Everything must Change

Life happens,  shit happens to all of us.  We survived a pandemic, but things will never be the same as before. Life is full of beautiful moments and not so beautiful ones as well. We are all trying to be thankful for what we have, live a joyous life and hope for a future filled with happiness.

Blah, blah, blah.  Sorry I try really hard to share positivity.  That is why I share so many flowers. They make me happy. Making art also makes me happy equally. That is why I opened my shop. I enjoy meeting all the people that walk through my shop.

I realized yesterday that every piece in my shop has a story. I am not very good at writing stories (I have some very talented friends for that). I am not very good at public speaking although I have done it many times. I can’t sing. I don’t dance. I can cook and sew but I don’t like too. I love gardening but I am not very good at it. I like to find things, create things, and make them into art. Sometimes wearable, but usually to hang on the wall. But why? I like to think my art will help someone somewhere sometime. Although honestly I am selfish,  I make art because it makes me feel better. Simply. 

Everything must change.  Eight years ago today I was painting a handmade sign for my shop Garden Thyme. I needed a change. I took what little bit I had in a teachers retirement plan I cashed out to start my business.  I had one plan “Create, Show, and Sell” my garden inspired artwork.  Alex had one year of high school left before he could join me. But then we made a place to be in this world. In a town we loved. A year later I was driving around this beautiful town and saw two houses for sale. One I thought was absolutely adorable but it had structural damage, the other a big ugly sturdy as hell house with a gorgeous view. My husband bought me the big ugly house,  but I was so happy to be living in the one place in this world I felt happy. We worked so hard for a year to update the house and sell our farm. Life was beautiful for a few years. I  loved my home my shop was doing good and all of my family was relatively healthy. Then the pandemic happened thankfully no one in my immediate family contracted the virus.  But caring for a person with Autism during this time was extremely difficult.  Alex was working a few days a week before, then lost his job. So we put all of our efforts into a fabulous garden. I loved working in the garden with him. He did an awesome job, I did not. Then both of our fathers were sick while we were in lockdown,  the health care system was unrecognizable.  I spent hours sitting in the parking ramp so dad could get care. My father-in-law also spent most of the summer 2020 in the hospital,  and only one person could go see him. Leaving the rest of us not only worrying about grandpa but also my husband who was visiting him in the middle of a pandemic.  Thankfully he was diligent in wearing his mask while at the hospital and everywhere he went. To keep us safe. My biggest fear was for Alex to be sick and not have us to care for him.  I think this is where many things have changed. We needed to protect ourselves for our family. In our little town we loved, people have been divided.  During the pandemic it was masked people and those who chose not to wear masks. Many got covid,  sometimes multiple times and a few people died. I was terrified that I would give my dad, mom, father-in-law or son the virus. I cared about giving the virus to anyone, even those who didn’t believe there was a virus. And many people in our town thought we were the crazy people wearing the stupid masks. So our very small town was divided.

So everything changed,  we survived the worst health crisis in American history. Then in the summer of 2021 I found out that my dad had lung cancer. They gave him three to six months to live. Unbelievable. So I spent as much time as I could with the best person in my life and then watched him past away. During his illness I began knit and crochet.  I think it helped me continue creating but it is less emotional than painting. Then five months after my dad passed away my father-in-law fell and ten days later passed away.  Leaving my boys without a grandfather and my husband and I devastated.  Alex says 2022 was the worst year ever and I agree. My husband had rotator cuff surgery days after his dad’s funeral and was unable to work for months. Living was hard.

Then in November we found hope and joy, in the form of two baby girls due any day now. Everything changes. Life happens. Through so much darkness there is light. I am still fighting. I am still here. I still have days filled with much sorrow. Yesterday was one of them.

All of this to say I am changing, my goals are changing, and Garden Thyme is changing. This spring has been very slow and although we are having lots of wonderful free concerts and events scheduled. I am not going to tie myself and Alex to the shop every weekend. Life is short. I see all my wonderful friends traveling and living. I need to participate in life. We need to garden more. And soon we will have two little chicas to play with and take care of. I am very blessed to have a home and business here in Bishop Hill, but some of the people have soured my life here. I want to fall in love with Bishop Hill again. It was such a wonderful caring community before the pandemic. I hope it will be again. I am not going anywhere actually. But I will be opening Garden Thyme ONLY by appointment or by Chance.

