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

New books wrapping up!

If you received this post in your email, it is because you have subscribed to the CGB blog. We will be in touch with our 500 pre-order supporters regarding current shipping addresses soon, so no need to worry if we have you on our list. We know who you are!
To get in touch, please email directly at Replies to this post in your email will post as public comments.


Good morning from Boston.

It’s beautiful here, a cool morning that speaks of a coming season change. The birds are very busy outside the windows, and I am very busy inside mine. Happily I can see outside from every room: MIT from the kitchen, the Hancock and the Prudential buildings from my writing desk.

I love it here on the East Coast.

I love my possibilities, our new work, our final decisions about our new books. It’s so exciting that although we are finishing one phase of the project, so many new ideas have opened in our minds, our hands. It is an endless exploration of humans, making shapes with beads and fiber.

I’ve been looking back through my photographs from the past ten years of CGB.

Remember this poster? I still have about a hundred of them, and I’ll put them in the Shop when we re-open it soon.


Final NYC Poster web


Apologies that it’s been so long since I have written an update here. You may know that I was hit by a car while walking in May.

It was pretty bad – I was crossing a street and the car was going fast. The accident fractured my left knee and sent me flying. I landed on my head, and it was intense, but so am I. Twelve weeks later, here I am and I’m going to be OK. I had to learn to walk again, which was good for my character. But now I can run.

In early July, when I could make it down the stairs and to the end of the block again, I started calling Ubers to drive me to the tennis courts. I channeled my inner Bruce Lee (which is luckily only a few microns down) and I played leaning hard on one crutch. I never fell down or got hurt, so in retrospect it was a fabulous decision. I became legendary on the MIT courts for sheer cussedness, and a few other people maybe worked harder themselves when they realized how much of their potential they weren’t using.

I haven’t posted anything much online since it happened; the impact was big enough that it actually knocked me right out of myself. I regret not being able to really share much about the CGB team retreat we had here in Boston in July; about 10 of us got together from all corners of the world to take a hard review of our innovations, our decisions, our techniques, and see if there was any way we could still become… simpler.

It was an incredible meeting of the minds, and in fact we found several new good things, and just in time. It was expanding, destroying, beautiful, and was just right for me. I was so grateful to see them all, to be immersed in discovery again.

I couldn’t bead, read or write while I was injured, and this was a great sorrow to me. I didn’t know why I couldn’t do anything (probably because of the whack to my head) but I could definitely think and process.

I will be back with you soon, and thank you all for the many thoughts, acts, and words of kindness that came through while I was recovering. Just a bit more patience, and I’ll show you something amazing.


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.

64 comments on “New books wrapping up!

  1. Christina Vasil
    November 13, 2018

    Good morning Kate, I hope you have heeled completely and you are close to shipping. I have preordered from the beginning but I did not receive any email. I hope I am in the list of the prepaid.

  2. KC Davis
    October 23, 2018

    Get well soon. Miss you!

  3. Carol Longbone
    October 21, 2018

    Looking forward to hearing about shipping soon, this is so exciting.

  4. Paula J Clouse
    October 19, 2018

    Been thinking about you. As I’m still working on PT for my shoulder from surgery back in April, I wish I had your strength and (as someone else said) cussedness! Beading was one thing I did do to get me relaxing. I hope this finds you stall recouping and repairing.

  5. Joanne B Thomas
    October 12, 2018

    I am so excited. I cannot wait to “play” with the new new book!
    Many thanks Kate

  6. Amy
    October 12, 2018

    Soooo glad you are recuperating well! Amazing!

    • Joanne B Thomas
      October 12, 2018

      I am so excited. Can’t wait for the new book!
      Thank you so much.

  7. Angela Thompson
    September 25, 2018

    I am so excited. I have been checking the shop monthly to see where you are at. SO good to here your excited too. I do remember the poster. I love every piece of every idea that has come to me from your great work. All the color and the secret doorways the exploding waves and hatches that pop up from the bead weavers on your team. Including, all the great discussions and weird troubles along the way. Hay I know your busy but I am still waiting for the ordering invoice that was promised to me on Facebook. Sincerely, Angela T.

