Sunday, December 19, 2010

A new Banner!!

I'm so excited for you all to see the new banner for Little Leaf Bears (shown at the top of the page).  Beautifully constructed by Teri of Kehrli Bears (thanks so much Teri).  I've been wanting a more personal banner for some time now, but my lack off computer skills and inadequate software always made it seem too daunting a task.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A new bear on Bear Pile

Well, I think I've finally got everyone listed on Bear Pile  Please pop over to visit Finn and the other miniatures that I have for sale.  They would love to find new homes for the holidays!  I am also happy to report that Minzhe finally found his new home and is on his way to the UK.  Hopefully he will be there soon, it's going to be a chilly journey!  Thanks to everyone who participated in my drawing, and for all your kind words and encouragement when things didn't go as planned.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Almost time for the worldwide online bear show!!

Well, tomorrow's the day for the worldwide holiday online bear show.  Please stop by and visit Little Leaf Bears where Bella and several others will be looking for new homes.  Yes, a home for the holidays!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last Drawing for Minzhe

So I decided to do one last random drawing for Minzhe.  If this person does not come to claim him, I think I'm just going to pick someone who I know will.  There have been lots of encouraging comments on my previous posts to choose from (thank you very much for your support).  I just never imagined he wouldn't be claimed, so embarassing!  Without further ado the newest winner of the Minzhe giveaway drawing is...


Please do contact me so I can get your shipping information and have Minzhe on his way!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Giveaway Disappointment

So it happened again.  No contact from the winner of Minzhe!  I'm not quite sure how to proceed from here.  What do you think?  I guess it never occurred to me that the winner wouldn't want to claim their prize!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tomorrow's the day!

Well, tomorrow's the day for the blog drawing for Minzhe. I just wanted to thank all of you who entered for your kind comments and for taking part in this blog giveaway. Good luck everyone, look here tomorrow for the big announcement!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I've decided to take the plunge and do my own blog giveaway. I will admit that giveaway's that I've participated in (including a lucky win for me) have given me the bug and I'm excited to do one of my own. The lucky winner of this giveaway will receive Minzhe the panda, who told me he is eager to be adopted and just doesn't want to wait around any longer! Minzhe (3.75") is hand sewn out of two different imported synthetics with sweet little guard hairs. He is five way jointed, has glass eyes, ultrasuede foot pads and inner ears and a hand-stitched pearl cotton nose. He will come with his sewn in little leaf and a certificate stating his is a OOAK creation by Shanna Hiniker of Little Leaf Bears. If you would like to see more photos of Minzhe, he will be posted under my Bearpile account, listed as adopted (

The drawing for Minzhe will be held on November 7th and here is what you do to enter.

1. Become a follower of my blog and post a comment letting me know you would like to enter.

2. For an extra entry post a link to this giveaway on your own blog or website and leave a comment letting me know where it's at.

That's it, pretty simple. Entries will be accepted until midnight (central time in the US) on November 6th. The winner will be announced on this blog and will have 3 days to e-mail me to claim their prize! I'm so excited!!! Good luck everyone!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A super cute blog giveaway

Ginger at Bearbits is having a blog giveaway for sweet Jillana. I am just smitten with her and am crossing my fingers that I'm the lucky name drawn out of the hat on October 31st! Visit her blog at to see this sweet little bear!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Laurie received her swap bear

I just got a message from Laurie that her swap bear arrived. I named him Simon and now that she has him, and no surprise will be spoiled I can show you photos. Simon's little bunny was my first attempt at designing in needle felting and only my second ever needle felted critter. I hope you like Simon, I had a great time making him and a hard time saying goodbye!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A swap bear sneak peek!!

