Venturesome Volunteers

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Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.   Gillian Anderson

RUDE volunteers our time on-line and in the community contributing in small ways to making things better.

Last week it was National Volunteer Week in Australia.  We both had a bit of a think about volunteering and what it means to us.  And we engaged in some discussions with others online.

Rude Record NVW 2016

We knew years ago that if we were going to volunteer it had to be different.  We did not want to work for a boss cocky [paid or unpaid] of the volunteer brigade.  We did not want to be scheduled and expected to work a roster.  We did not want to be volunteering creative ideas to an organisation, for some paid manager to claim as his/her own.

How were RUDE ever going to volunteer if we did not go along with the usual volunteer model.  We tried to ‘fit-in’ but it did not work.  Beat The Man types do not fit comfortably into a working for The Man model of volunteering.

As with all things RUDE undertakes, volunteering had to be rude around the edges.  We just decided to do it our way.  We are using the KISS [keep it simple silly] Principle.  We are happy to volunteer our time repairing things for targeted others.  All it takes is an email or telephone call by us or to us.  No meetings to discuss all the perceived issues before doing something.  Basically it’s about goodwill, reaching out and doing.



Our volunteering is usually self initiated and self directed.  And our area of interest is repair, in an effort to keep well made and useful things out of landfill.  We also have the freedom to say no, if a request to volunteer does not suit us. 

We consider ourselves successful in many ways and do not expect anything in return.  There is little what’s in it for us, other than to share the joy of repair with others.  This gives us enormous satisfaction.  And we enjoy engaging with people minus any organisational agenda.

This week we went to Dimboola in Victoria where RUDE Boy volunteered his time to get a vintage printing machine operating.

This Sunday we are volunteering our time to travel to Toongabie in Victoria.  RUDE Boy will be assessing a printing machine that is being sold on the condition that it is repairable.

RUDE Boy went to visit a friend this week and his flat screen TV was on the floor and not working properly.  Danny assessed it all day yesterday, determining that it was overheating.  A simple fix requires him to drill holes in the back cover for air to pass through.

RUDE Girl volunteers her time to write about and video our venturesome volunteering stories.  I am keen to network with, and promote others who care enough to make things better.

In the photo above [and in this little 40 second video] RUDE Girl wears scavenger style.  I like to promote the reuse and repair of textiles on our travels.  My cloche hat is made from a fulled woollen cardigan.  All that I am wearing has been rescued from the textile bin at the point of landfill.  The cardigan has been patched and mended.


Beat The Man and consider venturesome volunteering!

Slow Sewing



RUDE Girl slow stitching in her studio


RUDE lives a slow lifestyle.  We are engaged in slow cooking at home.  We wear slow fashion.  We are slow and steady, not fast and busy.  We are both homebodies.  We hibernate at home during winter.  Home is where our hearts are.

RUDE Girl is adding slow sewing to the Slow Movement (culture) wikipedia list.  I remember when I bought my first sewing machine in the 1980s.  It was a considered purchase, but when I started to sew, I did not take the time to get to know the machine.  It was a basic model, but it did have some functions, that quite frankly I was too busy to bother learning about.

I could not find a quote for slow sewing, so I created my own as follows:

‘Slow sewing on my sewing machine makes me appreciate feet – the zipper foot, the darning foot and the zig zag foot’ 

When I purchased my first sewing machine, a no frills Janome, my aim was to save money, and learn how to sew evening frocks.  These dresses were made to wear to weddings and other celebrations.  I also made skirts, shirts and jackets to wear to work.  I was not mindful, I just wanted to cut out the fabric using a pattern, and make up an outfit, pronto!

For RUDE, 2016 is a year we are keen to focus on repair, fixing and mending.  After  decades of reuse, we have enough stuff.  However, our secondhand things have to be maintained and sometimes repaired.  Pre-loved clothing rescued from landfill, will almost always require mending and reinventing.

RUDE Girl has embraced slow stitching with my addiction to boro most evident.  And it was time to slow down, and finally get to know my sewing machines.  On my bucket list [in the ‘little things to achieve’ section] was to machine darn and sew on a button using a sewing machine [photos below].  Hence, this post’s title Slow Sewing.  There was no garment to make or revamp, I just slowed down and gave myself the time to play and learn these two skills.

Here is the video of the pink towel being machine darned.

Hibernating in winter, in the RUDE home is always filled with creative wonder.  It’s like in childhood, when you go exploring and learning new things.  RUDE is always inspired to make and learn with what we have on-hand, right here at home.

Beat The Man and join the slow movement!

