Friday, September 19, 2014

Unexpected Findings :: The Book Blog Tour!

Welcome! You've made it to day 5 of the Unexpected Findings blog tour! 
For information about Michelle's Giveaway, click here and scroll down to see the prizes.

When Michelle Mach asked me to be part of Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components, I didn't hesitate. First of all, it sounded like a really fun challenge; second, I knew that I'd be among a bunch of wonderful designers, as Michelle is an editor extraordinaire who knows so many wonderful designers! 

Michelle has always had an eye for clever design and writes amazingly easy-to-follow instructions; I first met Michelle when I was the editor of Simply Beads magazine. Michelle always impressed me with her inventive designs and was adventurous when working within a theme.

The first thing I've gotta say about this book is that if you're a beader or an aspiring beader getting ready to set out on your beading journey, YOU MUST GET IT! Really, the beading ideas in here are some of the most original I've seen, and they all have such flexibility and are easy to apply to your own designs, no matter what your style. 

Not only that, these projects are accessible and with the guidance provided, easy to accomplish. Most beaders will already have many of the supplies in their bead kits to make these projects. The extensive guide at the beginning of the book works as a basics guide, and once you master the basics, you'll want to takes leaps in different directions as shown through the following pages.

Michelle even included another form of versatility in the book by adding a Variations feature, in which we designers were challenged to use another designer's technique to make a project. It's amazing how different the two can be and demonstrates exactly how easy it is to make the technique and a project your own.

I made four designs for the book--all of which I really love. In fact, when these projects were returned to me, I opened the package and popped one on, just like that, because I'd missed it so much! Here's the first one: Connect the Dots.
Connect the Dots, featured in Unexpected Findings

Connect the Dots uses eye pins to make a latticework of sorts as well as decorative spiral headpins. When is an eye pin more than an eye pin? When it's a headpin, too! I also include a tip on how to stretch your eye pin budget, so you use only about half as many as you'd think! I have a love affair with Golem Studio beads, and these sweet melon-shaped beads are from them. The rest of the beads are Halcraft's Bead Gallery beads, and the ovals that make the links have the prettiest finish. They're available at Michaels Stores.

One of my favorite projects from the book that isn't my own also features the modest eyepin, and the effect is beautiful. Check out Michelle's Two to Tango earrings on page 36. Who knew eye pins could be so eyelash-tastic!

I'm going to share one more project with you, and I'll let you search through the gorgeous pages of the book to find my others. This is called Tidal Treasures, and it's one of those understated pieces that packs a wallop when you slow down and look through it, but because of its muted color palette, it is understated as well. It's a longer necklace that I made with some pieces that I'd been hoarding. One is the fabulous clasp from HandFast by Kim Fox; the fish and coral branch are from Green Girl Studios; and the perfectly tiny faceted silver rounds are from Shiana, one of my favorite places to get fair trade silver.
Tidal Treasures, featured in Unexpected Findings
Now that you've seen a little sneak peek of my projects in the book, get yourself over to Michelle's blog to enter the contest! Today's the last day to enter, and the prizes are amazing! What I could do with a $50 Etsy gift card!

And while you're at it, check out this list of the other designers who joined the our book blogging tour this week. I wish I could share my favorites from each one, but I thought I'd better leave something for you to find for yourself in the book:

Monday, Sept. 15
Michelle Mach

Tuesday, Sept. 16
Lorelei Eurto
Erin Siegel

Wednesday, Sept. 17
Cindy Wimmer
Erin Prais-Hintz

Thursday, Sept. 18
Andrew Thornton

Friday, Sept. 19
Denise Yezbak Moore
Molly Schaller- You Are Here! :)

Today is the LAST DAY to enter Michelle's contest to win these wonderful prizes:
Etsy Gift Card Grand Prize
$50 (Fifty Dollars) Etsy Gift Card (1 prize)
You can spend this on anything offered at the many individual shops on Etsy.  This could be fabulous art beads, cool jewelry findings, a hand painted coffee mug, a knitted scarf ... whatever you want.  (Note:  Not all Etsy shops accept gift cards, so if you win, you may want to do a search for those that do.)
First Prize
Fun with Findings Kit (2 prizes)

You can win some of the exact findings used in the book, plus a bunch of other findings that Michelle thought were cool. Prize packs include everything pictured here: jump rings, head pins (handmade by Miss Fickle Media and C-Koop), filigree links, clasps (hook-and-eye, ball chain, lobster), bead caps, cord ends, and more!
Fun with Findings Prize Pack
Second Prize (3 prizes)
To play off the "unexpected" in Michelle's book title, three winners will receive a small mystery pack of findings (valued at $8).  No photo or preview ahead of time.  It will be a surprise!

