Sunday, December 15, 2013

Keeping secrets...

I've got a secret....  You know, there are some secrets that I really, really, really lock away and am very good about keeping.  There are other secrets that I just have to get out in the open.  Those kind of secrets like the I-got-you-the-most-amazing-Christmas-present-and-I-cannot-wait-to-give-it-to-you variety are just jonsin' to get out and spread love and happiness. 

So because I'm overflowing in excitement for giving this Christmas... I had to share a picture with you.  But I can't tell you the story (yet) because, uhhhh, SECRET!  So for now, what started as this...
was transformed into this...

What are you just jonsin' to spill but don't want it out there for everybody to know?  C'mon, you can tell me.  I promise I won't tell.  :) 

Click here to view ready-to-ship jewelry designs created by Dawn Doucette - Bella Amore Legacy Jewelry 

P.S.  Love the lampwork heart?  You can scoop up many more beautiful artisan designs from Juli Cannon - JulsBeads!  Her quality is out of this world and her designs... simply swoon worthy!  I promise!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Time to Express Gratitude and Friendship

For those in the United States, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo taken by Matt Mason & Kerry Trampe -

I've always said "Everyday is Thanksgiving" because I was taught to be grateful from the time I could walk.  Heck, my mom made me say thank you to the doctor that gave me shots for kindergarten for crying out loud.  That might have been a little big overboard, Mom, but never the less, it taught me a very valuable lesson.  No matter how big or how small, we have so much to be grateful for. 

To be celebrating a special holiday together as a family is the greatest gift of all!  So as we sit down to stuff ourselves, laugh together and enjoy some Turkey Day football (which suits many family members as both the Packers & Cowboys will be playing) I want to thank YOU for sharing your comments, laughter and love through my blog for all these years!  Hearing from you makes my day and I love following your blog and seeing what's happening in your neck of the woods! 

So from the Doucette, Storey, Reier, Reindl, DeVincentis, Raab Families, Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings for a wonderful holiday season!  Sending love & hugs to you!  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Copper Jewelry - On the Edge of Being Rocker Chic

Copper jewelry is the perfect accessory to wear right now.  I see it as a blend of fall, going into winter and skipping into spring!  This month as a member of Cousin's Creative Circle, we were given the freedom to create anything that inspired us and to highlight where we get our Cousin products locally.  I was so excited to share a brand new Joann Fabric & Craft store that just opened up in Lake Geneva, WI.  I was there on opening day for photos and to peruse their beads and jewelry findings!  (They have super awesome papers for scrap booking too if you're into preserving memories in scrap books.)

The inspiration for the design this month came from an awesome pendant I have from Cousin.  It's a hammered copper (amazing texture) with circles in burgundy, lavender and eggplant.  The copper plays such an integral part in marrying the red family to the purple family.  Using a traditional pendant, I "Dawn-i-sized" it into a singular component of a much more extensive design.  I created a second component featuring a Swarovski rivoli and embellished that with amazing crystals and backed both pieces with a deep eggplant Italian leather in an ostrich texture.

I really had fun picking out chain in various sizes and textures to pull this whole Rocker Chic look together. It's bad ass, with a wisp romance and a touch of flirty!  The necklace is long and is perfect for accessorizing that warm, cozy sweater through the winter months!  It'll also be perfect for the fun cocktail dress to head out on Valentine's Day! 

I love the finished design and how the whole inspiration came together.  If you're looking for creative ideas for the holidays, visit your local Joann's.  They have tons of ideas you can create including projects the kids can do to make everybody included in the Christmas festivities! 

Additionally, if you're looking for Christmas beads and charms to make fun jewelry and gifts for the holidays, Cousin has their 'Tis the Season collection available through AC Moore or online at  Super fun, lots of sparkle and so many fun ideas! 
Dawn Doucette, Lake Geneva WI becomes Brand Ambassador for Cousin

Sending you love and well wishes for a Rockin' Good Holiday!



