Wednesday, September 26

The Bloglandia Ball

edit: Okay, I have to intervene here, and let everyone know right off, that Jack did NOT make the hors d'oeuvres. It was Amanda's husband (whose name I don't know). Jack is very talented, but . . . not so much in the kitchen, ("Talented enough," he just yelled from the family room.)

The Invisibility Dress at the Bloglandia Ball
by Jack Riepe
The lights dimmed in the great hall of the Lightner Museum and the faint strains of music began to compete with the sounds of arriving guests. The rise and fall of laughter mixed with greetings -- old friends coming together face-to-face for the first time -- filtered through the main gallery's ornate doors. The ladies touched and hugged each other, admiring the exquisite gowns that mirrored their perception of art, color and self-expression. It was at once a celebration of the craft . . . And an induction into a special society.
The men grinned and exchanged handshakes. They looked like a convention of secret agents in their tuxedoes.
The Bloglandia Ball was about to cap weeks of planning and last-minute changes to works of art that were as revealing as they were complex. It is fitting that this event was being held in a museum, as many of these gowns would soon hang in a New England art gallery.The wait staff strategically positioned themselves inside the main hall. Each was invisible in a stark black dress and white apron that hinted at Gaulic origins, but faded in a rumor past the hint. The trays of hors d'oeuvres might just as well be levitating in thin air."Perfect," she thought to herself. "Everything is just perfect." It was her plan to view the ball from the outside, before becoming part
of it. To sense it before becoming absorbed by it.She looked down at the tray of canapés on her arm. Each could have been a cloisonné miniature. There were perfect little pancetta ricotta crostini, sculpted sui mai, and culinary delights adorned by edible flowers. Even the napkins in her other hand were filmy pieces of lace, fashioned from the wedding gowns of famous people.

No detail had been overlooked.

The doors opened and the crowd streamed in on a surge of color, paper and fabric designed to bloom in this intimate light. There was e.b. . . . Jill . . . Stephanie . . . Lisa . . . and SPF (Some Pink Flowers) . . . each adorned by a distinctive artistic statement. Boone moved through the crowd wearing pants of his own design -- sort of like "Yellow Submarine meets The Jungle Book."

The music picked up.

"Show time," she said to herself, moving through the crowd behind the tray."Canapé," she'd say over and over again, coming within an ace of touching the legendary names she'd linked to that week. "Hors d'oeuvre," she'd offer, close enough to the sources of light and images she been studying for months. But none saw her in the black guise of service. There was a tricky moment when e.b. reached for a quail's egg decorated to look like the Sistine Chapel. And Boone paused for a moment in the act of scarfing up a dozen gyoza.At ten minutes of ten, she slipped through the kitchen to a pantry. The serving dress was on the floor an instant later, having served its purpose. She slipped into her "Soul of New Mexico" gown, and liberated her hair with a tug on a ripcord that led to her ponytail. The skirt flowed around her hips like the Rio Grande wrapping around an island. The jeweled pattern of her blouse caught the ambient light -- and tickled it.She stepped out into the great hall and heard e.b. squeal . . . "Hey everybody! It's Leslie!"

*** Oh, how fun this has been! Thanks to Jack for DREAMing up the dialogue for this post; thanks to Amanda and her wonderful cooking husband for BEing such sports and letting me post their delicious photos (you can get the recipes for this stuff by visiting their blog, by the way); and thanks to e.b. for inspiring us all to PLAY!***


  1. too fun! lovely gown too. thanks for the fabulous food.

  2. OMG - I want some!!!!!!!!!

    the most exquisite torture here...

    and I want a dialog writer like this one - David was looking over my shoulder at the e-mail scratching his head and saying in a bemused way...
    "Jack cooks!?... I didn't know that Jack cooked..."

    now I could go on and on and there is certainly more to say here - gotta get that kid to make those pants - his idea!

    ... gotta get back and link you up miss gorgeous party girl - oh you 2 sure know how to have fun...

    xox- eb.

  3. i saw you when the gate opened, entering the ball room and meeting you for the first time. i'm so enchanted!! let's enjoy some delightfull canapés together and dance along into the night...

  4. dear Leslie, thank you for serving us such wonderful party food and I am very glad you got to play at the end:)

  5. i can smell the you gown...blessings, rebecca

  6. Oh Leslie,
    Such delicious hors d'oeuvres! And
    a beautiful dress! I can understand the joy of being behind the scenes myself.

    Have fun at the Ball!

  7. I've been looking at that ball gown for the past three weeks... I've been listening to the build-up for the last month... Now it's my turn.

    The gown looked beautiful on the studio table. It looked wonderful hanging on the tree in the garden. It look sensational on you. And now it looks best in a little pile on the floor, with you standing before me wearing perfume and moonlight.

    More champagne, Dear?

    (The Lindbergh Baby)

  8. ohohohoh....

    don't i feel like a princess!

    what yummy food
    and thank you for providing
    such amazing treats.

    jack, jack, jack!
    you are one inspriring writer
    with your perfectly chosen nouns
    and adjectives and such...
    they are almost as tastey as you snacks!


    leslie, you have your prince
    without the kissing frogs part...
    come back and dance
    as i have linked you up...

  9. OMG! Thank you for all the incredible treats! I cannot help but take more and MORE!

    Your story took me along..spinning and dancing through the ball!

  10. I think I just gained 5 lbs looking at the food!! Love your ball gown!

  11. This is wonderful, and you just made me very hungry! It's great fun here, the anticipation, the food, the gown, what a treat!

  12. What wonderful food my little Fairy Violette will be sharing when she arrives at the ball....

  13. Hello! This was such a fun post I may have to come back for seconds!!Nice to meet your here at THE BALL!!

  14. I am hungry now! Oh no,I skipped breakfast to visit!!!
    That dress!!! Spectacularity!

  15. First....being that I love to write and adore others writing I have to say I have a crush on Jack now. How extraordinary to have someone so prolific with words to set the scene so beautifully.
    And how cheeky of you to be able to mingle unnoticed for a time...absorbing the conversations and previewing the dresses as they sway by. AND the food, that glorious, delicious, tantalizing food that makes my mouth water and causes me to cheat a bit.
    The finale being your gorgeous self, emerging from your disguise in that outstanding frock...sparkling as YOU do when you smile at our surprise it had been you all along.
    Shall we twirl? Take my hand!

  16. I'm so glad you have thought about the food !!!!
    Well can you share it with me !! By the way loveky dress

  17. What a Wonderful Imagination you possess!
    And your dresses are Fabulous!
    What Fun!
    Sandra Evertson

  18. oooh this is SO MUCH FUN!!! ...of course...i'm really really *hungry* now! :)

    (ps: the image of pants which can be described as "Yellow Submarine meets The Jungle Book" is going to stay with me a long, lonnnnng time!)

  19. Delicious post, and fabulous gown -the maid disguise was rather fabulous, too!

    What a lovely, lovely surprise!

  20. mmmm that food!
    Thank you!
    Everything was lovely specially your dress!

  21. Wonderful post! Love the gown and those delicious canapés!

  22. Oh my goodness, what a lavish
    array of you think
    our ball gowns will still fit?
    Your blog is beautiful!

  23. Hello Leslie! This is all so yummy, in picture and word, I love your switching dresses and thank you for feedings us so elegantly and surprising us in only the way it could be from snips and snails and puppy dog Tails!!!! Let's Dance!

  24. I am enchanted! What a beautiful party your wrote! Great plot twist with the costume change. :) Love it!

  25. OK, now that I have been dancing a while, I am ready to dig into that delicious spread you have out there!

  26. I'm sorry I missed thouse canapes. I must have been on the dance floor. How wonderful of you to serve. I hope you got on the floor before the conga line made its way into the fountain.

  27. Those canapes are scrumptious! Mmmm.... good food, good music, great gowns, fun friends... what a night!

  28. Ohhhhh, I was dancing so much I didn't see the food. Is there any left? Yes? some morsels to keep me going?


  29. even the wait staff have gorgeous outfits!!! how fun!!
    that food was amazing - Im stuffed!!!

  30. Hi Leslie:
    I (my girls) must meet Jack as EB told me my Scoundrel & Rogue look like him. How cool to have triplets of the same style in Bloglandia. I am ever so hungry and I believe I may embarrass myself with the gluttony I feel coming on : )
    Please come and meet my motley Scoundrel & Rogue crew. I want Jack to meet my guys!!!
    I dare say Jack is much like my Scoundrel & Rogue : )
    They are all a cheeky free loving lot : )

  31. wonderful eye candy...mmmmmmmmm it's making me want to head straight for the buffet! it's probably a good time to take these boots feet are needing a rest. so nice to meet you!

  32. By the way Leslie:
    Please let Jack know Scoundrel & Rogue have a whole box of stogies and magic words are "I am Jack"
    Eb sure is something making this ball possible. I hope before it is over, even if there are the proverbial stragglers, I can get a dress up so I can be in "THE BOOK" too. I love your French maid dress...Actually Scoundrel said he liked it but I think he is nervous about Jack hearing it repeated : )

  33. What a lovely party you are showing here. Your dress is enchanting. I love it. The food was yummy, now let's dance.

    Carol M

  34. Yummy food, gorgeous dress,and fabulous company. What else could we ask for.

  35. I'm having such a good time. The fashion, the music, the company, oh and the cuisine!!!

  36. Holy Hors D' Vours, Batman!!!!!
    My mouth is watering... no.... I am drooling over the delicious selection of appetizers!
    And... what a time we have had!
    We girls...
    The Belles of the Ball...

