Mother Nature Rules at the Arboleda Vintage and Handmade Crafts Festival

​In Spanish, an arboleda is a grove of trees. Grace Castro and Francine Madera chose the term to name their vintage and handmade crafts festival -- which lands in the Design District this weekend -- because to them, the word represents "Mother Nature and her incredible power to create." 

Inspired by Etsy, the online mall for all things crafted or old, the fair offers about 60 independent entrepreneurs an off-line place to showcase their wares and chat in person with those who'll be enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Madera has always been down with the homemade and has even been offered money for her creations, but prefers to do them for fun only. 

"I've always been drawn to crafting with pictures -- creating collages, scrapbooks. I'm a big fan of those who make items by hand. The dedication and heart shines through in every piece," Madera says

Castro also gets dirty with the crafting. "I come from a long line of seamstress and even though it skipped me, I'm good with paper," she says.

She also wears oldies but goodies herself. "Some of my most treasured vintage pieces come from an unplanned stop at a yard sale or thrift store in an uncharted neighborhood. Not to mention, my mother's closet," she says. 

Handmade and vintage pieces will be totally buyable and usable at the fair. Here is a short list of some booths you might want to make an effort to swing by:

Made with Log: Jessica Herstein works with recycled materials and wood to fashion wearable jewelry. 
Valentina Design: Valentina Ramos makes intricate and totally cute artwork and female and family friendly patterns for fabrics. 
Bananista: Mercedes Golip puts together really stylish vintage looking jewelry creations. 
Aleloop: Alejandra Leibovich is an artist who has worked for the Cartoon Network, MTV, and VH1. Let's call her drawings cartoon art or pop surrealism. She's selling home decor, tees, and prints. 
ReinVintage and My Little Thrift Store: Traci Moody has a range of neat-o vintage finds. 
Harlow's Vintage: You'll get your pick of unique and cute clothes from the '80s and '70s. 

You can buy just about anything you need to have yourself and your house looking original and good at Arboleda. 

Pearl, Home Depot, and the ArtoConecto's KidsArt program will all be available leading craft activities for the little ones, so you can bring them out with you. ArtoConecto's KidsArt program will even receive a portion of proceeds raised by the festival. 

There'll be an Upcycled Exchange booth where "vendors and guests are encouraged to bring left over materials or supplies from their last craft project to swap for items they can use," according to the fair's planners. Jack's Junk Removal is even giving fairgoers and vendors an on-site recycling program. 

A beer garden with Beck's and acoustic music provided by The Black Key Group, Vagabond and Sweat Records will entertain the adults. The hungry will enjoy Whole Foods giveaways and food truck munchies from Purple People Eatery, Ms. Cheezious, and Wrap It Up Foods. 

Arboleda Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Palm Lot on 140 NE 39 Street, Design District. 

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy