Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

The Irina Bloom Mug

By Miki de Goodaboom


Is anybody out there?

here is Miki… not sure if anybody is still around in our lovely Cyber Cafe “Cafe Crem”… probably not… except of course Kevin, who apparently comes here from time to time and tells the world about his music and the music he loves!

Well, I personally haven’t come for ages… there is nothing more depressing than an empty Café, and I had no idea how to try to bring it to life again. At the occasion, apart from Kevin, I would like to thank Shelley with all my heart, who has been so faithful and active all the time, from the very beginning…

Shelley… are YOU there?

I have a very special reason to come back today, but I hope I will come more often again. Since my last post, I have painted many new mugs, and I will gradually publish them here, together with their little story. But for now I want to present you the “Irina Bloom” Mug.

Irina Bloom Mugs

Irina Bloom is the heroine of the new book with the same name of Brazilian author Tamara Ramos. And is as well a painting by me. If you want to know how my girl landed on the cover of Tamara’s book, please go and read the story in my main blog. You can also read l’histoire d’Irina Bloom en français if you don’t understand English or find French language sexier!  🙂

Here is my original painting

Irina Bloom The Blond Rebel XS

As usual: mugs are a wonderful personalised gift, and Christmas is coming… does it ring a bell? So, if you want to purchase an Irina Bloom mug, please go to

Tamara Ramos Virtual Lounge

So, this is it for today. Kevin and I would love to hear again from any of our Cafe Creamers if you are around. And if you have a new mug, with an interesting mug story, or anything else interesting in your life, just come to Cafe Crem and let us know!



November 24, 2013 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, Cafe Literati, Christmas, coffee, culture, literature, Miki's Paintings | Leave a comment

A Cup of Coffee with my Friends

"Liquid Topaz, page 107," 5x7inches, mixed media, copyright 2011 Shelley M. House.

Stopping by to share a cup with some old friends. This piece is part of my new altered book series, “Liquid Topaz.” It’s been a fun summer project. I should be finishing it up this week, so I can call it done before the kids start school next week. Symphony rehearsals start up again in a couple weeks, so I need to put more time into practicing my violin.

Sitting outside the Wine Market on a hot summer night.

I’ve been selling my art at more outdoor venues. Just last Friday night was one of the fun Art Walks on the Square. I enjoy being a part of this growing creative community, and there is a wonderful energy to interacting with potential customers this way. I’ve got more Art Walk pics at my gallery blog. I’ve entertained thoughts of playing my violin outside at one of these events, when it cools off a little. I’ll keep y’all posted on how that goes 🙂

August 7, 2011 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, Cafe Literati, coffee, events, friends, fun, poetry, Shelley's Altered Book, Shelley's Creations | , , , | 2 Comments

Strange Costumes: Chap. 4 — Nesting

I finally came up with an image I am happy with for the next chapter of the ongoing Strange Costumes collaboration with Kev Moore. I’ve been doing more coloring by hand this year, instead of Photoshop. My work is still pretty abstract. It’s been interesting to watch the direction my art goes in. Here is one of my new digital pieces, with an Italian title inspired by Kev and Miki’s current tour of this beautiful country:

In other news, around the same time I opened my gallery space this past February, I had an opportunity to start playing with the local symphony. It has been a blast, and I have to thank Kev for helping inspire my musical interests again. This is right after the concert last Thursday night. I was so happy that I didn’t mess up my solos!

Check out my blog if you’d like to see the concert program. Matthew thought all the songs sounded the same. Nicole liked “Defenders of our Freedom” the best. The Fauré piece was probably my favorite, but Stravinsky was a fun challenge, and Sevilla reminded me of the beautiful photos Miki and Kev post from Spain.

The weather is warming quickly here in Georgia. I’m going to head back outside to enjoy some sunshine.

May 11, 2011 Posted by | Art, Ca' Puccini, Cafe L'Arte, Shelley's Altered Book, Shelley's Creations | , , | 1 Comment

Someone’s watching me (a short story)

Someone’s watching me….


   As I turn onto Great Russell Street, the whole of Bloomsbury behind me seems to echo with my footsteps. There’s something about frosty nights that seem to make sound travel further and faster and for a second, I am sure that the echo is more than an echo and a second set of footsteps follow at a distance behind me.


