I just finished the Week 3 Assignment in my "Now We're Rocking" class by Jessica Sprague. It's got a lot going on - and is probably "busier" than any layout I would do on my own, but I loved learning all the techniques that go into it. You can click the photo to see a larger image.
I think the coolest things we learned had to be blending a photo with soft light to the background, and using a mask to change the color of the red elements (they were black but we masked with red patterned paper). Too cool!
Now if only I could find some time to work on my project 365 layouts. But I've been taking the pics at least!