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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...

Monday, September 30, 2013

{Our Fragrant Hoya Carnosa - Wax Plant}

A treat for the hummingbirds is our fragrant, honey dripping Hoya Carnosa or Wax Plant. Husband Pieter did capture them on camera for you to enjoy. Does any of you also keep this lovely plant?
You can find a variety of Hoya carnosa plants at Logee's Greenhouses by just typing in this name into the search box.
My husband Pieter captured this photo on June 17. Our Hoya Carnosa is outdoors so the hummingbirds can freely feast on their sticky honeydew.
Side by side with our Orchid Cactus on their pedestal...
Indoor plants are nice but being able to have them outdoors is even better!
Here they are on July 20, in our gazebo on the railing where they can trail freely as well.
This is hummingbird domain...
Enough sticky honeydew drippings for their daily meal...
Have you ever caught on of these sweet honeydew drippings with your finger to taste?
It sure tastes sweet!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

{Identifying Silver Grape Scissors from Sweden}

Yesterday I did show in my post the tiny, sweet Champagne grapes with silver Grape Scissors in a Rose Pattern. They also are often called Grape Shears.  
Mind you, they are actually not THAT large.
Do you see to the left where a space is cut out for placing the grapes' stem?
That way you easily can snip off a section of a larger bunch of grapes.
One person in her comment asked: 'How do you know the Scissor is meant for grapes?' This was Marianne from the blog: BiebKriebels or Library Jitters, if I translate this from Dutch. So as promised I will get back to the subject.

I learned that I made a spelling error myself, as scissor should be written in plural as scissors.
On my blog post, I've corrected that but in the URL it still shows as scissor.
English is NOT my mother tongue and overall, I guess that my English will be better than your Dutch...
Now let's look at the meaning of this silver TABLE SERVING or DESSERT SERVING piece.
In my book: FORKS KNIVES & SPOONS by Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold I found a nice mention of the silver grape shears. Read more about this Manhattan Design Guru below post...
At the bottom left you can read: One of life's little niceties -- sterling silver grape shears.
From one of Christie's auctions you can find above: A VICTORIAN SILVER-GILT DESSERT SERVICE
Just click the above hyperlink to go to the actual page.
 It shows dessert pieces like forks, knives, spoons, cheese knives, and one pair of grape scissors.

just click on above hyperlink
Now, how did I identify my silver grape scissors as being from Sweden?
You can read here: the Maker's Mark:GRWR - City Stamp: M - 3 crowns and an S for Silver and Date Letter: R9
So what does this tell us?
On page 142, of The Book: +Rosen-Bestecke (Rose Flatware) by +Johanna Gehrlein from +Silber-und-Rosen-Shop I found the marking from Sweden in the form of 3 crowns (seen in Abb. 2).
Johanna is a dear friend and her hardcover book with excellent photographs has proven to be invaluable!
Sure enough the Swedish Mark with 3 crowns and the S for silver is still being used.
Just click and scroll from link above.
The letter M I found here: Swedish Hallmarks and City Stamps and it stands for the city of Malmö in Sweden.
And my Silver Grape Scissors from Malmö in Sweden were made in 1967 according to the R9 hallmark...
This table you find from the very same link in the above City Stamps, just scroll down.

Hope this did answer Marianne's question!

Related links:
{Table Setting versus Table Scape} | previous post by me
{Silver Grape Scissors with Roses and Champagne Grapes} | previous post by me
Organizing Secrets from a Manhattan Design Guru Peri Wolfman | Peri is the writer of the book Forks Knives & Spoons and is now tableware designer for Restoration Hardware after she had been vice president for product development at Williams-Sonoma.
Less to Mess | interview with Design Guru Peri Wolfman from The New York Times, May 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

