I wasn't quite happy with the last cover I had completed (first image) a few days ago, so I spent a couple more hours at it. I looked over the cover design with a friend, Linda, at work and she had some good suggestions and ideas. I tried those out here in the next design. Changes included moving the ground/dirt aspect of the cover to the bottom of the design. We thought this might "ground" that part of the cover a little more and provide more room for the flower image. We both felt the flower seemed a little cramped in the first image. I also made the old photos look more brown instead of reddish - raw sienna instead of burnt sienna.
I eventually went back to the first image and made more subtle changes instead of the big changes. In the second design there was too much room for the flower and it seemed like I had to add branches and leaves to make it fill the space properly.
I liked the white stripe at the bottom of the first design. It frames the photos and keeps them in their place. So, in my final design I included the stripe and enlarged the photos slightly so the right side fits the edge better. I also moved the photos down a little so there would be more room for the flower.
On the flower I made the leaves smaller which seemed to open up the space for a little longer stem and room for the words "Parenting and Nature."
All in all I am happy and this will be my final design. Now to tweak the book's interior just a little bit more.