In my many years of card making, I would have to say dry embossing tools are the most improved. I loved them then and I love even more now. I've been playing around with adding more dimension and looks to my dry embossed backgrounds. There are many blogs and videos about adding color to the negative space of the embossing folder, but that doesn't bring the embossed areas to life.
For this card, I wanted the background to look like aged stone or a stonewall that maybe found in the Italian country side. For this card I sponge a couple of different earth tone colors - some areas darker than others. I think the background turned out great!
One of my other favorite embossing folders is the Tim Holtz tree branches. For this background piece I used a soft gray with a very light hand and sponged just the tops and edges of the branches. I really think this adds even more dimension.