{Silver Grape Scissors with Roses and Champagne Grapes}

On August 22, I was finally able to make some outdoor photos, using our Silver Grape Scissors and the Champagne Grapes that we found at Trader Joe's the week before. I had not seen them in quite a while... 
So it's off to our balcony, the new polyurethane balustrade and railings are not yet painted but nevertheless.
Here they are... Silver Grape Scissors from Sweden, on our silver gallery tray.
Again it is shown with two gifts that I received from Susan, the author of Ava Grace's Closet; the filet lace hand crocheted doily that lines the tray and the very finely crocheted lace table topper.
On the silver gallery tray are two Baccarat Champagne glasses...
Susan's Mama did such an excellent job on crocheting these pieces.
Thanks again Susan!
Have you ever tasted Champagne Grapes?
They are so sweet and a lot tinier than regular seedless grapes.
Here you can see the roses and leaves on the Silver Grape Scissors.
Some sweet golden wine is poured into the Baccarat champagne glasses.
Some laughing cow cheese and crackers from +Costco to go with the grapes and wine.
Mary's Gone Crackers are ORGANIC • GLUTEN FREE made with Whole Grains & Seeds and contain no added oils or trans-fats, sugar or dairy.
Why don't you join?
China is French GIEN ROSE.
For the moment, the sun is shining...

Related link:
What are Champagne Grapes? Champagne grapes are the name given to a specific type of grape, the Corinth. They are also being used for black currants.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

{Moving Our LPG Gas Tank}

After our exterior got painted, there was one disturbing factor and that was the LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) Tank for our artificial gas logs in the fire place... So we decided to move it out of the way!
Don't you agree that it was disturbing here? Wrong color and just an ugly sight...
Below this post you can see two links from previous post where you get to see the LPG Gas Tank as it still was matching with the rest...
Husband Pieter started with pouring a concrete platform in front of the chimney.
There the LPG Gas Tank will blend in far better!
Bags of concrete were hauled in my 16 year old Toyota RAV4 and further action.
Platform in the making...
Without any equipment we moved the LPG Gas Tank off its old platform and onto the new one.
Rolling it over wooden poles, using planks and other wooden poles to push and lift.
Here it is still on its side...
And here we already put it upright on its new concrete platform.
Don't you think it is looking far better this way?
To the left you see the patio in front of our Rose Suite Entrance.
Also our Rose Stepping Stones you can see here.
Total picture with the Rose Suite Patio showing also.
Stepping further back towards the big Live Oak Tree and you see the Rose Stepping Stones.
All our Jasmine plants...
Now the Jasmines are on the former LPG Gas Tank's concrete platform...
Here you have a better over view.
So what do you think; an improvement or not?


Related link:
{Cleaning Windows} | previous post by me
{White Indian Jasmine the Queen of Flowers} | previous post by me
{'Ravy', my Toyota RAV4 is 15 today!} | previous post by me
{HEAR - SEE - SPEAK NO EVIL} | previous post by me
{ROSE STEPPING STONES} | previous post by me
{GNOMES and Rose Stepping Stones} | previous post by me

Sunday, September 22, 2013

{1968 Design Classic by Pierre Balmain for Singapore Airlines Stewardesses}

As international consultants we have been several times aboard a Singapore Airlines flight. In-between we saw numerous times the Singapore Airlines Stewardesses in their beautiful uniforms, especially during our stopover at Singapore airport. In 1968, French Couturier Pierre Balmain was asked by Malaysian Singapore Airlines to design uniforms for their cabin crew. Balmain based his design on the traditional Malay sarong-kebaya. Very much like the Indonesian sarong-kebaya. Below, you will also find a link to my post about me wearing my silk Indonesian Sarong Kebaya...
Pierre Balmain designed borders around the hems, neck and cuffs, using cut edges from traditional batik fabric. Each uniform is fully tailored, with a minimum of two fittings with each crew member for her 4 new uniforms annually.
Singapore Airlines is also the world's most awarded airline
The epitome of Asian grace and hospitality, the Singapore Girl has been synonymous with Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines with the heavenly destination of Bali.
I have been to Bali twice and Pieter went there on vacation with his daughter Liz.
For both of us fond memories. 
We also went to Singapore several times.
The French L'Internaut showed the Singapore Girl recently in The Most Beautiful Stewardess Uniforms 
The above text is being translated from French.
In addition to being very pretty, the company Singapore Airlines hostesses radiate in this uniform by Pierre Balmain, a French couturier. Since 1968, the outfit remains unchanged and will not go out of fashion: how can one not fall in love with this pretty floral bolero in midnight blue?
Have you ever seen those pretty sarong kebayas from Singapore Girl?

