one jewelry store refused to deliver and hang it for us. 
  • But this is what we ended up with, the oak version of a very stately Dutch Atlas Zaanse Wall Clock.

At the top you see 'ATLAS' bearing the heavens on his shoulders. He is standing on the metal bell that is being struck by a metal hammer every full and half hour.
Detail showing 'ATLAS' bearing the weight of the heavens... (click link for definition)
It is inscribed in Old Dutch: NU ELCK SYN SIN
NOW EACH GETS HIS WAY
The cast metal figures represent Faith, Hope and Charity.
The entire clock shows beautiful ornate brass design work.
The dial plate is mounted on black velvet.
Some describe the dial plate as being surrounded with four cherub angels but I'm not sure about that.
Anybody with more information about these ancient figures, please let me know!
This is where ours resides.
The pear shaped brass gilt metal weights need to be pulled up every 8 days.
The pendulum shows a rider on a horse.
They seem to have been made also in Rosewood as is shown here at a Christie's auction.



CHRISTIE'S A DUTCH BRASS-MOUNTED ROSEWOOD WALL CLOCK 'ZAANSE STOELKLOK' this Christie's link shows even more antique Zaanse Wall Clocks. Just click them to find out.
Any information is welcome!


Related links:
{Our Dutch Table Clock} | previous post by me
{Our Dining Room} | previous post by me
As Time Flies | post by Delores from Vignette Design showing her clocks

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{My Indonesian Silk Batik Sarong & Kebaya}

Of course having lived and worked for many years in Indonesia I could not resist buying a formal Indonesian Silk Batik Sarong and a white cotton lace Kebaya. That is very much the traditional wear for the country. For normal wear it is made out of cotton batik and for special occasions the use of silk and other valuable fabrics is being used.
  • Being blond and blue eyed, I fell for this blue silk batik sarong...

My photographer did cut my feet off... 
It is quite an art for putting this on yourself!
With the use of a half corset, the silk batik fabric of the Sarong is being held in place. I do wear a white camisole under the cotton embroidered lace Kebaya/blouse.

My white embroidered lace Kebaya came from Batik Nyonya Indo
Purchased at Hotel IBIS, Jl Malioboro in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
My silk batik Sarong is from SAPTOHOEDOJO
Our boss in Indonesia did bring us there often.
They had a restaurant with delicious food and she had a beatiful Art Gallery and the best batiks in town.
We also did watch beautiful Javanese dancing in her theatre!
Glad that I purchased this silk batik Sarong at her airport shop...

Related link:
{Anita Anggraeni our Foster Daughter} | previous post by me showing foster daugther Anita in her Wedding Sarong, just scroll down.
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