Playing is the key. Once a general understanding of layers, layer masks, transparency, overlay, multiply, etc. Learning as well as hands on experiencing how the tools work, one can begin to understand how to go about using them to get effects one wants. Half of Photoshop is knowing what the tools do and the other half is learning hands on what the results are when used. Being unafraid to learn and use layers and layer masks will go a long way. There are tons of resources on the web, Youtube, blogs, forums, etc. and looking for ones that are easy to understand or follow does take some time investment but it's fun and it is worth it :-) I have begun to create and make use of some of the textures I've created on my Zazzle product line up, mainly found in my Patterns Textures Abstracts store category. Stone and metallic ones are my favourite.
Embossed Copper Flower Diagonal Metallic Pattern by artbyjocelyn
Shop for Textured copper Pillows online at Zazzle.com