Category Archives: fair trade

The return of Friday Photo/s: Superbowl and Carnival Edition

It’s a big weekend both in the U.S. and in Haiti.  Here in the U.S., of course, there’s the Superbowl, sort of an unofficial national holiday.  In Haiti–or at least in the southern city of Jacmel–there’s Carnival.

When Three Stone Steps was in Jacmel about two weeks ago, we saw lots of  preparations for the big event this weekend.  Here are a few photos:

papier mache zebra masks jacmel haiti

girls and masks jacmel

But, let’s swing back to last where when, in a fit of local Baltimore pride, I decided to have a papier-mâché raven made, you know, because that’s the name of our football team that just so happens to to be in this weekend’s big football game.  (It’s like the Superbowl of football!)  It turns out  it’s far too expensive and cumbersome to ship, but I’m sharing it with you here because it’s a special piece for a special game.

raven papier mache

Whatever you do, enjoy your weekend and Go Ravens!

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Filed under Baltimore, fair trade, friday photo, Haiti, travel

Amazing recycled holiday products are now online. Finally.

File under:  Better late than never.  After missing Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Whatever Sunday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Back or Fair Trade Tuesday (I assume it’s both) Three Stone Steps‘ amazing, ethically sourced products for Christmas, Hanukkah, and beyond are finally available online.

This year we’ve added some great new ornaments from Haiti, including lively and colorful papier-mâché handcrafted and hand painted in the papier-mâché capital of the country, Jacmel.  (I don’t think it’s the official name of the city, but it has a nice ring to it.)

We also have lovely trumpeting angel recycled metal ornaments made exclusively for Three Stone Steps.

We’ve carried great, well loved recycled paper ornaments from Manila, the Philippines, from a women’s collective in the past and the tradition carries on to Holidays 2012.   As usual, they come in two sizes, and while most consist of paper “beads,” we’re partial to the paper “twine” made from recycled magazines.

And, what would the holidays be without our super special almost famous recycled dreidels? A fancy new style–with different color letters–is available for those eight crazy nights of Hanukkah.

These adorable little spinning tops generally sell out fast.  Remember, the first night of Hanukkah is a little more than a week away.  And, don’t forget, we have great, handmade, recycled menorahs, too.

Of course, Three Stone Steps isn’t the only game in town for buying these recycled Christmas and Hanukkah goods.  If you’re looking for one of our fine retail partners, perhaps near you, please let us know where you are and we’ll give you some options.  Or, if you’re in the Baltimore-Washington area, come see us live.  You can find our schedule of events here.

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, fair trade, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, manila, new products, ornaments, Philippines, recycled

End of summer new year

As a kid, I always looked forward to September, since it seemed to be the second new year of the year.  I would quietly make September resolutions in the hopes that maybe seventh grade would be better than sixth.  (It never was.)  Since I’ve tried to erase much of my junior high and high school years from my memory, I don’t remember all these vows, but I do recall something about trying hard to be a bit tidier and definitely more organized.

Here at Three Stone Steps we don’t sell any real back to school items, but we do have  fair trade, ethically sourced silks and cottons to keep you organized.

Our fantastic silk wallets and cotton wallets are beautiful, functional, and come with tons of compartments.  You could use one compartment for your U.S. greenbacks, and one for your bills in another currency.  Or one compartment for your bills and one for your receipts.  Or, as one delighted customer exclaimed, “I love these.  I can keep the denominations separate!”

The silk screen on silk wallets are luminous and lovely, and fairly handcrafted in Cambodia.

black and gray silk wallet If you’re looking for something equally lovely, but with a bit of more durability, the same wallet comes in a slightly different pattern and in cotton.

silk screen on cotton walletAnd, while we’ve embraced the electronic world, we’re always delighted when people hand out real paper business cards.  We’ll admit to be a tad shocked, shocked when someone who goes though the trouble of carrying business cards doesn’t go through the trouble of having a place to keep them.  (We recall one Very Important Political Person pulling out her cards that were held together with a red rubber band.)

If you want to forgo the business cards held together by a red rubber band look, we can help with a lovely silk screen on silk business card case:

 

silver silk business card case

Whether or not you need to stay (or get) organized, enjoy the fresh start that comes with the end of summer and the arrival of fall.

 

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Filed under Cambodia, cotton wallet, fair trade, fashion accessories, Phnom Penh, silk, silk screen, silk wallet, wallets

Go fish

We like fish here at Three Stone Steps.  We like them just about as much as we like our recycled metal roosters.

