...Hello, and welcome. 

...I'm "tj", and here you will find me either hooking with Wool in a primitive style, sewing folky dolls and make-do's with 19th Century Textiles or creating early bears and animals with Shulte German Mohair. All of my hand work is either hooked by hand, handsewn or treadle sewn on my 1889 Singer treadle sewing machine. Inspiration comes within these early log walls, nature, life, friends and family past and present. I revel in natural materials such as pure wool, raw cotton stuffing, horsehair, cotton thread, bone buttons, straw, wood...things God given. If you are a lover of old, early, folky or primitive - you are in the company of a kindred spirit. 

...The name "Humble Origins" came to be by wanting a name that would describe myself, my life, as well as my home. I ran the gamut of names until one day I was reading an article about a historic home and how the owners of that home, "left a hand hewn beam exposed in one room as a nod to the structure's "humble origins", hence the name. 

...And as for Me, I am a lover of old, humble, married, devoted, my hands work-my heart is Gods, love laughter, creative, surviving Scleroderma, quick to smile, stubborn, detail oriented, a good listener, gardener, joyful, believer, dreamer. 

...If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at bjtj[at]centurytel[dot]net. 

...Thank you for visiting and it is with my sincerest wishes our paths will cross again in the future. 

...Peace and plenty be to you and yours. 

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for"
-Epicurus Greek Philosopher (341 BC - 270 BC)


What is Scleroderma?  Scleroderma, which when literally translated, means "hardening of the skin". Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disease of the connective tissue.  There are two different types of Scleroderma: systemic and localized.

Systemic sclerosis is the more common and deadly form of Scleroderma in which the immune system damages two main body areas; the small blood vessels and the collagen-producing cells located in the skin and throughout the body. These areas include the connective tissue in many parts of the body such as the skin, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys and heart. They also may include the muscles and joints in the body.  The overproduction of collagen is the part of Scleroderma that causes the thick and tight skin, lung problems, gastrointestinal problems and the heart problems associated with this form of the disease. When a body is functioning normally, the immune system sends out signals to the collagen producing cells to form a scar after an injury or infection has been cleared.  When one has Scleroderma, scar tissue is produced for no apparent reason and simply builds on the skin and other internal organs.

There are many effects of this form of Scleroderma. First and foremost, nearly all Scleroderma patients are very cold sensitive. This is a result of the blood vessels in the fingers narrowing and sometimes completely closing off the channel of blood in the fingers. This often causes small ulcerations to appear on the hands and/or finger tips which heal very slowly.  This vascular part of the disease is the cause of Raynaud's phenomenon that afflicts approximately ninety percent of those with systemic sclerosis. Raynaud's phenomenon causes fingers to change color with exposure to cold temperatures.

Localized Scleroderma, more commonly affects children. This type of Scleroderma is usually only found in a few places on the skin or in the muscles. While this form of Scleroderma does not affect any internal organs, it is based in the collagen-producing cells in some areas of the skin instead of affecting all areas. This form is confined to a local area of skin and tissue. Localized Scleroderma is generally associated with thick patches of skin.  This type of Scleroderma rarely, if ever, develops into systemic sclerosis.

In conclusion, I hope that I have helped you understand a little more about this disease. You should know however, that not all patients suffer the same affects.  Scleroderma may vary from patient to patient. If more people were made aware of this disease, maybe more support would be given to the research involved in finding a cure for those afflicted.  Thank you.
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