I love metallic threads on a black background, and as you can see, not just gold and silver. Black can, however be a bit hard on the eyes for fine work. If you put a white surface beneath (e.g. cover your lap with a white sheet) it makes it a bit easier.
Although you can write on a black surface easily with gel pens, I added a dark pink insert - there was no point being subtle, given how shiny and pink the stitching was!