   The immense bulk of the British Museum looms, oddly bereft without the usual hoard of visitors milling around; a faint odour of old fried onions still fills the air as I approach the gates, but the hotdog seller is long gone and maybe the smell is my imagination, like those footsteps. I consider my route for a moment, and turn back a little and head along Museum Street.

   Click clack click clack…my heels would strike sparks if I walked any faster; little Segs nailed into them to slow the inevitable wear. I’ve only got one good pair of shoes for going out and they cost me far too much to let them wear down as quickly as they will otherwise do. I can’t bear seeing girls wearing heels that are half worn and uneven, stumbling because of the poor grip. I’d much rather wear good running shoes but out in my glad rags, they don’t exactly go, if you know what I mean.

   It’s also cold and I wish I had worn a proper coat instead of this excuse for a jacket. But you have to look the part, and I hadn’t originally intended to be coming home this late or on foot for that matter. I’m not the first girl to walk home because she’s run out of money for a taxi and I won’t be the last. At this time of the morning, the tube is still shut and I’d never go down there alone at night anyway. Brave I may be but I am not either fearless or stupid. Up here, I can hear anyone or see them before they see me. Or at least I think so. Those footsteps are beginning to bother me but it’s late and I’m tired. I worked a long day yesterday (or was it today when I got off shift? Can’t remember now).

   I cut across New Oxford Street and down into Shaftesbury Avenue and think about Shaftesbury the man, and how today’s London would thrill him. None of the dreadful, mind-blowing poverty is left; even our poor are better off than the poor of his day. I’ve gone past the turning for Neal Street now and I curse softly. I want the most direct route and if I continue down Monmouth Street I’ll be funnelled straight down to St Martin’s and Trafalgar Square. If I cut through Neal’s Yard, I’ll be back on track.

  Neal’s Yard is eerily quiet and unnerving; the massive potted trees rattle their twigs at me and I shiver as I pass through. At the other side of the yard, I pause, sure I have heard something, but a small black shape races across the gap and I relax. It’s just a rat; you’re never far from a rat in London (or any city) but you seldom see them by daylight.

   But daylight is a long way off, and I want my bed and I cut across Long Acre and down into Covent Garden. It’s deserted, as you’d imagine, and silent, how you could never imagine it being in the day. Litter blows across the cobbles and I can hear music somewhere. It’s past closing time for just about everywhere, so maybe it’s someone’s car stereo.

  Another rat darts across. Despite the best efforts, food waste attracts vermin and I wait to be sure the rat was alone. Something that might once have been a burger is so mashed into the cobbles; another small black shape detaches itself from its meal and starts to run.

  “Nothing to fear from me, mate,” I say, and begin to walk again.

  There’s traffic noise now coming from The Strand, but only intermittent and again I am certain I can hear footsteps. I still myself as I walk, willing myself to be calm and to listen. I’m going slower now, even though as my heartbeat begins to race I want to break into a run.


   There is indeed someone behind me, maybe thirty yards or maybe a bit more. They are keeping pace with me, keeping out of sight in the shadows. Oh crap. Whoever it is he (or she, because I can’t see them) is very good at this. When I stop, they stop. No wonder I thought it an echo. As I round the corner and come close to the shuttered Jubilee Market, I know that whoever it is will have to cross the open space and be visible, so I take the road next to the Market and walk down very fast till I get to the Strand, where the lights are brighter and there is a little traffic.

  It’s not a lot of use really, because as soon as I get there, I know that I can’t even hail a taxi. I have about thirty pence in my purse, and no means of getting more, so I can’t even say, “Take me to a cash point!”. I’ll just have to hope that my follower is slower than I am. I can run pretty fast if I need to, but in these shoes? I don’t think so.

  I cross the Strand and take the alley between buildings. I can sense someone behind me, the other side of the road but I’m damned if I give him the satisfaction of turning round to try and see him. The alley is steep and has a flight of steps, and I nearly fall as I negotiate the steps. It’s horribly dark down here and I wonder if I have made a mistake. But Embankment Gardens are at the bottom of this alley and once through those, I’ll be down on Embankment and into brighter light.

  At the bottom I realise my mistake too late. They lock the gardens at night. I consider my options. I could climb the railings and cross like that. But I am in a tight skirt and I don’t think it’s going to allow me to do that. Short of taking the damn thing off while I hop over the fence, I’m stuck.

