Category Archives: mosquito net

The Line Up

My last post, from March 30th (has it been two weeks already?) provided the dates and places where you can find Three Stone Steps LIVE! And, a new show has been added to our itinerant storefront line-up.

Here’s what our weekend looks like:

Saturday, it’s EcoFest in Druid Hill Park, noon to six. It’s the west side of the park, by the zoo.

(By the way, on Saturday we’re marking down, way down, our repurposed mosquito netting and some of our eco-amazing abaca bags. These new prices will be online with the new site–which I hope is up soon!–so don’t fret if you’re not in Baltimore.) But, if you’re in the area, it would be great if you could stop by, even if just to say hello. This will be Three Stone Steps’ third Baltimore EcoFest. I know it sounds sort of auspicious, but I just want to let you know that the event is fun with a capital “F.” And, it’s also free.

And, this just in: We decided to pitch our tent (quite literally, in fact) at the Hightlandtown Wine Festival. Ok. I’ve never been before, but my guess is that it’s also an f.u.n. event. (Ok, it’s not a free event. In fact, it’s $25, but for that you get wine tastes and other great goodies.)

And, hope you have a great and F-U-N weekend, whatever you do.


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Filed under abaca, Baltimore, mosquito net, sale, shows

And, why do you think they call it the "Manila envelope?"

I received a shipment from the Philippines last week. Three Stone Steps now has brand new colors and designs of messenger bags and other personal accessories. Very exciting. But what’s actually blogworthy is that these bags come in rarely seen in the U.S. fibers. So, in addition to mosquito netting, recycled metal, silk, and cotton, Three Stone Steps now boasts such fibers as recycled tetra pack (think those little juice boxes where you poke a hole with a straw) and used (but clean) junk food wrappers, bamboo (made into hip jewelry), seagrass, and abaca. Of all these wonderful fibers, I must admit to having somewhat of a mini-obsession with abaca. Plus “abaca” is just such a magical sounding word.

I’ve posted photos of my abaca products before on this blog–in the should Venus, the mannequin, be naked post–but it’s time to do it again so you can see just what I’m talking about:

Cute, huh?

Anyway, without getting all Latin plant name on you, abaca is the fiber from a tree that looks exactly like a banana tree, just without the fruit. The fiber is harvested from the outer sheaths of the trunk, a process done by hand that doesn’t harm the tree at all. In fact, in a couple of years, the same outer sheath grows back. And, while abaca is grown in various parts of the world, it’s said to be indigenous to the Philippines, and the Philippines leads the world in its production. Ok. End of botany lesson.

Abaca is generally considered to be the strongest natural fiber available. In fact, cordage, especially for ships’ ropes, is among its most notable use. And, not only is its strength legendary, abaca is incredibly lightweight. Talk about having it all.

But wait, there’s more. Abaca, this friendliest of eco-friendly fibers is, at least in the Philippines, grown by small farmers, working maybe five or ten hectares. So, we’re not talking some big multinational paying workers peanuts to harvest this fiber on plantations, this fiber comes from real small farmers. And, once it’s in fiber form, it’s taken to another small producer to dye and weave. All this is done by hand, too. And, then the producer I work with, on the big southern Philippine island of Mindanao, and I figure out how to design this woven fiber into bags you will love.

These bags have other special, eco-friendly features like lining made from recycled flour sacks, but I’ll leave the inside of the bag for another post.

Oh, and the Manila envelope trivia question thing? Abaca is sometimes called Manila hemp. And, envelopes used to be made out of it, hence the Manila envelope. And, now you know.

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Filed under abaca, messenger bags, mosquito net, Philippines, recycled, silk

Blue Skies Smiling at Me

For the first time, in what seems like forever, the sun is shining and the sky is blue here in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, home of the worldwide headquarters of Three Stone Steps.

And, with this weather, my thoughts turn to this weekend, specifically for Saturday, when the weather is supposed to be even more glorious, and Three Stone Steps will be in Druid Hill Park to take part in, for the second time, Baltimore’s EcoFest.

Last year, EcoFest was terrific fun and incredibly inspiring (almost, but not quite as inspiring as everyone’s new favorite singer, Susan Boyle–ha!-trying to figure out a way to get Susan Boyle in this post, and I did!) If you’re interested in what I thought about this wonderful event last year, I did blog about it in 2008, and it can be found right here.

