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Kim’s Blog

By Kim Lavinder, Owner, Blue Wave Cottage

What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love!

Recently I was delighted to hear encouraging words from two of my customers.  One was a Reiki client, the other was the purchaser/winner of a watercolor painting I donated for a charity fundraising event.  I know that many of us pour our hearts in to our work and businesses.  I do for sure, because that’s just how I am and always have been with most everything I do, including volunteer work, parenting, school work, even planning parties and family events.  Maybe it’s the perfectionism in me, but I can’t help it; I really care about doing my best in whatever it is that I’m involved in, and I maintain this attitude and work ethic whether others recognize it or not.  But let’s face it; when others appreciate us and offer compliments, it just plain feels good!  It’s that extra boost of encouragement that makes us smile inside and out; that reminder or confirmation that we’re following our calling, and that what’s more, we’re actually good at what we do!

On that note, I want to share a couple of recent situations in which two different people offered heart warming compliments to me.  The first came from Corinna, a woman who contacted me one morning because she was having some issues.  She asked if I could see her that day for a Reiki appointment.  I had a very full day ahead of me but I sensed that she was really in need, so I set up an appointment with her for that evening.  The day after the Reiki session, she contacted me via email and wrote this:

Hi Kim,

Thank you again for yesterday. I feel so much better today! What a tremendous difference it made..I will be back. You work wonders, dear friend.

In gratitude and deepest appreciation,


Later that same day I received a second email message from her:

Hi Kim,

Ahh, the sweetness of relief. I felt differently immediately following the treatment and continued to feel even better when I arrived home and after a good night’s rest. Your clinic was a delight to the senses with its soothing beach colors, gentle scent of sage, and the soft music that played in the background. Everything contributed to creating a very relaxing atmosphere.

Peace and hugs,


Needless to say, it felt wonderful to know that I was able to help someone in need, and it meant a lot to me that she took the time to share her thoughts with me.

Then just this past week, I attended a fundraising event at Annapolis Wellness House, the place where I first tried my hand at painting in therapeutic art sessions during my healing journey from breast cancer.  I had donated one of my watercolor paintings, “Pink Lotus”, for the raffle drawing to be held that night.  When I arrived at the event, a woman came up to me, introduced herself as one of the Wellness House board members, and told me how much she loved my painting.  She said she put all of the raffle tickets she purchased in the bag by my painting, and that she really, really hoped her name was drawn.  She shared that she already knew where she wanted to hang it in her house, then added that it also would mean so much to her to have one of my pieces, knowing that Wellness House was the place where I started my art career.  Well, I was thrilled when her name was drawn as the winner of my painting!  And she was ecstatic!  She hugged and kissed me and was quite literally jumping for joy!  I’m sure you can imagine how awesome this made me feel.

Later that week, a friend of mine who also attends Wellness House sent me this email:

Hi Kim,

I was at Wellness House yesterday and the person picked up the painting. She was so excited and held it in her arms and hugged it, and was so excited. Loved it. She mentioned about you starting your painting career more or less here, and she was so happy about that….

Here’s a picture from the event of the happy winner standing by the painting (click on image to enlarge):



It was truly a blessing for me to have these two wonderful ladies express their appreciation of my work in the visual and healing arts.  I’m sure all of you have had similar experiences, when someone has offered you a compliment or kindness of some sort that has lifted your spirits.  But I would venture to guess that for most of us these special boosts from others aren’t an every day occurrence, nor do we expect them to be.  I know I sometimes work hard for long stretches of time, pouring my heart in to my business, painting through the night at times because I just can’t stop, offering my Reiki services to help others relax and heal, aware that I’m doing all of this because I love it, because I’m driven to do the things I love, because I’m on this amazing journey in life and I simply must to do what I’m here to do, not for the purpose of having others give me recognition.  And I keep going, striving to do my best, hoping I’m doing a good job, and offering my gifts to those who will receive them.  That is all that any of us can do.

