Interesting times

This coming two week period will conclude a set of particularly Interesting Times for your correspondent. The beadwork from the last year and a half has rocked my world, and expanded my mind, and brought me into friendships with incredible people I might never have met. The extended time to the goal line has been difficult, you know, there is no doubt about what the extra six months cost, or how much I wish that Dustin hadn’t dropped off of the face of the planet. He’s a freaking genius! I miss him.

I’ll tell you, though, the only thing that has really been hard about the extra time has not been what it cost, it’s been people that I do not know, or barely know, being unpleasant about it online. I can only imagine how horrible it would be to be a celebrity- a read of the comments section to any online story is a shocking reminder of how people get when they can type something, instead of say it personally.


Wings - Hornz, Contemporary Geometric Beadwork sample layout, Kate McKinnon, 2012


Do you know that Cate Jones, one of the astonishing people I might never have met if not for making this project, sent me the Pink Pinstripe Rufflecuff (above, lower right) as a gift? I wept when I opened the box, it was so beautiful, so kindly meant, so evocative of the beauty of the process of open sharing… I’ll be modelling it myself for the CGB Souvenir Calendar.

This swelling of the ranks, the extra attention, is wonderful (for the work) and terrible (for my head). Honestly, thousands of people are too many for me to answer to.

Let’s all be extra-pleasant on the Internets today to make up for the (I’m sure very small) subset of our fellow humans who seem to have a difficulty with it.

unicorn! loves! you!



29 thoughts on “Interesting times

  1. It was actually a great journey that we all got to share! For those who have nothing nice to say,well they lost out on that journey with the rest of the patient folks!!!

  2. Forget about the nasties….there are always those who love to dig at others. You are an incredible artist and woman! Be proud. I can’t wait to see Volume 1 and I signed up for Volume 2 right away when you told us about it. I am a fan!!!

    • I was a bit shocked to hear that there was actually a blog railing against me, or the idea of asking people to support work in progress instead of going to a traditional publisher. Or to have a nasty comment on the book’s Facebook page. It’s hard to ignore!

      • I think that most people who do those things are truly jealous of talent, and very small minded. You are really a neat person. I have enjoyed watching you work your way through an incredible project and reading your very sharing posts about your journey. Not so sure I could have gotten through it myself. But you made it!!

  3. Sadly, jealousy runs rampant in the world of art. I like to think it is counter balanced by those who are supportive. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Those who can do, those who can’t teach”, also such a snide and derogatory comment, which usually stems from jealousy.

  4. I don’t really understand people…..It’s $40.00 for something that’s a work/piece of art in it’s self….40 lousy dollars for a book that’s priceless in my eyes!! I so appreciate all the time and effort and energy and tears and smiles….God, it’s a little piece of heart and soul from all of you, I’m honored and have no problem waiting for how ever long it takes…’s just 40 fuckin’ dollars people!!!!!!!!

  5. You made it stunningly, abundantly clear that it would be published as soon as it was done, and that “done” had become a moving target because of the madly wonderful methods you used to put it together. I imagine that it is at least twice the book it would have been had you published in September or October, PLUS, we got Jean Power’s book separately, so bonus to us. I will never, ever understand mean, nasty people and internet trolls. Meanwhile I will be waiting for the mailman everyday.

  6. People are screaming about $40 for a book of this caliber? Why waste their breath? Why be mean? I don’t get it? Move on meanies, find a purpose!
    Kate, put them on your left shoulder and flick them off with your right flicking fingers…in other words….

    • If people question the price (I haven’t heard that directly, but I’m sure it’s true in some cases) I have a couple of things to say about that. First, it’s less than the cost of a half-day class, and considerably more useful. Second, it comes with a free e-version for computers, tablets, or readers. Third, we didn’t print it in China for pennies, and we aren’t wholesaling it to Amazon for them to undersell bead or book store with. Fourth, they don’t have to buy it. Our Facebook page and Book Blog alone are stuffed with photos, and in many cases photographs that show our process. I don’t mind giving work away, either.

      I don’t need everyone to buy it, just enough of a quorum to pay me to make it. It’s an interesting concept, and not how or why most books are made.

  7. It is an extraordinary book, a revelation to the world. I am very proud to be part of it. Nasty people will always be nasty and will one day feel ashamed by their pettiness and stupidity, and their huge ego. This book is wonderful. There is so much work behind it, people can’t even imagine…

  8. That $40 also included access to the specials for preorders page…I have nothing to complain about (PS I’m biased – I love Kate)

    • It is disheartening. It was a pretty unusual project, this one, trying to include a world full of people, and give away new ideas to anyone who wanted to play (or didn’t). I also gave (and am continuing to give) the eBook away for free to everyone who ordered Jean’s book, just because I think it’s the nice thing to do. So that’s another thousand people. And giving copies to the libraries and bead societies. It’s a shame that I care about a few unpleasant people, but I am not sure how to grow the necessary boundary layer.

