Crafting Abroad: Midsommarflicka

July 9, 2014Allison Murray
Learn about crafting in Germany in this Crafter Abroad post with Midsommarflicka!

Today’s a pretty awesome day! I’ve long been wondering what it is like to craft in other places of the world than my own little patch of dirt. From my experience on this blog I’ve found that some craft supplies are hard to come by in other places and some trends are totally different from our own. I tried to look around online to see if I could really find the meat of the difference in crafting abroad. But guess what? It was darn near impossible to find much of anything. So I decided to take matters into my own hands…

That meant getting in touch with one of my blogging besties, Midsommarflicka who resides in Germany and seeing if she’d be my guinea pig for the series and give me some ideas on what it’s like to be a maker who isn’t in the U.S. In the end, I think  that this series is going to be so awesome. I mean, Mid’s answers are so interesting and I LOVED learning about crafting and culture combined. I hope you enjoy the series, too and especially hope that you’ll give Midsommarflicka some love and visit her blog at So, It Was Weekend. And I was bored.

Learn about crafting abroad in Germany with Midsommarflicka!

In your own words, who are you and what do you do? I’m a DIY/craft/lifestyle blogger from Germany. You can call me Midsommarflicka, which is the Swedish word for Midsummergirl. I spent some months in Sweden, back in 2009, working as an au pair and am slightly obsessed with Sweden and the other Nordic countries ever since.

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If I’m not DIYing, crafting or blogging I’m studying and am on the long “I am becoming a teacher” journey. Some day I’ll be teaching media technology on a vocational school.

Where are you from? I, myself, am originally from a small town near Osnabrück, in the northwestern part of Germany. But my family has some heritage in the Netherlands. Right now, because of university, I am in Hamburg, which is further north …

Learn about crafting abroad in Germany with Midsommarflicka!

What is the nearest “big” city or district to you? Considering that Hamburg is the second largest city of Germany and the eighth biggest of the European Union – I’m right in the middle of the big city! :)

What crafts do you like to do? Oh, I am enjoying a lot of different crafts, depending on the season. In the winter I like to knit and learn to crochet or craft with paper, while in the spring and summer I love to browse through flea markets and then refinish and/or upcycle some old furniture or even build new (from old wood, preferably). My favorite materials are definitely wood (& paint), yarn, fabric and paper!

What craft supplies do you have a difficult time finding in your area? Actually… I can’t really think of any right now. Most of the things I read about in American blogs have an equivalent here. What I didn’t know about before I started this whole blog-thing was Mod Podge, but I’ve seen it in two stores so far, so I really can’t think of anything.

Learn about crafting abroad in Germany with Midsommarflicka!

Are the costs reasonable or is crafting very expensive in your area? Ummm. Of course, crafting isn’t the cheapest hobby one can have, but the prices are mostly okay. From my favorite materials that I mentioned above are fabric and yarn definitely the most expensive. And spray paint seems to be more much expensive here than in the US, is my feeling. But, all in all it’s okay!

Do you use the internet or mail order products from other areas for hard to find items? As there aren’t any materials which can’t be found here, I don’t need to order online. I still do so, nevertheless, because I’m lazy … or the prices are better online, sometimes at least!

Learn about crafting abroad in Germany with Midsommarflicka!

They say that with recent popularity, crafting is a revolution of sorts. Is crafting huge where you’re from? Or is it the movement gaining momentum? Crafting is definitely getting bigger and bigger. And with that also a recycle & upcycle attitude, but this still has potential to grow, at least in my opinion.

Are there any projects or genres that are specific to your region? Typical for Northern Germany, where I am and from, are definitely Buddelschiffe (ships in a bottle). They were most popular to make in the middle and the end of the 19th century, but you can still buy them today, at all places where maritime souvenirs fit (more or less). But if I am allowed to speak in behalf of whole Germany: There are things like the Schwibbogen (Candle Arch), Räuchermännchen (Smoking Figurines) or, probably most known, the Nussknacker (Nutcracker). All of these come from a region in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains), in the east of Germany. You can also find a lot of other wooden crafts, often for Christmas, here – they get sold on nearly Christmas market! Then, from even another region in Germany: Of course we have the Kuckucksuhren (cuckoo clocks)! They come originally from the region around the Black Forest.

