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

Here we go!

As we roll forward to press time for the CGB Pattern Book (expected shipping in April!) we are going to start releasing all sorts of material. PRE-ORDER PEOPLE, you are going to be so happy. Not only are you getting an amazing bundle (and we mean WOW) but also, we are going to be releasing the book patterns digitally to you before we go to press.


•   IF YOU HAVE PRE-ORDERED, you will receive an email from us next Monday that asks you to confirm your address, gives you a PDF download of the Exploded Sets, and, buckle your seat belts, the first installment of the CGB Kaleidocycle section. Please give your email until Wednesday to arrive, and then let us know if you think we missed you.

Let’s start at the beginning, though, with the material we are going to release free to everyone. Nothing is more important to the Pattern Book (and to understanding the new advancements of the CGB Project) than the Exploding Sets, Deconstruction and Cloning.

Today, for a refresher, we want to republish the Pattern Book Colourway (find it down below) and introduce the Core Collection Pattern Book Kit, a 9-colour wonder that will let you make basically everything in the book. GET YOURS HERE.


We also want to show you the Core Pattern (we named it Prism) for the two basic Exploding Sets that open the Pattern Book.

If you want to get a head start on the Pattern Book, we encourage you to whip the Prism colourway up in either a Flat Peyote Triangle or a Hypar/Warped Square.  It doesn’t matter which.

Triangle Set copy.jpg

The only difference between the forms is that the Triangle begins with a three-bead start, and ends up with three Core Quadrants, and the Hypar begins with a four-bead start. As you can see, they use the same Core Sample colour key; they truly are the same piece. It’s just that one is made of three, and the other is made of f

PRISM Hypar Set.jpg

Choose your shape based on preference and size; those with larger wrists will appreciate the larger bangle starts and Casting Models provided by the Exploding Hypar Set. Those with smaller sizes may appreciate the Exploding Triangle Set more. But either will work for anyone. Just choose one to make, use our colours, and you will be able to have a start (or a reliable tool for starting) for any of the pieces in the book.

These Basic Exploding Sets have two simple but absolute rules, and they apply to both the Triangle and the Hypar sets.

1.  DO NOT REINFORCE YOUR THREAD between the white and black rounds.
The only thread that crosses those lines should be your working thread as you add beads. Just bead in a straight line, and do not cross back to reinforce your work. Once you understand the way that the set comes apart, you may choose to reinforce your edges UP TO the line between the black and white rounds, but you need to know what you are doing. For beginners, or first-time Deconstructors, save yourself a headache and don’t even think about reinforcing, back-stitching, or over-securing your thread starts and stops.

2.  DO NOT CHANGE THREAD IN THE BLACK OR WHITE ROUNDS, or IN A ROUND ON EITHER SIDE OF THEM. Period. For any reason. If your working thread is short heading near a last round of colour, change it in the round before. NO EXCEPTIONS.

A third idea is that you really ought to bead it in our 9-colour Core Colour Assortment. If you don’t, you may not get the correct movement and bead ratios to experience the full joy of the Kaleidocycles and the Exploding Sets. EACH BEAD COLOUR IS A DIFFERENT BEAD. Some are fatter, taller, shinier, more matte. Some stick to each other, some deaden their neighbors.

We worked hard to find a set of colours that gives perfect results. Use them. Anyway, if you don’t, you’ll just have to translate every time we refer to them in the book projects. Our Core Colours will not have to influence your final pieces. The Exploded Sections that result from the work can be used for Casting Models and for Cloned Starts. Think of them as tools, not finished jewelry.

Check your stash, hit your bead store, or order up one of our Core Collection Kits, but do yourself a favor, and GET THESE NINE COLOURS.

More soon! Hang tight! And if you’ve emailed us, give us a bit of time to get back to you. It’s crazytimes here. In a good way.


Prism Colour Key.jpg

Pattern Book Palette Final

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.

21 comments on “Here we go!

  1. Yvonne Kuriata
    February 18, 2017

    Hi Kate, Received an email today regarding change of address etc. but there was no ‘PDF download of the Exploded Sets, and, buckle your seat belts, the first installment of the CGB Kaleidocycle section’. Is this coming in a separate email? Thanks Yvonne

    • katemckinnon
      February 19, 2017

      Once we get our list all set, we will start sending out more stuff. Relax! If you received the email, you’re on the list.
      : )

  2. Judie marshall
    February 15, 2017

    Waiting is hard!

