If you find yourself looking for a little something to spice up your next project, consider adding beads. It's a relatively simple task to master that can help make your project your own. Many people find crochet hooks their preferred method for bead application, but I often just use a scrap piece of jewelry wire doubled over, as it is something I always have on hand.
If you're looking for a shawl pattern that calls for beads I would reccomend Elizabeth Freeman's Aeolian Shawl. It it a fantastically written [and FREE] beaded shawl pattern, that just so happend to be both my first shawl and my first beaded project. Give it a try. It will not disappoint.