Yen’s Wishings

Cut out the design traced on basswood
Yen Chin, Hawaii Island Project Manager

I wish that we had a secure place in which to hold Ken Means’ carving workshop in February 2013.  Ken is our Master Carver.  This past July I learned to carve from him at the annual three-week workshop he convenes near his home in rural Oregon.  The guy has a wealth of knowledge to share, and, in just four months, he’s coming to the Big Island to teach a two-week session.  How exciting.

But I wish that we had a secure place in which to hold that workshop.  I cast a hungry eye at the former McDonald’s in Hilo.  And I cast an introductory letter to the new owners.  I only have the mailing address they gave the County, a P.O. Box on Maui.  Wish us luck.

I think that this location would serve us well because of its proximity to so many institutions that might take interest in the Carousel of Aloha: schools, churches, museums.  I looked in the windows during a recent stroll through downtown Hilo.  I saw that the building could contain as many as a dozen craving stations even though all the tables remain in place.  It also has lots of other features that would suit our needs.  I even dream of using the space to build the carving blanks for Ken’s workshop.

I dream a lot these days.  I think that one needs to invite dreams especially these days.  Working on the Carousel of Aloha helps me invite dreams.  I dream of the day when we have more people giving their time, labor, and hearts to the project.  Along with dreams I have the sure knowledge that the efforts I’ve given so far have yielded rich rewards.  So come join the party, and send us your good thoughts to help us find a space in which to hold Ken’s workshop.


Meetings Tonight

Carousel of Dolphins
Carousel of Dolphins

Sorry for the late notice. We are having two meetings tonight at Hilo Coffee Mill. The Fundraising slotsetic Committee Meeting will be from 4:30pm until 5:30pm and the Board Meeting will begin at 5:30pm. Everyone is invited. Hope to see you tonight.


Christmas in the Country Vendor and Volunteer Info

Christmas in the Country Aloha ShirtIf you are interested in becoming a vendor at the 2nd Annual Christmas in the Country at Hilo Coffee Mill in Mountain View, take a minute to review the information regarding booth space and becoming a volunteer. The information can be found here, as well as the link to the vendor application. Spaces are filling up quickly. Last year over 1000 people attended the event. This year will be even bigger and better.

Be sure and complete your application soon to ensure your booth space.

More information will be posted as available and can be found on our Facebook Page.


Woodcraft Hawaii Joins Paradise Ponies, Inc.

Woodcraft StorefrontAs our project grows and gains more credibility, there is no doubt in my mind we will have all the support we need. Getting the initial support is the hardest. It takes a few brave souls who either understand or almost understand, what this project can do for Hawaii, it’s people and it’s visitors, to get the ball rolling.

Woodcraft is one of those forward thinking businesses in Hawaii.

A clip from their website:

Who is Woodcraft?

Since 1928, Woodcraft has delivered the finest woodworking tools, woodworking plans and woodworking supplies to America’s woodworkers. Woodcraft brings you over 20,000 woodworking tools and backed by our 90-Day Guarantee and industry best customer service. With top of the line power tools, clamps, pen kits, hand saws, fasteners, woodworking plans and more, Woodcraft is able to fill all your woodworking supply needs. Woodcraft has provided the woodworking community the best woodworking tools for 80 years, helping people complete countless projects. If you’re looking for the best in woodworking tools, woodworking plans, and supplies, look no further than Woodcraft.

The way we became involved was through FlexCut, one of the finest names in carving tools. I sent them two emails and they thought this project was worthy of their attention and support. FlexCut contacted Woodcraft on Oahu and Iris, from Woodcraft contacted me. It has been a wonderful experience, they have helped us immensely and we hope our relationship lasts throughout and beyond the life of our project. Not only have they helped with tools for our carving workshops, but their customer service has made it a pleasure.

From Paradise Ponies, Inc and the Carousel of Aloha, we’d like to welcome Woodcraft to our family and mahalo you for your kokua.

