About Me

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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom 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 at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Friday, May 28, 2010

{Mother-in-law's 1930s Société Céramique Blue Boerenhoeve Transferware}

Did not have the time to put this together sooner, but now I will.
The garden is calling and there are lots of things to do, so writing has to wait.
For our dear friends John & Becky I did make a Risotto with Porcini and other mushrooms. Also made a favorite Asparagus gratin that I found in one of those great cookbooks at TJ Maxx. In the UK it would be TK Maxx. It is a great store to just check out if you happen to be near one. Often I found a special cookbook for my friend Lady Chef Maria Runggaldier from Ristorante da Maria. She barely gets out of her kitchen so I love to look out for her!
Okay, back to the Risotto... Becky loves it and I was in the mood for it so we invited them to come after work for a family style supper, nothing fancy. Just Risotto; Asparagus Gratin with organic chicken breasts from Trader Joe's in Atlanta. WISH we had one down here...!
For dessert I simply used the delicious cream puffs from Costco; they are just super!

Using also my French Christofle Silver Knife Rests...

 From Becky I once received these great blue placemats with napkins so I used them for our casual supper. They do blend nicely with the blue plates from Société Céramique Maestricht, in the Boerenhoeve pattern. Of course Boerenhoeve is Dutch for Farmstead and this is transferware from the 1930s.

My sister Diny, did find me a few missing pieces at an antique shop in Limburg, in order to make it usable for a breakfast setting of four or as dessert set. This also was produced in red.

French Baccarat crystal perfume bottle functions as vase...

French Baccarat crystal vase.

Enjoying our Roses!

Shown is a Baccarat perfume bottle with pink Royal Bonica roses; Baccarat vase with white Iceberg Floribunda roses. They are available at Edmunds' Roses.
Baccarat Piccadilly crystal stemware.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

{May 22 Gardenia by Royal Albert and blooming Gardenias in Baccarat vase}

Today we had the very first vase with blooming Gardenias; that is heaven! Their fragrance is like perfume... so romantic. Perfect to grace Pentecost Weekend! 

Took them out into our gazebo as the light there is perfect. The gardenias are proudly inside a French Baccarat crystal vase and are accompanied by the Gardenia Royal Albert china. A very rare and beautiful china that they do have at Replacements Ltd. 

On the oak tray you see the creamer and sugar set on its oval tray; square pastry plates and demitasse cups and saucers. Cream puffs to enjoy as well! The demitasse silver spoons are Alvin Bridal Rose. For those of you, loving silver Rose Flatware, I once again want to remind you of the {Splendid book about Silver Rose Flatware} about the subject: Antiksilber Besteckherstellung / Antiqued silver Flatware Manufacturing by Johanna Gehrlein in her book: +Rosen-Bestecke. She did another great blog about: Silver-Sunday / Rose Cutlery - Rosen-Bestecke.
 Johanna is far more knowledgeable than I am on the subject... I just LOVE the pattern!

This photo shows the details even better. 
Guess that roses do blend nicely with gardenias; as I am not aware of any solid silver gardenia flatware.

Neiman Marcus has a similar sized vase in Baccarat crystal.
Wishing you a great Pentecost weekend and hope you will have as much sunshine as we do here!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

{KLM Royal Dutch Airlines miniature blue Delftware houses 1 to 90}

This is too good for not sharing with my readers as it gives a complete history and al the information about Collecting the famous KLM-HUISJES or KLM houses, KLM Miniatures, Delfts blauw, Delft Blue, KLM Dutch Houses, blue Delftware houses 1 to 90.
Related to my previous blog {Tuesday May 4, dinner with friends} where you can see some more photos. 



Thursday, May 13, 2010

{Tuesday May 4, dinner with friends}

Finally we got to get together for a special dinner with two lady friends. June, a banker and Helen, our local judge. We're just friends and I want to make it clear that I've never had a legal encounter with judge Helen, other than obtaining my concealed weapon's license through her!
Both ladies are very active members of our local Rotary club of which Pieter is also a member. We just have been together on Jekyll Island, off the Georgia coast, for the Rotary District Conference. After a wet weekend we at least had no showers in the late afternoon. Everything in our garden looked so lush! Here you see our Confederate Jasmine, that climbs up the balcony and around the French doors of our bedroom. Wish you could smell them too!

Still the raindrops hanging onto the blossoms... This is from our balcony looking into the garden.

After the rain stopped I could go out into the garden and get some roses for the table arrangements, also for the individual picture frame vases at each place setting. Further I got to use my handmade striped Swiss damask place mats with crocheted lace border from French DMC thread. I've done them while living in Indonesia... lots of work but they're elegant. Above and below, you see a vase filled with the lovely climbing rose New Dawn.

A close up in a soft photo. Of course again in a Baccarat crystal vase.

Above is a French Pillivuyt charger in the Sancerre patterern. This is available at 125West.
It is a very durable quality that is baked at a much higher temperature at 2500 degree F.

Here I just grouped the dessert plates and the coffee cups for the picture... This is the Royal Albert Princess Anne China pattern. The very first cake plate we found in Calgary, Canada in January of 1996 and since then I've been adding.

