Help.

Q: I am new to beading and haven't done anything yet. Maybe I should say that I am almost new. I am mostly interested in jewelry, necklaces, and ornaments. How do I begin, could you give me a good starter book, as I'm living outside the U.S.? There is so little information about it here in my country (things such as illustrated books or magazines). I would be grateful for any information.

A: The best starter book IMHO is "Creative Bead Weaving" by 'Carol Wilcox Wells' This book is the beading bible... it covers most stitches and is the book I refer to the most. Actually, this is the bible of off-loom seed bead-weaving (and it IS great). For a more general introduction, including stringing, clasp techniques, wirework, and bead embroidery, and some weaving as well, try 'Carol Taylor's' "Creative Bead Jewelry". Recently, I wanted to learn a lot more technique. I bought both of these books at Amazon.com, and I think the two books work well together. My recommendation is to get both. I'd much rather spend money on beads, but these are easily worth getting. I recently picked up "Beaded Adornment" by 'Jeanette Shanigan'. It covers backstitching and loomwork in addition to basic off-loom techniques. It is also a good companion to "Creative Bead Weaving" by 'Carol Wilcox Wells'.