Although building up layers is fun, it's sometimes more effective to put the focus of the card behind the layers.
I'd found some lovely handmade marbled paper with gold in the marbling in an art shop and didn't want to hide it behind a whole lot of matting and layering. I used a docrafts card blank with the trellised-edged circle cut out and gilded it with a metallic acrylic paint. A gold-stamped rose, a touch of ribbon lace and a rosette with the greeting on a tag and the paper takes its true place out of the background.
I had some music score paper for a card for a musical friend and, again, didn't want to lose it in the background. A bitty pink floral paper with a pale pink glitter frame on top softens the harsh black and white of the score and an arrangement of strips of black glitter card hints an a piano keyboard.