oregon

Mixed Media Workshop - Success!

Hello friends! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the holiday season! I gotta tell you my heart has been bursting with joy since teaching my Mixed Media Workshop this past weekend!

Oh. My. Goodness! I couldn't even have wished for a better outcome! All my nerves quickly melted away as I met each beautiful student - 7 shining, bright, amazing women! What a group! Plus, my co-hostess, Katie was SO awesome! She handled all the food, drink and goodies so I could focus on teaching Art! Total bliss!

Instead of rambling on and on, I'll just share some of the photos...

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I wanted to make sure every detail was thought of! It was a labor of LOVE and worth every second.

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My living room was gutted and turned into a festive classroom! What a truly rewarding experience to get the opportunity to teach what I am so passionate about. We used collage, encaustics, acrylic paint, pastels, ink, oil pastels and more! It was a serious Mixed Media Party!!

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The work that came out of these extraordinary women was mind blowing and so gorgeous! We worked on a smaller piece that was more focused on landscapes and then finished the day with a portrait project.

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That night we went out to dinner and continued the bonding. Artist, Jenny Wentworth came into town to join us too! What fun! I was beaming with joy and couldn't stop smiling!

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The weekend ended with an Open Studio session on Sunday morning back at my place.

Oh and this sweet video brought me to tears of joy. Thanks guys!

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This experience has deeply changed me. I challenged myself to do something that terrified me and conquered it! Woo! What a fabulous feeling! On top of that, I made authentic, magical connections to new artistic friends. Plus, I think I have finally found my calling. Teaching felt exhilarating, inspiring and just so darn right! I am so incredibly grateful. Thank you to all who participated! I can't wait till the next one!

xo,

Ivy

 

A Magical Garden

Hi friends! How's life? I hope all is well. We are preparing for our trip to Disneyland to celebrate Grace's 8th Birthday! She is beyond excited! Claire on the other hand, has decided that sleep is rather over rated and has nightly parties in her crib - laughing, talking and calling out to me. I'm exhausted, to say the least! I'll be glad when this little night owl phase passes. Anyway...A couple of weeks back we visited a magical place right here in Lake Oswego - The Elk Rock Gardens. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, so Grace and I headed over there to stroll the many paths that crisscross this enchanting place. I, of course, took a plethora of pictures, so I thought I would finally share them with you...

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What an amazing morning we had exploring this wonderful place! As Spring comes into full bloom, I encourage you to check out local gardens in your area! It's so easy to forget about these precious places and just get caught up in our day to day tasks. So much inspiration can be found in nature!

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

xo,

Ivy

Life lately...

Hello there! Oh my goodness, it's been a tough couple of weeks! My little Claire bear is just now getting over pneumonia. Poor baby...and well...poor Mama. We were both sick of being cooped up so it was fantastic to take her to daycare yesterday and see how happy she was to run into the classroom and play with her wee friends. I started the day (childfree) with a trip to the nail salon for a quick, Spring manicure! My hands were trashed from constantly washing them! It's amazing what a coat of pretty nail polish can do to lift your spirit! ;)

Anyway, as you can imagine, I haven't had much time to paint or do anything really BUT thank goodness for my iPad because it's so easy to reach for it and create something minus the setup/cleanup. Here are a couple of digital collages I made this past week...

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Absolutely love creating on the app - Procreate! Such fun! Oh, and I just splurged on a new pressure sensitive stylus. I highly recommend it!

A couple of other things to share with you...I just received the most gorgeous necklace from my jewelry designer friend.

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It's a beautiful piece of lapis lazuli and it resembles a dreamy piece of the starlit sky! I adore it! Thank you Amy!

I also finally got a bracelet from Becky at Farm Girl Paints on Etsy! It reminds me to keep my head up and live courageously - not easy for this girl - who tends to back away from scary or intimidating situations...

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Oh and I did a little Spring cleaning in my studio! I'm hoping to start creating more frequently now that both kids are healthy!

