Originally Posted by strange_wings
Tips - Get decent quality beads, especially when buying seed beads.
Oh my gosh, she is so right!
Cheap seed beads will destroy your work and
your sanity. Never
buy Indian seeds, and even Czech seeds are pretty poor. What you want is Japanese seed beads, which are almost perfectly consistent in size and shape, and are properly annealed so they won't crack on you.
And just a personal preference here: I don't buy Toho brand, even though they're Japanese and have a good reputation... because I've had some trouble with sharp edges on them that cut my thread.
Also, be sure to get a Vellux pad for your work tray (only a dollar or so). Vellux looks a lot like fleece, but it's really a very specific type of material with tiny short "fur" that sticks straight up. It holds the beads up high, so you can easily slide your needle through them without catching the fabric, and without making the beads roll away from you. Worth its weight in gold!
Another personal thing here: you definitely need a "thread conditioner" if you're working with seed beads. I've tried "Thread Heaven" and a whitish Dritz product that are widely used -- and I hate them! They make the thread slippery and hard to control. For what it's worth, I recommend good old-fashioned beeswax, which you can identify by its natural light-brown color.
It may be that after you get really good at seed work, you'll want the looser, more supple feel of other conditioners... but when you're first starting, beeswax makes the whole process much, much easier.
As for thread: when you're starting with seed beads, Nymo is probably the easiest choice. There are fancy monofilaments and Teflon threads and so forth, but Nymo is inexpensive and easy to handle... and since beading needles have such infernally tiny eyes, the flat cross-section of Nymo is a big help in threading. (Nymo is not the best thing for stringing, though -- you can talk to Jan ["gemlady"] about the best choices for that.)
I could go on and on -- and I have!
Shutting up now. Let us know how it goes when you get started, and post some pictures of what you make!