P.S. If you want to stay in touch, message me via my Facebook Page - Bella Amore Legacy Jewelry.  I love staying in touch and sharing sneak peeks of what I'm working on giving YOU my loyal blog followers first chance to call dibs on legacy designs that catch your eye!

Monday, November 11, 2013

JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store NOW OPEN in Lake Geneva WI

For my assignment as a Cousin Brand Ambassador this month, we were challenged to show where we get Cousin's beads from.  I'm really excited to share this because we now officially have a JoAnn store in Lake Geneva, WI.   For those that have crafting projects on their minds for Christmas gifts, the timing of the Lake Geneva JoAnn's opening is perfect!

Located off the frontage road between Home Depot and Target, JoAnn's has everything from beads and fabric to needlepoint supplies and floral decorations!  While my jewelry assignment is a work-in-progress for the moment, I thought I share with you photos to get you in the season to get those holiday crafting projects done. 

Or if you're like me, Christmas always means new jammies.  As a kid, my mom always made us pajamas. Fuzzy, fleecy, flannel jammies!  I loved opening those and of course having matching jammies for my doll.  Now, I still treat myself to new jammies... or this year, my sweet brother picked me up a pair, adorable pink fleece with FEET!!!!! which I got this weekend, so I could be plenty snuggly as our local temps this week will feel like January!  Here's to having amazing family, creating special gifts for them and celebrating life's little moments together!  

There's something about all the pretty fabric looking like a rainbow - love it!
P.S.  As I type this, it's officially started snowing in Lake Geneva, WI.  YIKES!  Say goodbye to summer and fall!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Under Sea Adventure Necklace

Because sometimes when life gets hard, we just want to run away and put our toes in the sand and let the water lap over our feet all while looking for seashells and smelling the saltwater dancing through the air.

I'm so proud to share this necklace with you.  As my assignment from Cousin Corporation this month, we were shipped a box of beads, wire and findings that are part of a brand new line with one of their clients.  We were instructed to only use the materials in the box to create something really unique that would showcase our style and personality.

After daydreaming about playing in the sand and scuba diving (which I've never done, but really want to try some day) I was enchanted with the glass bugle beads I received.  They are the most luscious, elegant shade of teal with a silver metallic lining, making each one vibrant and beautiful.  Because I love to create jewelry that really creates drama and WOW, I paired those beads with over 170 tiny crystals in this dramatic necklace.

Each bead and crystal is hand stitched one-at-a-time.  Which means as I struggled to find peace and balance this month, each moment of time I was able to sit down and work on this helped me find my zen.

I love how this necklace turned out and I'm already anxious to have it back from Cousin so I can wear it out!  :)  It's being shipped down to be professionally photographed and get the royal treatment.  I love the bling factor, the teal is "totally Dawn" and the bib-style wears so perfectly with most necklines of my shirts, sweaters and dresses! 

Where do you turn when you need to find peace and balance?  Is it a person, a special place, a song?
Hoping you see the joy in every day!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reading, Coffee and Sparkly Goodness

One of the most beautiful things about living in Wisconsin is the change of seasons.  Seeing the magnificent color in the fall makes us appreciate a power strong than ourselves. 

However, we have all this colorful beauty and then BAM! We're into winter where our fingers turn to icicles and if we're not careful, we end up doing a triple lutz on the way to the mailbox to pick up our next package of awesome! And trust me, when you're trying to hurry out there because you still have your pj pants on and don't want anybody to see you, THAT'S when you're sure to draw a crowd pretending you're Katarina Witt! 

So on those aforementioned days, it's recommended you perk a fresh pot of coffee, or steep your favorite tea, add some honey, grab a good book, the afghan and snuggle with the dogs! 
Great book for helping you find the "Sweet" when life seems "Sour!"

And that is exactly what I had in mind when I created this beaded bookmark!  I used some of the charms from the 'Tis the Season line that Cousin Corporation has available through A.C. Moore retailers.  The little jingle beads actually jingle, and they are so cute!  I used a hand-dyed silk ribbon and beaded a lucious charm for the other end!  It's the perfect one-of-a-kind bookmark that's perfect to give as a gift, or treat yourself too for the holidays!

