Euka, you chose the colors well for your page. I do find that the background looks good. Maybe you see something different when it is full size, but at the 600 pixels format, that background appears patterned but not overpowering.
Dawn, good sandwich! For your first project, it is a fun kit you used. Since you have a busy background, I probably would have tried some solid colors for the title instead of a pattern. Shadows on your elements would also give them more definition, especially with such a busy pattern. If you still have the .pspimage version of the page, try to add those shadows and see if it makes them stand out.
Mary, good layout for your project. Over time, if you hang around in the Campus, you will surely learn new tricks to play with the shadows, for example, to make the bow look like the end is off the paper.
Joan, the effect you see on the trees is normal and actually gives that volume to the element. Sometimes, you can play with the opacity of that shadow if you feel it overpowers the element, and go slightly off the suggested values. It is by experimenting with those settings that we each find the sweet spot for any element.
Cristina, nice layout using interesting tools (that are not necessarily available to our beginners 🙂 ) Thank you for mentioning what you did, so at least, they might try to experiment with your instructions.