These beads look like the composite or faceted eyes that some insects have. The use of mica powders gives the whole piece a nice shine and colour variation. Andrea Machler, the author, refers to the mesh she uses as tulle but it looks more like the mesh you get for wrappings or other fabrics here which makes me think you could do this sort of piece with any similar sized mesh and get a variety of effects.
You can find the first page in the tutorial here. To go through it just click through the photos using the right arrow.