Christening Kantha Quilt


Baby Kantha  Image:  Wikipedia

Kantha is like a personal diary, a letter one writes to a particular person, and is not meant to be read by all. In East Bengal, the Kantha was a personal expression, an art-craft that was made spontaneously, even whimsically. It was never commissioned by rulers, nor ordered by the landed gentry.  No two pieces are the same.  It was craft that was practiced by women of all rural classes, the rich landlord’s wife making her own elaborate embroidered quilt in her leisure time, and the tenant farmer’s wife making her own thrifty, coverlet, equal in beauty and skill.  The Kantha is an invocation to the gods and spirits for the prosperity and protection of the family.  A real Kantha is able to narrate a story, and is much more compact in design and it is made out of used materials. It has been passed on for generations, from mothers to daughters and is largely a “dowry” tradition.  Source

RUDE Girl has previously admired Kantha quilts in trendy boutiques.  I have oftentimes thought of making a Kantha quilt.  I did request that my local library source a book on Indian Kantha embroidery.  Alas, the library officer could not find any books written on the topic.  Should any of our followers know of a book written about Kantha please let me know.

Just this week RUDE girl was instantly inspired by this video to immediately make a Nakshi Kantha for our granddaughter Harriet’s christening in August.  At the time of writing this blog post, I am equally inspired by the above passage of text on the craft of Kantha.  Especially the sentence highlighted in orange.

On 22 July, I watched the video in the evening, and commenced to prepare the materials required to make my smaller cotton version of the sari quilt depicted in the video.

My fabric [image below] came from a hand-me-down stash my mother had given me.  She had bought the fabric decades before to make frocks for her granddaughters, my nieces.  The photo was taken in the evening, and does not reflect the true colours in the fabric.  The thread and cotton batting fabric came from unknown pre-loved sources.



Baby Kantha by RUDE ~ Preparing fabric layers prior to stitching together

Before I knew it, three hours had passed, and I was a third of the way to finishing our prayer gift, to our granddaughter.  Over the following three days, I managed a couple of Kantha stitching hours each day.


Baby Kantha Quilt was hand stitched by RUDE Girl

On day five, I hand washed my completed  baby Kantha quilt.  On day six, the 26 July, I attached the little applique owls, attached my RUDE label and gift bagged the quilt.  After 10 hours, over 6 days, my baby Kantha quilt was ready to be gifted with handmade love.


Harriet’s Christening Kantha Quilt that is handmade with love by her Nanny Kaz

When it came to a christening gift for our granddaughter, RUDE was determined not to let The Man be a part of our prayer to Harriet.  God knows she will get enough consumerism in her life.

Beat The Man by crafting a baby Kantha if you can!!


Waste Writer


We are material creatures who spend much of our lives on material pursuits (even building a cathedral or writing a novel requires stone and mortar or paper and ink). Virginia Postrel

The digital age has made nearly all of us ‘publishers’ of content, making most of us writer in ways that, a decade or so ago, did not exist.  Tara Moss


RUDE Girl’s most favourite quote

It’s pleasing to know we are in the company of greats like Shakespeare!!  RUDE lives to explore what can be reused, not just from our dustbin but others’ dustbins and skips as well.  RUDE Girl writes about our ways with potential and discarded waste, most days.

RUDE likes the notion of promoting simple reuse of everyday things, compared to fancy upcycling of stuff.  The more grassroots, make do and mend a project is, the more our senses are excited, by the rescuing and revamping of the mundane.

This week over on Facebook @ruderepair, I was inspired to make dishcloths from an old beach towel.  And, I was also inspired by a follower and friend Jacqui, to add sleeves from a garment to a pair of long johns. 

Below are the links to these two videos, if you have not already seen them.

I guess the will to make use of what is already at hand, is very strong for RUDE.  We do not want too much more stuff in our lives, but we certainly want to reuse, care for and maintain what we have.

RUDE had a visit recently from Sue, a follower and friend, who highlighted that she loved reading what RUDE Girl was writing about.  She suggested there may be a book in it! She liked the human element of what RUDE showcased on a daily basis.