Scavenger Shopping


RUDE knows that you have to break the rules if you want to stick it to The Man


From the movie School of Rock [on sticking it to “The Man”]

Yes! But, you can’t just say it, man. You’ve gotta feel it in your blood and guts! If you wanna rock, you gotta break the rules. You gotta get mad at the man!



RUDE Boy and RUDE Girl had light bulb moments years ago to play the game Beat The Man

RUDE [Reusers of Unloved Discarded Excess] have been living off the junk of others from TIP SHOPS [shops in sheds at landfills or adjacent to landfills] for over 6 years.  It has been our mission to showcase and share, to any person who may be interested, what can be reused and repaired to save the planet, hip pocket and encourage creativity and resilience.

We share our frugal lifestyle most days on Facebook at Rude Record and weekly here on our WordPress blog.

We commenced ‘shopping’ at TIP SHOPS as soon as OP SHOPS [charity and thrift stores] started to go the way of small retail businesses on the high street.  We found that the days of rummaging around in a dusty and musty OP SHOPS was all but over.

We are now sadly finding, that TIP SHOPS are going the way of OP SHOPS, and are cleaning, organising and sorting the stuff that is dropped off.  We are glad we found TIP SHOPS six years ago, before the rush by others, including traders, to ‘discover’ them all over again, albeit in a made-over OP SHOP sort of way.

People often ask us about our scavenger ways, and are curious to know why we live the way we do.  Our lifestyle is definitely not mainstream, and we make some confronting, oftentimes unspoken statements by our actions [photo below taken at a wedding].  We choose to live this scavenger lifestyle but it is not out of financial necessity.  So, why do we choose to reuse and repair stuff, when we can afford to go to the mall and buy brand new items?


Michelle's wedding 13 Dec 2014

TOTALLY TIP TOP in swanky Sorento, Victoria


Basically, it boils down to strong competitive drives to Beat The Man, and our rebellious streaks to break the rules, associated with buying stuff and services.  Many have asked what does that all mean.  For us, The Man is symbolic of those in power, with a mission to make the masses consume, so that The Man gets richer at the expense of the majority.


The Man never frightened RUDE Girl.  In fact she was hell bent on ignoring his inappropriate advice

For RUDE, the way we stick it to The Man, is not to consume by shopping at the mall or purchasing services that we feel are a waste of our time and money.  It’s an easy and simple way to be an anti-consumer activist, and should not involve getting arrested! 


RUDE does not go to the mall even for the sales!

However, we agree that shopping for stuff can be fun.  It’s great to get something new for the house or to wear.  We ‘shop’ and we ‘buy’ for these reasons, like most people do.  It’s just that while the masses mall it, we trek to the TIP SHOPS and buy ‘new to us’ stuff, not brand new stuff.  Although, saying that we have oftentimes found brand new things at these TIP SHOPS, usually after Christmas. 

Here’s a good article if you want to know more about TIP SHOPS.  It inspired RUDE’S blog post today.


Go Beat The Man, but to give it a decent try, you have to feel it in your blood and guts!  And you will definitely feel freedom if you break free of The Man’s shopping rules.  Go visit a TIP SHOP for fun!






Well Boro Me




Image ‘boroed’ from football via @


Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson


A quick Friday blog post from RUDE today with a video and photos.  RUDE Girl has finally finished the boro on RUDE Boy’s #3 Levi’s. 

This project was a labour of Levi’s love over 5-6 months.  It has been worth every stitch to keep these vintage jeans out of landfill.

Should any person ever call me impatient, I can produce the proof  x3 that Patience is my middle name. 

Beat The Man and boro [and borrow too]!

Check out the video here of RUDE Boy modelling his three pairs of red tab Levi’s, revamped with  RUDE Girl’s contemporary version of boro.


Below:  all photos  are close-ups of Levi’s #3

RUDE Girl is Administrator of a Boro group on Facebook at


Darn Day


I grow old learning something new every day. Solon

RUDE Girl spent years believing creating things was for other people with artistic talents.  I watched my mother sew out of necessity, not joy.  I did not like a sewing teacher at high school, and remember a lime green gaberdine skirt that was never finished or worn.  I cannot remember getting any help with it at school or at home. 

However, I can remember making my home economics apron and cap.  I guess I learned some hand and embroidery stitching making these items.


Home Economics students at Pascoe Vale Girls High School, Melbourne, Australia.  Students would make their apron and cap the year before commencing home eco studies.  Image: Courtesy of the PVGHS Facebook Group

My senior school years were filled with English, maths, language and science subjects.  I went into professions that were not related to the creative arts.  There are no regrets and many benefits, however now it is time for me to use my hands to make, maintain and/or repair.

