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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Thursday, May 31, 2012

{SUGAR is your #1 enemy!}


  • Since some of you have asked me what my secret is for maintaining the same size and weight since I was 15, here is an interesting story about sugar. 
  • In 2007 I learned that I had high blood sugar levels, diabetes type 2 or diabetes mellitus as they call it. Since than I have removed most sweet foods from my daily diet. 
  • I never drank coke or any soft drinks, just plain water. 
  • From childhood on I always have had a fondness of fruits and vegetables, of course being the daughter of a market gardener I was born into them. 
  • That is a good and healthy habit. 
  • In a later post I will show you some fruits that are natural diuretics, that also helps you for looking slim(mer). Below this post you find some helpful links to my previous posts!
  • Now about this fun way of expressing the effect of sugar intake. I received it in an email and below the post I can give you a link of info I found on the Internet. 
  • Guess the sugar consumption world wide is very, very high and we can tell! Be aware...

  • A Unique Way To Present This...
  • 4.2 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar, so this looks like 1 cube is about the same!
  • Someone ought to get an award for this. 
  • We know the facts, but this brings it into perspective quickly, doesn’t it? 
  • Each cube is a teaspoonful (American teaspoon sizing is larger than elsewhere).
  • The fresh fruit sugar, called glucose, is not as bad as processed sugar. It will be broken down by our body slowly and is converted into sucrose and glycogen. Versus processed sugar that will be absorbed very fast into the bloodstream. Therefore fruits are always recommended for Diabetes type 2 patients.


  • Now someone needs to do this with salt!


'When someone shares something of value
with you and you benefit from it, you have
a moral obligation to share it with others.'

Related link:
Just a spoonful of sugar helps...
Flat Belly Diet Foods - Meet the MUFAs! | previous post by me
Foods that Support the Skin | previous post by me
Natural Healing Chart for almost all Sickness | previous post by me with a wealth of information!
{9 'Harmless' Habits That Age You} | previous post by me with great tips
Sugar: The Bitter Truth | A very informative video with LOTS of information

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{Purple Blue Campanula portenschlagiana a Yugoslavian Native}

Have to share this beauty with you, our Purple Blue Campanula portenschlagiana, a Yugoslavian Native. If you do love purple blue as much as I do, this is it. We got ours at Trader Joe's just before we left for our cruise to the Bahamas. I could NOT resist them. They were presented in such a cute little pail, in a soft lavender color, that they had to come home with us. Glad I took some photos. Do you like them? Is any of you having them in their garden? Our region is too hot for this kind of perennial for spreading freely but I certainly did enjoy this mini-garden in a pail. 
Purple blue is for me connected with spring. Certain colors we also love to wear for different seasons. Or is this only me...? Actually I did place my Laurèl wool, angora and cashmere skirt as a backdrop here. The light purple Villeroy & Boch egg matches perfectly. Below this post you find some related links about this perfect porcelain.
Photos are made outside in daylight and you see the changes in color...
If I love something, I love it passionately and let not go easily!
Still hard to capture the 'true' purple blue color with the ever changing sunlight...
Here are two of the Villeroy & Boch eggs.
This photo shows you more of the soft lavender pails that the plants were in.
That is such a neat idea! Love those people that come up with new ideas on and on.
Photos are taken on May 6...
Do you have any purple blue favorite flowers?


Related links:



