Tuesday, August 28

August - I Know

I had to make sure my stove worked....so I lit it!

I shall have to improve on my pyrotechnic skills as it didn't really go to plan, but I got there eventually.


  1. good glow girl!

    a little bit of practise + you'll be a true firestarter in no time. xx

  2. I don't blame you I'd be doing the same. :)

    I find the best way to start fires is to roughly roll newspapers into tubes (sort of scrunch & roll rather than neatly roll diagonally across each sheet) then put a knot in them by wrapping them around your hand a couple of times then looping through.
    Make about 5, put some small pieces of wood on top then light the paper.

    Oh I miss real fires.

  3. Oh Kelly I don't think I will ever become a firestarter - it took over an hour to get going and then I filled the sitting room with smoke....well a smoky haze.
    Celeste - congratulations on becoming a mummy:)
    I need all the tips I can get - I was going to google lighting a fire earlier! As a child I used to clean out the ashes and bring in the coal but never got to light one.

  4. It could be that your wood is damp. Nick and I made the huge mistake of buying wood from an ad in the local paper the first time we had an open fire and lets just say that the man that delivered it had a side line in selling pegs! It took about a year for the logs to get seasoned enough to burn really well. All that very cold winter we had very meagre smokey fires. Now we buy our wood from a forestry guy and although it cost about £55 for a load - its really well seasoned, lasts us all winter and spring and it BURNS!
    I think that there is more of a knack to wood burners than conventional fires - something to do with the air flow. Keep experimenting.
    Al x

  5. That looks so much nicer to watch than a tv. :)

  6. Al - I do think log quality had something to do with it (mine came from a local farm shop and I question how seasoned they were) - however I have ordered 1 cubit meter of logs (£50) from where the stove shop recommended so I'm hoping for an improvement!
    That is so funny - a side line in pegs;-) I shall use that.
    Air flow - you are so right....I never thought I would become so interested in air flow

  7. Jools - Tuesday night on TV - watching my washing go around in the washing machine would be more interesting!
    Serioulsy it is a lovley focal point and watching flames is very hypnotic.
    I need tongs and Nigel wants a brush and very small shovel...excuse for surfing the net looking for a fireside set:)

  8. Lynn - we also found that the first few fires weren't as easy as later ones - perhaps it is to do with not having a bed of ash or stoves needing seasoned or something,

  9. We read that the first time you light your stove it'll probably give off a funny smoke, almost blue in colour?!, it's to do with the metal heating up for the first time and the oils in the metal I think? So the advice was to just burn it really slowly rather than have it blasting out heat the first few times!

    Also, we put a layer of scrunched up paper, then a layer of kindling and then a small log or two on to light it. Open up all the vents to full and leave the door slightly open and it should go no problem.

    As the others have said, well seasoned wood also helps, but you can use all types of wood rather than just hard woods as it doesn't matter if it sparks as it inside the stove.

    Rather a long post but hope this helps! It looks lovely by the way! :o)

  10. Lisa - yes I had a 'blue' haze and a bit of a funny smell - I thought to myself I had spent so much money and all for a funny smell and a haze! Thank you for putting me out of my misery..I did 'line' the base with sand that Nigel harvested from the beach and I did wonder if it was that, that was causing my problems.
    Its so lovely of you all to give me stove help - I think this must be like bringing a new baby home and not knowing how to change a nappy - in no time at all I will be a dab hand ( I hope)
    Hello Jane - that makes perfect sense that my stove will 'season'

  11. Celeste's idea of the newspaper tubes I think you would find works really well. As a kid I used to watch my mum make something very similar, she needed to, as we had an open fire in the sitting room and a coal fired boiler in the kitchen. I am not kidding she had making these down to a fine art, and would make dozens in a very short space of time. They are the best fire lighters ever and cost nothing to make, all you need is nifty fingers!

  12. You will have to show me when we next bump into one another at Stella's. I think I know what to do...famous last words

  13. We lit our stove last night because, despite it being August, it was blummin' freezing!
    They make the room so inviting and welcoming as well as toasty warm of course.
    I'm rubbish at lighting ours and have been too lazy to practice, but I'll get plenty of chances I'm sure as it doesn't look like an Indian summer is on the cards

  14. Lovely stove, I'm sure your fire making skills will improve mine have since having a solid fule rayburn. I need to improve making bonfires I'm hopless at that. Loved the madalines. Reminds me of my grandparents baker shop.

  15. Hello Joanna - thanks for stopping by.
    I can remember English Madeleines in bakers shops in the town I gre up in. Such a shame you don't see them anymore.

  16. Am I horribly environmentally unfriendly? - I find those little firelighter cubes have transformed me into a happy firestarter. No more hovering over a diminishing smoulder or filling the room with an alarming quantity of smoke. Really dry wood is essential. Plus, I agree, a nice ashy base helps to make a roasty fire.

  17. Anonymous8:21 AM

    UUMM and don't those little sugar cubes fire lighters smell good!!
    The neighbour.

  18. I want some fire lighting cubes NOW
    where can I find them?

  19. Dear Gigi, The stove looks lovely!
    I use my stove as a primary source of heat in the winter and let me tell you over here where I live that means it's really cold outside.(sometimes -10C windchill)
    Hardwood burns longest and cleanest. That means you won't have a buildup in the chimney.( this stuff can ignite and cause a chimney fire)If the stove is just metal and not enamel coated it will smell for a few good burns.And remember small fires for a short time in the beginning. Good luck and enjoy! Susan

  20. Thanks Susan for the stove advice - what you say makes perfect sense.
    My logs were delivered today....I am wishing for a cold snap to start using them!


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