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, November 30, 2012

{Our Oak Tree after 22 Years}

When we did purchase our lot to build the home we live in, there were several trees we wanted to preserve. Just like to show you what a difference time and space can mean for a solitary tree. This is Our Oak Tree after 22 Years...
Strong, solitary and HAPPY. It is a semi-evergreen variety and gives us pleasure year round.
Our Oak Tree's humble beginnings... Home not yet finished and the pond got dug already.
This in order to fill in other areas where it was too wet, taking soil from the pond digging.
You see all those black drain pipes? Those are dug in, for draining into the pond area.
To the left, the little tree with the green leaves on, is Our Oak Tree. Just a baby then.
All others around it have been cut down to give it space to grow up solitary.
To the left it is, ten years later and heavy from snow and ice... but growing!
YES, we can have winter time, if only for a day.
Reaching for the skies, to the left again. The willow opposite the pond died meanwhile...
Five years ago a photo taken from our balcony and Our Oak Tree looks majestic.
Still reaching up to the heavens it is HUGE and HAPPY.
What a joy it is to witness a hardwood tree grow up!
Lovely to sit on the bench, beneath Our Oak Tree.
Do you have any similar experiences with a favorite tree in your garden?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

{The Winner of the Lanarte Cross Stitch Kit IS...}

Okay, by midnight the final for my Worldwide GIVEAWAY of the Lanarte Cross Stitch Kit was over with. There were 20 valid entries and using Random.org the number selected was: 9. The lucky winner gets this Lanarte Cross Stitch Kit...
And here comes...
Number 9 = Claudia from NuNu's Garn-und Stofflabor in Germany... Congratulations!
Please let me know your address so I can send this kit your way.
Thanks to all that participated!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Keeping My Giovanni Raspini Clients HAPPY}

We all know the feeling of being some place in another city, country or even continent and looking at a desired object. Only to find the shop or boutique being CLOSED. My husband Pieter and I had that numerous times, all over the world and during our vacation through Spain and Portugal... Strange is that those memories never leave your mind. Do you have a similar experience?
Feeling fortunate for offering my clients help in still obtaining a special gift, which they saw and admired in the window at one of Giovanni Raspini's Boutiques in Rome, Italy. This is a new and special line with Cabochon Pendants on a long silver chain. The flower they fell in love with is a NINFEA, which is Italian for Water Lily and it is a green stone, set in silver. The silver chain it comes with is 90 cm long. Gorgeous indeed and I was lucky for holding it in my hands before mailing it out to the new owner. It made my day as well. 
Any jewelry coming from Giovanni Raspini in Italy is looking gorgeous! For my clients I can always obtain any desired piece they want, if I don't have it on my Zen Cart powered on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics. 
One can only admire the silver masters of Giovanni Raspini Charms & Co in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. 
Not easy to capture the light in this green Water Lily Cabochon Pendant...
But you clearly can read: Giovanni Raspini on the lock. It is also on the back of the NINFEA Cabochon Pendant.
Both pieces are in 925 silver.
Gorgeous length of the silver chain...
Sorry Sold out...

Have you had any similar experiences with window shopping?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{God's Little People | Meaningful Christmas Cards}

Another Blogger I Admire is certainly dear friend Joan from Greece. She writes the blog: God's Little People. Being both animal lovers, and very much loving and caring for felines, I love to share Joans initiative for Meaningful Christmas Cards. Please do visit her blog and follow her amazing rescue stories. She is having a fund raiser in order to support her 30 something rescued felines. The veterinary costs are of course quite a big part. Look at her incredible photos she's taken from those lucky felines that got a new LIFE through her love and care.
This is how she mails them out; gift wrapped for Christmas with a sprig of lavender from the felines' favorite garden. A felted star...
See those 'CAT PAWS'... like they understand it is about them!
Don't let them down and buy a lovely card from her with a recycled paper envelope (the one you see at the bottom...).
I've already ordered mine and we look forward to receiving them.
You find the link to her post below and also a previous post about a fabulous purse she made me!
Joan is a very talented lady and she's doing all she can for so many needy felines.

