I was talking to DM and she sounded interested in the tip I'd found for stitch placement on the cross stitch project. (This is the one that the thread collection was shown here a couple of posts back.)
I got this idea from Scarlet Quince. They have a cross stitch tips page for people working up their charts. It's really clear and I have definitely adopted their guideline tip.
|Guide threads in the linen, every 10 threads of the cloth|
Oh, and the Scarlet Quince folks have put a lot of neat art into cross stitch chart form. Landscapes, animals, flowers, people, you name it.