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And....lastly...a little glimpse of Spring blossoms popping in my neighborhood. Such a beautiful time of year!

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I hope you are all healthy and happy! Enjoy your weekend!

Much love,

Ivy

Pumpkin Patch Visit

Hi there my friends! How are you? I hope you are enjoying Fall. We have had a glorious, sun filled October, so of course, a visit to the local Pumpkin Patch was in order! I captured some shots of Claire among the piles of pumpkins. The autumn light has been so very pretty! Grace, thankfully, jumped into the last one too! (She was very busy visiting with all the animals on location so it was hard to pull her away!) pumpkin5 edit

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"I want this one!"

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After a little hunting, we found four lovely pumpkins. One for each of us. Of course, we also managed to go home with fudge, fresh pumpkin donuts and homemade berry jam. Yum! I didn't grow up going to a Pumpkin patch for Halloween but I'm happy this has become a sweet tradition for our family.

What traditions do you have in your family for this time of year?

Enjoy the rest of the week.

xo,

Ivy

P.S. I am still working on my Brené Brown homework. I will be sharing it with you soon, I promise. By the way, her book = TOTALLY life-changing!

A Creative Weekend away...

Hello there! How is life treating you this week? Besides a pesky summer cold, I'm doing quite well and I'm so thankful that last weekend I got to get away with a dear friend for a creative retreat! We stayed at the sweetest cottage in the quaint Oregon beach town of Manzanita. Here are some shots via my Instagram... Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 4.01.53 PM

This cottage doesn't get any cuter right? It is the perfect place for a beach getaway.

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The vintage kitchen is adorable with layered personal touches and unique collections.

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Mornings (sans kids) were blissfully quiet and peaceful - sipping coffee, reading magazines and writing in my journal. Here is Katie enjoying a fav cooking mag.

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After we had substantial amounts of coffee we would move outside into the "garage" which is really an amazing outbuilding that my friend Candace converted into a charming dining hall. Strung with lights and adorned with artwork, old wine bottles and other beautiful objects it feels like a beachy treasure trove. The energy in this space is fantastic and you can tell many wonderful evenings have been spent at the long farmhouse table. We were immediately inspired.

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It didn't take long for us to spread out and get right into a creative zone...

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After a little bit of art journaling and playing with my watercolors...

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I began a small mixed media piece...

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Almost done...Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.43.35 AM

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And finished! Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.43.48 AM

It was an amazing weekend and I was sad to leave. As much as I missed my family, having some precious time to focus on art was such a gift. Katie and I agreed to do it again soon! Thank you, Candace for letting us stay at your magical home!

Do you have a favorite place to get away and create?

xo,

Ivy

Flowers in her hair: A mixed media portrait

Hi friends! How are you all doing? I hope you are enjoying summer or winter depending on your location. ;) The sun is on full-time duty here in Oregon and we are loving it! It's been crazy busy but I try to squeeze in a little art time for myself and although this piece took a couple of months to complete, I'm very happy with the result. I snapped pictures with my phone to show my progress so I thought I would share those with you... Using a piece of 9" x 12" illustration board I prepped the background with a collage of vintage papers and scrapbook paper. I try not to over think the placement but strive for a balance of color and texture. I use Golden Matt Medium as my glue.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.45.27 PM Ah! I found my muse! I use some cream acrylic paint to block out some of the text so I have a nice background for my sketch. Sketching her face was a challenge for me at first. I'm rusty since my days in art school, so I really had to push past my own doubts.

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I start filling in color with acrylic paint. She's starting to come to life! :)

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.45.08 PM I can hear my art teachers telling me not to focus on detail yet...but I couldn't help it, I love painting eyes - so I dive in and start to render her gray-blue eyes with washes of paint.

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Instead of painting flowers, I wanted to incorporate more collage, so I found these flowers online at the Graphic Fairy, printed them out and added them to her hair. Remember to coat any ink-jet images with a couple of layers of Krylon Crystal clear so the ink doesn't bleed when you use your glue.