Sunday, May 27, 2012

{17th Blog Award & 169 Countries Visited}

From Nataša, who writes the blog smilje-art by heart from the city of Pančevo in Serbia, I got my 17th Blog Award. Thank you so much for passing that on to me! Nataša is a lawyer and she lives not too far away from Belgrade, on the beautiful river Danube. We love that part of the world, especially for its melancholic classical music. When I lived and worked in Italy, near Venice, I did train several women from the former Yugoslavia. So I'm not a complete stranger to that part of the world. We also traveled to Hungary a few times, which is on the same river Danube. 
This lady bug is supposed to bring good fortune...
Glad that I'm feeling better and at least I got to mention Nataša as a courtesy, for thinking of me.
Wishing all blogger friends in Eastern Europe the very best and sending lots of love over to your area.
May you all continue to make beautiful hand craft and exchange your art and culture with the world.
So many people have no idea how other countries look like, how they live, what they eat, what they do for a living.
 Nataša is a lawyer, without a job; life is not always easy over at her side of the world.
Thanks for visiting and for following. The world is big but through Internet and Blogger it is becoming small. 
I am very much honored for having 407 followers and readers from 169 countries. On May 6, Gibraltar became the newest country.

It was July 10, 2011 that I put that flag counter on... 
Thank you all very much!

To those that like to take this lady bug home; you are free to do so.

Wishing you a lovely Pentecost weekend and a Happy Memorial Day.

Interesting to read my previous posts:

Friday, May 25, 2012

{My Burda Pattern Silk Skirt - Bow Tie & Scarf Creation}

Thanks for the many well wishes in your comments. In about a week I will feel my old self I guess. The inflammation is going down, now only I deal with the side affects of the medications.
Traveling the world as international consultants always gave me access to several world city shopping malls, like Plaza Indonesia in Jakarta. It was there, where I did buy some nice Gucci silk for sewing a skirt  to go with the leather waist coat that was made for me by Pond's (India) Ltd. leather factory in Chennai (Madras). For both I used a Burda Pattern. The silk skirt is silk lined, using the smooth Japanese Kinkame silk 50 weight thread, which is incomparable. I even did make a silk scarf with hand rolled edges to go with it. For husband Pieter a silk bow tie as well as one for me. Having lived and worked in Indonesia I always had access to the most pretty silk hair bow barrettes with snood. Now, living back in the USA I at least managed to make one myself, to match the skirt. Learn from Mariette as you look at the pictures below... Shopping information for the Kinkame silk thread and silk lining you will find below. Have any of you made a hand rolled silk scarf? Or a silk hair bow? Or maybe a silk bow tie for your significant other? Let me know as I definately want to hear about it!
Scarf, bow tie and hair bow is shown towards the end in more detail.
Voilà, my Burda pattern self sewn silk Gucci skirt...
Photo taken on Pieter's birthday, below you find a link where husband Pieter is wearing his silk bow tie.
Doing a 'tournesol' for showing you the different angels of the skirt.
It overlaps in the front and is inspired by a kind of sarong style.
It is not a wrap sarong though, in the back is a blind zipper...
By the way, do you like this leather waist coat?
That's the back with the blind zipper...
Pond's (India) Ltd. did a great job with the top stitching on this leather waist coat!
We both worked for Pond's and they did this for me as a courtesy. 
I'll treasure this as long as it fits and that's not a big risk as I'm the same size since I was 15.
With this overlapping double layer you have lots of freedom to move, or even RUN...
The part that I lift up here is NOT lined, the rest of the skirt is fully lined.
The waist coat has snap closure and also 2 welted pockets with a zipper. 
A notch collar and top stitching all over.
I've turned the blouse's notch collar over the leather one...
Now let's go to the matching accessories...
My favorite Japanese silk thread! Below you find the link for it...
Also shown here is the solid black silk lining of the skirt.
At the top: hand rolled silk scarf for which the smooth Japanese silk thread works great!
Below the scarf are the two matching bow ties with their hook and eye slide (see link below).
Silk hair bow with snood that I love to wear at times. 
Detail of the hand rolled silk scarf. Below you find a video of how to do this.
Easily done with this perfect Japanese Kinkame silk thread.
My silk hair bow barrette with snood...
Here you also clearly see the black dots that are woven into the silk.
Just love this quality fabric and love to run my fingers through, while at the store...
If you got the bow tie hook and eye slide, these are relatively easy to make!
Now I like to hear from you what you've made for yourself or a loved one.

