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Calke Abbey

Friday, July 29, 2016
Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey
"The un-stately home and country estate"

Calke Abbey is a Baroque mansion built between 1701 and 1704 near Ticknall, Derbyshire. Owned by the Harpur family for nearly 300 years it was passed onto the National Trust in 1985, opened to the public and deliberately displaying in the state of disrepair it was left in when handed over to the Trust. While the Trust have carried out remedial work to halt the decline of the building, no restoration has been done and the interior remains almost entirely as it was left in 1985.

The house is surrounded by a landscape park featuring walled gardens, flower beds, green houses, former physic garden, and allotment, alongside an ancient deer park with rare wood pasture with deadwood invertebrate fauna considered a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Surrounding the house itself are buildings including the former stable yard and farm, inside are the old carriages and farm implements; a brewhouse is linked to the main house via a tunnel open for visitors to explore.

Visiting the house and surrounding gardens made for a blissful summer's day, perfect for exploring this family home frozen in time. Calke Abbey has made me eager to become a National Trust member and explore some of the more unusual attractions around the UK.

The Book List #48

Thursday, July 28, 2016
The Book List #48

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

year: 2015 | pages: 290 | rating: 5/5

So You've Been Publicly Shamed is hilarious yet deeply challenging, it challenges the way we behave online and how we treat others; shame has become a form of social control and public shaming is now the norm. Jon Ronson talks to several people who have experienced "high-profile public shamings" and discusses whether their treatment has been fair or justified. We have all said or done things that, on reflection, have been questionable; stupid mistakes that are potentially unforgivable. Is it ever OK for the world to public shame us to the point where our lives, careers, and relationships are completely obliterated? I encourage everyone to read So You've Been Publicly Shamed and question whether their behaviour and participation in "trials by fire" online is ever justified.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

year: 1988 | pages: 197 | rating: 4/5

Paulo Coelho's story about Santiago, a shepherd boy, who travels from Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of buried treasure is world famous; The Alchemist is about personal dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts. If I had known more about this book before I started reading it I probably would have rolled my eyes and not read it at all, the spiritual elements of The Alchemist would have put me off. The story is simplistic yet powerful full of inspiration and wisdom encouraging us to chase our dreams, have faith, and trust in our future.

Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More by Erin Boyle

year: 2016 | pages: 192 | rating: 4/5

I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about minimal living; it's a gentle introduction with personal essays and helpful advice on how to live simply. Erin Boyle writes the blog Reading My Tea Leaves and is a true inspiration for "making do with less and ending up with more." Simple Matters provides guidance and personal insights into small-space living and conscious consumption; it's about living with purposeful in a more sustainable way, for our environment but also for our own happiness and well-being. A wonderfully calming read that will aid you in living a meaningful, contented life.

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

year: 2016 | pages: 291 | rating: 3/5

I wasn't so keen on Marie Kondō's first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I found it to be grating with very little proper advice and ultimately saw it as a tool for shilling Kondo's personal servce; I gave it a pretty harsh review. Spark Joy was a little more palitable although just as "woo-woo" in places. As a very organised, neat and tidy person who is ruthless with decluttering, this book isn't much use to me but I suppose I'm not the target audience; I imagine this book would provide the encouragement for hoarders to roll up their sleeves and declutter their homes. I can't get behind whispering to clothes and hugging electronics (or the terrible illustrations!) but I can get behind a book that encourages people to live with less.

Decorating With Minimalist Art and Suggestions On Where To Buy

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Decorating With Minimalist Art

Onu Dark/Dash Print*
Liz Mosley Adventure Print

Despite not being the case, minimalist homes are often thought to be sparse and barren; creating a gallery wall adds personality and transforms white walls into something beautiful. Displaying minimal prints or artwork is a great way of expressing and supporting a minimal aesthetic that's neither bland nor boring, and turns a minimal living space into a wonderful expression of its occupants personality.

The gallery in our apartment features a mix of artwork (both originals and prints) created by our favourite artists; muted colours and black and white art graces our walls. We like to keep things relatively minimal including abstract shapes, like this Dark/Dash Print* by Onu, and typography prints like the Adventure Print by Liz Mosley. Propped against a wall (because we're not entirely sure where to hang it yet) is a huge black and white map of Birmingham, custom made by Mapiful. We also have a rather large collection of Faye Moorhouse originals, not exactly minimal in style but certainly complementary to the large expanse of white walls in our apartment.

Decorating With Minimalist Art

Mapiful Birmingham Map Print*

Decorating a home with artwork and prints is very much a case of personal taste; the best gallery walls are personal, meaningful, and an expression of the person who purchased them. Minimalist prints always look beautiful wherever they are hung since they gracefully blend in with their surroundings, making them ideal for any home. My suggestions on where to buy artwork? Seek out individual artists, illustrators, and designers and purchase their work online; original artwork is always preferable to prints and seeking out artists whose work you love and admire is the best way of creating a living space full of art you can enjoy.

Here are a few suggestions on where to buy minimalist art for your home:
Celine Art
Honeymoon Hotel
The Lovely Drawer
Onu Design
People I've Loved
V&A Shop

Semicircle Necklace

Monday, July 25, 2016
Semicircle Necklace
Semicircle Necklace

- coming soon -


The Semicircle Necklace is the next piece to join the Oh My Clumsy Heart collection. Available in 14k gold and sterling silver, this hammered semicircle pendant is suspended from a delicate yet robust trace chain and finished with a matching spring ring clasp; a modern minimalist piece to capture the attention with its delicately textured appearance and elevate your everyday style.

Designed to be worn everyday, the Semicircle Necklace is a versatile classic, providing the essential final touch to your daily style; adding a subtle yet striking finish to any outfit this necklace is a staple jewellery piece designed to be worn 24/7 - you’ll never want to take it off.

As with the latest Arc Earrings, this necklace design is limited in stock. Join the Waitlist and you'll be the first in line to buy one when they launch. Find all the details here online and sign up below to receive a notification of the launch on 2nd August.