After moving back to the northern clime from sunny Florida after 17 years, one learns heat, properly applied is a good thing. If you've never experienced it, South Florida in the summer ain't what it's cracked up to be. Anyhow, we have a fireplace and we enjoy using it. And over the past five years I've perfected the art of making a lovely fire in the fireplace.
One ingredient that is most helpful is my homemade firestarters. A friend of mine explained how she makes them. And since I have a huge collection of pine cones, it came naturally. Over the past ten years of making live pine wreaths, I've found what cones work and which ones don't. I use a lot of douglas fir in my wreaths, but douglas fir cones aren't very pretty. But they make great fire starters.
All that is required is to dip them in melted parafin. I have added some crayons for color, but you really can't tell. I have a double boiler set up that is only used for firestarter production. I just pop the cones in the melted wax. Cool them off on newspaper and fill up a basket. Two or three of them in among the kindling and the fire takes off like a charm. Plus they make a nice Christmas present to family members who also build fires.
Makes a nice place to knit by!