CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK

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

the spirit of giving

Good morning all! We are finishing up the last two of the series of our free tutorials- the Star Spiral is coming up next, along with an easy lesson on making and using a Casting Spine. We’ll complete the series with the groundbreaking Foolproof Kaleidocycle pattern I’ve been working on for so long. These stand-alone beginner patterns are to me the soul of the new books, and it’s been our tradition to release our free patterns first, before the books are off the press.

I’ll explain a bit more about this below, for those who are interested.

Once the beginner tutorials are complete, we will publish the Pattern Book and the CGB Colouring Book (which is a collection of blank graphs, origami patterns and more that comes free with all existing pre-orders) and shortly after that, we will produce the beautiful book of photographs (CGB Volume III) that we like to call the “Cocktail Book”.

After that, we’ll complete our work on the college-level textbook, and with that my part in the project will come to an end. When we are ready to ship the first books, we’ll be in touch with all of our pre-orders to see if they want to add or subtract to their order, update their address, etc., so until then, sit tight. You will have the option to add whatever you like (including some gorgeous posters, card sets, and more) when we are ready to ship.

A bit of background

For those who don’t know, The UnLAB and CGB are open-source research teams, and we are an official non-profit 501(c)(3). Our team is all-volunteer except for our research fellow, Kathryn Shriver, to whom we are paying a full living wage plus benefits, and while we wait for the books, this funding comes from our (also non-profit) science team. Our book sales will be our own reward for our hard work; we can’t wait, it will be incredible to have funding to share through royalties, stipends and grants, and to be able to gather as a team again as we used to do.

The spirit of giving has been how CGB has operated since the very beginning. Our YouTube channel is not designed for making money, instead it’s our Explorer’s Notebook, the place where you can find a record of our discoveries as we made them, and always for free. We do not sell endless stacks of patterns for variations, instead we explain what is possible, and encourage people to use that information for their own advancement. Many pattern designers have made a good living writing patterns for CGB discoveries, and we celebrate that.

Our web site (which is where this post is coming from) is also designed to be a record of discovery and a free sharing of techniques, nothing more. Our tradition has been to share information with all as soon as we have found it; the slick packaging always comes later, and for the past 12 years, everything we have learned has been given fully, without anything held back.

Nothing will change our team’s priorities. I shiver to think of how much money we could have made if CGB had published the first Kaleidocycle patterns (as we had the full opportunity to do) but I chose not to do that, but instead to let everyone else have at it until I felt that I personally understood the gift and its structure before I wrote about it, or more importantly before we profited from it. It shocks even me that it took me five years of study to feel that I had it, but there it is. I don’t think the Cycle has ever been written about accurately before, whether by engineers, mathematicians or beaders, and I hope that my contribution will connect the dots and stand the test of time.

I don’t regret the time that I have spent on the project, but I do regret the unpleasantness that has been directed at me for taking the time needed, and once again I am repeating the statement that the simple solution to anyone who is upset waiting for our books is simple: not to wait for them. As all of our pre-orders are always fully refundable, no questions asked, anytime, there is no call for anyone to be rude about waiting for us to finish, rather the correct solution is for them to get off of our list, and get on with their lives. No one has cause to complain when they are welcome to remove their reservation.

Under no circumstance is the solution to be unpleasant or unkind to me, as that is silly and also hurtful; people have said some really shocking things to me both in my email and on social media, including quite recently, and it is completely unnecessary as I am doing the very best I can do to manage our flood of discovery. I would rather be late than incomplete, and my sole and single priority in these publications is to make them accessible to beginners, and that is harder than it sounds, for sure.

We have a crack team on the job, all of us but one are volunteers, and to be honest the right thing to say to me, or to any of us, is “thanks for your work!” As you can see by all of our releases, the work we do is groundbreaking, it is excellent and there has been a steady stream of game-changing contributions from all of us to the field since 2011. I am so proud that I can finally say that all of my questions have been answered, and I know how to explain the answers. This is my dream come true, except for the unkindness; that is my sadness. There is enough of that in the world already to go around; let’s be gentle with each other, and celebrate the beauty and expansiveness of giving.