  It’s then I make my big mistake. I turn right and start to follow the gardens roughly west. I’ve forgotten that if I turn left, I can cut through and join the Embankment near Waterloo Bridge. I am thinking that maybe one of the other gates will be open and I can cut through. Like I say, I’m tired. Turning right takes me between the Gardens and the backs of the properties in the streets behind the Strand. Once, hundreds of years ago, the Savoy Palace stood somewhere along here and further back in time, the Strand was indeed a sort of beach.

  My heart nearly bursts out of my chest; the footsteps behind me have got a lot faster suddenly and like an idiot, I instinctively begin to run, cursing both shoes and skirt as they impede my speed. To my horror, the way ahead plunges into a dark lane, leading to parking garages or something for the buildings that tower above me. Dim orange lamps make more shadows than light and as I stumble, I fall headlong into a darkened corner. I scramble onto my knees, poised like a runner at the start of a race, trying to see who’s there.

   I hear breaking glass and the dim lights vanish and I am in almost total darkness. All I can hear is my own breath rasping in my throat and the sudden slowing of footsteps. The bastard has broken the lamps so I can’t see him, and after a second, a bright light appears directly in front of me, ten or so yards away. He’s holding a powerful flashlight, shining it deliberately in my eyes so I can’t see him. I can feel bile rising in my throat and I think that maybe if I throw up on him, then he’ll be so disgusted he’ll let me go. I’m also feeling so angry that I could burst; some anger at myself for letting this happen to me but simple, atavistic fury at the old, old story of the subjugation of women by fear.

  Something glints as the light wavers and I know he has a knife. Oh well. The fury passes and I am left with resignation; if I can live through this, then maybe that’s something. There’s nowhere left to run after all. My mouth is so dry but I open it anyway to scream.

  “Don’t scream,” he says.

  His voice is flat and deliberately accent-less, as if he doesn’t want me to know his origins. That’s good. It might mean he intends me to live. I try to control my breathing but it’s coming out ragged and rough and I retch with fear and I sense him smiling. Don’t ask me how I know that, but when he speaks again I can hear his pleasure in my fear.

  “Throw your bag over there,” he says and with shaking hands I comply, fumbling a little.

  “Don’t hurt me,” I say, and am shocked. I sound like a little girl.

  He just laughs. The torch dips a little and I hear him moving towards me and then I hear the unmistakeable sound of a belt being undone. I swallow hard and brace myself for the inevitable.

 The next few seconds are chaos and yelling and even a bit of blood.

  But the blood is not mine. The knife clatters across the concrete; I even fancy it sparked a little, and my attacker stares at me in shock, clutching at the side of his head cut open when I hit him with the torch I retrieved from my bag. But he only has a second to investigate his wounds, before I wrench that arm into a firm hold behind his back and secure it with the other hand in cuffs, and because I am only human, and because my knee is in the middle of his back (my skirt has now ripped beyond repair), I lean over and press his face ever so gently into the dirty floor and whisper,

  “You’re nicked.”

   And I get to my feet and walk away and leave my other followers to drag this animal to the van waiting outside in the street.                     

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Viv's Short Stories, writing | 12 Comments

journal entry 18.01.10

November 19, 2008 Lac Rond

# photo { What I am reading: Stephen King On Writing }

# poem: a new beginning

I stood upon the hill

wrapped in my frock

the dampness filled my lungs

and all I could see was barren land

There was no movement

except the heaving of my chest when I breathed

There was no color

for I had been blinded by the flash

The silence was unbearable

until I heard a raven in the distance

and I knew he had found me

and I him

He feared not I

nor I him

and he landed on my shoulder

and I could hear him restless

I reached into my pocket

and pulled out a handful of dried corn

and I fed him

We spent eternity together

and when I walked away from this place

he circled high and low

and I followed him

My sight over the next few weeks improved

and one day when the corn ran out

and Arias was flying high and low

I came upon a forest green

and heard a spring riverbed

I drank from the water Arias had found for us

and he drank too

my parched lips cracked and bleeding

and I heard the voices singing

we followed the melodic melancholy

until we came to a waterfall

deep within the forest

and the voices went silent

and I feared

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder

and Arias was not to be found

and the hand turned me around

and I saw her standing there

with Arias upon her shoulder

and she sang for me and Arias

The others came out of hiding

and joined us in song and friendship

and I swear I could see Arias smiling at me

I never gave it a second thought again

and Arias and I lived out our lives

amongst our new found friends

and joined often in song

as we shared a new beginning together

# Inspired enthusiasm.  This is the way to know if what your doing is working for you.  So whenever there is inspiration and enthusiasm there is creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of.  I gleamed this from reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.  Kind of ties into what Stephen King says in On Writing too.  Just write when you get an inspired idea and see where it takes you.  That inspiration usually contains the essence of enthusiasm when you can’t wait to get out of bed everyday to write.