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The next couple images were taken with my Canon camera, just so you know. The color is more accurate in these.

Here she is - all finished! You can see I added some washi and masking tape to create some movement and direction. I loved using a white gel pen to accentuate some areas too.

The quote reads " Let us dance in the sun wearing wild flowers in our hair."  art1You can't really tell from the pictures but I put metallic streaks of gold in hair so it shimmers in the light.

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Okay, sorry for the long post but it's fun (and scary) to share my art and process. I hope one day to be brave enough to teach an online class! I have learned so much by the classes I have taken.

My favorites are with Jeanne Oliver.  She really inspires you to get out all those art supplies and just go for it!

Have a beautiful Tuesday!

xo,

Ivy

Ranch life...

Hi all, Hope your week is off to a good start! As promised, here are shots from our trip to Brasada Ranch...(these are a mix of iPhone pics and shots with my Canon).

Central Oregon has a wild, rugged beauty to it. Gnarled Juniper trees with their soft blue berries, bristled sage brush and tall evergreens dominate the landscape.ranch1

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Grace got to go on her very first trail ride...

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and she tried out my camera on our photo walks together! It was too cute to see her snapping shots of everything.

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Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 3.02.39 PMClaire was a trooper too and loved being all snuggled up in her stroller for our long strolls around the property.

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My favorite photos were taken during the golden hour when everything seemed to glow with the warmth of the setting sun.

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This was the gorgeous view from our cabin's deck...sigh...

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Felt so very blessed to spend our Spring Break here. We will be going back to the ranch for sure!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

xo,

Ivy

Grace & Dottie

Hi there! How is week going so far? All is well, here at the Newports. Claire Bear is saying more "words" and is desperately trying to stand on her own. Grace is getting excited to celebrate her 7th birthday later this month so we are in party planning mode and my dear hubby is super busy but grateful for the work. As for me, I'm excited to start a new online art class with Jeanne Oliver on Monday! I've been absolutely dying to make some art but I always do better with a specific assignment and a deadline...must be programmed into my brain from art college! I'm hoping to gut my studio this weekend and prepare all my art supplies so I will be ready to dive in. Eeeek! Can't wait!! Okay, so I promised to share some photos from our trip to Brasada Ranch and I managed to get these done the other evening. This is Grace and the ranch dog, Dottie. Grace was completely smitten with her. Every chance she got she would beg us to take her up to the main lodge to visit her. It was really sweet to see the connection between the two of them...

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More photos to come...

Hope you have a beautiful Friday!

xo,

Ivy

Weekend away: Oregon wine country

Hi there! How's it going? Okay, so I promised I would be back with some pics from our little weekend getaway. I have to admit that my big camera was left in the hotel room because I am so addicted to Instagram. It was fun to capture the moments in a spontaneous (and easy) way with my phone! We stayed in the historic town of McMinnville at the 3rd Street Flats. They are beautifully decorated, European style flats full of gorgeous decor, charm and local art. The complimentary bottle of wine and chocolates didn't hurt either. Love this place and would stay again! We could walk to all the restaurants, bars, cafes, tasting rooms and shops!

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That first night we ate at the beautiful and romantic La Rambla! Spanish Tapas and fancy cocktails. Yes, please.

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Now don't laugh but the whole point of this trip was, yes, to be romantic and go wine tasting but it was to also work on the re-design of my blog. I rarely ever get Chris' undivided attention (and talent) so I took advantage of the situation and we parked at the Cornerstone cafe to geek out together and actually get some things accomplished! Grace & Ivy will be new and improved very soon! ;)

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After a little hard work, we had to go play and taste some wine so we packed up our laptops, hopped in the car and ended up in the tiny town of Carlton.

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We stopped into two places we had never tried before. Absolutely loved the French style Burgundy wines at Scott Paul!

