A friend bought me as a Christmas present one year a collection of Santa Ornament kits that use a combination of cross-stitch and beading. They're absolutely gorgeous.
Let alone the kits are beautiful and make really stunning ornaments, the best part is the introduction to a whole new concept. I had tried a few variations of beading a cross-stitch pattern, but was never totally happy with it.
The learning for me is that the concept works much better as a highlight rather than complete replacement. The traditional floss cross stitches surrounded the beads make them sit much more nicely.