Now if you're on of my friends in Florida where you're tuning on the heat as soon as the temps dip below 80, call me!  I'm pretty sure you have a spare room with my name on it, and some sand for my tootsies to play in.

This beaded bookmark will have a tutorial shared on where you can find lots more inspiration and ideas you can create as holiday gifts for the ones you love!

Have a bead-i-ful day!

If you'd like to have a beaded bookmark made for the holidays, contact me via my website: or message me via Facebook:  I'm happy to incorporate your color preferences and a special beaded adornment made exclusively for you!
Another inspiring book Available at:
Make it a magnificent day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tis the Season with the Cousin Creative Circle

While we're having an relatively mild fall in in Wisconsin (translation, it still feels like summer - 80 & sunny) I had to dig deep into the frozen tundra to pull inspiration for my latest Cousin Creative Circle Assignment

This month, Cousin has partnered with A.C. Moore to feature their special collection of 'Tis the Season beads & charms just in time for the holidays.  The beads in this collection range from fun Christmas Charms, to soft winter inspired designs. 

When I design something, I want to make sure that it turns heads and gets maximum visibility or wear-ability.  This time I decided to create a winter inspired ornament featuring several of the Cousin 'Tis the Season charms.  The crystals I used to create the body of the snowflake are also all from Cousin.  I finished the ornament with a hand-dyed silk ribbon, my signature beadwork and metallic silver Italian leather. 

My goal with this design was to create something that would really "Wow!" people.  For my fellow jewelry artists and designers, I wanted this ornament to inspire you to use crystals and beads in a non-traditional way.  Give a crystal the stage and watch her dance!  My ornament is at Cousin Corporation right getting her very own diva session.  She's being photographed to use in the holiday promotion of the 'Tis the Season Collection.  I'm excited to have been able to blend my unique design style and artistry in this ornament for the Cousin Creative Circle!

This was just the first of two projects for the month!  I look forward to sharing the second project very soon! 

Dawn Doucette is the artisan soul behind Bella Amore. Bella = Beautiful, Amore = Love Through all things, Dawn looks for something beautiful and creates each design in the energy of love. Dawn resides with her soulmate Chris, and two fur babies in Lake Geneva, WI. Her inspired designs are created to be cherished and passed down as heirloom jewelry. If you'd like to have Dawn create a one-of-a-kind piece of legacy jewelry exclusively for you, contact her via her Facebook Page:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sequin Exploration & Beaded Jewelry Inspired by Bubble Gum

Happy Saturday!  I'm excited to be sharing a piece that was designed for the sole purpose of using sequins!  I have to thank my friend Sarah over at Saturday Sequins for always bringing humor and light to her jewelry designs and encouraging me to try these fun little pops of sparkly!

I joined forces with other artisans last year as we delved deep into our sequin souls to create something with sequins.  Prior to that I had never (gasp!) used sequins in my design.  It was fun, but I took the easy way out and added just a few little sequins.  It works for that design and I still love wearing that cuff (see more pictures here.)

But this year, I challenged myself to use more than 4 sequins.  LOL  I also unintentionally challenged myself by completely not even giving my design a thought until 72 hours prior to the reveal.  Hey, life come at you fast... I'm trying to learn to roll with the punches.

So doing something uber big like a cuff or collar just wasn't going to fit into the time I had allowed.  I'm pretty sure if there are any students studying procrastination at the UW, then I should be a case study with this fine experiment!

I have this funky baubble that I had gotten a while back.  I think it used to be a button cover from back in the day, and since I like vintage and re-purposing, and it reminded me of bubble gum, I decided it would be perfect.

So I popped a piece of gum in my mouth, and started to create!  I pulled in hues of gold, fuschia and blue to compliment the original button cover thingy.  Then added a frame of sequins all around the edge.  I love how they added that little extra sparkle and backed this funk-a-delic design with metallic gold, super soft, Italian lambskin leather.

