Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Café Crem is dead… Vive Café Crem!

Kevin and Me opened Cafe Crem´s doors about 10 weeks ago now, with big enthusiasm and the perhaps naive hope to create a warm place, where people would come to interact around the coffee table, in a lovely ambiance of drawings, paintings, photos, films, stories, poems, etc… For a certain time we had the feeling, that this aim could be reached, that Cafe Crem started becoming such a place, and we were very happy about it. I didn´t care how much work I had to do to “to keep the place running” as long as I had the feeling that it was worth it, that everybody appreciated Cafe Crem and enjoyed coming here.

But today -and this is not the first time…- I must say that I doubt. I see Cafe Crem losing life, every day a little bit more, and this week even massively. I don´t even like anymore to come to it myself, which is really the beginning of the end! It simply hurts me to be confronted with no entries, no comments, no visitors… What hurts me more than anything is The Christmas Competition, which has been, at least in our eyes, a total failure. I have set it up with love and once again,  with a childish naivety expecting dozens and dozens of participants… I am deeply deceived, and sad.
I know that the theme “Coffee Cup” is quite restricting , and that it can only work when many different people participate. This has not been the case. There are some wonderful authors in Cafe Crem, and I am deeply thankful to them all for all their contributions, but we are not enough to keep this place alive. And it has been a long time now since I have been asked for a participation.

I know too, that it is Christmas time and that everybody has something else to do than to visit a blog.

But if Cafe Crem is a place where people come when they have nothing better to do or when they are bored, then I don´t want to run it anymore. I really don´t want. I can invest my time, my creativity and my emotions only in a project which also involves other people´s personality.

Anyway… what I wanted to say: Cafe Crem is in a crisis situation. This year is too late to take any decision, and anyway nobody is here to be aware!

But perhaps somebody has an idea for next year, some proposition how to make it more attractive and more lively, extending the theme, or changing the theme every month, or whatever. Perhaps somebody could tell me, if they wish that Café C rem goes on, however.

If not, I will close Café Crem, at the latest in February.

Nevertheless, and with the same sympathy and sincerity as always:

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYBODY!

PS: I wanted to draw a crying coffee cup for this entry, but I haven´t even the energy to do that, SORRY!

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December 15, 2007 - Posted by | Art, Christmas, culture, death, friends, life, love, news, politics, religion, writing

53 Comments »

  1. … enjoyed browsing your site … with my coffee in hand too!

    are you really leaving? maybe you should give it more time? started in oct. 2007? not long really. plus you have over 3000 clicks … what do you think?
    😉

    Comment by C.L. Mareydt | December 15, 2007

  2. Miki, don’t be sad, don’t be discouraged! As C.L. says, CC has only 2 moths! And it’s naturally to oscilate like that…the secret geometry of chance is working… 3500 + hits in 60 days it’s an impressive result… I have my blog since 6 months and I don’t think I have 3500 hits… And still do it, still trow messages in a bottle (this must be Sting’s day!) I would say, just give it a rest and you’ll see: new ideas, new stories and new people (or the old ones renewed) will still visit and contribute to CC…

    Comment by iondanu | December 16, 2007

  3. Miki, don’t be sad, don’t be discouraged! As C.L. says, CC has only 2 moths! And it’s naturally to oscilate like that…the secret geometry of chance is working… 3500 + hits in 60 days it’s an impressive result… I have my blog since 6 months and I don’t think I have 3500 hits… And still do it, still trow messages in a bottle (this must be Sting’s day!) I would say, just give it a rest and you’ll see: new ideas, new stories and new people (or the old ones renewed) will still visit and contribute to CC…

    Comment by iondanu | December 16, 2007

  4. Miki, don’t be sad, don’t be discouraged! As C.L. says, CC has only 2 moths! And it’s naturally to oscilate like that…the secret geometry of chance is working… 3500 + hits in 60 days it’s an impressive result… I have my blog since 6 months and I don’t think I have 3500 hits… And still do it, still trow messages in a bottle (this must be Sting’s day!) I would say, just give it a rest and you’ll see: new ideas, new stories and new people (or the old ones renewed) will still visit and contribute to CC…

    Comment by iondanu | December 16, 2007

  5. I don’t get it? I’ve wrote a comment and it,s nowhere?

    Comment by iondanu | December 16, 2007

  6. @C.L.Mareyd
    Thankyou for your comment, it is so nice to see a new “face” here and to know that some people, in the background, enjoy Cafe Crem.
    Of course, you are right, 2 months is a short time… the problem is that I am a painter living from painting, and everybody knows how hard it is. If you want to be successful at it, I mean making a good living out of it, it is an incessant work of painting and of logistic work (framing, organising and mounting exhibitions, etc.). I have no much time left after that, and I must use it in a nice, relaxing way…
    I loved Cafe Crem, I loved the idea, I love how it started, I love “my” authors, just it is, like a normal Cafe, a lot of work to run it and keep it alive in a way which gives me pleasure.
    At the end, I just need help… like normal cafe owners!

    Comment by Miki | December 16, 2007

  7. @Danu: now, you see, your comment is everywhere! And it is good and funny that it is everywhere!
    Thanks for your words, they help. Well, on one side one can’t compare Cafe Crem to a normal blog because it is a multi- author blog, with much more entries than a personal one, so it is logical that it gets more hits.
    Then Cafe Crem is ABOVE ALL meant as an interaction blog, and not as a self-representation blog. This means, when there is no interaction, then it loses, at least for me, his sense.
    But at the end you are right, 2 months is a short time. As I said to C.L., I have a problem of time, much to do… I already deserted my 2 own blogs to be able to go on with Cafe Crem,.. it is only worth for me if Cafe Crem is working… “working” means for me: authors and visitors really enjoying it. This is the only important thing I need to know, and I only can know it if these people express their joy, however they can.
    But I may try a new form of Cafe Crem in January, I will propose the idea next week.
    Have a nice sunday, Danu. And again: congratulations for the fire orange painting!

    Comment by Miki | December 16, 2007

  8. Have a nice Sunday too, miki! (and Kev)! and just give it some more time – I don’t mean only YOUR time – and I’m sure CC will be as good as new… I’ll try to be more patient when posting comments since it seems I pushed the button too many times…

    Comment by ivdanu | December 16, 2007

  9. Miki,

    I think there might be a lot of people busy in this run-up to Christmas/New Year’s. I write three blogs (in addition to working full time), and all three have fallen off lately in the past two weeks. It’s not because I haven’t made good posts. It’s that people are busy and rushed now.

    I advise you to cut back on the time you’re spending here so that it’s not overwhelming for you, and those of us who are loyal will continue to visit. I think the week after Christmas, or after New Year’s, ALL blogs will find a pick up in readership. Now people are pressed to get gifts for their families, kids will be at home, and it’s a difficult time of year. I notice after blogging a few months that readership falls off every Friday and Saturday and picks back up Sunday through Wednesday. So I think it’s just a low cycle.

    That being said, a blog doesn’t work unless it’s meeting the needs of the author as well as the needs of the audience. Why not make a post asking readers how Cafe Creme can better meet their needs.

    As for myself, I seldom post, but feel I’ve met several nice people here, and gotten to know you better as well! I feel GOOD when I come here.

    I wish you didn’t feel you have to close Cafe Creme, just due to a lull in readership! I hope it will continue.

    I do have one thought to propose. Ask readers to propose subjects they would like to see posts about. You could then choose one of those ideas every one or two weeks (I would be more likely to contribute if it were every two weeks) and ask EACH of the authors to write their own contribution on that subject.

    Also, when there are more than about three posts on a blog a week, readership gets intimidated (even I feel intimidated). I read that on ProBlogger, and since then, have tried to keep my own posts to about every three days, which seems to be a good frequency, making sure to get on a post BEFORE Sunday (either Friday or Saturday) whenever I’m able, because Sunday seems to be the day people have time to sit down and read blogs.

    I hope some of these ideas are helpful. I hope Cafe Creme will continue. I even love the name!

    Best regards,
    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | December 16, 2007

  10. I have done my best. I have gone to the extent of looking at people’s works that have coffee cups or any relevance to this site’s theme and pointed them to Cafe Crem to see if they wer willing to participate.

    If you look at my own blog, I have not worked on it for a time, I had many others things to do and think about peratining to the season, but I always checked for new topics.

    I think we ought to invite people to come, if they don’t know that the site exists. 2) expand the subject, or 3) make it about 5-6 different media/categories. I think we can all contribute to make it more attractive. There are many ways we can make it a lively plece to visit, and I agree in 2 thing: this time of the year is not the best for bloggers and the blog is two young.

    Everyone is doing something to their homes, or visiting family (you have also gone away) or taking a good vacation that is not the same as “visting family”–he-he

    We should look at blogs that work and try to find the hidden clues.

    Personalities are good, it should not be bland and uniform.

    Maybe the subject can be changed every week or two. Ideas, ideas, ideas. I hope it survives.

    Comment by Yolanda | December 17, 2007

  11. Or maybe one week should be about the tools we use, or how we work, or our workspace, our favority artist, our favorite blog, etc… Discussion of like sand dislikes is a good thing if we respect each others opinions.

    Comment by Yolanda | December 17, 2007

  12. On the dashboard of wordpress I use the blog surfer tool where I follow the latest post of every single member of Cafe Crem’s personal blogs and what data I found is interesting. In the last 18 days there are 8 posts by different people. And if I change the setting to post made in the last 7 days there are 14 posts. And these 14 posts are generated by 6 members of Cafe Crem.
    What does this mean? Simply nobody is posting very much right now. It doesn’t say anywhere in the stats that people don’t like cafe crem or anything to suggest otherwise.
    My opinion is that Cafe Crem is just fine the way it is and when you make changes and ask for interaction or more interaction your going to get the same results as if you do nothing.
    This is the way it works.
    Change is slow and people don’t like change and certainly people don’t like being told that they are not living up to the ideal of Cafe Crem.
    I am the most active and correct me if I am wrong Cafe Crem member. I even have created a Google reader on my own blog philosophis+ where I feature all of the members of Cafe Crem and even Cafe Crem latests post — which reminds me I have to update, but I have been to busy with what life throws at me!!!
    I don’t want to insult you or hurt your feelings Miki but my voice here is of some value and for you to publicly express your disappointment really affected how I feel about Cafe Crem. I am giving it the benefit of the doubt though because I know you, but from my past experience as you well know, I would be out of here in a second if I was new here and read what you wrote.
    So stop it right now and delete the entire post and get on with living life and let Cafe Crem grow organically. And I mean this as a friend and not an enemy. So please do not, nor anyone else take this as an attack on Miki. It is not. I am simply saying to stop this post now and delete it and let Cafe Crem live like we live: FREE!