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  8. Martha DeWolf
    September 23, 2018

    Your strength is amazing Kate I’m so proud of your fight to come back from your injuries an inspire us all. Your in my prayers 💕💕

  9. Christina Vasil
    September 18, 2018

    Hi Kate, I like your help when you can, I like to put a band around the warped peyote square to make it a ring what stitch do I use or give me a suggestion how to do it. Thank you, Chistina.

  10. Darlene Wise
    September 16, 2018

    Happy to hear you are on the mend. You are definitely an inspiration to any of us that do not use our full potential. I will keep you in mind the next time I need an extra push.

  11. Shirley Moore
    September 16, 2018

    Knowing how much you hung in there with all the questions in SB&M during your accident makes me even more grateful for you! We really had no idea how serious it was! I’m glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery, and wish I could have been a fly on the wall during your July session! I’m sure it was fantastic!!
    Thank you so very much for all that you do for our beady community!!

  12. Elle Licht
    September 16, 2018

    So, so glad you are better and working to get in optimum shape (really? Tennis on a crutch! Wonderful!) The beading world is so much better with you and CGB minds.

  13. cheri
    September 6, 2018

    Never knew about the accident! Rest and know that we all are wishing you the absolute best❤️☮️ Love and peace

  14. Sharon Schneider
    September 5, 2018

    So sorry to hear about your accident. And your brave recovery. I understand your comments about recovery and inability to do things like walk and bead. In April I had open heart surgery and ended up with many of the same problems.
    Glad to hear that things are coming along on the book.I

    Prayers for your continued improvement.

    Sharon Schneider

  15. Kathy C
    September 4, 2018

    I think of you often since your accident and I’m glad to hear you are on the mend. ‘sheer cussedness’ – I love it!

  16. kteachergirl
    September 3, 2018

    so glad you are in recovery!


  17. Dona DeLaura
    September 3, 2018

    Thanks, Kate, for all you do!

  18. maryy
    September 3, 2018

    Je suis heureuse pour toi que tu ailles mieux et que tu sois guérie. Tout le monde attend avec impatience la suite des aventures de CGB. Affectueusement
    I am happy for you that you are better and that you are cured. Everyone is looking forward to the continuation of the adventures of CGB. Fondly

  19. Ans Weetzel
    September 3, 2018

    hat off and get well

  20. Diane Steel
    September 2, 2018

    I am so pleased to hear that you are getting back to your normal, wonderful self. With your determination, I know you will continue to improve day by day. I admire your strength – well done.

  21. Lisa Brenner
    September 2, 2018

    Kate –

    Beady greetings and good health wishes to you. So glad you are on the mend. What a ordeal you’ve been through!

    I’m wondering if there will be any additional books available to purchase after the 500 have been dispersed. I ordered one for myself yet I’d like to buy another to donate to the MN Textile Center library if and when one comes available.

    Thanks for all you do to inspire me and others.

    ❤️ Lisa

  22. Erin
    September 2, 2018

    Love and good vibes ❤

  23. Capitola Bradshaw
    September 1, 2018

    So sorry to hear of your accident! I know that it must have been devistating not to bead or write not to mention walk. Glad to hear you are back to your “new” self! Looking forward to the new book….I know it will be amazing! Cappy

    • katemckinnon
      September 4, 2018

      It was so strange, Cappy, because there didn’t seem to be any reason why I couldn’t. But just thinking of choosing a book was exhausting in almost a spiritual way. There have been changes to me, in me. I prefer line drawings to paintings now; this is only one example.

      Thank you for your note, it’s so nice to hear from you. Kate

  24. Silvia
    September 1, 2018

    Oy, may you have a Refuah Shelemah, Kate.

