Happy Year of the Monkey

Happy Year of the Fire Monkey everyone!

Remember last year when Annie brought her baby lion to La Joya for a parade through her school? Well, we didn’t eye-dot the lion before she brought it out and her cell phone took a huge blow to the concrete floor rendering it useless. Whether or not it was bad luck caused by the unblessed lion we will never know! But this year, we decided to perform a makeshift Hoi Gwong ceremony for her lion before the parade in case it decided to curse her cell phone again. Since Hoi Gwong ceremonies take quite a bit of effort, we decided to eye-dot my baby lion too. This way, she can bring two lions to her classroom for more fun! But before that could happen, we needed to sew a new tail for my baby lion.

Let’s rewind about a decade to hear the story about my baby lion.

How my baby lion originally looked

I got this lion when I was nine years old during my first trip to China. It was my first lion head ever and I took great care of it, but after a few years it started chipping. When I was fifteen years old, I decided my first ever lion project would be to repaint this baby lion to an orange color. Of course, the original tail didn’t match the new paint job, but I didn’t know how to sew a new one. After I finished painting it, the lion was mostly hidden away unused in a plastic bag.

New orange and gold design

Side view

Fast forward to now, Annie knows how to sew! So we set out to sew an orange lion tail to match the orange paint job before we would bless both baby lions at the same time. Actually, she did most of the work (probably more like all of the work haha) since I have no clue about sewing! The whole project took about ten hours. Thank you Annie for all the hard work!

Planning and cutting the tail pieces

She started sew the fur with the machine, but it was difficult. After many attempts, she ended up sewing it by hand, which was also less difficult.

Sewing the fur on

Annie sewing the tail together


We attached the tail to the lion with small Velcro dots and tied the corners to the handlebars with ribbon.

Tail attached to the lion

The hardest part of sewing the lion tail

Cutest part of the lion

After the tail project, it was time to get both lions ready for the Hoi Gwong ceremony! I made my own red flower ribbons using red ribbon and rhinestones. I also attached a pink flower to the back of the whole thing to hide the glue.

Front of the flower ribbon

Back of the flower ribbon

Light three incense to initiate the ceremony.

Yes, that is an old sauce jar  LOL

Ready for the Hoi Gwong ceremony!

One dot on the mirror, the lion awakens

Two dots left then right, distinguish wrong from right


Two dots on the nose, the senses open

One dot in the mouth, all senses unite

From tip to tail, all becomes one

Ready for blessings

Time for both lions to parade and bless the school!

Preparing for the parade

Parading around the school

Parading around the school

When doing things the first time, there are always improvements that can be made. The tail was falling apart after only one use!

Edges fraying

Ribbons torn out from the rest of the tail

Fortunately, Annie fixed it by using a zigzag stitch keep the raw edge of the fabric from fraying. She took a lot of the tail apart and had to re-sew it. She also sewed the ribbons back on in a different way to make it more secure.

Sealing up the edges

Woot woot! Back to the closet until next year!


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