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Techniques: Color Brush/Partial Transparency (muting); Washout Filter Effect; Using a Photo as a Background
Wash Out Filter Effect: You can see in the upper left corner, a photo with frames of washed out edges. This is, BTW, the same photo as I used in the layout Walking Sasha but the effect is applied slightly differently. Same effect though!
Click on Correct then Filter Effects. Now choose Wash Out (Rope). Click on Pull or Adjust Rectangular area and click and drag a rectangle that will be the outter most frame. Decide if you want the edge to feather ( I did not use feather here) and then click Apply. Now click and drag another rectangle further inside and click Apply. The outer frame will get washed out again which makes it one step lighter than the inside one. If you would like a more pronounced wash out you can click on More or Most.

Using a Photo as a Background: First, click on the Collage button, then New Collage and then Multi-photo Collage. Choose the size you want but don't choose a background image. Then click finish and your page will be a white square with a green line around it. The green line is the edge of your scrapbook page. Select a photo and stretch it to cover the whole square. You can crop it to match the square but you don't have to since when you save the jpg it will only save what is inside the green line. Here I enlarged a photo of a stone wall in the fall to use as a background. I did mute it a bit and then overlaid other partially transparent photos over it.
Muting (Partial transaprency): Click on Correct and then Color Brush. Choose Set Transparency for Whole Picture and then adjust the slider. Click anywhere on the photo. I used this technique to mute a bunch of fall photos and then overlay them. Unfortunately, I didn't record what levels I used!