  25. Diane Bowman
    September 1, 2018

    So glad you are getting back to yourself Kate. We’ve missed you!

  26. Patricia Wren
    September 1, 2018

    Kate, if it weren’t for your “sheer cussedness,” determination, and inspiration, there would be no CGB and the world would have been a dreary place, doing the same old, same old. The wait will have been worth it. Waiting brought amazing new discoveries. THANK YOU.

    • katemckinnon
      September 4, 2018

      Too funny and really, too true. Hugs to you! You have been here for the whole thing, from tip to tail.

  27. Jennifer Lane
    September 1, 2018

    Kate, I keep saying it. You are incredible. All the best from the sunny Australian tropics.

  28. Peggy Kemp
    September 1, 2018

    Synchronicity. Connection. I woke up with your name on my lips, in my pre-dawn prayers. Damn, I’ve missed you. Thank you for writing. I’m so happy to hear that you are better. Your story of playing tennis with a crutch made me laugh and reminded me of me in my broken leg boot, dancing with a chair, trying to moon-walk. Gotta dance! Still, accident recovery reads a lot better than it lives, especially if you can’t read or bead. I have the poster beside me on my desk, always inspired by it to play, to discover, to take new beading paths, to think mathematical thoughts, to think about ARCHITECTURE. I still have Hedda, my original hedgehog, on my bead board, although her nose is gone. I look forward to the book package and new avenues of exploration.

    • katemckinnon
      September 4, 2018

      Aw, I just saw this, Peggy. That is so kind of you, to hold me in your prayers, your thoughts. Thank you.

      I agree that some things that make good stories were difficult to live out. Better to tell than to do. But you know, I am sure that having to recover made me stronger, better than ever. I feel strong and hopeful, and really productive.

      I hope to make you proud with what I publish.

  29. Betsi Newbury
    September 1, 2018

    So glad to hear how well you are progressing with your recovery. Continue taking care of yourself and improving. Looking forward to all the great new innovations, ideas, and projects you and the CGB team have come up with.

  30. puzzledeb
    September 1, 2018

    Re: [New post] New books wrapping up!

    What lovely news!   Thanks and congratulations.   What a lot of work this has been (and still is!) I’m so glad to hear you are on the mend. Debby

    Saturday, September 1, 2018, 5:21:21 AM, CONTEMPORARY wrote:

    katemckinnon posted: “If you received this post in your email, it is because you have subscribed to the CGB blog. We will be in touch with our 500 pre-order supporters regarding current shipping addresses in October, so no need to respond to this post to inquire about order st”

  31. Marlene McCall
    September 1, 2018

    Bless your heart and patience with everything you have been going thru. I am glad you are getting better and in no time you will be back!!

  32. Joyce Peterson
    September 1, 2018

    I’m gasping, weeping and laughing while reading this post. I can’t believe what you’ve endured. I stopped looking at Facebook on Jan. 1 and am overall better for it, but I am sorry to be so late in sending you my heartfelt good wishes. You are amazing in every way.

  33. BarbaraBriggsDesigns
    September 1, 2018

    Kate, I’ve been thinking of you (you were actually in my dream one night!) and wondering how you are recovering so thank you for the update!

  34. Sally Daft
    September 1, 2018

    So, so sad to learn about your accident and trials of recovery. You have to be totally self willed to play tennis with a crutch. Glad it’s months since the event and you have that wonderful spirit to come back and be even better. God blessed you with all kinds of capabilities, not just bead ideas.

    September 1, 2018

    I didn’t know this happened to you. I know with 43 years of healthcare work that your attitude had everything to do with your recovery. You are inspirational with your story and I think you are here for a reason. I think God has a plan for you! Wishing you the best in your continued recovery. Vonda Gardiner


  36. Maureen Boylan
    September 1, 2018

    Love to you in your powerful recovery, Kate.

