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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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Sunday, April 29, 2012

{My Hand and Dupuytren's Contracture}


  • While on vacation at the Hyatt Regency in Curaçao I did discover two lumps in my left palm... 
  • Very strange and it did worry me of course. 
  • After coming home I did check in with my internal medicine doctor and he put me on Mobic, against the inflammation as it felt hot too. But it didn't do anything. 
  • Next was a visit to my specialist, the one who has been treating me since I got paralyzed ←(click it) almost completely from a rare auto immune disease, early January 2010. 
  • They diagnosed me with Polymyalgia Rheumatica and treated it with Prednisone and I also have to take weekly the Atelvia for preventing bone loss (side affect from the Prednisone). 
  • Got so happy for being completely off the Prednisone in November of last year. 
  • But now I got a new dose of Steroids injected into one of the lumps. 
  • It didn't go away though, it slightly hardened. My specialist suggested to monitor it as the x-rays didn't show him anything that would make him nervous. 
  • But it started to bother me more and more and not knowing what it actually is, created a knot in my stomach. 
  • So this Thursday I did go to see a hand surgeon at the Orthopedic Center in the next city. 
  • Well, as it turned out there is NO cure for the condition that I have and it is called Dupuytren's Contracture. ←(click it) Named after French surgeon Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1835) ←(click it) who discovered it.

  • It seems to be rare for having those lumps in the palm of the hand, not directly under the little or ring finger. 
  • Maybe I'm lucky?


  • This is how it looks when those nodules are formed under the little and ring fingers.
  • We do know one gentleman who has this problem in his right hand, exactly like on the photo to the left in this brochure that I received.
  • Well, there is no cure and I don't need treatment as long as I can place my hand flat on a surface.
  • Let's hope it will stay that way for a long time to come!
Former President Ronald Reagan is among 7 Famous People With Dupuytren's Contracture ←click it -
I also shared my Birthday with him!

  • By checking the Internet on the Causes, ←(click it) I also learned that it may be associated with an autoimmune reaction, where a person's immune system attacks its own body tissues. 
  • That happened in January 2010 when I ran a high fever and had a SED rate as high as it possibly could get, due to inflammation somewhere in my body. The Prednisone performed miracles for me.
  • A body is a tricky machine!


  • Risk factors... People from Northern European descent, they call it even the Viking Disease.
  • Diabetes also seems to be a risk factor. I do did have Diabetes Mellitus, or Type 2 but keep it under control by diet. 


  • Here they again list that it occurs more frequently in patients with diabetes mellitus←(click it).


  • How it is diagnosed? ←(click it)
  • Good to read that it may be painful in the beginning... so I might get rid of that after a while.
  • I also have noticed that with rainy weather it will be felt more. 
  • Not a real pain but some nagging feeling.
  • Well, it is nothing to applaud about but I thought it might be helpful for sharing this with others.

Let's enjoy the weekend as it will be my husband Pieter's Birthday on the 29th! 

Related link:
{Fighting the Water + Scanning Slides} | other post by me showing my hand



Friday, April 27, 2012

{1950s Camille Tharaud Limoges Lampe Berger with Violets}

From France I like to show you these two vintage 1950s Camille Tharaud Limoges Lampe Berger with Violets. They both are in perfect condition, complete with brass crown, snuff cap and wick. One of them even has the older ajoured brass crown. Very rare and sought after collectors items. French Monsieur Gérald Vilcocq, did write the hardcover book: >Lampes Berger A Century of History. You don't need to go all the way to France but just shop on line at my Zen Cart on line Boutique Mariette's Back to Basics  for these unique pieces. World-Wide Shipping!
Both are sold out...
Those brass ajoured crowns have their vintage patina.
In the center I placed a Baccarat vase with ribbon violets, made by Dana from Lambs and Ivy Designs. You ought to see her work as it is incredible. Look on Pinterest: Lambs and Ivy Designs Ribbonwork
The heart that loves is always young...
Look at the hand painting on those beautiful Limoges porcelain Lampe Berger.
They are slightly different, indicating their hand work. The ajoured crown lampe, to the right, is slightly taller and also the porcelain lampe base has a nice gilded edge around its neck. 
Their shape is also slightly different. But they are without any scratch or whatsoever; perfect pieces for their age.

Tell me, do you own any vintage Lampe Berger?
And if you are not familiar with the Lampe Berger usage, watch this educational video from Lampe Berger, called >LIVE IN AIR YOU LOVE.
This is the underside with its Camille Tharaud Limoges France markings from the least ajoured brass crown to the left.
This underside with markings belongs to the most ajoured brass crown, it has the initials TP.
On page 210 of Monsieur Gerald Vilcocq's book you can find several markings, also from Camille Tharaud, at the bottom.

