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

Updates and Colourways

Good morning to all of you from a cool and sunny Savannah. I hope this finds you well. Our local team (Sam Norgard, Kathryn Shriver, Anvi Shah and myself, with help from Kamryn Shawron) have been beavering away on all fronts, getting ready for MIT, working on our books, preparing for our first digital releases, and completing the packing, sorting, stickering and wrapping for thousands of kilos of glittering Delica beads.

Despite the many difficulties and sadnesses in the world right now, this has been a happy year for me, full of progress on all fronts. If I seem distant, it’s just that I’ve withdrawn while I complete this work.

My days start very early in the morning, and are filled with cats, plants, a daily tennis workout, sunshine, lizards, meditation, love, lots of hard work and a wealth of steady friends and colleagues. I revel in the quiet beauty of Savannah and in the generosity of the people I spend my life with. This is a very rich time for me in terms of the life of the mind. I long to travel again, and to hug and kiss people, but hopefully those days will come again. Thank you to all of you who continue to enrich my life.

MIT Update

Thanks to Sam Norgard’s beautiful Black & White Together project, our January session at MIT has grown to include Joyce Scott, who will be giving a talk and participating in a discussion about the finished piece. This will be a great excitement and honour for us all.

Beads and More Beads

Our first colourway (Sam’s Nova Scotia Sunset) has almost sold out of its first run, and it will probably be later in January before we will be able to get all of the beads in again to assemble more, so if you have your eye on this one, please consider ordering it now. 100% of all bead purchases directly benefit the CGB Fellowships and Scholarships Fund.

We’ve named the smaller assortments we are finishing now the Heartbreakers, because that was our criteria for assembling them. Each one had to be so good it twigged our heartstrings and upped our pulse rate, and each unique grouping has gone through several hands and eyes on team. We’ve bundled these packets into groups that represent fundamental assortments of hot, cool, and black/white/grey, and we’ll be ready to offer them next week, both for sale and also for pre-order exchanges.

I’ll keep this only on our web site (no social media) to make sure that those of you following our project get the first chance to see the new beads and colourways, so that even people who don’t want to let go of their paper book reservations can still get some Heartbreaker kits. Here are some examples of our groupings – most are one of a kind curated combinations of the beads in our library.


Exchanging Book Reservations for Bead Kits, Donations or Refunds

• About a week from now, when all of our bead groupings are finished being vetted, wrapped and packed, we’ll give everyone who has paper book reservations the option to exchange each book pre-order for a high-quality set of Delica beads valued at $75, plus complimentary digital copies of the book or books ordered. Those who choose this option may consider their pre-orders closed upon receipt of the goods, and can buy the paper books (if desired) when they come out next year.

• Those who choose to stay on our list for signed author copies of the paper books will have their orders converted to donations to the non-profit CGB Fellowships and Scholarships Fund, and in return will receive complimentary digital copies of every one of our new books as they’re released, paper copies of each book ordered as they go to press, and donation receipts for their 2021 tax records. This option comes with an agreement to accept our timeline for delivery, and is only available to those who have positive feelings about our work, our goals and our team.

• Those who are not interested in either option will be issued a full and friendly refund. If this is the option that you know you want, feel free to let me know anytime.

I will be continuing to contact our pre-orders by email until Dec 31, so please give me time to get to you. If you have not heard from me by January 1, by all means email me at and check in.

Again, thank you so much to those of you working to make this world a kinder and better place, doing the hard work and spreading the love. May peace be with you as this year winds to a close.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better.

6 comments on “Updates and Colourways

  1. sallanwalke
    December 18, 2021

    If I haven’t already signed up for the new book can I still get one?

    • katemckinnon
      December 18, 2021

      Definitely! We will print a warehouse full of books, and they will be for sale everywhere- online, bookstores, and your local bead shops.

      We won’t be shipping books from our studio anymore in the future, though- just for the people who have already pre-ordered and choose to stick around til spring.

  2. Ann Wilson
    December 15, 2021

    Hi Kate, Will we have the same choice to make if we live in U.K. please?

    • katemckinnon
      December 15, 2021

      I will not be able to ship the bead assortments out of the country, Ann – it’s just too expensive. For non-US orders you will need to choose one of the other two options.

      • Ann Wilson
        December 15, 2021

        Ok Kate, thank you.

        • katemckinnon
          December 16, 2021

          It’s so sad right now about our postal service. It’s in the grip of a madman, to be honest, and international service is failing consistently. I had beads take four months to get to Canada… several parcels lost. I am hopeful that within the next few months it will get right again.

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2021 by .
December 2021
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