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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Willow Ball!

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Tomorrow night, this farm chick will giddily galavant to a ball! Our favorite blog sophisticate, Willow of Life at Willow Manor, is throwing a sparkling and extravagant party, the third Willow Ball, and this is the first time I am going. It is a blog event so massive that everyone is invited. To participate, all you have to do is "shop" for your attire, your escort, and any other accourtrements you please on the Internet (or from your own archives, if you are so fortunate), and post them as images at your blog, like I'm doing today. (We hope the original sites for what we borrow won't mind. I'm giving credit for my sources at the bottom of this post.)

I'm asking Willow, Fred and Ginger to bend their ball rules the way they bend their bodies dancing. Here at my place I am morphing the event into a Regency Willow Ball, because, well, I can, and because I have sat waiting to dance at a Jane Austen ball long enough. There are never enough partners . . . or balls for that matter!

I shopped and shopped until my fingers dropped, and I found just what I wanted to wear, how I want to get there, and who will escort me.

If you didn't find out in time to post this event on your blog, you can still party all night long at Willow's Manor and at all the other Willow Ball blogs that are linked there (Willow will have a Mr. Linky widget with participating blogs starting at midnight tonight). Just hop in the coach and click, tap and waltz your way around the floors of the world. Ahh, music, ahh, candlelight, ahh, romance.





Before departing the farm tomorrow,
here is what I'll be wearing.

One must have the proper undergarments, mustn't one?
Don't you think the hairstyle I've asked André
to coif is dressy, without being stiff? No hairspray pour moi.



When you see my dress, you'll understand why my favorite gems, garnets, are the necklace I must wear. Besides, they match my copy of P & P.



I decided against heels, since I'll be dancing through the night,
although maybe uncomfortable shoes would help me stay awake.
Not that these toes look comfortable,
but they're the fashion, what can I do?
I must have a fan to yawn behind,
and I need a handkerchief after certain, ahem, wild dances
when I'll be sweating glowing.
This warm glow will bring out the subtle
scent of lavender oil I've dabbed on my neck, temples and wrists.
(Chanel No. 5 hasn't been blended yet.)
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Here is my silk gown. I'm going to hold it just like this, 
while I twirl and swirl and stub my tiny pointed toes
(and bruise and puncture my poor dance partners). 
I trust my neck will not look as thick as hers,
although it would be harder to break.




Since Willow lives just one state away from me, 
my escort and I really could ride in this cozy coach the whole way.
So romantic, all enclosed, and someone else
to pay attention to the road.


As for my escort, sadly, my husband Don made a commitment for this night (cleaning the chicken coop and his nails afterward). I did get some enchanting offers from dear friends (who had better not forget their promises to dance the night away with me if my escort will permit me to leave his side - forget what I said about punctures and bruises) but they were after my dear, dear friend Elizabeth Bennet-Darcy had already pitied me and charitably offered her husband. Hmph! said I in my head. Second-hand goods, and not directly from the man himself! I considered her offer long and hard over tea and crumpets. I ate a whole package of crumpets! Finally, I sent a note with my carrier chicken to Eliza's dearest Fitzwilliam, sidestepping my dear friend, because I don't want any of those horrid misunderstandings that our friend Emma Woodhouse got into as a result of second-hand news. As I say, I sent this note to Fitzwilliam:  




Colin Firth, as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy in BBC's Pride & Prejudice,
giving Elizabeth The Look



Update: Fitzwilliam Darcy has agreed to my terms, 
and his note also said that we won't be riding in any 
puny little one horse buggy. 
He'll be coming 'round with his coach and four.
Willow, don't worry about the horse puckey!
Fitzwilliam's man will take care of it.




I look forward to seeing you, my dear blog friends, here, at Willow's and all around the world as we turn, spin and swoosh, and drink toasts to each other and our splendid hostess all night long. I have several of you penciled in on my ballspenden and can hardly wait to dance with you. There's still room on it, so don't be shy, gentlemen. And ladies, Mr. Darcy assured me that Eliza has rid him of his infernal pride, and he will dance with as many of you who desire it. Will the night be long enough? Cheers!




Image sources:


69 comments:

Lorenzo said...

