ART at ARTE in April -Anjana Bose

I am Anjana Bose of I-Craft. I am neither an artist nor a designer. I depend of my imagination to explore, experiment and create. My artwork takes inspiration from the things around me and experiences I have. I started I-Craft with the hope to introduce a piece of art in everyday life; to make art usable / wearable and definitely affordable. I use a number of surfaces and medium like acrylics, charcoal pencil etc. This time, I am at ARTE with my paintings and looking forward to take a small step closer to my dream.#artemarket #wemakewhatwesell


ART at ARTE in April by Namita

Meet Namita of Novakraft Studio.

Find an eclectic collection of my eccentric expressions. I am a self taught artist and I enjoy working in a variety of mediums including but not limited to graphite, ink, watercolor and acrylics. Every creation for me is the yellow brick road that I have been on since childhood with a lot of adventures along the way.


We know what they did last summer

ARTE may have taken a short break during the month of August, but our artisans have been as busy as ever. We take a look at what some of the artisans did over the summer to refuel that flickering oil lamp of creativity.

Bright and Beautiful – Creative Fabric Ideas

Carla Bygrave, Founder and Designer of Bright and Beautiful did not have much time to create many of her popular bag creations, but her tote bag travelled all over the world with her. From Vegas to LA, from Cebu to Malibu beach, from Dubai international to London Heathrow, her large tote bag has bagged quite a bit of air mileage.  She also captures colourful ‘craft wonderlands’ (as she calls it) where ever she travels, most of them heaped with fabric and wool that make us at ARTE-sans hunger for more of such craft shops in the UAE to whet our arty appetite.

carlas tote

Packed to the brim, the tote bag comes to Carla’s rescue at the airport while travelling.

carlas tote1

The Bright & Beautiful tote bag is spotted yet again at Houston’s George Bush airport.

carlas tote2

One of the many photos Carla takes of craft shops and shares with her fans. This one is at Michael’s craft wonderland in Pasadena CA.

carla commission - 2 days

Customized buntings and bags by Bright & Beautiful. Carla whipped these up in a matter of two days, before she got onto that jet and winged away to Scotland.


T’Danes also travelled during the summer. Her favourite destination happens to Istanbul.  “This city made me realise that that one time beauty stays a life-time beauty,” she says.  This philosophy is incorporated into T’Danes beautiful pieces of work. No wonder they sell like hot cakes – after all, who wouldn’t want a piece of Istanbul beauty around her neck?
bijou tdane

Photo by T’Danes encapulates Istanbul’s handcrafted inspiration through the power of recycling.


Turquoise-ptember collection by T’Danes.


Each pendant is a memento marking a special past event in someone’s life.

Doesn't this 'Marina' necklace by T'Danes look awesome?

Doesn’t this ‘Marina’ necklace by T’Danes look awesome?

Like T’Danes on facebook.

Janys De

Spending time between India and Dubai this summer, Jan D’Sa, Owner and artist-designer at Janys De, started working on pocket squares to compliment her handcrafted cufflinks collection.  Leaving the pocket squares and her cufflinks behind in Dubai, she went off to India and had a great time having the space to work on her fiction stories, doodle spontaneously and take insect and floral photographs to capture her love for nature. She says, “I did not travel as much as I would like to, but time spent on my parents’ garden-farm, dabbling in hobby photography, doodling and writing served to be a great introspection time where I travelled deep into my creative being.”  We can be certain to witness her cufflinks collection steeped in this newfound creativity  at ARTE.

Jan loves the time after the monsoon rains, where the raindrops sit immaculately on the flowers and leaves. Captures on her parents’ garden-farm.


Balancing the arthropod and the tear drop. Captured by Jan on her parents’ garden-farm.


Spontaneous doodling with her non dominant hand has become one of Jan’s favourite past times.


Handcrafted cufflinks by Jan in polymer clay and resin. The designs are made, following the intricate patterns in doodles created by Jan.

Like Janys De on facebook.

Dollie Day Dreams

Another artisan who has seen the world and has lived in different countries spanning South America to South East Asia, had a pleasant surprise waiting for her in the English Countryside. Maggie, Owner and Designer of Dollie Day Dreams, says, “I was re-introduced to the pleasure of picnics in the English countrysides, long walks and endless rows of gorgeous flowers. The weather was great to just wander off the beaten path and lose myself in memories of things that I miss when I am in Dubai.”
Her Dollies are well known collectibles that are quite the rage among ARTE’s visitors.
Flowers in Maggie's mother's English garden.

Flowers in Maggie’s mother’s English garden.


Maggie Tuite, seen with her Dollie creations on new ARTE posters.

