polka dots

My Big Gay Wedding, Part 1: The Designer Album


Narrowing down the photos I wanted to share from our big gay wedding was a daunting task — too many wonderful images and memories to choose from! So I’ve divided them into two albums representing my Gemini-esque personae: Designer and Daddy.

This one — the Designer Album — features details, graphics, colors and all the minutia I obsessed over to make our special day a little special-er. You can see the Daddy Album here. And thanks for your patience — I had to wait nearly 17 years to legally marry the man I love, so I figured folks could wait a few days to see more pics of my adorable kid.

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YOU’RE INVITED. From early in the planning stages, it was obvious to Papa and I that a marriage between two people that had been together for 16+ years should get some props for longevity. There weren’t going to be doves descending from the heavens and whisking us away to a magical happily ever after. This was about commitment and family and roots and the journey it took to get here.

So I came up with a stylized brick motif. Bricks may not conjure romantic imagery, but they are vitally important in that they build roads for life’s travels and the foundation for a home. They fit and work together to guide, protect and stabilize.


The front of the invitation unfolds to reveal a “road” leading us home.* I wanted to not only communicate the ceremony would be at our house, but also emphasize the importance of home to our relationship and our family. It also set the tone for the celebration — warm, informal and all about the love.

So let’s get to the photos of the actual day, shall we? By the way, the fabulous Piper Watson shot all of the wedding day photos. Please hire her — she is a sweet photographer and an even sweeter spirit.


The 12 Days of Christmas Past: Day 5

December 24, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

The kiddo’s settled down for a long winter’s nap, so I’ll crank out one more Card of Xmas Past…

We were at my parents’ house this weekend for Christmas I, which included opening presents with my brother and his wife, a couple of way-too-large meals, and Sunday morning service at my Dad’s church. Christmas II will be at our house. Grandma & Grandpa are coming up here for another round of presents and a ginormous lasagna.

As we were leaving my parents’ house Sunday night — all a-flurry and a-scurry to make sure we got all our loot (presents), crap (non-present stuff), and JJ’s everything — my brother asked, “Do you want to take your little girl home, too?”

Yup, we almost forgot the dog.

As many other parents of both dogs and humans will tell you, our dog (Cordi, short for Cordelia*) truly was our “first baby” —  a test run of sorts. She’s a 7 year-old “pre-Obama” Portuguese Water Dog, and is the sweetest, smartest and most adorable dog of all time. Don’t believe me? Check out her headshots after this 2006 Holiday card featuring a be-spotted buttshot. Another well-loved card, many of which I sold to local pet and gift stores. Several years later I was out walking Cordi, and someone stopped to admire/pet her. This person mentioned how much she looked like a dog on a Christmas card she received once. She’s not Bo famous, but it’s a start.


Back-to-School Giveaway!

August 18, 2012 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

Just in time for back to school — or, for my non-parent / math nerd readers — I’m giving away a pair of numerically awesome goodies! The prize includes magnetic numbers from Mudpuppy and a tin of Fox Run mini number cookie cutters.

The varnished wooden numbers (that come in this awesome storage carton) are exponentially cooler than your run-of-the-mill fridge magnets! They’re bright, bold and funky, and the 40-piece set includes numerals 0 to 9, plus symbols for adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and equaling. Among their many other gorgeous and creative products, Mudpuppy also makes a matching set of letter magnets.

I also own a tin of these cute-as-pie cookie cutters, and have put them to good use in many attempts to lure my toddler to eat. I haven’t yet used them to make cookies, (And really, who wants a cookie that small? Seems pointless.) but they’re great for using cheese to turn dinosaurs into cars or cars into racecars or whatever shapes these nuggets were supposed to originally be.

In any event, magnets + cookies x numbers = MATH FUN! And anything that helps make math less torturous is tops in my book.

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In the comments, share an idea for how you’d use the cookie cutters
Share a word or phrase you can spell upside down with numbers (like on a calculator).
Sorry, “BOOBIES” is already taken — see above.

EXTRA ENTRIES can be earned by posting/liking/sharing on Facebook or retweeting/favoriting/DM’ing on Twitter. I can’t make it any easier for you, sorry.

Winner chosen at random. Contest closes midnight (EST) on TUESDAY, AUGUST 22.

The Mural Project: Mission Accomplished!

November 9, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

Here it is, the finished mural on JJ’s bedroom wall! And not only did I finish painting, but I also hung everything back on the wall (including a couple of new things), put together a mobile, and hung that and a few other mobile-y type things from the ceiling. Needless to say, my back was not in top form during JJ’s party the next day. But that’s why God made Advil, rum, and husbands.

