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!