Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy New Year!  Zentangle® ahead!

Last year was awesome!  Zentangled and enameled!  But now we're looking forward.

January brings Zentangle classes in Occoquan, VA, on Jan. 10, 2015.  This class is sponsered by a beautiful bead shop, Off the Beading Path, and is being held at the local community center.  For more info and to book this class, you can check out my class on their calendar:  Off The Beading Path, Carol Dee teaches Zentangle,  This will be a 5 hour class that will cover "Intro" and "Next Step" classes!  And the town of Occoquan is a lovely destination with a picturesque main street, tasty restaurants and fun boutique shopping.

The next Zentangle event here in Frederick, MD, will be on January 31 at The Business Factory of Frederick.  From 10 A.M. to 12:15 is an "Intro to Zentangle" class.  Later that day, from 2:00 to 4:15, is a brand new class - "Next Step 103."  As with previous "Next Step" classes, the only requirements are that the student has taken the "Intro" class and will use their own supplies (.01 black micron, pencil, and tortillion). As always, I have the paper!  The "Next Step" classes will introduce new tangles and work on techniques such as shading and string development.  We will introduce some color this time and do some experiments with Valentine Motifs.  After all, Valentine's day is coming up soon!  These classes will be booked by The Business Factory of Frederick.  More info on this class coming.

On Feb. 28, 2015, Carol DeeZigns will be demonstrating Zentangle at the second STEAM Ahead Event held at The Business Factory of Frederick.  STEAM's (Scence, Techology, Engineering, Art and Music) first event last month hosted over 200 families!  Make your reservations and get free tickets to the event here:

Families trying out different activities from Zentangle, Musical Instruments, to 3-D printing plus much more!

Zentangle booth covered up all day with youngsters and their parents.

After that. . .who knows.  Planning on a move and a change. . .more on that soon, too!

Happy New Year!

We are turning STEM into STEAM (Science, 

Technology, Engineering, Art, and Music) to promote both innovation and creativity to young people and the young at heart. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Putting the Torch-Fired Enamel Hat on. . .or is it a NECKLACE?

Keeping my head on straight and wearing the appropriate hat these days is a real challenge!  Just getting thru the week making all of my appointments, meetings, luncheons, etc., has never been so hectic! But the last few days it has been hectic-fun with bells on!  Delighted with this new news. . .  Barbara Lewis' latest book Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry has hit the shelves (and mailboxes) and I can turn to page 138 and see "my" necklace!

My journey in torch fired enameling has been going on for quite some time.  Jewlery-technique-class-junkie that I am, I have taken several classes over the years that have included brief forays into different torch firing techniques but NOTHING as intense and fullfilling as when I tasted Painting With Fire, Torch Fired Enameling, with Barbara Lewis!  I fell HARD and FAST and couldn't get enough!

I've taken classes with Barbara, read her 1st book several times, watched her videos, tutorials and finally took her certification to teach class (I was one of her first two teachers in this method). It has been a great trip!

November 6, 2014, I will be at Art Retreat at the Prairie in Roundtop, TX, with Barbara taking the certification again. I was going there anyway and I know that there will be new techniques and more fun added to the curriculum.  Maybe I can lend a hand, too!

I enameled over 80 beads in an analogous group from light sage green to dark blue, using various base coats and then various translucent coats. That gave me a lot to choose from for my jewlery submission for the new book.  Only 12 beads and one focal made the cut.  For those enamelists wanting more info on the colors, you can read my blog post from April.
What was left after the jewlery was done?

Drumroll, please!

The earings and bracelet didn't make the cut for the book but I'm thrilled the necklace was included!!!


On page 138!

Thank you, Barbara, for the wonderful opportunity to be part of this lovely book and to be one of the   jewelry artists that you chose to represent the colorwheel in the book.  My hat is off!
I hope this book exceeds the awesome record of the first one,  Torch-fired Enamel Jewelry
After all, it was Amazon's 2011 Craftbook of the year!  This new book has all the makings to repeat that and beyond!  God bless!

Other contributors on Facebook and beyond:
                                                       Laura Guenther - Blueantiquities
                           Heather Marston - Crystals, Stones and Wire: Jewelry by He-HeBeads

And Me:
Carol Dee Myers
Carol DeeZigns

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ZENTANGLE® or Carol Dee, CZT!®

This summer has really ushered in some serious movin' and shakin' for this gal!  And more excitement is on the way!  Enameling, traveling, weddings, selling house and moving (that may not be the fun part).  Some GREAT FUN was the 4 day love fest in Providence, RI, where 108 students (I'm one) from ALL OVER THE WORLD came together to become teachers. . .Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZT).  WooHoo!
Me: back row, right, in shade with shades.
We had beautiful weather but wouldn't have known it but for the lovely terrace where we had all our meals (and a few late night parties).