    Comment by Michael | December 17, 2007

  13. Good morning everybody!
    First of all, thank you for your reactions.
    I will first make a general comment to all of them and then to each one in particular.
    I have the feeling that many of you have missinterpretated my deception and sadness. I have the feeling, that you think I was deceived about YOU. I say in my entry, how much I love and appreciate “my” authors, and if you read back in Cafe Crem you will see that everything I publish, comments and entries, is a testimony of this love. I might have expressed myself in the wrong way, don’t forget please that I have to struggle with the English language when it becomes difficult. And don’t forget that we come from very different cultures and countries and even continents, and we all have a different way of publicly expressing our feelings. So if I have hurt somebody’s feelings here, I am deeply sorry and I can only repeat what I have already said: I am extremely thankful to everybody here.
    My deception refers to many things of which you are not aware, which happen in the background, to a lot of work I have made for people who at the end “fooled”me. I can cope with that as long as I get positive feedback within Cafe Crem, but I had the feeling that this became less and less and at the end, as I made this entry, the mass was simply full!
    I had very very busy weeks in November and December, but I let Cafe Crem always be a priority. Of course it was MY decision, nobody forced me! But I am human, and when I invest myself a lot in something I can’t help to have some expectations, and I am even happy to have expectations! Having expectations I also know that I might have to affront deceptions, and in fact this is the normal way of things! But I know too that it is healthy to express one’s deceptions and sadness. As well as expressing one’s love and happiness!

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  14. Madame Monet.
    Thank you for your beautiful, wise and very constructive comment. Thank you for the good ideas, and in fact I wanted to propose something similar myself. I will make an entry about that, I just think it is perhaps better to wait till after New Year to do it.
    I think you know how much I appreciate you, and the fact that you made that beautiful entry here. If I remember well, I said in my comment to your entry how thankful I am, knowing how busy you are. So I hope you didn’t feel personally “attacked” by my entry, this would be awful for me!
    I agree with what you say about the quantity of entries in a blog, I don’t like myself blogs with too many entries. But a multi-author blog is different, one cannot avoid even many entries a day. I think one should consider Cafe Crem differently from a normal blog. I consider it really like a Cafe, with different tables, each entry being a different table, and one choses to sit (to read, to comment,…) where one feels attracted, by the entry itself, or by the author…
    As the creator of Cafe Crem I feel the need – and the pleasure!- to have a look at each table and exchange some words with everybody. Of course I have my favourite tables, but even THEY can change with time passing by. I don’t think I am wrong seeing my participation to Cafe Crem in this way…
    But I surely don’t think that everybody here should read or comment each entry, this is too much work, and against nature.
    And anyway: what ever might appear in my entry, I am really for total freedom in Cafe Crem.
    Thank you again, Madame Monet…

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  15. Yolanda.
    Thank you to you too for the long and constructive comment. Of course you have done your best, and even more I would say! Your entries are always fantastic and so original, you are simply a delight as a Cafe Crem author! I am so sorry if anything in my entry made you believe the contrary! I appreciate you so much!
    Concerning your ideas, they are very good, they partly coincide with Madame Monet’s ideas and my own ones. As I said to her, I will make an entry about it.
    And yes, you are right, people are very busy at this time of the year. I guess it is because my own life is so different from most people’s life that I sometimes forget it… I am sorry for that.
    And yes, of course, I am from an impatient nature, although I know that everything takes time and changes very slowly… But I am how I am and I can’t change this particular part of my character. But of course I am sorry if my impatience upsets somebody…

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  16. Echoing Miki’s replies to comments, I know for sure that she is not criticising the great active authorship we have here in Cafe Crem, but I know that she has been working hard in the background trying to bring other authors into Cafe crem which has proved to be a thankless and sometimes hurtful task. This, coupled with the tail-off in activity when we went away, hit her hard. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that we expect people to work on our behalf if we are away, its just we both held the hope that Cafe Crem had its own life, and interaction would continue regardless. (I’m not referring to the kind posts by Yolanda and Michael, which we loved ) Rather, that we had brought people together who would continue to interact, regardless of our own postings. Michael, I dont believe Miki should retract the post, her motives and feelings therein are heartfelt, and genuine. The Christmas competition, too has been upsetting. We were hoping to attract entries from the readership, outside of the authors, but this hasn’t happened. So, I guess we’ve become a little battle-weary, but hey, New Years just around the corner!

    Comment by kevmoore | December 17, 2007

  17. Michael.
    Of course you hurt my feelings, Michael, and I think anybody else, who is honest about it, would be hurt too.
    But I have no problem with my hurt feelings. I knew that my entry could provoke loud and not always kind words, and I was prepared to that. But what I didn’t know is where they would come from, and to be honest, they didn’t come from where I was most expecting them, in the contrary! But this is life, and a new good lesson of life!
    I think you are right in many things, especially about people who don’t like changes and so on… But there are too many things where I don’t agree about. Your point of view is much too “fatalist” for me. It sounds too much as doing much or doing nothing leads to the same result. I can’t agree with that, it is against ALL the experiences I have made in my life. Hard work is continuously demanded in the creation of anything. You have read many artists biographies, they surely all tell the same, and their life work prove it: they never stopped working hard.
    Cafe Crem won’t work without work. Without work it will “grow organically” to “death “, It is just the way life works. I deeply agree to work hard to make Cafe Crem becoming what I would like to, just sometimes disappointments (again: things happening in the background) are too hard and I feel frustrated.
    There is a simple reason why there must be some change in Cafe Crem, and I will express it in my entry proposing a new concept.
    I won’t stop expressing my feelings publicly, however they are, and I won’t delete this entry.
    And of course, you are a very much appreciated and prolific author here, always doing helpful things to make Cafe Crem , and I can’t believe you felt personally meant with my entry.
    Anyway, thank you for your comment, action and reaction is at the end the most important for me. I am sorry that my entry affected the way you feel for Cafe Crem, but this is again how life goes. It is always very difficult to understand other people motivations and emotions, when they are too different from our owns.
    And yes, I am for freedom!