Yet how refreshing it is when someone tells you that you’re doing great work, or that they simply appreciate you for who you are.  So to the ladies who warmed my heart with their kind and thoughtful words, I am deeply grateful.  It gave me a boost of confidence in myself and my abilities.  It also was a reminder of how important it is for me to offer this same type of acknowledgement to others.  I try to remember to share with people my appreciation for the work they do, or products they create, or for simply being kind and caring, but there’s always room for more of this.  If each of us made the effort every day to reach out to someone else with a genuine compliment or to express appreciation in some way, we would brighten that person’s day, and this would likely cause a ripple effect having a wider and wider positive impact on people.  There can never be too much positive energy in the world, so let’s all get to it and spread the love!

Crab Painting in the Making

Just for fun, I thought I’d share a few pictures of my latest commissioned piece in different stages.  I painted this per request from a childhood friend that I’ve known since third grade.  She wanted a female blue crab painting that was similar to my male blue crab painting.  To distinguish between the genders from a top view would be quite simple; the females have orange tips on their claws and the males do not.  She also asked that I use acrylic paint like I used for the male crab painting.  I typically paint with watercolors and hadn’t cracked open my acrylics in about two years!  Lastly, she wanted the crab either on a boardwalk or on sand surrounded by shells.  Beyond this, I could be creative and do my thing.  Here’s what I came up with…

(Click on images for full-sized view)

In this first image, I had painted only the crab.  To the left are photos I used to help me capture a more realistic portrayal of the crab, which was another request from my friend.  In the upper left corner of the image is a print of my male blue crab painting, to which I also referred.



Here’s a closer view of the crab before I added the background and shadows.  Look carefully and you’ll see that I had already sketched in some shells, sea glass, shadows, and the water’s edge.


Here’s how it looked once I added the background and shadows.  I chose to place the crab on sand near the water, portraying her in a natural environment, unlike the food catch portrayed in my male crab painting.  As my friend wanted, I included shells, and threw in some sea glass too!


“Female Blue Crab” Acrylic Original SOLD/Commissioned

Finally, after discussing matting and framing options with my friend, she decided on a blue inner mat surrounded by white, then framed in green to accentuate the green in the crab.


I love the final result, and so does my friend!  What do YOU think???

If you’re interested in talking with me about purchasing an original painting that you see on my gallery page or want more information on purchasing prints, note cards, or silk scarves, call 301-518-5954 or email and I’ll be happy to assist you with pricing and any other inquiries you may have.  You can also contact me to learn more about Reiki and to schedule a Reiki appointment. Thank you!

Selling Art at Twisted Sisters, Annapolis!

I’m super excited to have some of my art work for sale at Twisted Sisters in West Annapolis!  It’s a beautiful shop in a quaint old town of little shops and cafes.  Upon entering this cheery establishment, you find yourself in a charming place that’s brimming with painted furniture, local art, lots of beach-y and cottage-y accessories for your home, and so much more!  My art work fits right in and I’m just thrilled to have the opportunity to display here.

I knew this was a good thing when, the day I was dropping off some of my original paintings, a customer walked in and bought one of them before it even had a chance to go on display!  I was still in the shop, so the manager introduced me as the artist.  It was really nice to meet the purchaser of my piece and hear how much she loved the painting.  Turns out her mother is on the Board of Directors for Annapolis Wellness House, which is the very first place I ever painted, where my journey as an artist began…how awesome is that?!!!

Soon the shop will also be selling some of my prints and note cards, and I will continue to add original art work to the inventory as pieces sell.  Stop by some time and let me know what you think.  Below is the painting that sold before it had a chance to be displayed.


“Rockport Buoys” Watercolor Original SOLD

Sold While Barely Dry!

It isn’t every day that an artist finishes a painting and sells it within two hours of completion, but that is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago.  I had been working on a watercolor painting of poppies (which I ended up naming it…simple and to the point!) and was making the final touches one morning. Once I felt it was to my liking, I left it on the table to dry, and once dry, I signed it and walked away.  I was expecting a friend for lunch that same day.  Soon after she arrived, she noticed the “Poppies” painting, still out on my dining table (for now, my dining area couples as an art studio!).  She said that if I wanted to sell it, she would buy it.  I told her it was for sale, and voila…sold with barely enough time for the paint to dry!

