I Wrote Some Stuff

As per the title of this blog, I still occasionally contribute the errant published word here and there. This month, I have two pieces in print: a haiku in the poetry section of Chronogram magazine, and a human interest story about an actor I was honored to interview: Robert Ian Mackenzie, whose credits include Bond films, soap-opera stints, and my one of my favorite films, A Fish Called Wanda.

Click below to read.

April 2022 Chronogram magazine

A wee haiku in Chronogram’s April ’22

HomeStyle magazine April 2022

A character study in HomeStyle magazine, April ’22

Shakespeare & Company Presents March Mash-up: Contemporary Readings

LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company will present March Mash-up: Contemporary Readings on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, featuring three …

Shakespeare & Company Presents March Mash-up: Contemporary Readings

Let’s All Go to the Bulb Show

The inside of a greenhouse with many plants and flowers on a shelf.
Spring Bulb Show at Berkshire Botanical Garden (c) jcs 2022

Two years into a pandemic and my house has been hit with the ’Rona for the first time — I’m still in the negative, but the other two notsomuch.

My weekend activity options were thereby limited, but (masked) I was able to check out one of the things I wanted to do: the annual Bulb Show at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

A closeup of white narcissus flowers
Narcissus (c) jcs 2022

The BBG houses an evolving collection of spring flowering bulbs native to New England, including several types of narcissus, tulips, and daffodils. It shows them off as sort of a pre-season event each year in the Fitzpatrick Conservatory, a greenhouse often reserved for non-indigenous plants and those that need a climate-controlled environment, like cacti.

A green and purple sign in front of a greenhouse that reads the Fitzpatrick Conservatory
The Fitzpatrick Conservatory was constructed in the 1930s. (c) jcs 2022

This year, the show also introduced several new hardies, including pink and orange Salmon Gem tulips, dwarf irises adorably named Harmony and Pauline, and a plant I learned about for the first time today: frittilaria, which sounds like a brunch item but is actually flowering bulb-plant that blooms in red, purple, checkered green, white, or black. They’re also known as Guinea Hen Flowers.

Perhaps the star of the show, though, is Vincent Van Gogh: a deep-purple tulip with feathery petals and octopussian stems. I went digging and, according to dutchgrown.com, the Vincent Van Gogh tulip was first named in 2011 by then-director of the Van Gogh Museum Axel Rüger.

A closeup of a dark purple tulip with feathered petals and daffodils out of focus behind it.
Vincent Van Gogh Tulip (c) jcs 2022

I made a final stop post-show at the BBG’s Rain Garden, which was looking particularly splendid and useful on a damp afternoon. The Rain Garden was designed specifically as a “living filter,” treating surface water runoff from the parking lot through plants and shrubs that complete the task naturally. On a dry day, this garden is often overlooked.

The Rain Garden treats run-off water naturally and provides food and habitat for several types of birds. (c) jcs 2022

More Images from the

2022 Spring Bulb Show

A terra cotta pot with a bird of paradise plant in it, in front of a green, window-paned door.
Bird of Paradise (c) jcs 2022

And finally, Check out photo-journalist Stephanie Zollshan’s photo spread at the Berkshire Eagle.

Monthly Intro Pages, part 3

February

scrap layout 2022 (c) jcs

This was the quickest “retrospective” layout I’ve made since I started this process: today is March 6, and I’ve just completed this monthly intro page for February.

It’s pink to match the handmade Valentine pages, with plenty of winks to love: including a couple that remind us love can be deathly.

It’s also one of the more literal pages I’ve created; the Scrabble-tile month-label is a nod to an actual game with a friend — notable because it was the first in years. It was a good month for travel and gifts, and I really did spend some time with penguins.

Elements

Astrobright Pastel pink card stock

Patterned scrap paper

Repurposed greeting card

Apothecary Stickers

Rhinestone gem stickers

Month and hand-heart stickers printed with Phomemo mini-printer

SHEIN Stationery stickers

Washi tape – Lunar New Year themed

Patterned roller stamper

March

scrap layout 2022 (c) jcs

We’re only just in March, so this layout is part hope, part intuition, part planning. I imagine the gardening will kick off this month, for one…but I’m not interested in over scheduling myself. Just to keep an eye on the horizon, and to keep writing.

Elements

Astrobright Pastel green card stock

Patterned scrap paper

Repurposed greeting card

Repurposed magazine illustration

Original photo

Itinerary sticker

Repurposed kid’s sticker book sticker

Apothecary Stickers

Rhinestone gem stickers

SHEIN Stationery stickers

Washi tape – Lunar New Year themed, light gray

Alphabet, typewriter font stamps

Both pages are 8.5×11 in a 12×12 album; shown in-book.