Thanks for your attention and let's share the LOVE.
By the way; my back is perfect again  and I had such a good rapport from my specialist today.
Happy and our bathroom remodeling is coming along fine.
Soon I can tackle all the dust!

Don't forget my last day for the worldwide GIVEAWAY!
Top right of my blog; click it and good luck.

Meaningful Christmas Cards God's Little People blog by Joan

{Parcel from Greece with Regal Gift} previous post by me about Joan

GOD'S LITTLE PEOPLE | previous post by friend Anna about Joan's generosity towards rescuing kittens

Monday, November 26, 2012

{Brain Boosting Foods}

Each month we do receive the Costco Connection magazine and it provides useful information on health and life style. The Costco Connection from June 2012, had a great article: Tuning up the brain | Healthy ways to protect your memory. 
Eat smart by adding olives, nuts, avocados and dark leafy greens to the diet. Spinach sautéed in olive oil may be the ultimate brain food. Serve it with fish and a glass of red wine... You can find the link to this Costco Connection edition below this post.
Under Eat smart, you find the above mentioned info...
Thought this is useful and interesting info to share.
Not your usual Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales but nevertheless...

Don't forget my Worldwide GIVEAWAY: top right on my blog | just click it and GOOD LUCK!

Related link:
The Costco Connection June 2012 article page | Tuning up the brain

Sunday, November 25, 2012


  • FRIENDS are indeed ANGELS of LOVE! We both are blessed with having great friends who are at our side during happy and sad moments and vise versa. 
  • Thanksgiving we had once again a very happy 'Family' time over delicious food. Nourishing our body and also healing my severe back pain. 
  • Thanks to our friends I could stay rested and today I feel so much better. So glad that I don't need to start taking Prednisone again! 
  • I did spell it out on a piece of silk ombré velvet with my 925  silver alphabet angels from Giovanni Raspini Charms & Co, Italy. Those and more are available at Spectrenoir.

So appropriate...

Don't forget my worldwide GIVEAWAY. See to the right at my blog; click it...

Related link:
{FRIENDSHIP by Elizabeth Barrett Browning} | earlier blogpost

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Due to my severe back pain I have recycled this interesting post...

This is an exceptional post about something that got initiated by my husband Pieter, while he was taking care of laundry at the time I was too ill to do anything. He told me that I had to get back in touch with the company that made such extraordinary terry towels that held up for decades. TRUE, they have had at least their 34th birthday all together and lived up perfectly to the name in their label, which reads Vossen International. We took them from The Netherlands to the USA, from there to Italy and also they went with us to Indonesia and back home again to the USA. All the time happily together, lending us a soft and eager absorption any time we needed to towel dry. Well, let's start from the beginning... In The Netherlands at De Beddenspecialist in Venlo on Parade 37 we bought these kind of moss green towels, probably in 1978. Also wash hands (not the usual cloths they use here in the USA) and one large beach towel. Guess I got a total of some 18; one large beach towel and from several guest towels my seamstress in Indonesia did sew together more wash hands. Clever idea, they're just a tad longer than the original hands.
So there we go... I did look up on the Internet the company and found them in a heartbeat still producing their quality Vossen towels.
So I did contact them and got the nicest reply from Ms Nicole Neuhold in Austria, on March 29, 2009; requesting to send her some pictures... Well, that sounds like easy done but NOT so at our home for that time. My German build Miele washer had just quit working and my towels were all in the laundry bin; not ready for such a glamour shot! Pieter, being the handy man he always has proven to be, did change a fuse and it worked again! Only to quit a second time but he did find the problem and did bypass that for occurring ever again. My, was I glad for not yet having to give up on my Miele. So after all, there is a chance it will stay healthy and happy till past its 16th birthday on August 29, 2009. Talking about German quality; WOW!
Back to the terry towels, after they got their Miele treatment, I did fold them, brought them into the freshly cleaned bathroom and started putting them out for the glamour shots. After all, they will be presented to the very cradle where they came from long time ago, before traveling with us the world. But with some sunshine peaking through the windows and with putting my best foot forward, using all my newly-learned photo-lessons from Pieter, I did capture them nicely I think. First I want to introduce them to my blog readers and next, Nicole will get them delivered to her by electronic mail. It is super that my letter with photos will get a place in a kind of Vossen Museum!
Let's start with the year 1978 in which they got adopted... because we had green tiles in the bathroom then, it was the green theme for which the towels were chosen! These photos were taken in May of 1983 so the towel on the rack had already done five years of service then. We immigrated in August of 1983 to the USA.
Below, underneath the two old photos, taken at our home in Horst, The Netherlands, follow the ones taken now at our home in Georgia, USA. So all these towels are living proof to SUPER quality and we wonder IF they ever will give in at all...
Our Bathroom in Horst, The Netherlands with the moss green Vossen towels.
In our present bathroom... our Vossen wash hands.
Rolled up, ready for use...
Luxurious soap bars within reach
White Pelargonium in our Silver Rose Vase...
Ours indeed LIVED to be international, in three continents...
White pelargonium in silver rose vase.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

