One of my favorite techniques lately is to take a dimensional element such as a flower or a clock, and instead of applying a traditional drop shadow, I incorporate it into my background paper using blending/blend modes.
Blending modes are located in the Layers palette in both Photoshop and Elements, and are denoted by the word *Normal*. Double click on this word to activate the fly-out menu and select any of the blending modes to apply it to the layer selected in the Layers palette.
Experimentation is key when using blending modes. The more you use them the more you'll learn about them. I like particular find myself using Multiply, Color Burn, Soft Light and Overlay most often.
Try this technique in your next layout.