Heirlooms, Charity and another Birthday

Thursday class. Sketching heirlooms
Thursday class. Sketching heirlooms


Crisp blue morning. Definitely wear scarf and coat I remind myself.

We were sketching our family memories today. The brief was, to sketch something you’ve inherited and which may have been stored away.

Most of us have inherited our parents belongings and most of us have nowhere to display them, so it goes into storage, or to charity shops like Red Cross and Vinnies (previously known as St Vincent de Paul.) Even the charity shops brand themselves now.

Each person put out their possessions, and lovingly sketched them.

Writing something about the stories they told was important. Talking about the memories was too.

You can bring new life to those beautiful but now unseen pieces which you were so familiar to you as a child, but now mostly in a back cupboard.


Through Ivanhoe Park
Through Ivanhoe Park

Down through Ivanhoe Park to St Vinnies. A good place for bargains. Treasures from someones else’s life, waiting for a new home. There was the fur stole in the window, the liquorice allsorts caddie, badges on sunhats, dressing table dolls, Mother Mary in a lace shawl. You name it – it was here.

Our sketchers found some pretty amusing bits and pieces creating quite a few giggles.

Sketching or shopping at Vinnies
Sketching or shopping at Vinnies

It was Hemmingways for lunch today. We could have the upstairs writing lounge to ourselves today, so we could really spread out.

Very good coffee and tasty dishes were served while we completed our day’s work.

It was a bit quiet and George had thought we wanted to concentrate, but we did want some background ambience.

So on went the music. Wow some very cool sounds indeed. Soon everyone was gyrating away. Too much medicine this morning!

Upstairs at Hemmingways
Upstairs at Hemmingways





Our heirlooms are of great interest to everyone at the table as each one positions their treasure ready to sketch.

We have old teddies, opera glasses, Turkish smoking pipe, jewellery, watches, vases and a stuffed skunk.( not a taxidermic one as I’d thought)

All with a history and much conversation as stories are remembered.

Shopping sketching time
Shopping sketching time

Vinnies Charity store was again a shopping/sketching time,  and the sketches were a lot of fun and brought a lot of laughs.

Margaret's cake for Atsuko
Margaret’s cake for Atsuko

Unbeknown to us, Margaret had baked a chocolate, cherry and almond cake that very morning, for Atsuko who has a birthday today.

We had our upstairs salon again at Hemmingways, so quickly arrived there before the others and popped the cake onto it’s plate and decorated it with lavender and camellias and pretty candles and presented it as the group arrived.

The Birthday girl
The Birthday girl

After our coffee and delicious lunch, Margaret lit the candles and birthday singing rang out over Manly Beach from the upstairs windows.

Atsuko said it was the best birthday, because she hadn’t had a birthday cake before.

So another lovely Friday with birthday cake and sketching took place.

As usual with our dedicated sketchers, excellent work was completed after a very enjoyable day.


By Cristina who had to get away.
By Cristina who had to get away.





A little chilly I must admit. However we have passed the middle day of solstice and now it’s heading towards summer. It’s good to know.

A very interesting collection of treasures today.

Hats on stands, porcelain and jewellery, incense burner and cigar tins. All of which meant a great deal to each one and the sketches told the stories.

The bargain bin
The bargain bin
Making ourselves at home
Making ourselves at home

Vinnies was a warm respite as we swarmed inside and made ourselves comfortable.

It was certainly busy in there today, and our sketchers were also spending a few dollars themselves.

Settling into Hemmingways
Settling into Hemmingways

At our upstairs salon at Hemmingways, we spread out over most tables and continued our colour. Several people sketched each other and it was great to see them overcoming the ‘I can’t do people ‘hangup many often have.

Delicious food and hot coffee had us nicely settled in as we carried on with our work. We could well have whiled away the afternoon, as some looked like doing.

Another excellent week. Golly only 2 to go.


Fiona's sketch before hopping off early
Fiona’s sketch before hopping off early


3 Responses

  • Wonderful days. Sketching in Vinnies looks fun ! So many objects that you would never think or have the opportunity to draw – and all in one place. It was lovely of the volunteers to let you sketch there.

    I have been looking forward to the sketches that people would do and the object they would bring for the Heirlooms and Memories day. Sketching an object that you have never seen before gives you a special connection with it while you sketch it and then with your drawing after that. You gain a new appreciation of its shape and colour and purpose.

    But sketching something that already comes laden with so much history and so many memories is even more special. I am an incredibly nostalgic person and have always had a special place in my head and heart for family history objects and stories. I have drawn some http://www.flickr.com/photos/alissaduke/sets/72157623122864175/ and still have to do a lot of the research for the stories surround them. I’ve just been given a manicure set that belonged to a Great Aunt and a very well stamped passport (through Europe in the 1940’s 1950’s) belong to a Great Uncle . – my next projects!

    Sorry to have gone on for so long , but you have hit on a subject close to my heart

    • So glad you connected with this subject. It was interesting to see even the students from overseas found something of value to sketch. They loved doing the fine details and bringing their pieces to life.
      I had given everybody a link to your Flickr to help them know what their sketches could look like.
      Thanks for sharing your passion with us Alissa.
      Could be something in this for you at some stage methinks.

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