Monday, February 28, 2011

Texas History 175 years ago

On this day 175 years ago some 50 or so men were making their way to a small settlement on the Brazos River to change the course of history. The Alamo had been under siege for about a week suffering from lack of supplies and manpower. The battle was not going well and reinforcements were needed badly, why were these men not fighting at the Alamo? They were on a mission to pen a declaration of Independence from the ruthless dictator of Mexico Santa Anna. The weather was brutally cold with light snow and temperatures at the freezing point. The buildings at Washington on the Brazos were not made for cold weather so, paper was wadded up and used to seal the cracks in the walls. As the men began to arrive the urgency became more apparent and  the work had to be done as soon as possible. On the night of March 1, 1836 six men worked through the night to have the document ready to be signed the next morning. The declaration was signed and the Texans were on their way to Independence. The Alamo was to fall only four days later.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why I like Argentium Sterling Silver Wire

Most people use Sterling Silver Wire but, I prefer to use Argentium Sterling Silver Wire, it is Sterling Silver.  It is brighter than traditional Sterling Silver,  more tarnish resistant and more resistant to scratches and dents.  It is also more expensive than traditional Sterling Silver due to the process it goes through.  I love the brightness and shine of this wire too.  It is much easier to clean than traditional Sterling Silver.  I use dawn dishwashing liquid a soft bristle brush (toothbrush works well) and warm water.  Scrub it lightly with the brush then rinse in cold water and it comes out beautifully. 

Below is Wikipedia's definition of Argentium Sterling Silver: 

Argentium sterling silver

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Argentium sterling silver is a modern sterling silver alloy which modifies the traditional alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with the metalloid germanium. As it retains the 92.5% silver content of the traditional alloy, it is still referred to as sterling silver.
Argentium silver is the result of research by Peter Johns at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. The project began in 1990 with research on the effects of germanium additions to silver alloys. Germanium was discovered to impart the following properties to sterling silver:
  • Firescale elimination
  • High tarnish resistance
  • Precipitation hardening and simple heat-hardening properties
  • Increased ductility
  • Increased thermal and electrical resistance (making alloys suitable for welding and laser forming)
  • Environmental advantages (associated with not having to remove or plate over firescale)
Many of these properties significantly affect the traditional methods of working silver. For instance the absence of firescale eliminates tedious and time-consuming steps required by the silver worker using traditional sterling silver. It also eliminates the need for plating the final product which is often done on manufactured items because of the problems introduced by firescale. Tarnish resistance is of significant importance to both silver workers and the wearer of silver jewellery.
Argentium silver is patented and trademarked by Argentium Silver Company, UK.

If you would like to read more about Argentium Sterling Silver you can visit their website at:

Hope that has explained a little bit about what Argentium Sterling Silver is and why I like to use it.  If you'd like to leave any comments your are welcome to.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Handcrafted Items and Antiques

Hello to everyone.  Just thought I'd try to start updating this a little more regularly. 

My husband and I love handmade items and antiques.  There is a certain charm in something that is handmade, not to mention the love someone put into making the item.  If you are a crafter you know what I mean.  I think everyone can appreciate the time and energy that goes into making something.  Sometimes you have no idea what your going to create.  Then there are other times when you have something in mind and you start to make it then something happens and it doesn't look like your vision but, that is all part of the process in making things.

Antiques on the other hand are just something that is a wonderful part of our past.  You can't help it when you look at something to begin to wonder who used it, when and for what.  Your mind wanders to a very distant place and you begin to make up a story in your head about the particular piece you happen to be looking at.  I think it helps us to reconnect with our ancestors and the world around us.

We live in a very fast paced world and it is enjoyable to take time out to be a little creative, to slow down our pace a bit and make something or maybe browse through some antique shops and just slip back in time to a slower pace of life.  These are things we really enjoy.  What about you what do you do to relax and recharge yourself? 

We'd love for you to leave a comment or share any thoughts you have.  If you'd like to see some of the things we make you can visit our shop at: