Innovative fabric gifts for kids and mums

ARTE’s artisans not only thrive on creating handmade goods, but innovative and unusual ones as well. Here is a lowdown of three interesting goodies created by our talented artisans.

My FoodnStuff

My FoodnStuff not only make delicious and preservative free cupcakes, cakepops, cookies and desserts, they are also offering an opportunity for you and your kids to transform your cooking time with your kids into fun and bond-building time.  This opportunity comes in the form of ‘mum and me’ apron sets made by My FoodnStuff Kitchen. Dads need not feel left out. FoodnStuff Kitchen can do customised ones in different designs.

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Ici et la

This French brand (the name means ‘here and there’) makes cute bags and pouches that are created to hold socks, kids underpants, and even the little one’s comfort blanket. Ici et la makes these in different sizes, designs (and in French or English). They also make sets for kid and dad too!


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Stitch ‘n Thing

Stitch ‘n Thing focuses on customised embroidery and gifts. From baby shower gifts, to bibs, from towels for the newly weds to the elder sister t-shirt (see photo), Stitch ‘n Thing is your port of call for all things strictly embroidered.


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Photos are either taken by Alex Nes of Green Moments Photography & Art or belong to the artisans themselves.

Visit ARTE’s official website for more information on our fabulous art fairs throughout the year.




Celebrate UAE National Day with our artists

In honour of UAE National Day on the 2nd of December, we are featuring ARTE’s amazing artists who will be showcasing their art this coming Friday at Times Square Centre, Dubai.  Central to ARTE’s charm, we showcase a variety of artists who employ a range of mediums and techniques to translate their individual experiences of living in the UAE. Have a look at the beauty of this country’s people, landscape, culture and ideology through the artists’ eyes:


Carrie Wareham

Since childhood, British artist Carrie Wareham was intrigued by stories of the Orient, like Aladdin’s tales. Moving to the UAE in 2001 she fell in love with the architecture, specifically the windows and doors: “I felt there was a certain mystique about them”. Wareham’s “Majlis” series is inspired by the traditional red tents used for social meetings, where the warmth of the welcoming hospitality is echoed in the rich colours in her work.

Images courtesy of Carrie Wareham


Hanifah Balangue

Currently a student of Islamic Art, Hanifa Balangue has lived in the UAE for 7 years. Describing the Emiratis as “very nice people, helpful and respectful”, it is this peaceful environment which inspires her love of Islamic art and Arabic calligraphy. The calligraphy is particularly enjoyed by the Muslim community and Balangue is excited to share her work with other residents and tourists. Read more on Hanifah Balangue in a previous blog post here:


Images courtesy of Hanifah Balangue 


Purvi Verma

Financial Analyst turned full time artist, Purvi Verma has been living in the UAE since 2011. Perceiving the UAE as an Expat dominated country, Verma enjoys being amongst so many different nationalities, breaking stereotypes by crossing borders. The UAE inspires her work with its “rich culture and heritage which has certain similarities with my home country [India]”. Read more here on Purvi Verma from a previous blog post.

Images courtesy of Purvi Verma


Catherine McEvoy

A resident for 2.5 years, Catherine McEvoy “realised how fond people are of their time in the UAE and that they want something beautiful to remember it by”. Being able to customize her work to customers’ specific colour palettes, her UAE-based designs such as “Jamal the Camel” and the “Grand Mosque” remain to be the most popular to cherish memories of the UAE.

Images courtesy of Catherine McEvoy


Marlene Metni Nasra

Moving to the UAE with her family in 2003, Lebanese artist Marlene Metni Nasra spends her time raising her three children, doing yoga, playing tennis and painting. “When I moved to Dubai, I felt that the beautiful scenic landscapes and its national heritage were better expressed in watercolour”. Nasra also uses mediums like oils and acrylics. She employs the “Hand of Fatima” as an artistic metaphor to translate the tolerance she experiences between the different nationalities and religions “living peacefully side by side”. Read more on the ‘Hand of Fatima” and Marlene’s work from a previous blog post here.

Images courtesy of Marlene Metni Nasra


Maruska Lebrun

Dutch artist Maruska Lebrun have been living in the UAE since 1979. The desert landscapes, the beautiful sunsets, the play of lights and darks have always been a great source of inspiration for her. She portrays Arabian wildlife, like camels and falcons, as well as traditional Arab architecture and landscapes. Painting mostly in watercolours, Lebrun’s work shows a maturity and sensitive understanding of the environment as a long term resident of the UAE.