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And a ten sample (yes ten!) wine flight with chocolates was a delight at Seven of Hearts!

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That night we got all dolled up and dined at Thistle. I LOVED this place. Intimate, delicious, charming with a totally vintage vibe. I was right at home.

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What a wonderful treat to get away with Chris! It felt amazing to recharge, re-connect and get inspired.  Thank you to my fabulous brother and his beautiful fiancée for taking our kids for the entire weekend!

If you haven't gotten away with your partner lately...try and plan something. It is so worth it!

xo,

Ivy

Tea for Two

Last week, I picked Grace up from school at noon so we could go have lunch together. She begged me to take her back to the "magical tea house"...also known as the Lady Di's Tea Room. How could I say no to that? Of course, my camera joined us...

Oh so serious...not for long...

the most lovely sweet potato soup and cheddar and tomato sandwiches...yum! Cheese on toast for Grace...

Sweet primroses blooming outside the window next to our table...

for dessert a plate of the most delicious English shortbread! It went fast...I almost missed a photo op!

Sitting there with her, watching the rain outside and nibbling our sandwiches, I couldn't help but wonder if we were making a memory that would stay with her. I hoped so. My mom used to take me out for lunches like this, just the two of us and I always felt so special. I had her undivided attention and she smiled and listened to all my stories patiently. If I can make Grace feel that same love, that same importance...then perhaps, one day, she will do the same for her child. When I so often feel that I'm not doing enough for her...it felt good to see the happiness in her eyes and hear the excitement in her voice.

A good Mom day.

xo,

Tulips, tulips everywhere

This past weekend we woke to sunlight streaming into our bedroom. Grace had actually slept in and we felt fresh and rested. I popped out of bed and announced that we were going to head for the Tulip Farm! It's Tulip Fest season and every single year we forget about it. With my new passion for photography and a sweet daughter who adores flowers, it was the perfect year to attend...

It was a gorgeous flower filled day! When I asked Grace what her favorite part was....

The pony ride, of course!!

xo,

Sunlit

Hello dear friends! I'm so sorry for my absence. My uncle passed suddenly and so I traveled to Florida for his memorial. It was a bittersweet trip...sadness and loss coupled with the heart warming sense of a family coming together and reconnecting. I saw cousins and aunts that I hadn't seen in over a decade. We cried, we hugged and we laughed too. My uncle would have liked that. My hubby and dear Grace stayed behind and I missed them but of course leaving your home for a period makes you appreciate it that much more. I am glad to be home.

Going from the Florida sun to the Oregon rain was a tough downshift though, so I thought today I would share with you dreamy images filled with warm sunlight. A little eye candy to start your week off right...

Can't you almost feel the warmth? Here in Portland, we live for the scattered sunbreaks that Spring delivers. We had one on Friday and I found myself driving down the road, sun roof open, windows down, radio up with a ridiculously huge grin on my face!

Although brief, it was magic.

Hope sunlight is flooding your day!

xo,

Images via 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

My pretty Valentine

It's sunny here and so pretty out! The whole city comes to life when Mr. Sun decides to hold court in our Northwestern skies. I love it. To celebrate, I decided a good dose of pretty Valentine pictures were in order. I've been collecting them from all over the internet for my Pinterest board. Enjoy...

Hope the sun is shining in your world too.

xo,

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Texas Garden Delights

Just got back from The Little Winter sale! It was such a beautiful show. I even got to meet Abby from Abby Try Again! It was so nice to meet her after following her blog this past year. She was super sweet and I purchased a print that I fell in love with ages ago. Looking through her gorgeous photos inspired me to post some pics from our recent trip to Texas.  Although the trip was for very sad reasons, I am happy to share these shots from my mother-in-law's lovely garden. After all the tears it was wonderful to play in her whimsical yard. Grace especially had a blast... She has these huge old oak trees that seem to watch over the garden like gentle giants...

