Hajah Rosmaniar with her daughters, wearing clothes from Qarya collection and holding clutches from House of Chinta. PIC BY ZAHARAH OTHMAN

IT is true, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

When Hajah Siti Rosmaniar Idris was pursuing her hobbies such as floral arrangements, Tenun Tekad (weaving), cross-stitching or fabric folding for weddings, her three girls were not far from her.

Even when she was running classes and workshops, imparting her wide knowledge and skills in Malay handicraft, they tagged along.

They observed with keen interest; each stitch and each art form that subliminally instilled these similar passions in them.

Now 76, Siti Rosmaniar marveled at how much her girls, Datin Jalina, 53, Rosmiza, 48 years and Rozita, 42, had not only shared her interest but also turned it into a livelihood.

“As I was growing up, we were always observing mama doing things, following her whenever she went for her classes, tagging along to see how she imparts her knowledge,” said Jalina at the showcasing of her Qarya by D’Jalina collections at Dapur Restaurant at Berjaya Eden in London recently.


Hajah Rosmaniar painstakingly doing her diamond painting.

For the educator turned designer, Jalina truly followed her talented mother’s footsteps — her love for everything beautiful and elegant.

Her father, Abdul Rahman Hamid, was in the police force and they moved from place to place.

Married to an army officer, Jalina too moved from country to country as her husband was defence attachè of Malaysia to Indonesia, China and Australia.

Through her travels too she develops a unique sense of fashion and decided to set up Qarya by D’Jalina early this year. Qarya produces limited edition contemporary and traditional fashion wear.

Rosmaniar herself learned how to do cross stitch from the age of 12 and then taught her daughters the skills.

But most of her passion and obsession require patience and painstaking skills, such as her diamond painting, some of which are now adorning walls of embassies and palaces.

She had to bring up her children single-handedly when her husband died when she was just 49 years old but she persevered, continuing life with her passion in arts.

“If I do anything, no matter how hard it is, I want it to be completed. I want to see the finished piece right in front of my eyes,” said Rosmaniar who participates in her daughters’ ventures whenever she could.

“To do diamond painting, I am like a factory worker. I only stop for prayers.

“It could take me two and a half months to finish one,” she added.

She explained that for a small painting, it could take about 10,000 acrylic beads which she picked using a pincer and then painstakingly glued them onto a canvas following the image that was already in her head.

As wife of a police officer, Rosmaniar was involved in PERKEP, the association for families in the police force. And it was there that she would teach and share her knowledge.

Rozita, a freelance Event Manager, founded House of Chinta. She inherits the patience from her mother and her beautiful decoupage decorated mengkuang clutch bags and tudung saji are a testimony to her craft and passion.


Diamond painting of an English cottage by Hajah Rosmaniar.

As lead designer, she produces bespoke arts and crafts combining modern and Malaysian
heritage using songket and mengkuang leaves. Each bag is individually decorated and no two bags are the same.

House of Chinta also supplies door gifts for weddings and functions.

Another one to follow her mother’s footsteps in organising events is Rosmiza, who lives and works in London as a property management consultant.

“I don’t have the patience to do tedious crafts but I do decorations for events and functions. Mama used to take us along when she did the pelamin (dais) and organised weddings,” said Rosmiza who, with her friend Alee, set up ChantikLondon, a private event stylist.

Watching the talented family working together was inspiring and pleasurable as traditions are being kept alive through the family members’ passion, wherever they are.