I have loved all of my visitors who have come through my shop, I have made some amazing friends, and I believe I have done some great work here, but it is time for change.

First handpainted sign for shop

Spring is in the Air

I am waiting patiently to get into my garden. Starting seeds inside in a sunny south facing window.

I am so happy to see all the beautiful birds returning to Bishop Hill. After a long winter it is the first sign that spring will return and Mother Nature is working as she should.

20150719_154746The Thrush loves to eat the slugs in our garden


Ok for my challenge, much of today’s plastic is not reusable it is flimsy. I remember in the 1990’s when they changed the plastic. It broke while we were carrying the flats from one greenhouse to another. The flats were so thin they would give us horrible paper cuts, ouch. We started to horde our old flats like gold. And cleaned them each year with a mild bleach to kill fungus and bacteria. (Now I don’t use bleach for anything) So back to my challenge, I have been saving any container that will hold soil. Big, small, with drainage holes, without holes to plant into. I am starting my seeds into them and then transplanting them into compostable paper cups. So far so good. I want to invite others to Garden Thyme on April 13th to learn about starting seeds. I would also like to have a seed swap that day as well. I have become a garden teacher through a program called Green Thumb. It is practicing permaculture gardening, it is full of information and hands-on workshops that I feel very comfortable teaching. (I have been teaching workshops for many years as a Master Gardener) but the Green Thumb program is more structured, hands-on, and fun. This spring I am very excited about learning and teaching permaculture gardening in Bishop Hill

April 13th, 2019

Garden Thyme

Seed Starting Workshop and Seed Swap

Bring any seeds you would like to Swap(labeled please)   I will be giving a short seed starting informative talk followed by a Swap. Come join the fun!  Everyone will leave with a tomatoe seed planted in a composible pot.  Begins at 1pm.  Call Katrina (309)373-5314 if you any questions.

And now I have a mini greenhouse to start some of my seedlings

A NEW Purpose for Garden Thyme

Garden Thyme is preparing for change and a NEW focus.  I want to sell items that improve lives and helps Mother Earth as well.  

  • Essential Oils
  • Botanicals
  • Herbal teas
  • Dried herbs
  • Dried Vegetables and fruits
  • Spice Rubs
  • Stevia
  • Seeds
  • Cuttings
  • Plants
  • Farm fresh vegetables
  • Cut Flowers

I want as much earth friendly products as possible. Garden Thyme will provide more handmade useful items and artwork made of recycled matierals.

I have spent much of the winter studing the Principles of Permaculture, not only is it a gardening technique but a way of life. My husband and I moved to Bishop Hill to make a change in our life. We love our new place in this world and want to share all that is great about Bishop Hill.facebook_1552954699239



I have been repeatedly been spoken to by the Universe and it keeps saying the word “Change”.

Change is coming. I can feel it. Seasons are changing. Life is changing.

The world is changing. I think we have been forced to open our eyes. Wake up and deal with our biggest and toughest problems.

This time of year is hard for me. The loss of my only sibling and my best friend came while the leaves were falling. Those events changed me.

Now I am facing a change in my location. Moving is change. Hopes and dreams are being realized. As well as work, the hard work of letting go of many things decluttering, to change our life.

The world is changing. Over the past 15 years hate has crept back into our society. Greed and Power have turned our civilization into a divided nation.

We have enjoyed the peace and forgotten our history. We remember the nice history bits, not the not so nice truths. Like Wounded Knee, where our ancestors tried to destroy a group of people, probably because of money and hate in thier hearts, with guns.

Guns have Changed as well. What my dad used to feed our family when he had no work, is now just a toy. Replaced by machines that once were only aloud by the military. I remember seeing a photograph of an automatic weapon used by a Vietnam veteran. He came to our class. The young boys would want to play with these guns. So they had to sign up for basic training, become men and bravely protect our country.