    Oh what a night!

  37. alright guys - have you been to Carole's place - with the scoundrels, etc. - I can see that she's swung by the canape table at least twice...

    now... I... I... repeat - I scored a few cigars for "Mr.- My Husband Cooks" aka tlb - and I am hoping... lest I repeat - HOPING that you all saved me a couple of canapes - these dang flying, linking fingers are...

    THE - "eb."

  38. Magic MAGIC MAGIC !!!

    I was glued and smiling the whole way thru !!!

    Ahhhh Miz NM - you are a sight to behold with your hair wild about you and your skirt billowing around making that delicious sound !

    The gosh. I am at work you know, and starved beyond measure ! These have sent me over the edge and I surely WILL check out the link to the recipes.

    Thank you DARLING for a Delicious Dance at The Bloglandia Ball.....! It was truly a TREAT here.

    Happy Autumn.
    Love, S.

  39. Oohhh and I forgot to tell you how cute your little INCOGNITO dress turned out ! Very Sweet !

  40. Oh hole-y geez, my oh my! I thought I was hungry before seeing your post... now the ol' st'mch wants what it wants... and I want more time to cruise your art!!! ~fashionably late to the ball

  41. Wow....this is a fabulous post. Most creative and entertaining. Love both your dresses and the food....let's just say Amanda's husband is quite talented too as is Jack!

  42. well,
    i will tell you this:

    it is a good thing
    i am doing all this dancing
    i have done nothing but eateateat
    your quail eggs!



  43. Oh dear, there seems to be some confusion. Jack did NOT make the canapes. They were made by Amanda's husband over at www.myhusbandcooks.

    Jack wrote the story, but HE (gosh, I don't know HIS name - Amanda's husband) cooked. Check out their site. He even includes the recipes.

  44. Too fun! The Food looks delightful and so yummy. Your dress is just beautiful too!


  45. oh... now... girlfriend...

    did I start that rumor?
    that Jack was the chef
    behind these delectables?...

    gee whiz - a girl gets
    to have a little fun...

    doesn't she?

    aw c'mon Leslie...

    tell us - that Jack cooks...
    maybe not these cuties...

    but... but...

    are there any left?

    xox - eb.

  46. Oh yes, that dress evokes New Mexico indeed! So nice to meet you. Now I need food and I came to the right place!

  47. Ha, ha, darling e.b. So glad you stopped by for some canapes. Amanda's husband (who shall remain nameless) has a never-ending stash of these lovely hors d'oeuvres.

  48. YUMMM I am so glad I brought my appetite! EVERY thing looks so good.
    Love Erin~

  49. Those hors d'oeuvres are making me hungry! i belive I will have to stop dancing and have a bite!

  50. What gorgeous gowns and a gorgeous night! And how funny... I am from West Chester PA, and now live only a few minutes from there now. I am in West Chester often! Nice to meet you!

  51. Yummy....the food is scrumptious looking! We will have so much fun frolicking in our bare feet together!! Vibrant beautiful colors a true bohemian spirit awakes!

    Hugs Sherrie

  52. omg.. i am hungry after looking at those deelish snacks..will never squeeze in those ball gowns after the nibbling!! thank you!

  53. love your story. so pleased to meet you!

  54. this was the best idea I read to look from the outside and then being part of it..
    so much like life itself..
    I love both dresses..
    but the second is best for dancing..
    will you =)

  55. I love your dress and all that food is making me hungry. I just finished my dress and am a little famished. I
    am still dancing away even though I got a late start. Come join us Pinkie

  56. Oh wow, what fun, fabulous creations!

  57. Love the story, food, and dress.

  58. Love the gown!!!! And oh the food was delish!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  59. ms. delighted us with the unmatchable treats & a story woven through a magcial night!!

    what a ~dreamy~ couple the 2 of you are!


  60. Ah wonderful story! Wonderful ensembles in both your hidden and flamboyant personnas! Although when you began with the 'invisibility dress' I was afraid you were going the 'emperor's new ball gown' way! Thank you so much for the dance!

  61. Adorable dress and the writing is wonderful! Thank you for the dance and delicious food!

  62. Sorry I'm dancing so slowly here .... what a fantastic feast and your gown is all a-glitter! Truly a magical, delicious night to remember!