In fact, we carry so many recycled metal fish that we have a special wholesale line sheet for them.  If you’re interested, you can find that here.   For retail sales, either check out this link, or get in touch.  If you’re in the Baltimore or DC-area, you can find us live somewhere most weekends, and almost always at the Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar under the JFX on Sunday mornings.

fish with marble eye

I must admit that the recycled marble eye is much more striking in person.  This piece is made by the fabulous, visionary Jacques Eugene, who I’ve written about here.

right and left looking recycled metal fish

fish duo(Definitely not show to scale!  Each of those round fish is about the same size as the fish duo, but I tend to like to shoot the fish in their little schools.)

These are made by the wonderful Evenson.who also makes our great recycled metal menorahs and other recycled Judaica including hamsas.

There’s more, including recycled metal fish earrings, a recycled metal fish cross, and even a starfish trivet (I’m not sure if starfish count?), but will save them for another post.

 

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Filed under artisans, earrings, fair trade, judaica, recycled

People behind the products: Philippines Edition

Here at Three Stone Steps we’re about to get an early–and not a tiny– shipment of our famously amazing recycled dreidels to send out some retailers.

I’m told I talk about my dreidels incessantly but I find them sort of amazing.  I think it might be because they were the first really different product I worked on before branching out to recycled Judaica made in Haiti.  You can see the dreidels below.  (I never tire of showing them off.  Ever. )

recycled dreidels

They’re made by a collective of mothers in a very depressed area of a barangay (sort of a neighborhood unit) in Quezon City, which is a part of Metro Manila in the Philippines.  Before I worked with this collective of women to make dreidels, they were making great ornaments out of recycled paper.  I’ve carried these for a few years, will do so again this holiday season, and they’re wonderful.  A sample of our new color combination is right here:

large and small recycled paper ornament

And, here’s a few of the women who made these great holiday creations:

paper bead making

making recycled paper beads while tending to children

And, finally, this is Venus.  I see her all the time since she’s on the hangtags for both the recycled ornaments and the dreidels:

Venus making recycled paper beads

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Filed under Christmas, fair trade, hanukkah, judaica, manila, ornaments, recycled, women

For the birds

Here at Three Stone Steps we tend to organize our recycled metal art from Haiti thematically.  In fact, our our wholesale page is organized in sort of large categories like flora, fauna, crosses, Judaica, etc.  (Even if you’re not a retailer, feel free to take a look!)

But, there are subcategories.  There was a blog post recently on the large amount of roosters we have.  We also have a lot of other birds.

Among the most popular piece we carry is the dove:

recycled metal dove from haiti

lovely dove

And, there are the birds among the flowers:

birds among flowers

birds among flowers

And, a popular tree of life piece featuring birds in the tree (of life).

recycled metal art, tree of life

birds in the tree of life

You can find all of the above for (retail) purchase right here.

And, the birds keep coming!

We have birds in two different menorah designs:

This is our popular menorah from last year:

recycled metal tree of life menorah

birds in the trees and among the pineapples

And, guess what?  There are birds in this year’s recycled metal menorah, too:

painted recycled menorah with flowers and birds from haiti

don’t you wish Hanukkah was year ’round?

You can find these menorahs here.

And, you know what’s funny about all this?  I’m a dog person!

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Filed under fair trade, Haiti, hanukkah, metal art, recycled

Friday Photo: Think cool thoughts

Like (almost) everyone else, I’m trying to keep cool.   And, while I’m definitely not a Christmas in July type–except for the fact that I’m in the midst of wholesaling Three Stone Steps’  line of recycled ornaments, trees, dreidels, and menorahs now– I thought a photo of a very cool, blue ornament wouldn’t be such a bad idea for a Friday Photo.

And, while global warming is pretty much at the top of a lot of people’s mind,  you should know that this papier-mâché ornament is made by hand from recycled cement bags outdoors in Jacmel, Haiti (where it’s actually cooler than it is here in Baltimore) by a mother and daughter team, so besides the shipping, there’s really no carbon footprint. And, should you not care for this cool blue, other colors and styles are available.

Happy (hot) Friday.

Papier-mâché ornament with flower

Blue and cool.

 

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Filed under Baltimore, Christmas, environment, fair trade, friday photo, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, new products, ornaments, recycled, recycling, sustainable