I regret having to mention this again, as I feel once, or ten times should have been enough, but recent instances have caused me to speak up for myself once again; I am a feeling being, and I care.

Love to you in this tricky time,
Kate

About katemckinnon

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

75 comments on “the spirit of giving

  1. Jo Woolnough
    January 24, 2023

    Hi Kate,
    I am absolutely disgusted to read that people have been nasty to you about waiting for the books – of course they will wonder where they are but all they had to do was ask how they were progressing at no point did that entitle them to abuse you.
    I got one am very grateful for all you have all done to encourage more creativity in the world of Beadweaving and I will be ecstatic when my books finally come and will celebrate you and your groups achievements.
    Shame on those who don’t see it the same way!! Xx

  2. Patricia Stuart
    January 20, 2023

    I am sorry your time to complete this project has been interrupted by the need to respond to criticisms.

    The majority of people who have pre-paid for this work have not criticized. We appreciate all the work that you and your team have put into this project.

    It would be appreciated if those who criticize would stop their nonsense and let you complete this project.

  3. Judi B
    January 20, 2023

    I am still so excited to be able to watch you expand our bead world! I love to be a part of the amazing things you all have discovered, and created! Not only have you all displayed patience, but also you have kept the excitement alive with each new discovery!

    • katemckinnon
      January 20, 2023

      Patience is super hard for people like me, and you are right! It was the first thing I had to learn to climb these hills. I’m grateful for that. Also it’s wonderful to hear that you are (as I am) still so excited about the discoveries. I feel as if I have been granted a look into the workings of the Universe, to be honest. Thanks so much for your note, Judi- Kate

  4. Madeleine MacIvor
    January 20, 2023

    Thanks for your work! Really appreciate the teachings you and your colleagues have shared.

  5. Patricia Scharhag
    January 19, 2023

    Thank you so much for all of your hard work! Don’t let the haters get to you! There are many more of us who appreciate all you are doing!

  6. Amy
    January 19, 2023

    Shame on anyone who expressed anything other than gratitude to you and the rest of the CGB team. While I am eagerly awaiting the book publications (I purchased all of them), I have continued to learn and grow as a beader the last few years—because of the tutorials, patterns, videos and bead-a-longs you and the other team members have continued to release and share. I’m so sorry for the hurtful comments you’ve had to endure. I will be forever grateful for your generosity and all of the time and work you’ve committed to this project.

    • katemckinnon
      January 19, 2023

      So happy you have found growth in following along with our discoveries! It’s been hard to keep up with just documenting and photographing them- over 10,000 photos taken and photoshopped so far. Wow.

  7. christinaporter
    January 18, 2023

    Dearest Kate, This has truly been an inspiring journey of discovery, I have loved every moment and every peek into this, the most marvelous of worlds. I have loved every part, the wonderful bead selections, the designs that have stretched my mind and filled my head with ideas. I have devoured all that you have shared with us, this project is an inspiration. Thank you so much.

  8. Theresa Robinson
    January 18, 2023

    Thank you to you and the whole team! We appreciate you and your very interesting discoveries and your excellent explanations!

  9. beads2wear
    January 18, 2023

    Thank you and your collaborators for ALL of your hard work and discipline. I have been “beading” since I was 5 years old. I’m now in my 60’s and my repertoire has been challenged and expanded by all of your work. It challenges my brain to look at, and think differently than before. Thank you!!!!!!!

  10. Libby
    January 18, 2023

    Those that are critical (polite way to say it) of your work probably don’t have the patience or intelligence to strive to do things correctly themselves. Carry on with your striving for excellence. Not enough people do.

  11. Mitzi
    January 18, 2023

    I have a heart felt Thank you! I am not so good with words, but just wanted to show my gratitude for all the sharing has been the greatest gift! I am elderly, very isolated and losing my slowly eyesight,( so have gone to size 10 delicas). I have quite a number of size 11 s if anyone would like them.
    Many many thanks, Happy New Year!❤️❤️❤️

    • katemckinnon
      January 18, 2023

      Mitzi, thank you! We have a giving program that shares materials as well as funds, so if you want me to send you a pre-paid mailer for your Delica 11’s, we will make sure that we get them into good hands!

