{Request} Hello Kitty

Watercolor & Pencils.
A4 size.
A lil' something for a sweet lil' girl who wanted me to draw her a Hello Kitty.

She liked the rabbit I drew for her on her handmade birthday card. It was a pink watercolor rabbit and I attached a real satin ribbon bow around its neck. I was really happy to hear that she pasted it somewhere in her room and that she really treasured it.

I guess she's the inspiration for this work after all- her fascination with Hello Kitty, all the girly-ness and childlike imagination.


Illustrations for School

Character Designs
Sewing Room
Laundrette Street
The classic fairytale- Hansel & Gretel
Attempt at gradient mesh tool on Gretel's face.

It was a mad rush to create these works nearing their deadlines but it's what I enjoy doing. And honestly I'm thankful to the pressure as it's what makes me work hard- trying to beat the clock and squeezing all my creative juices in my brain and putting my drawing skills to the test, yet still learning new tricks.

It's my holidays now and one of my goals is to just keep drawing! So i have a new blog dedicated to drawing portraits simply using a ball-point pen at http://ballpointpenportraitsbysarah.blogspot.com/. The name's kinda long but it helps me to keep focus on its main purpose.

Anyway check out this cool initiative: http://travelwritedraw.blogspot.com/2010/12/illustrators-drawing-illustrators.html and participate. Deadline's TODAY- end of 28th December! The blog's seriously amazing too.


{New iPhone iPod Game} Marin II

Marin II Game

Check it out! My brother's game is now out for downloads on iTunes store here.

Do give it a try and support him. I'm really impressed with the programming he's done. And the graphics, animation and music by his team mates are great too! Makes for a fun, entertaining casual game to kill boredom. So far there has been over 1200 downloads!

Who knows perhaps one day he can help me develop mine too. He said he'll do it if I have a good idea. Taking his word for it =)


New Layout

Victorian Feel
Previous Old Layout

Finally updated this blog layout! I've been wanting to for the longest time and I'm happy with the outcome. I learnt so much about HTML these past few weeks while doing up a website for school I decided to apply it to my own blog.

Hopefully this spanky new look will motivate me to blog more often =)


Checkered Men's Vest

Made this vest for his birthday!
With buckle @ the back.


Made My Own Baju Hari Raya 2010

Time taken: approx 4 days.
Fabrics: off white satin lining, sparkly blue chiffon.
Cost: $20 fabrics + $3 zipper.

The sparkly glitteriness caught my attention and attracted me to the huge roll of textile which intrigues me and stirs my imagination. I draped one end of it over other nearby fabrics to  get an idea of what colors would be great as its inner lining. Thought that the sparkly blue fabric looked dreamy and soft when layered over a light colored base. Above it, pasted on the walls were pricings by metres for the different cloths. The sparkly chiffon was placed in between two price labels i.e. RM16.50 and RM6.30 so it made me deliberate whether it's worth getting it at the higher price if that was the right price. Anyway I know I am short of time to sew a new baju raya since I was there to get material to sew new sofa seat covers in the first place. Turns out the price is the latter cheaper label and my mom was supportive of me sewing a new baju raya which encouraged me even further to get it. She told me to focus on the baju first and that she'll help to sew the sofa covers.

In my mind I wanted something simple and easy to sew so that I can finish it asap. While lying on my bed that afternoon, some ideas went through my mind as to what design would really bring out the best in the fabric. This was the design I aspired to make initially, roughly sketched on the back of an envelope which was the most coveniently placed canvas I got a hold of.

The design process brought me along stages which morphed how the baju should turn out- some changes include abandoning the draping section and changing the entire neckline. Ultimately simplifying the entire piece for easier working process. Most importantly I wanted a perfectly fitted one piece dress. So after trying out the baju, tightening the sides and darts did the trick to get a close fitting silhouette.

Stages: drafting in 1/4 scale in my book, real life drafting on paper, cut fabrics, overlock stitches, etc. Very tiring stuff but well worth it.