January 19, 2010 Posted by | Michael Pokocky's Poetry, photo, poetry, writing | , | 7 Comments

journal entry 17.01.10

Val David walk 16th November 2009

# photo {I miss the fall light of early morning walks along Riviere Simon, Val David, Quebec, Canada}

{re-post from Redroom:

Today’s entry is a “blast from the past”

# I found this on the net today for Google Alert – Farrar, Straus, & Giroux: namelos: Publishing the old, old way. Part I | Highly recommend reading the first of several forthcoming parts from Steven Roxburhg

#f journal entry 30.08.09 I want to be in great health.  There’s so much I want to do. Now.  There’s an insanity that sets in your mind when you desire to be published so much.  And I think this is tragic.  Its silent; destructive; and theres a trail.  Anyone on that trail cannot help but step in it.  Thats another tragedy. So what I stand for I don’t care if you care.  I stand for a healthy state of mind.   And I do what I love.  Writing.  I don’t care to be published. Its not important anymore.  Its a way of life for me to write and to live joyfully.  Just think about how tragic it is when an obsessive “I want to be a published writer” behavior leads to drug and alcohol abuse disguised as the muse in one’s head, and the tagedy of what your children inherit from your obsessions, unfulfilled.  And obsessiveness is just one point to discuss.  There are a thousand other habits that can be broken.  Some good.  Some bad.  But the bad ones got to go for the sake of a life well lived.  And you can sense you’re destruction in them.  I’m glad to be emptying my mind in this journal.  Way to much to keep locked up inside.  Better to get it down and out.  Set oneself free.

# poem

Pieces of me

i’m wandering

for a long time

looking for peices of me

i can’t remember anything

its a good day when i do

then again

it is better not to remember some things

Copyright (c) Michael Pokocky 17.01.10


January 17, 2010 Posted by | Michael Pokocky's Poetry, photo, poetry, writing | , | 1 Comment

journal entry 16.01.10

Inspiration at John Le Grec | Where the writers go

# photo Inspiration at John Le Grec | Where the writers go

{re-post from Redroom:

# poem: Passion and Purpose

i dreamed of a distant place in a distant time

of three men in brown robes and one in white

i was there too at an outdoor table by a white building on white dessert sand

the only colors were the green of a green plant and the deep translucent blue of the man in the white robe

his face was like fine chinese porceline

oh but his eyes were clear and kind and knowing

he reached very quickly across the wooden table and touched my forehead between the eyes

i immediately went into convulsions as if having been electrocuted

and awoke spasmodically unable to keep from contorsions and violent movement

my wife awoke and held me tight until it passed

and then in the passing i cried from a well so deep inside

sobbing, eyes filled with tears running down my face like a spring mountain stream

then it passed and i felt a extraordinary calm not of this world

and the thought occurred to me it was love

only much later would i find out it was a divine intervention

and the love was actually a glimpse of the profound bliss we all are capable of feeling

i’ve searched and waited for it to happen for a long time afterward until i gave up

it was then that i found it again and now experience it several times a week

to have glimpsed the human potential has changed my purpose from what i want to do

to what i sense is wanting to be born into this world.

Copyright (c) Michael Pokocky 15.01.10

# I am having apple pie with ice creme right now at John Le Grec.  Just waiting ’cause they had to go out and get the ice creme — for me?, how kind.  I love writing in the black artist sketchbook I have returned to from the moleskin’s because they are too expensive.  The artist sketch book: more room, whiter paper in dim conditions relfects the light better for these old eyes, well its just plain fine.  Ah the apple pie has arrived.


January 17, 2010 Posted by | Michael Pokocky's Poetry, photo, poetry | , | 2 Comments

journal entry 15.01.10

Diary entry: Tolstoy became famous first for writing Childhood.  Such a simple title. Such a great book. 06.01.10

photo: Tolstoy became famous first for writing Childhood.  Such a simple title. Such a great book.

