Category Archives: manila

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

Friday Photo: Calm Seas

Yesterday morning I had a text exchange with Evenson, one of the artisans Three Stone Steps works with in Haiti–and the one who makes our recycled and beautiful menorahs and adorable recycled metal earrings among other great products–to see if he would like to start on an order now, or wait until after the storm.

He wanted to start immediately.  Which wasn’t at all surprising.  Work is important in Haiti, as it is everywhere.  And, once products were ordered, I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out the path of Tropical Storm Isaac, fretting, and just generally upset about the damage that a major storm could do in the country.  Of course, I thought about the hundreds of thousands of people still living in tents, but I also found myself thinking about the houses the artisans I know live in, wondering how their cinder block and corrugated tin roofs would hold up in a storm.

I also thought that just two weeks ago I was stunned by the horrific flooding in Metro Manila, where our recycled ornaments and dreidels are made.  I choose to focus a blog post on my favorite place in the Philippines.  And, in response to the storm coming to Haiti, today’s Friday Photo is a serene scene from the beach near Jacmel, Haiti.

by the sea

Smooth sailing this weekend, everyone!

 

 

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Filed under artisans, beach, friday photo, friday photo, Haiti, hurricane, manila, ornaments, Philippines, recycled

Friday (travel) photo/s: Camiguin Island, Philippines

I’ve been thinking about the Philippines a lot this week, not only because it’s our recycled ornament and dreidel ordering season–retailers can find out more here— but mostly because of news of the catastrophic floods in Metro Manila.

While the fair trade producer I work with is in Manila, there was a time when I traveled all over the country.  My favorite place in the Philippines, and among the best travel experience I’ve had anywhere is on Camiguin Island.  It’s an amazing place. Below are just a few of many, many photos:

 

boats

in the event you forget where you are; the boats can just easily read “paradise”

view from a hill

typical view. really.

lazones

the island is know from lazones, a sticky and sweet and addictive little fruit

 

waving from white island

these lovely people, waving goodbye to me, resulted in one of my best travel stories ever.  (I won’t go into it now.)

Whether you’re staying put or off on an adventure, have a great weekend.

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Filed under friday photo, manila, Philippines, travel

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

FUNctional Art on loan

Today I went over to Port Discovery children’s museum to view their FUNctional Art exhibit, which focuses on art made of recycled materials.  I’ve loaned quite a few recycled metal art pieces from Haiti for this exhibit, including doves, suns, dragonflies, and crescent moon faces.  You can find most of those pieces here.   I also put on loan some of my “trashy purses” made from recycled juice packs from the Philippines.

Since it was such a kick seeing the work I carry in such an odd context for me, I thought I’d share some of the photos.  Of course, should you be heading to Port Discovery,  you can check it out yourself.

art studio entrance Port Discovery

entrance to FUNctional Art exhibit

 

making recycled bags

learning about recycling and art

 

doves in window

doves flying around on the inside

art in case

some description of the process

sign with recycled juice pack purses

hey, that's Three Stone Steps!

 

 

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Filed under Baltimore, manila, Philippines, recycled, recycling, reuse, trash bag

Friday Photo: Get your recycled, fairly traded holiday shopping on

Since I forgot last week’s Friday Photo, I’m attaching two to make up for it.  And, it comes with a warning, Three Stone Steps is very quickly running out of these items so if you want one (or more) now is the time to order.

We’ve great recycled ornaments, from a fair trade women’s collective in the Philippines.  You can see a sample below, and get them here.

recycled magazine ornament

and the paper goes round and round....

And, we’ve not forgotten Hanukkah.  Dreidels are selling like hot cakes,  errrr latkes.  In fact, we’re out of the large size dreidel, but still have a few of the small size available right here.

recycled dreidels

I made them out of paper

Honestly, this post isn’t some cheap plea screaming HURRY ITEMS ARE LIMITED (although they are).  This is a case of underestimating demand.  (Cue faceplam.)

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Filed under eco-chic, fair trade, friday photo, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, manila, ornaments, recycled

Friday Photo: I made it out of paper

It’s Friday.  It’s Friday Photo day (I keep thinking it should be Friday Foto or Phriday Photo, but whatever), and I’m waiting for a long delayed shipment I just received a shipment from the Philippines.  And, in that shipment will be my most amazing recycled dreidels, that are made by a women’s collective in Manila, the Philippines.  With the Jewish High Holy Days behind us, it might be time to turn our attention to those Eight Crazy Nights.

These aren’t up on the site yet, but will be soon.  In the meantime, if  you’re looking for an amazingly beautiful, fairly traded recycled menorah made from recycled 55-gallon oil drums in Haiti, well, I’ve got you covered right here.  (Oh, and if Hanukkah’s not your thing,  I’ll have recycled ornaments and trees up post-Halloween.)

recycled dreidels from the Philippines

I made them out of paper

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Filed under fair trade, friday photo, Haiti, holiday shopping, judaica, manila, metal art, recycled