      • As your wonderful, beautiful grandmother says–“Sweetheart, it will be easier later, when you’re older, and have more perspective.” Trust me, as I have aged, she is soooo right!

  9. Can’t count the number of times the work done by other “beaders” has left me stunned and breathless, since I first saw the opening page on the web site. A community has been built around what is not only a new direction in the art of beading, in fact nurturing it into an absolute art form, but that of sharing work and new possibilities. That is a huge accomplishment and those who carp would do so about anything probably. Huzzah for Cate too. I see you wearing it at a certain concert. Thanks for all your work, the original idea, and your generous spirit. Sorry about the lightening bolts.

  10. “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”
    Benjamin Franklin

    (Hope all is well with Dustin and he’s just on a world tour or something!)

  11. I know we can all say ignore the nasties in the world, but negative comments do hurt and are hard to forget. Many many people would’ve taken short cuts along the way to get the book completed; I appreciate (more than appreciate) how you undertook and persevered with this project to make it all that it is. When I tell people how you included so many, even myself, along the way they are amazed. I am sorry you lost Dustin along the way…..but thanks for sharing your dreams and visions and spirit with all of us!

  12. Negative comments also come from people who have mental problems and/or personality disorders – people who really aren’t thinking straight or with a clear head.

    • Sometimes that is certainly true. I had an interesting experience with just that phenomenon last year, and it resulted in a friendship forming in the space after I said “That’s not nice.” It was a striking experience for me, and it gave me a new window into where comments that hurt sometimes come from. Of course, sometimes it’s just people not comprehending how entire magazines can be churned out in a month, while a book, which technically has no more content, always takes at least a year. And sometimes it’s just spite, like when people who aren’t involved in the project re write nasty little blogs or run around saying unpleasant things about one.

      I was humbled to see the sheer mountain of spite directed at Amanda Palmer for both giving her music away for free while also asking for support for it. That she should actually SUCCEED was apparently intolerable. Her recruitment of young musicians in each town who wanted to come on stage unpaid and play with the band (the Grand Theft Orchestra) got her even more bad press, much of it from her peers in the industry. Which is so silly.

  13. I believe that the people considered to be nasty have a form of a pimple or a migraine and feel that they must express it in order to feel some kind of relief. They probably live in the migraine ward, and think all the population should understand. It is just their limited opinion and we should just be glad that we don’t have to suffer with that condition. How will I know when I am old enough? Can I be too forgiving?

  14. Don’t take heart from the disappointing meanness of the few, take it from the uplifting joy of the many who have walked this path with you. There are so many of us here that have moved our beadwork in a new direction and who have left behind the world of ‘pretty sparkles’ and walked to a place of ‘beautiful strength’ all because you and Jean have shown us that there is another way and for this we thank you. Let the disparaging remarks fall down to nothing and concentrate on the good – for there is so much more of it!

    Also, sending you the Pink Pinstripe Rufflecuff just seemed like the Right Thing To Do – it was you that inspired it after all! :) xxx

  15. Well, I am sorry to read that some people are critical of the unique way in which you created and shared this book. You have been so transparent about the process and progress of the book that I just don’t see any room criticism. I’m on board for the Love Letters book. ; )

    • Ha! That’s nice to hear. In terms of transparency, yes, I’ve tried. There were many times I could have simply ended the project and published, and actually made money. I kept trying instead to make what I dreamed of. I think I succeeded, but of course there is still so much more to say/do/figure out.

      I still plan on making Love Letters, but as it’s slipped another year I think I am going to send out another letter encouraging the ten or so people I took pre-orders from to cancel. They probably won’t. It will be so beautiful… I have this fantasy that Doriot and I will make headway on it when we are in Europe this fall. But in all likelihood, I will be all CGB Vol II all year.

  16. For me the interesting part of this entire project has been your unique approach to sharing information and your willingness to explore new methods. Yep, all that took a little bit of time, unexpected time, unknowns, things to sort out and wrestle with. It has been a deep joy and honor to be a part of this exploration with you and so many talented beaders. It’s a new world, Kate, and you’ve made it so. Sadly, new ideas threaten the egos of those who have identified with the old. “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”–Eleanor Roosevelt.

    • Eleanor Roosevelt was a tough chicken, I love her quotes.

      Rayo, it has been wonderful to have you along for the journey as well. The entire process would be perfect, if there were not people on the pre-order list who should never have been there. I think a lot of people just want the patterns, please, and didn’t want to be involved with the process. Those people are hugely valuable, and wanted, but they shouldn’t pre-order, they should just enjoy the Facebook page and blog posts, and buy the books when they are finished. I don’t want to answer to them. I need a better system, as I doubt I will be able to finance my own books, expeditions or movies from scratch anytime in this life.

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