Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Now in Liverpool

Over the past couple of years I've got to know Liverpool a little better; the reason for our frequent visits was not a happy one  . . . Cliff's aunt suffered a serious stroke and we were helping her to move to a nursing home; eventually we had to clear her house and sell it. Although the visits were never easy, I got to know the area where Cliff had spent his early years and where his family had lived for generations. Gradually we built in time to explore places in and around the city.


One of my favourite places, just five minutes walk from Lime Street Station where the high speed Pendolino from London arrives, is the Bluecoat; it's just off the main pedestrian shopping street, go down Church Alley opposite M&S and down the side of Primark and at the end you'll see the gateway into the front courtyard.


Look up as you pass through the gates and you'll see a Liver bird (you see, Liver bird spotting is what I do when I'm in the city; what's more the sky is blue, the sun in shining and there are newly opened leaves on the trees :-)



Look, there's another Liver bird on the broken pediment above a doorway . . .


We've discovered that Upstairs at the Bluecoat is a haven of calm and the perfect place to have lunch before we catch the local train up to Waterloo to see Cliff's aunt. We can relax and eat scouse or fish and chips . . . it's friendly and spacious.


So, imagine my surprise when a week of so back I received an email from a shop in Liverpool who were interested in stocking my cards and when I checked to see if it might be feasible to call in on our next visit I found it was Nook & Cranny, the exciting new shop I'd spotted in the Bluecoat courtyard right next to the stairs up to the bistro!


I'd sent a parcel of cards (including the new vintage-colour hare cards) and I knew that they were already on display, but imagine my excitement on Saturday morning to see my cards laid out on the table just inside the door (apologies for the quality, I must have been shaking!). We met Leigh and had a chat about all the things she has planned for the shop.

Nook & Cranny have a lovely blog where they showcase artists and designers whose work they stock, as well as art events in Liverpool and quirky craft ideas. So even if you can't visit in person you can visit their virtual world.



I'd spotted a chalkboard in the courtyard advertising Liverpool's Big Vintage Fair, maybe there would be time for a very quick visit on our way back to Lime Street to catch the train home, and fingers crossed that there would be nice things left at almost closing time?


There was :-) and I found a bargain that hadn't been snapped up . . . vintage Laura Ashley cotton lawn orange roses :-) and it fits perfectly!


So here we are again, walking up the steps into Lime Street Station, the new pleached limes are just coming into leaf . . .


Here's the view from the train as we cross Mersey once again heading South; in the crystal clear far distance we can see the mountains of North Wales.


We sat back and watched the West Midlands basking in beautiful evening sunshine, a respite from the dreadful weather we've had since Easter; we could see people walking their dogs, sitting by shiny silver rivers and children swinging on gates waving as our red train swooshed and swerved and leaned along the track back to London.


I'll be back there in July . . . can't wait!

Celia
x

23 comments:

  1. It's years and years since I visited Liverpool. I went to college with a girl whose family were there and have happy memories of rather raucous parties!

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  2. I've never been to Liverpool, but I know where to go when I do. The beauty of reading other blogs is finding out really interesting places to go to.

    I make a note of them...and we definitelyseem to share the same taste -for example, there's some of your Cambridge haunts that I will definitely pay a visit too next time I'm there!

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  3. ooh you've taken me back 20ish years, used have coffee downstairs in the Bluecoats all the time when I was at college in Liverpool.

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  4. Hi dottycookie - I think a re-visit is needed soon then!

    Hi Bridget - and that you for visiting PPPs :-) i'm very happy to share my favourite haunts.
    And I think you need a trip to Liverpool.... you might be surprised!

    Hi driftwood - it must have been about 20 years ago on my first ever trip to Liverpool that Cliff's aunt took me to the Bluecoat for a cuppa and to look at the craft shop. It was good to now tell her that my cards are for sale there.

    Celia
    x

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  5. My daughter did her MA at Liverpool Uni and the Bluecoat was a favourite place for us to meet. She graduated last year and I've not been into Liverpool since. With the city under an hour away I really ought to make more effort!

    Looks like you had a grand day Celia, and what a thrill for you to see your cards in such a lovely and a favourite setting :D

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  6. Liverpool looks wonderful through your eyes and camera. I'd love to visit sometime soon so will bookmark your recommendations.

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  7. Some good recommendations. Don't forget the Tate and Walker art galleries.

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  8. How come I have reached the age that I have and have never been to Liverpool - not even making a pilgrimage when I was a huge fan of the Beatles. Definitely a must for my 'bucket list'.

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  9. How lovely to have your cards in a place that's so special to you.

