XandraExpression has moved!

I moved my blog from the wordpress server to my own… please continue to read XandraExpression at alexandraconrad.com/blog where from now on all new posts will be made…

Past posts and archives have also been transfered…

Thanks for your support & encouragement!

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Wordless Wednesday – America

yellow school bus

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In Your Presence


I walked into your house

for the first time since

you went away…

I looked for you,

but you weren’t in

the usual places – on the porch, in the den,

or in the kitchen.

I thought maybe you were upstairs

napping, or out

running an errand…

I looked at your flowers – the roses, and peonies,

the poppies and irises – in bloom in the garden.

I stood at your kitchen sink

washing the plates – the dish cloth and dish soap

in their usual places.

We all sat out on the porch after lunch, watching

all three boys, brothers and cousins

running and rolling

down the hill and all over the

backyard, just like we used to do

as kids.

I flipped through

your old Better Homes & Garden magazines,

ideas I ripped out, wishing I could

share them with you.

I went upstairs, the steps

creaking in the familiar spots,

I looked in your room,

I walked over to your dresser,

Maman helped me look in a draw,

through some of your things,

I remember seeing these pinned to you dress,

And these hanging from your earlobes.

This one wrapped around your wrist.

I picked a poinsetta brooch and a daisy one.

I found your Disney daisy Mickey watch

that I gave you when I used to work there…

Your absence was acute, your presence was lingering,

your spirit was intoxicating.

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Wordless Wednesday – Morning Shadows

6am morning shadows in the breakfast nook…

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Wordless Wednesday – Postcard from the Cape

The Province Lands
The spectacular dune landscape of the Province Lands has a complex history. It is primarily the result of deposition of sand that has washed from the eroded glacial scarp, subsequently built into dunes by wind action, and stabilized by beach grass.
Beach grass revegetation efforts can be seen throughout the Province Lands. The dunes were forested once, but land use practices of European settlers denuded the dunes thus allowing widespread migration of sand. Efforts were initiated in the early 1800’s to stabilize the dunes with vegetation. In Pilgrim times they had been forested and covered by a foot of soil. The National Park Service has continued to stabilize dunes with native beach grass planting, a program which was started shortly after the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961.

excerpt taken from the Guide’s Guide — National Park Service – Cape Cod National Seashore

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Protected: Happy Birthday, Grandmama!

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Wordless Wednesday – Windows

Inspired by my walk through Houdan on Saturday, here are some windows I see today as I walk in Paris…

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Le Petit Echo de la Mode

Today I received a *wonderful* treasure in the mail, sent by my dear friend Sabine. She sent me several old, original issues of a French fashion magazine, dating from 1946 Le Petit Echo de la Mode, somewhat like a Ladies Home Journal.

The magazine, printed like a newspaper came out weekly, and on occasion every two weeks. What fun to look through the pages and discover the tips and suggestion du jour! A real treat to see recipes and read about keeping your house looking fresh for spring, adverstisements for sponges (Spontex) and hair pieces (postiches)… though my favourite would have to be the ad just under those two, and above the one about removing rust stains – how to embellish your bust!

… of how to knit the perfect bikini and have a matching beach bag too, and the current movie reviews…

… and advice on assembling your wardrobe for your upcoming camping trip/bike ride/ boat ride (with patterns to sew it yourself!) and ideas for you children’s spring outfits…

This is only a small sample of all the goodies found inside these fashion journals. I only looked at the magazines quickly tonight, but will take time to devour them more fully after our quick trip to Paris in the next two days and our longer vacation to America starting this weekend. It is such fun to see what the ‘modern’ woman was up to in 1946. This is just the kind of thing I would have loved to share with my grandmother… What do you think they will all say when they come across our fashion magazines in 64 years?!

Merci Beaucoup Sabine!

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Faire-parts de Baptême

Another part of my Last Minute Series, I was able to cross another project off my list, just five days till our departure! I started these faire-parts de baptême (baptism announcements) yesterday morning and worked on them in the afternoon too, while my sons were napping and my husband was out – it was quiet and easy to spread out on the dinning room table.

I’m quite happy with the overall result, simple, clean-cut and proper for a baptism, yet still fun and little boy-ish. I had only two dozen to make, the most time consuming was adding the blue-checkered ribbon that gives the announcement such personality. I did the finishing touches this AM and posted them before noon…

I should probably wait until folks receive their announcement/invite in the mail before giving away the suprise here, but we’ll be States-side by then, so it just make more sense to share now… Even though we’ve already invited everyone by phone, email and in person, I think a real announcement makes for a nice souvenir (for the scrapbook!). I find that invitations and announcement of this nature are so much more special when they are handmade. It is such a priviledge for me to be able to make my son’s announcements myself.

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On My Own

Yesterday, after leaving the vernissage, I didn’t, just couldn’t go home right away. I needed a moment to take it all in, file away the inspiration, the spiral of ideas that came with it; I had to deal with the overwhelming senses of having the urge to create right there, right now, and the frustration of know that I just couldn’t, not right now, right here.

I decided to take a walk and since I had my camera with me, and no children to watch, no hands to hold, no noses to wipe, I decided that the walk would be an excersise in observation. In my oh-so-lovely solitary moment, to look and see what I typically cannot take the time to look at due to limited time, or that my attention is being given elsewhere, or that I am too busy running errands, or that there is just too much commotion going on.

I also stopped a couple of time on the drive home…

I didn’t really take all that many photos in the end, but the walk was still an exhilerating one – to be so free, to cross the street when I want, quickly because I saw something I liked. To stop and look. To wait and observe. To start walking again and briskly. It was all so very invigorating!

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