Category Archives: ornaments

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

Keeping it green

Three Stone Steps is a people and planet friendly company.  While we’ve blogged quite a bit about the artisans we work with and our fair trade producers, we don’t spend enough time on our eco-friendly side:  our metal art from Haiti is made from recycled oil drums using only hand tools, so there’s no carbon footprint (besides it getting from Haiti to where it’s sold);  our silk and cotton accessories from Cambodia are made with AZO-free dyes.  And, as we head towards the gifting season, you should know that our ornaments and dreidels are made by hand of recycled paper in the Philippines, and we have a new line of papier-mâché ornaments from Haiti made from recycled cement bags.

If you’re not in the market for wall art, or ornaments and dreidels, or fashion accessories, and you want to do some eco-friendly shopping head straight to Pristine Planet.  They’ve a great easy to navigate site and green products in scads of categories.  (And in the interest of full disclosure:  Three Stone Steps has listed with Pristine Planet for years.  If you’re a merchant of green goods they’re amazingly personable people with make you swoon customer service.)

We definitely don’t want to pretend that shopping will save the planet, but if keeping things green is on your list, Pristine Planet is a good place to begin.

 

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Filed under Cambodia, Christmas, cotton, cotton wallet, eco-chic, eco-fashion, environment, fashion accessories, green commerce, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, ornaments, Philippines, pristine planet, recycled, recycling, shopping

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

Artist profile: Winzor

Winzor, of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, is the creative force behind some of Three Stone Steps’ most popular, affordable, and accessible works of recycled metal wall art, including suns and hearts.

winzor in his atelier

He’s also been great to work with on some of Three Stone Steps’ design ideas, including this recycled metal adjustable ring (he made the flower one):

recycled metal adjustable rings

And, we’ve worked together on this year’s fabulous recycled metal ornament based on his very popular trumpeting angel recycled artwork.  (I’ll keep the ornaments under wraps for now, but retailers looking for wholesale information can find them here.)
recycled metal trumpeting angelAnd, that’s not all!  We’ve partnered with the amazing folks at Stem to create something extra special.  If it works–and we think it will!–look for some great new, innovative products coming this holiday season.

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Filed under artisans, Haiti, holiday shopping, jewlery, metal art, new products, ornaments, recycled

Friday Photo: Go.

Here at Three Stone Steps we’ve been checking out airfares for a potential trip to Haiti next month.   We need to meet with some metal artisans and the women who make our (soon to be on the website) papier-mâché ornaments so airports (and airfares) have been on our mind.  (Well, at least more than usual.)

Today’s photo is an Instagram from back in the early Spring.  It’s Newark International Airport taken from a moving Boltbus on the New Jersey Turnpike.

 

newarkHave a great weekend whether or not you’re going somewhere.

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Filed under artisans, friday photo, Haiti, metal art, ornaments, 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

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