an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

Lots to tell!

Work on Volume II of CGB continues at a brisk pace; beadwork streams in from all over the world, and the book is a runaway hit. I’ve spent a lot of this summer simply keeping up; shipping, shooting, maintaining our Facebook page (which is a stunningly beautiful interactive archive; you can visit it just to see the photo gallery, if you like, even if you are not on Facebook.

Please read this whole post if you are interested in updates on Volume II, the Souvenir Calendar, or our soon-to-expire Press Specials.

This weekend, I shot a box of work from Kathy Young. I adore her Fortuneteller Bangle, not just because it’s beautiful but because it is also exquisitely crafted.

Kathy Young Fortuneteller web 2

Colourway defines these pieces; each expression, outline, shadow or colour pop changes our perception of the form; each change to the count, each tailoring choice… and certainly our working tension define how or if it moves, flips, and engages our eye.

Below is her version of one of our pre-release patterns, the Zig-Wing Bangle. If you have pre-ordered Volume II, you should have received a letter with a link and password to the Specials For Pre-Orders page on this site.

See it, up there, in the black banner at the top of the page?  You’ll find both the Zig-Wing and the Pagoda Bangle patterns there, with one more delight coming pre-press.

Kathy Young ZigWing web

Now, about the Souvenir Calendars! (The ones that help support the donated copies- we send out hundreds of free books to public libraries, schools, bead societies, bead lending libraries, McMurdo Sound, hospitals… ) Yes, you can still order them, and no, I’m not quite ready to send them out yet.

I’m so close to done… but I had rather a stunning idea at the last minute (it’s kind of a surprise) and as almost everyone who ordered copies of it is someone who is well familiar with the project and not by nature in a hurry, I decided to really go for it.

All I can say is don’t worry- you are going to be seriously happy campers when you get them.  This is the only calendar I’m putting out, I decided, and I wanted not only to include work from Volume II, in a kind of sneak peek for calendar-buyers, but worm in a photoshoot that blazed into my mind just when I thought I was finished.

So- sorry it’s taking so long, but you are really going to dig it.

Ocean Tiss, photo by Kyle Cassidy

A photo from the calendar- Ocean Tiss, shot by Kyle Cassidy, wearing Kate’s Gaudi wrap.

I am so excited to show you everything I’ve got cooking back here behind the scenes.

Also, I am beside myself to show you Maria Cristina Grifone’s latest confection.


Maria Cristina Grifone Brac Sinfonia doppia web 2

Now… what else. Oh yes, our fabulous pre-order Volume II Press Special is about to expire! Please pre-order your copy before September 30 if you would like to receive the two-volume, fully linked, live and clicky eBook- available in App, Kindle, and PDF versions.

All Volume II Pre-orders get the live eBook for free, and before it’s released for public sale.

Also expiring September 30 is our Wholesale Press Special– $1 off per copy on our already quite favorable regular wholesale or distributor pricing- don’t forget that as of October 1, our studio wholesale price will rise to $24 a copy, to match Helby Imports. All wholesale copies of Volume I from my studio come with signature plates and postcards, a nice touch, we think.

You may notice two other things-

1.  Signed author copies (with postcards!) are now available on (but only for full price, so as not to harm our many bead and bookshops).

2.  Excitingly, we are down to the last dozen copies of our First Edition red-coil run. We decided (and you decided too) that although the red-coils and the glossy paper are very lovely, and a bit lighter weight, the matte paper in the black-coils is less reflective (which means more useful), easier on the planet, and we’ve come to prefer it’s soft hand and sturdy wear ourselves. To our surprise, when given a choice both in shops and online, people have also chosen Matte over Glossy at a rate of 2-1.

So… Matte Paper it is for the second press run, and the pretty, shiny red-coils will be even more special, collector’s editions. If you’d like another one, I would order it today. 

Lastly, but not nearly leastly, THANK YOU to everyone who has left such gorgeous reviews for the book on online forums, here on our own Book Blog, and of course on If you loved the book, and you’d like to help it get on in the big world, leaving your own review in any one of those places would be a lovely gift and greatly appreciated by your CGB Team.

I also appreciate the many letters and emails I receive from people about the book. It’s rather stunning- not a day goes by without some incredible contact, from someone raving about how their head exploded with yes when they got their copy of CGB.

We love you all! And we thank you hugely!

I’ll leave you with Ralonda Patterson’s neat piece teeming with Cones; Ralonda, fully in the open-sharing spirit of this project, sent in a PDF of her instructions for making Cones off of a base like this, and you can find it here. Thanks, Ralonda!

Ralonda Patterson web

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

9 comments on “Lots to tell!

  1. Rene Lindstrom
    October 18, 2013

    Hi, For Volume 1 I was able to order more copies at a lower price. When will this happen? Could not figure out how to reply above the blue line Thanks for your time and creativity, .Rene

    • katemckinnon
      October 26, 2013

      Please email me, Rene, if you want to place a Reader’s Group or wholesale order- I’d love to help!

  2. Ivana
    October 4, 2013

    I even didn’t like geometric beadwork before I saw a picture of your book vol 1 in a beading magazine. The cover looked so exciting. I ordered the book fr.o.m. Dimarca-online in France at once. It is absolutely stunning. The projects are so beautiful, they look like mysterious flowers and buildnings, sea creatures…the instructions are easy to understand. I’m rather new to beading, but I’m sure I’ll be able to make many of them. The projects inspire me to make designs of my own. Please make some more videos for YouTube! I’m waiting for vol 2 with lots of lovely stuff in it.

  3. carla BARBERO
    September 26, 2013

    dear lady, I wanted to send some photos of the work I’ve done, after I purchased the volume I of CGB. I try to attach now, we hope you like them! I have already booked the second vol. and I can not wait to receive it! I want to make my most sincere congratulations for your work and thank you, Carla Barbero

    • katemckinnon
      September 26, 2013

      Carla, what a lovely note! It made my heart sing.
      Thank you so kindly, and I ca’t wait to see your beadwork.

      Please email images to me at, or upload them to your Facebook page and tag me.

  4. Jane Penrose
    September 23, 2013

    Hi Kate. Thanks for the update. May I ask for a video on beading cones. I love them, but I don’t quite get it. The videos you have made so far are fantastic. They move me from WOW to I can do that!
    Thank you.


  5. dbednarek
    September 23, 2013

    Hi Kate, All of this is still so exciting!!! Remember that I will gladly help you in any way that I can to further the cause. Please don’t think that I’ve lost interest since I haven’t sent you any beadwork for a while. I felt I was sending too much and have been so humbled by all of the fabulous stuff seen in the photos. Wow! You really started a worldwide movement in beadwork. Seriously. Last month there was a high end craft fair in Milwaukee; I didn’t attend but my friend did and said that someone was selling “that crazy gladiator beadwork like you do”. (what can I say; but she is a sweet creative soul but doesn’t totally understand beadwork) She mentioned my name to the woman and the woman said “Deb’s in THE BOOK!”. I loved that! Now I have to find out who this person was. Well, take care and carry on; just remember to shout out if you need anything!!! Love, Deb

    • katemckinnon
      September 23, 2013

      Yes! Thank you, Deb, I have you at the top of my list. And never stop sending beadwork!

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