Sue was not interested in blogs with statistics and lots of text to wade through.  RUDE Girl studied statistics at university for a year.  I was very good at the subject BUT the last thing I want to be including in my creative writing musing is stats!

By writing stories about, and showcasing examples of, the wealth making possibilities in waste, RUDE hopes to inspire and/or encourage others to Beat The Man!


Check out RUDE Girl’s Boro Group of Facebook


Scavengers’ Secret Business

Danny Sunbury Tip Shop Paint

“There is wealth in waste and riches in rubbish”  Karen Ellis / Scavenger Artisan

RUDE is asked all the time about TIP SHOPS.  There are various TIP SHOP models in Australia.  We are not going to discuss the various types here.  However, we do want to write a little bit about our experiences, having frequented a few TIP SHOPS.

A TIP SHOP is located at, or close by a landfill [rubbish dump].  It is usually a big shed that has been paid for by the local municipality [council] funded by ratepayers and/or State government sustainability grants.

The idea is that recyclable stuff, that was destined for landfill, is salvaged and sorted at these sheds.  The sheds have a sale area, so when stuff has been priced it is placed into these TIP SHOPS for sale.

RUDE started shopping at TIP SHOPS over 7 years ago.  Why?  OP SHOPS [charity and thrift stores] were becoming more retail and business focused.  RUDE does not really shop retail and prefers to rummage and scavenge around for unsorted junky stuff.  We found we could do this at TIP SHOPS.  For years, we have had loads of scavenging fun but alas, and not surprisingly, TIP SHOPS are now going the way of OP SHOPS.

We used to frequent our local TIP SHOP most days, a few years back, but these days we may go once a fortnight, if that.  Why?  We have enough and are over scavenging around at the moment.

From our anecdotal experience, there are lots of people who buy new things like clothes, appliances, furniture etc for themselves but supplement their pensions, incomes, retirement etc, by selling scavenged stuff on EBay and/or at trash and treasure type markets.  Two TIP SHOP scavengers have told RUDE they fund their yearly holiday this way. 

Scavenging has become more known about, by people who may never have scavenged before.  These days we find there’s not as much good junk to rummage through, as it has all been picked over.  And prices have increased which makes it less attractive to take any old junk home.  A good thing really.

RUDE has shopped at TIP SHOPS pretty much exclusively for 7 years.  What started as a cheeky Beat The Man project has resulted in a reuse and repair lifestyle.  We share our lifestyle because in the process, we discovered we could get off the treadmill [retire] by not consuming new.  We gathered others, just may be interested in some tips on how to do similar.   

Scavenger shopping gets a lot of interesting facial and verbal reactions.  And there will be scavengers who would not dare tell some friends and relatives that they rummage around TIP SHOPS.  RUDE is not so discreet and broadcasts it worldwide.  We do it in the hope that the stigma of secondhand is lessened.  And people following our antics, can see the financial and other benefits.

Believe us when we tell you, that when we drive up to TIP SHOPS, our 1996 Commodore is usually the oldest in the parking area.  Most vehicles we come across are newish, some are Mercs and BMs [Mercedes and BMWs] and many are huge four wheel drive vehicles.  Some towing trailers of the tandem variety!

RUDE dresses in old gardening clothes to go to a TIP SHOP but you can tell the secondhand dealers by the vehicles they drive, what they wear, what they carry, how long they stay, who they talk to, and what and whom about, and the junk pieces they select [usually retro stuff].  Even if you are not into scavenging, it’s just fun to visit a TIP SHOP to observe the anthropological antics going on.

What’s the weirdest encounter we have experienced in relation to TIP SHOPS? When we were told by bureaucrats to call our local TIP SHOP a Resale Centre. 

Snapshot 1 (15-07-2016 1-39 PM) Paint

RUDE Boy proudly promotes his local TIP SHOP

As if that was EVER going to happen.  The Aussie TIP SHOP is an icon that’s historical name is sacred to true blue scavengers.  RUDE Girl was inspired to rap [yes, rap sort off] about this weird encounter, in a video here.

