I mostly love the how-to videos available on YouTube. I mean they have everything! I learned how to make striped lamp worked beads, how to replace the gasket on my refrigerator door, how to remove an appendix (only kidding there.)
There wasn’t any YouTube when I first started seed beading. My friends Sara Caldwell, who later started Blue Santa Beads and Carole Haines showed me a basic peyote stitch which enabled me to make my first lumpy amulet bag. I bought books and taught myself the basic stitches. My friend Gladys Glass, who owns the Woodstock Trading Company, taught me how to crochet with beads. Since then, I have taught basic bead stitches and bead crochet to friends, mostly for fun. And Beading Yoda has taught me innumerable tricks and tips.
When my friend Cynthia told me she was interested in learning off loom bead weaving, I went to YouTube in search of beginner’s videos to recommend and I was somewhat taken aback. The first one I saw described starting the first rows of flat peyote stitch as a “nightmare.” I don’t think you help newbies by telling them that what you are trying to teach them is difficult (unless it really truly is. But we are not training Navy Seals here. This is beginning beadwork). People learn in different ways and an effective teacher facilitates learning.
In other videos, the teachers talk for several minutes before getting into the beading. Unless this digression covers a well-edited review of tools and materials, or something equally interesting, like in Leslie Rogalski’s video (below) I don’t see why all that chatter is necessary. I get impatient. And bored. But Leslie’s video is concise, concrete and informative.
And sometimes, you don’t need words at all, like in this great animated video from VP Biser. You can turn off the music if it gets to be too much.
It’s best to use larger beads (like Perler beads) when you a beginning beader, at least to learn the basic stitches. Now, Cynthia thinks this does not apply to her because her first knitting project was argyle baby booties. And the project was successful. And while I haven’t seen the booties, I believe her.
Delica Beads are a good choice for beginner’s projects because they are uniform in size, a fact you especially appreciate when you start beading. (One reason my first amulet bag was lumpy was that I used cheap beads.) Yes, they are more expensive, but they are easier to use. And you can always rip out your work and start over if you don’t like what you’ve made.
Blue Santa has a great selection of Delica beads, plus all kinds of needles, threads and a great staff to answer all your questions. Beading Yoda swears by Discount Delicas who has a big selection. I like Farmer Jerry on Ebay . They don’t have every color, but they have great prices and offer free shipping on orders of $20.00 or more.