Retro Travel Tag Trio

Meet Hannelore Brown

Welcome back to NeedlePoints of View, a monthly column brought to you by Emma of The Maker’s Marks and Hannelore of Hedgehog Needlepoint, where we’ll be sharing our love of all things needlepoint. Whether you’re new to the craft and want to learn what it’s all about or you’ve already fallen under needlepoint’s spell, we hope to inspire you to pick up a needle and get stitching.

Wall of Retro Travel Tags
Wall of Retro Travel Tags on display

Hello everyone… many thanks to Emma for asking me to join her! It’s an honor and a joy to be working alongside her.

So who is Hannelore Brown, the person riding shotgun on this needlepoint column? A brief introduction about the US correspondent of the aforementioned duo is in order.

Retro Travel Tags
Retro Travel Tags as ornaments and luggage tags, a fun way to memorialize a special trip, event or bucket list OR dress up your carry on, tote, gym bag or backpack

As mentioned, I live in the US, specifically the Midwest. My European mother encouraged handiwork (needlepoint, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, sewing) from a very early age. My father even whittled my first set of knitting needles at the age of 5.

Our family mindset could be described as “if you aren’t studying, playing sports or playing music, then you need to do something to keep your hands busy”. In retrospect, this could have all been a ploy to keep us out from underfoot…

ORY Paris Orly
Everything on a Retro Travel Tag has a meaning

At any rate, one of my aunts even owned a shop, Die Wolltruhe, in Winsen an der Luhe, in which she sold knitting, embroidery and needlepoint. Boxes of projects periodically travelled across the Atlantic, which provided endless fun activities.

Growing up with a different mindset towards handiwork projects meant using different mediums. Printed linen embroidery, Danish embroidery designs, truly horrible 1970s printed Needlepoint canvases, counted cross-stitch, counted needlepoint… you name it, we did it.

Leather Retro Travel Tag
Self-finishing is a breeze with the custom leather luggage tags made specifically for the Retro Travel Tags

It also meant if we didn’t find what we wanted to make, we made it up ourselves. Many times, we simply started stitching or knitting, making up the design as we went. All in all, many influences had a bearing on how and why I view needlepoint the way I do.

Right before the world went into lockdown in 2020, I began designing needlepoint at the urging of my daughters. The Retro Travel Tag series was born with the intent to provide a retro travel vibe that wasn’t too intimidating for a novice while providing room for those more experienced to use different stitches.

Retro Travel Tag Trio
Retro Travel Tags in productions

I’m really looking forward to the coming months, and tag-team writing with Emma. You can find me with a large cuppa tea in hand, three large Labradors at my feet while feverishly doing design research.

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