Tinkerers & Waste Warriors

 

MIA collage Morwell

Our Waste Warrior mission is about keeping good items out of landfill by mending, fixing and repairing them at organised repair cafe events.  We also mend, fix and repair at home.



Our story features on the about section of our Facebook page at Mend It, Australia.  Us RUDE Guys [Kaz+Dan]
would like to share it here as well.

Karen Ellis has always been fascinated by the resourcefulness of individuals who mend, fix and repair their things.

“As a child, I vividly and affectionately remember moments of my mother mending and making do, such as turning my father’s thinning work shirt collars. Whilst I have always been mindful of not being wasteful with my things and with my money, it was not until I retired that I found time to share my mending and resourceful ways with others on Facebook at Rude Record.”

Karen’s husband Danny has trade qualifications, and has many transferable tinkering skills. When the couple was blindsided by bureaucrats and prohibited from informally volunteering their mending, fixing and repairing skills in their local community, they decided to tinker travel to other Victorian communities, and share their passion for reuse and repair.

“Together, Danny and I became known as Mend It, Australia. We are self-directed, self-funded and self resourced volunteers who currently travel to organised and free repair cafe events in Victoria. And in 2019 we are planning to travel interstate and volunteer at more of these repair cafes.”

Karen administrates the Facebook group Mend It, Australia which features stories from their tinker travels. She also shouts out about other individuals, groups and repair businesses doing great things, related to keeping good stuff out of landfill.

“I am a staunch advocate for the right to repair and to reuse recycled materials. My all time favourite quote is about thrift by G.K. Chesterton.”

“Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance…thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste…if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.”

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Tinkering Twosome

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force; he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger.”  James Allen

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Beat The Man by not waiting for permission to be involved in your communities.  Get out there without fear, and do grassroots good stuff.  It’s fun, challenging and very rewarding!

Us RUDE Guys have been busy attending Repair Cafes in regional areas.  As Mend It, Australia, we make ourselves available to volunteer at these events about twice a month.  We are self directed, self funded and self resourced.  We are travelling philanthropists who, if invited,  give our time and skills to communities hosting repair cafes.

Repair Cafes are free events organised by local communities.  People bring items to be repaired, fixed or mended by volunteer fixers.   Toss it?  No way! is the slogan from the International Repair Cafe Foundation

Fix It, Don’t Flick It, is our Mend It, Australia slogan. This year to date [February to May], we have attended and volunteered at a total of seven Repair Cafes in Geelong, Castlemaine and Rye.  In June we will go to La Trobe Valley Repair Cafe in Morwell for the first time.

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 10 February, 2018

Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 25 February, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton ~ 17 March, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 14 April, 2018

Above: Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 29 April, 2018

Above: Southern Peninsula Repair Cafe ~ Rye – 20 May, 2018


Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 27 May, 2018

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” 

Mitch Horowitz from James Allen: A Life in Brief

 

 

Advanced Care Planning ~ Textiles

 

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Image:  www

Us RUDE Guys are future planners.  We have been planning, in some way or another, for decades both individually and together.  We openly discuss death, dying and advanced care planning.

This planning that we do, for these serious life and death matters, are important to us.  However, we enjoy planning around living in the present moment.  Each day we get up out of bed, and think about what we will do.  And then we plan for our day ahead.

We are anti-consumerists, therefore its necessary that we advanced care plan around the death of our useful objects, because we do not believe in shopping for new stuff, if we can care and maintain our old stuff.  We do not like spending time in shopping malls.  Strip shops can be a pleasant browse experience, however these are few and far between where we live.  We do not get satisfaction spending our hard earned cash on new stuff that we do not want or need.  And we know that the secondhand and older objects that we own have been much better made.

Today RUDE Girl has read two lovely articles on mending, which to us RUDE Guys is a form of advanced care planning for garments and other textiles.  The articles’ links are posted below.  These articles inspired me to feature two advanced care textile plans, created by me for two of my thinning vintage tea towels.

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Pure Linen Vintage Tea Towel, backed with handkerchief cotton,  made in Czechoslovakia


The above tea towel was purchased, with a pile of others, in an opportunity shop a decade ago.  It has been in use all these years and the linen fabric is getting thin.  I decided to back it with white handkerchief cotton.  This advanced care textile plan was created to ensure that when further thinning of the fabric occurs, I can reinforce any areas with running stitch.