{Happy Thanksgiving}

Due to severe back pain, I will just re-post my 2011 Thanksgiving post for you to read. Can't manage anything new today... Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving with all your loved ones! {Happy Thanksgiving - From Pilgrim to President} Just click this hyperlink...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{2 Bloggers I Admire}

During the last couple of years it is with pleasure that I have been reading and admiring several ladies that create exceptional handwork. The economy is in a downward spiral but hand-work is on the rise again, including sewing. This is a good thing, as there are so many women with golden hands. Two of those ladies with golden hands I like to introduce to you here. It is Ayu from the blog White & Roses. Ayu is from Bali, Indonesia and lives in Rome, Italy. She is an artist in creating ribbon roses. Dana from Lambs and Ivy Designs from my own state of Georgia, USA also creates lovely ribbon roses. One day we certainly will meet in person!
Look at Ayu's Big Sew-On Purse in pink linen here.
Don't you LOVE those real looking roses and the French knot embroidery on the linen fabric?
One can envy such talent...
Already before I did show you some ribbon work from Dana; Lambs and Ivy Designs.
These violets she made for me...
On Dana's blog you find roses and even Poinsettias she does for this season.

Two super talented ladies and no doubt they will bring joy to many who appoint them for some special ribbon embroidery work to be used for pivot moments in their lives.

Related links:
Ribbon Embroidery from Ayu's blog: White & Roses 
{Blogger Friend Dana Created These Lovely Ribbon Violets!} Dana's work from Lambs and Ivy Designs
Lambs and Ivy Designs Dana's Etsy shop  and Lambs and Ivy Designs Ribbonwork on Pinterest

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{The Winner of the Burlap Fabric IS...}

Okay, finally found time to check all the entries for the Worldwide GIVEAWAY of the French style burlap fabric. There were 52 valid entries and using Radom.org the number selected was: 4. The lucky winner gets one yard of this fabric...
And here comes...

Number 4 = Janny from Rozen van Papier... Congratulations!
Please let me know your address, so I can send the winning fabric your way.
Thanks to all that participated!

Don't forget my other Worldwide GIVEAWAY; check my blog at the top to the right.
Just click that button. Good luck!

Monday, November 19, 2012

{Crocheted Baby Boo-Pumpkins}

When reading the Swedish blog: Elna-Sudden, I was amazed at her post about 'An Exciting Day'. Not only did she become a grandparent for the second time, but she also did receive a parcel that day from Jule, in Germany. That contained two Crocheted Pumpkins and one was a white Baby Boo. Going to the German blog: Jule Macht Was | Jule Creates Something, I fell in love with her Crocheted Pumpkins, especially the white Baby Boo, so I did order three as a gift to our German 'son' and his family. They are made of Mercerized Cotton and filled with synthetic fiber batting. This was at least one way for getting even with all the surprises we receive from Germany.  
Here is what they received in Germany as a surprise gift! I would have loved those myself; they are so pretty. What do you think? 
The nice thing is, they can be stored away and used again for years to come.
Below this post you find the link from Jule's blog so you can see other colors. Tell me what you would have loved most...
My choice was easy: WHITE BABY BOO!
My sister Gerd loved them also very much as a gift...