Links of interest:
Britex Fabrics where I got my silk lining
Britex Notions Kinkame Japanese 50 weight Silk Thread
Learn from Mariette A Stich in Time Wardrobe Care
Mariette's Back to Basics
How to Hand Roll a Scarf video
Pieter is wearing HIS silk bow tie here: {Unique Accordion LOVE Story}
Bow tie hook and eye slide

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{16th Blog Award + Challenge & Personal Update}

On May 18, I did receive my 16th Blog Award from Melanzana but I had no time to post about it right away. Also on May 11, I received a Challenge from Elna Sudden. Thanks ladies but frankly, I am not at all in the mood for passing them on... Got back on medication for my auto immune disease. That puts a bit of a damper on the 'happy' feeling. Let's hope that in a week the inflammation will be gone.
At the time when Elna listed my name on May 11, I was facing the challenge of getting the garden ready, together with my husband Pieter, before going on a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas. That is fun but you work your tail off prior to 'relaxing' time. Garden care, house cleaning, laundry, packing and off we went. Our best friends had asked us to join them and their clinic personnel, as we've also done so in 2009. A great team and we had a fantastic time. Lots of reading, healthy food and elegant dining as a group of 13 together. From Port Canaveral, Florida we first went to CocoCay Island, Bahamas. Strolling around this secluded little paradise in the sun was nice. Next day we arrived at the harbor of Nassau, also in the Bahamas. This 'Sunny Smiley' as Blog Award is therefore perfect for a cruise to the SUN!
Thanks again Melanzana!
This was our 4-night trip from Port Canaveral in Florida to Cococay Island and than to Nassau, both in the Bahamas.
Those Islands like CocoCay are like a tropical Paradise!
Hope you all are doing well.
THANKS for all my new followers and for your visits and comments.
As soon as I feel better (side affect of my medication also...) I will visit more blogs.
Yeah, let's hope it will soon be: Mariette's Back to Basics...


Related articles:
Challenge Accepted + Easter Photos previous post by me
Blog Award previous post by me

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Our Lilac Orchid & Roses}

On our windowsill the lilac orchid started blooming in all its splendor. However the trailing blossoms needed to get elevated so they could fully open up. At the same time we had a lilac rose blooming in our garden. So we teamed them up together. The roses are inside a French Baccarat crystal perfume bottle. Together on our white Corian windowsill. Do you have any orchids blooming right now? 
Are they not a perfect match in color?
On top of an upside down white ceramic planter with sea shells but this worked.
Here the roses are still budding out...
Perfect buds and beautiful leaves as well.
Such a joy to look at on our kitchen bay window.
Hope you do have something blooming on the windowsill as well.
Tell me what it is you are enjoying right now.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

{Our Clematis lanuginosa 'Candida'}

For quite some years now we do have the pure white Clematis lanuginosa 'Candida' with its huge flowers. They can get as big as 9" across and put on quite a show! We used to have one climbing up on on one of the wooden posts in our front porch but we lost it. The one we have now is blooming in the shade, climbing up a tree. After the initial pictures of the flowers, you will get to see the huge vine full with blossoms. Several photos from both of us, posing in front of it in our front porch. Does anybody have this particular Clematis species? Or any other Clematis for that matter. They are such lovely vines.
Pure white with yellow anthers.
This particular leaf above is in a heart shape...
Some wire to initially support the vine for climbing up this tree.
We are again looking at a healthy vine.
This is the one that was climbing up against the wooden post in our front porch.
A happy gardener/husband Pieter...
A proud gardener/husband Pieter as it grew even bigger...
This one in front of our house was quite a show-case!
Of course, I too was proud of this Clematis lanuginosa 'Candida'!
With a friend on Pieter's birthday...
We were so proud of this Clematis 'Lanuginosa Candida' and than we lost it... 
Are you also sad if you lose some of your 'green' children?

Related link:
Clematis lanuginosa 'Candida'  with its large 9" blooms | available here
Clematis lanuginosa 'Candida'| available here


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