Monday, March 9, 2009

Marvelous Madame Maxine!

A friend told me about a flower shop in north Seattle called Maxine's and said I should go there with a big wallet. So of course I promptly responded to the call to duty (on Saturday after I taught the Stitched Paper Collage workshop at the Salvage Studio). I LOVED Maxine's. I was ridiculously happy as soon as I set foot in the place. Imagine an explosion of flowers and birds (real and handmade), Parisian frou-frou, vintage flea-market jewelry, delicate wire nests and wildly decorated 3-tiered faux gateaux.

Birds cheeped and peeped from ornate Victorian birdcages in every corner. I could barely see the pink striped walls behind the huge strands of enormous tissue paper flowers, rustic farmhouse displays and beaded chandeliers. The French music that was playing made me want to write bad poetry along the banks of the Seine.

Meanwhile, Maxine herself, looking EXACTLY as you would expect, was assembling a floral display behind the counter, her chartreuse parrot perched on her shoulder, nuzzling her cheek.

My very favorite touch was just inside the front door. Random clusters of silk flowers were glued onto the wall over abstract little paintings of leaves and petals. I've got a serious hankering to try something similar in my stairwell leading down from my kitchen.

And head vases! Is there anything cooler than head vases? I want to get one and make a Carmen-Miranda style tropical confection for her to sport.

I am going back to Maxine's soon. I would like to get to know the proprietress herself. I've seldom met someone who is so fully self-expressed in her artistic vision. I know I could use a little more of that...

Photos borrowed with permission from Maxine's web site.

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