Spreading some blog love today

What makes a blog stand out for you?

You know, enough to get you to subscribe.  And not just subscribe, but check it even before you get a notice about a new post–because you want to make sure that you didn’t miss one.

Because you like it that much.

I’m guessing there aren’t that many of those kinds of blogs for most of us.  In My Own Style’s I’ve Got a Blog Crush on You link party today got me thinking about which blogs I really love–the ones I read regularly and have come to count on for information, inspiration, and connection.

And so I decided to create a page to list them all–to make it easy for me (or you) to click on over to them any little time the feeling to do so strikes. But before making that, though, I started writing about the one that is my most favoritest of all, so I could properly share the Valentine blog love with all of you. And then I ran out of time to make the page.  (This weekend, it’s at the top of my to-do list.  Promise.)

So which one is at the top of my reading list?

Wabi-Sabi Home and Garden by Michele Holt

wabi-sabi home and garden living room

Out of all the people I’ve “met” in blogland, Michele is the one I really really really wish lived down the street from me.  Remember how Anne Shirley longed to meet a kindred spirit? Well, Michele is mine.

(Not sure who Anne Shirley is?  Then, alas, you and I might not be kindred spirits…but that’s the subject of a different post.)

I first encountered Wabi-Sabi through Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest last fall.  I just loved Michele’s room.  It was a happy, colorful, unpretentious, thrifty mix of vintage and modern stuff.  It was a room I’d love to live in. So I started reading her blog, and then she came to visit ours and left us the warmest, most exuberant comments ever.  And we’ve been writing back and forth ever since.

wabi-sabi home and garden living room from door

I love Michele’s style, her sass, and her zestful approach to living.  I love that she’s got a warm spirit and a kind heart, but she’s also got some opinions and uses profanity from time to time.  Just the right mix of salty and sweet. (I think I’d really like to be someone who never uses profanity, but I’m just not.  And not sure that’s really what I’d like to be, but like to think that’s what I’d like to be.)

She’s the kind of mom who takes your standard play structure and turns it into the coolest tree fort for a party.

wabi sabi tree fort before

Here's the before...

wabi sabi tree fort after

...and here's the after.

She’s the kind of person who hangs a huge map on her living room wall, collects Velveteen Rabbit furniture, and treasures everyday heirlooms from people she loves.

She’s the kind of blogger whose DIY eyes see so much more than her hands can possibly do.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a blogger who works at our same, slow pace and gets side-tracked for the same reason we do:  When it comes down to a choice between living life and blogging about it, Michele lands on the living side. Which just makes her blog all that much more compelling (to me).

wabi sabi dresser

What I like most about Michele is that her stuff (and way of doing stuff) is real.  She does things with care but not for show.  It’s not magazine-perfect.  Her spaces aren’t styled or staged.  But they are warm, inviting, comfortable.  Her home is a place I’d love to kick back in with a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate and something sweet to eat.

wabi sabi christmas table

She’s one of our kind

Cane and I have had some trouble finding our blog community.  While there are lots of great blogs I love to visit, few truly feel like blogging home. As he recently put it to me:

“We don’t do enough projects–or do them right enough–to really be a home renovation blog. We’re not about decorating–or enough about decorating–to be a decorating blog. We’re kinda retro, but not pure enough retro to really be a retro blog. We don’t write about parenting enough to be a real family/parenting blog, and we’re not hip or stylish or rich enough to be a cool design blog.”

Hmmm…maybe we’re the blog about nothing?  Or–maybe–we’re the blog about everything. For a certain kind of person, anyway.  You know, the kind of person who…

…likes old stuff and is perfectly fine with its many imperfections

…cares about design/style but is not a slave to it

…lives a thrifty life as much by choice as necessity

…doesn’t quite fit into the mainstream mold

…has lived long enough to gain certain kinds of perspective than can only come with age.

When Cane and I started this blog, we defined our niche as “middle-aged people interested in fixing up stuff for their home and family.” We haven’t found too many bloggers who really fit into our category. We’ve wondered if there really is such a niche. We still don’t know, but if there is such a niche, Wabi-Sabi is at the top of it for me.

Sometimes I wish there were as many of us as there are of the crafty sort who are into cottage-style decor, but I’m learning that I don’t need a ton of online compatriots as long as I have the right online compatriots. And Michele is my right kind.

I don’t go to Wabi-Sabi because it’s got great tutorials or clever craft ideas or great organizational tips. (Although I really liked a recent tutorial for making a clever craft.)  I go for the unfolding story of how Michele is making a home and family with her husband (Jackdaddy) and her son (Finnegan the Curious) in their colorful house in Austin, Texas.


And, of course, I go for the chickens.

wabi sabi chickens

So that’s my blog crush. What’s yours?

I’m always on the lookout for interesting blogs.  If you know of any great ones, please let us know by dropping a comment.

And if you like Michele’s style, check out her Pinterest boards.  I’m thinking of giving up mine and just using hers. :-)

All photos courtesy of Wabi-Sabi Home and Garden.