My artwork is changing. My artwork is me. I look at the world around me and choose what inspires me.

The season, life, the world, my art and I are in a transition. Some changes we can not control. Others we can control. I can not control the seasons, but I can control most things in my life. I am struggling with our ability to change the world. I want a world of love not hate.

Fear of change. I think at this point I am more afraid of not changing. It is going to be very hard and it is going to be scary, yet I don’t think we have a choice. Everything must change, evolve.

Today I use black in my painting, not to make it darker, but to enhance and make the colors brighter.

So my artwork will change with me. I want to plant the seeds of change.

Although beware of an artist who decides to make a change.


Sometimes you just need to stop thinking and make art.I was cleaning my studio and found some old gouache paints, and spontaneously started painting.I decided to not care what anyone thought about my art.I don’t show my emotions much, but this week I needed to get them outside my body.Playing with negitive space, I wish I could get lost in it.Usually I try to make my paintings pretty, this one is not.I am thinking very much about the earth and hoping we can repair the damage.The water…I need more intense color. The earth needs intensive care.I am in a mood today, not sure thier is a word to define it. Change is coming and I can feel it. It feels like the calm before a storm.Im not the best artist, but I need to make art. Time disappears when I paint.Roots… grounding to the earth. Attaching us to earth. Strength. The roots remind me of the synapses in the brain. Interesting.Plants and humans have always been part of my art, reoccurring theme. Some people are animal people, not me I am a plant person.”I just let the ideas wash over me”-Colette O’BrianBreatheLife, when I think of life I automatically think of my boys first, then my heart.When painting with your intuition you have to feel when to leave things be. Let go of control. This is not my strong point.Midnight sky with silver jewels.Trees remind me to beathe. They give us air to breath, as well as being breathtakingly beautiful.I am painting this for me, to keep me breathing.I am aging, my eyes are starting to get blurry and my fingers hurt sometimes. My artwork will probably change, but I will work until I can not breath.Will anyone like my work of art? This question I believe is in the heart of every artist. It is like a high and a low. I question if this is the cause of many artist emotional problems. It plagues me. I think it is from a deep feeling, that I care too much. Care too much about everything.Bending in the wind, trees become stronger.Standing strait is a sign of strength, I think of military. What an illusion. Bending, being flexible to the change around you, is so much stronger.Plant trees…I hear so many people make the excuse, “it takes to long to get any shade”. Stop! We should plant trees for our children. We need to clean up this mess of a world for our children. Stop thinking about ourselves and care about our children. Now and for the future.I can’t watch the news. I care too much. It physically hurt me to see the world news.Painting negitive space again how ironic. There must be dark with light. So we notice everything. My paintings usually do not have dark. I paint for my soul. I want to throw away the dark. I think I read somewhere that Renoir and I think Cezanne did just that.Balance…I am working on balancing the painting. Balancing life is hard.Next I paint the sun. Light is the opposite of dark. We need light to live. We need dark to rest.Plants use the sunlight for energy.I love plants. They heal me. They make my heart beat.My signature is in my heart. Literally. My original print, only I can make it. I care too much.Trust your intuition.

Garden Thyme in Bishop Hill

Bishop Hill, IL
“Peace on Earth ” 16″×20″ acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas. Painted by artist Katrina Morrison.


Garden Thyme is a gallery/studio that is located in the most beautiful historic place in Illinois named Bishop Hill.  As an artist I have been drawn to this peaceful village founded by Swedish Immigrants. (I don’t believe I am a Swedish, but I would love to be)  I feel like this is where I am supposed to be.  It is so inspiring, peaceful and calm on most days. Then on other days the village is filled with people during traditional events planned by volunteers, many of them descendants of the original Swedish immigrants.

So I am a tranplant.  I  opened Garden Thyme in August 1, 2015 to show my artwork and to give my son and I a place to make art together.  My son Alex has autism, and although I  spent 4 years in college and many more working on my art. He was a better artist at 5 years old.  He is now 18 and graduated from high school. Since the state of Illinois has no services for him I am making our little studio/gallery his place to work and meet people.

Soon we will live and work in Bishop Hill and I  can’t wait for the future.