ARTE’s Artists

Moonberry Studios by Lene

March is the month of horse racing, art and literature in Dubai which makes me want to race on down to ARTE at Times Square, tomorrow, Friday, March 10, 2017. Do not forget our new hours: 10am – 6pm.  Looking for that special hat to wear to the races or a gift to share with your favourite jockey? Than ARTE is the place to be! Remember, our artists make what they sell and everything is handmade with love in the UAE. Plus, look out for ARTE this weekend at the Emirates Literature festival.

This week’s ARTE artist is Lene of Moonberry Studios

(Instagram: Moonberry_Studios, Facebook: Moonberry Studios1, e-mail:

Lene is originally from South Africa, but has been living in the UAE since 2005. Lene’s first ARTE market was in 2008. Shortly after her first market, Lene learned that she was pregnant with her first child. Lene decided ARTE would have to wait.  Today,  Lene  has two beautiful children who inspire her art work everyday.  In 2015, Lene decided to return to ARTE and she’s been with us ever since.

I asked Lene how she became involved with card making and she told me that one day she saw a page with a rose and writing on it. She loved it so much that she started talking to the artist, who introduced her to scrapbooking. Lene was hooked!

My photos do not do justice to her beautiful work. Lene creates each of her designs by hand. There is a great amount of love and care that goes into each card.

Lene believes in quality over quantity. A card is just as important as an art piece. This is why she uses pigment inks which are not heat dried. They take longer to dry but, are worth the wait.

She cuts out her images by hand, as well as using the latest embossing techniques.

Plus, Lene’s work is environmentally friendly, as she uses recycled books and paper to create her gorgeous cards.

Lene’s cards are perfect for holidays.  With Easter and St. Patrick’s day right around the corner, (and don’t forget all those birthdays!) you must come and check out her latest cards at ARTE.

Lene also handcrafts the most adorable gift tags.

for any occasion:

They even make great bookmarks:

Although Lene, loves making her cards, her true passion is mixed media. In 2008, Lene was a finalist in the Red Bull art show. When you visit Lene’s table, you will also see her art pieces for sale.

Lene describes her art as “historic ephemera”. She uses items from the past which would normally have a short term use like tickets to a movie, and transforms them into something beautiful. Here is an example:

If you look closely, you will see tickets. These tickets are from the 1970s. Originally, they were used to raise money for a trip to the fresh water angling world championships in Europe.

In this piece, Lene has taken pieces that her grandmother crocheted and incorporated them in her art. Lene feels that art is a way to connect our pasts and futures. If you are interested in learning more about her mixed media pieces or if you are interested in taking a morning mixed media art class, for adults only, Please stop by Lene’s table at ARTE for a chat.

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Wedding bells and cards, the Bespoke way

Congrats to regular ARTE-san vendor, Bespoke Cards Dubai Owner Amanda Spriggs, on the joyous occasion of her lovely daughter’s imminent June wedding.  For this auspicious occasion, Amanda has shared with us the process of making the unique wedding invites for her daughter’s wedding.

The finished wedding cards by Bespoke Cards Dubai

The finished wedding cards by Bespoke Cards Dubai

So how did the whole plan about creating the cards come about?

Amanda says, “Our Daughter came over 4 years ago to Dubai for a holiday with us and as she was studying fashion design at University, we took her to the fabric Souk in Dubai to look for fabrics, lace, beads etc for her final fashion show at university. She saw a bolt of lace approx 25 yards long and she loved it. At the time, she said ” I don’t know what I can do with it but I will buy and keep it until the right project comes along.””

The right project did come along (the wedding!) and Amanda’s daughter decided to use the lace for her wedding Invites. “She decided that the theme would be shabby chic, so we started talking about colours, the size of invite. She knew exactly what she wanted  so the designing process was much simpler.”

It took Amanda around 5 months to create sixty invitations. “Each invitation card was totally handmade by me and every step of the making process was measured, checked and re-checked to make sure that every piece of card, lace and ribbon that was cut was identical in size down to the last millimetre. For me it is important to buy my card, envelopes and coloured card from factories that use trees from sustainable forests.”

Bespoke Cards Dubai stand as seen at one of ARTE souks

Bespoke Cards Dubai stand as seen at one of ARTE souks

So when did the ‘crafting’ life start for Amanda?

” I have been crafting  for about 37 years and tried my hand at all sorts of crafts but about 9 years ago a friend asked me to make a birthday card for her mum. Since then I’ve been hooked to the craft of card making.  When I look back at the cards I made in the beginning, to me they were not very good but I knew in my head what type of cards I wanted to make. With practise and learning from my mistakes I have come to the stage where I am very proud of and each card I make is made with love, great care and attention to detail.”

The lovely Amanda with our great looking stall at ARTE

The lovely Amanda with our great looking stall at ARTE

Amanda shared some sentiments about her relationship with her daughter which brought us to tears (just nearly).  She says,  “I have learnt that we may be thousands of miles apart but with technology we could keep in touch every step of the way through the wedding preparations.  Our daughter has kept me involved in all the decisions made for the wedding and asked my advice throughout. She even took a photo of the wedding dress she had chosen and emailed it to me and told my mum that if I did not like it she would choose another. But I loved it. I have so missed not being with our daughter in the run up to the wedding as I think it’s every Mother’s dream.  But I must say, I could not have been more involved with living so far apart. I am one very proud mother.”

Visit Bespoke Cards Dubai  on facebook.

NOTE: If you are a regular ARTE-san, interested in sharing your handcrafting/painting process and you have great pictures to share with us, please drop us an email.

It is very important, that the photos are of great quality (as Amanda has done) so that we can use these to illustrate the blog post, should we decide to carry your work on the ARTE blog.