Karma at the Latin America Poker Tour!

We have the television broadcast footage! Karma has been scouring the web since the LAPT to find the television footage of the event. She finally found it! The commentary is in Portuguese and we haven’t yet gotten it translated, but for those who missed it live (including both of us), enjoy the footage.

Note that the event coverage has her listed as “Stephous” instead of “Stephens” when the statistics and hand information graphics are displayed.

We have the full 2 hour segment of Karma’s coverage at the featured table sitting right next to the previous year’s event winner. She was taken out at the end of about 8 hours of intense play by the eventual winner of the whole show.

[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXkTpgp66Lg” width=640 height=350 ]


The First Energy Revolution | Tesla Energy Changes Everything

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently introduced Tesla Energy, a suite of stationary battery products designed to help wean the world off fossil fuels. While a battery introduction may not seem like a world-changing event to many, it actually heralds the beginning of the “First Energy Revolution” and will begin to remake the world as we know it.

Ken’s article is online now at CleanTechnica and at The Energy Collective!


Introducing: PLATN | the elemental wallet


We’re working day and night finishing our prototypes and staging for our impending product launch and thought we’d post a couple shots of our new wallet line here. We’re starting with aluminum and copper. We really love these wallets. The aluminum is timeless, classic, unchanging. The copper develops a patina that changes with time and handling, becoming as unique as the owner.



materials-brown-black-leatherWe’re also offering two versions in natural vegetable tanned leather. Coffee infused for the dark brown version using a technique we developed ourselves and then finished with bee propolis. For our black leather version, we use an ancient all-natural solution called vinegaroon, created by dissolving iron slowly over several weeks in distilled vinegar. Combining with the natural tannins in the leather, the vinegaroon process strengthens the leather and makes it jet-black through and through. We’re absolutely gobsmacked with the leather results.

Head on over to our new company site at design-elementals.com and check out all the exciting details!

UPDATE: All our wallets are available at our Etsy shop.


Turkey Vulture Fantastic Display

condor 1We were on a hike in the mountains and on the way back noticed a huge raptor up in the tree! This Turkey Vulture was a young adult and had the characteristic bald face and an incredible wing span as you can see here.

condor 5With a big stretch the vulture took to the air, circling around us at about 20 yards distant. Birds, even big ones, can be very difficult to get with a camera. I was glad we were able to capture these shots! (even if they are a bit potato quality)

Click the photos for full-screen detail.

condor 4

The Ken and Karma Wallet Project (updated)

Karma and I have an exciting new project!

Click here to see the furious activity that is happening right now!

A few years ago I realized that my wallet was just stupidly fat. It kind of felt like I was carrying around a softball in my pocket. I decided to try and simplify and slim it down. I ditched the thick leather for a (literally) paper thin Tyvek design, and that was great but I was looking for something more on the minimalist side.

This lead me to try various plate wallet designs, but I never found anything that really worked for me the way I needed it to.

Karma has been watching my dissatisfaction and decided to make me a plate wallet herself. After much prototyping, she came up with a design that is so fantastic, we’re working on having them manufactured for sale and we’re launching a crowd-funding Kick-starter campaign around the concept.

design-elementalsWe’re calling ourselves design elementals and we’re working hard on the campaign right now, testing prototypes, finalizing our product line, getting production details sorted, lining up suppliers, making our product video, etc.

We’re both working on this full-time and are making significant progress every day. We intend to launch in under 30 days, and hope to be going into production in under 60 days upon successful completion of the kick-starter campaign.

Watch this space for more details as soon as we can post them. When we get closer to the campaign, we’ll be able to talk about the name and the specific design elements including photography.

For now, I can reveal the kick-starter will consist of an entire product line of plate wallets featuring sustainable recycled materials (leather, bamboo, aluminum) and designed to last a lifetime.

We are REALLY excited about this!

Check out the details soon at design-elementals.com.

There’s Gold in These Here Hills

serene pondWent on a lovely hike in the Northern California mountains and there was a lot to enjoy from the views to the wildlife. It’s really surprising how much these hills resonate with me. Memories of childhood are springing up everywhere.

As always, click the photos for higher resolution.


oak leavesOak trees! I forgot how much I love the look of these trees and their leaves. After the monotonous sameness of the Pacific Northwest forests, it’s really great to see so many Oak trees again.
Geese on the pondLots of Canada Geese in these parts too. We saw a bunch all clustered by gender. Seemed like such a middle school dance with all the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other.


Though this is technically the dead of winter and though this time of year often brings significant amounts of snow to the mountains in these parts, this year is unseasonably mild so far. We’re sure enjoying it.

moss at ponds edgemanzanitaOne of the most surprising things is the amount of color we are seeing. Usually, things are so dormant and grey/brown in the cold months. From the so-very-green moss at water’s edge to the rust red bark of the Manzanita bushes, it seems like color is still everywhere. The subtle colors are really inspiring Karma’s creative drive!

beautifully subtle colors everywhereAnyone familiar with California’s rich history knows the state is built upon a foundation of solid gold. Just a few generations ago, people came from all over the world to seek their fortunes in these hills during the Great California Gold Rush and a lot of the remnants of those endeavors persist to this day as historic markers to this colorful past.

Blacksmoth shopKarma and I are big fans of urban exploring and the delicate beauty of abandoned spaces and urban decay. We came across some stunning relics of days gone by including an old smithy with hammered tin siding and lovely rusty hinges, and an incredible water-wheel driven mill.rusty hinge


The rusty iron and the tarred timbers of the mill are holding up pretty well for their age.

Ken loves old machineryTin WallThis is a great setting for us to relax, to be inspired, and to make some magic happen. After so many years living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been really fantastic to have a solid change of scenery. It’s been so nice to be going on walks in the hills, riding my skateboard in the sun, writing, and working on our projects.

Ken and Karma at the old mill

We love and miss everyone but this is working very well for us and was definitely the right decision for us for now.

Watch this space for more to come!

California New Year: 2015!


California Bear Hug


A big bear hug for Ken and Karma’s new home state, California! We made it just in time for the new year and wow, what a road it’s been to get to this point. Ken is considering several technical employment opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Moving is always challenging and this move was a biggie. What a relief to finally be in our new state! Time to take a moment and enjoy the new scenery. Nice to see so many walnut and oak trees again. Karma and Ken were both born and raised in California, so this is a bit of a return to our roots as well.

Thanks to everyone who helped us prepare for this, we couldn’t have done it without you!

The ubiquitous “completo” and a video trip to hotdog alley

Completo 1One of the national Chilean dishes is definitely the completo or the “hotdog with everything”. In Chile, this means a gargantuan long hotdog (foot-long or 18 inch long) with a mound of chopped tomato on top, a healthy slathering of both guacamole and the local mayonnaise. Often selling for about a dollar, these are the low cost alternative when you’ve just had too many empanadas in a week.

They are also the reason the street dogs in Chile are so fat, though oddly, almost none of the people were.