Only thing left to do is strike a match ... and settle in for a long winter's snooze
( Handout / November 15, 2009 )
THE WARM WOOLENS (above): Kick off your shoes, and plop your tired old toes by the hearth. But first get them cozy with these hand-knit Bosnian slipper socks. Women in craft collectives throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina hand-knitted these traditional Eastern European wool toe-warmers. Each pair comes with a card signed by the craftswoman who knitted them. Cost: $38; nationalgeographic.com
THE POKER: Little Bo Peep might like these, what with the shepherd's crook that is at the heart of these fireplace tools -- actually a poker, shovel and broom. The Crook Fireplace Set is hand-forged by Roberta Elliott, an artisan blacksmith in southern Illinois. The broom is handmade in Alabama. The tools aren't too heavy, and the handles are suited to large or small hands. All pieces are guaranteed, except for burning up the broom. But Elliott will help you get it rebroomed. Cost: $220; velvethammerltd.com
THE SPARK : Ditch the wadded-up newspaper, and the fussing and fuming with footlong matches. It's fatwood to the fire-starting rescue. This stuff works like pyro-magic. Loaded with organic resins, it ignites instantly -- even when wet. And it's sustainably harvested, all-natural, with no chemicals added. Cost: $14.95, 10-pound box; $39.95, 35-pound box; plowandhearth.com
THE LOGS : This rustic grape-gathering bucket -- inspired by the ones in France used for harvesting grapes -- gets not just one but two jobs done. And done with style, we might add. You can haul your logs in the house with help from the sturdy leather straps. And you can store them beautifully right there by the fire in the weather-worn metal bucket. Makes us want to head right out to the woodshed. Cost: $249; wisteria.com--Barbara Mahany
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