Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Merriment with CKMDP and Susan Tom-Nellis of Peony and Plum Floral Designs

Susan Tom-Nellis,
Peony and Plum Floral Designs

Name/Nickname:  Susan Tom-Nellis    
Nicknames:  none that I care to share. J
Company and established date:  Peony & Plum Floral Design 2008
Hometown (where are you from and where are you now)?  Honolulu, HI and Los Angeles, California
Position and job title:  Owner and Chief Designer I guess
Credentials/Mini Bio about yourself:  I guess I’ll just use the bio from my web site…
Peony & Plum is the inspired idea of owner, Susan Tom-Nellis. Susan brings a fresh approach to floral design—having grown up in colorful and casual Honolulu, Hawaii, she fuses these island sentiments with her understanding of composition and form gained from her studies of painting and photography at UCLA’s prestigious Department of Art. Add to the mix, Susan’s experience as a Creative Director in advertising and marketing, and you’ve got a talented woman who keeps calm under pressure.

Susan’s unique background leads to floral creations that are sophisticated yet whimsical, where traditional elements live happily alongside the unexpected. Inspiration can be found as naturally in Paul Gauguin’s bold Tahitian colors as in Gabriel Rossetti’s Pre-Raphaelite interpretations of the classical.

1.       Tell us 7 Random Things about yourself (hidden talents and really RANDOM jazz about yourself)? 
a.       I used to dance both ballet and jazz extensively - was in a ballet company in Hawaii when I was in high school and was also an assistant for an LA choreographer in my early 20’s.
b.       In addition to dance, I also sing and had created a demo of my music. But then I got pregnant and my dreams of being a singer/songwriter went out with the baby bathwater.
c.        This is not a talent but something funny and ironic: I’m a floral designer allergic to certain flowers!
d.       Although I have a lot of experience performing, I am terrified of speaking in public!
e.       Before starting Peony & Plum, I contemplated starting a cake company because I’m a pretty good baker – it was going to be called Sweetie Cakes.
f.         I’ve raced in 3 triathlons so far. And I think about running a marathon one day.
g.       I’ve been practicing both Buddhism and yoga for about 17 years.
2.       Favorite Holiday Scent:  Hmm I don’t think I have one
3.       Favorite Holiday Activity: wrapping presents, baking all kinds of different cookies and packaging them up in pretty boxes to send to friends and relatives  
4.       Favorite Holiday Tradition: we play that gift exchange game where you can steal the other person’s present. I don’t know the name but it is so fun to see people get stuck with stupid presents or lose a gift that they really wanted to keep!
5.       Favorite Holiday Food:  this skillet apple pie that is to die for
6.       Favorite Holiday Memory:  My parents used to let my brother and I open 1 present on Xmas eve – it was the best! And second would be eating my aunt’s “green stuff” – basically it’s a green jello, cream cheese and pineapple concoction!
7.       Favorite Holiday Present ever received and given:  Last year I got an iPhone – that was pretty dope. Not sure I can think of something I’ve given that would be a favorite.
8.       Gift you wish you receive this year?  ??
9.       Favorite Perfume:  I don’t wear perfume anymore but my faves were: Keiko Mecheri Grenades and Tokyo Milk Scarlett 58
10.   What are the flowers, herbs and trees that you can’t live without (Because  we need plants to breath)? 
a.       Flowers: Peonies (of course), Garden roses especially David Austin Patience and Juliet, Scabiosa, Dahlias (although I am allergic to them!), Sweet Peas, Anemones, Helebore, Astilbe
b.       Herbs: Mint, Rosemary, Lavender and Basil
c.        Trees: Magnolia, Monkey Pod
11.   What is your secret beauty regiment??  Please do share!  I am religious about washing my face twice a day with either Osea Ocean Cleanser or Astara Cleansing Gel or Astara Refining Scrub and then I use Dermologica toner, Skin smoothing cream and solar defense 50. I used to be religious about getting facials from Kinara Spa too but now I can’t afford them (Boo)
12.   CLOSET RAID!  What types and brands of clothing do you own? Aka, we want to know your fashionista style:
a.       Types: lots of tops, jackets and pants/jeans and lots and lots of yoga type pants. And way too many shoes – only shoes with a substantial wedge heel since I am seriously height challenged
b.       Brands: Anthropologie, JCrew, Gap and Old Navy (mostly for basics because they are so cheap!), lululemon for yoga pants
c.        How do you keep them organized?: Not very organized
13.   Tell us your favorite clothing item (keep it PG please)? Um I think you can probably guess: yoga pants
14.   Home and Kitchen Furnishing:  Wish we could live in Anthropologie but my husband would not go for that so we’ve settled on something in between Pottery Barn and West Elm
15.   Publications in your rack other than the wedding kinds:  Real Simple, Yoga Journal, Martha Stewart Living
16.   Book Collections in your library:  Don’t laugh but the Dune series by Frank Herbert, Twilight series, some old classics
17.   What would you do with $100 million dollars? (No Judgment here!) 
a.       What your conscience would do?:  Put money away for my daughter’s college education and for her wedding, donate to certain charities and help my family with their finances
b.       What you’d probably do?: Remodel our house plus do the above
18.   Vacay Spot, hit us with good travel ideas, or maybe your tranquil retreat center?  (It’s a stressful working world yah’ know!)  Hawaii for rejuvenation… the Pacific Northwest is pretty awesome to travel to. I love Seattle
19.   How do you relax?  Watch a movie or get a mani/pedi
20.   Your SPOT ! What is your favorite spot? Any coffee shop? Restaurants? Places of Interest? French Market Café in Venice – my go to place on a free weekend. They make the best omelets and the toasted French bread with butter and jam is like dessert. And really my bed is my favorite spot – I love to read or do a crossword puzzle right before I go to sleep. Best place to be…
21.   Fill in the blank with a technology item:   I feel naked without my ­________?  iPhone
22.   What is your rendezvous food and drink?  And what must your pantry/fridge have, can’t live without food/drink item?   I am a potato chip fiend. Must have some kind of potato chip. And also sparkling water.
23.   Music playlist essentials :  foo fighters, black keys, adele, no doubt, usher, lumineers - I know kind of eclectic
24.   What songs stuck in your head from this season? Cover of “What’s going on” from my favorite contestant on the Voice: Nicholas David!!!
25.   What’s in your Fave Channel list, DVR or movie collection?  Next Iron Chef, Chopped, The Voice, Modern Family, Greys Anatomy (I know, I still watch that)
26.   Favorite people and public figure: My family fo sho
27.   Any regrets in life? That I didn’t have another child… and now I am way too old.
28.   What would you change or try to regain about yourself? Reduce the stress in my life and enjoy the journey

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