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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

July, The Blue Hour

Sunday, July 31, 2016

l'heure bleue en juillet  
the blue hour in July 

Because of its beauty that makes time stop for an instant, the expression l'heure bleue has come to describe a variety of special times and events, not just a description of a special blue glow at dusk. Each month in 2016, I am sharing a collage of blue images that create a little l'heure bleue for me. 

JULY... is an exciting time because BACK-to-SCHOOL shopping pops up all over town. But the best place for back-to-school shopping is in a papeterie (stationery shop or office supply store). New backpacks, snazzy new notebook designs, special prices for folders, pencils, pencils, pencils, colored staples, purple rubber bands, and BLUE everything fills aisle after aisle with items only available at this time of year. The rest of the year, all the school supplies are ho-hum, boring yellow pencils, lackluster notebooks, and standard colored folders. 

But, for a few weeks in July and August, Office Depot, Staples, Office Max, Target, .... entice shoppers to shop for school supplies with their ONE-OF-A-KIND items and special sales, found only this time of year and not to be repeated next year. 

This is the time of year that pale blue stationery with special scalloped edges can be found. Prepare to spend hours, experiencing l'heure bleue moments when time stops, as you examine each file folder to find just the perfect one. 

When you find a gorgeous blue and white card stock file folder with brads and pockets, fill up your shopping cart for these will not be available ever again. All at great prices... office supply store prices, not boutique stationery shop in Paris prices. 

plastic sleeve file folder
notebook pad paper 
 Be sure to buy the entire line... 1) card stock file folders with pockets AND decorated with fleur de lis, 2) Plastic sleeve file folders decorated with larger fleur de lis, 3) Notebook pad paper with another fleur de lis design. 

Yes, get them while you can. Otherwise, you will only use the paper sparingly, knowing when these are gone, there will be no more. 

Buy the matching blue heavy folder with its magnetic close flap to hold all your coordinating papers and plastic file folders filled with notes and reservation confirmations for your upcoming trip to Paris. 

Beautiful blue vintage bottles and ink bottles coordinate with all the new blue fleur de lis. 

More l'heure bleue moments occur when flea market shopping, whether it is in your neighbor's garage sale, or at the ultimate garage-sale-of-all-garage-sales, the flea markets in Paris. Time stops as you brake when spying blue glass bottles. Made in the USA... Phillips Milk of Magnesia and Vicks Vapor Rub... 

Fill a beribboned glass with blue mechanical pencils and pens for writing all your notes. A little joie de vivre happens when using beautiful bleu pens and pencils. The grocery list is a magical experience. 

Blue suede is for more than shoes. Found one July during the back-to-school sale at Office Depot, the blue suede file holder has a matching half-round desk pad perfect for protecting the desk and also perfect as a lap desk for writing bills or packing lists for Paris. 

File folders can hold important papers or serve as a photography back drop. 

If you are looking for inexpensive unusual back drops for photo styling, take a stroll through the aisles of the back-to-school supplies. You may find a unique design in a file folder that is inexpensive, can be used both on a flat surface and as a vertical back drop, and is easy to store. 

Take your children back-to-school shopping, but then go back by yourself for some shopping for you and experience ... 

little l'heure bleue moments in the local office supply store as

T I M E   S T O P S  

when you discover an entire line of bleu fleur de lis desk supplies  


there's nothing like the smell of a freshly sharpened new pencil!