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  18. Wow! I have to say that I think what everyone said here makes a lot of sense.You can’t argue with feelings or perceptions. I’m sorry, Miki, that you have felt so hurt…and you too Michael…

    As for me, let me tell you how I ‘ve experienced Cafe Crem..its hard to feel a part of it because I actually don’t know how to contribute! I’m not an visual artist, or digitially savvy enough to create that kind of image YET (I’m getting photoshop for Christmas from Santa, tho that will take awhile for me to master, I’m sure).

    I make images with words, I’m a poet, but I have to tell you that the coffee cups theme feels restrictive.

    I’ve tried images! I even spent a lot of time googling images of coffee cups to decoupage into some kind of image I could photograph and send…but this effort just didn’t work for me…

    And then there is the holiday season, and my regular job, and my Lupus which keeps me out of commission sometimes but struggling to maintain my practice, and my own blog which was born not long after Cafe Crem and which I am also nurturing. So Miki, we are both new mothers in a sense!

    I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this post, but just wanted to send you my thoughts.

    Comment by psychscribe | December 17, 2007

  19. Hi Psychscribe!
    Where you are going with this post? At least directly to my heart! Thank you so much. it is nice to fell understood, and with that I am speaking for everybody: we all need to feel understood, don’t we?
    Your comment is exactly reflecting my concern about Cafe Crem. I said in my comment to Michael:
    “There is a simple reason why there must be some change in Cafe Crem, and I will express it in my entry proposing a new concept.”
    This reason is exactly what you say: people don’t know how to contribute. Of course I always said that texts without images are welcome too, but texts about coffee cups without any image are really not so interesting. And people who cannot provide a painting or a photo feel intimated by the richness of the other entries.
    This is exactly why I will change the concept of Cafe Crem, at least partly.
    Thank you very much for all the efforts you have made, and I am so sorry that you surely wasted a lot of precious time because of it. This is again a proof that the most efforts we all make always stay in the background, and nobody knows about them…
    And… I hadn’t understood about Lupus… that you have it… I feel so sorry now… I must have read your blog too superficially the last weeks… But soon I will have more time again (I have again to prepare new paintings to extend the exhibition I did in the south of Spain, and some other paintings to do…) and your blog is on the top of my priorities blogs, you certainly know it as I chose it as my favourite one!
    Have a nice day, and thanks again!

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  20. Good morning, Miki. I can understand your sadness about Cafe Crem. I have often gotten very excited about projects, but then had difficulty getting the participation I would have liked. I would agree that the drop lately is due to the holidays. This time of year is very difficult for me. I haven’t been able to work on my art, which makes me sad. But my art comes and goes in cycles, so I try to be patient with myself.
    I’m just thinking out loud here, but I suppose if I let myself think of this as a coffee table, with friends who don’t mind listening to my woes, I would start complaining about organizing a 4-year-old’s birthday party, my mother-in-law coming to visit, my husband taking over my computer, the recent virus that is going around the family right now that has us all throwing up, and my sadness at how the spirit of Christmas seems to be eluding me once again. But it is not my nature to complain. I find it hard to imagine anyone caring to listen to these things. So I have been quiet, here and in my other blogs.
    I don’t have any easy answers for you. I know something like this blog is hard work. But I do feel you’ve created a sense of community here. And I’m excited to hear about your new ideas.

    Comment by shelleymhouse | December 17, 2007

  21. I think you misunderstood me Miki and for that I am sorry.
    I only want the best for you and for everyone and for joy and happiness to exist here in this place I too look forward to coming to everyday.
    I am proud to be here at Cafe Crem.
    And given that I have been around as I have told you in private emails, Cafe Crem is the best place I have encountered in my journey.
    Merry Christmas,
    Michael

    Comment by Michael | December 17, 2007

  22. Shelley.
    Good morning to you too! You can´t know it, but you have comforted me more than one time here, and I always miss you when you are not around. Your kindness and enthusiasm are for Kevin and me, and, I am sure, for anybody else here, very important…
    I understood that you have not much time the last weeks, and I am sorry that you can´t find time for your art. I guess you miss it quite a bit, but as you say, it is not in your nature to complain…
    I would say that I am normally quite like you. I tend to keep my sorrow and frustrations for myself, as long as I can, but always, after a long time of this kind of self-control, the mass is full and it generally ends in a big, quite destructive explosion! Most of the time it is a last tiny drop which provokes the explosion and people look at me, shocked, and say:
    “I have done nothing wrong!”
    In mathematics we even have a name for this kind of process. it´s called :
    “Catastrophe Theory”
    (seriously!)
    I guess this is what happened to me with Cafe Crem and this entry. In my normal life, at least with the people who are important to me, I have learnt to change this behaviour, and it works wonderfully.
    It will always be a pleasure to see you here, Shelley, as it always was since your first step into Cafe Crem. And if you need to speak about your mother-in-law, I am sure you will find a lot of smiling faces and understanding ears to listen to you… just make sure that she has a coffee cup in her hand!
    Have a nice day, and many greetings to the whole family… I hope Nicole is fine…

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  23. Michael
    Very kind, thank you.
    Misunderstandings are normal, I think they are the reason number one for all the problems between couples, friends, colleagues, and perhaps even between countries, religions, etc… The only way to cope with misunderstandings is to speak about them, trying to clear them, showing as much tolerance as possible for each other ´s opinion (more easily said than done!).
    I am proud about what you say about Cafe Crem. Thanks again…

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  24. Catastrophe Theory! I love it! This seems to apply to so many of the artists I am meeting. It is comforting to know I am not alone on this emotional rollercoaster. It makes for good art, but it is not so easy for close family and friends to understand.
    So now I am smiling, pondering how I might release these emotions in my next painting. And thinking about writing my next blog, about how I have to completely give up control of my coffee pot to my mother-in-law when she arrives, in order to achieve some kind of peace. But that could be bad karma…what if she finds this blog and reads it?! Hmmmm….I will have to figure something out. I dread the thought of becoming a walking time-bomb, again!