Due to the cooler weather I decided to serve a butternut squash and carrot soup, hence the Bridal Rose by Alvin round silver soup spoons. Available at Replacements Ltd.
The knife is on a Christofle silver knife rest ← click hyperlink for availability at my Zen Cart powere on line: Mariette's Back to Basics Boutique. Of this very same Christofle Gallia Arabesque pattern, I do have a set for sale. Glasses are Baccarat crystal in the Piccadilly pattern, again available from Replacements Ltd. The round silver napkin rings we had custom made in the silver city of Kotagede near Yogyakarta, Indonesia while living there. 

The solid silver Mufineer (holding  caster sugar) is also made in Kotagede, following a photo that we took from an antique one. Likewise they made us the place card holders.

Talking about silver, well this heavy tray is also made in Kotagede by those artisans. It is very special to us as we've lived and worked there for over three years and watched them make these treasures. Soon that generation will die off, and it will be very hard to obtain.
Fresh rose petals adorn the tray with the Baccarat fluted champagne glasses in the Piccadilly pattern.

We also lived and worked for one year in the Veneto region. It is the town of Conegliano where they make this Prosecco, a crisp Italian sparkling white wine. At Ristorante da Maria you will be served the very same thing! It is very authentic Italian and also light. So that's why we wanted to introduce our guests to this Italian custom.
Prosecco from the region where we lived and worked in Italy.
Serving this sexy Italian cousin of Champagne in a romantic way...
Pieter captured this photo of me laughing... 

Both ladies admired our +KLM Royal Dutch Airlines collection of 89 blue Delftware houses. Scroll halfway down this page to read about them. My friend Ellie is keeping house # 90 for me, plus the complete book that came out in October of 2009 when KLM had its 90th anniversary. They were the first in the sky... and since we teamed up with them rather intensively during our years of consultancy, we accumulated a lot.
Nice view underneath the crocheted curtains in our veranda, that I'd made decades ago. They did fit in every home we lived in; Panningen and Horst of The Netherlands, in Italy and now here.

Okay, today on May 13, I went ahead and made some better photos of our blue Delftware houses that are lined up on the window ledge in our veranda, like a village. They are true replicas of ancient homes in The Netherlands!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Have to show you my newest angel! It flew back with friend and lady-chef from Ristorante da Maria, Maria Runggaldier, from Italy. What a precious gift!
So this is the epitome of all that I love; AngelsnRosebuds!

Grazie Mille Maria!

Isn't it a heavenly sight together with the climbing rose New Dawn?
Creamer is English Rose by Royal Doulton from Replacements Ltd.
Climbing Rose New Dawn is available from Heirloom Roses.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

{6 Gorgeous 'Ann Cousins' Peonies in Baccarat Harcourt Pitcher}

  • Today we were lucky to have a full bouquet of gorgeous Paeonia 'Ann Cousins'! 
  • They are really heavy and the perfect way to hold them with enough counter-weight is by using the heavy crystal Baccarat Harcourt Pitcher. 
  • I was lucky to get this one from an estate sale on eBay, for a better bargain than at Neiman Marcus
  • It is 6.25" tall and just perfect for such huge flowers. 
  • Promising the widower to take good care of his wife's prized possession. 
  • She will be so proud, looking down from heaven onto such perfect flowers!
  • And taking good care of the pitcher; I WILL!

  • Picture taken on our balcony on the round teak table...

  • Our Confederate Jasmines are blooming, as seen in the back...

  • What a beauty this Paeonia 'Ann Cousins' is!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

{3 Most Prized Roses; from my Paternal Grandmother}

With that much to write about, for the time of the year, I almost forgot to show you these treasures that were full bloom on May 2nd.

It was the last autumn before my paternal Grandmother, 'Oma' as we say in Dutch would die peacefully, at the age of 91 after coming home from a dinner evening with the elderly choir. Dad had pruned her treasured roses back before winter would come and he threw the clippings on his compost pile at home.
After she died in February, all of a sudden several rose bushes had come up on that compost pile; from the clippings Dad had taken home in the fall. Oh my, like a sign from heaven, as if she would say: "here I am!" Needless to say that Dad did pot them up and kept them all alive. So I reasoned, IF it could grow once from clippings, then it can be repeated and thus I took some rose stems home and tried my luck!
We don't know any botanical name for this rose yet, but we call these rose bushes the 'Oma Rose' and it means a lot to me. Pieter has decided to create several more so we will end up with a full nosegay of roses at once, to nicely fill a vase. I took the three blooming roses out on the balcony for you to see... May I present to you:

The 'Oma Rose' from my birth town Horst!
The pitcher these roses are in, is from English Rose by Royal Doulton and is again available at Replacements Ltd.
That rose pattern is a nice match with these lovely roses!

Related links:

{ROSE STEPPING STONES} my previous post
{Mistery Oma Rose Resolved!} my previous post
{My Grandma's Rose in December} | previous post by me
~HAND PAINTED PINK ROSE GIFT CARD CASES~ Cottage Chic Makeover blogpost from Rebecca who did the lovely rose business card case...

