Friday, November 5, 2010

Oh Baby... It's Gettin' Hot In Here...

We have a fireplace in our house. Yes we do. It's beautiful and I've always wanted one in every house we've ever lived in but never had one until now. My childhood home had a gorgeous brick fireplace with a big wooden mantle that, every year, we'd hang our stockings on to be stuffed by Santa. Our current fireplace is marble, with no mantle, but it's still awesome. It's a see-through fireplace right between the living room and the dining room and in the wintertime it just creates a perfect snuggle-tastic atmosphere.

Well, perfect except that it's usually like 60 degrees outside. It wouldn't be unheard of for us to burn a fire in the fireplace and open the windows, to even out the rising temps inside the house.

But HEY! It's a jolly fire! And so! festive!

Anyway, I was thinking about YOU and how YOU might have a fireplace too. (I'm a giver like that.) I wanted to share with y'all how I start a fire in our fireplace, using fire starters. And when I say "I", I mean "me" because Texan Papa usually has some highly-engineered way of twisting newspaper and arranging twigs and blowing gently on a tiny flame from different angles that I can't ever duplicate. Sure, I did Girl Scouts for 13 years (Yes, I've received the Gold Award and everything. Ahem.) but building a campfire is not exactly the same thing as building a fireplace fire. Maybe it is but we're going to pretend it's totally different, mmkay?

To make a fire in my fireplace, I use the metal fireplace-log-holder-thingy and pile on some paper, then smaller twigs, then 1 or 2 big logs. DRY LOGS. (Yes, I've learned the hard way, says a woman who bludgeoned her smoke detector with a broom handle.) Then I liberally place these babies under the log set-up:

Firestarters 3

Then I light them. Voila. Fire.

These things are SUPER easy to make. I even did a video about fire starters earlier this year when I was hoping to win a $500 gift card from Target but they didn't pick me because I guess they wanted a vlog that showed someone using products that you can actually BUY at Target but whatever.

Basically, here's how you make them:

Firestarters 1

1. Get a cardboard (NOT STYROFOAM) egg carton or a bunch of those little ketchup cups that you stole got donated from McDonalds.
2. Chop up a bunch of old crayons into itty bitty pieces. If you have the patience, take the paper off because it works better. If you don't, you're like me so count yourself among friends.
3. Get a bunch of lint from your dryer. Wait, you don't save it? You throw it away? One man's trash is another man's treasure. You'll learn to be a hoarder like me.
4. Take the egg carton and put a few pieces of chopped up crayon in each cup.Then stuff a bunch of lint in each cup. Then top it off with a few more crayon bits.
5. Lay down a piece of foil on your oven rack and put the egg carton in the oven to cook at 275 degrees for about 10 minutes. You'll know when it's done because you'll smell melting wax.
6. Let them cool a while. When they are cool, like YOU,  just cut them apart to be used later.

Firestarters 2

These things work awesome! I was afraid that they would leave a waxy stain on the bottom of my concrete fireplace, but as it turns out, it gets so hot in there that the residue completely burns up. Also great for Girl Scout camping as it follows the "Leave No Trace" philosophy.

Also, this craft project is unofficially endorsed by the Green Movement* because it makes a good use out of old things you'd be throwing away anyway.

I'm also linking up at SITS to win a T2i Canon camera. I want that camera! I deserve that camera!!! I've been a good girl!!!

*I'm totally making that up. No endorsement by anyone. But, hey - Green Movement - if you're reading and you want to endorse me, just DM me on Twitter!

Texan Mama


misssrobin said...

Okay, this I can use. We have a fireplace and I would love for someone other than me to be able to start a fire in there. Crayons, lint, egg cartons -- got 'em. This is a big can do!


nicole said...

We often have fires burning while the windows are open. I insist that it be no more than 55 degrees outside though before Husband can start fire season. Love your idea and your witty directions even more. ;)

J said...

I'm a green blogger and I endorse this idea... does that count? :-)

Jennifer said...

I knew I should have saved all of those stepped on crayons that I found all over the house.

Gigi said...

I hope you win that camera - that would be way cooler than the Target thing anyway!

Joanna said...

Wow, I love that idea! Such an interesting way to use leftover bits of things. I'm a hoarder too, I have a lot of leftover bits. Now I have proof that they are usable! I seriously have everything I need to make these. Except the fireplace.

ashley said...

I love that you mention these being Girl Scout friendly-- because they totally are! We teach girls how to make these at our Outdoor Survival camps. The girls love learning to make things like this from practically nothing. :)

Emily said...

A see through fire place...jealous! I love those! And we're fire lovers here too...I've never started one though...I leave it to the hubs to do the stick and twisty paper thing. :)

Jennifer said...

Great idea! Now, I just wish I had a fireplace! I could actually use it up here in freeze-my-arse-off-land!