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Things To Love About Summer

11 Jun 2024 | nature & seasons

(collaborative post)

As the days are at their longest and the sun at its brightest, the arrival of summer brings with it a sense of joy and freedom that is unmatched by any other season. From the gentle warmth of the sun on our skin to the refreshing breezes that whisper through the trees, summer offers an endless array of simple pleasures. It’s a season of relaxation and adventure, a time to create cherished memories with loved ones, and to reconnect with the beauty that surrounds us. Join Jemma from House of Amitié as she explores her favourite reasons why summer is a season to be celebrated and loved.

Enjoying lighter evenings

Lighter evenings not only top up our serotonin but give us so much more daytime for our money! In the autumn and winter months when it gets dark at 4pm we want to hunker down and the nights start early. In the summer months people are still out and about at 10pm. There’s a general happy vibe of people milling around, pubs spill out on to their pavements and a late-night dog walk seems just the way to wind down.

Eating alfresco

Everything tastes better when eaten outdoors, so summer is the perfect time to set the table for lunch or dinner outside. Gorgeous table settings are having their moment so look towards the hashtag tablescaping for some inspiration. Grab your favourite fabric and lay it over your outdoor table. Make sure to add some table-cloth weights to stop the edges blowing up.

Add a vase of freshly cut flowers, fill some jam jars with tea-light candles and fill up bowls with light and easy summer food. You can ever add some handmade place card settings for a more personal touch.

Eating alfresco - things to love about summer
Eating outside - things to love about summer

Admiring the colours of summer

Just like we add seasonal touches to our home at Easter, Halloween and Christmas, summer is also a great time to change up our interior decor. Replace darker colours with abundant greens, sky blues and a softer palette of oyster pinks and sunny yellows. Switch your heavier fabrics for light and breezy linens which make for perfect curtains that can billow in the summer breeze. Collect shells, sea-glass and feathers and pop them into a large display bowl that you can add to over the summer months. Pick flowers which after a few months in a press can be turned into some really simple yet effective artworks.

Crafting outdoors

‘Suminagashi’ is the oldest form of marbling and dates as far back as 12th century Japan. Translated it means ‘ink floating’. In contrast to traditional marbling, Suminagasi requires very little equipment. It’s a lovely craft to do outdoors on a sunny day.

Suminagashi mini-tutorial

  • Mix up approx. 50g of Alum crystals (mordant) to 1.5 pints of hot water and allow crystals to dissolve.
  • Add tap water to your tray (a cat litter tray works perfectly).
  • Mix up a very dilute solution of a small squirt of washing up liquid to a pint of cold tap water.
  • Decant a small amount of neat sumi black ink and the diluted washing up liquid into separate tiny bowls.
  • Once your mordant has cooled, coat some papers with the solution using gloves and lay each prepared sheet on top of the next, flip, then place under a weight (like a heavy book) to press for approx. 10 mins. (Tip: it’s very important to make sure you lay the correct side of the paper down so mark the backs with a big cross.)
  • With a stylus in each hand (fine knitting needles are great for this) dip the tip into the sumi ink and place in the centre of the water bath. Dip the other needle tip into the diluted mix and place the tip into the middle of the black spot. Repeat this over and over, building up concentric circles until they are reaching the edges of the tray.
  • Give the pattern a waft with a fan to create light ripples in the water which will distort the lines (in a good way). Lay your paper, lift, and hang to dry.
a tray with marbling ink - things to love about summer

Making homemade elderflower cordial

Picking elderflowers and making homemade elderflower cordial has to be one of our favourite summer activities. You need approx. 20 elderflower heads, juice, and zest of 2 lemons, 1kg caster sugar and 1ltr boiling water. Place the blossoms and lemon zest into a large bowl, add the boiling water, cover, and leave to infuse for 24hrs. Strain and discard the blossoms. Then add the infused water to a pan with the sugar and heat until the crystals are dissolved. Add lemon juice, bring back to the boil, turn down the heat and let it bubble for 5 minutes. Pour into sterilised glass bottles.

Listening to bird song

Being woken up by birdsong beats the alarm any day! “What makes birdsong so special is that it relaxes peoples physically but stimulates them cognitively”, says Julian Treasure, author of Sound Business. Birdsong creates a state he calls ‘body relaxed, mind alert’.

Going barefoot in the grass

One of the main benefits to going barefoot is to become grounded. When you put your bare feet to the ground it is called ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’. This connection to the earth allows us to absorb health benefiting electrons as well as to be fully absorbed in the moment. It can also promote better sleep and improve mental and physical heath. Try grounding for around 30 minutes a day to begin with.

Drying laundry in the sun

Hang your laundry out to dry in the summer months. You’re not only saving money on your bills, but you are helping the environment too. Have you ever wondered why air-dried laundry smells better? There is a science to it. When you hang your laundry outside, a photochemical reaction occurs when solar rays hit wet fabric. The sun also acts as a natural bleaching agent which makes summer the perfect time to launder all your whites!

Listening to music outdoors

From having the car windows down and your favourite music playing as you drive along, to attending live music events. Summer and good music goes hand in hand! Every year I like to make myself a new summer playlist. This becomes the soundtrack to our summer as we listen to it on days out, BBQ’s and camping trips.

Summer is the perfect time for enjoying simple pleasures and creating lasting memories. From sunny days to light-filled evenings, every moment offers something special. Embrace the warmth, the beauty, and the joy that this season brings. As we celebrate summer, let’s cherish these experiences and look forward to many more. Here’s to the magic of summer and all it has to offer!

Jemma Lewis is co-founder of House of Amitié, which she established in 2023 with her childhood friend Angela Bush. They share their love of art and textiles and bring to life the hand marbled designs created in Jemma’s marbling studio. ‘Amitié’ means friendship as that is at the heart of their business.

www.housofamitie.com | @houseofamitie

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