Just to prove I'm not JUST a pretty face (even though I basically am) and have some discernible skill, I'm showing off a bracelet I made today. The chain and the clasp are made by hand, and the little stones are wire-bound by hand as well.
Do forgive my battleship grey sheets. I think a few links need to be taken out of the chain, it's quite big on me. I was going to sell it but I like it too much for that!
That really depends on whether you use a mouse/trackball or a tablet.
I've tried both. I find it easier to do with a mouse, but it's tedious to me either way. Maybe I just need practice.
I find a mouse to be the easiest thing for doing vector art, easier than a tablet.
Do you try to draw directly in Illustrator/Flash/what-have-you? Because the teacher in my Computer Assisted Drawing and Painting class recommended sketching the drawing on paper first, scanning it and then tracing it in Illustrator. I had never thought to do that before she mentioned it, but it work really well.