Category Archives: travel

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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Friday Photo: Balance

Three Stone Steps is planning to go back to Haiti in the next two weeks or so.  We’ll be meeting with artisans, picking up some new pieces of recycled metal art, and begin working on new designs for 2013.

We’ve always been impressed by the arts there, but we’re equally impressed with the poise and balance by which people go about their daily lives.

Below is a serene scene from the beachfront artisans town of Jacmel:

woman walking in Jacmel

Here’s hoping you find balance, physical or otherwise, this weekend.

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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:



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

view from a hill

typical view. really.


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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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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Friday Photo: (from the archives) Jump rope!

Here at Three Stone Steps we’ve been so consumed with wholesaling our great recycled holiday items that we sometimes need to remind ourselves that it’s the middle of the (hot) summer.  So, for today’s Friday photo, some summer play.  (Ok.  This photo is from the archives.  It was taken in November.  Of 2008.  So, definitely not the summer, but we’re talking about the Caribbean.)

rope jump, Haiti

Here’s to a fun weekend.

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Friday Photo/s: Back from Albania

Albania was a great destination.  I’d recommend it.  Highly.  I had the all too rare experience of feeling like I was traveling and not running from sight to sight, or working.

It was very much a real vacation or holiday (depending on where you are in the English speaking world), since I didn’t search (well, all that much) for fairly made handicrafts.

So, no buying.  No shopping.   In fact, I didn’t even bring back a trinket for myself, but I did see a few women selling their wares in the castle area of Berat/Berati, which was about as touristy as things got in Albania. (Which, blissfully, isn’t all that much.)

women in doorway in Berat/Berati, Albania

Just a few things for sale.

While the above woman had a few crotched items, she is mainly selling honey and preserves.  (Which I imagine are great.)

The woman below has a bit more on the handicraft front on offer:

berat/berati seller in castle

selling needlework


Wherever you end up this weekend, I hope it’s great.


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Ghetto Biennale and other recycled art in Haiti

This current trip is my fifth to Haiti.  Usually, for a variety of factors, mostly involving the high cost of travel there, I rush through and do absolutely what I have to do and head home.   I changed things this time.

This has been by far my best trip to Haiti, in fact, one of the best travel experiences anywhere.  I gained new insights.   I met interesting people.  I listened to a variety of music that provided the perfect soundtrack to what I was seeing.  In a first for me in Haiti–although it tends to be my passion just about everywhere else–I ate street food.  I saw loads of art.

Yes, my first full day in Haiti was a very good day.

The first stop happened by chance, when I spotted a yard, if you can call it that, crammed with art from rusty old metal pieces and a sign that read “Ghetto Biennale.” (Despite the name, I think this is up all year long.)

There were a shocking large number of pieces of art with erections.  This was pointed out to me in case I missed it.  I hadn’t.  I’ve never quite thought about that subject in art, and I’m sure I’d have remembered it from Art History 101 had it ever been brought up.   I was, however, assured that it was an optimistic sign, a happy until the end kind of thing.

As I toured the space  it dawned on me that I had seen this gallery on the Haiti episode of No Reservations.  (A show I’ve watched the one time when it was about the country.)    I brought this up to the artist, and he didn’t at all recall meeting a famous American chef.  (And, strangely, this made me happy. )  Also, as I recall the episode, and I could very well be misremembering it,  Bourdain found the art deeply disturbing.  Perhaps he missed  a thing or two.

Nearby I visited another artist who works mostly with used auto parts.  (And, it doesn’t really hurt that I was in the section of Port-au-Prince where there are tons of used auto part stores.)  Some of these photos are included in the slideshow below.

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Amazing art and experiences continued since this first full day in Haiti a mere two days ago.  And, I’ll be back here writing more about it.

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Filed under artisans, food, Haiti, metal art, recycled, recycling, sustainable, travel