I don't paper piece often, but what I do is look for an image on the web, maybe a birthday cake, print it out, cut out the layers (ie if there's frosting on the cake, that's one layer, the cake is another layer). then I trace the layers onto the colors I want, cut them out, and assemble them on my page. a bit time consuming, but uses paper you have on hand, and you don't have to buy a stamp, a cricut cartridge, etc.
Being one of the "old ladies on the block" sometimes something "old" becomes new again. Such as techniques that were popular 5 to 6 yrs ago. (is that old???) Example: right now the trend seems to be circles, no matts for photos, and lots of bling, flowers, etc. Years ago there weren't flowers or swirls, etc but what we did was innovative matting, photo cropping, & paper manipulation (there were so many papers either not like now!). I like to revisit my MM Photo cropping books when I want a different idea.
I personally like to manipulate pp which I haven't done for a while. Get a quilt pattern going, cut & fold patterns with templates that are on PaperWishes site. So many things...
I like to use stitching on my layouts. Usually a border stitched with the sewing machine. Sometimes I'll get brave and hand-stitch. I've invested in some Bazzil Stitchz templates for the hand-stitching. If you use basic shapes, you can draw a shape or swirl on tablet paper and use that as a template to poke your holes in your cardstock or pp and then stitch by hand.
When hand-stitching with a template, I use a cross stitch needle & floss.
Do you use buttons? They can be used in creative ways and you can sew them onto your page or use glue dots to hold them down.