Maybe it is being around RUDE Boy that has brought out in me my need to make. He goes to his shed to tinker, and I want to go to my studio to tailor [of sorts].   Or maybe it is just my time to move from healing hands [nurse, wife, mother] to creative hands.

Whatever it is, there is a pull to create and it is very strong.  Gosh, it may even be the realisation of my own mortality, and wanting to leave a legacy [i.e. the gifting of RUDE Boy’s sashiko jeans to a museum of 21st century oddities]

Last week I decided to teach myself machine darning.  I had never tried it before.  And with all the repair and mending I am embracing, it was time to stop procrastinating and darn well do it!  So, as this blog’s title suggests, I had a darn day.  And of course, I was keen to share my experiences.  Here is the link to the darn video.

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Beat The Man and darn well believe you can!

Levis Love



RUDE Girl is shaping RUDE Boy’s Levis for what’s to come.  It’s a radical act to stitch and to wear repaired vintage secondhand jeans.  It makes a statement that RUDE strives to Beat The Man.


Really, what are the options? Levi’s or Wranglers. And you just pick one. It’s one of those life choices. Harrison Ford

RUDE Boy is a Levis man but he also wears other brands.  All of his denim duds are secondhand.  Many purchased decades ago when charity shops had quality stock in his size.  These days he does not have much luck sourcing pre-loved denim jeans but that could be because we rarely frequent charity stores. 

Wearing worn in denim is definitely on trend and big business.  People pay good money to source pre-loved quality brand jeans.  Of course, RUDE never pays much money for anything, and prefers to seek out our own worn threads.  However, as I mentioned it is getting harder to do so. 

This post is to showcase RUDE Girl’s mission to keep RUDE Boy’s pre-loved vintage Levis living on forever.  Yes, forever!  Hopefully one day they will be featured, as an oddity for their time, in a museum. 

I have been sashiko stitching and patching some of RUDE Boy’s Levi jeans over the past 12-18 months.  It’s a labour of love because it takes a long time to stitch and patch not just holes but over thinning areas.  I am reinforcing intact denim with denim, and then using a reverse boro technique, where the patches are mostly on the inside of the jeans.  Much of the stitching and patching is preventative work in an attempt to save on hole repair in the future.

I have labelled each pair of Levis I am mending with a hashtag.  I am currently sashiko stitching #3 Levis.  #1 Levis are featured in this video that was posted to You Tube yesterday.

Here are some photos of #2 Levis and #3 Levis below.  Click on grid images below to get an explanation.


#2 Levis [unfinished] being displayed at Southern Cross Railway Station, Melbourne.

Beat the Man by shaping what’s to come in unique and creative ways.  And add a bucket load of love for good measure!

Shoe Shine Story


A scuffed up shoe on the red carpet or at a big premiere is never okay! It can really alter the vibe of a trendy look. Brad Goreski

RUDE Girl has a confession to make.  I have always enjoyed cleaning shoes.  My school shoes were cleaned and polished ever night.  I am sure it had something to do with my mother’s obsession with clean shoes.  But I also had a liking for the methodical task.  And, I was always keen to care for my things as well.

I have never liked the scruffy shoes’ look, let alone the ‘cheap’ scruffy shoes’ look.  In my opinion [and in the quote above] it can destroy any attempts to look stylish.

Recently, I have been getting more involved in the art of mending and repair.  What came to light recently, was the importance of polishing shoes to detect any issues with them.  In other words, if you are not regularly caring for your shoes, like cleaning or polishing them, you may miss signs of wear and tear.


My shoe shine tub with all sorts of nuggets, brushes and polishing clothes.  Leather shoes are all rescued from landfill fate.  The two front pairs of shoes have been repaired by the shoe repair man.  These shoes are vintage and have been made in New Zealand, USA and Italy.

The same thing occurred to me when ironing for the first time in many months.  I noticed buttons on shirts were loose, and there was a hole in a shirt.  If I had not ironed these clothes, I may not have spotted the problems.

Whether it’s shoes or garments, wear and tear that’s addressed immediately will be a lot easier and oftentimes cheaper to fix. 

The other day, I thought it time to clean some black leather shoes.  Before I knew it, I was cleaning all my shoes and boots.  I was able to audit the wear and tear and assess whether new heel pads were required.


My shoes are stored in a small hall cupboard, near the front door.  Once I started pulling shoes out for cleaning, I realised that there were those I was not going to wear.  These went into the charity donation box.  It was another de-cluttering job out of the way!  I was actually amazed at the quality of shoes and boots I have been able to rescue from landfill fate over the years. 

Beat The Man by caring for your shoes, and cleaning and repairing them ASAP!