I think that dry embossing can really make a plain card look beautiful! I made these two cards, with the exact same layout but they both turned out quite unique, I think. I have to admit that I did not do the embossing by hand. I have a machine called the Cuttlebug that does it all for me. I just slide a piece of paper through the machine and it embosses it for me!
I used a technique called "distressing" on the edge of the paper that I stamped the butterfly. I have a little tool that does it but I have also used my fingernail and gotten the same result.
I did two different kinds of embossing on this card. I did the dry embossing which is the indented flowers on the white paper and then I did wet embossing on the red heart. It's kind of hard to see it but when you look at it in person the red heart is shiny and raised.