It’s hard to get a great panoramic view of the room (it’s pretty small) but the mural is mostly in one corner, with a bit spilling onto the ceiling and above the windows on either side.


The Mural Project: Coming down to the line…

October 26, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

…and the dot and the swirl and the squiggle.

My goal (well, my latest goal — there have been several) was to have Jon’s mural done by his second birthday. Or more importantly, his second birthday party. Which is exactly 10 days away. Zoinks.

I have made some progress, which is posted below. Let me know what you think, and please continue to cheer me on. The end is in sight! Let’s just hope I don’t go crazy and — as I’m prone to do — overdo it. No “undo” command on this bad boy.

Before dots, my go-to design element was the "swirl." It was all the rage in the 90s.

Look, the dots have grown stems!

A wider shot — Jon was quite excited about all the new "gween."

Lord willing (and the creek don’t rise), I’ll be back here in 10 days, posting pics of the final product!

Polka Dotty Doggy

October 23, 2011 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

I came across this cute little web site while strolling the interwebs… or maybe it was the Twitterverse, I can’t remember. But you’ll notice it’s pretty darn girly. Not that I have anything against that, it’s just that I’m the oldest of four brothers, married to another man, and the father of a son. So just not a lot of frilly, princessy stuff in my world.

But I wanted to give a shout out to the site and its creator — author/illustrator Wendy Grimm — due to our shared love of polka dots! The site is based around her book, Little Lilly’s Polka Dot World… but it’s a whole lot more than that. The fun and well-designed site is chock full of color and (simple, not annoying) animation, and features an interactive ABCs game (which JJ loved), pages to print out and color, as well as an online version of the book — which can be viewed with or without narration. But I think my favorite part is how the curtain opens and closes between each section of the site. Random, I know, but I love me some polka dots!

My only complaint is that JJ I wanted to stay and play longer, but ran out of stuff to do too soon. I’m looking forward to more games and stories from Ms. Grimm and Little Lilly. Go check it out!

The Mural Project: Meanwhile…


Okay, so it’s been embarrassingly forever since I’ve either posted about or worked on the mural for JJ’s wall. I had shot photos of the room, taken down what was hanging on the wall, and even purchased paint. But several weeks later I realized I was never, EVER going to get anything done on the weekend because JJ’s either a) asleep in his room or b) running around needing to be corralled. I was ready to throw in the brush and declare myself an unfit Designer Daddy…

But then Papa had the idea to let JJ nap upstairs in his pack-n-play. And there ya go, I had the time to get some painting done. Take a gander at a few photos of my “progress.”

You can never go wrong with a few colored polka dots

If you’ve seen this blog (which you have) or the site for my day job, or quite a few other things I’ve worked on, you can tell I like me some dots. Polka dots seem to cycle in and out of vogue, but I’ve been a fan from way back. Comic books, pop art, TV screens — some of my favorite things at their root are made up of polka dots.

By the way, I gotta give Martha props on her awesome Specialty Sponges. Great for all your polka-dotting needs.

The changing table doubles as a handy paint-mixing station.

And it’s more than kind of intentional that I’m using JJ’s three favorite colors: “bwoo”, “gwee”, and “puh-pah.” Is there anything in this world cuter than toddler-speak? Pwobawy not.

Can you tell I'm making this up on the fly? There is a (loose) plan, I swear.

And what did JJ think of his room now that it’s covered in what looks like Candy Pox? His exact words were “WOOOOWWWW. Bubbles!” I’d say that was about the most rewarding critique I’ve ever gotten.

More to come…

Coolest PJs ever. EVER.

November 10, 2010 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS

Party on the front...

...and party on the back!

JJ is modeling the funnest, funkiest pajamas ever to cover a baby’s bottom! Luckily I had the foresight to take photos, but the jammers themselves have since been carted off to our local consignment shop. So I can’t say for certain what brand they are, but after a little poking around the interwebs, I think they might be from Sweden-based Polarn O. Pyret. There are some colors and patterns on some of their current line reminiscent of these super stylin’ PJs. And even if it’s not the exact brand, I’m excited about the new find and will be checking it out, as JJ’s about to grow out of his 12-monthers. And winter’s a comin’.

Update: after contacting Polarn O. Pyret (and finding out it was not their product), I poked around some more, found an old image file, checked the date in my surfing history, and voilá! The “Aldo Trophy Romper” is from Me Too. It looks like it has been discontinued at most e-stores that carry the brand, but I did find it here. Good sleuthing, if I do say so myself.

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