Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday is my day: Chichiboulie

Let's stay in France, it's beautiful here and meet another illustrator and artist; Gretchen from Chichiboulie. She makes very sweet and cute illustrations and creations for children and why not for little bigger too. Please do visit her pretty and cute shop after peeking her day :)
(click any photo to go to the shop)

Sou'wester or Nor'easter - Set of 3 badges
by chichiboulie

Hello! My name is
Gretchen Jakub Fabre, otherwise known as Chichi. I am an illustrator and designer currently living in Northern France, about 5 km from the border with Belgium, though we’ve moved around quite a bit between the US, Canada and England. We live in an adorable Flemish farmhouse, me, my husband and our 3 very energetic and silly children: two daughters, Anne-Charlotte and Augustine, and a wee man, Léopold.

Unfortunately for story telling purposes, I don’t think I have any type of schedule in my day and I fear you’ll find my daily life slightly less than titillating. But I’m going to give it a try…

Somewhere between 5.30 and 7.00 – Depending on the whims of the wee people in the house, we wake up. But with the time change for summer, at least we have a lovely view to wake up to.

Between 7.00 and 8.00 – We run around rather manically trying to get everyone dressed either by their own means our by ours. Then it’s the next round-up for breakfast followed by the final round-up to get everyone out the door in order to make it to school in time.

8.30 – Back home. Ouf! I get to make breakfast for myself and catch up on emails, Etsy, news. This is my little bit of quiet time where I attempt to wake up and prepare for the day. Today’s breakfast is porridge with stewed plums and of course, 2 cups of green tea with lemon. I’m a bit of a green tea addict.

Morning – I’m definitely a morning person so I usually try to get all of my important business out of the way first thing, while I still have the enthusiasm to get things done. This means answering emails, placing orders for supplies, wrapping orders on their way out, cleaning the house etc. It also means a stop by the EST chat thread to say hello as well as a chat with my “office mate”, Etsy friend Kala, based in England through MSN.

When the weather permits, I try to get outside for a walk or bike ride. My bike is currently out of commission so it’s foot power today. I definitely need the fresh air and time to think. One of my most usual walks goes by the local castle and artist’s village. You can’t see the castle here in this photo, only the gate house, but it’s there. Promise! And of course, there are the roosters…

Midday – Time for lunch. I really do love food (perhaps a bit too much) so any meal time is rather important to me and something to look forward too! But if no children are about, I usually just scavenge around for left-overs to avoid cooking and using up my very little free time that I have to get work done. Today is leek and potato soup left over from last night.

Check the news again (I’m also a news addict) and Etsy as well as other sites, before getting back to work painting orders or creating new designs. I tend to get slightly distracted all too easily so I try to stay focussed. Note the cup of tea in permanence by my workspace.

Afternoon – The troops are back home and there is no rest for the weary. It’s either running around to activities or entertaining them. Sometimes they do entertain themselves by getting completely absorbed in the latest Playmobile catalogue or running and jumping around the garden and checking on the tomatoes we are growing, but more often than not, they are being very mischievous and preventing mummy from working. Sometimes I find lovely gifts, like this tomatoes lined up on the radiator, each one with a lovely set of 2 year old teeth marks… Sigh.

Evening – Time to think about dinner and homework and baths and bedtime. I’m tired just thinking of everything that lies ahead! But the show must go on. The weather has been nice so we’re having a light dinner tonight of salad and homemade pizza topped with fresh tomatoes and courgettes.

8 pm – The troops are in bed, though usually not sleeping, and it’s finally quiet time for hubby and me. I’ve finished all my books (I tend to devour them so they don’t last very long, much to the dismay of hubby) so I have nothing to read at the moment. But we love a good English murder mystery and so I’ve purchased some from England. Tonight we’ll watch one in the series and chat on the sofa before going to bed. A little bit of time to wind down.


  1. Chichi, you have a wonderful family and life! Nice to get to know you:)

  2. How lovely to read! Gretchen, your garden is enchanting!

  3. So nice to learn a bet more about Gretchen! Never had Porridge, is it worth trying? :)

  4. Wow, Chichi, how nice to know more about u and your family. The cute thing is the morning part where u and ur family are running abt getting dressed and the night where yr little army has to be in bed. LOL, same as me! :) Thanks for sharing, Chi and Heli! xxx

  5. oooh, Chchi, how nice to read about your day, you are also one of those mummies raising a bunch of energetic kids and still crafting!! And it seems you live in a very peacefull place, Ilike your garden!

  6. I wish I could organize like this. It's a wonderful thing work in home and have such a lovely family.

    And Heli, your Friday features are fantastic!

  7. Chichi your garden its gorgeous!I am sure you are having a great time when the weather is hot.
    I was wondering why you placed the tomato in the heater.Its a trick so you can pealed of the skin easier?
    Thank you Chichi and Heli !!!!

  8. Thank you for inviting me to particpate in this Heli, it was a lot of fun!

    As for the tomatoes - no trick... my son likes to move things around on me and apparently thought the tomatoes should go on the radiator instead of the windowsill. Windowsills are great for tomatoes. Radiators... not so much! :D

  9. So fun to read a bit more of your life, we have the same kind of highly ordered life :-D
    Thanks Heli for this lovely series!

  10. It's great to meet you Gretchen !!

  11. You live in such a beautiful place! It was a great reading!

  12. I love these Friday posts, getting to know everyone better!!! :)

  13. Haha, it's saturday when I finally have time to catch up on friday!
    Chichi, it has been so nice to read about you and your troops! I think you are doing a fantastic job combining it all! You are a wondermommy I think! I also adore your whimsical art! We must meet up sometime this year, right? :)

  14. it is so much fun to read your friday posts (and to read about chichi) - i always look forward to it!!

  15. i love to see one normal day for others!! :)lovely idea!!