Double-Breasted Classic Jacket (Fully Lined)

Jacket Update: this is the jacket with lining I did in sewing class. Wore it on the 2nd day of school but I didn't tell anyone I sewn it. Whoever knew I did it wanted one- sis, boyfriend, father, etc are interested and I do wanna make it for them probably after hari raya and if I can squeeze in time during the weekends or my no-school Wednesday. School is still my utmost priority even though this is something I'm really into.

For the jacket the fabric is more expensive per metre but thinking how boutiques such as Zara or Mango carry such stuff at close to $200 per jacket, a $20+ worth of materials is well worth the value. Spent more time on the jacket since it was complicated but experiences and the knowledge attained from the teachers are priceless.

One teacher did say sewing is a dying art. But I ironically I find that it is the most practical and worthwhile thing I could do and love doing. And something not everybody has the patience in doing.


My First Sewn Outfit- Vintage Inspired

One of the holiday's fruit of labour; a set of blouse and pleated skirt sewn from scratch.

Lots of time and effort but it payed off to have something unique and tailored to my own body measurements. The blouse design is Hawaiian collared, cuffed and added quite a number of pleats to make it more fitting.

Took the advice from one of my previous post to sew a pleated skirt since it suits the fabric better. So thanks for the great feedback!

The sewing classes is well-organized by using a step by step approach. And this time I can understand and remember it better. Feeling confident to sew some simple stuff on my own now. Plus the environment is really friendly and warm.

Wore it with this pair of shoes from Jakarta: lace-up leather peep-toe wedges which coincidentally matches the belt.
Next up: Jacket with lining!

Will be learning pockets, working with lined/patterned fabric and LININGGG- the mother of sewing accomplishments! OK not really but really something great to learn cos it's the thing that give clothes the extra luxurious feel.

Taking it slow and easy.


Jakarta: Trip Review

The trip to Jakarta was an impromptu decision initiated by mom after she watched an Indonesian documentary on TV. Not that she was enlightened by it or anything but it probably just reminded her that we should travel somewhere together after the wedding. The flight deals were good too about $700+ for 5 pax on Air Asia (excluding tax on the return flight- which was an unexpected fee for us like a surprise. Luckily still got cash.) The tickets were booked 2 days before leaving on Thursday morning.

We stayed at Ibis Mangga 2 which is located in North Jakarta. 2 nights and 2 rooms for about $280. It's located near some malls, or rather, Mal as they spell it there. Namely Harcomas, ITC Mangga 2, Pasar Pagi- these three malls are connected to each other via indoor bridges/links on different floors of each mall. Which was unsurprisingly confusing and we took about an hour to figure out a way back to the hotel. The first 'Mal' (one of the three I've mentioned but can't remember which name belongs to which) was somewhat like Sim Lim Towers in Sg- kinda ulu looking stuff. It is then linked to The next mall which is somewhat like Sim Lim Square with all the techy gadget shops and also Yogya which is a supermarket like Cold Storage. The next mall connected is where most of our last minute shopping for apparels were done. Highly advisable to start with the highest floor as that is where all the trendier clothes, shoes and interesting stuff are at, some at wholesale prices. Even beautiful wedding gowns are available for purchase at reasonable prices. However most of the fashion products are from Thailand Bangkok which I've been to and Bangkok is still unbeatable in terms of getting clothes at great deals- easier to bargain in Bangkok and cheaper of course AND Suan Lum night market is still my favorite spot for vintage apparels as the place is full of art-farts.

So if in Jakarta you'll probably get more of your money's worth at SOUTH Jakarta where there are more factory outlets selling original goods and trendier tourist places like pubs. We went to French Toast Premium Factory Store where prices were said to be up to 90% off the original. The products are either over-supplies or have minor defects which did not pass their QC tests. I bought formal shirts for Halim at abt Sgd25 each for brands like Donald Trump that were really great quality material. Other brands were like esprit, H&M, VS, etc. My bro and sis in law bought lots of cool looking thick jackets with furry hoods for wearing in Canada. The shop is located in Kemang 8, an area our hired taxi driver for the day was unfamiliar with. So navigating there required lots of asking around like totally random strangers. He would just wind down the window near any (and almost every) junction and ask a nearby person for directions despite the road being a single lane and the act will hog up drivers behind. But honks are a common thing on roads there, like almost every 5 seconds there will be a motorist honking to alert others of their presence as traffic is madness- a mix of pedestrians, sellers on foot (for random stuff like tiny Indon flags, floats, food), bajaj (tuktuks), push cart sellers (bakso mi). In Sg when someone honks at you it's almost as good as being given the middle finger.