Laurie of Laurie Lou bears and I decided to do a bear swap. I took photos of the bear I made for her (named Simon) and cropped one of them to give her a sneak peek (you can see it on my adopted bear page). Well, I was excited to get a sneak peek of my very own! Meet Barnaby...well meet Barnaby's ear and eye! Doesn't he look sweet!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Working on new cards

I keep telling myself that I need a new card to send along with my adopted bears. It's been a challenge trying to make decisions, there are so many choices!! I also wanted to be careful about any copyrights on images so I just ended up drawing my own. I'm not particularly computer savvy when it comes to scanning and editing, so right now I'm hand drawing and writing everything aside from the photo (not sure if I want to do this every time). Here are photos of my first draft of a card, what do you think? I know the writing is a little bit crooked (probably should have used a ruler), and I apologize for the fuzziness of the photo on the inside. I made this card for a bear I made for a swap and don't want to ruin the surprise (if you are curious, there is a little sneak peek of him under adopted bears)! Do you think it's too plain? Unprofessional? I'm sure I will go through several drafts before I finally settle on something. I would love your input!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Needle felting!

I've been wanting to learn needle felting for some time now and I finally took the plunge. I ordered a kit off of Etsy and spent a couple of hours last night punching away. Here is the result! I know he's far from exceptional, but he is my very first try. I think he has a slight arrogance about him. Don't you think he looks slightly miffed at my photographing him? If you have been contemplating needle felting, I highly recommend it! I found a local shop that carries the wool....oh the possibilities! Now to incorporate needle felting in with my bears...on second thought, maybe a bit more practice first!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Online holiday show in November!

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in the online holiday bear show in November! This will be my first time participating in an online show and I'm very excited. There will be some new Little Leaves available and some fun under $50 gifts as well! I hope you will stop by!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

William gets a makeover

Here's William...again! He has gotten a slight make over which includes a new ruffle collar in shades of green, additional shading on his face, and a dechunkification of his feet! As always my photography skills are lacking, but I hope you enjoy Williams new look!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Birthday at the butterfly zoo

I know it's not bear related, but Saturday was my birthday and I went to a fantastic butterfly zoo. They were so beautiful I couldn't help sharing a few photos with you.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A work in progress

For those of you who read TT, you know that I found a little baby mouse that had been injured by a friends cat. I wanted so badly to take him home with me for a few days and let him recuperate, but the friend I'm staying with refused. I tried to release the mouse in a safe place and hope for the best. In remembrance of that little baby, I have designed my first mouse. I'll admit she is still a bit of a work in progress. Currently she is tailless, I haven't quite decided what to do for a tail, but she will have one eventually. I've had several friends inquire as to what's currently in the works and am surprised at the looks of disgust I get when I tell them I'm stitching up a wee mouse. I even had someone suggest I do a dog instead (maybe next!) Hopefully they will feel differently when they see her.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm now on Etsy!

I plan on returning to Bear Pile in November, but until then you can find me on My shop address is, and I'm slowly adding the Little Leaves to the shop. It may take several trip to the library for this!

Blue Bear

I know most of you have already seen photos of this little guy, but I wanted to add him to my blog. He is made of a delicious curly Schulte kid mohair in antique blue. I gave him glass eyes, Ultrasuede trapunto paw pads, a tail, and a growler. Right now I just can't manage to part with him so he isn't up for adoption just yet. I'm having troubles coming up with a name, any ideas?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Willow's been adopted!

I'm so excited to report that Willow found a great new home with a bunny enthusiast. She is my first big "bear" sale. Yippee!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Leaving Bear Pile

I've had very little luck on Bear Pile, so in just a few days my membership is going to expire....darn. Hopefully someday it will make sense for me to have a membership again, but I've made no sales on the website so think it's time to move on! I'm thinking of starting an Etsy account, what do you think?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Willow is on Bear Pile

Well, I've finished up the last touches on this little fluff of a bunny. I kept her around a little longer than most before posting her for sale as I am rather smitten with her. Some are harder to give up than others and she is so snuggly and sweet....sigh! I can't keep them all! She is now listed on Bear Pile so you can go say hello if you get a moment.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coffee with fellow bear artist Anne Cranshaw!

