Scrap Like a Sugarbabe: Laura Wilson







Want to know more about our very own “People’s Sugarbabe,” Laura Wilson? Known as a “real” scrapper, Laura isn’t afraid of scrapping the good along with the bad and using her journaling and mad cluster skills to really emote in her layouts. Let’s take a peek inside her creative process!

My Claim To Fame:

Hey there Sweet Shoppers!  Laura here, and today I’m gonna let you in to just a little corner of my creative mind.  Scared yet?

If you take a quick look into my gallery, you’ll notice that on almost every page I make, you find journaling and lots and lots of clustering.  It took me awhile to figure out what I liked and how to make it work. But, once I found that happy equation, I ran with it.  Even if you take a peek back to when I first started (I don’t advise it, it’s very, very scary), you’ll see that journaling has always played a very big role on my layouts.

Why Journaling is So Important:

Now, journaling is one of those things you either love to do or you hate to do.  I often used to be worried that I sounded stupid when I was journaling, but then I realized, I’m not journaling for anyone but myself and my family.  They already know I’m stupid, so why should I try to change that?  See, I have a horrible, horrible memory. And while often times, looking at a photo will bring back that memory, I want to remember the little things that went along with that moment.  No matter how insignificant I may think an event is at the time, I want to have it saved.  If I have pictures of it, it obviously was important to me at one time.  Therefore, I need to document it as it happened, while it’s still fresh in my mind.

One of the biggest things that I recommend when it comes to journaling is speaking the way that you would speak in “real life.”  My journaling is never perfect.  When I finally work on journaling, I type what I want to say and don’t go back to proof read.  I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it, and well, typos are a very real part of my speaking/typing so, the fact that one slips in every once in awhile just makes it more real in my eyes.  If I were doing a paper layout, I couldn’t erase my journaling (and I DEFINITELY wouldn’t want to start over), so why would I do it on a digital layout?  I am by no means perfect, and well, I’m not going to pretend I am.

I’ve heard people talk about keeping the same tense when they journal.  While I’m an English geek, I just never gave this much thought.  I know that when I’m telling a story out loud, I often switch back and forth between tenses, so I know that I wouldn’t be able to keep the same tense with all the pages that I do.

Like I mentioned, what works best for me is just to type what I’m feeling, what happened, and just the general message I want to get across and make it fit into the space I want it to fit in and let it be.  I find that then the journaling is more raw and in the moment, just like I want it to be.

Laura’s Favorite Journal-Heavy Layouts:


Cluster Queen

The other main component in my layouts is clustering.  I absolutely LOVE the look of the clean pages with just a couple elements, but I can’t pull it off.  No matter how hard I try, I have to muck up the page.  I may use a lot of flowers, a lot of foliage, a lot of ribbons, or even a lot of scattery stuff, but in the end, there are always lots of layers and lots of pretty stuff.

Laura’s Favorite Clustery Layouts:


Clustering: Step-by-Step

This layout that I’m working on is based on a cookie by our very own Sugarbabe, Shannon Grover. I’ve constructed the basic bones of the layout, but I’m going to walk you through how I go about layering my elements and the clustering “rules” that I try to follow.  I’m using an older Christmas kit by Shawna Clingerman and Lauren Grier, I Believe.

I’ve learned that shadowing as I make the layout really helps me in placing elements.  I can see the depth of an element and and where it will fit in the grand scheme of things.  I never used to shadow as I went along, but the difference it has made in my clustering and layering has been phenomenal.

One thing that I rely VERY heavily on is the rule of thirds.  Often times, I do it and don’t even realize I do it.  As you can see, there are three buttons on each section of papers on this layout so far.  I like the visual effect of the three buttons, and well, it makes the layout more appealing.

Next I will begin placing layers underneath my photos and papers.  You’ll notice again that I tend to gravitate to groups of threes.  Three red flowers, three photos, three general clusters.  While I don’t have to keep these elements where I originally place them, this will give us a good starting point.

Next, I’m going to add some smaller flowers or elements on top of the photos.   At this point, I just add what I feel looks “right.”  It’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of moving things around, but I like to get the general feel for where I want all the flowers to be before I add in the foofy stuff like ribbons and glitter.

You’ll notice, that I did move some things from the 2nd screenshot and I even added more foliage.  As I mentioned, this is so very much a matter of trial and error for me.

Next are the little touches I want to add.  This is where I usually add in ribbons, glitter, and even sometimes brushes or doodles.
You’ll also notice that I added a tag for the date as well as the ribbons, stamps, and glitter.

At this point, all that I have left to do is add my journaling and the date.

And, with that, we have a completed layout!!

I hope you learned a little bit about the way I go about making a layout and that you learned a little about clustering and journaling!

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  • Thank you for this! I am heavy into journaling, so I love it when others are too. What I really appreciate though is the clustering tips. I love the look of a good cluster, but I am horrid at it and I spend way too much time on it. I am going to use your tips to help me improve. Thanks again. BTW, love this cookie and layout. :)

  • Thanks so much for this. I’m always nervous about having too much in my clustering so these are great tips! I can’t wait to try out your “rules”.

  • Thanks, Laura! Your clustering tutorial and screen shots are very helpful.

  • Great tutorial Laura!!!!

  • You make clustering seem so easy! I really struggle with it. Thanks for the tips and for sharing your lovely layouts.

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