trouble with background images

hi all, been playing with blender for a few weeks now, im waiting on my peachy printer to ship but i thought it might help to start building a model library for when it arrives. a couple times now ive started on the path of building a model from a picture displayed in a backround image, and so far every time it hasnt worked and ive let my ADD take over and i move onto something else. but no more. basically im using 2.69 and while im following all of what the search bar has so far told me to do, im not seeing the background image from any view but the cameras. i gotta be missing something here, i thought they were only supposed to be user/ortho images or whatever