    Comment by shelleymhouse | December 17, 2007

  25. Hi Miki,
    It occurs to me that from all the replies to this thread, the Cafe Crem is hardly dead! No replies…indifference…would mean dead..
    As for my referring to my Lupus, this is the very first place I’ve “come out” about it, so this obviously feels like a very safe community 🙂
    Mostly I keep it in the closet due to my professional life, I’m afraid my practice will suffer if potential clients know I’m sic – people have such a horror to things they don’t understand…

    Comment by psychscribe | December 17, 2007

  26. P.S. I know you want to wait till after New Year’s to explain your new concept, but I”m wondering if I could submit poetry with a lead in like ….As you drink your coffee this morning, I hope you will enjoy my poem (???)

    Comment by psychscribe | December 17, 2007

  27. Yes, you are right, Cafe Crem makes a lot of noises for something dead!
    Of course you can submit poetry the way you describe, and in fact this is exactly what it is all about… the coffee cup is just a kind of symbol, a start point…
    I may present my new concept this week, but I can already say that the main change will be that some artists like you have a chance to participate if they like. That to make an entry becomes a simple, natural pleasure for them, and not something forced, where the author has to think a long time and to make many efforts to make an entry. I feel awful thinking that some of you might have done this gymnastic of mind and lost a lot of time and energy to participate.
    As Michael said:
    I want joy, pleasure, warmth, freedom, for everybody here.
    As for Lupus… thank you for your trust. Considering who you are, I mean your profession, you surely have good “sensors” telling you whom you can trust. I feel very proud of ALL OF US here that you trust us…
    Thank you so much.

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  28. Oh My Gosh!!! It’s also my fault… I’m so sorry Miki!! But please, don’t close Cafe Crem… we love this place.
    I’m sorry, I’ve been really busy studying for my final exams… Now they are over I have more free time.
    I’m sorry Miki.. I know how you feel.. I’ve been there… But Miki please, don’t feel sad.. We all love this place and I’m sure we all enjoy coming here and posting and having debates.
    So, please, don’t lose your hope. There might be times when this happens, but periods like this won’t last forever. We will be back with more energy wanting more and more coffee!!

    Comment by Mary | December 17, 2007

  29. Oh Mary! Of course it is not at all your fault, on the contrary, I felt a lot of support and warmth from you since we “met”, you know that. And this is much more important than any entry. You, with Psychscribe, are a reason why I have to change Cafe Crem, I would love to have you a little bit more around here, you are a kind of sunshine here for me, but it is too difficult for you to make an entry, independently how much time you have. The theme is simply too restrictive and then, it seems that everybody thinks that she/he has to put an image in the entry. I understand how that happened, and I guess, if I were not a painter myself, I would feel intimidated by all the beautiful graphical entries we had here all the time. I think this is the most important thing to change, to reach that everybody who would like to participate can do it, with simplicity, with pleasure and without any complication of any kind. Do you agree with me?
    Soon I will make an entry, proposing myself some changes and asking for ideas how to improve Cafe Crem.
    By the way your first entry was REALLY fantastic, and I admired you a lot for that creativity. Kevin too!
    Thank you so much for everything, Mary, and please, stay with us here!
    Un abrazo muy fuerte… y no te preocupes: ya se me ha ido la tristeza!
    PS: May I ask what you are studying?

    Comment by Miki | December 17, 2007

  30. Aww Miki!! You are a sunshine too… 🙂 🙂 and thanks for what you say about me.
    I see your point now… the paintings may intimidate a bit, but they are so great! and so lovely to look at!!… Although I cannot paint, I enjoy them a lot!! And you have said it many times, there’s no need to post a picture in our entries.. but I guess that it’s the atmosphere that requires us to post an image… if you know what I mean…
    I haven’t written anything lately… otherwise, I would’ve post it.. My mind is too worried with something…

    Un abrazo enorme Miki!!! Me alegro que ya no estes triste 🙂

    >>Mary<<

    P/s: I’m studying to be an English Teacher and Translator..

    Comment by Bird in Love | December 17, 2007

  31. Dear Miki,

    Reading these comments has clarified something for me which I would like to express.

    I am also an artist, although not nearly in your league. I am actually hoping to get back into oil painting which I set aside temporarily when moving to a new country, having gone through a divorce, and a remarriage to someone from another country, having a baby in another country, and raising my daughter, learning a new language, etc. I have to be honest, I have felt very intimidated by all the other people submitting their own paintings as photos (not that I didn’t like them, but it made it harder for me to contribute as I could never paint something like that, nor quickly).

    I see also from some of your further comments that before this detailed discussion, I think I didn’t really understand your purpose in Cafe Creme the way I am now understanding it today. Before, it seemed as if it was to be focused entirely on coffee cups, and I wasn’t sure how to contribute a lot in that area. Many of the discussions I didn’t feel I could add much to (I’m not much for small talk but LOVE in-depth discussions–like this seems to be turning in to!)

    What brings me to Cafe Creme is not so much the POSTS, it’s the PEOPLE. I find that I really like the PEOPLE here. Personally, I would like to get to know all of you better. But to me, somehow, concentrating mostly on coffee cups only is not doing that for me. This has led me just now to a new idea I would like to propose.