There are also more art gallery shops selling paintings in the South in shop houses between those of furniture shops, bike shops, etc. The shops are simple ones, nothing designer-ish, nothing fancy, non-airconditioned stores. Just pure focus on the works. So it makes me wonder is the support for the arts there stronger there? (I think in Sg selling tissue paper in the street will be easier than selling artworks like really there is no support and I feel sad every time I hear people say that there is no talent in Sg and they go "What Arts?". Just my thoughts, yeah.) Not sure if they can actually make a living from those galleries but it's inspiring- it's not practical but it passion driven. The works are large sized pieces which looks like to took lots of time completing.

Grameda was a huge bookstore we visited specifically for my mom who just love to source out for recipe books. Boring for me except a saw a book titled "Sialan Bekham ternyata Yahudi".

It was raining quite a bit when we were leaving the bookstore and outside there were many barefooted children holding umbrellas offering to shelter people for donations. And the donations were then seen to be passed over to an adult standing nearby. I have no idea if it a syndicate kind of thing or if it was someone caring of the kids but poverty is pretty much a rampant scene there. Very pitiful sight of a thin mother nursing her baby by the roadside with her other small children nearby; a small child carrying a baby- helplessness is in every corner.

And in contrast, the several storied bungalow homes are for the wealthy... very beautiful architecture- with brick or stone wall textures, an envious sight from outside. We passed by the area where Obama went to school before- an area for the wealthy.

The people are extremely helpful it's an eye opener to a different culture. Like after asking for directions and realizing thy our driver needs to make a U turn or get back into a lane of busy traffic, the people will actually play traffic officer to help our driver ease back into the road. It happened not once or twice but almost everytime like probably around 10 times...  This is something I am really impressed by- a very polite friendly culture.

But I think we got burned by the driver cos the fees were EXPENSIVE. The hotel security officers brought him to us we we asked for a cab and just went with it out of convenience. RP 700k excluding RP100k of petrol. This is over sgd100 for a day. And another Rp 200k the third day to take us back to the airport. My dad overheard a conversation between the driver and the security officers negotiating how much their cuts should be. Well you see, by right taxis are not allowed into the hotel lobby but I guess they given a chance to do so if they are willing to pay the officers for the access and small portions of the fees for successful referrers. Transiting from the airport to the hotel costs RP 180k when we booked it from the counter in the airport.

As for food we mainly dined in at the hotel for breakfast and dinner. Good to see that McDonald is not the dominant fast food there but A&W is available everywhere. Street food prepared in push carts looks scary so we didn't try any. We tried Tony Jack's at the airport before flying back- the fries was nice and crispy, chicken is kinda like KFC's but with saltier batter and drier meat than our hormones filled chickens in Sg.

Well lots of learning points from this first trip. If I were to go to Indonesia again I'd probably explore South Jakarta or go to Bandung instead. Probably a guided tour will be good as well to get more knowledge and advice.

And it's good to know MALAY for easy conversing there though Bahasa can be quite confusing. Not sure if the sellers speak English but if a buyer (maybe a Singaporean or Malaysian Chinese) could stay, "Bargain like shit still only get 25," loudly within a 10 people radius and the seller is not insulted i suppose they don't.

No pics for this post sorry! 


Selling Post! Well sorta...

Window to the Soul
Pencils on paper 
210 x 197 mm.
The image above is watermark protected. Contact me for details if your're interested in a print without the watermark- email me at sarah_za [at] hotmail . com . Support will be greatly appreciated =)

Feel like framing up the original and hanging it up in my living room... to replace this silly drawing of my cat:

LOL. The things I do when bored.

Will be away for a short trip. Be back on Sat.

FYI, I'm going to Jakarta for the first time in my life. 




Alright off to pack now. 



[Click pic to enlarge]

Still working on this helmet painting on and off. Never been at a painting this long- started about 2 months ago. 

