#2
no you don't need to do anything to the body before staining, just make sure you have no sand paper scratches...they will go darker when you apply stain.
You can use almost any dye...in fact if you are going with blue see if you have any blue food colouring in the cupboard, it will work just as well.

Basswood is pretty boring in general so you might want to do something funky with the dying