We had lunch and afterward went straight to the frame shop where my friend picked out matting colors and a frame.  She chose a pale pink for the outside mat color which blended with the pinks in the painting and also matched her bedroom where she would be hanging the piece.  The soft gray inner mat was a nice choice to pull from the grays in the pitcher.  The frame she chose was delicately decorative, a color between silver and gold, with distress markings for a shabby chic look.  Below is a picture of the finished product.  It looks so pretty!  My friend did a great job choosing the matting and frame!

Now today, just a few weeks after selling the original, I sold a small print of this same piece!  If you’re interested in a print of this or any of my other paintings, contact me by phone or email to discuss pricing, sizes ,etc.  My originals are for sale as well, unless otherwise noted.  Again, please contact me for pricing and more information.  You will find images of my work on the gallery page.


“Poppies” watercolor. Sold within two hours of completion!!!

Artist Reception with Live Music! Saturday, April 12th, 3pm-5pm

My art display at THE HONEY HIVE in Edgewater, Maryland has been extended through the end of April!  And since I always enjoy a party, I’ve decided to have another artist reception, which will be on Saturday, April 12th from 3pm-5pm.  There will be plenty of paintings, prints, note cards and silk scarves for sale, or you can simply enjoy perusing them!

Also enjoy the soulful voice of local musician/singer/songwriter MEG RICHTER of The Om Project, who will inspire you with her uplifting, feel good music!  Here’s a brief bio for Meg:

Kent Island native Meg Richter grew up singing; in church, in school, in theatre.  She charmed audiences on the Eastern Shore in her youth as well as Annapolis before becoming a resident and local musician. A background in voice, piano, and theatre has inspired her to continue performing and pursue song writing. She, along with husband Omar, formed The Om Project and released a full length CD of their original music called “Standing Victorious in an Ocean of Freedom”. Meg, a full time mother, delights in sitting down with the guitar and singing in her soulful way, uplifting, feel good songs.

Join me at this FUN, FREE EVENT!!!  Food and drinks available for purchase during reception.

Preview my latest work here!




“Afternoon Tea”


“Early Bird”


“Seagrass Hideaway”
Original SOLD


“Vine Apples”




Fun Stuff!

Sometimes I take breaks from posting blogs (unintentionally) so here are some things I would have posted earlier if I had thought to at the time!

I attended the open studio art exhibit of one of my art teachers, John Ebersberger, back during the holiday season.  I fell in love with one of his paintings and my husband bought it for me as a Christmas gift.  I was drawn to the aqua colored old time car.  He often uses colors in his oil paintings that I enjoy using in my watercolors.  Here’s a picture of John, me, and the painting!



Back in January, one of my paintings was chosen to advertise a Chesapeake Bay themed art exhibit at a local museum.  This is one of the few acrylic paintings I’ve done.  It was a commissioned piece for a neighbor called “Male Blue Crab”.  Below is a snap shot of the advertisement in the museum newsletter.  This was such an honor for me!


Chosen for Spirited Woman Top 12 Pick List!

Spirited Woman Top 12 pick list(2)-212x135-3439I am both honored and excited to have been chosen for Nancy Mills’ Spirited Woman Top 12 Pick List!  Nancy is located in Los Angeles, California and found me through a friend of mine, Sofia Wren, who was also chosen for the same list.  This has expanded my Face Book connections to other spirited women across the country, and is gaining greater exposure for my art work.  Click here to view the list.  Or you can go to Nancy Mills’ website, look for the Spirited Woman Top 12 Spring Equinox Pick List section (not the Book Pick List!) and click on the link, “check out our picks”.  I’m in the number 1 spot!  Below is the beautiful logo I can now use for marketing purposes.  It is so thrilling to be a part of this!