What an awesome, lovely and lively, fun group!!!  I think EVERYONE was happy!  But after all, we were in a state of ZENtangle!   

Here is a photo of work done at the seminar (CZT 15) and since.  I even took a Zentangle project along on the latest trip to Maine.

Latest tanglings

Fabulous new friends:
Barb, me, Candy, Marty
Pat, Susan

The Providence Hotel, Providence, RI, was so lovely and the food and service was awesome.  We spent many pleasant and often joy filled hours in the classroom.  We also spent evenings (after evening learning break outs)  on the terrace getting to know each other better over wine and giggles!  Bless the three boys that were in this group.  They definitely didn't become one of the girls but added just the right manly touch to the group.

I'm  too tired from all the excitement over the last month to do the event  blog-justice (it WAS BUCKET LIST material).    Too tired to think of any more words to write so will just post a few more photos.

Mentors/Teachers/Zentangle Creators Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts.  Genuine!

Rick and Maria present John (one of 3 male teacher/students) with a prize. . .a collaborative Zentangle work.  All of us tangled a small portion to make this lovely art piece!

Guest speaker, Laura Harms, "I Am the Diva!"

My diploma.  (Taking a bow)

Steve and I will be changing tracks and trains again as we ready this house for the market and prepare for a move.  I see a lot of calming Zentangle in my future!

Special thanks to Rick and Maria, Molly, Martha and the whole crew.  It was a blessed bucket list event!

Carol Dee, CZT!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fire! and Water!

 I'm a week back from a great trip. . .Kiln enameling classes (Fire!) with Angela Gerhard in Holyoke, MA, and then on to Providence, RI (Water!), for the Certification course in Zentangle® (CZT®).  Both were bucket list experiences!  I'm going zero in on the enameling classes for this blog entry. . .

The drive up from Frederick, MD, to Holyoke, MA, was grueling - particularly the part through NYC!  I like having my car (hate flying) and being able to bring the kitchen sink (I am kinda high maintenance - from makeup to tools - not to mention my hanging rod closet).  For me, a Google projected 6.5 hour drive turned into a 10+ hour traffic marathon!  AND since I was attending two very diverse learning venues on this trip, I had twice the tools.  I tend to bring twice the wardrobe needed anyway!  My jewelry selection was well thought out and weighed 10 lbs. on it's own!

I arrived in Holyoke 36 hours before my enameling classes were to start.  I needed to rest and regroup before I spent HOURS learning kiln enameling!  Also, I had homework for the Zentangle Seminar (last photo).  I had never stayed in a Bed and Breakfast before.  That was a big part of this adventure!
Walnut Grove.  Beautiful Mini Mansion in Holyoke, MA.
As blessing and favor to me would have it, I was the only guest this weekend.  The room was charming and the hospitality from Hosts, Marjorie and Denis, was perfect!  Homemade granola and homemade yogurt along with fresh fruit, muffins, etc. made the PERFECT Breakfast.  The decor was complimentary to the house.  And art abounded throughout the lovely home (both hosts were artists.  Check out Denis' website).

Walnut Grove grounds!  Pool and bunny included!

Gracious living at Walnut Grove

The Kiln Enameling Class

I am a art class junkie (a hands on learner) and was so excited when Angela agreed to private lessons in kiln enameling.  I first saw her work on Facebook.  I approached her through emails for private lessons after viewing Angela Gerhard Jewelry's Facebook page!  I was already enrolled in the Zentangle Seminar in RI and hoped to piggy-back this experience before heading on to the CZT Seminar.  Angela is an amazing and talented young woman with an incredibly devoted work ethic.  Also, she was so candid and sharing.

Angela in studio.

The beast I needed to learn to use - just like mine at home!

I bought a kiln a year ago from a friend. As I said before, I learn by doing.  Unless I get hands on, I usually struggle with learning new techniques. Some tools (torches, kilns) require good understanding and techniques and as favor would have it Angela uses the exact same kiln as mine and even had an extra instruction booklet for me to bring home!

Oh, and I brought my torch enameling set with me to give her a demo.

She had dozens of "samples" to show me and for me to select from to learn the technique.  My intention for this class was to learn using a kiln for enameling and particularly to learn the sgraffito technique (her technique!).  I got great instruction for both and much more.  Two days of enameling bliss!

Angela's SAMPLES!  Any piece here could have been bezeled and worn with pride!  But they were just her"samples."  Drool!

