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

Updates to the Book Blog

If you haven’t stopped by the Book Blog lately, new content is streaming in every day, and it has a fresh new look that matches the books themselves.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 10.03.48 AM

Please feel free to share the Pattern Library link with your friends – there is a huge amount of useful information from the Basics Section of each volume, and a couple of wonderful free full tutorials (the Tri-Wing Ring and the Layered Rick-Rack Bangle) courtesy of the project.

Our books are stuffed full of even more delight (the two-volume set is well over 500 pages) with commentary on every form, bead colourways and numbers on most, and hundreds of full-colour, clear photographs. We love to sell books, and you can find them in paper and digital form, accessible all over the world. Click here.

Angela Wallis spread

More content will be added every day, leading up to the official Book Launch at the upcoming Tucson shows this early February. If you’d like wholesale or consignment copies of CGB to sell at your show, email Kate with your location and quantity, or hit the online shop and reserve your copies at a special price. We’ll bring them directly to your booth at your show, with a smile and a hug, postcards and a poster.

Thank you all for your support and interest in the project! In the next few months, I look forward to sharing a whole new wave of beadwork, content and special releases.

Happy holidays, merry winter, or hang on, it’s almost the Solstice,

Pagoda evolution, Kate McKinnon, CGB Vol II

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon, globe-trotting writer and metalsmith, has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and loves warm weather, nice people, rides in the car, and good books.

10 comments on “Updates to the Book Blog

  1. Bonnie Morris
    February 26, 2015

    Hi Kate!

    I just finished Karen Beningfield’s Mowgli bracelet last night! WOW! What a great experience! Christi Bell and I started our kits a week ago Tuesday. My Husband was gone on a hunting trip for nine days, so we created our own little bead retreat (which we try to do annually)–beading days, nights and late into the next morning(s). We had done our homework creating horns, tri-wing/quad-wing rings, zig-zags, triangles, and MRAW belly bands. We learned from your YouTube videos and felt we were up to the challenge! It was so much fun! It was definitely a labor of love–many hours of great beading time! After Christi departed, I found I just couldn’t put it down for more than a few hours or I would have separation anxiety! I was worried my tension would be too tight to turn the light green leaf sections up from the belly band. Well, I was successful and I’m so glad to have finished it! I have a new-found sense of confidence in my beading technique. Thank you!

    When I made and contact with Karen, she was great with her responses and giving of information, just as you have been! Depending on where you live, there can be a multi-hour time difference, so that should be factored in when making inquiries. For me that time difference worked in my favor. I decided that if I would have to wait for a response, I might as well take out the three rows (it was painful!), back to where my mistake occurred (I left out a row) and I could get back on track and be happier about my progress by the time Karen was able to respond to my email. (Do you sense my infatuation with this project!? I forced myself to go out and do some gardening so I could limber myself and say that I had done something other than beading the whole time my Hubby was away!)

    My Mowgli is done, it fits (YAY!! WooHoo!) I have enough beads from the kit to make several other projects (Thank you Kate for your generosity!), and I can hardly wait to explore another concept that I have learned from the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork volumes.

    Can you send me the codes so I can download Volumes I and II?

    By the way, I ended up using One G thread rather than the Nymo. Because I generally use Fireline, the Nymo didn’t seem to have enough “weight” for my comfort level. I’m glad I didn’t use Fireline as I would never have been able to turn my leaf sections without breaking beads. I also used double thread when I started my belly band which helped to stabilize it. While I did switch out some colors, my Mowgli essentially looks the same as those in your books, which makes me happy! Now I can explore!

    Thank you so much Kate and Karen! Oh, and to Marcia DeCoster for telling us about your books!

    Bonnie, aka Bead Tramp

    • katemckinnon
      February 26, 2015

      Wonderful! Thank you so much for all of that feedback, so helpful.

