Showing posts with label Willow Ball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Willow Ball. Show all posts

Sunday, October 28, 2012

When Willow Calls......We Dance!

Ah, 'tis the one night of the year when my blogging takes a wondrous detour into the land of timeless temptations. What could be more perfect than entering a space that bows to no negative forces? No time, no age, no lack or want....no grief, no politics, no pending storms.....only a space that allows all dreams to come true for one day. For those of you curious about how such a place exists....you still have 24 hours to choose your fantasy attire and escort to join the revelry....at THE blogging event of the year: The Willow Manor Ball!

With each passing year the pre-ball choices become harder, yet more exciting. It always seems perfectly impossible to trump the previous year's gown, and each former date holds a special place in my heart....so what is a girl to do? Oh wait....this year...we have Pinterest! With this thought, I practically skipped to the PC to create my Willow Manor Ball Board!! This new way of organizing my fantasy shopping did NOT disappoint!
After my previous years of silver/moonlight blue and sapphire, I was ready to move towards the burning flames and chose red as my theme color this year. And then our dear host threw us the best possible curve ball she could muster: it was to be a masked ball! With my red dresses, shoes and jewelry pinned I was delighted with this new addition, yet firmly ready to ditch all my previous plans if I found a mask that could not be denied!

This is where delicate planning and extensive travel came to my rescue. One of my lifelong secret fantasies has been to attend Carnivale in Venice....complete with uber extravagant masks and costumes....which meant there was only one place to aim the private jet this year for final plans: Venezia of course!

In all of my excitement, and as I strolled the shops of Venice, I suddenly had this shadowy thought....my date will also need to wear a mask. But my date is none other than the charming and deliciously handsome Dennis Morgan....who wants to cover up that adorable mug on such an enchanted evening? So.....since the ball is so long....and since there are no rules.....I decided to select two different masks for our evening. One each for our grand entrance and early hours....and another each as the night wore long and exhilarating. So, with my selections made and my date busy purchasing flowers.....I jetted home to get ready!
For this evening, my gown of choice is this flame colored Versace gown that can't seem to make up its mind if it is red or burnt orange....chameleon gossamer layers that seem to gently dance along the smoothly fitted hips, almost as much as I will be doing along the dance floor!
Underneath this sheer layered confection of a gown is this pair of diamond and ruby heels.....with silk straps that twirl up my calves in a way that mimics the straps of my dress.
Of course, no ensemble would be complete without my jewelry......sigh.....and tonight, nothing would satisfy me but Liz's Taj-Mahal diamond. The combination of gold, diamonds and rubies is a perfect fit for not only my dress, but my chosen masks. Besides, this necklace was given to her on her 40th birthday.....which is fitting as this too is my 40th year....Liz has been gracious enough to give me charge of this precious jewel for one evening!
And for the mask reveal.....my entrance mask.....gold with feathers that match my dress perfectly....
But what about my delicious date? For his entrance mask, I wanted something that would contour and compliment his bone structure beautifully....not hiding that boyish grin and gorgeousness.....silver seems to go with his black tux perfectly....
Although, as soon as I had his silver mask delivered to him a few days before the ball, he exceeded all charm and thoughtfulness by choosing a car he knew would complete his debonair entrance, and set off the red of my dress in the most dramatic of fashions.....his 1959 Porche convertible....what color? Silver of course!
As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my date and fidgeted with my hair and handbag, I heard that purring of the engine as it approached and knew Cinderella's night was going to be perfect once again! As he got out of the car to open my side, he grinned and bowed gallantly....taking my breath away. Don't forget everyone, not only is Dennis Morgan simply gorgeous, charming and a genuinely nice person, but he can also sing.....and sing he did on our way to the manor...."Fly me to the Moon" as we drove under the stars with the light breeze dancing around us reminding us of the dancing that is soon to come....
Upon arrival, I had the hardest time deciding what to feast my eyes upon....the enchanting decor of the manor this year, or the adorable date on my arm.....I soon felt as though I were watching a tennis match! Not long after thanking our gracious and elegant host (how does she manage to be the belle of the ball every year while planning such a grand triumph?) and admiring the two men on her arm this year, I heard a soft chuckle in my ear as we had apparently made it close to the dance floor and my date was not about to hold off any longer! As I turned to take in the full impact of that adorable chuckle I felt myself whisked off into one direction and then twirled abruptly in many directions as we had made it to the center of the ball room! Dear Dennis then managed to whisk me off my feet literally for several hours.

