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

Kaleidocycles, emails, sealing wax and string…

Well, I use more packing tape than sealing wax and string. But it’s all involved.

I must report that the CGB Email HQ in the mountains of South Lake Tahoe (this is where Kim and Dustin are) is experiencing a snow-induced Internet outage, so we’re still working on emailing all of you lovely pre-order people hello. Once we start, though, watch out, because we won’t STOP.

Give your email the weekend to get through, let me know Monday if you didn’t hear.

Once we get you all signed up to our email service (and verify your shipping addresses) we’re going to be sending out pre-release patterns (including our Kaleidocycle) from the books to all y’all right up until press time.

Our plan is to start printing at the end of March, and ship the bound books in April. If we slip a bit on that schedule, it won’t be for lack of energy or excitement. As you might imagine, we are each still having insights, some of them empowering, some disabling, but we are used to it now and are simply soldiering forward. The work is beautiful, and I’m so happy and proud about Dustin and Karen’s drawings, about the genius work that’s been sent in for photography, about Kim’s art direction and beading skill, about the new ideas we continue to have.

Mostly, my mind is just blown as I look at our body of work, and see that I can start almost any one of these pieces off of the edge of any other one of them. Even (perhaps especially) the simple triangle at the bottom right.


I love working on the Pattern Book & Coloring Book. The ideas are so simple and clean. If you make just one Exploding Set, you have a start for anything else in the book, even one of those insanely complex Rick-Racks or Fortuneteller Bangles.

Making the big Hypar or Triangle takes a bit of meditative time, but there isn’t any pesky counting. Or thinking. They are just simple progressions, one colour per round. It’s beautiful to be so elegantly constrained, to have such powerful information to convey but such a simple framework on which to speak.


I remember when Dustin and I blew apart our first Exploding Hypar Set. We were in a Mexican restaurant in Tucson, and the thing was big, you know, at four inches per side, it filled our hand. He wore a yellow hard hat.

We had built it with hot red round Detonation Points, circa CGB 2015, because we didn’t yet know that we could SNIP at the increases and get the same beautiful result.

We did the first thing I ALWAYS still do when I Explode a Hypar. We look around for the missing piece. I swear that they are all there. The warped square is under such tension that the biggest pieces don’t look so big when they are all connected. Once you take the form apart, you can see what a huge difference there is between pieces.

And even with Triangle Sets (this one has crazed Arrow clones coming off of the points!) the starter center pieces look so small once they’ve birthed their sets.

Small but mighty.

Well, anyway. We’re working! And you’ll hear from us soon.

Here is a nice little raw video from one of our MIT sessions last year, snipping apart a Triangle Set. This is a pretty pattern, hmm? I’ll have to look up whose this was – I think it might have been Monia’s; I see UV-reactive beads in there!


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.

13 comments on “Kaleidocycles, emails, sealing wax and string…

  1. Beatrice Childress
    March 4, 2017

    So I do not remember if I ordered volume three! So I bought it again, maybe. Also I do remember that I bought The coloring book bundle. Can you please check? Sorry to ask, I know you are terrifically busy!

    • katemckinnon
      March 5, 2017

      Hello sweet stuff! You did order the bundle, at the first pre-order price (which was awesome) and I have your order for Volume 3. Thank you so much for your support of our project. Beady hugs, Kate and team

  2. Pamela Bleser
    February 26, 2017

    Just an FYI, I have not received any emails since this one, so if anything has gone out, I missed it….


    • katemckinnon
      February 26, 2017

      Getting the blog in your email is different than an actual email from the team. I’ll make sure we have you!

  3. Barbara Gravett
    February 22, 2017

    I’m so excited. I’m working hard at clearing my table for all the new projects. Thank everyone for all your hard work.

  4. Joanne Fuller
    February 19, 2017

    So excited, I have made everything but a fortune teller and an arrow, hope to make those and more as the new books arrive. Love the videos, thanks for all your pathfinding hard work.

  5. Teresa Steiner
    February 18, 2017

    I want to verify I did order this again -the pattern and coloring book.

    • katemckinnon
      February 19, 2017

      You sure did, the Bundle at the $50 pre-order price, from last year. Thank you!

  6. janetgunther
    February 17, 2017

    I’m letting my hands, wrists, and elbows rest until I start something from this new book set. #anticipationismaking me wait
    Thank you again Kate and everyone involved.

  7. Becky Clay
    February 17, 2017

    All I can say is WOW! I can’t wait to show some of my beady friends this!!

  8. Lorraine Wolak
    February 17, 2017

    I played with stuff in the first 2 books & thought about applications. But in the last year something clicked & I am ecstatic about how much more I understand. Friends and family can’t believe what I am doing, especially when I tell them there is no pattern or directions. I wish I could give each of you a big hug!
    Thank you, Lorraine Wolak

    • katemckinnon
      February 18, 2017

      I know what you mean about “something clicking”. Can you believe how easy it is to Deconstruct peyote stitch and separate pieces along round lines? WOW.
      Thanks for the nice comment, they really keep us moving forward. It matters to know that there are people out there taking the ideas forward and outward.
      Hugs back!

  9. Judie
    February 17, 2017

    Thank you Will be watching for it to arrive. Very excited

    Sent from my iPad


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