The necklace is made on Memory Wire so it fits like a choker.  I used sexy pink and vibrant yellow glass beads from Cousin Corporation.

Do you see the gumball machine inspiration in the focal?  I hope so!  At least I did and that wasn't because I had too much wine!  I've enjoyed playing with sequins this week, even if I was in a self-imposed rush. 

Now here's the deal, since you'd seen my sequintastic design, won't you click over to Sarah's virtual property, she'll break out the virtual coffee and share her sequin design and you can visit all of the participants in today's blog hop!

Have a sparkling weekend!

P.S.  In honor of Sequins, I had to share another special design I created earlier this year!  This ankle cuff rocked the sequin world!  It features a beaded band, embellished with hand stitched sequin and flirty chains.  It made quite the splash on stage when Suzy Manning debuted it at her live event this spring!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beading with Cabochons

For me, cabochons create the basis for each of my custom jewelry designs.  The fun part is selecting which cabochons to use, which pair well together and create the desired look you want.  What I love about working with cabochons is that you can work with gemstones, crystals, art glass, clay and pretty much anything that doesn't have a hole!  I've used seashells, bottle caps, rocks (from the first walk as husband & wife).  Because of how I create my custom designed jewelry, I can work most any object into a design.

In the past, I've used cabochons to create detailed, magnificent cuffs and earrings.  I'll share a few photos of some of my favorite works in a little bit.  But for this challenge, I was inspired by the colors of fall.  The weather in Lake Geneva, WI where I live is turning a bit nippy.  While the leaves aren't changing yet, give it two weeks and they will be.

Apple & pumpkin season are in full bloom.  We're getting excited about having a fire in the fireplace.  Football is on all weekend long - and yes, I'm one of those women that love football!  Go Badgers!  So for this challenge, I chose a pair of jasper cabochons that showcase a beautiful palette of burgundy and gold.  I used the natural veining in the jasper cabochons and the natural coloring as the foundation for the design.

Now if you ask any college aficionado (or more specifically my hilarious, football-loving brother) I designed these earrings inspired by Florida State University - the college of Deion Sanders, one of his idols. Or if you ask my mom, surely I chose this elegant, luxurious color palette in honor of her beloved San Francisco 49er's.  Either way, everybody is happy and that makes me smile!

I have to thank Sally Russick who organized an incredible group of artisans that are all working with cabochons for this challenge.  Some have never used cabochons, others are old pros. Either way, please take a moment to visit Sally's blog where you'll be able to connect with all the participants!

And for further inspiration, here are some of my favorite designs I've created with cabochons!  Many were custom orders and received with squeals of happiness and joy as the women opened their boxes.  If you live in or around the San Diego area, I'd like to invite you to an event I'm participating in October 10-12th as my VIP guest!  Linda P. Jones' Be Wealthy & Smart Intensive is going to be an incredible event.  If you're looking for a sound plan to create the income and type of lifestyle you want to live, then touch base with me about this event.  It'll be at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, and I can tell you having been there last year, it's an amazing experience!

Let's connect on Facebook!
Have a terrific day!

And of course... the necklace inspired by my small town, Lake Geneva Wisconsin... With cabochons, the design possibilities are infinite! ♥

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lake Geneva Wisconsin - Perfect Place to Visit and Even Better to Live

I'm so excited about this challenge I participated in.  We're so lucky in our artist community to have someone like my dear friend Erin Prais-Hintz who organizes and hosts the most fun challenges!  Erin, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for coordinating this challenge!  I had so much fun!!!!!!  The Challenge of Travel was the theme for this challenge... and yet really it didn't involve traveling at all.  Rather, we were to discover and play in our own backyards on a stay-cation and translate where we live into a creative piece of art.

First, I have to tell you, I love living in Lake Geneva, WI.  I've lived in 5 cities in my life and Lake Geneva is by far my favorite.  Why?  Because there's so much to do, see & feel... yes FEEL!  This city evokes a warmth in my heart that just can't be put into words.  But rather than me going on & on and on... I'll SHOW you just how beautiful my city is!
Top Left: Riviera Ballroom, Top Right:  Expect a Miracle Mansion, Bottom Left:  Stone Manor, Bottom Right:  Standing on the docks at the Riviera.

