Well this weekend ended up being nothing like I expected. About mid week I got a call from a good friend asking me if my daughter Sarah had mentioned anything to me about the Relay for Lifecar wash our daughters were supposed to be putting on Saturday. "No!", I responded. My precious 17 year old had neglected to tell us about it. It seems they desperately needed volunteers as I believe the other girls on my daughters team had forgotten to mention it to their parents as well. I knew Tim had plans to help out on a potential Eagle Scout Project, by the way those of you who know my hubby understand he is very dedicated to Boy Scouts. He started out 13 years ago with our son Tim Jr as a den leader and ended up a Scoutmaster for many years. Now that our own son has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and is off at college, Tim still helps many boys achieve the coveted Eagle Scout distinction. Long story short, that left me having to change my plans to help out. So I did and planned on dedicating a few hours Saturday morning to a worthy cause. Come Saturday morning as Tim and I were having our coffee, Tim received word that the Eagle Project had been postponed because of bad weather. As I mentioned he could help out at the car wash with Sarah and I, I heard a sleepy voice from up stair call down "It's been canceled!" Now what to do? A whole Saturday morning and afternoon with nothing on the agenda. What a treat!
I knew exactly what I wanted to do. There has been a shop I have been wanting to visit ever since my girlfriend Paisley had mentioned it to me. Paisley is an amazing artist and is so gifted. We have very similar taste so I knew I would love it. The shop is called Maxine's Floral. Don't let the name fool you, it is much more than just that. I quickly googled it and off we went. Maxine's is in Seattle on Roosevelt Way and you cannot miss it from the outside. In Maxine's own words:
"We have been one of the coolest flower shops in Seattle since 1983.The shop is kind of like walking into munchkin land in the Wizard of Oz.People come in just to get there happy fix."
This is so true. I took my daughter Sarah with me as well as my photographer (Tim) with me and we were oohing and aah-hing at all the wonderful little treasures Maxine has assembled in her fantasy land shop. You know you are in for a treat when you drive up and catch your first glimpse of the storefront - bright red Chinese lanterns and brightly painted flowers adorn the outside. My heart leaped as I gazed into the windows. There was so much to see, so much color and detail. Seriously one of the most amazing displays I have ever seen.
When we walked inside we were met by a variety of feathered friends - some in cages some not. Maxine has a large parrot that lives behind the counter and was making himself quite at home in one of the open drawers.
These are just two of the many parakeets that call Maxine's home. Maxine has a wonderful eye for displaying things and great taste as well. I saw merchandise at Maxine's I had only seen on line or in catalogs. She carries great millinery flowers, ribbon, handmade nests, vintage hats etc. Not to mention some of the most beautiful flower: I saw her talented staff putting together arrangements behind the counter. Just a hint: Next time any of you want to send me flowers please send them from Maxine's! She does everything from everyday flowers to magnificent weddings.
I love storks. They just seem so magical to me. In the 1920's there seemed to be a fascination with them. They have for years been associated with the arrival of newborns and they adorned the front of postcards and Congratulation wishes alike, but no one does them better than the Germans. Paper mache storks were placed on top of candy boxes and given as gifts. Now the originals go for a pretty penny at antique stores and flea markets. There are many reproductions out there that are very well made and close to the originals in look and feel. Maxine seems to love them as well as I saw many around the store from little ones with bobble heads straight from Germany for around $14.95 to great big ones which are priceless.
I became fascinated with them while reading The Wheel on the Schoolhouse by Miendert Dejong to my children when they were young. The story is a bit odd. The children want storks to return to their village where they once nested on the roofs of the houses. The goal is to find a wooden wagon wheel to attach to the school roof to encourage the birds to stop and lay their eggs there in the little village of Shora along the dikes in Holland. That’s it. That’s the plot. Yet somehow we were drawn into that town and into their lives. My kids loved it and it began our own quest to bring cranes, not storks, to our home. We had just finished our barn and decided to search for an antique wagon wheel to attach to the top of it. Our search ended in Duvall, WA where we found the perfect tractor wheel. To this day it sits on the top of our 45' barn: no cranes but plenty of odd looks.
The beautiful crepe paper flowers at the top of the picture are all over the store and Maxine tells me she will be offering a "How To" class soon. I will definitely let you know when. You know how I love crepe paper!
This is part of the front window display. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful. The colors lit up the gloomy skies outside.
Even Sarah loved it and didn't want to leave.
Here I am paying for my treasures and talking to Maxine about some of her contacts for German glass glitter and crepe paper.
Maxine's is one of those rare finds in Seattle. Once you find it you know you will be going back again and again. It is stocked full of interesting pieces in all price ranges and in all categories and it is the perfect place to find that special, artsy gift for the person who has everything. I purchased some gorgeous ribbon and rose petals for a wedding topper I will be making.
Next time you find yourself in Seattle or have a few hours on any given afternoon drive over to Maxine's and get your days dose of HAPPY! It is just what the doctor ordered on a gloomy Seattle day.