This little stage is actually a vintage day bed that my mother-in-law found on her many antique shopping adventures. Like the old red doors above, she collects precious treasures and finds the perfect spots for them. Grace adored dancing around on "her stage" all afternoon and into the night.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

xo,

p.s. If you live in Portland, do not, I repeat do NOT miss the opportunity to check out the incredibly talented women at the Little Winter Market. Tomorrow is the last day!

A stroll in the rose garden...

Forgive my absence. With family in town and other random summer craziness, I have been truly neglecting my blog. Okay, so today, I have some images for you from the beautiful Portland Oregon Rose Garden. My mom, dad, Grace and I visited here last week. It was lovely to stroll through the endless flowers, deeply inhaling the sweet perfume of thousands of the city's prize blossoms...

Grace kept insisting that flower fairies must live here. As she delicately smelled the roses, she would call out to them in a soft whisper. It was too cute. Alas, much to her disappointment (and mine)... none were sighted.

Of course, I had to play around with some of my shots and add some fabulous textures. Such fun...

Have a fantastic Monday, or at least do your best.

xo,

p.s. On a side note, I have a bit of fun news...a little organic massage spa in Vienna contacted me with interest in selling our products in her lovely storefront. I'm a tad excited to say the least. I hope to be sending her samples soon, so I will keep you posted. I would love to just hop on a plane and deliver them myself! I wish...

The Magic Beach Cottage

We spent the weekend in the quiet beach town of Manzanita.  Friday afternoon, the winds were relatively calm, so we took advantage of this rare occurrence and hit the sand. Later we explored the town...

Our little cottage was just off the main drag, so it was perfect for strolling. We enjoyed a fantastic bistro lunch at Bread and Ocean. Decadent grilled paninis and white wine. Lovely.

Being a book nerd, I had to check out the Cloud and Leaf bookstore. It was so charming! Intimate and whimsical with fairy lights strung about and books stacked floor to ceiling, I was instantly in love.

Manzanita is a wonderful Oregon beach town but the highlight - the real gem of our weekend, was the amazing cottage we were lucky enough to stay in.

Welcome to the Magic Beach Cottage...(that's what Grace calls it).

Grace was enamored with the daisies, her favorite flower.

The old garage has been converted into a vintage inspired, rustic dining room. The perfect place to celebrate.

The fire pit was another added bonus. This chair was my home most of the evenings. Wine in one hand, smore in the other - I was one happy girl. Even the barbies joined us. haha!

Reluctantly, we packed our bags on Sunday, said goodbye to the magical cottage and made our way back home.

Grace sat on this bench outside the back door, not wanting to leave. She keeps asking when we are going back.

I wish I knew...

xo,

P.S. Thank you to Candace for sharing your special home away from home.

Let the sunshine in...

I was perusing my Pinterest boards and I wanted to share a beautiful collection of dreamy sun filled images.

We are off to the quaint seaside town of Manzanita, to stay at a friend's vintage beach cottage!

Can't wait to get down there, unwind, sit around the fire pit with my feet in the sand and take a ton of photos!

Have a gorgeous summer weekend!

xo,

Images via: Rowena R, violetbellaphoto, yyellowbird, Gabriela Gattaneo

Creative minds and french macarons

Monday night was pretty amazing. I got to meet some wonderfully creative women, sit at the open air bar & patisserie of Pix and brainstorm on how  to further pursue our passions. The three lovely ladies that I met there were, Barbara Soule, Amy Olson and Jen Lees. Each one brought inspiration, encouragement and knowledge to the table, making it a fabulous evening. The only one missing was Sarah Leoni, creator of Coco & Co Chocolates, although we are looking forward to seeing her at the next meeting!

Barbara Soule is the creator of B Hive Designs. Check out her amazing hand screen printed textiles. Her great blog is definitely worth a visit too! Each design is derived from her own  beautiful illustrations.