The two vintage linen tea towels below, from the same charity shop score, have been joined together with running stitch.  The linen fabric on both tea towels was also getting very thin.  With the two tea towels now stitched together as one, this tea towel is very absorbent when drying the dishes [we do not have an electric dishwasher].

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Pure Linen Vintage Tea Towels, stitched together, made in Romania

Beat The Man ~ mending is better than ending and then spending

http://journal.alabamachanin.com/2018/04/mending-slow-design-modern-lifestyle/#comment-159929

http://journal.alabamachanin.com/2011/09/mending/

Home Factory

 

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Ricardo-Bofill-cement-factory-yatzer-2.jpg Ricardo is an architect who lives and works at home. Home is a former cement factory.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2018 is underway and us RUDE Guys were relating to this article featured in The Age newspaper’s M insert last weekend.  All the individual stories were of interest to us, as they involved the reuse of stuff, by designers. 

Us RUDE Guys are not designing for sale and profit however we reuse and repair, and occasionally we will reinvent and revamp our secondhand finds.  Whilst flashy upcycling is not our aesthetic, we can definitely appreciate what’s involved.  And that’s why we enjoyed reading the article and finding out more about the designers, and what’s on during Melbourne Design Week.

And from the article these were the paragraphs [refer below in orange italics] that made an impression.  Why?  Because we agree with Dale Hardiman Designer that this is how we could be living in our homes. 

[“Only a handsaw, drill and screws are used for construction,” he explains. “I took away any machining and CAD. None of the work was sketched. It’s about the intuitiveness of making. I use rudimentary tools to display the ease with which we can reuse these objects to have structural capabilities.”

Hardiman hopes to inspire others to get on the tools. In his eyes our homes are veritable mini-factories capable of local production.

“Furniture manufacture requires buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery to [mass] produce objects,” he says. “[But] the average household is like a workshop; with gas and electric ovens.”]

The RUDE Home is a very private place.  Daily, we share an incredible amount on-line, that’s why we prefer to keep our home space private.  Sometimes we feel like we lead authentic double lives.  We like to meet people out in public because it gets us out and about and also keeps us socially connected.  We travel once or twice a month as Mend It, Australia and visit repair cafes and similar events. 

For us, our house [the building] is like a makerspace, large shed or garage – a thriving workshop for repair and maintenance jobs that are never ending, in our mission to keep things out of landfill, and money in our pockets.

It is not unthinkable for us to be pulling apart a chainsaw on our antique wooden dining room table.  Or sewing in the main bedroom that’s now a studio.  Or fixing a sewing machine on our kitchen’s bench.  Or cutting out fabric for curtains in the entrance hall or on the kitchen floor.

Beat The Man, hire out your own space for free, and be industrious from home!!

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Image via www. Waste-into-Wonder

 

Tinkering Tenacity

 

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Image Source:  www

 

“Tinkering, however, is not just the art of repairing what is broken. At its heart, it is a playful activity, tinged with a measure of risk, but absent any great consequences.”

Freddie Luchterhand-Dare ~ Senior Strategist at Landor

A Rude Record early February blog post opportunity. 

Our tinkering tenacity at Rude Record and Mend It, Australia has grown stronger as a result of meddling bureaucrats enforcing restrictions on our rights to participate in our local community. i.e.  if you don’t become a formal volunteer [under our control] you will not be permitted to play with the others. 

We find it troubling that many of the bureaucrats making decisions for our local communities do NOT actually live or play in them. We chuckle at the thought of a bureaucrat asking us to fix something for them.   They would not dare!

Refer to the link at the end of this blog post.  This may happen to be the best article on tinkering that we come across for 2018.  Time will tell.  Us RUDE Guys just had to share it, because it’s very well written and covers some interesting points, related to repairability in the digital age.