    If I am understanding you correctly, your REAL idea in starting Cafe Creme was to start an on-line cafe where people could meet just as in REAL cafes, and the conversation would feel the same. A place where you can meet your on-line FRIENDS, as you would meet your in-person friends. Therefore, my proposal will be with this in mind.

    I suggest that instead of working on bringing in any new authors at the moment, that we who are authors concentrate instead on getting to know each other better. More than just visiting each others blogs. The great thing about THIS post is that people here are opening up a bit more about themselves. For example, Psychscribe has mentioned that she has lupus, but I did not know that even though I visit her blog frequently. I think it’s time to expand our discussion topics beyond coffee cups into areas that really matter to us. It seems that most of us here like each other, and as we get to know each other, if any of us eventually knows others we might like to propose to you as authors, we could do that.

    If we want a REAL cafe atmosphere, we need to all start talking to EACH OTHER about things that matter to us, and each of us who is an author here needs to try to respond to each of those posts.

    For example, I think it would be great if each of us committed over the next two months to write one post on something (anything) that is really important to OURSELVES, that we’d like to share with the others who are here in Cafe Creme. I think the people here are positive and constructive, and it is a group I would feel comfortable sharing with. I think it is reasonable to hope that people will try to make positive, constructive comments for each other, and try to discuss their real feelings about issues. I would even volunteer to be first. It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shaking. For example, I might write a post on something like wanting to get back into oil painting, or why writing is important to me, or about why I became a teacher, and how I feel about how it is going.

    So what do you think of this idea Miki? If people were writing about things like this it would be the FIRST place I come to visit every day.

    Best regards,
    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | December 17, 2007

  32. I was thinking about Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beech Paris 1920’s Hemingway Picasso Erza Pound James Joyce et al. They came together because of the love of what they each did and the love of sharing stories and helping out each other. When someone was in trouble they would band together to help out. There is this recollection in A Movable Feast by Hemingway to paraphrase him, …we came together to for the same reasons that drew us to our work. Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beech were the salons of the Lost Generation and my goodness I wish I was there now. Then I feature Miki on my blog and here I am feeling the feelings that Hemingway felt. We are and must find that part of ourselves that we can share with each other. That part that stirs the imagination and brings a pallor to the cheek. What if we just be ourselves and come here and just be and in just being we will each of us find in each other a brotherhood/sisterhood/ fellowship that will be ours because we come together to share whatever we want with each other over coffee. What’s happening in our live, what dreams we have and what dreams we are finding it difficult to hold on to. Expressing ourselves each in our own way with each other and seeing a coming together of great people who are inclined to step up and help out or to encourage or to befriend. Oh what may become of Cafe Crem if only if only!!!!

    Comment by Michael | December 17, 2007

  33. Hi Everybody;

    It makes me sad to think that Cafe Crem may close. I have to agree with Madame Monet: it’s the People here who make such a welcoming communinty.

    We all have a lot of reasons why we are busy generally. At this time of year we are even more busy with all the preparations and extra activities going on. Itis normal that people may not have as much time to read Blogs and even less time to post anything. That is actually why I haven’t posted anything new lately – I know not many people will stop by to read what I have written.

    I too, am busy with my watercolour painting class. We also have to frame some pieces to get ready for a student art show for the entire month of January, so I’m busy with that, as well as trying to find time to decorate a little bit for Christmas.

    I sincerely hope Miki, that you will give Cafe Crem another chance. In the time when Cafe Crem first started, people were not yet completely thinking about the Holidays and had more time to contribute. Now the busy time of year has started and people’s attention is pulled in too many directions; usually in several directions at the same time!

    Don’t forget those people for whom Christmas and the Holidays is very difficult. It might coincide with the loss of a loved relative or frend, as it does for me. So their thoughts are also remembering the special people who are no longer here with us. There are lots of reasons why Christmas is difficult. Statistically it is one of the worst times for depression and suicides than at any other time of year. I don’t mean o be mellodramatic, it’s fact.

    The New Year and the promise of new beginnings and Spring will come soon. People will have more interest and time after the Hloidays. Stay positive, Miki!!

    Happy Holidays to you, Kev and all my friends here on Cafe Crem!

    Comment by Bonny | December 17, 2007

  34. Michael, interesting you should mention Hemingway. Miki and I are gradually plowing our way through a boxed set of DVDs featuring Michael Palin’s travels around the world, and shortly we’ll be enjoying his “Hemingway Adventure” in which he follows in the great man’s footsteps.
    Bonny, thanks for your good wishes, Happy Holidays to you too!
    And, everybody, it is fascinating that everyone has shared personal stuff here..to paraphrase an old soul song; ” a little piece of your heart”. I think it draws us closer together, and its really quite cathartic. Bonny, you’re right by the way, a lot of bad stuff does come down over Christmas for many people. A friend and musical colleague of mine who had some success in the seventies lost his wife to cancer on thursday. His Christmas will be tough. It makes Miki and I grateful for every second we have together. I hope those who love you are with you all in body or in spirit,this Christmas.