Katherine Patton, President

Christmas in the Country

Christmas in the Country Aloha ShirtAloha all,

The 2nd Annual Christmas in the Country Craft Fair at Hilo Coffee Mill is going to be a benefit for the Carousel of Aloha. Mahalo nui loa to The Mill for their generosity. This year is going to be even bigger and better than last year. There will be over 40 local crafters with items like Christmas wreaths, jewelry, Pysanky eggs and a whole lot more.

There will be a big food booth with broke da mouth food, games for the kids, pictures with Santa and Carousel figures and of course, music and entertainment.

The Carousel of Aloha will manage the affair with the support of our volunteers, Hilo Coffee Mill staff, and Market @ The Mill vendors.

This will be a great fundraiser and we’re excited for the day.

When: Monday, November 12th
Time: 10:00am until 4:00pm
Where: Hilo Coffee Mill, 17-995 Volcano Rd, Mountain View, Hawaii
Contact: Katherine Patton, email:

All items will be Made In Hawaii.

Katherine Patton, President

After a Long Day – Yen Chin

Cut out the design traced on basswood
Yen Chin, Hawaii Island Project Manager

My legs feel tired and stiff.  That comes as no surprise to me because I spent most of the day fabricating carving benches in preparation for the Introduction to Carving Workshops that we have scheduled for the next few months.  Fortunately, I had a couple of helpers who turned what would have been a trying couple of days labor for me alone into a very productive morning.  I have long said that two people working well together can accomplish much more than twice what two people working separately can do.  And in this case three people working together made short work of the task.  Well maybe not that short, but we surely made a fine collaboration.

When I take part in a good collaboration I always get a warm fuzzy feeling; I always get filled with hope for the human species and find reason to break into an easy smile, something that the evening news never provides.  Therein lies the attraction to the Carousel of Aloha Project for me, the knowledge that my work matters in this world and that together we can.  I know that we’ve probably all that slogan attached to election campaigns both locally and nationally, but that doesn’t mean that it must be an empty slogan, and empty promise.  I have faith that it won’t be for the Carousel, but faith must partner with sweat, ingenuity and good old fun before we can take our first turn on the big wheel.
In a few days I will put my chisels to the wood.  I’ll try out the new carver’s mallet I ordered through the internet.  It’s a big hummer that weighs in at 18 ounces or almost as much as a framing hammer.  I tried it for a few minutes a couple of days ago and thought that it was a tad heavy.  Good for the heavy cuts of roughing out but more than I want to wield for a whole day especially when carving fine details.  I suffer from intimidation.  I fear that I won’t be able to render the hibiscus that the class will carve at the end of September.  I’ve felt this way before.  I felt this way many times during my three weeks in Oregon carving with Ken Means, but I always managed to work my way through the fear.  Going beyond the apparent limits that fear creates is another aspect of this project.  I think that it has to do with finding our true selves, of becoming more of what we really are rather than settling for the best that comfort allows.
Tomorrow I will work in the garden.  I will use other tools, quiet tools that I don’t have to plug into the wall.  I’m carving out our landscape too, and that too feeds my soul.  But now I need to rest my body.
Yen Chin, Hawaii County Project Manager Partners with The Carousel of Aloha

FlexCut SlipstropAloha kakou,

Sometimes you wonder if when living in Hawaii, you are in a foreign country. Trying to order from the internet can be trying, to say the least. Comments like “we don’t ship to Hawaii” or “we only ship FedEx” or “we’ll ship it parcel post and it will arrive within 10 days”, really make you wonder.

The past three days, I have had the most wonderful experience with, an art supply house in Illinois. Everyone I spoke with was kind, courteous, friendly and knowledgeable. It just filled my heart to know there are still companies who care and try to understand.

And they are the first to really give us support on our project, in the form of a deep discount on supplies.

Three cheers to If you need supplies they have great prices, even without a discount.

Mahalo nui loa to for partnering with Paradise Ponies, Inc. and the Carousel of Aloha. We’ll be back over the next 3 years!

A little kindness goes a long way.