Thursday, December 24, 2009

Very merry

Well, it's still snowy. This was Edinburgh Castle yesterday.

I iced the cakes last night: one for my mother...

... and one for us. (Does anyone know how to make landscape images upright on blogs? I straighten them in Picasa but they turn themselves round again on Blogger.) The girls and I used to decorate them together - memorably, one year, Daughter 2, the architecture student, created a whole Bethlehem townscape on ours - but this year it was just me. Sniff. Hence the rather simple designs. Less is more and all that, though in fact I may have overdone the stars. Some of them look a bit like starfish, struggling to climb the cake. That's it fishies - you've just about made it.

The one good thing about snow is that black cats show up well against it. Cassie prowls.

So does Sirius.

Not for long, though. They prefer looking at it. Some people think Cassie and Sirius look alike but we just laugh. Clearly this is Sirius in the foreground and Cassie behind. Completely different!

This is what they're looking at. Brr.
Daughter 1 is down south with her husband and in-laws, Daughter 2 is about to board a train to take her down south to be with her young man and his parents but Son will be with us tomorrow lunch-time, weather permitting. Then my mother and my deaf, confused (but jolly) aunt will join us and we'll have a small family party. Speaking very loudly.

Happy Christmas, my darling distant offspring and my (in some cases) even more distant bloggy pals. God bless us, every one!


  1. Merry Christmas, Isabel! Ice and snow down here too, and it is a small gathering at my house this year. Just David home, but hopefully skype will bring the others a little closer.

    And I think your cakes look great! Stars are perfect!

  2. Merry Christmas to you!!! From New Yawk!

    - M

  3. You gots some killer cake decorating chops.

    Poor kitties, out of their depths.

  4. Merry Christmas Isabel. Have a lovely holiday!

    We're a small group this year, too (as usual) - just the three of us, but merry nonetheless.

  5. Icing sugar everywhere!

    Picasa sometimes does some funny business about turning things. I find it's best to turn everything the right way up in the 'view as a slideshow' thing in My Pictures, before opening up Picasa, otherwise they seem to get turned twice.

    Also, changes made in Picasa don't get registered in My Pictures. The best thing to do is to select and 'pin' the ones you want to post in Picasa, then choose the 'export' function along the bottom of the Picasa window. This gives you the opportunity to resize the images too, 640 to 800 mpxls is quite big enough for the blog. You then get a new folder of exported shrunken copies, which upload much faster and don't use up your Blogger picture allowance so quickly - I'm up to nearly 50% already even so...

    I hope this makes sense!

    I hope you and the Lifers have a wonderful Christmas and everything you want for New Year.

  6. Happy, Happy Christmas, to all you and yours!!

    I'm looking at Lucy's comment very hard, because I never would have thought of that....I just would have told you to make sure you save your changes in Picasa before trying to put them into Blogger.

    Must go re-read Lucy's advice....good stuff there...

  7. Merry Christmas to you too Isabelle! It's midnight, Christmas Eve, here and I'm about to collapse, exhausted into bed! The cause of the exhaustion is very pleasant-Have had our UK trio here for almost three weeks, along with shorter visits from Lily and boys and our California Girl. As adorable as littlest of the three is at nine months, I'd forgotten the energy and stamina one needs when they are that age [I lost it somewhere along the way!]
    Your cakes and your cats look lovely to me. The snow is also lovely, to look at, in your pictures! Hope everyone in the Life family has a very Happy Christmas!

  8. Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones!

    I admire your icing job. Those stars may seem simple to you, but I have no idea how one would make such things.

  9. Can I tell you Christmas today here in NZ was sitting in the sun, a perfect day.

    Merry Christmas to you all:-)

  10. Merry Christmas. We're quiet here this year, just the two of us (well four if you add the cats), but it's nice :)

  11. Dear Isabelle, I really loved seeing your snow photos. The cats in it are amazing ( I wonder what they think about the snow suddenly being there? )

    Your star decorated cake is the prettiest most original I have seen; well done!

    Happy Christmas to You.

  12. Merry Christmas Isabelle. Your back garden looks like a winter wonderland. Hope you're not too cold over there!

  13. Happy Christmas to you and the Life Clan, Isabelle. I loved those photos of the black cats in the white snow. We don't get much snow down my way and I assumed cats would keep out of the nasty cold, wet white stuff but now I see that they would have to investigate it! For a bit anyway.

  14. What beautiful photos - how I would love a white Christmas again! We are in Queensland and it is so very hot ...

    I hope you and the Life members had a lovely, peaceful and happy Christmas day.

  15. Yes, sorry, as Daysgoby says, changes don't register unless you save them...

    Hope you're still enjoying!

  16. Oh, your snowy photos are just like Christmas cards, especially the one taken of your tree, with the window behind it - beautiful! Animals look stunning against snow, don't they - their fur really stands out against the white - especially black cats!
    We had a perfect summers day in Melbourne for Christmas Day - not too hot to enjoy a traditional roast, but not too cold to have a seafood salad either! So we had both with Ken's family - yum:-)

  17. Oh, you had a beautiful White Christmas Isabelle! I don't want to hear one more word about a lack of domestic skills -- clearly you exaggerate! Those cakes are BEAUTIFUL! I especialy love the one with the pretty little Christmas tree. No wait...I love the one with the stars too. Sooo pretty!!!

  18. Regarding the photos in Picasa...when you've cropped or turned them just go into File and choose Save (and then Ok to save changes to disk). It will also save a copy that you can undo any time.

  19. When I looked at this the other day i had a brief pang that i didnt make a cake, but that vanished very quickly. I thought the icing looked very FUNKY.

    As for the snow pictures they are just fantastic beyod words, especially the cat on the snowy wall. So lovely.

    I hope you managed the day: having your beloved Mr Life all to yourself is nice (?)

  20. Anonymous4:33 am

    The landscape around you is the absolute opposite to mine!

    The cakes are incredible.

  21. Your last image of the Christmas tree was so perfect - it could be a Christmas card.
    Happy and healthy 2010 to you and yours.

  22. could be a Canadian winter for sure looking out that window... perfect .....