Friday Photo: Some (over exposed) kids in Jacmel

Three Stone Steps returned last week from a quickly arranged, whirlwind trip to Haiti.  We stopped in Jacmel to meet with some of the papier-mâché artists we’ve been working with.  Lots of neighborhood kids were hanging around, seeing what we were up to, and I took a horribly overexposed picture of them (which I like anyway) and is today’s Friday Photo.

children in jacmel haiti

Enjoy the weekend.

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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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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

End of summer new year

As a kid, I always looked forward to September, since it seemed to be the second new year of the year.  I would quietly make September resolutions in the hopes that maybe seventh grade would be better than sixth.  (It never was.)  Since I’ve tried to erase much of my junior high and high school years from my memory, I don’t remember all these vows, but I do recall something about trying hard to be a bit tidier and definitely more organized.

Here at Three Stone Steps we don’t sell any real back to school items, but we do have  fair trade, ethically sourced silks and cottons to keep you organized.

Our fantastic silk wallets and cotton wallets are beautiful, functional, and come with tons of compartments.  You could use one compartment for your U.S. greenbacks, and one for your bills in another currency.  Or one compartment for your bills and one for your receipts.  Or, as one delighted customer exclaimed, “I love these.  I can keep the denominations separate!”

The silk screen on silk wallets are luminous and lovely, and fairly handcrafted in Cambodia.

black and gray silk wallet If you’re looking for something equally lovely, but with a bit of more durability, the same wallet comes in a slightly different pattern and in cotton.

silk screen on cotton walletAnd, while we’ve embraced the electronic world, we’re always delighted when people hand out real paper business cards.  We’ll admit to be a tad shocked, shocked when someone who goes though the trouble of carrying business cards doesn’t go through the trouble of having a place to keep them.  (We recall one Very Important Political Person pulling out her cards that were held together with a red rubber band.)

If you want to forgo the business cards held together by a red rubber band look, we can help with a lovely silk screen on silk business card case:

 

silver silk business card case

Whether or not you need to stay (or get) organized, enjoy the fresh start that comes with the end of summer and the arrival of fall.

 

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Filed under Cambodia, cotton wallet, fair trade, fashion accessories, Phnom Penh, silk, silk screen, silk wallet, wallets

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: 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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