    Comment by kevmoore | December 17, 2007

  35. Madame Monet.
    I was so happy to read your great comment!It says so much of what I am thinking myself!
    Yes, the team of Cafe Crem is a wonderful one, I feel. We are all very different in our personalities but I sense that we are similar in our needs and also in some basic character features like honesty, kindness, respect, creativity, humor… This is why I love Cafe Crem too.
    The original idea of Cafe Crem was focused on coffee cups, but the underlying idea was that people tell about themselves through the stories connected to their favourite coffee cups. Look, if you had the possibility yourself to show us your cups, I am sure you would have wonderful stories to tell us about you and your travels, don´t you agree?
    But in fact the really important thing for me is the personal aspect. I would really love to know everybody better here, and would prefer it to any new author, if I had the choice. I am not myself a small-talk person at all… shortly said: I love beautiful paintings, drawings, photographs, texts, music, I love creativity and I love deep, honest discussions. If we could achieve this in Cafe Crem, it would be really the realisation of a dream for me.
    The art and the creativity are well-represented here.
    The deep discussions… sometimes they start, and I always enjoy it a lot.
    So I think what you propose is a fantastic idea.
    I will make this week (if I find the time… I have still so much to do with my paintings and exhibitions…) an entry proposing all the ideas which have appeared in all the comments to this post, and ask on opinion. Then I will make a synthesis and I am sure the result will be quite close to what you propose. I am very excited about it, and at the end I am very happy to have felt pain about Cafe Crem, and to have expressed it publicly (even if I made some mistakes doing it!) because at the end, I think it will lead to a much better place…
    Thank you so much, Madame Monet.

    Comment by Miki | December 18, 2007

  36. Bonny, bonjour!
    You are so right with what you say, and I guess I forget too often that other people´s lives are so different from mine. Kevin keeps repeating it to me, and I always agree, but then, I kind of forget… my childish nature I guess…
    I have myself no children, and all the members of my family are far away, so Christmas for me doesn´t mean a big change, except that I love it and feel even more energy to live and create things!
    But of course, it´s just me, I have this incredible luck that Christmas was never badly stained and that I simply can enjoy it in exactly the same way as when I was a child…
    I really really apologise for this lack of sensitivity towards everybody´s eventual problems connected to Christmas…
    I am generally a quite generous and thoughtful person, but you see, one cannot escape the human condition (and I guess it is good that we can´t, because somehow it is fantastic to be human!), one cannot help to often behave egoistically and egocentrically…
    Nevertheless I still want to wish everybody here a very merry Christmas!
    And if some of you need to escape any eventual stress, you must know, that Kevin and me will be here in Cafe Crem for you. whatever you need.

    Comment by Miki | December 18, 2007

  37. Madame Monet, I like your thinking on this. I think Cafe crem has a wonderful potential to be a place where we can discuss a broad range of topics, secure in support and understanding from the other members. I think its a place for healthy disagreement and accord in equal measure. The way everyone has been willing, in this thread to throw open the doors to their “real” selves is a revelation, and an indicator of how this blog will move forward, and how nice to see this happen at Christmas, which for me (not being religious) is a time for family and friendship.

    Comment by kevmoore | December 18, 2007

  38. Thank you Kevin and Miki.

    I will not be able to post much for a couple of days. But I have had an idea for a couple of interesting posts which could start some very interesting discussions (not necessarily to do with coffee, but I think we all have a better idea now of what we want out of cafe creme, so I will try to take the plunge with some interesting posts in the next week or two). I wasn’t quite sure how both of you might react to my previous comments, so I’m happy to see that it has been positive for everyone.

    Best regards, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | December 19, 2007

  39. I have just declared on all my blogs http://claimid.com/michael_pokocky a post, the internet is dead+
    It is the final post for all three blogs and my two sites will remain up for the way back machine.
    The only place on the Net where I will post anything is Cafe Crem.
    This is posted here to let you know that I feel good about being here and that’s it.
    So in a sense I am a psuedo writer in residence….hahah
    I re-post what the “switch” was. For anyone that wants to know Miki helped me go looking for the switch and I found it.
    I honor her by remaining a member of Cafe Crem as long as you will have me. This is in the great tradition of Hemingway’s salons of Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beech.
    The highest tribute I can pay is the action I have taken.
    Merry Christmas,
    Michael

    Comment by Michael | December 19, 2007

  40. Hear, hear Michael, let us indeed aspire to the heights achieved by those greats! Merry Christmas from a fellow aspiring pseudo writer!

    Comment by kevmoore | December 19, 2007

  41. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    Michael, we have 2 cafes of the world stories, which we would love to submit to you, and are just waiting for the possibility to make the photos of them, which will be within the next 2 weeks… what should we do with them now? Such a beautiful idea, PLEASE, don’t let it die… it has nothing to do with Internet as such, the internet is just a way to make all these cafes and stories accessible to everybody… would you change your mind, at least for that blog? Is there perhaps another tiny little switch in your brain, which you could switch back to “on”?
    I will certainly miss your philosophis blog…
    and I certainly feel extremely honored that you stay with us here!
    I love for Cafe Crem the idea of the salon… it is perhaps more in my character than the idea of a cafe… but well, at the end it is just a word, and Cafe Crem has already the ambiance of a salon, and will have it even more in the future, I think, with the new changes… which, what ever you think now, will please you… at least I do hope so!
    And you know, I am missing your beautiful photos here… but I could never ask you to post one, if you don’t feel like it… I am just saying that I miss them…

    Comment by Miki | December 19, 2007

  42. Hi Miki,
    Cafe Crem is a real fun concept, it shouldn’t be taken down, I love browsing this blog, its cosy and welcoming, perfectly apt to its name, I know I’ve not been interactive and wasnt able to participate in the competition, which is a shame, but I agree with the other comments, we’re all so tied up, but that shoudn’t mean we’re denied our access to this cafe? Viva Cafe Creme!!