Happy beading,


  1. Every time I see one of these blog posts I realize again that I really need to get this book! I'm looking forward to discovering the rest of your projects when I finally do! (melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com)

  2. Many wonderful and original ideas. And, you can buy the beads at your local Michael's, even better! Can't wait to purchase the book. Kim

  3. Such beautiful designs, and inspirations! I can't wait to get this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway. Debra -

  4. Love that Tidal treasure...just got inspired and am going to dig out my brass stampings...was wondering how to make them pop and use them in a different way. Can't wait to get the book! (

  5. Love the creativity, and mix of shapes on your piece you presented. Plus you are teasing us with more; nicely done. Andrea

  6. Love those colors in connect the dots.. Congratulations. Can't wait to see all the fun projects.

  7. Lovely designs! I especially love your Tidal Treasures necklace... such a nice mix of textures and soft colors. I've said it repeatedly now, but I'm so excited to get this book and see more!

  8. So fun to see glimpses of this book! Thanks for sharing! jillimarsh at gmail dot com

  9. What an inspiring book! My favorite piece is the connecting the dots necklace:)

  10. Hi Molly, Connecting the dots is wonderful. I will add this book to my library.

  11. I have that Handfast clasp - love how you show cased it. And, connecting the dots - I can see why you were anxious to wear it. Congrats!!

  12. I love both pieces you shared here, and can't wait to see the rest of the book. Congrats!

  13. Thank, Molly! I remember those days at Simply Beads so well. You were such a good editor, kind and patient! I do love the lattice look of Connecting the Dots. Whenever I see it, I have the urge to make a huge statement necklace using the same technique. (I was already inspired to make a variation of your Tidal Treasures necklace, as you know!)

  14. Hi, I am loving the Tidal Necklace and can't wait to see your other pieces in the book. :)

  15. Love your necklaces! What a fun book to be a part of.

  16. Love the connect the dots necklace. Very original. Can not wait to get the book.

  17. Looking forward to all the inventive and original designs I am sure are packed into this book. Can't wait to get my copy. Congrats!

  18. The two designs that you’ve shown us are so beautiful that now I definitely will buy the book to see the others.

  19. Hi. I love the use of colour and clever use of headpins in the first photo. Thank you for reminding me to avoid hiding beautiful clasps around the back of the neck - doesn't it look great a the side as a feature?

    I will be placing my order for this book. thank you so much for the extensive previews.

  20. I love your connect the dots book, I think I really will have to get this book!
    Louise: want2bead at yahoo dot com.

  21. Thank you for sharing these awesome designs, Molly... this book is definitely on my wishlist :)

  22. l love those. I really cannot wait to get this book. This whole week has been so much fun!

  23. I love the colors of your necklaces and am so impressed with how nice the necklace with beads from Michael's looks.

  24. Your pieces are just great and they use findings in ways I never would have considered. Lovely work!

  25. O.O I've had trouble getting a nice spiral from normal wire... an eyepin has it started already! Genius. (

  26. I love the idea of a tip to use fewer eye pins or headpins because I never have enough. I am looking forward to all the tips in the book!

  27. so sad this didnt show up in my blog reader yesterday . I'm hoping it's not too late as it is early saturday morning when i type this.
    I am so excited to see this book in person . I cant wait to try some of the techniques and ideas shown in this fab blog tour this week,

  28. Love your tidal treasures necklace. Gorgeous! Can't wait to get his book and get some fresh inspiration!

  29. It's great to see some of your creations for this book. Just enough to tempt me to see what else you made! It's such a great idea for a book and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. wirednan13(at)hotmail(dot)com