Related links:
HÄEKELKÜRBISVIRUS | Jule Macht Was | Jule Creates Something: Pumpkin Crocheting Virus 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

{Worldwide GIVEAWAY - Lanarte Cross Stitch Kit}

Another Worldwide GIVEAWAY for my loyal followers and readers. This time a Lanarte Cross Stitch Kit, complete with DMC thread. 
For all garden lovers this beautiful cross stitch kit.
Dimensions are 49 x 39 cm or 19¼" x 15¼"

How to enter:

Make sure you follow me and leave a comment.
(Those that currently follow; please leave a comment that you are already following.)

* To double your chances, put the 250 pixel wide GIVEAWAY BUTTON below, as a picture in your sidebar as well and leave a comment telling me you did so. 

* Another chance, put the 500 pixel wide GIVEAWAY BUTTON below, as a picture in your blog and post about it. When posting about it, please do put a hyperlink of this very post: Click on the blog subject line and copy that link for putting it into your blog. But let me know about it in your comment so I can verify if it indeed is a working link.

* Another chance you get if you start following me on Twitter AngelsnRosebuds; click the previous hyperlink and let me know you did  so and give me your Twitter name in the comment section.

* Another chance if you Tweet about this giveaway and letting me know. This is also valid for those that follow me already on Twitter.

* One more chance you get if you click the Like button on my Facebook Page Mariette's Back to Basics LLC; Just click the previous hyperlink and again let me know if you did so! Posting about my giveaway on FB counts as another chance, this also counts for those that already Like my Facebook Page.

* Additional chance for those of you that use Google+ just add me to your Circles. You find my Google+ link below this post. If you mention this giveway on Google+ that's another chance!
Good luck.
Giveaway ends by midnight on November 27




Saturday, November 17, 2012

{My Hand Knitted & Hand Embroidered Sweater}

We arrived at that time of year which we call: SWEATER WEATHER. So here I want to show you my Hand Knitted and Hand Embroidered Sweater. I have always LOVED the German, Swiss, Italian style of Hand Knitted and Hand Embroidered Sweaters. But for buying one you need to be a  millionaire. So please view my own humble creation. Below my sweater I will show you two lovely  examples from Gorsuch.com, the ones I cannot afford but only dream of.
Photo is taken in May when the Magnolia tree was blooming...
Ajour Knitted sleeves and front, adormed with Hand Embroidery...
Showing you the total sweater...
The sweater also has a total of six cables running alongside the open ajour knitting.
I did add heart shaped buttons...
The back is plain, just in a decorative stitch.
With my guilloché brooch...
Detail of the embroidery in wool.
It was a lot of counting and paying attention...
This was the example I did knit from... following the pattern.
Such a dream from Gorsuch, called Spitze Sweater hand knitted, hand embroidered in wool/silk for only $ 1,818.00
Or this Dornroschen Sweater from Gorsuch for $ 1,498.00 in wool/silk.
Mine is only a very humble creation in comparison!
There are two blog-ladies whom I admire for their knitting of sweaters and such: Anett from Fadenstille  and Marlies from Bergzauber stricken. Both of them no doubt could create such lovely pieces on their needles. 

Of course, there is Mieke from Gebreidesjaals who knits heavenly shawls and stoles in ajour knit with lace patterns. 
Sorry, this is only for the Dutch readers...

Do you knit any sweaters or embroider knitted pieces?

Related articles:
{Guilloché Enamel Brooches, Thimble and Rose Box} | previous post by me
{30 Years  Ago In My Rose Sweater} | previous post by me

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