    Comment by supersizeme | December 19, 2007

  43. If I am to write to share my ideas and photos and questions with friends is that not what Cafe Crem in its true essence about?
    What could I not write here that I could write anywhere else on my sites?
    And if a post comes along for cafes of the world+ of course I will publish them. That is easy because it is another that is telling their story not I.
    Just writing this comment brings to mind the new possibilities for Cafe Crem perhaps?
    I am leaving up all the sites to deliver my message to those that find it. That is the stand I am taking which has been germinating within me for a few years now. The speech by Dorris Lessing winner of the Nobel for literature was so profound I acted. I know I one voice cannot stop the internet. Can I perhaps draw attention to the idea of slowing down and thinking about the, “end results?” I don’t know but we’ll see.
    In the meantime if I can I would like to post what I would have on my sites here to share with my friends. That’s your decision.
    Hey Kevin you have the heart of a Knight and the spirit of a leader.
    Thanks Kev and Miki.

    Comment by Michael | December 19, 2007

  44. Hi Supersize You! Nice to see you again and you are very welcome here, of course, always!
    And yes: Viva Cafe Crem!
    How is Christmas for you by the way? a time of blues or a time of fun?

    Comment by Miki | December 19, 2007

  45. Christmas for me?
    Well, to be honest, I dont really celebrate it being a Muslim, but I’m syurrounded by christians and have always joined in some festivities, i.e. parties and office do’s, I give gifts and cards, its usually really fun, I’m really enthusiastic about it, honestly, especially as I get lots of gifts and yummy food when I’m coming along for the ride.

    So Cafe Crem is still on? Yessss!!! 😀

    Comment by supersizeme | December 19, 2007

  46. Hi Supe, I know what you mean, Im surrounded by Christians too! Being an unashamed capitalist, For me, It’s always been synonymous with pressies and food! (Well, a bit anyway) Of course the company of friends and family is top of the list. (as long as they bring pressies and food) 🙂

    Comment by kevmoore | December 19, 2007

  47. I am happy to find somebody else who is so enthusiastic about Christmas as Kevin and me! I was starting being a little bit ashamed to feel so positive about Christmas!
    What I especially love in Christmas is the festive atmosphere which starts one month before, the expectation, the many flashing lights everywhere, because it looks like as if a sky full of rainbow stars would enter each tiniest space of the universe, the scents everywhere, yes, the Christmas scents simply delight my senses and bring me incessantly back to my childhood with my parents and my two brothers, as we always had a Christmas fest like in a fairy tale! I wished there were specific wonderful scents for each month of the year!
    I wish you a big amount of great fun and gifts this year too, Supe! Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Miki | December 20, 2007

  48. Haha! Kevin I completely agree, It’s fun, I’ve got lotsa presents! I always feel loved (read spoilt)and pampered at this time of the year.
    I was also told the tradition of mince pies and tasted the european varieties and compared.. I have had the italian version, the german (stollen?) and english version’s now.. I had that many yesterday, (my own fault, I couldn’t stop nibbling all day long!) that I cant stand to look at another one right now, till… 8am tomorrow maybe? Haha! YEP! It’s the best possible excuse

    Miki: I love all that too, WOW! Your childhood Christmas’s sound awesome, I’m envious! well to be honest, as a child, Christmas was definitely fun and magic filled, I used to love the panto’s and participate in the school one’s , loved the parties, sitting on santa’s knee, all that, and then the stuff they’d have on TV was brilliant, like The Snowman, E.T, Mary Poppins, we used to huddle at the telly eating pine nuts and walnuts. It was so much better for us as kids then, as to now, It wasnt about the expensive presents as it is now, we just wanted ‘A’ present but the emphasis was on all the festivities, now its all about the ipods, ps3’s and Wii’s. They dont get the ‘magic’ or ‘fairytale’ aspect of it anymore.
    About the scent, hmm.. yep the sights and smells the atmosphere, I love it.

    Comment by supersizeme | December 20, 2007

  49. Oops, *the best possible excuse for friends and family get-togethers

    Comment by supersizeme | December 20, 2007

  50. Supe, great comment. The TV shows always used to “nail” Christmas for me, and I still have a childish pleasure in that, so much so, that I’ve created a Christmas day TV fest for Miki and I, using DVDs- Ive got Santa Claus the movie, The film Music and Lyrics, for a bit of romantic comedy, and (this is a laugh) the Helen Mirren Movie The Queen, to replace the traditional Queens speech at 3 o’clock!
    With regards to the food, whilst I could enter the Olympics in Christmas eating, I have to confess I hate the actual Christmassy food- can’t stand Mince pies, Christmas cake (marzipan-ugh!) or Christmas pudding!! (My mum used to bake me a tray of jam tarts instead!) A few years ago, Marks & Spencers started doing a Toffee and Banana pudding wihich was a wicked replacement, but I doubt we’ll get one here in Spain. However, being forward thinking, I have an Emergency Jam sponge and custard hidden in the cupboard!

    Comment by kevmoore | December 20, 2007

  51. OOOH Yes! The queens speech! Even in spain you wouldn’t miss it for the world eh?
    Yum! Custard and jam sponge! Heavenly!

    Music and Lyrics! I LOVE that film! although Drew Barrymore is a bit like annoying in it.. have you seen it? I wont spoil it for you if you havrnt, have you seen the holiday? thats the best film for this time of the year!

    Comment by supersizeme | December 21, 2007

  52. Miki, thanks for your comment on my blog! I’ve asked a graphic deigner type mate to help me out with the art side of things, he’ll make an Eid-inpsred picture and when I write a peice, I’ll add his artwork to it, for cafe crem! I love that idea, what say you?
    Sorry, its cheating I know, but ART for me is like over my head.. I cant grasp it… if that sounds right at all? :s

    Comment by supersizeme | December 21, 2007

  53. Do you know how that really sounds, Supe? It sounds as if you are a very cheaty girl, and we love it!!!

    Comment by Miki | December 21, 2007


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