Saturday, 30 March 2013

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume I by Kate McKinnon

Guess what arrived through my door at the back end of last week?  Oh yes, the amazing new book by Kate McKinnon - Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume I

 And would you look at that?!!  My Red Many Horn had the honour of becoming one of the swag postcards!  Crikey!

 Inside the book is signed by Kate and just opening the front page made me practically squeal with delight at how crammed full this book is!  Seriously $40 (£26.30 for real money conversions!) is nothing for how much is in this book.  The 200+ pages practically burst forth with knowledge and unbelievable beadwork on every page!

I love that the very first part of the Basics section is titled "Yes You Can!" because to a new beader, or a beader that hasn't played with peyote stitch very much, it probably would look quite intimidating.  The fact is that we're taken from the very basic of shapes, through to amazing complex structures in a logical, well thought out way and if you were a beginner, you could start at the beginning and simply work your way through the book, from basic flat triangles, through power puffs (a la Jean Power - remember this book is inspired by her work), meandering through wings, horns, zigs, zags to the awe inspiring dizzy heights of the Fortuneteller Bangle before ending on beautiful cones. 

Each page is thrillingly illustrated with all sorts of colour combinations and project step outs that make me gasp in bewilderment at the beauty of the piece and the mind of it's creator. Some of the colours used are breathtakingly beautiful and others I would never have put together in a million years, yet sing together.  Each page is an inspiration.

Peppered throughout the book are these beautiful "Pearl Of Wisdom" boxes - and they really are!  I love these little boxes so much - they explain complex ideas simply and convey excellent advice in areas that cause the most pickles.  Love love love!

Of course, I'm slightly biased in that a happy accident brought my work to Kate's attention.  Way back last summer I sent some works to Jean for the book (before one book became two), Jean sent those pieces, including my Pyramids Cuff to Kate.  Kate put it up on the Facebook page saying how much she liked it and the response from the community was overwhelmingly supportive.  I offered the pattern for inclusion and it got in!  To see my actual name in print was pretty awesome, especially after being so lucky to see my name next to the beaded beads I made in Jean's book! 

 My Red Many Horn looking amazingly surreal and perfectly Queen of Hearts in this Alice In Wonderland style picture!

Further on in the book you can see the Pink Pinstripe Ruffle Cuff that I made and sent to Kate.

Below is a list of the the people who contributed and beaded - the whole project felt like Kate was the captain of a huge (and probably rather unwieldy!) ship, flinging out ideas and little nuggets of advice that we all fed upon and made our own and passed back to her for approval and all was approved, every item was greeted with absolute pleasure and amazement which spurred the whole community on to further amaze and delight.  This book is not just a static book but simply a snapshot of what is evolving on the eBook (password protected) and on the Facebook Page (just click "Like" to join this thriving and vibrant community and enjoy the delights as they are created).  It is thoroughly bizarre and utterly wonderful the way this is an open source project.  Join, get the book as a souvenir but come and get involved in this project, you'll find that you are so much more capable than you ever thought possible.  I have.

And this is the author picture of the lady herself.  Wearing a crown, naturally.


  1. Wonderful review, Kate and so glad your book finally arrived! It's filled with some of the best eye candy I've seen in a long time! Now go bead, girl!

    1. Thanks Barbara! I can't believe some of the work that's in this book, my needles quivered with excitement whilst I read it and my head was filled with more ideas than I could possibly ever create! You go bead too lovely! :D x