Category Archives: friday photo

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 Photo: Summer night

At Three Stone Steps most of our weekends are spent outside at markets and festivals.  (If we have a home, it’s the Baltimore Farmers Market and Bazaar,  in the little west side annex.)  We’ve never been big fans of summer in the Baltimore-Washington region.  (Well, at least not since the days the sleepaway camp.)  We do, however, look for little glimmers of loveliness in the summer, and captured this neighborhood scene on Monday night.

Patterson Park fountain by night

Have a great (summer) weekend whatever you do.

(Photo was taken with iPhone 4 and is on Instagram.  If you’re there too, you can follow at “threestonesteps.”)


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Filed under Baltimore, DC, festival, friday photo, friday photo

Friday Photo: Recycled Judaica (it’s not just for Hanukkah)

Yes, it’s June.  And, if you’re on the Eastern seaboard, it’s really hot.  But for retailers and wholesalers like us here at Three Stone Steps,  Hanukkah and Christmas are right around the corner.  And, if you’re a retailer trying to put together a fair trade, recycled holiday collection, this link would be a good place to start. (You’ll find fabulous recycled ornaments, recycled dreidels, and recycled menorahs, and more.)  If you want to know more, please contact me at ellen[at]threestonesteps[dot]come.

But, let’s say that like most of us, you’re not a retailer, but would like to find some recycled, fair trade Judaica.  You need a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or wedding gift, and don’t know what will fit the bill.  Well, then, check this out:

Haitian metal art, shalom

read from right to left, silly!

You can find more information of this great piece of indoor/outdoor art on the Three Stone Steps site right here.  And, if you’re not in the market for recycled, fair trade Judaica, you can find other great recycled art here.

Really cute, huh?

And, have a great PEACEful weekend!

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Filed under fair trade, friday photo, friday photo, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, metal art, peace, recycled, recycling

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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Filed under friday photo, friday photo, travel, women

Friday Photo: Introducing Jacques Eugene

Jacques Eugene is one of the many talented Haitian metal artists I work with in Croix-des-Bouquets.  We carry the great piece he has in his hand (perfect for Mother’s Day, and will be on my site in time for it) and a wonderful fish with a marble eye.  (That will be on my site soon, too.)  Please stay tuned.

haitian metal artist in crox-des-bouquets

Jacques Eugene in his fanciful atelier

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Filed under friday photo, friday photo, Haiti, mother's day, recycled

Friday Photo: Donations have unintended consequences

I’ve been reading so much about the abuses of aid that I think it’s become my hobby.  And, while I know the aid industry has a lot of horrible consequences, it also has unintended funny (funny funny and sort of sad funny) ones.

If you’ve ever traveled in developing nations, you wind up seeing people wearing what I can only describe as incongruous tee shirts.  And maybe because Haiti’s so close to the U.S., or that Haiti seems to be some sort of Goodwill store drop off for stuff people no longer want that it seems to have a particularly large number of people wearing unlikely tee shirts.  You know, a large guy digging a ditch with a shirt that reads, “Joshua’s Bar Mitzvah” or another guy lounging around in a “Vassar Women’s Swimming Team” shirt.  Spotting and mentally cataloging these shirts has become yet another hobby.

However, no shirts that I’ve seen so far have quite topped the one by the straw hat seller that I saw last week on a beach in Jacmel.

beach hat seller

who me?

I know that Haiti has a lot of challenges.  But personally I’m rooting for a textile industry that makes tee shirts for domestic use.

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Filed under friday photo, friday photo, Haiti

Friday Photo: White Christmas?

I’ve always blamed a combination of Dickens,  Currier and Ives, and a stop motion animation special with a red nosed character for the preoccupation with having a white Christmas.  There are huge swatches of the planet where Christmas is eagerly celebrated and where it never or rarely ever snows, or only snows at really high elevations.  Here in the Baltimore/DC area, we’re living through a blissfully balmy December (and as someone who does outdoor shows during the month, this is wonderful beyond all words).

For today’s Friday Photo, I bring you a photo from outside a church from the Land of Eternal Spring, or Guatemala. (In all honestly, this photo was taken in May of this year, but I imagine if you go to this church in Chichicastenango today, the scene would be the same.)

flower seller on church steps

No snow.

And, whatever the weather is in your part of the planet, have a great holiday.


Filed under Baltimore, Christmas, colorful, DC, friday photo, friday photo, Guatemala, Washington