That was it for todays boutique items.
Hope you liked the violets!

Related links:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{Our Cedrus Deodara or Cedar Rose Tree...}

Last year on March 26, I fell in love with a post by Rosabella la vie en rose ←(click it), about pine cones in the shape of a ROSE! After some research about this Himlayan Cedar I did find its botanical name: Cedrus Deodara. When their cones are mature, they disintegrate and the tops of the cones get pushed off and they resemble a rose. Look at images of: cedrus deodara rose cones ←(click it.
Pieter and I were over joyed when on Sunday, March 11 we found this very tree at the County Farm Plant Co, Inc. in Baxley, GA ←(click it). Our best friend took us along and we hauled this tree back home with us. Those of you, lucky enough to live near our area, can get it there as well. They have excellent plants, shrubs and trees. Let's show you our new Cedrus Deodara...
It stands behind our pond, as it can become a HUGE tree with quite a diameter.
Here it is! My husband Pieter dug out a deep hole and filled it with potting soil and good top soil that he got at Home Depot. That is the best investment one can give any plant, shrub or tree. Our local soil is not very rich and has poor water holding capacity. 
Looking forward to the time that we will grow our first Cedar Roses...
Does any of you have Cedar Roses in the garden? Please tell me all about them.
Related link:
Sandrina- Nicht perfekt, aber "unique" | look how pretty those rose cones can be!

Monday, April 23, 2012

{Blooms on our Windmill Palm - Trachycarpus fortunei}

The Trachycarpus fortunei, or Windmill Palm, is one of the most cold hardy of the Palm trees. It also looks striking when it blooms. So those pictures I want to share with you here. This is actually a Chinese fan palm ←click it.
First picture is taken on March 24 against the back drop of our Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold or Golden Live Oak. 
On March 13, this is how it started with the blooms still inside a big bud.
March 24, with again in the back drop, to the left, our Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold or Golden Live Oak. Sacha-girl, our cat is on the driveway.
Amazing what all comes out of such a closed bud!
Resembles sorghum here...

Very exotic!
March 28 now, more and more palm blooms.
Mother nature works wonders...
March 31...
A day with over cast on March 31, but what a colors. Below are some other links where you can see this beautiful palm, even in wintertime, during the ice storm.
Hope you enjoyed looking at one of our exotic looking evergreen trees.
Do you have palm trees? 


Related links:
{Our Different Oaks} | previous post by me
{Your Silver Belt Loop Jewelry} | previous post by me

Related links where this stunning Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold, can be seen:
Wow...I think this deserves a thread! Golden live oak! | GardenWeb discussion...
{Lush Green Garden} |previous post by me
{# 1111 - Our Golden Live Oak 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' changing color} | previous post by me
{Golden Live Oak 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' in Sunshine at its BEST} | previous post by me
{Our Golden Live Oak 'Quercus Virginiana Grand View Gold' with Catkins} | Previous post by me
{Our Mrs. G. G. GERBING Azaleas} | previous post by me
{Our Patio Tiles in the Front} | previous post by me
{RARE Icicles in Our Garden} | previous post by me
{Energy Efficient GREEN Roofing Arrived} | previous post by me
{My Powder Blue Escada Jeans Suit} | previous post by me showing me in front of Grand View Gold
{Our Lovely Lilac Clematis 'Silver Moon'} | previous post by me showing young Grand View Gold
{Our Different Oaks} | previous post by me
{My Silk Quilted Vest Creation and YOUR Opinion Requested...} | previous post by me showing golden oak
{Our Live Oak got a Haircut}| previous post by me

Saturday, April 21, 2012

{Flora from our Curaçao Vacation}

Just like to show you a bit more from the flora that we found on the Caribbean Island of Curaçao while on vacation at the Hyatt Regency. We did a lot of walking around the Santa Barbara Plantation, Curaçao ←click it . Around this finest golf course and marina resort community in the Caribbean it is nice hilly. 
Here I am standing in front of one of the many towering Kadushi cactus  ←click it.
The Cereus Repandus ←(click it), better known as the Kasushi cactus is more like a multi-trunk tree with thousands of needles!
Surprisingly hard indeed. Click→ Christoffel Park, Curaçao for more info on this unique cactus.
Observing birds and everything else that came on our path...
I do need some help with identifying this large leafed plant or shrub with its amazing flowers. 
Any hint is appreciated as we are curious!
Pieter is showing you here the Acacia dealbata or Silver wattle, Mimosa ←(click it) flowers. Did you notice that this shrub also does have needles? One better watches out for it can really hurt you. 
When we visited the capital of Willemstad, we of course did go also to the floating market. Fresh fruits from Venezuela are being sold every day on the quay. We bought several varieties and here I want you to see the yummy Sweet Calabash, Sweet Cup or Calabasi. Botanical name: Passiflora maliformis. 
A typical fruit for Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands...
We certainly did enjoy this paradise and we will be back!
Have you ever been to the Caribbean?
Tell me do you love exotic fruits as much as we do?
Would love to hear from you...