  12. Bonita Munson
    January 18, 2023

    Hi Kate!  I have to reply to your post to remind you that social media, while necessary (apparently) in our world today, is a cruel medium and while you utilize it you can’t let it damage your journey or your self-esteem.  Shake it off!!  The anonymity of the internet is allowing too many people to show their bad sides with no fear of reprisals.  Don’t forget you have lots of fans of your work and also of your measured approach to your project.  –Bonnie PS:  If you have time, check out the picture of the new Miss Canada, a nice-looking slim young girl who’s been bombarded with comments of Whale, Pig, Obese, etc.  I’m wondering what we’re all becoming.  Only some of us I hope.

    • katemckinnon
      January 18, 2023

      Right, social media is rough to be sure. Thank you Bonita, I love the cycle pattern of yours that we used, and it’s always so nice to hear from you. Kate

  13. Karen
    January 18, 2023

    Thank you and your team for your generosity in sharing your beautiful patterns, designs and knowledge with the world for free! There are not enough people like yourselves in this world.

  14. scar467
    January 18, 2023

    Dearest Kate and Team, I am so so sorry that you have been exposed to such horrid and bullying behaviours. It’s pretty poor behaviour from adults.

    You and the team are all most appreciated and I acknowledge the hard work and many volunteer hours devoted to the project. You are appreciated Cheers Maria S Australia

  15. Jane Cassar
    January 17, 2023

    Thank you for your amazing work, Kate and team! I appreciate you all (so much)! What you do is off the charts inspirational!
    Take good care of yourself Kate!

  16. ttcreativeloft
    January 17, 2023

    Kate, much love to you and your entire team. Looking forward to it when it is finished baking with the obvious love that you all have been putting into it.

  17. susanki22
    January 17, 2023

    Thank you for your hard work. Kindness is always best.

  18. Mary and Mangano
    January 17, 2023

    I’m so very sorry that people are being rude to you.

  19. devorahtwo
    January 17, 2023

    Dear Kate,

    I’ve followed you since you published your metal clay books. I still have the little silver hook you sent me with one of my orders. When I discovered you also are a work with beads, I was so joyful! Two of my favorite things to do! Silver and beads…a match too wonderful for words. Everything you do is so inspiring. I don’t care how long it takes to get the new books. They are definitely worth the wait! Your generosity with giving us your designs and patterns free is beyond amazing. Don’t let the complainers tinge you!

    Ellie Grossman

  20. Linda
    January 17, 2023

    Kate,

    Its so sad the way some peop

  21. Daria Tittenberger
    January 17, 2023

    I enthusiastically add my voice in appreciation for all that you and the other team members have contributed to the beading world. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to finding answers to those important and perplexing questions. Most of all, thank you for your generous spirit!💕

    • katemckinnon
      January 18, 2023

      Daria, you are so kind, and I look at the pieces I have here of yours just about every day, and remember your amusement when I asked to keep them as part of my inspiration to keep working, and to excel. Thank you. Kate

  22. Valerie Alsbrook
    January 17, 2023

    Kate,
    I appreciate your heartfelt and honest update. You and your team have done outstanding work. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  23. Helen
    January 17, 2023

    Kate

    <

    div>Sorry you are dealing with any negative feedback!  A huge THANK YOU and everyone th

  24. Cappy
    January 17, 2023

    So sorry to hear of any unpleasantness directed towards you! How miserable those folks must be! Looking forward to all your discoveries and the fruits of your lengthy labors! Am very excited to receive the new books and patterns!

  25. Peggy Kemp
    January 17, 2023

    Thank you for your excellent work and for sharing so freely.

  26. Christina Wright
    January 17, 2023

    Howdy… it’s all looking Great!!!
    I am a little behind… is it too late to place a pre-order for yhis beautiful book??? 😊 =^,^=

    • katemckinnon
      January 18, 2023

      We will be putting the books back up for order just as soon as we know we are finished! Hugs and thanks, Kate

  27. Lael Bennett
    January 17, 2023

    I’ve had a fabulous time watching your journey. Thanks!

  28. karensamnorgard@mac.com
    January 17, 2023

    Thank you for the work! Your kindness is beyond measure. You have changed my life.