You can Beat The Man by uncovering the secret business of TIP SHOP scavengers.

Should followers wish to know about TIP SHOPS run a cooperatives this is a good podcast out of Tasmania, Australia to listen to.  Here is the link below:

Below images from Aussie Tip Shops, Junkyards and Restorers Barns


Pet Peeves’ Purge

images 3

I was a pedantic child. I’d get really annoyed at the logic of small things that don’t bother anyone else. Peter Baynham

Yes, RUDE have their fair share of pet peeves when it comes to social media and blogging.  Well RUDE Girl does, and well, RUDE Boy hears all about it. 

Please, do not get me wrong.  I am on social media [Facebook] a lot, and most of my experiences are wonderful.  And I blog here and it gives me such joy to share.  What could I possibly be peeved about, you ask?  Good, because I need to debrief and hopefully some of you will listen and/or relate.

Peeve A

Naively perhaps, I just found out on social media that some people really do think they, and they alone, champion a specific cause.  And that there are NO other people doing what they do.  Hello!!  Really?  Well RUDE does not believe them.  And does not want to follow their hubris.

We follow bloggers [and Facebook pages] who mostly do the same thing as RUDE, but in their own unique ways.  For example, RUDE blogs about our frugal lifestyle, as do hundreds of other people. 

There is nothing much new about frugality, reuse and repair.  But one would hope that  RUDE, with our Beat The Man message, showcases a point of difference to other frugal bloggers.  And that this uniqueness makes us champions of frugality, along with all the other champions of the frugal cause.


Peeve B

Bloggers who are into telling you how many people are following their blogs, how many hits they’ve had in the last thirty minutes, how many times they’ve had s.. whoops getting too carried away with my peeving.  You get my drift, right?

RUDE is keen to read good content, not look at figures.  Tell us where the number of followers bloggers have, is an indication they are great bloggers.  There are many variables to factor in to that research project.


We get it, that some people may be peeved by our Beat the Man approach to living.  It can appear rebellious, maybe even divisive at times, like now.  Oh dear, forgive me if my peeving offends.  Please share any on-line pet peeves you may have.

Today on Facebook @ruderepair I posted about another RUDE Girl peeve [no community sheds for women].  Check out how Australian women are now rallying to establish community women’s sheds, similar to the men’s sheds



RUDE had to find out the meaning of the word Redux.  It means revived; restored; brought back, which pretty much fits with the RUDE ethos, hence the title for this week’s belated Friday blog post.

RUDE Boy has been busy in his shed.  He forgot to remind RUDE Girl [as he always does] that it was Friday [yesterday] .  He always says, “RUDE Girl, you have to write our blog post, don’t forget!”  Well I never got that reminder!

On Friday mornings before I get out of bed, I think about what I am going to write about.  I rarely plan ahead.  It usually just comes to me, from our week in the RUDE household, reusing and repairing stuff.  Once I get an idea or two, I am keen to get out of bed and start my day.  I usually write our blog post in the afternoon.  It can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete a post.

This morning I did not do the above process, and it really threw my routine out.  This afternoon I had no idea what I was going to write about.  Oh no, writers’ block!!

Later an idea came to me, as I was reading the weekend newspapers.  I came across this article titled Vintage Redux.

Herald Sun 2 July 2016 Weekend pg 17

Image source:  Herald Sun

I spotted the model for Gucci, in the revamped kilt, and just had to have some fun.  I decided to do a RUDE redux [inspired by Gucci] with my beautiful vintage, made in Australia, Fletcher Jones kilt. 

When I play around like this, it is like a game, and always on the spur of the moment.  With what I have at hand, I get creative and challenge myself to make an acceptable interpretation.  Well, our followers can be the judge as to how I went with this Saturday afternoon scavenger style activity.

Beat The ‘Designer’ Man by being de-spic-able, says Daffy!

NB  My paternal grandparents lived in Merrivale, Warrnambool and knew Fletcher Jones.  My Nanna told a story of him coming door to door with his cart, selling his wares.