  3. Kristin Friedrich-Jensen
    February 15, 2017

    Dear Kate, I think you forget me….. Many hugs from Hamburg Kirstin

    Von meinem iPhone gesendet


    • katemckinnon
      February 15, 2017

      Not at all! We will have them all sent out by Friday. So many people! Hugs

  4. Lisa Brenner
    February 14, 2017

    Hi Kate – I just shopped at one of the two local bead stores that still exist here in the Twin Cities and filled in the colors that I didn’t already have in my stash. I love the fact that there’s no need for the extra detonation bead in order to explode the rounds. You are so brilliant! Happy Valentines Day to you. Miss you. – Lisa B.

  5. petra ricke
    February 14, 2017

    Dear Kate, if I got your below newsletter right, you announced a mail to those people who had preordered the CGB bundle. I wonder whether you’ve missed me? Please find in what follows the details of the corresponding PayPal transaction I did on 1 July 2015.

    Happy beading! Cheers, Petra

    • katemckinnon
      February 14, 2017

      Hello, Petra, please give us this week to reach everyone, let us know Saturday if you don’t get it by Friday. Hugs!

  6. Lori Hamilton
    February 12, 2017

    Hi Kate, OMG so excited! Trying to stock up and was wondering if you could let us know which 15/0 rocaille numbers were used so I can check inventory and order up, if needed? 🙂 The work y’all are doing is so amazing and I’ve discovered so many new amazing artists through this journey with you. I am forever grateful to you, your team, and the curiosity that you have and have inspired in me! 🙂


    • katemckinnon
      February 13, 2017

      The 15s don’t matter, Lori, they are just for finished the edges if desired. The ones in our kit are dark silver rounds. Some of us use them, some don’t.

    • Kim Van Antwerp
      February 14, 2017

      Hi Lori,
      Just fyi, we included the 15s in the kit for finished pieces you might make with these colors, a little bonus. You definitely don’t want to put them on the edge of your exploding set.
      The ones in the kit above are 15-190; we call it Mercury.

  7. Anna Paradox
    February 9, 2017

    Gorgeous and generous preview! I am excited to see the next steps.

    It has definitely been worth the time investment to see the deep relationships in the forms. It’s like turning a microscope on the building blocks of the universe. Truly appreciate your insight and dedication to excellence!

    • Judie marshall
      February 10, 2017

      I feel l am 3 years old, can’t Waite!!

    • katemckinnon
      February 14, 2017

      Anna, how delightful to hear from you!

  8. Helen Brown
    February 9, 2017


    Sorry to bother you when you talking about preorders does this include digital preorders or just the printed copies?

    Thanks Helen


    • katemckinnon
      February 13, 2017

      All of them, but digital pre-orders don’t come with extras in the mail, of course.

  9. Judie marshall
    February 8, 2017

    Will be waiting! It’s hard

  10. jamielw505
    February 8, 2017

    So exciting! Can hardly wait to start having fun with the new stuff.

  11. Sam Norgard
    February 8, 2017

    Congratulations on your forward movement!

    I’m cheering for you.

    I’ll be going to the Mayo Clinic soon. Glad I’ll be having some top notch folks spend some of their time on me.

    Looking to have treatments finished, hopefully by summer, and spending time pouring over your wonderful efforts.

    I’d like to order the bead kit but not sure if I did. I’m thinking your Monday email will tell me.

    Sending waves of love.

    Xxx Sam

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. Robin Gower
    February 8, 2017

    Kate – we are very excited to hear the news! But – given that so many of us have formidable collections of delicas in our stashes, do you think you could let us know the numbers of the beads of the essential ” Core Collection”? This could be done so easily just by placing as asterisk beside them on the palette list from CGB I, or by posting a list of the nine DB numbers. Thanks. Robin Gower

    • katemckinnon
      February 8, 2017

      Ooh, thanks, Robin, of course I meant to post the colour numbers! Updating!
      Thanks, Kate

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