I arrive as the first commenter, I think, fumbling with my pencil nervously in hand to jot my name on to your ballspenden. My only request is that the dance be ... out on the terrace for moonlight and a little dawn spiced privacy. I hope I am not too forward on this, but us little lapis lazuli elephants have such few opportunities like this and such, such long memories. Tsk, tsk, tusk, tusk.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, I will gladly agree to your request, if you only give me the look.

Oh, ouch, watch it, oh dear the pencil . . . oh, my pointed shoes . . . oh wounded, you . . me . . . dangerous!

Ginnie said...

Oh, Ruth! This is way too much fun. I'm sitting here giggling! :) My mind is going crazy with what I would think up if I could go as me, myself and I. Maybe next year I'll dare?! (In the meantime, maybe you can scope out the place for me?)

Ruth said...

Boots!, if you must wait until next year, well then you have a whole year to imagine the perfect scene. And another year of dancing with Astrid to prepare you for the long night. And there is no reason you can't each pick a "perfect" escort that is not each other, because you can still dance with each other as often as you like. I might just come up with my own ideas for you . . .

deb said...

just a wallflower this time ...

this is spectacular...

all of your choices are tastefully elegant , yet regal, and I especially love the shoes ,

I wore ballet slippers for my wedding so I could dance with ease, but the pointed toes would have kept the wine sloshing friends a better distance from my dress:)

Montag said...

Wonderful idea! I think I shall have to pattern myself after Soames Forsythe, though, and be niggardly about my accoutrements.

Deborah said...

Delightful! Truly!
I laughed out loud when I got to Colin Firth. Oh yes, I think even I would go to the ball if he were my escort. Have fun! (Or maybe it has already been had...:)

Claudia said...

Oh, I love it! And you've just made me change my mind.

George said...

Well, I can see that you are going to look stunning at the ball, Ruth. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to attend. I cannot bring myself to "shop,", but more important, I must be in Washington tomorrow. I have decided, nonetheless, that I can enjoy the ball vicariously just as much by imagining that I will be Mr. Darcy, who will undoubtedly have the belle of the ball at his side.

willow said...

Ooo...this is just lovely, Ruth! I'm thrilled to see you caught the magic of the Willow Manor Ball! I let out a little squeal of delight when I spied your wonderful garnet necklace. My favorite earrings are a matching pair WT brought back from Prague just before the wall came down. Now, I think I might just have to wear them tonight. Seen you soon!

dutchbaby said...

Oh my goodness this is fun!

What an elegant, genteel affair you've hosted here.

You know, I found the proper undergarment for my dress and thought it fell into the realm of TMI for my post. I must reconsider now.

Your dress is exquisite. The fabric purchased in Paris, I'm sure. So beautifully crafted by your dressmaker, with loving detail.

Your diminutive shoes are perfect, as are the rest of your accessories.

The regal ballroom with the parquet floor and the highly adorned walls and windows make me float as I enter.

Thank you for inviting me; I had a divine time.

The calligrapher in me must comment on the regal punctuation in that perfect butter yellow - genius!

Ruth said...

Deb, you are a smart woman, because you like what I like.

Just kidding, I mean because you wore slippers at your wedding. But I will keep in mind what you say about the pointy shoes . . .

:)

Ruth said...

Montag, well I guess you might as well try on a different persona, since Soames "unimaginative and possessive solicitor" does not describe you whatsoever.

I'd love to take a spin with you, in whatever accoutrements you take, or leave!

Ruth said...

Deborah, what can I say? The ultimate, understated man. The fun is yet to be had, and believe me, it will be had.

Ruth said...

Claudia, YIPPEEE!

Ruth said...

George, you think so? I sometimes think I am the only weirdo who likes some of the things I do. It pleases me that you like my accoutrements. Guess what, I detest shopping myself. Shopping for images, on the other hand, is pretty fun!

See, you know how to talk to a girl, and I am just devastated that you won't be there. I could listen to you through 100 dances. (Who cares about the dancing part, it's just conversation in motion.)

Ruth said...

Yay, Willow, I'm so happy this pleases you, and that you are not furious with me for my poetic license! :D

We shall be garnet dopplegängers!

Ruth said...

DB, know what comes to mind? Dutchbaby, Dutchbaby, dance me a dance . . . (sung to the tune of Matchmaker, Matchmaker . . .)

Well, let's have undergarments, please! Boldly go where I have gone before!

