Do you like bold patterns but are hesitant about using them? Afraid your layout might be too busy? Here's a trick: focus on one strong pattern and use solid cardstock or very faint patterns for the rest of your layout.
For this simple layout I used one big block of patterned paper, one block of red cardstock and several smaller elements. The photos aren't overshadowed by the pattern, and the pattens complement the layout without overwhelming it.