Related links:
Singapore Airlines Uniform | Fashion Design Classic with photos from Singapore Girl in Balmain 
Singapore Girl | The epitome of Asian grace and hospitality - slideshow with sarong kebaya views
History singapore airlines 1968 sarong kebaya was introduced
The ‘kebaya’ and sarongs of Jl. Sulawesi, Denpasar | bustling shop for kebaya and sarongs on Jalan Sulawesi in Denpasar, Bali
{My Indonesian Silk Batik Sarong & Kebaya} | previous post by me


Friday, September 20, 2013

{Tea at Château Neercanne in the Carrière Poswick & Orangerie}

In MAASTRICHT, the capital of my Province of birth in THE NETHERLANDS, we had the XVth INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON THE SCIENCE AND CULTIVATION OF EDIBLE FUNGI. My husband had been lecturing many times for the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR MUSHROOM SCIENCE. So for the Millennium year we decided to fly to The Netherlands for meeting with a lot of former colleagues and friends from around the world. Even though my husband had retired, he still liked to meet with them. BUT, not having to lecture himself, as all previous years, he too could join the Spouse Programme and thus we ended up together for Tea at Château Neercanne in Maastricht.
This Tea was given in the Carrière Poswick  & Orangerie.
My husband is seated right in front of the waiter...
As you can read below, the Carrière Poswick and Orangerie is hewn into huge Roman marl caves as you clearly can see in this photo.
Balcony of The Netherlands
Funny that they call Château Neercanne the Balcony of The Netherlands... (just click above link)
It even is the only terraced castle in the Benelux (Belgium - Netherlands - Luxemburg)
This was the occasion...
First we of course did have a nice walk around this special castle that also is an UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
Here I am to the right (in jeans suit from Escada) with dear friend Judy O'Neil from Canada.
This sadly was the very last time I got to see her...
We did consulting work for her husband's mushroom plants in Canada.
Sande Chase (from the blog: A Gift Wrapped Life) from East Windsor, Ontario knew Judy personally. 
Judy worked from Sande's design studio years ago and they went together to High Point, North Carolina for the Furniture Show one year. Small world...
While they prepare for our Tea, we have a nice conversation with this International group.
This is a photo taken from the terrace looking at the Carrière Poswick & Orangerie where we enjoyed our tea and/or coffee.
Here I enjoy the splendid view over the Jekerdal valley.
You can have a look for yourself by watching this short video...
Neercanne | video showing the Château outside and inside
Related link: 
Château Neercanne | Camille Oostwegel showing you the Château in English language

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

{Our Adenium obesum Desert Rose Surprise}

On May 28, Pieter had a surprise for me in the greenhouse. The Adenium obesum Desert Rose was blooming! We used to have this on the window sill in the bay window area but since it is a poisonous plant for pets, it had to go to the greenhouse... As much as I love plants; I love our felines even more! In Africa its toxic sap from the roots and stems is used as arrow poison. It is native to the Sahel regions, south of the Sahara (from Mauritania and Senegal to Sudan), and tropical and subtropical eastern and southern Africa and Arabia. 
As a matter of fact, Travel - Fashion - Lifestyle blogger friend Tammy Lau from Edgymix did show them in their natural environment in one of her posts: The Most Alien Place on Earth-Socotra  isolated from mainland Yemen you can view them in the top photo, above the subject line.
It is happily blooming inside our greenhouse! Quite a Surprise...
They do have lovely flowers!

Related link:
Adenium obesum | Wikipedia
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