Selling Giverny

I picked an interesting time to work a garden book! Lucky me, that in the time that I am turning my attention to Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny is the month that Christie’s auction house sells a record-breaking $43 million canvas of his waterlilies (covered in my post called The Price of Pricelessness) AND it’s also the month that this Monet waterlily picture makes headlines:

The $32 million sale of this Claude Monet painting of the Japanese bridge in his garden at Giverny has been voided by law enforcement in London and the United States because the work is stolen property — boosted from the New York townhouse of Imelda Marcos during the downfall of her husband’s corrupt dictatorship in the Philippines in 1986 and kept hidden for 26 years by the thief, Imelda’s maid, until she sold it a year ago. Read the full story here.

But let’s say you do not have tens of millions of dollars to spare for a Monet canvas, or you do not want to risk jail time to own a piece of Giverny. Did you know that you can buy a quilt kit called A Day in Giverny?

Or, if knitting is your craft of choice, you can buy yarn called Giverny:

You can buy a cushion called Giverny…


…to go on your Giverny couch

…next to your Giverny console

…or maybe you’d prefer the Giverny end tables?

On the floor, you can lay down a rug called Giverny…

…or install carpeting that also goes by the name Giverny:

You can deck the walls with this mirror called Giverny…

…and on either side, you can hang sconces that are — wait for it!also called “Giverny”!

You’re in luck if you want to re-upholster your whole house with fabric designed under the name Giverny:

Or, if you want some ready-made stuff, you can buy Giverny bedsheets:

I, for one, would find dinner so much tastier if I could eat off of dishes that are labeled Giverny:

Good thing J. Crew gives me a way to wear Giverny:

(Soooo cute!)


But I saved the best Giverny for last…because it’s THIS:

A freaking shower door.  Yes, it’s true. They call this shower door “Giverny”, obviously because the word “Giverny” can make people buy anything.

So far, dear readers, in spite of commercial temptation, my Giverny remains all about the garden:




But I’m all for jumping on the merchandising band wagon. Dear readers, I need a product that I can call Giverny, something that is not a chapter in a book because we all know that books are pathetic because people don’t want to buy books, they want to buy crap they can sit on, sleep in, look at themselves in, eat off of, flaunt, or wear. And except for the eating-off-of part, books don’t do any of those things.

So tell me: what should I design? Got an idea for a Vivian Swift Giverny product that will sell like a Taylor Swift CD?



27 Comments, RSS

  1. Tracey November 30, 2012 @ 7:27 am

    A tote bag or shower curtain. Possibly cat food bowls so tha when your cat eats, it can bask in the glow of sunny France.

  2. Deborah November 30, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    Tea pot.

  3. Deborah November 30, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    And tea cosy.

  4. Janet November 30, 2012 @ 7:43 am

    Giverny weight loss program. Eat beautifully.

  5. Christine November 30, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Tea cups and tea mugs and tea bags. Tea biscuits and fancy chocolates to accompany the tea.

  6. sarahsbooks November 30, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Screensavers. Since people don’t want to buy books (ahem, cough cough).

    Seriously, though – hooked rugs. And d-i-y embroidery kits. Something pretty and crafty.

  7. Patricia November 30, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    Card set and/or calendar of your paintings of Giverny …how about a scarf?

  8. Rachel November 30, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    Perhaps a hybrid CAR for weekend drives to the country place? Or an ereader cover for reading ebooks on le weekend? Bien sur?

  9. Mel November 30, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    Giverny water bowls for cats. Iridescent, highly reflective trompe l’oeil water lilies painted inside make it an entertainment center as well as a feeding station.

  10. Susie November 30, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    Anything for cats or tea making.

    At you can have your own art printed on lots of things. How about Vivian Swift Giverny journals? Or coffee cups? Tee shirts? Travel totes?

    I’d buy them…or were you being sarcastic? I missed it.

    Actually, I’d buy just about anything if it had your art on it.

  11. Christine November 30, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    Giverny pens (I have A Thing for pens….) and tech covers/holders–for phones, laptops, etc. Giverny gloves.

  12. Nadine November 30, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    A Giverny vase, for your fleurs picked from your garden.

  13. jacqui November 30, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    holy moly…..they all took you seriously.
    well, in that case I suggest a Giverny time travel hot tub

  14. Tracey December 1, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    Well, I just bought 2 copies of the Henri the Existential cat calendar. I would definitely buy totes since I am trying not to use plastic bags. I’ve always thought that Vivian should try a product line.

  15. Laura December 1, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    Help us all get our “Vivian Swift on” and sell us a paint-by-number kit or coloring book!
    Am I kidding?

  16. Gitana December 1, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    Indoors: Giverny Blend of Tea, tea cozy, tea cup, tea tin, tea tray
    Outdoors: Picnic ware, picnic blanket, umbrella, seed mixes
    Fashion/design: Scarf, flower vase, candle holders
    Paper: Stationary, cards

    Laura’s “get our ‘Vivian Swift on'” – I like that

  17. Kate December 1, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    iPhone cover, or iAnything cover.

  18. Kate December 1, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Funny that your post is on Giverny today. I was reading in your Road Trip book about your visit there this morning, and decided to visit your blog, which I haven’t had a chance to do for a bit. Some people DO buy books (and enjoy them very much.)

  19. parisbreakfast December 1, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    The yarn and the 1st plate (which looks like you painted it anyway) come closest to the concept of ‘Giverny’ for me.
    After that I see your paintings on a mug at Zazzle easy peasy.
    We’ll create one when you come by next week.
    The everyone here can have YOUR vision of Giverny!

  20. Mo December 2, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    love the Giverny stuff, thought the yarn colors were lovely.

    but apropos of nothing, i had my calendar flagged today as “Dec 1 … Vivian Swift contest” ????

    i probably flagged it last year because of the Christmas card drawing, that’s all i can remember. and i think you did leaves this year instead. or have i missed something? heaven forbid, lol 😉

    • Vivian December 3, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

      Hi Mo-

      I know why you had me flagged for Dec 1: for the past six years I’ve been giving away my hand-made ChrisHanuKwanSolstice cards to the first 50 blog readers who sign up on Dec 1.

      This year, however, I have a pre-requisite: I am sending my 2012 hand made ChrisHanuKwanSolstice card to readers who leave a 5-star review on for my new book, Le Road Trip. Or, if Amazon is not your cup of tea, for a similar review on Goodreads.

      Once you’ve left a review, just email me to let me know and give me your land address and the card will be sent to you o/a Dec. 10.

  21. Patricia December 2, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    I do like the idea of a Vivian Swift calendar (with your own imaginary but much needed holidays …like Chocolate appreciation day) and you could do a series based on each of your books.
    PS. Chocolate appreciation needs more than a day, how about a month?

  22. bunny December 2, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    I would like a Giverny blanket, I would use it as a comfy think, like to read on the couch, as a throw, and bring with me if I have to go to see the doctor, or dentist. But only if you painted it!!!!

  23. Tracey December 2, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

    She could do one chocolate appreciation day a month – January truffles, February almond bark, etc. This would give everyone 12 reasons a year to celebrate chocolate. In the cold months, she could add a hot chocolate apprecation day to each month. She could also do a monthly bread appreciation day. What could be more French than bread and chocolate?

  24. Jeannie December 3, 2012 @ 2:08 am

    Oh, I think the cats have the answer! Perhaps a cat igloo with a camouflage design based on the nasturtium growing along the Grande Allee. The interior bedding could be based on Waterlilies. I think you could really have fun with this idea and you have your test market right outside!

  25. Joan December 4, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    Calendar, painted tray for serving tea, teapot, mugs, cards, journals, etc. But I’d most like to have a tray with room for a teapot, mug, napkin.

  26. Kathryn December 4, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    I admit I have the Giverny rug in my bedroom. And I love it.

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