This idea was a 'Find of the Month' in February 2000. (Remember that column? I miss it!) The idea was to spare shapely garden urns from spending the winter months in some dark corner of the garage and repurposing them as vessels for fireplace fodder. Here they hold an assortment of kindling, but would be just as attractive standing empty, lending their classical forms to the ambiance of the room. The editors suggest placing felt pads on the bottoms to protect any wood or tile surfaces from scratching.
And I loved this gift idea from the November 1999 issue of Martha Stewart Living. It's a basket of fragrant kindling for the hostess with a fireplace or two. The galvanized bucket holds an assortment of chopped wood and branches from fruit trees, such as applewood. Dried citrus peels add colour to the presentation and will release their subtle citrus scent as they burn. (To dry them, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven on the lowest heat setting for about an hour. Check them often to see how they're drying.) You could also add pinecones and dried angelica. Complete the kit with a beautiful box of matches.