Friday, January 31, 2014

Another new girdle

All my glass bead girdles are very heavy, so I decided to make a light-weight one. I already had some black wooden beads and some large bronze seed beads left over from another project. Then I found a bulk pack of bronze filigree spacer beads on special, so my colour combination was decided. Finally, I found some left-over pieces of black tiger tail wire in my beading box as well, so I was very happy.

Usually I play around with different combinations and patterns of beads before starting to string a girdle, but this time I knew what I wanted. I felt that three black wooden beads and then a bronze filigree bead would be ideal. The bronze seed beads would go in between each large bead.

I usually start at the ''dangly'' end of the girdle when stringing, and this time was no exception. I had two pieces of tiger tail which I threaded with three bronze crimps and a small bronze hook clasp. The hook clasp is at the bottom and allows the pomander or decorative element at the bottom to be changed to suit the garment or occasion. Once the crimps were closed, I started stringing the beads. The first part of the girdle was fiddly because the filigree beads had very small holes and the two pieces of tiger tail was a bit too much for them. I ended up using a bead reamer to enlarge the holes slightly.

This diagram shows the way I string my girdles. The bottom 'dangly' part of the girdle has two strings of tiger tail wire which separate at a central bead or finding to become the two 'arms' of the belt.

I was a little unsure what to do when I got to the junction part of the girdle as I did not have any more triangular bead findings. I didn't want to have to purchase anything specially for this project, so I raided my stash for usable items. I found these three options for the central bead/finding where the two pieces of tiger tail separate to go around the waist. I tried all three, but thought the agate bead looked the best.

Once the agate bead was strung and the two pieces of tiger tail separated, it was standard stringing again. When each waist piece was done, it was finished with a clasp or a piece of chain to allow adjustments in size.

I happened to have a bronze filigree heart charm that I salvaged years ago from a cheap necklace, and I added this to the bottom of the girdle. I hung the girdle up for a few days to get the kinks out of the tiger wire.

This was a quick and easy project and I am very happy with the result.

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