April 25, 2019 2 min read

Scarf Monkey's Mini Blog

The story of a design

Instead of a prince, she found a sword

I have an emotional attachment to each of my designs.  I can remember where and why an idea came to me, and I can picture myself drawing it and remember  the frustrations of trying to achieve a particular effect.  The first time someone buys one I get a bit teary, because it means they like what I did, and they share a tiny piece of my soul.

This design came to me in two stages.  I had been mulling over various phrases for a while, things like: 'Why be a princess when you can be a warrior?' or 'fight like a girl', something to contrast a stereotypical princess with a fighting spirit.  It was pretty much on the back burner while I waited for a epiphany about what it would look like.

The sword safely in a local museum

Then, one day I was work-avoiding by reading the news when I came across this article about a little girl in Sweden called Saga Vanecek who had found an ancient Viking sword in a lake while swimming with her family in the summer.  It conjured up images of the Legend of King Arthur and his sword Excalibur which was thrown into a lake. My daughter was very excited by the article, and said I should draw the girl with a sword, and that we should write to her and send her a t-shirt.

So we did!

I researched the clothing of Viking girls and the shape of Viking swords and finally came up with this design.

It says 'Instead of a prince, she found a sword'.  I even have it in Swedish too!

My daughter wrote a letter to Saga, and I scoured the internet for an idea of where to send it.  Eventually I settled on the museum where Saga and her father had donated the sword.  We sent a grey t-shirt (I wasn't sure if she was a pink kind of girl, and better safe than sorry).  Soon enough I received an email from Saga's father and shortly after my daughter received a lovely hand written letter from Saga.

Saga re-visiting the lake where she found the sword.

This is definitely one of my more popular designs, and many sales have come from the friends and family of Saga in the US - she has some very loyal followers  'All Hail Queen Saga, the first of her name'!

I hope you've enjoyed reading the story of this design, you can read Saga's story in her own words here

Hasta la proxima, until the next time.

Emma x

Check out my other designs at Scarf Monkey

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