Lake Geneva is steeped in history!  We have magnificent estates on the water, originally settled by wealthy Chicago businessmen as their summer homes (the Wrigley Chewing Gum Family, the Morton Salt family.)  Today just a handful of those original estates are still standing.  Most of the property has been purchased, had the original houses knocked down and new mansions built in their place.

Part of the history surrounding Lake Geneva is our magnificent family-run company Gage Marine and their line of tour boats, Lake Geneva Cruise Line.  The coolest way to see the previously mentioned estates is from the water.  Gage Marine has several old tour boats that they have lovingly restored and do daily tours on May thorough October (and into November if the snow hasn't flown as some of the boats are covered & heated!)  The Walworth (also called the Mail Boat) runs a marine mail service daily.  This is the only marine mail service still operational in the United States.  Just this summer, Brian Williams and NBC News came to Lake Geneva to film a special about the Mail Boat Tour and it's history on the lake.  Here's their video story:

Fall in Wisconsin offers so much beauty!

We're so lucky... we have world class golf courses designed by PGA legends.  We have world reknown sailing greats and legendary boatworks companies.  Lake Geneva also was the home to Hugh Hefner's first Playboy Resort (now it's Grand Geneva Resort, and the bunnies are all retired).  Lake Geneva was also the home of Dungeons & Dragons founder Gary Gygax.  Many celebrities have owned homes around the lake throughout the years.  We even have a walking path that goes all 23 miles around the perimeter of the lake on the shoreline, allowing us to cut through the yards of the beautiful lake estates, enjoy their views and appreciate their immaculate landscaping!

When trying to decide how to best represent Lake Geneva, I knew I needed to pull in both the water and the land.  So the blues mixing with the greens were the basis for this design.  Because of the rich history and tradition around the lake, I also wanted to pull in accents of rich gold.  The last part I wanted to really bring into play in my design was the unique niche in which real estate around Geneva Lake falls into.  Having such elegant vacation properties really creates a stand-alone dynamic in our market that has helped our small business and boutiques locally to weather the economic storm of years past.  So incorporating a stone grey/brown element was key.  

The gemstone on the top of the pendant is a genuine Labradorite.  The color is a grey/brown but it reflects mangificent hues of golden yellow and blue.  Labradorite is known for stimulating the imagination (I guess that's why it spoke to me!) :) The second stone is an artistic resin cabochon accented with round crystals and the bottom focal is a paua shell.  I selected the beads in a method that allowed the blues and greens to stand out and the gold/grey to flow throughout the pendant.

In the necklace the long bicone bead was actually the jumping off point for the entire necklace.  Created by my very dear friend Juli Cannon of Julsbeads, it embodied everything I wanted this necklace to be.  Blue/Green/Turquoise/Brown all wrapped up on a beautiful glass package.  I chose a complimentary Julsbead on the other side of the necklace to balance off the artistic glass creation.
Lady of the Lake - Inspired by Lake Geneva, WI

I added a mix of crystals, agates, more crystals and some funky, sparkly round beads all the colors dance magically together!  So I call this necklace a balanced asymmetrical look.  And she'll be known as "Lady of the Lake!"
Photo By Chris Kayser - Follow her on FB: Lake Geneva, A Day in the Life of
Visit Lake Geneva ~ We'd love to have you!
Dawn Doucette is the artisan soul behind Bella Amore. Bella = Beautiful, Amore = Love Through all things, Dawn looks for something beautiful and creates each design in the energy of love. Dawn resides with her soulmate Chris, and two fur babies in Lake Geneva, WI. Her inspired designs are created to be cherished and passed down as heirloom jewelry. If you'd like to have Dawn create a one-of-a-kind piece of legacy jewelry exclusively for you, contact her via her Facebook Page:

To view other hometown blogs and see their inspired creations, visit Erin's blog for a master list:


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