I made my SIL (mother of two of the cutest kids on the planet - I have photographic evidence!) a beaded lace shawl, the beautiful and challenging Dracula's Bride (ravelry link).
I bought the type of yarn called for, Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk, not wanting to mess around with substitutions.
It was a shock to receive the pattern and discover it was beaded. My eyesight just isn't sharp enough to pick that out in the pattern photographs. But with some advice from my SIL, I found some gorgeous beads. I have done beading previously by attaching the beads as I came to them with a crochet hook, but there was no way that was going to happen with these tiny things, so I learned how to string beads on yarn and slide them up when it was time.
I started it in September, and restarted it in January (it's hard to spot a significant pattern error in unblocked lace), and gave it to her this spring. The one major modification I made was in the color yarn. The certifiably crazy wonderwoman who designed the shawl knit it entirely in dark red, and then OVERDYED the edge black. I had heart palpitations just thinking about how badly I could mess up my carefully knit lace by trying my hand at dying for the first time. So I bought the yarn in Ruby and Ebony and switched at about the spot it looked like she overdyed it. The black came off on my hands a little as I knit it, making me nervous about even wet-blocking it, but pinning and spraying did the trick.