Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Tess Collection: SH Xtreme Wear Teeny Greeny Bikini

The Tess Collection is a series of posts featuring my grandmother, Tess', nail polishes.

It's been almost two months since my grandma died.  I can't believe the time has gone so quickly and yet has seemed to crawl at the same time.  It seems like yesterday that I was rushing off to the hospital to show her pictures of my wedding dress or that she was trying to convince me to eat half of her hospital dinner because she didn't want the food to go to waste.  I think about her every single day, and more often than not I shed tears.  I miss her so much.  I wish more than anything I could hold her hand again.  But I do have these little gems of hers that I can share with you all.  And like I said in my last Tess Collection post, you might be a little surprised by this one (which I thought was March-appropriate).

The weather in New York has been absolutely beautiful this week.  So sunny.  However...I have been trapped inside every single day and unable to take photos.  So this is under artificial light, sans bottle.  But I did sub in my iPod Nano.  Or whatever that thing is.  I'm never sure which iPod is which.  Mini?  Nano?  Itty-bitty?  I dunno.  Okay, anyway, this polish.  I can totally see my grandma wearing one coat of this on her nails as just a little shimmer.  I think this one came out in either spring or summer 2011 as a limited edition shade.  I wasn't familiar with it.  I also wasn't sure how I would like it because it's such a weird shade of silvery green.  But as it turns out, I think it's a really nice, shimmery sort of glass fleck foil, in the vein of China Glaze.  I had no problems with application (I used three coats to build up opacity), and the wear time has been great.  Today is day four and it's still hanging in there (with NYC GCS, holla).

Back in August or so I had several long phone conversations with my grandma about how difficult I was finding the adjustment to living in a new place.  She told me she was lonely too.  I told her not to hesitate to call me if she ever wanted to talk about anything.  Anything at all.  Because chances were that if she was sitting there feeling lonely, I was doing the same thing on the east coast.  When I went back for a visit in September I went over to see her.  It was right after Ben had proposed to me, so we talked about that.  We talked about how she was feeling.  We talked about how neither of us was looking forward to winter.  That day I had actually asked Ben if he could just drop me off and leave me with her so she and I could have some time together by ourselves.  Now I'm glad I did that.  But as we were pulling out of the driveway after I had said goodbye, she came to the screen door and yelled, "STEFFIE!"  I panicked because I had no idea why she'd be yelling and waving her arm, so I got out of the car and trotted back up to the house.  She handed me this little craft that she had made at the senior center, a tiny vase she had decorated with tiny artificial flowers inside, and she said, "This is for you, so you'll always remember me when you're alone."  At the time it just seemed like a sweet little thing that was related to our conversations about loneliness.  Now it feels so poignant.

I put it right on my bookcase, which is the first thing I see when I walk in the door to my place, as soon as I got back to the city.  It has been there ever since.  I have a few other encouraging little things on top of the bookcase; there's my mom and dad and Ben and me from just this past Christmastime and also a framed little John Singer Sargent.  I look at my family and know that I will always have support.  I look at the painting and know that there really is beauty in the world.  And I look at that little vase of flowers and know that my grandmother is always going to be with me when I'm lonely.

This was one of her favorite pictures of herself.  I really need to frame this one and have it right there on my shelf next to her vase.  Because when I look at this, I'm reminded that a little sassiness is a good thing.


  1. Welp, you got me. This post made me tear up. You're so lucky to have all these memories and tokens of hers. I love this series.

  2. I think there's something in my eye. :')
    Also props to your grandma for being cool enough to wear green nail polish!

  3. What a great tribute to you grandma this series is--so touching.

  4. Oh my gosh where did all these onions come from. I am definitely tearing up a little. You're grandmother sounds sweet and rockin'. I'm glad you are sharing these memories and doing this series.

  5. I really love that you are doing this series. I teared up today just as I have every other time you've posted about your Grandmother. What a great lady. It's such a blessing that you have all of these wonderful memories!

  6. Well, Tess certainly was a sassy little thing! Love her choice in polish colors but really love her smile in that photo. Like she has a saucy little secret lol. I'll just bet that you have a bunch of wonderful memories of the two of you laughing together! How lucky you were to have each other. Looking forward to your next posting in the Tess series.

    ~ Karli

  7. THis is awesome! I love that picture of your Grandma-I know you still miss her-but doing posts like these keep her memories alive within you. Love that crafty vase she made!

  8. Somewhere Grama Tess is blushing and smiling.

    If you ever tire of art, you could give writing a shot.

    1. That's sweet of you.

      But all a PhD in art history is is writing about art. So my livelihood is already writing. Unless you mean writing about something besides art.

  9. Sometimes I read your blog and feel like if we knew each other in real everyday life we would be good friends. (That sounds a bit creepy, but I don't know how else to describe it) Give me a shout if you ever need to talk to someone far away (


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