Please read through my review for a Pro Tip
This creative journal is realllllly awesome. It opens flat, and the way that they made it is really smart. When you open it, to the left (the inside front cover) is an envelope. Watch videos on YouTube (just type Dylusions Creative Journal in the search box) to get the full tour of how kick butt this journal is in addition to some great inspiration. It takes wet media very well. The paper in this journal was made to hold up to a myriad of Dyan Reaveley's techniques and it does so quite well. The cover is incredibly sturdy.
The reason this is getting 4 stars out of 5 is because for some reason my manilla pages soaked up the Dylusions Spray right away, like a dry sponge. No one else seems to have that problem, so I'm assuming it was just mine.
If you want to protect your cover until you are ready to do things to it, use washi tape in vertical strips to protect it. Using Vertical strips of washi tape works best because of the eyelet that holds the journal closed is horizontal; it will cover up the area AROUND the eyelet where the strap is, while still being able to use the strap freely.
One more Pro Tip is to use a strip of washi tape to protect the binding on the page(s) your working on so your medium doesn't sink into it and possibly contaminate some other pages. Take the washi tape off when you're done with the page, or don't, whatever you choose!
I ordered the large journal. I especially love this journal because it is so easy to create a 2-page spread. The paper is of heavy weight so you can use many different types of art media. I also love the thick outside covers, the large envelope inside the front cover, and the band that secures the journal when not in use. It is an exceptional value for the price!
I bought this book to make a travel scrapbook of our recent 3 week trip to London. It has loads of sturdy 8.25 x 11.5 inch cream pages. Before the trip I mapped out a title page, itinerary (contents) pages, and how many pages for each day and week of our trip. Since there are so many pages I could devote two 2-page spreads for each day, 2 spreads to wrap up each week, including partially cutting away one page to make a pocket with the page after it. I still have pages left over at the back for more pictures, journaling, or more ephemera that didn't get used. perhaps in a few more pockets.
On the trip I adhered ephemera from brochures, tickets, napkins, etc onto the pages. I used markers, a few stamps and wash tape to decorate. I left room to add photos once we got home. I will cut out a map to cover it and "laminate" it with clear book tape.
This is a lovely, sturdy, bound book with many pages. It is easy to work in and the resulting project should last a long time