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Memoirs

I have been drawing, painting, and using my hands to make things for as long as I can remember. One of my first paintings was a landscape on one of my fathers old Army boots-I was about 8 yrs. old! It was then that my parents knew I need some direction. The prestigious McNay Art Institute, in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas, was a definite starting point in my career but I wanted more one on one instruction. I was fortunate enough to live right next door to a wonderful artist, Neica Sapp-Tyler. I am so grateful to her for her kindness, patience and instruction in oil painting. Robert Huntsinger was another instructor from whom I learned so much. I eventually developed my unique style of part funky, primitive and somewhat "folksy". I guess I was doing Primitives before primitive was the thing to do!  

After I met my husband my direction changed. Duane is P.A. Dutch and Pennsylvania is steeped in history and, what I consider, the bedrock of folk art style. I found that I could produce more paintings and achieve better results with the use of acrylics and so my love of art took on a different medium. Since I was already an avid collector, of what would be called "shabby" many years later, I started to paint on furniture, buckets, benches and anything that still had use in it. Taking neglected and tossed out items that I could bring back to life became an obsession. My garage has never been used for our vehicles!  

When I opened a boutique in Sand Destin, Fl., I decided to try my hand at dolls, potpourri and soap. I could never find pot pourri that would last or retain its beauty so the research began and I now create my own line of aromatic scents. Likewise, I had always wanted to try my hand at making soap but didn't take the plunge until I was given an old soap recipe which I took and "tweeked" until I came up with my own recipe that produces wonderful creamy, moisturizing and luxurious bars.  

It has been almost 30 yrs. since I began my small and humble business. I have always taken pride in being able to offer not only the unique, but also items of the highest quality possible. That's what Sweet Harvest Farms has always aspired to and what my customers have come to expect. The good Lord has blessed me with an abundance of talent and I love being able to share it with others. I feel He requires that of all of us.

You never know what I will try next or add to my repertoire. I believe true artists continually evolve-and that's a good thing!  

*CJ's work can be found in the homes of Tom Cruise, Jim Carey and Rob Lowe.  

*CJ, age 4, and her Grandmother*

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."
                                                                                        -Woodrow Wilson
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