Expanding My Creative Horizons

I’ve gone on some new creative ventures and want to share them with you!  I’m currently taking watercolor classes from Jane Halliwell Green and recently we had a class on negative painting.  I absolutely love it and am excited to create new pieces using this method!  The picture below of the letter “K” with vines and leaves was my first attempt at this lovely art form.  I’m working on a similar piece with seahorses and seaweed and will post it when I’m finished.  I find negative painting to have such beautiful, colorful and mystical results and can’t wait to experiment more with this newly learned painting style!

Recently in therapeutic art at Annapolis Wellness House, we learned how to dye silk scarves.  I enjoyed it so much that I ordered supplies to make 10 more and stayed up until 5:00 a.m. a few days before my recent art reception, creating colorful designs!  I’ve already sold half of them and am ordering supplies to make more.  The process of dying the scarves proved to be extremely therapeutic for me.  I had so much fun that I was humming and singing as I worked in to the early morning hours!  I love that it’s a mystery just how each one will turn out since the colors bleed and blend together somewhat randomly.  It reminds me of making tie dyed t-shirts as a child.  My knowledge in color mixing certainly helps me to avoid putting together colors that, when blended, will create “mud”, since there’s no way to totally control the mixing.  After I completed each one, I was excited to see the nuances created in color and design.  There was something freeing about the whole process and I’m looking forward to dying more silk scarves!  Below you can view the ones I’ve done so far.



My first attempt at negative painting


Silk scarf creations


Silk scarf creations


Some of my art work and silk scarves at art reception


Closeup of the scarves left after art reception




Art Work on Display March 1st – March 31st! Artist Reception Saturday, March 8th, 2pm-6pm!

Are you ready for spring? Had enough of the cold, winter weather? Then party with me this Saturday! Head over to THE HONEY HIVE in Edgewater where you’ll be comfy, cozy, and surrounded by art work that will fill your senses with the warmth of spring and summer! Enjoy my NEWEST paintings, prints, note cards and more! Display runs the entire month of March, reception on March 8th, 2pm-6pm.

Beginning at 4pm during reception, enjoy the AMAZING TALENT of LEA MORRIS, a “singer and songwriter whose ‘soul-folk’ blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B with authentic, thought provoking songcraft.” Locally she has performed at The Music Center at Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, Birchmere, and Wolf Trap.

Complimentary light refreshments and food available for purchase during reception. THE HONEY HIVE is an artisan bakery and cafe owned and operated by Pastry Chef, RACHAEL POWERS.


Preview my latest work here!


“Dublin Flower Shop”


“Moonlit Blue”




“Pink Lotus”
Original SOLD



Another Holiday Open House Art Sale!

I had so much fun last weekend that I’m having another Holiday Open House Art Sale this weekend, Friday, December 13th from 6pm to 9pm AND Saturday, December 14th from 11am to 5pm!  If you’d like to attend, send me an email to and I will send you the address to my home at Blue Wave Cottage.

I’ll be selling originals, prints, and note cards, and will have discounts on bin art.  Come browse through my creations while enjoying refreshments, holiday music, and my beach cottage Christmas tree decorated with mermaids, seahorses, and seashells!

Remember, I’m offering discounts on bin art just in time for the holidays!  Bin art is work that is matted but not framed; most of it is original work, although I will have a few prints available.  I will also have framed originals and prints for sale.  Find that special gift for that special someone, or take home a piece of art for yourself!



“Seaside Holiday” Watercolor


The image above is one I designed and made in to note cards.  It has a beachy feel with a little holiday flavor to it, and would make a nice card to send as a holiday greeting.  I have several packages of 4 available as well as the original, which is triple matted and in a beautiful frame.  There’s this and so much more, so come on out and hang with me for a bit!  Hope to see you this weekend!

After the open house on Saturday, you can head to the Eastport Yacht Club’s “Parade of Lights” in Downtown Annapolis from 6-8pm and watch as the boats go by all decked out for the holidays!


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