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Laura Murray Designs

January 2019

Weird experiences boost creativity; a tidbit that I recently stumbled across. So, how does weird help us? Studies indicate that people who experience unusual and unexpected events tend to be more creative.

Weird works because when we experience a novel situation we remember it, and that motivates more exploration. When asked about coming up with innovative ideas, Apple founder Steve Jobs simply said: "Creativity is just connecting things". The more different thoughts that you let into your head, the more connections you can make.

Even very simple changes such as altering normal routines by trying different foods, writing with your non-dominant hand, or finding a new route to the dentist qualify as a change. Doing things differently helps reshuffle the brain, and we can see things in a different way.

I like to use play as a way of seeking change. Recently, something definitely weird emerged, and I am happy to share my discovery that weirdness can be a very good thing to pursue!

~ Laura

Something weird

Zorba bot

My intention to create whimsical houses took an unexpected turn during a play session several months ago. My designs are comprised entirely from my stamp set shapes used as the texture for paintstik rubbings and backed with fusible web; some are layered and cut into triangles. No need for cutting, piecing or planning... just move shapes around on a background fabric and see what happens. No piecing required; the final design is fused when complete.

This little guy started with a square (now the chest) and developed a lower body that ended in legs. Then, my collection of painted, fusible backed shapes provided arms, head, and feet. I used only shapes from my existing stash of "spare parts" (pre-painted, fusible backed shapes).

Having too much fun to stop at just one; my "bot" collection is now up to four. (two of them are on the LauraMurrayDesigns facebook page). This one is named Zorba, who is memorable because his sheer weirdness, right?

Seeing things in a different way gave me a delighfful adventure!

Versatile stamps

As you've seen, my stamp designs are wonderfully versatile. Here's a few of them used in more familiar designs. Step by step instructions are provided in the booklets noted below each design. Can you recognize some of the shapes in Zorba Bot? For a look at my entire collection, click here.

All stamps are on sale through Jan 3, read on for details.

Stamp sets:

Leaf Medley


Tileworks booklet

Stamp sets:

Quilt Blocks


Painted Quilt Blocks booklet

Stamp set:



Exotica booklet

Check out the Learning Center for additional technique information.

New Year's Celebration Sale. Online store discounted 20% *

With the holidays behind us, it's time to focus on new creative pursuits.

Use the Coupon code newyear2019 and click on "apply" to receive the discount.


Three days only, Jan 1 through Jan 3.

Take an extra 20% off items already discounted from suggested retail price, including:

  • All kits and special offers
  • Kimono silks (*excluding treasure bags)
  • Stamps, stencils, stencil brushes
  • Foils and accessories
  • Rubbing plates
  • Garment and Handbag patterns
  • Books/DVDs

*excludes kimono treasure bags

On The Road

The new year brings a big shipment of new silk batiks, new garment patterns, along with fabulous new hand crafted buttons and hand dyed kimono silks. Here's some heartwarming customer feedback:

"Received info on how to create beautiful designs and just have fun."

Jim and I look forward to seeing you soon, with lots of unique merchandise, and more fun. Remember, we are your source for all things paintstiks, and happily answer your questions about techniques and products.

See the complete 2019 show schedule here.




Jan 24 - 27

Road to California
Ontario, CA
Booth, demonstrations, workshops


Jan 31 - Feb 2

Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival
Phoenix, AZ
Booth and seminars


Feb 28 - Mar 3

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival
Hampton Roads, VA
Booth, demonstrations


Like us on Facebook!

You'll find lots of eye candy on my new Laura Murray Designs Facebook page... check it out for weekly postings!