  29. Patte
    January 17, 2023

    Brava! You are indeed exceptional, and exceptionally generous. I hope that the gratitude of the multitude will ease the hurt; you are very appreciated.

  30. Beth
    January 17, 2023

    Hang tight Baby Girl! You are swimming to the shore, climbing the mountain and more. You will champion this and more and more and……

  31. Angelina
    January 17, 2023

    What you do here means the world to me, thank you so much for sharing such amazing discoveries. I truly appreciate both the mathematical and the beading aspects of your work. Amazing.

  32. Catherine Glover
    January 17, 2023

    Hi Kate, I know I have asked a similar question before, aeons ago, but what are your plans for publication in Europe and elsewhere? And, is the colouring book (excuse my UK spelling!) going to be available to anyone else other than the pre-orderers? Many, many thanks for all your hard work. I think it is super!
    Best wishes
    Catherine

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Hi Catherine!
      Thanks for your note. We are going to ship directly to Europe, both to distributors like DiMarca (the lovely Marca Smit) and to Amazon. The cover price will be the same everywhere; Amazon doesn’t have the same leverage over us as they do with big publishers. Pre-orders will be delivered directly to you from Europe. The Colouring book will be sold too, for sure!

      • Catherine Glover
        January 18, 2023

        It’s good to know that the books will be available in Europe. Thanks Kate!

  33. Monica Plimack
    January 17, 2023

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this “s.it”! Take a deep breath and count all the people that admire your work. I’m sure it’s more than the other idiots.

    Cheers

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Oh I think people are just mistaking us for an actual business venture, mostly, but man some people are rude these days. I think the last six years has been very hard on the collective consciousness. I cherish so highly the people who are taking the time to be kind in general these days.

  34. Marianne
    January 17, 2023

    Oh, Kate, I am horrified and so saddened to hear that people have been rude and hateful towards you, of all people. You have my undying admiration and gratitude for the hard work you have done, and of course my appreciation extends to the entire team. What you all have accomplished is truly remarkable! I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand it myself, but what I’ve been able to follow so far is mind-bending. THANK YOU!!!

  35. Maureen Crotty Boylan
    January 17, 2023

    Thanks so much, Kate, and all on the team. I am looking forward to the day (whenever it comes) when the books arrive at my door and I hope to also read and absorb the textbook- so that I may fully understand the mysteries which have unfolded on your journey. I have a feeling that they are about more than just making a pretty piece of jewelry 🌟😘. Sending so much love to you!!!
    Maureen Crotty Boylan

  36. Erin
    January 17, 2023

    The work you and your team do is absolutely phenomenal. You cracked my brain open over and over again. You deserve all the love and good things and I hope you take the time you need to rest as well.

    Love,
    Erin

  37. Christi Bell
    January 17, 2023

    Thank you Kate and everyone else who has worked on this wonderful project! I’m very excited!!

  38. G M
    January 17, 2023

    Are the free tutorials on YouTube?

    Thank you Iris G Muscarello

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      yes, many of them, stretching back to 2011. Go have a look! The words are a hot link to the YouTube page.

  39. Peggy Matteliano
    January 17, 2023

    Since a stumbled on CGB (around 2016), I have been fascinated. I thank you for the learning I have been able to do through your efforts. Thank you thank you thank you 😊 ❤️

  40. Joan Snyder
    January 17, 2023

    It’s a shame we forgot that this book as I remember was a work in progress and when it was done was to be released and what happened in 2020 no one seen coming I for one have your volume 1&2 and waiting patiently for your next to come got to say can’t wait what a treasure I’ll be firthem all and thank you team for a job well done I think we forget to say Thank You God Bless and never stop with your creativity couldn’t buy the preorder not enough money then but with saving I plan to get my copies as soon as they are ready to buy again Thank you all

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      We always give books for free to libraries, bead societies and we publish ALL of our technical info for free for people who love the work but can’t afford the copies- giving is the first focus of our team, and everything else comes second. Hugs to you, Joan! It really is a crazy world out there right now and the best things are kindness, creativity and sharing.