Related articles
{Our Curaçao Vacation II} | previous post by me
{Back Home from Curaçao} | previous post by me
{Our Curaçao Vacation} | previous post by me
{Hyatt Regency - Santa Barbara Plantation Curaçao} | previous post by me
{Trupial or Orange Breasted Oriole - National Bird of Curaçao} | previous post by me

Thursday, April 19, 2012

{Cotton Ajour Sweater with Lace Effect, knitted by Me}

One more AJOUR sweater in a lace effect pattern, I'd like to show you. This is a 100% cotton one, so it can be worn over a longer period of time. I've slightly altered the pattern at the neckline.
Barty, our 8-year old male cat, is joining me into our garden.
On Monday, April 9, I read Willy's post about Twee breirollen or Two knitting-rolls as it used to be done in the 18th century. Different stitches, even up to one hundred, were done in one length. There were no magazines then. Even some 70 years ago it was done by the students and the stitches were written down in a book. 
Look→ here | right click it, for Willy's post about those knitting rolls. 
This knitting history story is also printed on the Ariadne magazine's page, from where I used this pattern.
  Our weeping peach tree wears a protective cuff...
Wish those peach blossoms would stay longer...
Best colors of spring!
Detail of the AJOUR with Lace Effect. It was really a joy to knit this out of cotton. 
Answering some readers' question about how I find time to do this, besides everything else, plus blogging... These sweaters were knit 'BB' or Before Blogging!
My neckline is done straight...
Okay, this is only helpful for readers in the Dutch language but it gives each one an idea.
For my MIA Missing In Action over the past four days, I will be catching up with you soon. 
Welcome to all the new followers, I promise to visit you soon.
Today our new modem arrived and we had again Internet. Blogging via iPhone is nearly impossible so I've been very active doing other chores, like doing laundry and ironing.

What is your favorite yarn to knit with; if any?
Hope you have a pleasant mid-week and enjoy reasonable weather too.


Related articles
Mohair blend Peacock-stitch Sweater Knitted by Me | previous post by me
{AJOUR KNIT JACKET FOR MY NIECE MAARTJE} | previous post by me
{30 Years  Ago In My Rose Sweater} | previous post by me

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{Introducing the ULTIMATE Rose artist from Château de Fleurs}

For quite a while I've been following and even more so, admiring a lady from the west coast, in Fallbrook, California. Her name is Christie Repasy from the blog Château de Fleurs ←click it) and the website Christie Repasy Designs ←click it. She surely is a Blogger I Admire! 
Baby Blush, by Christie Repasy... 
Christie has been featured in Romantic Homes ←(click it) and also on the Rachel Ashwell's television show.
One more TV presentation is shown here below.
Just have a look at this HGTV Country Style video 

Rose Painter Christie Repasy at her Laguna Beach Cottage

Vintage Rose Study by Christie Repasy
Evette by Christie Repasy...

Don't you just LOVE her real looking painted roses?


Saturday, April 14, 2012

{Mohair blend Peacock-stitch Sweater Knitted by Me}

Just like to show you my hand knitted Peacock-stitch sweater in a mohair blend. Since I've always loved ajour knitting, this was a great pattern for me.
Photo is taken on March 25, under our weeping peach...
The sun was rather bright...
Relief of one cloud... creates different shades of pink.
That's the peacock pattern!
And my silver bracelet for my birthday... with roses.
The days for wearing a sweater with mohair are over, till we get into fall again.
This is where I got the idea from...
Sweater in Peacock stitch.
Pattern is in Dutch...
One more sweater in Peacock stitch...
Do, or did you love to knit sweaters in ajour knit, like this peacock pattern?

There are two blog-ladies whom I admire for their knitting of sweaters and such: Anett from Fadenstille  and Marlies from Bergzauber stricken.
Of course, there is Mieke from Gebreidesjaals who knits heavenly shawls and stoles in ajour knit with lace patterns. 

Below are two links for more info.

Related articles
{AJOUR KNIT JACKET FOR MY NIECE MAARTJE} | previous post by me
{30 Years  Ago In My Rose Sweater} | previous post by me

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