earth tones

Happy Earth Day: Let’s B Global!

April 22, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

I recently checked in with B, toys, my favorite toy creators on the planet, and they asked me to try out their brand new-ish Global Glowball. Being the clever person I am, I thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day!


Looking at the Global Glowball (Their toys just have the most awesome names, don’t they?) online, I was immediately intrigued. B. toys always has top-notch playthings: colorful but not garish; creative, never predictable; exciting without being over-the-top-in-your-face. And of course all their packaging is recyclable or recycled [BONUS EARTH DAY POINTS].


The 12 Days of Christmas Past: Day 4

December 21, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

End of the world, blah blah blah… Mayan calendar, blah blah blah… Apocalypse blah blah blah…

I had told myself I wouldn’t get sucked into writing about all that nonsense, but this DoXP card seemed to fit nicely…

2008 was the first of the “lean years” in our economy — at least it’s when Design Nut first felt it. Subsequently that year I decided to recycle/upcycle/repurpose/whatever and instead of printing all new cards, packaged several holiday and note card “Greatest Hits,” put them in a nifty, green photo box (LOVE me some Container Store!), and digitally printed a label for the top and a message card for the inside.


Father’s Day Gift List (For Every Kind of Dad)

June 15, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, DESIGN STUFF

The New Gay Dad

Just like there’s every kind of gay, there’s every kind of gay dad. Unfortunately, every group also has its stereotypes. And thanks to Modern Family, every two-father family apparently consists of a couple of well-off suburbanites (one flamboyant, one slightly less so) and an adorably “exotic” child, adopted from a distant land. You think I’m joking? We have at least two friends who refer to our son as Lily. Mainly because they can’t remember his name, (it’s Jon) but still…

Certainly there are worse stereotypes to be had, but with Father’s Day coming up, I felt it was my duty to represent a wider array of gay daddies, so that not all of us end up with the same (high-end and fashion-forward) necktie.


For the Leather Daddy

The chaps and harnesses may be gathering dust, but leather-lovers can still look studly in these subtle — but still commanding — assortment of belts. Suitable for trips to the pediatrician or a (rare) night on the town.
    Bluefly    Nieman Marcus    ASOS

For the Foodie Father

Every Dad’s Day gift list has to include a grill, so why not show up the breeders with a tasty, tricked-out O-Grill 3000? This James Bond-sounding propane grill is compact, has a push-button igniter, and comes in six delicious colors. Pair it with an All-Clad BBQ tool set, and Dads will be serving it with style.
Travel Q Portable Grill
, $199    All-Clad BBQ Tool Set, $119.95

For the Musical Daddy

Give your fave gay dads a handsome (and high-quality) way to drown out Elmo, SpongeBob or the Paw Patrol with a set of headphones or earplugs from Urbanears. Particularly nifty are the Bagis earplugs, as the earpieces snap together around your neck for when the kiddo needs to be heard. Four different models. Thirteen fabulous colors. Musical genius.
Available at Urbanears or Amazon, $40-$60


DooDad of the Day: Earth Edition

April 22, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS DAD DIGS

It’s not easy being green AND groovy…

But hopefully these 5 cool DooDads can help you decrease your kiddo’s carbon footprint and have some funky fun at the same time:

Giggle storage bins
Super durable, super cute, super useful. These bountiful bins are great for toys, stinky clothes or annoying younger siblings. The body is made of sturdy 100% cotton canvas, while Messrs. Monkey, Owl and Elephant are eco-spun felt, which comes from recycled water bottles. 17″ h x 20″ d. $40 each


What I did at sleepaway camp…


This first year and a half of being a Designer Daddy has been rough on my Designer side at times. My days end promptly at 5:30. If I work after JJ goes to bed, it’s with much effort (and even more caffeine). And my ability to get out there and mingle with other folk — designer or otherwise — has its limitations.

I certainly have come to appreciate the importance of networking — it’s not only good for my creativity, but is beneficial to my overall sanity. However, my mind, body, and creative soul are just not up for a typical design conference, where I’d be listening to the BIGGEST and HOTTEST designers in the land telling me all the boundary-breaking work they’re doing, and how they command their clients with awesome art directorial super powers.

So when I saw heard about Design Ranch, I knew it was for me. Words like “unplugged,” “hands-on,” and “intimate” were used to describe it, and sounded just about damn right.

So, what DID I do at camp…?


When designer daddies go too far

November 21, 2010 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

Emerson House "dollhouse" from Brinca Dada

Like any other aesthetically-minded parent, I’m distraught by the mountains of primary-colored plastic toys that are amassing in our house. And I appreciate the effort New York-based Brinca Dada puts forth to create something stylish and creative for baby to play with. But seriously — this is a bit much.

I guess I could see a child playing with these “dollhouses”… if parents didn’t mind their child getting a few gaping head wounds from the modernist architectural corners. And if there were no other color in the child’s life — but what child doesn’t love earth tones? And don’t get me started on the dolls themselves. Yikes.

Brinca Dada does state on their website that the Emerson House is age-graded 13+. However, the above photo (pulled from their Facebook page) sends a different message. I think it’s time for these Dadas to take it down a notch.

(P.S. I can’t believe this hasn’t ended up on Unhappy Hipsters yet.)

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