  41. Dana Pettigrew
    January 17, 2023

    I absolutely love the first two books. Always want more. I would love to prepay for the next book-just can’t figure how. Thank you for all you do to help the art of beadwork interesting, current, and so valuable to those of us who love it.

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Hi Dana! We will put them back up for sale as soon as we send the files to the press, and I will make sure you don’t miss it. Kate

  42. Judy m
    January 17, 2023

    Your work and dedication to this craft, is as wonderous as the twinkling stars. You are the Leonardo da Vinci of our modern era. Just brilliant! Thankyou!

  43. Jamie Welles
    January 17, 2023

    Kate, you and the team rock. I would not be the beader I am without your work. I have won awards for my bead work and the Bead Society of New Mexico now has a contemporary geometric bead work category competition for the New Mexico State Fair. This is all a reality because of you and your team. The movement of your wings flying into the discovery of the work has impacts around the world.

    I am so grateful, thank you.

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Oh hey, I am just one of a team of discoverers, and there have been so many who have contributed knowledge to our little ship. Thank you for your love and support! Kate

  44. beestiegirl
    January 17, 2023

    Dear Kate, you are a beautiful human and I thank you and your team for sharing these wonderful discoveries.
    Your work has been a bright spot in my life. I have made a few items from your earlier books for friends and family and they are fascinated by the shapes and colours. My eyesight is not what it was so now I struggle with the tiny beads but my joy and wonder is still strong.
    Love Sharon
    Australia

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Love to you too, Sharon! My eyesight is garbage too but luckily for me my problem is near-sightedness, which luckily works for beading. It would be hard to accept not being able to see the beads anymore, but I’d probably just keep using bigger and bigger beads until I was moving rocks. Laughing.

  45. Laura Dicus
    January 17, 2023

    Humbly thanking you for your perseverance and care. Those who are rude in their hurry are so counterproductive and I will apologize for them. If any of them take exception to that I can only say “move on”.

  46. Renée Good
    January 17, 2023

    Hi Kate,

    My apologies for all of the insensitive souls that have have criticized the work you and the dedicated team have accomplished thus far. I know it’s been a labor of love and certainly most of us have a great deal of admiration for the skill and patience you have all shown in working through this challenge. Please try to ignore the few bad apples.

    I have moved from Canada to the US recently and did send you my new address but expect I will have another chance to update it closer to publication. I look forward to every email you send. Keep up the excellent work.

    With love and hugs, Renée

    Renée Good Sent from my iPad

    >

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Hugs, Renee, and welcome to the US, we are a bit of a mess but I am happy to have you.
      : )

  47. Cheryl
    January 17, 2023

    Thank you! All is groundbreaking and appreciated for being so. All those lovely beads!

  48. annaparadox
    January 17, 2023

    Gratitude is all I have felt, every step of the way. The new pages are so beautiful! Thank you for your work, for your commitment to dive deep and share clearly, and for the sheer gorgeousness of the project and the revealed shape of the universe. Much love, Anna

  49. Denny
    January 17, 2023

    Gently giving you a hug,

  50. home
    January 17, 2023

    Thanks for all of the work! 🥰

  51. Jacqui Chalice
    January 17, 2023

    Dearest Kate
    Ignore those nasty people they are just jealous of your talent
    Just an ask will some of the patterns you have sent via email
    will some be in the book
    Love Jacqui xxx

    • katemckinnon
      January 17, 2023

      Oh YES, all of the free pre-releases will be in the book too, but they will be expanded, with a lot of variations and extra patterns. These pre-releases are meant to be standalone patterns, so they have to have a lot of extra knowledge and help added. It’s fun! But a lot of work.

  52. cgatwood@socket.net
    January 17, 2023

    Yes, indeed. Thanks to Kate and all the team. Thru the years that discoveries have been made, and new questions have been explored, I have been grateful and hopeful. It is exciting and sustaining to know that pure, truthful, and beautiful work is being accomplished. I appreciate you and your vision. Cathy Atwood

  53. Deb Bridge
    January 17, 2023

    I appreciate all the work that you and the team have done, Kate, and I especially appreciate all the invaluable information you’ve made available here and on YouTube!! Thank you! 💕

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