Just a quickie to share some layouts: It's been interesting for me to work with very dark colors in a couple of recent layouts. Interesting, because I've discovered that it's quite possible to have a lot of richness despite the fact that you can't see a whole lot...
Here's the one that started it off:
And then the companion layout:
Can I mention in passing just how wonderful I think Lynn Grieveson's Kiwiana Paper Pack is? I have used these more times than I can remember--some just as they are, others with hue changes, or as overlays. They're soooooo rich! Anyway, a completely *unaltered* (yes, you may all gasp in unison now ;) background turned out to be just awesome for this really cute picture of Allen I found. After cropping the photo, I found that it just blended in with the paper so well that it's hard to distiguish it from a roof on the top edge (which is why I chose to use that striped brush up there, partly). The Goat page also has one of her papers--again, unaltered, and it just fit so well! My advice is... just buy what your gut tells you, not what you think you might be likely to use... ;)
And an unrelated layout that actually took me quite a while, and started out in tones of purple:
And can you believe that this uses Lynn's bright blue paper from that pack as its base? Hehehe. Oh, and the pattern on the left is from a *black* paper by Katie Pertiet. Play, play, play and experiment--it's amazing what you can find!