    I went to Liverpool once, I can't remember exactly when but it's over 21 years ago. I don't remember much about it, but your pictures are very inviting!

    Wonderful find too, I went to a small vintage/handmade fair on Saturday too, but there wasn't any clothing there.

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  10. Hello Annie - it's a long trek for us, but I'm now enjoying discovering more about Liverpool.

    Hi Dragonfly - Liverpool is a big city, lots to explore.

    Hi L - welcome to PPPs, yes we've been to the Walker - a lovely collection (but not good for lunch!) we only have very limited time, I saving the Tate for when i have time to do it justice.

    Hi Elaine - yes how!! I admit that if I hadn't married a Liverpudlian I probably would never have gone there either.

    Hi Su - yes I spotted your post about the cake forks :-) Over the past 20yrs Liverpool has changed a lot. There always seems to be something new going on every time we visit.

    Celia
    x

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  11. I've visited a couple of times, there is so much new development there. I particularly liked the atmosphere in the old Albert Dock!

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  12. What gorgeous pictures, my husband's been working on the displays for the Museum in Liverpool and he was really impressed by the architecture - now I can see why!

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  13. Celia, I loved this post. I lived in Liverpool for a year 20 years ago, it was my first time away from home(NZ) and was such a wonderful experience. The Bluecoat was my fav spot, there was an amazing bookshop that sold lots of books cheaply. I took my hubby back 12 years ago and the Bluecoat was one of the places I took him. Dear old Liverpool had changed so much then, I can't wait to visit again.
    Here's my post about it http://art-a-musings.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/twenty-years-ago.html

    thanks for the trip down memory lane, Sally

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  14. Celia, think that you have found another good place to feature your cards...I like the look of their site.

    Thank you also for showing me a bit of Liverpool that I know I would enjoy seeing in person.

    xo

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  15. I've only ever been once for a brief visit but it was an enjoyable one. Well done on the new outlet for your cards.

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  16. Celia, I've only visited Liverpool a few times and that was on business many moons ago. I did some work for Royal Liver and went up to the top of the building with its spectacular views. I loved being reminded of the liver bird and the Bluecoat has always sounded like a great place to visit. I'm off to look at Nook and Cranny - what a great name for a shop!

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  17. Hi Matron - yes the old dockside buildings are amazing, now mixed with the new glass and steel buildings.

    Hello and welcome to PPPs Freeerangegirl - the new Liverpool Museum is impressive... we went in just after it opened last year, great views of the Liver Building from the huge window.

    Hi Sally - thank you for the link to your memories of Liverpool in 1991, a couple of years before my first visit.

    Hi Frances - I'm actually very excited to have my cards in N&C xx

    Hi Gina - I couldn't believe the coincidence when I realised the shop was in the Bluecoat!

    Hi Lesley - I think the Bluecoat would be your sort of place... always something interesting going on that I wish I had more time to explore.

    Celia
    x

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  18. Hello Celia

    It has been a long absence for us from blogging - but we are back.
    Lovely to read what you have been doing and see your beautiful photos again.
    Charlotte GBVC

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  19. Hi Charlotte and Freddie... yes I'm still here!
    Welcome back to blogland.
    BTW I discovered eddoes last week ... very good!

    Celia
    xx

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  20. I enjoyed your post, I lived on the Wirral (West Kirby)for a year in 1969; my first year of teaching. I loved the Beatles so it was fun to go to Liverpool where it all started!

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  21. I have enjoyed reading your blog for ages so I was happy to see that you had been to my home town, and even more pleased that I can go into the Bluecoat shop and buy your lovely cards. I am going over today to see. Thanks for the post. Bluecoat is a great place.

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  22. I have never been to Liverpool. Now I've read your great post, I'd rather like to go there. Another City Break to add to my List!

    How exciting to have Nook & Cranny contact you and stock your cards, when it's somewhere you already like to go. You really do make lovely prints though, Celia, so it's great that these small shops are "discovering" you and selling your work. I do like to go into the little places, that stock original and different work, rather than the mass-produced, over-priced general-market stuff that's in most shops. So glad that your work is amongst the Former!

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  23. Hi Anna - the Wirral is lovely, I loved visiting Port Sunlight.

    Hi Leah! O thank you :-) say hello from me to the Nook and Cranny gang :-)

    Hi Lizzie

    Thank you Lizzie - yes I was so surprised to hear form N&C!
    Liverpool is such a mixture of old and new, lots of fascinating places to explore - and I think you'd like the Walker Gallery a well as the Bluecoat.

    Celia
    x

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