First: Always use your beads from the string. Pull one end of one string out of the hank and tie off that end so the beads will not fall off. Then follow the same thread of beads up to the top and pull from the hank. Now that is the end you work from.
Second: I always paint the egg a base color very much like the color of the beads. Even if you want ivory on a Rhea or Ostrich I still paint. This does not have to be a great job just a color under the beads. If you put too different color beads on the egg that means you paint the two colors. I usually paint my main color and bead to my point I want to change colors and then put in a gold cord and paint the second color at that time, that way you can get the spacing better. If I change colors or even if I just add a cord to set off a pattern, I will usually do it after 3, 5, 7, or more rows. Just another basic 101 tip. That is not a rule just a guide line. There is not much in beading eggs that is right or wrong just the way it is done by this person or that person.
Third: If you have a cut line on your egg ie. a jewelry box start out with braid and maybe crystal chain if you want and then start your beads. You can have many patterns but for the basic 101 class, lets just say we will go around and around the egg. Start at the hinge and put a "bead" of glue, I like SOBO the best, on the egg but also just touching the cord or the crystal that is there. I take the open end of the thread that the beads are on and hold it with my left thumb at the starting point. Then work your way around the egg as far as you have put the glue. This will vary with the experience. Be sure the beads are tight together and also flat on the egg. Pull the string, and keep the string cut short so you do not have a long thread, sometimes with a build up of glue on it to try to pull through the beads. If a bead, or several beads fall off do not panic just put them back on in the holes that they came from and next row put more glue. If the glue comes up between the rows of beads don't panic just blot with your finger, do not rub, and next time put a little less glue. You will see very soon the correct amount so the beads will stay and the glue will not be coming up between the rows. After you have done more beading you can go for a longer stretch with the glue. You can on a large egg do 5 to seven rows on one side then work the same five to seven rows on the other side, remember never to stop your rows in a straight line stagger the rows so when you restart the same rows where you left off you do not have a "line" in your beads where you joined the rows. After the hinge is past, do not start only in the back then you also start staggering the places you start and stop your rows.
Forth: When you put down the glue for the second and all rows after that always let the glue touch the egg and the row of beads from the preceding row. That is your insurance that the beads stay on. Keep on trucking till you are done. If you are getting near the end of a stoping place always stop when you have at least a silver dollar size hole left. If you do not do this and try to come back to it later or the next day it is very much harder to get the last beads in and looking good. You need the glue to be still wet enough so the beads in the "whole area" will still have some give to them and you can push the last few beads in tight so you have a nice finish at the ends of the section that you are beading.
Fifth: Just a few comments on the fact that I personally do not put anything over my beads. I always use good quality beads. I also do not myself put anything under the beads to help them stay on. I would never say it was wrong to do any of these things it is just that I do not.
Sixth: If you want, these patterns are not hard, it is just that you have to set up your pattern before you start. You need to have something to bead against. That is the pattern. You can use cord, crystal, chain, or even beads to set up your pattern. Always remember that a section that is small will have to be finished before you move on. Also if you do not use tiny beads, a very small pattern would be much more diffcult to do. It gets to be very hard to fit a large bead into a small hole and make it all come out even and smooth.
Beading is so much fun and all it takes is time. You will get a lot faster as you bead more, so do not give up too soon.
I carry all types and sizes of beads. Beading eggs is definately my favorite thing to do. If you have never beaded before I would suggest using 3-cut beads in a size 9. The 3-cuts have facets that give an extra sparkle and because of the facets they are more forgiving if you don't get a bead placed exactly perfect.
You might want to start on a goose egg since it is big enough to get your hands on but small enough that you won't get discouraged. Actually once you get into the really small eggs the beading gets more difficult.
All my beads are sold in hanks (already on the string). Although I do also carry no-hole pearls, I woudln't recommend starting with that.Here is my Beads Page