Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Modern technology and other horrors

Well, the mosaic course went well. It was a long day, but good messy fun and time to catch up with a couple of students I hadn’t seen for a while. Everyone agreed it was a tricky technique, but the good thing about mosaic is that even if your design is less than perfect, the pieces are just so darn pretty it still looks nice! Here are some of the creations we had by the end of the day...

A pretty circle;

This lady bought some lovely ceramic tiles with her;

Another cute fish;

An abstract stars and moons design;

Simplicity always works;

One of my regular students created this delicate beaded design;

Flowers used to make modern designs;

Metallic paint used to good effect;

Yes, that's a handbag mirror in this pretty mosaic;

 One of my favourites, a simple sail boat with mirror sails;

Look carefully and you will find a mermaid here;

This one was thrown together quickly at the end of the day, yet works fantastically well;

Another of my favourites, a fabulous funky bird;

Many are unfinished, and students were given a sheet to take home to enable them to complete the work at home. Sometimes grout just needs a bit longer to dry...

After that successful, if tiring day, the week went rapidly downhill, due to that blight of modern life, computers. Boyfriend is a genius with computers; if it can be done he can do it. It’s not his job, just an obsession. So when I purchased this lovely little shuttle computer, I knew he would build it and set it up for me.


Which he did, super! Then he installed Windows 7 and the problems started. Don’t get me wrong, Windows 7 worked just fine, until I tried to get all my old files over.

Years ago I used to keep all my students and contacts details on record cards, and that worked fine. But I was seduced by computers. You can store everything on me they said, less room, less mess, update whenever you like... So now all my contacts are in Outlook Express. Email addresses, phone numbers, and most important of all those little notes that remind me who people are, where I met them, which classes they have attended before.

But Outlook Express cannot be easily transferred to Outlook (the more advanced version of the same program). And Outlook Express cannot be used with Windows 7; indeed it is now obsolete and will only be supported for another 3 years or so. After about two days of trying very clever stuff indeed, boyfriend had to concede that all he could do is get some basic email addresses across. No formatting, no details, just addresses. “This is NOT normal!” Said boyfriend, pointing at my complex filing system and billion or so sub-folders, as I started on my third sulk of the day.

I am not sure at what point I lost it: Not when I found that all my Outlook Express details couldn’t be transferred. Not even when I discovered that my graphics program Paint Shop Pro 8 is unsupported by Windows 7. I think it was when I discovered all of my word files had been converted into ‘Read Only’ files for no apparent reason other than it darn well felt like it.  Super, every type of work I do on the PC, now ground to a complete halt.

“Microsoft are ruining my life!” I sobbed. With the unfinished studio, a house stuck in 70’s d├ęcor hell, Christmas looming and our lovely new cat happily kicking cat litter everywhere as the vet says he must stay indoors until the next set of injections, I just can’t deal with the computer imploding too.

Boyfriend just sighed... he has seen it all before apparently. He had of course kept a copy of all my old hard drive, for the time being I am back on Windows XP, on my old PC.

Finally we have had snow here, not as bad as Scotland where people got stuck in their cars in sub zero temperatures for over 15 hours...


But enough to freeze the river Stour in places!