A Tale of Two Trees

Ten years ago, I was working full time as an artist, and looking forward to many things. Fall would bring me to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival as a crafter, but leading up to that, Spring brought my wedding. This piece, The Two Trees, was my first attempt and adding watercolor to scratchboard art, and it was my wedding invitation as well. There is a sad Celtic tale of Deidre, where she was united with her lost love only in death as two trees grew from their graves, but this represents our life together.

Two trees, my personal wedding invitation.

Two trees, my personal wedding invitation. 5×7 inches on scratchboard with watercolor.

Coming up on our tenth wedding anniversary, I am posting it on the web for the first time.

We’ve been through a lot together over the last ten years, my husband David and I. That year was a complete roller coaster ride emotionally. We had just bought our new home, adopted two adorable kittens (Tinkerbelle and Jasmine) and I was going to live my dream of having my own booth selling my work at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for the first time. It was an amazing time. The wedding was an amazing party, and a whirlwind of activity. It was my first wedding and his second, and I was so blessed to have a house overflowing with friends and family. We jumped the broom in our living room, and my groom was wearing his black Utilikilt that he got at the Faeryworlds Festival we went to together in 2004. My wedding dress was my first Renaissance costume which I wore out at my booth later that fall. My sister-in-law Lynn brought potted flowers which later went into the gardens surrounding the house after wedding was over.

But there was great sorrow as well. Neither of our fathers were able to come to the wedding as they were both in the hospital battling cancer. Two weeks after the wedding David’s father passed away, and my father passed away less than two months after that. This was the background to my first attempt as a crafter at one of the biggest Renaissance Festivals in the country. I worked harder than I ever had to get ready for it, and I was glad to have something to look forward to after the sadness of the summer months. I was on a shoestring budget, and was renting space from another artist who bought a booth out there.

We had our families to support us emotionally, and we had each other. The next couple of years were a tough time to start an art business. It was the great recession, we had our mortgage to pay, and David co-owned the family home nearby with his brother who lived there with roommates. Then in 2007 his brother passed away in August from complications following surgery. Another season of the Renaissance festival followed quickly on the heals of another personal tragedy, and sales were no better for me this year. I had begun actively looking for full time employment. But I wasn’t able to find a full time job fast enough to save the house, we lost it to foreclosure when the banks refused to take our payment. I still love that house, a beautiful craftsman built in 1911, and the address is forever on our marriage certificate. But we were fortunate, we were able to save the family home and moved into it the summer of 2008.

My studio made it’s home there, transformed for a while into a Reiki Studio, then a Music Studio, and now finally my Art Studio once more. It is my happy place where I take my morning coffee, and I also call it my Girl Cave. So here I sit with a wall full of art, instruments, and my drawing table behind me. This year that I’m starting to paint again I am also returning to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, but this time as a performer, singing songs and playing my ukulele with the Leprechaun Pirates. Together we have grown and through it all my husband has cheered me on, acted as gruelmeister at fest, and this year will be my personal cabin boy. Friday the thirteenth is our tenth wedding anniversary. It’s always been a lucky day for me. Ain’t love grand?