Around the mid-point of our 24 hour revelry, the masks and elation were getting a bit to us and I decided to give our faces a bit of a break. Which meant switching out to the hand-held pieces of artistry I managed to pick up on my way back the airport. You see, not only was I concerned with comfort....but I did not want to go an entire ball without seeing that devilishly handsome face in all of its glory! Plus....with the masks aside at just the right moment.....perhaps out on a balcony...or in a quiet corner....I might be so fortunate as to receive a kiss from my 24 hour Prince Charming. A girl MUST prepare for all possibilities you know!
This year, I already feel a bit tipsy, but only from the dancing....as we all continue to enjoy the ball, I still have a lot on my enjoyment to-do list: sip lots of champagne, sample the delectable delicacies, and savor the savories.....let this night never end!

Pssst....there was one moment on the balcony, when he started whispering....
      "At last a soft and solemn breathing sound
Rose like a steam of rich distill'd Perfumes,
And stole upon the Air, that even Silence
Was took e're she was ware, and wish't she might
Deny her nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac't."
...........followed by.....can you guess?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Willow Magic at the Stroke of Midnight!

It is that magical time of year, dear readers, when this genealogy addict flies off the handle and takes her blog on a flight of fancy! I beg indulgence once again as I attend the annual Willow Manor Ball! Held each each year by prolific and talented blogger/poetess, Tess Kincaid, it has become the cyber event of the year. When the invitations came around again this year, I scurried away to find just the right accoutrements, and the perfect date! The rules are simple: you have been invited to attend a magical ball at Willow Manor. This event is magical because time and human flaws do not exist! You may look any way you wish (Jean Harlowesque figure), dress any way you wish (money is no object), dance like a master, and your date can be anyone you choose since time does not exist here. In retrospect, this is not that out of character for a historian - after all, in order to do what we do, we must have complex and advanced imaginations in order to visualize what life was like before our time! Blog about your adventure and then visit the Life at Willow Manor blog to post your evening's report. Things get started at midnight, so off to the ball we go! BTW, there is one other way to attend, simply visit Ms. Kincaid's blog and leave a comment - but where is the fun in that?! Let your imagination loose for a change and dust off those magical dancing shoes! Blogging/comment entries are allowed for 24 hours beginning at the stroke of midnight, October 12th.....follow me, and I'll show you where my imagination took me this year.....

So, last year, my choice was extremely hard, but I settled on a light blue with silver trim dress, accented by diamonds - moonlight itself was my theme, but it had a hard argument to make when my other choice was so tempting - night itself. This year was easier as I knew the darkness, with a hint of blue would set off our dancing in a beautiful way.....I am of course talking about Sapphire. I almost chose a more Mad Men 50s/60s flare of the skirt, but was drawn back into a more sleek and sultry cut. After all, with this figure, why hide it on a night like this? Besides, when I think of "evening gown", I think long and flowing, something that drapes and silhouettes the body in a manner that is elegant, yet seductive. This sapphire blue gown was exactly what I had in mind, and fit like a kid glove.....

Only to be perfectly accented with the following....
This gorgeous necklace that drapes downward to follow some of the plunging neckline....yet with diamonds.....both whispering the phrase "Starry Night".
To continue this mix of rich hues and sparkles of light, these gorgeous pumps.....
Further accented by this amazingly unique handbag - slipping back into a little art deco element - my design motif of weakness!
Once my shopping was complete, I needed  one more perfect element - a special date for the evening. After last year's date, William Powell, made such a grand and dashing entrance, I was at a loss for this year's selection. After all, I refuse to give up any of my fantastical requirements for the perfect date: he must be able to walk into a room with an air of confidence and debonair charm. He must be able to carry a tux like he was born in one. He must be able to dance beautifully, and above all, he must make me laugh! No ultra serious men will have the honor of my company for the ball. The perfect mix lies in that sophisticated, intelligent, charming man, who is confident enough to smile and laugh in a way that proves he is enjoying life to the fullest! Throw in a charming British accent, and you have: David Niven.
After reviewing David's offer, it was discovered, that he was not only an amazing actor, completely charming and witty fellow, but a war hero, and overall honorable guy - who also loved to laugh! It was said that "Niv was the twinkling star, the meteor who lit up every room he entered." I always loved him as an actor, and for tonight, he is not the older, gruffer actor I remember, but the young, witty, with a dash of slap-stick actor that I remember so fondly from his 1939 stint with Ginger Rogers in The Bachelor Mother.....move over Ginger, this time it's my turn to dance with the legendary twinkling star of Hollywood! 
See you all next year! Thanks to Ms. Kincaid for another triumphant ball!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Short Digress to the Willow Ball

I must beg indulgence from my regular readers for just a moment. The blogosphere allows for random flights of fancy and group participation in grand fantasies that a standard subject specific writing sphere would not permit. Below is my entry into the magical universe of the 3rd annual Willow Ball held at the stately Willow Manor. To read about the history and rules of participation, please visit the main Willow Manor blog site. However, if you choose to read further, you must remember only one thing.....ANYTHING is possible at the Willow Ball!