Amy Olson, organizer of this meeting of the minds and local jewelry designer creates the most lovely pieces. Timeless, unique and ultimately feminine...you deserve to own one of her baubles. Get them at Etsy!

And finally, Jen Lees, who is an incredibly talented paper artist. Her collage pieces are a thing of beauty. I just ordered myself several of her cards, each one its own little piece of art. Get yours here.

So that was the gang...and as you can see, I was in the company of some impressive creative energy!

It was Movie Night at Pix and they were playing "Say Anything" which is fitting, since it's Amy's favorite movie. When we weren't reminiscing about 80's movies we were jotting down tons of info about how to better our crafting businesses.

Then we ordered a lovely selection of Pix's famous french macarons.

My fav - the fleur de sel (salted caramel). Yum!

They didn't last long...

After we said our goodbyes, I drove home smiling, inspired and thankful that I had the opportunity to connect with such fabulous women, who are both artists and business owners! I know I am going to learn a lot from each of them.

xo,

Ivy

p.s. thank you to Amy for bringing us all together! xx

Weekend in the Oregon Wine country

We're headed out to Dundee, Oregon for a weekend in the wine country with a bunch of family from out of town.

We decided it was good idea to celebrate Grace's birthday all weekend long.

Why not?

Any excuse to go wine tasting, eat far too much good food and share lots of good times with the fam!

Cheers!

xo,

Ivy

p.s. If you are looking for something de-lish and truly unique you must go up to the Anne Amis Vineyard and try their white Pinot noir - 2007 Prisme, Pinot Noir Blanc. It's amazing! Pack a lunch and picnic up there too. The views are to die for.

Dungeness Crab Dinner

Our second day in Newport we had some pretty serious plans:

1. Sleep in

2. Get dressed

3. Go buy crab & food to go with crab

4. Drink lots of wine

5. Eat lots of crab

Let's just say we got through the list and over did # 4 & 5 like champs.

Did you know that it is good practice to eat freshly made salsa and chips while you crack your crab? Well it worked for us...unlike that stupid red plastic cracking device! Oh, it's also advisable to sip a fabulous white wine while you excavate crab meat. My recommendation: The Four Graces Dundee Hills 2008 Pinot Gris.

The result was a pure delight! A creamy, yet light sauce with delectable crab pieces that melt in your mouth, citrus-y sparks of lemon and the lovely taste of fresh baby dill. Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup clam juice or chicken stock

1/2 cup white wine

3-4 fresh cloves garlic, minced

1 cup half-and-half

2 teaspoons  butter, softened

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 pound fresh Dungeness crab meat

2 tablespoon chopped baby dill

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

8 oz. linguine

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a skillet sauté garlic with a touch of olive oil, the add in the broth and white wine. Boil until reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the half-and-half, stirring constantly until blended. Return to the heat and simmer until mixture is reduced to 1 1/3 cups.

2. Meanwhile, combine 2 teaspoons butter with flour. Slowly whisk into the milk mixture. Continue stirring until the sauce is thickened and has no lumps. Add crab, salt and lemon juice. Reduce the heat and cook until the crab is heated through.

3. Cook linguine according to package directions. Toss with a little extra butter or olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Pour the crab sauce over the pasta and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with fresh dill and serve.

Enjoy!

xo,

Ivy

1/2 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup white wine 1 cup half-and-half 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons butter, softened 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1/2 pound crabmeat 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons chopped green onions 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1 tablespoon lemon juice 8 ounces linguine 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a skillet combine chicken broth and white wine. Boil until reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in half-and-half and cream, stirring constantly until blended. Return to the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced to 1 1/3 cups.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 2 teaspoons softened butter with flour. Slowly whisk into the milk mixture. Continue stirring until the sauce is thickened and no lumps remain. Add crab, chopped parsley, chopped green onion, salt, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat and cook until the crab is heated through.
  3. Meanwhile, cook linguini according to the package directions. Toss with 1 tablespoon butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss until evenly coated.