Layout Critique #3

This week's layout comes from Jan.

Please follow the directions carefully. Be specific and make a "good feeling sandwich" (something you like, something you'd improve, something you like). Comments that do not follow the guidelines may be deleted.


I'm hoping to make this a regular feature on the blog. If you'd like to submit a layout for critique please email it to me at


Recent Comments

Dee Lewis
Dee Lewis Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:01

I love the flowers and color scheme. I'm not sure what you were going for with the merit certificate; perhaps, you could use that space to add a picture of a person. The lace and stacked paper is a very nice touch but seems flat. Is this what you were going for? I would add just the smallest hint of a shadow under the papers to give it depth. The white writing in the background is really cute and draws attention around the page so you don't only focus on the mid left which is great. You've done really well balancing the page with both colors focal point for good movement.

Vicky a.k.a Crafting Vicky Fortier
Vicky a.k.a Crafting Vicky Fortier Thu, 03/21/2013 - 09:53

I really love the vintage feel of this layout and the color scheme. I'm not that fond of the flourish unter the certificate, I find that it doesn't match as well with the rest. Totally love the flowers in all the different looks!

Judith Richards Shubert
Judith Richards Shubert Thu, 03/21/2013 - 06:48

I think the colors and the vintage feel of this layout are the best features. I find the white that shows around the Certificate is a bit distracting as well as the lace that touches it on the far left. Almost, as someone has already said, looks like a preview of a kit. I would love to see an old photograph within that area and the entire arrangement not quite so far to the left ~ not centered, but not quite so far over. I really love the papers and the way you layered them. The font you chose for "Flowers" is one of my favorites.

Judy Underhill
Judy Underhill Wed, 03/20/2013 - 19:45

I think this is a very lovely art piece. I am a card maker and this would make a beautiful card. I have seen blogs where they make pages like this. Like a altered book. It is soft and cuddly in a way. I am a fan of all things vintage and grunge. I would agree that maybe a little more shadow. Try using different levers of shadows letting some hid back a little more than others. I think that you are on artist at heart and this is letting that show. You could always put a child's face into the flower. I can see that it would make any little girl happy to have her face in such beauty.

Linda DeGroot
Linda DeGroot Wed, 03/20/2013 - 01:48

Wonderful colors- so soft.

Kristen Hess
Kristen Hess Tue, 03/19/2013 - 18:14

I agree with lots of the previous comments, the colors are beautiful and I love the papers and elements you have chosen to use. The one thing I really want to know is: Why? Why did you take the time to make this layout? With no photos and no journaling it feels more like a kit preview to me than a layout. I'd really like to know more about the story here. The designer obviously has good taste! Someone should give her a really cute, vintage certificate of fifty merits for good conduct!

Laura Wellinghoff
Laura Wellinghoff Tue, 03/19/2013 - 14:03

Jan, great job. The colors and textures go VERY well together! I agree that a little tweaking on the shadowing will help the flowers pop and the paper separate from each other. I've found that I like even putting a 1 or 2 pixel shadowing all around an element, just to separate it from a background that is really close to the element itself. @ 300 dpi, it's really not noticeable to the point that someone would say, here there's a shadow on that pressed flower, but it allows the eye to put just a hint of depth to 2 dimensional objects. I too, love the darker vine effect, and might want to see "test" repeating it under some of the clusters in the opposite corner, or making that string/stitching just a little bit darker if you can.
And again great choice of papers and prints! Just the right amount of variety in them in my opinion!

Melo Vrijhof
Melo Vrijhof Tue, 03/19/2013 - 12:45

Oooohhh... I love flowers and there are plenty here! The color scheme is really dreamy and it brings out the cute little babyface on the vintage card. The shadowing doesn't seem to be coherent and therefore not 'real'. In real life, if you pile flowers on top of each other, the top flowers will have a bigger (but softer) shadow, the bottom ones will have smaller, but darker shadows. The same applies for the paper stack. I think I would make the entire card-and-flowers cluster smaller to turn it into a focal point on the page. And tuck the word 'Flowers' under the lily a little to make it look more realistic (not too much though, I wouldn't want to lose the pretty curl on the F). Don't change any of the papers; you did a great job on combining the different textures. And did I mention I really love those dreamy colors? I might have to steal this color scheme from you... ;-)

Harriett Humphries
Harriett Humphries Tue, 03/19/2013 - 08:41

Oh this is a hard one to critique. I love everything about it. The colors go perfectly together. The lush, opulent, overstuffed look evokes the Victorian style exactly. A slightly heavier shadowing would add more depth, but the pressed flowers wouldn't have much anyway. I even think the cherub face is appropriate although that space would also make a good frame for a sepia vintage photo.The lily grouping near the "Flowers" title is a little too different a style. I love the white writing peeking out between papers. It nicely balances the white lace in the opposite corner. The dark single flower vine nicely balances the larger pansy grouping. All in all a most appealing layout, one I could easily scrape lift someday. Thank you, Jan, for sharing.

Sarah Lewis
Sarah Lewis Tue, 03/19/2013 - 07:29

What a pretty vintage page you have created! I love the lace piece on the left side of the page. There are few too many flowers for me, along the top and right side. I would like to see fewer, with a bit more contrast in their colors. I like the bit of green leaf in the bottom white lily, for some contrast. The flower with the cherub face is a bit distracting. Maybe a vintage photo in to that spot--black & white or sepia toned--or even a lovely garden floral that picks up some colors from the page. The layers of papers you used are very nice and compliment each other and I like the white script peaking out on the right (it also balance the lace on the left). Thanks for sharing your work with us.

Lórien Rezende
Lórien Rezende Tue, 03/19/2013 - 04:19

I like your layout Jan! My favorite datail is the handscipt white stamp. I´d put the "flowers" title in white too, so it can be read easily, and reduce a little bit the size of the red flower and swirl. I also like the way you put the doilly as a kind of frame, I should do something like that someday :) If I were you I´d take out the baby face and the flower of the certificate, and put either a picture or a black and white drawing that suits on the rectangular frame of it. The textures of the papers you´ve chosen are fantastic!

Cynthia arnett
Cynthia arnett Tue, 03/19/2013 - 04:00

I like the vintage appearance of this layout. The colors of peach, cranberry and green work well together. A photo in place of the old fashioned card with a piece of one of these colors would work well also. I myself would like to see a more clustered look for the flowers(not so spread out, maybe more negative space).