Learn about crafting abroad in Germany with Midsommarflicka!

Anything you’d care to add about crafting in your area? Something that gets crafted (or bought, depending on your parents ;)) here in Germany is the so called Schultüte (literally School Cone). You will get it at your first day of school and it contains sweets as well as some useful things like school supplies. Here is a photo of my mum (late sixties) and me (mid-90ies), each with our school cone. My mum got a bought one but then made mine by herself!

Share with us your three favorite crafts/projects you’ve created? At first my guest towel rack, which was more or less where it all started with my DIYing. Then there was that one time where I found an old nightstand on the flea market and fell in love with it. And that one time were I ironed more than 60 fabric-strips and made a lamp out of it.

Learn about crafting abroad in Germany with Midsommarflicka!

Where can we find you online? I’m blogging on So, it was weekend. And I was bored. It’s called like that because it really was the reason I made the above mentioned towel rack and is also the reason why I started my blog. Besides DIY-tutorials I’m posting photos, about my life as a grad school student, my life in Hamburg and other things that come across. But the focal point are definitely all kind of creative things!

Comments (10)

  • Mary

    July 10, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    I appreciated hearing about her crafting in Germany. I only wish there were more pictures of what things she had made. I liked the ones that were included.
    One of my best friends lives in South Africa, where I lived for 13 years, and has a very hard time getting crafting supplies. There are some advantages to that because everything is really all hand-made, but it is not easy.
    She either cannot find the products she sees in magazines or if she can they are VERY expensive! For example, Martha Stewart products are popular, but VERY costly! A $12.00 or so paper punch in the USA is over a $100 dollars there.
    So I send her a box with only craft things a few times per year. I collect things I find on clearance or with a coupon from Michaels and JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, etc and when the box is full off it goes.
    Keep up stories about our fellow world-wide crafters!
    Mary

    1. Allison Murray

      July 10, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      I’m so glad you liked learning about Midsommarflicka, Mary! If you want to see more pics of her crafts, be sure to visit her blog: So, It Was Weekend. And I Was Bored.

      And $100 for a paper punch? Geez, Louise! You’re a very good friend to spread the craftiness to her!

    2. Midsommarflicka

      July 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Don’t hesitate to meet me on my blog! There you can find all kinds of projects…
      And thanks for the compliment on my three projects shown here :)

      South Africa seems to be a bit crazy! I would never have started crafting if it were that expensive!

  • Carin

    July 10, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    Okay, I was totally fooled by the name and clicked over thinking you were interviewing a Swede! But loved it nonetheless. Great idea for an interview series too! :)

    1. Midsommarflicka

      July 11, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Oh, I’m sorry, I fooled you!
      It was just my love and passion for Sweden that led to this name… Although I’d love to be living there for a while again.

      Thanks for still loving my interview even though I fooled you ;)

  • Aniko

    July 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    This looks like a great series! It’s nice to get to know different blogger crafters!
    I really like the look of the school present, it sounds like a nice tradition and a little bit like the pack of goodies Santa used to bring (in Hungary we have the German tradition of 6th of December Santa and his scary friend the krampus…). I love how your mum made you a huuuge one – it’s almost as big as you there!
    I love Black Forest cuckoo clocks – used to be fascinated by them and the little figures on them, and the weights on the chains looking like pinecones.
    Looking forward to reading the coming posts in this series!

    1. Midsommarflicka

      July 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Yeah, my school cone was awesome. I think, it may still be stored on my parents attic ;)

      I am looking forward to your answers, they will sure be interesting as well! I love that you will participate!

  • Afton

    July 27, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    I’d never heard of a School Cone. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Midsommarflicka

      August 7, 2014 at 2:54 AM

      I plead for School Cones for every first-grader all over the world! :) It was really great to get one on your first day of school, I love this little tradition of us…

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