From the article as follows, and us RUDE Guys could not agree more:

“But it seems the long-silenced tinkerers are finding their voice again. A series of ‘protest’ movements are gathering pace globally, pushing back against this notion of ‘obsolescence by repair prevention.’ Far from niche, their call has increasing gravity. A loose army of consumer advocates, repairers and ordinary individuals – in other words, owners of all kinds of devices, from microwaves to toys – are now coalescing. “

“Of course, the complexity of some appliances (think a photocopier) has always been beyond the skills of the average spanner-wielding person.”

RUDE Boy had never fixed photocopiers in his life.  Decades ago, he took a job troubleshooting, servicing and repairing them for a year, saving the day for many frazzled office workers.  Oh, and he can wield a mean spanner too, and does not take kindly to bureaucrats, who haven’t got a clue about tinkering, telling him what he can and can’t do.

Beat The Man and keep developing your tenacity for tinkering. 

https://brandinginasia.com/cant-tinker-therefore-not-brands-tinkering-digital-age/

 

Mend It, Australia

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Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.  Amy Jo Martin

 

Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea, it’s a theory, it’s a meaning, it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational.  Kevin Plank

Us RUDE Guys have added a new concept to our brand that piggy backs off the ethos of Rude Record.  Mend It, Australia launches itself out in the community on the 10th February when we tinker travel, over an hour away from home, to volunteer at the Geelong Repair Cafe – Highton.

Our RUDE and Mend It branding reflects reducing consumption, reuse of available resources and the right to repair without interference.  Locally at Imagine Melton Zero Waste, we promote resource recovery and say no to landfill, preferring to champion alternatives, such as zero waste measures, like composting.

At Mend It, Australia Facebook page we showcase Australian and global mending, fixing and repairing events.  We post interest articles and videos about the mission to mend movement.  And most days, we also like to shout out about what we are reusing and repairing.  We hope our posts inspire our page followers to think twice before chucking things out and heading off to the mall to buy new.

As for this blog, RUDE Girl was writing a weekly blog post, however it looks like I will only be able to manage monthly/bimonthly this year, as we will be busy trekking around the countryside, participating in Repair Cafe events.

RUDE Boy has worked part-time for many years, as he is transitioning to retirement.  He has just told me he plans to fully retire this year in October [it’s not common knowledge yet, but who reads what I write anyways!]

We have been making some plans for this milestone forever really.  However, we started to focus more on it last year.  In 2017 we were involved in mending at Mend It, Melton [MIM] events in our local community but MIM did not work out for us.  Bureaucracy decided to take over and its reason for doing so failed to align with our Rude Record brand.   There are no more Mend It, Melton events in our local community, however I  still administrate the Facebook page here

Thanks to the bureaucratic meddling of Mend It, Melton, us RUDE Guys turned a rotten situation into a positive and voila, Mend It, Australia was created.  And our idea around flexible tinkering travel was born.

Stay posted for some stories back from our tinkering travels by following us daily on Rude Record or Mend It, Australia.

“BEAT THE MAN AND BRAND YOUR LIFESTYLE” ~ Karen Ellis aka RUDE Girl

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018

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“Australians are extremely risk averse.”  David Gianotten / Architect at OMA

It is becoming more and more apparent to us RUDE Guys that many Australians are loosing their larrikanism, and becoming very schoolmarmish in behaviour.  Aussie bureaucrats are top of the class when it comes to accepting the status quo and not wanting to take risks.

In today’s The Age playful parents prevent anxiety in kids because they are encouraged to take risks safely.  A good reason for repeated exposure to things that might feel unsafe, like tinkering.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/playful-parents-prevent-anxious-kids-study-20171229-h0bbrb.html

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Image: www

Unfortunately, what this type of behaviour leads to, is lack of innovation.  If you do not want to risk take, you can only draw on things that have been tested.

Therefore, the quote above by Mr Gianotten, is pretty spot on as far as we are concerned.  However, it does not relate to us RUDE Guys, as we pride ourselves on being calculated risk takers, especially when it comes to our tinkering.

Below is our last You Tube video for 2017 and our Happy New Year well wishes.

This video is about having fun in the shed and tinkering the day away, however it’s also about safe risk when tinkering with machinery and electricity.  If you are competent you do not need a licence to tinker!!

Beat The Man and keep bloody bureaucrats where they belong ~ away from us innovative folk, and our kids too.