Maggie Tuite, seen with her Dollie creations on new ARTE posters.


Maggie’s Mr.Bunny keeps her company when she makes her dollies. She says, “She likes my button box, thankfully, I caught him in time having a sniff and not a snack.”

diva dolls

The Diva Dolls sell like hot cakes at ARTE.


Don’t you love this doll Trapeze Artist – each Dollie by Maggie exudes her own character and personality.

Like Dollie Day Dreams on facebook.

Eva’s  Cats

Bright and spunky Eva Yumshanova, designer at Eva’s Cats,  spent time in the west of France camping with the family during the summer. Amongst all the expected camping gear you may find in camper’s backpack was (no surprise) threads and needles. Eva says, “I could not take my sewing machine, but I could sneak in some fabric, needle and thread. I zipped myself in the tent which made me feel I was inside a sleeping capsule of a star ship. I loved it.”  It was in the midst of viewing the night sky, the milky way, breathing fresh air and pine trees, visiting Brittany and Le Croisic (known for its snail farms, salt plantations and more ) that her cat keychains were born.


Eva in France, enjoying her ‘starship’ abode while piecing the cat keychains together.

eva keychains

Buy these cute cat key chains by Eva at ARTE markets.

Evas cats

A preview of some of Eva’s cats and dogs, foxes and camels.

Who can resist these animals made by Eva?

Who can resist these animals made by Eva?

Like Eva’s Cats on Facebook.
All Photos used in this blog posts are used with the permission of the artisans.


Arabian (Dollie) adventures at ARTE

Sitting regally on her throne, Sayida Amira (lady Amira) looks all prim and proper. Her mascara-ed eyelashes are heavy with expectancy that someone so deserving of her handcrafted beauty and vivacious, will steal away into the night or day.


This is Lady Amira handcrafted with love by Maggie Tuite.

Like Amira, many a lady and princess has had her dreams come true, thanks to their creator, Maggie Tuite who brands her dollies as Dollie Day Dreams. Some have their hands henna-ed with hand embroidery. Others have flamboyant gowns that go on for miles.


Note the lovely bejewelled hands on this Dollie.


Beneath the veil is a beautiful face with handpainted facial features.


And if you prefer the dollies to have wire-y legs so that they have the choice to fold their legs into a ‘yoga’ pose or dangle like happy-go-lucky gals, then Maggie can customise these for you.

Dollies from diverse communities can be seen at ARTE at Maggie Tuite's stall.
Dollies from diverse communities can be seen at ARTE at Maggie Tuite’s stall.

Visit Dollie Day Dreams on facebook.


Soap-erman Abraham

“Normal is boring,” was the first statement Abraham Shibu made when asked why soap-making instead of other forms of art. This is, of course, one of the fido-sophies that he has borrowed from 7UP’s mascot, Fido Dido (the others being: It’s cool to be you; Your best friend is your head; Dare to be different; and Life is short, live it up).

What he meant to say, of course, that soap-making, blended in with music, soothes his soul. As a printing technologist by profession, he loved colours. Moving quickly into advertising, his love for colours intensified and a general awakening to handcraft his own works of art began. For Christmas, he is working on the ‘cinnamon’ series of soaps! He is probably the first male artisan at ARTE to make soaps. Talk about MAN-made soaps.

Research into making soap took around three years. Abe (as his friends call him) was not impressed to find that soaps, in general, contain a lot of chemicals. His brand of soap called Aura soaps, is passionately handmade for the skin.

“The next time you walk down the soap aisle at your favorite store enjoying the fresh, clean scents and the bright colorful packaging, pay attention. Look at the labels. The vast majority of the products on the shelf don’t say ‘soap’ on their labels. They might be called beauty bars, cleansing bars, moisturizing bars, or body bars, but not soap. That’s because these bars aren’t actually soap and can’t legally claim to be; they’re detergents. The manufacturers have removed most of the ‘good’ stuff that occurs in the soap making process, and replaced it with synthetic lathering agents and harsh chemicals. These cheap, plentiful detergent bars are not only bad for your skin, but they’re also bad for the planet, too.”

Find Aura Soaps and like them on facebook.

Taking the Silk R(o)ut(e) – Arna Rut

Taking the silk route is quite an addictive journey, according to Arna Rut. “When one gets used to wearing clothing made of silk, one doesn’t want to use anyother material.” For her working with silk is a totally different experience to working with other material.

“When I first came to the textile markets in Dubai I was amazed by the colors and selection of silk. I knew I had to make something out of it. At that time I was working with materials made of cotton and polyester, but since I started using the silk, it’s bit a case of no turning back.”

