I used a very nice chart from a book that a friend loaned me. I forgot to write down the name of the book, but I imagine it was one of the older Christmas issues that Better Homes and Gardens puts out.
My one big change was to use four-sided stitch for the border. I've used four-sided stitch to finish hems, and wanted to see if this very useful and easy stitch would be happy with cross stitch. I actually loved the way it turned out, the crispness of the stitch is a nice contrast to the fluid vines and the heavy letters.
This book includes all kind of fancy needlework, including pulled thread stitches, hardanger of course, and even reticello lace. (If I ever actually retire, I plan to spend a few months with this book, and work up the teaching samplers the author has designed.)
In my Home Sweet Home sampler, I used no tension at all. Click on the link though, to see how to make the stitch and how lacy it looks with a little tension!