{Anita Anggraeni our Foster Daughter}

When we were living and working in Indonesia during the early 90s we did live on the island of Java in the city of Wonosobo. Going to Church we did meet several deaf girls that were staying at the boarding school, run by Catholic nuns. There also was a separate boarding school for only boys and each had about 150-160 students, from ages five through eighteen. Only twice a year did those kids get to go home to their family. If the parents were affluent enough, they did come to visit them during the year.
Those kids wanted our signature after Mass on October 6 of 1990. The cute girl with big dark eyes that let me write my name and address, was Anita Anggraeni. Instantly we were very much drawn to this little girl of eleven years. When they figured out we were not tourists and I was even speaking their language, the plan was made to visit us next day, on Sunday afternoon. So a long relation with several of those deaf girls started. We had to go soon to the principal though to let her know that we love to have them visit us but if they please could visit with a maximum of six at a time so we could handle it. They all were looking for a substitute Papa & Mama...
Anita turned out to be an extremely bashful, shy kid... She did drink you in with her big eyes and loved the small packets of tropical fruit juice that we got for all of them.

That is Anita in the big chair... with a friend as they never came alone, all of them were eager to learn something or to receive a gift. We always traveled back to Indonesia for each two-month work period from Georgia, USA to Jakarta with our suitcases full of give-away little gifts. We never had enough to hand out... But it was a joy. Those kids were taught to read lips by mimicking their teacher in a mirror and touching the teacher's throat to feel the specific vibration for each vowel etc. They did do very well and could read my lips sideways!

Engaging in a conversation, you use not only language but lots of body language. I learned how to listen from the deaf; they do observe a person's body language and expression more than anything else and I've used that a lot in my training besides speaking the native tongue. It certainly helps a lot! Jotting down some words on a piece of paper is also helpful.

Anita is absorbing everything that comes out of my mouth... she found her second Mama! 

So eager to learn...

The bonding between mother - daughter has begun...

Me, Shinta the youngest sister, Anita and her Mom...

 On Sunday, November 30 of 1997 we did visit Anita at her parents' home after we'd received a letter from her.  That was a very happy reunion! We'd lost track of her as we didn't know that she went to her hometown's high school instead of staying at the boarding school for the deaf. She was very gifted and intelligent for being able to do that! The top photo of these two shows: Mariette; Shinta Dewi (Anita's baby-sister); Anita and her Mom.
Bottom photo of that reunion shows: Mariette; Anita; Pieter Vedder.

June of 2001 our last work visit to Indonesia, trip # 21 from Atlanta to Jakarta on +KLM  Royal Dutch Airlines and on to Yogyakarta. Therefore also the last time that Anita did stay with us at the bungalow of the company...

Papa Vedder is very proud of his daughter Anita as she just did graduate from IMKA, Semarang/Indonesia. That means, she completed her college education there as of June 2001. 
We did pay for her entire  formal education.

Next she went on to study at the Dian Nuswantoro University of Semarang and graduated there on October 6 of 2004. She did: Management Informatica
Computerized Accounting
Tax System

After getting her degree we had her visit us here in the USA for several months.

Our cat Barty, LOVED Anita to death and she loved him... it was hard to leave him behind.

She also got to experience the entire Christmas season with us. Here she is unwrapping gifts after coming home from midnight Mass. Our two cats Barty and Spooky enjoy their treats. 

This photo of Anita is taken at her brother Bayu's wedding.

 Anita's brother Bayu and his wife Imma on their wedding day.

Meanwhile Anita was working for PT. Delta Furniture as their Junior Graphic Designer, since 2005 she stayed with them for about one-and-a-half year till their show in Singapore didn't yield as much as they'd hoped for, due to China being very aggressive and  undercutting prices. But the Belgian owners Mr. Erik de Winne and Vincent Cantaert were very pleased with her performance, which made us feel proud of course.
At present PT. Delta Furniture has renamed itself to MAMAGREEN

Anita did come again to the US in September of 2008, joining us in Amsterdam as we flew home from a wedding in The Netherlands. Above she is hugging Senator Saxby Chambliss as he had been one of several Senators and Congressman that helped me obtaining her Visa in 2004.

 Above she is ready to join us for a Pipe-Organ-Concert at the Wesleyan College in Macon. Since we did provide her with an Oticon Sumo DM hearing aid in April of 2008, she actually could hear the music!
A new world had opened for her...

Anita at a party honoring Mary Skinner and Richard Johnston prior to their wedding. Anita really got a slice of life here in Georgia; enjoying our culture.

This is at our home together with our extended family the Lleras and Benitez family from Colombia. From left to right: Felipe Lleras; Mariette & Pieter Vedder. Second row is Anita Anggraeni; Juan Manuel Benitez who is the nephew of Mercedes Benitez Lleras (wife of Felipe).

 She did travel with us to The Netherlands and here she is with her Dutch Opa & Oma, my Mom & Dad.

This photo shows my niece Eva and nephew Michiel with Anita. They are the children of my brother Piet.

Anita with her sister Shinta (left) who is a pharmacist and works in Bali, Indonesia.

Beautiful little flower girls...

If children are happy with their lives, it also makes for a Happy Mother's Day!
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