While looking through the art store (now named Dick Blick) I found smaller 5 x 7 canvas boards to work with. I took my old journal down to Kinko's and copied them. Then I reworked them and actually like them better. I tend to keep pictures in their original state when I use them so I went all out to cover them.
The blue book is for a friend and the pink book is mine. The pink book is chock full of paper so it may not close when I'm done with it. A good learning experience and I have a couple of other books that I want to make this weekend. The funniest thing is that in the blue book I hand cut the pages with an x-acto knife and a ruler and they turned out very even vs using the paper cutter.
I don't recommend working with black fabric when you just start out binding books it's a real pain to see where your holes are.