Here are a few of my finished pieces displayed on my idea layout.  The pendant on the chain is the Zentangle pattern "Mist" done in the sgraffito technique.  I shared the black earrings with my B & B host (and new friend), Marjorie.  The pendant on the upper left was simply clear enamel over textured copper.  I have quite a few other pieces in various stages of completion.  I was amazed and impressed at the time and effort to complete each piece.  Kiln enameling is layer upon layer, firing after firing, completely different than the Painting With Fire® technique that I have been using and teaching the past 2 years.  There are some benefits to kiln enameling (specially for flat and larger pieces) and I can't wait to set my kiln up and give it a go here at home.

Also, since Angela's hydrolic press was set up in the studio, she gave me instructions on the press usage and shared piece building techniques using found obects.  More fun!  Another new tool in the future?

A wonderful learning experience!  Beautiful, peaceful B & B! I even found time to Tangle.
Little dried gourd that I tangled for display on the "Student Table" at the CZT Seminar.

"Certified Zentangle Teacher."  Next blog post.


Carol Dee Myers, CZT

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Big Reveal or Letting the Cat Out Of the Bag!

Miscellaneous vintage brass beads and two iron bead caps in analogous color scheme - blue through green.

Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: The Next Steps in Painting with Fire Paperback – September 24, 2014 (by Barbara Lewis)

Yes, it's happening again!  I'm sure Amazon is THRILLED to have a new book coming out by my friend, mentor, and Painting With Fire Torch-fired Enameling creator and teacher, Barbara Lewis.  I'm so excited about it that I'm BLOGGING the news!  Not being a writer, blogger, or journal-er, this is an event!  Her first book, "Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: a Workshop in Painting with Fire," was awarded the #1 Best Craft Book of 2011 at  No doubt, they are delighted to have her back again with a new book to follow up.  "Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: The Next Steps in Painting with Fire" is destined to be an even bigger success!  

NEWS FLASH: I have a jewelry piece in the book!  Woo Hoo!  At the end of October, 2013, Barbara emailed me and several other PWF teachers and students and asked if we would submit pieces to be used in the section on color in the new book .  The request was received within days of my leaving for an extended trip that included a show in Houston with daughter, Stevie (also a jewelry designer). I was up to my eyeballs with enamel beads and finished jewelry to sell.  Of course, none of my inventory met the criteria in Barbara's request. There were four enamelists approached in this particular email and Barbara requested that each submission be in a different color scheme "mixing" color, i.e. layering transparents." Barbara requested my scheme be "analogous colors" (colors next to each other on the color wheel).  I chose green through blue with many of the variations in between (teal, turquoise, blue-green, etc.).  My favorite colors!

Oh, I had beads, alright!
Beads for sale at WHAM, Houston, TX, 2014.  Displayed in my own version of the "color wheel."

I call my work style "free burner."  I could not give material  info (enamel color, with or w/o transparents, etc.) for many of my beautiful beads.  With just a few days before I had to leave, I spent 2 intense days burning with gusto. . .choosing the analogous colors of green and blue. . .Weeeeee!  I was in my element of fire and color but challenged to keep records of enamels used.  I kept track of the base colors (mostly opaque) with various transparent secondary layers to give different shades and effects. I packed all 80 + beads (wrapped carefully in little squares of toilet paper) into a divided box along with little scrap labels of the colors used.  
Heading for Houston!  I wouldn't get a chance to design or put the piece together untill after the show. That gave me less than a week to get the piece(s) designed, made, and mailed to Barbara in Florida by the deadline of December 1, 2013.  Can't tell you how wonderful it was to be with my very talented daughter during that time. . .her input and inspiration was invaluable!  The project turned into more fun and much less stressful that I ever imagined!

I didn't know untill a couple of days ago that my piece was accepted into the book!

I'm not going to ruin my surprise by revealing my piece that is in the new book, Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: The Next Steps in Painting with Fire, but since I had burned over 80 beads in the green/blue color scheme, I thought I'd share some of the pieces I made with the leftovers!
"leftovers" of PWF Mastering Torch-Fired Enameling book submission by Carol DeeZigns.

Necklace in copper and "leftover" beads.
I wear a lot of blue/green/teal/turquoise.  These pieces look stunning (if I do say so) with that "little black dress!"

Can't wait for the release of the new book!  I'm sure I'll be sharing more as the release date grows near!   I'm so excited to see my jewlery pieces in print and professionally photographed. And so honored to be included in even a tiny part of this upcoming smash hit!  Thank you, Barbara, you deserve all the success!

More leftovers in wrap bracelet and earrings

Sharing my joy and excitement!
Carol Dee Myers
Facebook:  Carol DeeZigns

More info on Painting With Fire Studio on Facebook and for online ordering of supplies at Painting with Fire Studio.  For instruction in the PWF technique in the Frederick, MD, area contact me at!