Mend It, Austalia’s Kaz+Dan at a repair event


Rude – roughly made or done; lacking in subtlety or accuracy


Karen and Danny jumped off the treadmill a few years back, as a result of our combined abilities and skills to pay down debt, fast.  We are both retired and tinker travel to community repair events and fix, mend and repair people’s things for free.

RUDE is our acronym for Reuse of Unloved Discarded Excess. Us RUDE Guys reuse and repair stuff that others have discarded, and we maintain our things.

Follow us here at Rude Record to find out about how we ‘Beat the Man’.

And some more of our story below:

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 the 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.”



16 thoughts on “About

  1. What is RUDE about?

    A journal to record the joy of our frugal lifestyle, including Scavenger Style [political and economical fashion statement].
    We resource and reuse stuff, including clothes from the point of landfill and play the game Beat The Man.

    Why RUDE?

    Not naughty rude but lacking in subtlety rude i.e. roughly done

    Why a RUDE Lifestyle?

    It’s a choice not a prison sentence. We do it to Beat The Man [as best we can] Our way of life is about achieving freedom [as best we can]
    The blog showcases how we do this in our own rude way.
    We have had a rude awakening and want to share our joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Totally Smitten With Rude Record | Confessions of a Refashionista

  3. I live in Africa, and frankly the waste in first world countries revolts me…Its great to see others who feel the same way. Many years ago a Dutch family came to Zimbabwe to live – they said they understood they were just being ostriches and hiding for the waste they hated in their home country – back home now, they, like you guys make a journey to the dump each week. The waste still hurts them, they say, but they feel they are doing “something” and show their middle class friends and neighbours what can be done.


    • Thank you fankiekay for your post, thoughtful commentary and personal story. It means a lot to RUDE to have what we do validated by others’ insights. Why? Well, Scavenger Style, it’s not mainstream that’s for sure. This is fact and evidenced by the worldwide statistics on stuff dumped into landfill each year. Western society is incredibly wasteful and its our shame and burden. Sharing what we live everyday with family and friends has a slight tendency to make us feel ostracized. However, we move through this feeling, keeping our goal at the forefront. That goal is to Beat the Man and show the world what can be achieved with creative ingenuity. We know and want to spread the word that there are riches in rubbish and wealth in waste. We will share your comment on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rude-Record-Personal-Blog/787373754616693


  4. Earlier this year I had a family wedding to attend. 4 out of 5 of our family members attended wearing bed linen! 😉 I made a dress from a bedsheet (and was commented on how lovely I looked more than once), my boys wore matching shirts made from pillowcases and my daughter wore a lovely dress with contrasting sleeves and peter pan collar made from a single pillowcase and lined with an old 1 I had lying around here. I can’t bare to throw out fabric and have a most eclectic collection of upcyclable fabrics to turn into clothes or other bits and bobs. FUN!
    Glad I found your blog.


    • I would love to see some photos from the rabid little hippy of the family dressed for the wedding. Sounds fabulous. I reused a gorgeous black pillowcase with pretty stitching on it as a background for a postcard of Van Gogh in my art journal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe you could send rabidlittlehippy a request?

        I love your art journals, and was only thinking the other day how you would love Japan. Did you see Joanna Lumley’s Japan x3 episodes recently. She would get her little book stamped wherever she went. Japan has the best stationery selection in the world!


  5. Thank you Little Hippy for sharing your love of frugal. There are some Indie Designers in Australia making clothes out of manchester and curtains. It’s right on-trend! I look for 100 per cent cotton and linen sheeting, pillowcases, textiles etc at landfill. It makes up beautifully after a wash and an iron. I am washing a cotton doona cover and damask tablecloth REscued from landfill today as i write this post. The fabric is glorious and can be used by me to back a quilt for example. Sometimes if super quality i will REuse it ‘as is’.

    I am glad you found our blog too. Frugal is fun when it happens along with like-minded souls.


  6. Scavenging from the point of landfil is illegal in most of Australia now and the fines are escalating. So much good stuff going to waste because people dont realise what a great resource iy is.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is very frustrating in the U.k you go to a tip and see something marvelous and useful and the guys that work there aren’t allowed to give it to you. You aren’t allowed to take anything and there are security cameras watching to make sure you do that. We need depots where reusable items can be taken…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Dene for your comments. I have heard this UK tip situation from friends in the UK and sympathise. It must be very frustrating. We do get it to a certain extend here as well. What happens is that not all the recyclables go into the TIP SHOPS. It varies from municipality to municipality. Where I live there is a lot of apathy and resource recovery is not as good as it could be. A lot ends up in the hands of recycling contractors or in landfill. The system requires an overhaul but the resource recovery expertise from a creative environmental perspective is not there.

        This Swedish model is amazing, however us RUDE Guys would still prefer to find our own junk and make it good. We would definitely enjoy window shopping in this mall for inspiration and ideas.


  7. Before I confirm receiving communication from Rude I need to know if it will cost me anything. If it costs I won’t be confirming. Thank

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lynette and thank you for your comment. RUDE, that’s Danny and me are virtual volunteers. We simply like to share our frugal ways others. We are not in the business of selling products or advice on this blog.


  8. Hi again Karen,
    Have been thinking more about the “rude” lifestyle after meeting you at Mend It-Melton.
    There is no doubt I like new things and also shopping, but have had to “beat the man” more than once.
    I come from a tribe of voracious op shoppers that include my mum, mother in law, ex mother in law and stepmother.
    On my part, I have a semi-hoarding gene that has me loathing to throw out anything too good, but I am resisting that in favour of keeping room for things I love xx I too abhor waste, also secretly being enthralled by the plastic, chemical, technological age.
    May we all have enough, and some spare to share 🙂
    See you around ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there Amy, how lovely to get your message. It was good to meet you, and I hope we meet again. Mend It, Melton is going to require resources to mend stuff, so if you are throwing out something that may be useful, throw it our way.

      Us RUDE Guys keep a good stash of resources to play and create with, but we audit every few months. We do not want to tip over into hoarding stuff. It’s a fine balance to be sure.

      We do not have children living at home, so we have turned our house into a studio of sorts. RUDE Boy has a small shed [no garage] so ‘useless’ junk has to be kept to a minimum.

      I am pleased to read you have been thinking about our RUDE lifestyle and Beat The Man approach, and how it relates to your lifestyle and frugal efforts. It’s this very conversation that is important to us like-minded souls. Thank you for sharing.

      Have a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017. We are on Facebook @ruderepair most days if you want to say hi 🙂


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