Make a pattered image like a brick wall look like text is popping out of it.
Instead of popping out, you can make the text look like it's going inside the wall by by making the shadow thicker on top than on bottom.
Combine elipses to create the outline of a bowling pin, then use gradients to create the shadowing effect for that new object.
A good explanation on snapping(connecting) nodes is also introduced in this tutorial.
Use rotation and duplicates to easily make designs like snowflakes and nuclear symbols. To get the degrees measurement for a snowflake with 6 points, you divide 360 by 6 (which equals 60). You divide into 360 because there are 360 degrees in a circle.