Arna’s collection of silk scarves is name Karisma, which comes from the word ‘charisma.’  “Charisma is when a person has a special charm, attractiveness or appeal that people notice. It is in their personality to stand out and inspire others. That is what I want my silk scarves to stand for when people wear them.”

“When I choose the silk, it is a combination of the Dubai lifestyle and my connection to Icelandic women that inspire me.”

Has Arna always been artistic?Since I was a kid I´ve been creating things. Ever since I remember I´ve been interested in fabrics, patterns and colors. My sewing machine has always been a part of my life.”

Last but not least, Arna ensures that she works with a selection of colours for the silk so that the woman can choose from the beautiful colours. “I also want them to feel special when wearing their scarf as their scarf is one of a kind. I only make a few scarves from the same fabric and no two scarves look exactly the same.”

We have to mention that Arna’s business cards is by far, one of the best we have seen. It communicates to the client the pure luxury of the Karisma line of silks, as luxurious as the silk products themselves. This is a lesson for all artisans to remember, that your business cards are your best marketing tools. Create one that stands for what your brand is like and you will be sure your clients will keep coming back for more.

Visit Arna Rut‘s website.

Have a Handmade Halloween!

Our ARTE Artisans have been very busy creating Halloween themed handmade products. From fun decorations to toys and delicious treats, each piece will help you stand out at your upcoming Halloween party.

Crochet Zombies and Pumpkins by Komeropuoti – Little Craft Shop

Pumpkin Toffee by Toffee Princess

Halloween inspired Crystal Tree by Sahar’s Luxury Handicrafts

Halloween inspired Cat-Shaped Decorative Cushions by Eva’s Cats

Stuffed toys by Natalia Sukhanova

Halloween Inspired Miniature Sculptures by Orange Jar

Halloween Bunting by Bright & Beautiful ME

Trick or Treat Buckets by Bright & Beautiful ME

Halloween inspired Cupcakes by Farah Nausheen Arshad & Sana Ayesha Arshad

Little boys set by In The Sand Pit

Polymer Clay Earrings by Mojeperle

Skull Cork Stoppers by Colin Roberts from 2RGalleries

Studio Saubhagya- T(h)reading on Success

Photo copyright Studio Saubhagya

Photo copyright Studio Saubhagya

One day, Ms. Sonal, the lady behind the Studio Saubhagya brand, had a bright idea. She decided to translate her fashion design expertise into the realm of making jewelry using mixed media work (chiefly thread and other embellishments). At affordable prices, Studio Saubhagya’s collection caught the eyes of many a colour-junkie and the hearts of those in love with embroidery, embellishments and jewelry.
Recent months have seen Sonal return to making accessories that have the repeated embroidery theme that is so synonymous with her jewelry line. She now makes sets of lovely keychains with personalised themes. Note the Car and Home themes below. The elephant, peacock and other animal trinkets are made of wood so you can be sure they are going to stay intact.

Delicately crafted Keychains crying out to be seen (and purchased!)

Delicately crafted Keychains crying out to be seen (and purchased!)

Home-Car-Home ...Represents our modern life.

Home-Car-Home …Represents our modern life.

Note that Sonal makes lovely bags with a quilted bottom so that they stay put when placed on the floor, table or chair. If you look at the interior of the back, you will see neatly embroidered pockets to keep your mobile phones and more. Great to use as a beach bag we think.


Close up of the a heavily embroidered bag by Studio Saubhagya

Close up of the a heavily embroidered bag by Studio Saubhagya

We are sure Studio Saubhagya can do a neat set/package of matching bag, book, keychain and mobile holder, with the designs that you decide upon. Such a great gift set!

Consider buying a gift set of a bag, book/note pad, and keychains for a loved one!

Consider buying a gift set of a bag, book/note pad, and keychains for a loved one!

Visit Studio Saubhagya on facebook.

Ways to Go Green! (Recycled Gift Ideas & More)

Our ARTE Markets are an invaluable resource for visitors to discover a wide variety of beautifully locally crafted items for the home. Among others, ARTE also welcomes a variety of locally-based artisans, who are committed to using sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

Here are a few green gift ideas for any occasion, – hand produced by ARTE Artisans, who have put their skills and love into making the products.

Scrabble tile cuff links by Theresa Tsui

Old zippers transformed into attractive rings

Old zippers transformed into attractive hairbands

Sock monkeys by Sandustar Socks Toys

Sock monkeys by Sandustar Socks Toys

Upcycled driftwood candle holders by Kariba Arts

Hand painted bottles by Artmitul

Hand stamped old spoons 

Old CDs transformed into Candle Holders by Pretty Dezines

Fabric scraps transformed into reusable envelopes

Sale of Second-Hand Books in support of Feline Friends