Keep on building it up.

And it also had some 'outfit changes'. The clothes were originally painted in glistening gold- a new acrylic paint I bought in a separate tube. And yesterday I decided to give the helmet a good wipe down with a damp cloth before working on it again. Turns out the gold paint wasn't suitable for this surface despite being 'waterproof'. It came off easily like a rubbery balloon-like pieces. 

Thankfully the rest of the painting was resilient and strongly gripping onto the helmet =)


Ocre yellow Trench Coat

Watercolor and pencils on paper.

Limited myself to 4 colors- Vermilion, yellow ocre, pale orange and brown.

Liking how it turned out =)


Black Leather Pants

black leather pants
Color pencils & watercolors on paper.
210 x 297mm

Just satisfying the recent drawing thirsts. Not very confident about posting this up... but here it is anyway.



Color pencils on paper.
210 x 297 mm



Color pencil & digital edit.
Something for a friend's birthday.

Everyone keep asking me if it's hair or a scarf.  It's only her decision that matters.


My Brother's BIG DAY Photos (Image Heavy)

IMG_3642b copy

Photography: Yating Kee
Editing: Sarah ZA

Really love the photos taken by Yating!

My brother's gonna print out over a hundred of them he says.

I enjoy playing with Photoshop to change the colors and lighting. Sooo many effects that can be achieved that I can't decide on one style.

*more pics to come... maybe. lol. *


My Brother's BIG DAY!

My brother's BIG DAY

I'm so happy for the both of them *sniff sniff*.

They are such a beautiful couple aren't they? Really love their outfits. The first one is a traditional Malay outfit and after the solemnization they had an outfit change into a Western one which was even more gorgeous and dreamy.

The solemnization ceremony went smoothly at the new Al-Mawaddah Mosque. A pretty good and unique location for a nice small wedding- very convenient facilities and the air-conditioned 'pelamin' room is separated from the dining area by glass which is comfortable for the bride, groom and the guests too. Inside the attention is focused solely on the couple and the ceremony taking place.

They will be leaving for Canada soon. She will be taking a Degree and he will work to support her there too. I think they might be settling down over there if things go well.

May they have a lifetime of wedded bliss filled with joy in their new future together. Amin.

My poor lil' cat will miss him so badly! I know it cos she has a special attachment to him, always being extra affectionate towards him like following him around the house when he just woke up, licking and nibbling him the most amongst all of us and basically he's the only one she's the most obedient and 'talkative' to - maybe because he was the one who lured her home.

I'm looking forward to photos taken by a photographer friend of mine. Since I'm no pro, I mostly entrusted her to take more beautiful shots and those special moments that I missed. Even let her use my favourite 50mm lens. I believe she will make much better use of it than me cos it really captures excellent portraits. *Excited*

Have a great week ahead everyone =)


Skirts: Silhouettes and Cuts

Gathering ideas for a skirt. And these are some of the design I'm considering to sew for my dressmaking class. Will need to narrow down my choices!

Tulip Skirts.
These are tighter at the hems and more loose around the hips/waist. 
Paper Bag Waist.
Pleat folds that extends all the way to the top.

High Waisted Pencil Skirt.
A slim close fitting skirt.

High Waisted Pleated Flare Skirt
Looks cute, fun and casual.

Tiny Pleats, 
almost like gathers

Basically I really love high waisted skirts: 
And this is a collage I stumbled on while researching.

Fabric I'm going to use is this: turquoise n white polka-dotted fabric.

I thought that it'll be great for something vintage and fun looking. 
Also the commonly formal looking pencil skirt can also look cute if it's brightly colored with polka dots like this one from Oprah.com.
Preferably I want 
  • something relatively simple to sew
  • highwaisted
  • above the knee hemline

I just can't decide on which design!
Which design do you think is nice / suits the fabric/ suits me?



Google-Translate-Chinese (Simplified) BETA Google-Translate-English to French Google-Translate-English to German Google-Translate-English to Italian Google-Translate-English to Japanese BETA Google-Translate-English to Korean BETA Google-Translate-English to Russian BETA Google-Translate-English to Spanish