I am beholden to you, my dear, for addressing the fine calligraphic punctuations in butter yellow. [she bows]

Char said...

*smile* how lovely though i'm afraid i'm rather like jo march and have to keep my back to the fire so no one will see my scorched skirt. maybe though i could borrow a pair of gloves as i seemed to have stained mine with some tea.

and if i'm lucky - maybe laurie will take me for another dance.

Terresa said...

Adore the garnets (they are my birthstone, it took me decades to grow into a love for them), and Darcy? As long as you lend him for a dance with the rest of us ladies. :)

mystic rose said...

You will look utterly divine in that dress, Ruth! What a sweet idea :)


And I just love that photo of Colin Firth. He must have been the perfect Darcy!

Wishing I could see you there!

lakeviewer said...

Gee, with such fabolous attire, you'll be the belle of the ball. While Lorenzo is already coming forward...

Babs-beetle said...

What fun! I note that your shoes match the shoes in the dancing image. Such taste you have ;)

Julie said...

I can't stop looking at your pictures. It is all so beautiful. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy...wow. And your gown is gorgeous. I love the shoes, too. You've done a wonderful job here, and it looks so exciting.

I will be on the road a lot on the day of the event, but I will definitely drop in as soon as I can to take a look at it all. I look forward to it!

I love your creativity and heart:) Cheers to you, to Willow, and all of the beautiful dancers.

signed...bkm said...

I must say that I am a bit envious of your selection on men...and that if need be I will have to do my absolute best to steal him away for a dance and maybe more...you will share your sweet pleasure with me won't you - if it be only a dance or kiss...

ta, ta...see you there...bkm

Ruth said...

Char, prized company, to be like Jo March. What a delectable story, Jo's and Laurie's friendship was so sweet.

Ruth said...

Terresa, I seem to have always liked garnets. It was my birthstone, peridot, that I thought was awful. But now that chartreuse has been in vogue for a while, I have gotten used to it and even like it quite a lot.

Mr. Darcy has told me he will dance with as many ladies as will have him. He will be enchanted with you! :)

Pat said...

Looks like you are all set for the Ball. Just be sure to be home by midnight. Wait. I'm mixing up stories there, aren't I?

Ruth said...

Mystic Rose, you think? Oh I'm glad you like it. Just now seeing you it occurs to me I could have chosen a sari, and an Indian ball! Ohh, maybe next year. Yes, that's just the thing.

That image of Darcy is in the 5th episode I think (of 6). It is such a delicious moment, after hours of him showing nearly no emotion, that I am willing to watch the whole series again and again, just to see him look at Elizabeth that way. [Deep sigh]

Ruth said...

Lakeviewer, why thank you. The model certainly does make it look fetching and light, don't you think? Yes, Lorenzo is very gallant . . .

Ruth said...

Babs, how good of you to notice. :D

Ruth said...

Julie, thank you for agreeing with my taste, that makes me like you even more. Anyone who can write poems about mules and the real nitty gritty of life with the best skill of the craft, and still love a pretty dress and handkerchief charms me to no end. I hope you will get some pleasure (and more eye candy) when you come home from your busy day and visit Willow's Ball. She always has a lavish party at her place, so you must start with hers.

Ruth said...

BKM, since Mr. Darcy does not belong to me, and since my friend has loaned him with open hands, you may even cut in, as long as I have had at least one dance with him, and at some point in the evening he gives me that look. See you there!

Ruth said...

Pat, thank god this isn't Cinderella. As much as I love that fairy tale, I already think the night will be too short to allow all of us to dance with all the charming escorts who will be there. Don't make me leave at midnight!

rauf said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Ruth,
me still scratching my yeddu.
blink blink.

oh deeah ! Claudia has changed her mind. Please don't think of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He is not a good dancer.

J.G. said...

Please tell Mr. Darcy the look works over the internet, too.

I hope to see you at the ball, provided my Fairy Godmother appears to magic my blue jeans into a gown.

Arti said...

Oh a ball... how wonderful! I'm afraid I'm not ready from head to toe, and since Mr. Darcy is taken, I'll be willing to just watch from the sideline, you know, like Sabrina (Julia Ormond) and be totally mesmerized. Now, I hope I can get not only a glimpse of Mr. Darcy dancing, but maybe diving as well?

Ruth said...