  37. Michal
    September 1, 2018

    Get well soon

  38. Deanne Anderson
    September 1, 2018

    You are awesome.. best wishes

  39. Bev Moon
    September 1, 2018

    I am so sorry to hear about your accident–yes, I’m just now hearing about this. But, I am so happy that you are well on the road to a full recovery–keep on keeping on! I too would like to pre-order this new book if it is still possible.

  40. Susan
    September 1, 2018

    Kate, you are amazing. God bless you. Waiting patiently and expectantly for the book.

  41. Erika Towle
    September 1, 2018

    I would love to order this book, is it to late to preorder? I know I haven’t yet. Erika Towle Concord NH

    On Sat, Sep 1, 2018, 8:22 AM CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK wrote:

    > katemckinnon posted: “If you received this post in your email, it is > because you have subscribed to the CGB blog. We will be in touch with our > 500 pre-order supporters regarding current shipping addresses in October, > so no need to respond to this post to inquire about order st” >

  42. Sharon Chandler
    September 1, 2018

    So glad you are recovering so well and fast!

  43. Mary Lynne
    September 1, 2018

    I’m happy to hear that you’re recovering so well and still enjoying the East coast. Recovery is so hard, and people don’t realize how much energy it takes. Those fortunate enough not to have to go through it seem to think that you can just kick back and relax until you’re better, but it really is hard work. I wish I had a picture of you playing tennis while leaning on a crutch! Thanks for the mental image which I will keep in my head and heart. Much love to you, Kate.

    • katemckinnon
      September 4, 2018

      I’m still playing with the crutch off and on cause it’s a serious impact sport and I have to work up to full running. I will take a picture for you. Fierce!

  44. Rochelle
    September 1, 2018

    Inspiring! Both you and your work! Be well.

  45. Carmella Patzlaff
    September 1, 2018

    Thank you for sharing😥
    Glad you are on the road to recovery
    You’ve been missed

  46. Brenda Day
    September 1, 2018

    Glad to hear that you are finally on the mend! Looking forward to meeting in October!xx

  47. Joanne Thomas
    September 1, 2018

    So sorry to hear about your accident–it must have been awful. I am having great fun beading with your suggestions and plans–I love the triangles, warped squares and fun shapes I am getting. I bead a lot as I am retired (and old). Thanks so much for your inspiration and sharing–it has made my days sunny.

  48. Amy
    September 1, 2018

    OMG!!! I take my hat off to you for your courage and willingness to move forward despite difficult setbacks!!!

  49. Sylvia Burns
    September 1, 2018

    I am so glad that you have recovered. I am looking forward too see the new post in the future.

  50. Barbara Johnson
    September 1, 2018

    Get well soon, one day at a time, great to see all these patterns again x

  51. Erin Bachrach
    September 1, 2018


    Sent from my iPhone


  52. Virginia Madigan
    September 1, 2018

    You are my inspiration. Hope you feel and heal. Many blessings to you.

  53. Tamara
    September 1, 2018

    The cussedness is what keeps lots of us going. Kate, You and your work are so inspiring. Thank you for being you. Keep up the great work. I’m so glad you can bead and run again. I’m looking forward to your new book, but have learned along the way, that things happen in their own time. We’ll have your book when we are ready for it.

  54. Sharon manewitz
    September 1, 2018

    You are amazing. How you soldiered through the injury and the trauma of your accident is remarkable. You strength and vision are inspirations.

    • katemckinnon
      September 1, 2018

      Says the woman who had an accident the same time as I did, and look at you go. High five to tough girls!

  55. Michele
    September 1, 2018

    Katie , I am still working on my first Kaleidescope so I should be done by the time you are fully recovered😂.
    I am sorry you had this terrible accident but am glad you are coming along in the long healing process . Feel better soon looking forward to what you share with us all next .

  56. Laura B.
    September 1, 2018

    You really are just the best, Kate.

  57. shirley tyderkie
    September 1, 2018

    Good for you, Kate. So glad to hear you are definitely improving. You sound fantastic. Keep it up. You are certainly an inspiration to us all.

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