{re-post from Redroom:}

# Something is speaking to me.  For me.  And sharing my journal yesterday is like opening up myself not to boast or to invite attention but rather to give to give for I need nothing back from this you see.  I am at peace with this; perhaps I have found that one true thing that is in line with how I actually live my life everyday.  Its been an everyday for many years.  Why did I hide from this; or did it hide from me because I was not open to it.

# Awake Awake

an opening through the bush

a snow covered field

a lone deer crossing

and i am breathless

within without

am awakening

i know not what it is

yet the deer stands still now

i am lost to my thoughts

overhead the cry of an eagle

joyfully i look up

forgetting the breathless moment of the deer

i am one with the eagles cry

suddenly i am hit heavy

a profound weight on my shoulders

what happened

the disconnect was but for a moment

the breathless deer

the crying eagle would be forever

this duality of breathlessness and broken pervades my thoughts

and we spend eternity trapped in that incipient Hell

awake awake

is the proverbial whispers we don’t hear

copyright (c) Michael Pokocky 15.01.10

# I am not feeling as lost this year as I have been for the last 20.  I wonder what this means.  Ah I don’t really need to know.  I am “doing” instead of “thinking” and the second I think I am dead again.  Must keep on this peaceful path. There is no stress nor effort other than my pen scratching across the paper.  I can hear it now and its a melodic mantric melody keeping me sane.

# Thank you Blessed Virgin Mary.  Use me as you wish.  All I care about is that you take care of my family as you have for so many years now.  Thank you for blessing my family with the Holy Spirit in the name of the one who never cried out ever especially the day he was beaten to a pulp and nailed to the cross.  I shall call out His name for I honor you Son, Jesus.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Michael Pokocky's Poetry, photo, photography, poetry, writing | , | 2 Comments

journal entry 14.01.10

my wife drops me off and does her thing. LUCKY l can            write anywhere.

my wife drops me off and does her thing. LUCKY l can  write anywhere: Cafe Fayette

{Re-post from my blog and tweeted to @ThisIsMikesBlog

I am going to try something new for me.  Write a journal entry from my “real” journal.  That’s what I do everyday and today I just cracked my 69th journal.  So here we go.

cracked open a new journal no. 69

# A poet I am.  I poet I shall be. Cigarette break.

# poem:

tamed indifferece

such a stoic stance

silly.  foolish of me in fact.

have i not lived experiences

gained wisdom

felt an exacted toll

a full frontal cortex of assault

truthfully i wouldn’t change anything

in misery there is clarity eventually

for the mind has a way of favoring the elusive ego once found

and bliss is thy reward

# lait 1%, deca, aromatise, [this is all French but the keyboard is English] lait de soya, sirop, creme fouettee,  All exceptional for the pallet.  But I have made my choice: cafe au lait, no 1%, topped with dark chocolate peel extreme, a slight dollop sprinkle of cinemin essence.  Very good for clarity of mind and induction of state of bliss from which creative power flows.

Copyright (c) Michael Pokocky 14.01.10


January 14, 2010 Posted by | Michael Pokocky's Poetry, photo, photography, writing | , , | 2 Comments

Cathedrals of the New Age?

Walk the length and see the yellows turn to red....

Abandon liquids, all ye who enter here.....

On my travels this weekend to perform with Christie at the Golden Years show in Antwerp, I had to endure four flights, due to connecting both ways in Spain’s capital. This presented me with the opportunity to wander through Madrid airport’s spectacular new addition, Terminal 4.  Looking up at this incredible structure brought to mind comparisons with our classic Cathedrals of days gone by, and I began to think these were in fact, the cathedrals of the new age, where we pay homage to St,Christopher, the patron saint of travellers. Fanciful perhaps, but we are certainly in the lap of the gods as we hurtle skywards in those metal tubes!

Vaulted ceilings rise

To echo Gothic splendours

Whither the departure gates?

And whither do they send us?

Walk these endless hallways

With portals on all sides

Cathedrals of a new age

Where we fly the friendly skies

by Kev Moore © 2009

December 1, 2009 Posted by | culture, fun, Kev Moore's Poetry, life, news, personal, photo, photography, travel | 4 Comments