Dear rauf, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

It's just a big make-believe screen, rauf. I get to play. Willow gets to play. Everyone plays. There isn't any live feed ball or online forum or anything. We just make up our own little fairy tale if we want. I told Mystic Rose that next year I think I'll wear an Indian sari. I didn't think of it until she left a comment. I will have lots of time to "shop" online for pictures of what my fantasy ball will be.

I looked at Claudia's, but I didn't see a Willow Ball post yet. I know that whatever she posts will be very elegant, because she's elegant in her words and pictures, without a ball.

Ruth said...

J.G., I saw you slip by in your sweet and stunning vintage lemon lavender dress and shoes, and I wanted to eat those shoes. They are both dreamy. But I couldn't see who you were with, and then Darcy pulled me to the dance floor and . . .

Ruth said...

Arti, when I see you hiding and peering from the tree, I will come and get you down, and Darcy will dance with you. Full stop.

Deslilas said...

May be you'lll meet Gerard Philippe as handsome as he was in "Le Rouge et le Noir".

Shari Sunday said...

My favorite Mr. Darcy. That look makes my knees weak. You will be lovely in that dress and those shoes. Love the hairdo. Garnets are my favorite gem, too.

Yoli said...

Simply lovely!

Oliag said...

Now I really wish I were going to the ball! I could invite George Knightly and we could perhaps exchange partners every now and then.... Mr Knightly also has THE LOOK...and dances quite well as you can see here...

Bella Rum said...

Ha! What fun you made this. Enjoy your evening and try to hang on to your virtue.

willow said...

So much fun is going on over here! I might just stay for awhile. The manor ball just wouldn't be the same without your delightful charm, my dear.

Helen said...

Ooooh, the corset and extremely pointy toe shoes look so uncomfortable ... my guess is halfway through the evening, you will ditch them, hiding them in Willow's potted palms lining the ballroom floor .... viva la freedom!

Kerry said...

You got me with the garnets, but then to have Colin Firth and "the look." Gives me the shivers, it does!

What fun to visit you and all of these other creative minds today.

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?" --P&P

Vagabonde said...

What an elegant affair! I love your dress – it will be perfect. I hope you will be strong because just a look from Mr. Darcy might make you melt – maybe you should take some salts with you so, if and when you faint, you’ll revive quickly. I can’t wait to hear how many dances you wrote on your carnet de bal? You do have a carnet de bal don’t you, ma chère Ruth? If not, quickly obtain one. Here is a blog showing several: http://www.artistsandart.org/2010/04/dance-cards-carnet-de-bal-ballspende.html.

Claudia said...

Hi Ruth! Why, aren't you the belle of the ball?! You look absolutely gorgeous! Can I steal Mr. Darcy for a second, my dear? I promise to bring him back in a jiffy ;-)

Excellent choices yours are!

Jeanie said...

It's highly likely you'll be the best dressed woman at the ball! And if Mr. D. happens by, he won't be able to take his eyes off you!

Margaret Bednar said...

What a night we have all had. My girls had so much fun fixing me up. And your Mr. Darcy's "Look" (aka Colin Firth) was rivaled by the smoldering gaze of Clive Owen (and to think I had never heard of Clive before tonight - I really need to get out more.) It is late and Patrick Swazey and I are having our last dance. My husband has threatened... I mean promised to be waiting for me upon my return home. Oh, these feet haven't had so much fun in a long time. I can only imagine how yours feel with those pointy toes. Hope to see you here next year.

Ginnie said...

I already have enough ideas to last a lifetime, Ruth, believe it or not. :D Maybe I've been thinking about this for a long time, without knowing there was a Ball to attend! :) And I know exactly with whom I would gladly dance...besides Astrid, and with her blessing. HA!

Ruth said...

Oo la la, Daniel, I did, I did meet Gerard, he looked just like he did in the film, his white collar up, oh soo handsome, and a divine dancer. I had two dances with him!

Pheww, I'm so exhausted.

Ruth said...

Shari, see, we are sisters in so many things. I swear we live in parallel space.

(May I tell you, just between you and me (shhhh don't tell Eliza), Fitzwilliam gave me the look, not once, but twice.)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Yoli, I enjoyed the ball immensely, and Mr. Darcy was talking about you the rest of the evening after you and Dr. House arrived, but he was a little afraid to ask you to dance, your hat . . .

