Scavenger Saint

“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.”  G. K. Chesterton

red barina  This is the type and colour motor car my daughter drives

I [Karen] follow Richmond [Tigers] and Danny follows Collingwood [Magpies] two teams in the Australian Football League [AFL or Aussie Rules].  Aussie Rules is a fast and spectacular football style compared to many other football codes.  Spectacular, in my opinion, due to the speed and aerial leaps by players.  However, RUDE is not an avid supporter of any type of football and can take or leave watching the games.

I do however like to watch the entertainment at the AFL Grand Final.  Lionel Ritchie did a great performance and had me dancing on the ceiling.  But Meatloaf was ever after known, as low-grade minced meat after his performance [not worth posting here but you can watch it on Youtube].  I still do not know why the AFL uses overseas entertainers when there is such great talent in Australia.  This year Tom Jones the Welsh entertainer will be belting out a tune or three for the AFL Grand Final footy crowd.

RUDE’s daughter is a keen Saints’ [St Kilda] team supporter. The St Kilda Football Team is in the AFL. It’s team colours are red, white and black. Therefore I want to make her a Scavenger Saint throw rug in these team colours.  I have sourced woollen garments from landfill in these colours over the past year.  The wool has been fulled and has been cut up into 61/2 inch squares.  I have commenced the process of joining the squares together with a running stitch. The MCC initials on the grey/black patch stand for the Melbourne Cricket Club.  This wool fabric patch came from a bomber jacket in the free bin of a local charity shop. The backing fabric is from a black QS bedsheet made of cotton and sourced from the point of landfill.  It appears as new.  I will bind the two pieces together with strips of this sheeting fabric.

It’s a patchwork craft project in progress with the aim of getting it finished for Christmas.  I gather my daughter may not need to keep her legs warm at football games now, however when she’s much older she may welcome the warm sentiment.  She has a red coloured motor car and may even choose to keep it there as a picnic rug.

DSC04458 DSC04460 DSC04463 DSC04464DSC04441 DSC04442


Scavenged Onesie

There’s nothing I’d never wear, really. I’ve worn pink spotty pajamas from a Goodwill store onstage before. This only happens when I’m having a small breakdown!  Marina and the Diamonds

 DSC04517Men’s garments in excellent condition scavenged from landfill for a guest blog feature about Scavenger Style in the coming weeks

In the book Shaping Sustainable Fashion, Sociologist Juliet Schor is featured as citing the cultural critic Raymond Williams when she says, ‘we are not truly materialistic because we fail to invest deep and sacred meanings in material goods.  Instead our materialism connotes an unbound desire to acquire, followed by a throwaway mentality’ (Schor, 2002).

RUDE believes its garment and textile scavenging is true materialism, where we connect and engage, not just with the garments’ qualities but the associated experiences of self-improvement, and with ourselves as human beings.  We agree,  that to be in a state of engagement and connection, people have to be active and able, to have access to the skills, tools and opportunities to use them.

Scavenger Style is partly about honouring and appreciating all that was involved in a garment’s original construction whether it’s of high or low quality.  There is no better experience for me [Karen] than to REuse or REfashion a high quality garment from the point of landfill.  This type of garment, even if worn and torn, has a quality that’s becoming rare to find, especially at landfill.  You feel like an archaeologist REscuing precious artefacts at a dusty dig site.  But more than that, you have to think like the museum curator who will eventually get the artefact.  For example, the curator will have to see the potential for display and/or for storage until the time is right for the exhibition.  This is not unlike discovering a garment and seeing its potential for REfashion and wearing.

What is mostly seen by RUDE at landfill is piles of  fast fashion, some only suitable for rags but most garments able to be washed and worn immediately.  This is where I have to think much more creatively about the possibilities for garment REscue, REuse and/or REcreation.  In this situation, I feel like Mother Teresa helping to provide orphans in the slums of Calcutta with a better life.  Saving fast fashion garments, in my opinion, is very much true materialism, and much more noble because these garments really are considered not worthy of REscue by many.  Hence the large amounts that are not even downcycled but sent to landfill.

This is where Scavenger Style is unique, compared to what is being promoted by other REfashion bloggers.  Scavenger Style really involves scavenging, like a seagull scavenges for its food.  There is no walking into clean consignment/vintage clothes or charity stores where all the goods have been picked over, sorted, colour coded and displayed for sale.  There is no going to a textiles’ wharehouse where garments have already been REscued and sorted for on-selling.  There are no styling blogs for scavengers, except Rude Record styling outfits mostly made up of garments and assessories direct from the point of landfill.

Scavenger Style involves getting down and getting dirty, beating off other scavengers, sorting through piles of unsorted stuff and haggling over price.  Many people complain of musty charity shops, well Scavenger Style is about accepting the odours of rotting household rubbish.  It is not for the faint hearted and/or those who prefer the thrill of shopping in consignment stores for high quality vintage, the cleanliness and organisation of charity shops and/or buying new at department stores.

And of course that’s not the end of RUDE’s scavenging story.  You get in your car to come home and your hands are dirty.  If you suffer with allergies you can be affected by the dust.  When you get home [after washing your hands] you have to immediately sort and start cleaning the scavenged items. This is work and takes time and effort.  You don’t have to do this,  but we do not leave anything lying around inside that is unclean.  And whether deemed clean or not, most garments are immediately sent to soak overnight.

At a time when charity shopping is on trend worlwide, RUDE has shifted its focus to an alternative source of secondhand shopping.  Come share a journey with us, that just may be on trend in years to come.

