Q: Where did the people in this group learn to do their beading? Were you self taught from a book, or did you take classes? I am trying to teach myself. I've been visiting your sites and looking at your 'eBay' items and I am so impressed with your beautiful work! Do you think it's possible to learn from a book?

A: I think it's possible to learn the basics from a book, but getting together with other beaders is where you will learn the tips and tricks that will help you refine your abilities. What I have discovered is that this is, unfortunately, not all about functional abilities. This is an art just as sure as drawing and painting are. Some people have it, and then some like myself, do not. I have all the tools and supplies I could need, plus I've digested a good number of books, magazine articles, etc., but I'll never be able to produce most of the stuff these wonderful artists do! I learned out of books, mostly. Sometimes I've taken a piece apart to see how it went together, and sometimes I was able to see how it was done just from examining it. I have also learned from directions posted on the web. Learn, enjoy, but beware! Beading is addictive. The more pieces you make, the more you want to make. The more techniques you learn, the more you find yourself thinking along the lines of: now, what would it look like if I make a rope of tubular peyote, add a row of loops down this row of green beads, add branching fringe along the coral row, and hang this agate donut just to left of the center by beaded loops with more beaded loops dependent, with czech bicones in the middle of the lower loops and teardrops at the tips.... oooh and these sterling spacers are just the thing to add above the teardrops! The more beads you have, the more other beads and things you'll want to buy to go with them. I began learning beadwork from books, so yes, I think it can be done. I agree, though, that you can't learn everything from books. There is a lot to be learned from your fellow beaders - in classes, in beadwork societies, or online. I also find magazines to be a great source of new techniques, tips, and inspiration. I learned most of my beading skills from books, but books are just the basics, I usually just look at a piece of jewelry I like and figure out how it is made. I was taught first by a tribe of Cherokee Indians here in San Diego. After that, I was hooked and checked out every book I could from the library. After I'd gone through all of those, I bought some from 'General Bead', which was downtown at the time. Still want to find someone to teach my peyote. I just can't seem to get it from books. I believe you! I have had too many pieces turn out the way "they" wanted, instead of what I had in mind, and sometimes they stand up and scream: "This is what I want, and you have to do it RIGHT NOW!"