Molly51, here is your critique.
1. BACKGROUND - 4
Great background, I like the cool tone which is easy on the eye and it works well with the lined notebook pages. It has a nice texture and suggests a masculine tone.
4.EMBELLISHMENTS - 3
I love the flower that you have chosen. It lifts your page and gives it life. I've noticed that people avoid using flowers on masculine layouts but I think men like flowers too! The colour of the flower compliments the neutral scheme and gives it a vibrancy without which the page might be bland.
I like the arrow placed to draw attention to the photo, although I am not sure about the colour and without seeing a photo in place its difficult to judge. I think I might have used green to pick up the leaves, but thatís just me.
I really like the way that you have used the string, it gives a great effect and pulls the separate elements together.
5.OVERALL PAGE DESIGN 4
This was a very difficult page to critique; as there was no photo it was difficult to put the design into a specific context. I can't fault you for that because I can see that you did exactly what you were asked to do. However, its very hard to say what your personal style is, because your page lacks the intimacy of a photograph or journaling.
That said, I like your design very much. It has simplicity but its very funky. The layout clearly lends itself toward a male focus photo. There isn't much room for journaling but then some photos tell the story for themselves.
I like the colours - they are cool (rather than hot) but the flower gives warmth and I find that very appealing.
My only reservation is that your page has a lot going on in it and it could look a little busy once your photo is in place, but that remains to be seen.
Finally, here are some questions I would like to ask you:
What photo would you use in this layout?
Would you include any journaling or a title?
If you did, what font might you choose?
Where would you put your text?
Many blessings - FS xx