I struggle with backgrounds to my layouts and more often than not I find myself using white because it's 'safe'. So every once in a while I force myself to use a patterned paper or darker shade as a background and although it takes a great deal of effort I usually love the result in the end.
I love these photos of my oldest and youngest because they have a very special bond. They do fight quite a bit but they also have allot of time for each other. I printed the photos in black and white because it allowed the focus to be more on their faces than the colour of their clothes. To brighten the rest of the layout I chose several different size flower punches and found an itty bitty leaf punch that I used to create the floral effect across my page. Mind you, I didn't realise how long it would take to hand stitch all those stems. Note to self, be a bit more conservative next time!
I also added a little hand stitching across the bottom of the photos to help draw the eye down the layout and to soften the join in colours.
I'm absolutely smitten by the new Doodlebug Petite Prints range of gingham and linen. I decided to do this entire layout using only the linen side as the smaller pattern worked perfectly with the tiny punches.
White rub-ons are a staple in my stash as they work beautifully on dark backgrounds as I've never found a white pen that will match the quality.