I was lucky enough to have breakfast with another bear artist. Anne was fantastic, I've never met another artist in person to talk bears and it was wonderful! I'm hoping it won't be my last meeting with a fellow bear maker. Thanks again for everything Anne!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beautiful Rhode Island

I love the beach. Last night we took an impromptu trip to the beach. It was a perfect night and a beautiful sunset. Nothing bear related, but I felt compelled to share. I will miss Rhode Island come August!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An unexpected rabbit

There are still some details that need to be attended too, but I wanted to share a little sneak peek of my new bunny. She was supposed to be a bear, but when I had finished putting the head on the body, I felt that her head needed a little more substance so I added large rabbit ears. I hope she looks okay as an unexpected rabbit!

Monday, June 21, 2010

He's Here!

Royce arrived this morning and he is just beautiful. Even more handsome than his photos! Jeanette really outdid herself with this little guy. He has beautiful shading all around his face where it borders his mane. It doesn't really show up in photos, but is stunning in person. Thanks so much Jeanette for this treasure of a cub, I am just loving him! If you are interested in seeing more of Jeanette's beautiful creations you can visit her website at

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I can't believe my name was drawn for the blog giveaway by JRB Creations! I was beyond thrilled (and shocked, I never win anything) to see my name on her blog as the winner. His name is Royce and isn't he adorable? Thanks so much Jeanette, I can't wait for him to arrive! Doing the happy dance in Rhode Island!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One big bear!!!

After years of doing miniature bears, I finally finished a big bear! I think he is about 16" (completely hand sewn) and is pictured below with my next biggest Sam (who is only 6"). He doesn't have a name just yet (any ideas), and I still think he needs some tweaking (a wow factor he seems to be missing), but I'm happy that he is at least assembled. I made him heavier than I typically make my bears so he snuggles right in and he was my first experience with Trapunto paws (and possibly my last, sooo time consuming). I would love to hear what you think, and any opinions on what to add to give him a little pop. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A new Little Leaf

This is Sam, my newest Little Leaf. He stands a whopping 6" (the biggest I've finished) and is made out of a really fun cream mohair with a brown/redish colored backing. I gave him turned down paws and shaded pulled toes. He is one of my favorites. You can see more photos of Sam on my available page. Thanks for taking a peek!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In the works

Just thought I'd check in and let everyone see what is in the works here at The Little Leaf. I have a little guy that's getting close to being finished, but has taken a bit of a backseat to my first big bear. It's been fun creating a bigger guy, but it's been a very different experience from the miniatures. Here are a few things I've learned about bigger bears.

- The ears are much much easier to sew, but equally as difficult to position satisfactorily.
- The nose is still the very hardest part to get right (I still need to tweak this one a bit).
- Much larger needles or a good dose of ingenuity are required.
- It takes more fabric than you would expect (I am going to run out and need to re-order some more...oops!).
- The amount of stuffing that can fit in to a big bear head is just enormous!

Well, that sums it up so far. Next step is the body (the easiest part). Wish me luck!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I would like to introduce you to Alexander, my newest Little Leaf! He is the biggest bear I've made and stands a whopping 5.5"! He is made of a sparse mohair in a lovely light peach so he looks like he's ALWAYS having a bad hair day! He should show up in my Bear Pile store within the next few days. Thanks for taking a peak!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Off to Rhode Island

Today I'm traveling to Rhode Island where I'll have access to a sewing machine. I'm really excited to start making some bigger bears! My suitcase is all loaded up with bear supplies and I have a couple packages waiting for me full of lovely mohair and teddy joints and eyes. The fur is going to fly!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Figaro the Fox!

Meet Figaro, my newest Little Leaf! He is currently listed on Bear Pile, but here is a quick peek! Below is his link. Thanks for looking!

First Post!

Hi my name is Shanna Hiniker, welcome to my blog! I kept telling myself that it was time I join the blogging community and I finally made it happen. I must admit, it's easier than I expected, I don't know why I waited so long. I am going to be spending all summer working on my artist bears so please check back to see whose new in the Little Leaf house!