Check out my scavenged onesie and zipper replacement in this video.

Rude Record’s Facebook Page

By popular demand and with some encouragement from my Facebook group members at Bowerbirds Journal, including Mel our neighbour and prolific blogger here,  RUDE now has a Facebook page.  Thanks to you all for supporting Rude Record and for helping us get our unusual lifestyle journey to the masses.

Rude Record Facebook Page

We will repost all our blog posts to this page, usually one a week.  During the week we will sometimes post any little snippet of interest that may or may not tickle your fancy.  We look forward to reading and replying to your posts and comments that you may leave on our page.

Rude Record WordPress Blog

We attempt to schedule a weekly post every Friday at 9am.  We love to get your comments and always aim to reply ASAP.

DSC04446RUDE’s Danny modified and fitted an old showerscreen scavenged from point of landfill for $2.  He wears a REfashioned windcheater also scavenged from landfill.  All towels in photo were sourced secondhand.

Melody Mayhem

My Singstar Score of stuff for less than $50, including the Playstation 2 [REpaired by RUDE]

“When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That’s one of the great feelings – to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.” Brian Eno

I [Karen] joined in a local singing group a few of weeks ago.  Another frugal and fun activity so I thought.  Unfortunately sometimes group community activities just don’t cut the mustard.  This singalong group, for whatever reason decided to ban me from its group.  Whoops!

I was probably too helpful with all the feedback I gave to the musical director – yes, you read right – a director of music for a fun singalong in a shed.  Anyways, I was not immersed in a couple of proposed song choices like Sadie and My Old Man’s A Dustman  My stand may have been seen to be lacking in social virtue.  I definitely did not feel like I was, in any way, learning how to subsume myself into this group’s consciousness.

Luckily for me, Danny had already REpaired a Playstation 2, and had over the past two years located in tip and op shops, the relevant connections, microphone and dvds for me to play Singstar.  There is definitely no instant gratification in our household.  I had to wait until all the bits were amassed secondhand and cheap.  I have also discovered that I can sing along to karaoke and instrumental music via Youtube.

I wanted to share my singing story, to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat.  The joy of frugal living is about frugal but it’s also about joyousness.  If you are going through life singing someone else’s tunes and not your own, it maybe time to go solo.

“Beat the man and your own drum for frugal fun” ~ Karen Ellis / Solo Singstar Recording Artiste

RUDE’s Rayon REmake

Refashioned by Sass BrownSass Brown’s book Refashioned is divine inspiration.

REcycling of fabric often involves dangerous materials such as heavy metals. And because rayon is much harder to REcycle than cotton, the REcycling doesn’t go full circle. A better approach may be to compost the clothes however it appears the dyes are a problem.  However in the future valuable nutrients may be added to clothes, which would benefit the soil when we compost garments. Check our more about the REcycling of fabric here.

Rayon fabric if it ends up in landfill takes longer than cotton to decompose.  With it also being harder to REcycle, when I came across this discarded rayon shirt below, I knew the best thing was to REuse it.  REuse is the best and safest form of REcycling because it uses less new energy and other resources.

This was a challenging REfashion because it was an XL Man’s shirt and I wanted to hack it into a small shirt top for me.  The thing to REalise when you start hacking into fabric is that ‘the more the better’.  If you don’t cut the right shape at first, there is more fabric to give it another couple of goes.  If all goes pear shaped and not as imagined, there is still fabric to REmake into something else.  In other words mistakes like magic can transform, if you only open your mind to other creative possibilities.

Sabbath Serpentine

I [Karen] was an Australian champion marching girl in my teens and now administer a Facebook group Marching Girls with over 700 members.  Marching has always been a reasonably affordable sport due to the instructors, judges and chaperones volunteering their time, compared for example, to ballet where its teachers charge a fee.  Therefore to my way of thinking it’s a frugal team sport but only to a point.  These days marching has evolved into drilldance which requires more financial commitment in the way of uniforms and costumes.  However, that’s not to say these cannot be REcycled and upcycled to keep costs down.

Yesterday RUDE went to the Wattle Festival in Hurstbridge, Melbourne, Australia.  It’s an annual event that draws a crowd to its town.  We decided to go to support a group of women and their children who march for fun, fitness and competition.  Some of these women are members of my Marching Girl Facebook group.  It is very satisfying for me to meet members of my Facebook groups.  The previous day I had met up with a couple of members from my Melton Bowerbirds Facebook group.

As with everything RUDE does it REvolves around frugality.  A few days prior to this Festival we decided to get into the spirit and wear the green and gold colours of the wattle flower our national floral emblem.  Basically everything we were going to wear was scavenged secondhand for free or a couple of dollars [view 1st video].

Then the day arrived and true to our frugal mission we made our morning tea and lunch to take.  Two thermos flasks of hot water for our cups of tea, home-baked cake and boiled egg rolls.  We set out on our trek and stopped along the way to have our morning tea under a tree on the roadside.

Some of the people we were meeting up with know that we REpair and REcycle for causes and generously gave us two microwaves, a computer and some beautiful prints in frames.  It is great when people embrace what RUDE promotes, and  share the joy of REuse without any financial transaction.

We travelled a two (2) hour round trip to take some video footage and support marching girls.  Danny came along to support me, and say hello to the festival’s steam train drivers whom he knows.  And whilst there I just could not REsist REliving my marching days and joining in the fun of the serpentine march [view 2nd and 3rd videos].

Check out the three (3) videos below for a glimpse of our frugal antics.