I begin this tale by confessing that I am tremendously nervous as this is my first ball. I know, I know, a pretty and successful girl such as myself should have had her fair share of balls by now….but alas, school and work and family obligations took their toll on my elegant social life. That is not to say that I abandoned the pursuit of beautiful and classic things in my life, but they were never afforded the prominence to allow a ball. Therefore, the beautiful invitation from our gracious hostess to attend the 3rd annual Willow Ball was the cause of instant excitement and something very close to giddiness.

Even though my head began to spin as I considered all of the preparation possibilities, the choice of escort was a simple one.....as long as he concurred, of course. In fact, I would have to say that my date choice was the inspiration for the rest of my ball embellishments. When I think of a glamorous night of dancing with a man very comfortable in a tux, and light on his feet, my mind immediately flashes to the image of the incomparable William Powell. If any man was comfortable in a tux, it would be this classic charmer. His adorable sense of humor, suave and graceful, yet masculine demeanor, would make any evening a night to remember forever. Besides, I also happen to have somewhat of an Art Deco fetish. Without going overboard, I incorporate this motif into decorating whenever I can...even if only subversively. The glamorous and sleek style of this time period that also coincided with a golden age of Hollywood is one of my greatest inspirations, and indeed, inspired the remainder of my selections.....well not everything. Inspiration is just that....not the creation of an exact replica, but rather a touch of classic elegance that when combined with current contemporary elements, can create the remarkable.

My fears of a necessity to pick another escort were dissolved with William's most eager and gracious acceptance. He was delighted to have an excuse to dust off the tux again...although I pointed out that I sincerely doubted he ever neglected a tux to the point of one becoming dusty....if any man's dance card is habitually completely full, it is our dear William. He chuckled softly and added that he was even more delighted at the thought of twirling me around the dance floor all evening and made me promise to reserve most of my dances for him. He was not eager to share his date overly much on such a beautiful evening, and especially when the date is so beautiful....did I mention how the man has made flattery an utter art form? This conversation had me floating around while shopping for the next week, all with a silly smile on my face.

I am a firm believer in serendipity. Especially when searching for the perfect dress. My first leanings were toward a beautiful ball gown with somewhat large skirts to produce that beautiful swooshing sounds when gliding across the dance floor in the arms of your handsome partner. The thought of moonlight and beautiful music had me settled on a beautiful sapphire theme which of course made the jewelry selection even more fun.....until.... I stumbled upon the perfect dress that was opposite of what I had originally intended. This gown was still reminiscent of moonlight, but in a more silvery manner. The silky flow of the shimmery fabric was even more perfect as it meant freedom of movement as the night would wear on, and the sensual feel of a dance partner's hand upon one's back. I knew instantly that this gown from a London boutique would make me feel as beautiful as possible.
As you can see it was also a perfect fit for my Art Deco sensibilities. This was very reminiscent of the glamour days and I was certain that just a few additional diamond accents would make this ensemble complete. Once again serendipity was on my side as this most beautiful vintage Art Deco diamond necklace was made available at just the right time to make our wonderful ball! I rounded off the ensemble with these gorgeous Jimmy Choo glitter pumps with handbag to match. I also could not resist the temptation of wearing some sheer white gloves to add to the moonlight of the night. When it came time to get dressed, I knew I had made the right choices, but the anticipation was building to such a height....did I mention how nervous I was?






When my dashing date arrived to pick me up he surprised me in his beautiful open top 1927 Bentley. The look on his face when he first took in the radiance of his date was a priceless moment that I shall never forget - one that instantly dissolved my fears. "Why my dear, you are a vision of moonlight and elegance, you are certain to be the belle of the ball....and what better way to celebrate the moonlight on this most balmy of evenings than a in a classic open chariot." As I blushed and thought to myself how observant and gallant he was, he stopped me as I began my way down the front steps. He pulled out of his pocket, a perfectly trimmed, white heirloom rose blossom that he proceeded to tuck into my hair. He smiled, kissed my cheek, then my hand and said..."to the ball madame!". Our ride was a short one as we are not too far from the Manor, but when we arrived, we knew we had been transported to a magical place far away. Yes, of course we danced all night and let the champagne's bubbles make us lighter than we already were, but for more details as to that lovely night, I'm afraid you'll have to visit the main posting about the night's events by our beautiful and gracious hostess, Ms. Willow. It was truly a magical night to remember forever!
Until next year!
CD
9/30/10

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