      I will email you the letter with book codes, etc.
      : )

  2. Eleanore Grobbelaar
    January 29, 2015

    Hi Kate, I was reading your reply to Renee’s comment. I asked you in December 2014 about purchasing your CBG Volume 2 here in South Africa. I purchased the book from Chantelle at Big Tree Designs in Cape Town. I have read every word printed and scrutinized every picture. I have the digital version of volume 1 and between the 2 volumes my mind is blown apart at all the possibilities. Would you be able to send Volume 2’s digital version to me as well please? Thanks for what you mean to all beaders everywhere. Regards Eleanore

    • katemckinnon
      January 29, 2015

      Wonderful! Of course, please check your email.
      : )

  3. Ann Rascenet-Cole
    January 2, 2015

    Hello Kate,

    I just bought CGB vols 1 & 2 with money my husband gave to me as a Christmas gift. Can’t stop looking at the colour fest and variety of the pieces. Only had the books for 2 days. I have just ordered the Mowgli kit. Not sure I am ready to tackle it yet as I am only at the power puff level. Need to graduate first, I feel. I always want to run before I can walk. My limiting factor is the small Delica stash I have.

    I showed the books to my husband (not a beader but an acumplished photographer) and he is almost as excited as I am by the potential of this free-form art. I feel that it is going to be good “therapy” to explore where the beads take me when I get the basic techniques mastered.

    A big “thank you” to everyone who has launched CGB. This is not just jewellery but honest-to-goodness, stand-on-its-own-merits art.

    Happy New Year! from a new beader in the UK.


    • katemckinnon
      January 3, 2015

      Thank you, Ann! Check your email for download codes to the digital versions of both books!

      • Ann Rascenet-Cole
        January 7, 2015

        Many thanks Kate. The downloads are brilliant. I appreciate your generosity.
        I made a few flat triangles, a couple of power puffs. I turned one into a ring (made the ring band to match). Not sure I attached it using the correct technique. May need a nudge in the right direction for my next one!

        I am looking forward to receiving the limited edition Mowgli kit. May need to work through the basics in the books a bit further before I launch into the kit.

        Thoughly enjoying the videos links. Excellent for visual learners like me.

        I have been looking for a supplier for the 3oz cones for thd Nymo thread but had no luck in the UK. If someone knows somewhere I’d appreciate if they could let me know. Otherwise it will be a treasure hunt for a while, which is OK, too.

        My next step is to master the tri wing ring when I recieve my next shipment of Delicas. Yes, I ran out. Still I can dream of winged creations in the meantime.

        Thanks to you all. Love this way of beading, so liberating.

  4. Renée Good
    December 8, 2014

    Dear Kate,

    After visiting your web site and the basics section, I recently purchased both copies of CGB and can’t tell you how much I am enjoying it. Have so far made a tri-ring. Mini-horn, two Rick racks, and a fortune teller. I never leave home wearing the fortune teller without getting compliments from strangers! I also tried a horned rick rack with the increases on the rick rack increase, but it didn’t work out. The pictures in the books looked like little mountains, and mine were definitely horns. Also, when I increased on top of existing increases, I ended up with too many stitches on each side, because I was not doing a decrease. I will have to think about it and try again.

    Last week I had a small procedure done to my right hand, and can’t bead yet. And I just received a large order of colours of Delicas I would never have dreamed of using before seeing the books. So I’m really antsy to try things out.

    How do I get the e-books, and is the content different from the print books? After about five years of seed beading, this is the first time in a long while that I have been really excited – and encouraged to do something other than follow a pattern. I love all the suggestions, colour ways, and fantastical shapes that emerge. My friends are surprised to see me turning into a 68 year-old Goth. I’m loving it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    __ Reneé Good Sent from my iPad


    • katemckinnon
      December 8, 2014

      Hi, Renee! I will send you the digital versions via the email. Thanks for asking! They come with all retail purchases, but if the books aren’t bought from me, people need to get in touch.

      Yup all little horns or mountains are increases, followed by decreases. Otherwise, with no decreases, you just get Wings. Which are AMAZING.

      I am so glad you are loving our ideas… it warms our cockles.

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