Images courtesy of Maruska Lebrun


Meet these artists in person at ARTE Arts & Crafts market, Friday 28 November at Times Square Mall from 12 – 7 pm. Please visit our website for more details.


When in Ras Al Khaimah, go to ARTE

The best excuse for a road trip to Ras Al Khaimah this Friday is taking a pit stop at the ARTE Arts & Crafts market at Al Hamra Mall. Our vendors are showcasing a variety of unique products and with the Festive Season approaching fast, head out with your family for a fun shopping spree.

Here is a small sampler of what to expect at UAE’s only artisan market.


MVCO- Mary’s Virgin Coconut Oil

Kick off your visit with MVCO- Mary’s Virgin Coconut Oil. Passionately handmade by Mary Hubert (who is based in Ras Al Khaimah) from selected matured coconut kernels, this versatile and naturally healthy oil boosts the immune system, keeping those seasonal cold and flu bugs at bay.

Images courtesy of Mary Hubert.



Palm Lights candles

Eco-friendly Palm Lights candles are created by environmentalist Bhawna Sehra. Using vegan palm wax, 100% pure aromatherapy grade essential oils, aniline free dyes and cotton or wooden wicks, she ensures that each candle is unique in colour, fragrance and design. Read more on Palm Lights in a previously published blog story on this versatile artisan.

Images courtesy of Bhawna Sehra.


Sand Pictures

Join in the fun at the Sand Pictures table hosted by Iva Kostadinova. With cartoon character pictures and multi-coloured sands, we cherish their slogan, “We make kids happy.”

Images courtesy of Sand Pictures.


3H by Tatyana Pastukova

Tatyana Pastukova’s handmade teddy bears and dolls inspired her trade name, 3H, from the ideas in her Head, to working with her Hands, each character becomes a piece of her Heart.

Images courtesy of Tatyana.

Lola Team

Travel back in time with these custom-made, vintage inspired accessories and watches by the Lola team.

Images courtesy of Lola Jewelry/ Watches.

ARTE Art & Craft Market at Al Hamra Mall, Ras Al Khaimah will run from  12 – 7 pm on the 21st of November, and every third Friday of the month. Click here to find your way to ARTE at RAK.

Featured artisan – Rebecca Bear

Rebecca Bear’s Doodle Art is very popular amongst ARTE’s customers. The art started out as a way to keep her mind busy while watching TV or while waiting for something. She says, “I get bored doing nothing and while many people may find it relaxing to do nothing, I find it hard to sit still. I found that drawing and doodling became the best way for me to unwind.


The orders poured in after she made a personalized picture for my husband early in 2014. The doodle involved images, places, phrases and patterns that they could both relate to. “I had about 10 people asking where I had bought such an unusual picture and considering their reaction to my saying that I had made it myself, it made me realize that this could have potential.”

Rebecca hails from Germany, but is half English, so, “When it comes to being on time I am very German and when it comes to drinking tea I am very English,” she laughs. She has learnt to follow her heart, live her dreams and be positive from her parents. “My family and friends are very supportive giving me feedback, helping me out selling at ARTE and believing in me. A close friend is helping me with everything technical and marketing, he pushes me to keep on going and has many ideas I try take on board as much as possible. And, last but not least, I am grateful to my husband who is very patient and supportive of my passion. But, he is also my biggest critic and fan, in equal measure!”

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Initially working with ink pen and paper, Rebecca now work in digital media which allows her to be ever more creative and flexible especially when it comes to creating custom orders. “Each personalization has made me stretch the boundaries of my technique, which has really surprised me, as every day I am learning how to create something new and exciting.

Creating personalised gifts is a big part of what Rebecca does. From personalized wedding, birthday, baby shower and Christmas gifts, she has done them all. It is all about creating personal gifts for those living in Dubai – a personal touch to a busy, city-way of living. “It is great to take a person’s life story and turn it into art. What is most important to me is to get the character and atmosphere right, so I always insist on having at least one phone call with my client to hear their voice and passion about the person the gift is intended for.


Rebecca will be showcasing her doodle art this Friday, at Times Square Centre.
Like her work on facebook and see you at ARTE.