:D

Ruth said...

Oooohhliag, yes. I have not seen this version (it's queued though), and the clip is sweetly beautiful, what a soft dance, what a soft loving looook. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Bella, I'm glad this was fun for you.

And I took your warning to not have too much fun myself. It warn't easy, but I managed . . .

Ruth said...

Dear willow, what can I say? You somehow make the event more fantabulous every year, and this time I got to go. From the first bit of shopping, to the name dropping, to the plopping into bed in the morning, I was in a dream.

I didn't believe you, but I did dance well, and I think I injured no one. Thank you for your magnificence. Our blogworld wouldn't be the same without you.

Ruth said...

Helen, did you see? I did lose the corset and shoes. Poor Willow, she must have had enough leftover goods to start a consignment shop!

Thanks so much for stopping by. You looked fetching in your sleek red dress.

Ruth said...

Hello and welcome, Kerry, I am most gratified to offer you shivers at my place. I felt the same reading your brilliant scheme and preparation for your evening with Leonardo, you had such a unique twist on dear willow's grand event.

As for Mr. Bennet's words, I heard something very similar from Mr. M. when I got home and began telling him about all the lace . . . "no lace, no lace ! . . ."

Ruth said...

Ma chère Vagabonde, I am pleased you like my choice of dress. I know how you like all things vintage. As I mentioned earlier to Shari, Fitzwilliam gave me the look, twice. I admit I was prepared for the first one, since he had promised after all. But the second did make me swoon. Thank goodness I fell onto willow's couch. Oh yes, I had a ballspende. Lorenzo almost poked my out with his pencil, but once he lost the pencil and I ditched my shoes, we danced in safety until dawn. Darcy was off making other ladies swoon. Oh it was a marvelous night.

Ruth said...

Claudia, thank you, you are so kind, but you as Empress Elizabeth stole the show, and Fitzwilliam couldn't keep his eyes off you. I finally just said, "Would you please just go ask her for a dance?" . . . and the rest, my dear, is history.

I'm immensely pleased that you decided to grace the Willow Ball with your immense skirt and your personal elegance. I loved having you there.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, thank you, my friend. I hope you will consider going next year. With your taste, your choices would be impeccable.

Mr. D. was gallant, and I have nothing amiss to report to dear Eliza, but there were many enchanting women who took his eyes, and I think even, maybe, perhaps, received the look.

Ruth said...

Margaret, Clive Owen?? How did I miss him? Rats. I would have closed my eyes while we danced and listened to that voice . . .

You and Patrick looked perfect together, and I could see how happy he was to be full of life and dancing again.

Yes, next year. Now we have a whole year to plan. Ahhh, the little girl in me is back.

Ruth said...

Boots, I had a sneaking suspicion that you might have a few fantasies up your sleeve. :)

And as for your escort, I have heard you mention a couple of ladies, now I wonder which one . . . :D

Susan said...

My dear little coquette, I hope you are well rested from tripping the light fantastic! I, unfortunately, was not able to plan for and attend the fabulous Willow Manor Ball as I was attending the, ahem, Popcorn Ball, so to speak. I can see that I missed a lovely and exciting event, much to my regret. Your diaphonous dress was quite devine and suited you perfectly. And your accoutrements! Just divine inspiration, my dear! Those slippers were just the thing for kicking left-feeted gentlemen if they strayed too closely to your delicate toes. And I can just imagine how your fine skin glowed against the dusky garnets.

I've saved the very best for last...Mr. Darcy! What excellent taste you have in dancing partners, my dear! Just the thought of his gloved hand lightly holding my fingertips while dancing the Quadrille is enough to set my heart to fluttering at a very rapid pace...ohhhh, the excitement is too much for me! I must go lie down until it passes. :)

Anna said...

Oh dear, Ruth, this is such a nice thing, you made it so real, and put smile across my face. Sorry I could not attend, but I am afraid that wardrobe would have been an issue with me. If you hold pajama party, then we can talk, lol. Hope all is well otherwise, been away from blogging for a while, okay a good while, which I didn't noticed, lol. Glad to be back. Anna :)

Sandra Leigh said...

J.G. said it -- The Look works, even over the Internet. I think you and I had the handsomest dates at the Ball -- Denzel and Darcy. Wasn't it a fantastic evening?