Category Archives: Philippines

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

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

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: To be or Jolliebee

If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll know what I’ve been thinking about the Philippines.  For today’s photo, I have something doubly Filipino.  I bring you a little Jollibee key chain.  Don’t know Jolliebee?  He–always assumed a he–is the Philippine Ronald McDonald.  At least that’s how I describe him.  Despite several trips to Philippines, I’ve never eaten at Jollibee, though I must admit that I’ve thought about it,  but somehow always stopped myself from walking in the front door. I have, in my past, eaten at McDonald’s, although it was years ago and  not something I’m proud of.

this is from a used ketchup, or "catsup" pack

Anyway, this A for adorable key chain is made from used ketchup packs.  Or, catsup.  At least that’s the word you see inside.  And, for the double Philippine edge, this recycled accessory is made by a women’tacollective  in Manila.   You can buy them from Three Stone Steps in person,  or through our site if you want.

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Filed under eco-chic, friday photo, Philippines, recycled, women

Make it anywhere: Filipina teachers in Baltimore

I’ve spent some time in the Philippines.  In fact, at this very moment I’m waiting, waiting, waiting for Three Stone Steps’ popular recycled ornaments and dreidels to arrive from a women’s collective there.  We also carry key chains, headbands, and small purses made from juice packs  by a different women’s collective there.

I live in Baltimore.  I love it here.  I always say that if I were going to leave Baltimore, it would be for a big move, to a place like Buenos Aires or Tbilisi.   My reality, though, isn’t the same for everyone.  Life can be hard here.

And, life is also hard for many in the Philippines.

So, with great interest, I watched an excellent POV video called The Learning that glimpsed into the lives of four Filipina teachers both in their homes and with their families, and teaching in Baltimore, after being recruited by the city schools.

I found the film engaging and powerful.  If you have some time, you should sit down and watch while it’s available.  I’ve posted the trailer below to give you a glimpse.  Let me know what you think.

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Filed under Baltimore, fair trade, holiday shopping, manila, ornaments, Philippines, S.E. Asia, Tbilisi, women