And, if you’re hoping for a sneak peak on what Three Stone Steps will have on tap, well, our famous repurposed mosquito netting items will have some special (read low) pricing, and, with hope–praise deity of your choice and fingers crossed–some brand spankin’ new items from the Philippines. But, don’t hold your breath.

If you make it there, please stop by and say hi.

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Filed under Baltimore, green week, messenger bags, mosquito net


WSVW= What Should Venus Wear?

Venus is the name of my armless mannequin. (Incredibly obvious name, I know.) Anyway, I use Venus to show off Three Stone Steps‘ bags, so that buyers can get a sense of their size and how to wear them. However, she is naked. This never bothered me before. In fact, I thought that usually a mannequin was much less alienating than using a live model, since, well, since live models can sometimes be intimidating because, well, who looks like that? (Of course, Venus has the same ridiculous dimensions as a Barbie doll, so that theory has more than a few holes.) Anyway, I just shot some more photos, and realized that this nudity is not good. It’s time to dress Venus.
But, What should Venus wear?

I’d love your suggestions!

Naked Venus models an abaca shoulder bag, with recycled flour sack lining, with little abaca flower brooch.

Naked Venus is carrying the mint green color of the Luna Shoulder Bag, in repurposed mosquito netting. (It’s on sale, by the way.)

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Filed under abaca, eco-chic, luna bag, messenger bags, mosquito net

The "Boys"

Mingus is the big one, and Fellini, the small one. They are such silly boys. If you’ve been on the Three Stone Steps site, looking at the Fellini Pannolini Large Messenger Bag of repurposed materials, or the Mingus Cross Body Bag, in either post-consumer waste recycled black trash bag or repurposed mosquito netting, you now know the origins of the names.

Honestly, I never planned to name bags for the dogs that hang here at Three Stone Steps, but, hey, I was naming something with the Italian word for diaper, “pannolini,” and Fellini fit just so well, that I just couldn’t resist. And, fair is fair. You can’t name one bag after one of the “boys” and have the other one feeling all left out.

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Filed under messenger bags, mosquito net, trash bag

Still here with new arrivals

My goodness. I have been far away from this blog for weeks. My sincere apologies. In any event, lots happening in the world of Three Stone Steps these days. The first of which is that new bags have arrived from Cambodia. That’s right! They are ready for purchase now. (Well, not quite ready on my site, but if you really want one, I’ll get it to you.) To refresh your memory, please check the following blog entry:

Once I get a few more things together, they’ll actually be great photos on the site and helpful descriptions of the items too. Of course, I’ll let you know the minute its up and ready.

I have other things I’d like to share, but will leave it at that for now. Please stay tuned.

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Filed under big bag, mosquito net

I’m still here….

Ah, but dear reader, I have been very busy.

I’m getting ready for my inaugural trade show, for museum store buyers, down in Tampa. I’m super excited to show off Three Stone Steps’ new line of bags made of recycled, repurposed mosquito netting, and the new bag made of recycled big plastic garbage bags that are woven around blue yard.

Eco-chic at its greenest best, I tell you!

I’ll also be showing off my gorgeous two-toned 100 percent silk scarves, which, by some crazy reserve of will power, I’ve narrowed down to carrying in only four colors. These are hand made of course, and woven in a traditional way, not often seen in Southeast Asia. I also will have my lovely silk Angkor shoulder bag, in some new colors, as well as new colors of the great little cotton travel bag along with the larger commuter bag, both with the same great traditional, yet non-ethnic hippie Khmer silk-screen pattern. Oh, and silk jewelery rolls, and, if my some magic along with the correct alignment of the planets, maybe, just maybe, I’ll even have those brand spanking new striped and beaded cosmetic bags along for the ride. I am waiting, waiting, waiting for the USPS to bring this wonderful package to my little door. Please Mr. Postman, look and see, is there a package, a package for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

While the folks in Tampa will get to see all these goodies in person, never fear, everything will up on the site by later this month…..and, most everything should be available for purchase sometime this summer.

As always, stay tuned….and, updates from the road.

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Filed under angkor bag, cosmetic bag, eco-chic, green commerce, jewlery rolls, mosquito net, recycled, S.E. Asia, scarves, silk