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

 

 

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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.

 

The Purple Stitch

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To be radical is to grasp things by the root.

— Karl Marx

This past week has been busy.  Not frantic busy, just full on.  Us RUDE Guys are staying away from the mall, and Christmas parties are few and far between these days.  However, it still is a busy time of year, when you start to wrap [excuse the pun] things up.

RUDE Girl spoke on local radio at 979FM about Rude Record and Mend It, Melton.  Part 1 of the interview is on our Facebook page @ruderepair.  Part 2 of the interview is to follow shortly.

It seems like it has taken forever to get the launch of Mend it, Melton up and happening.  Earlier in the year, us RUDE Guys had been briefly involved with the launch of the first Repair Cafe for MelbourneThe folks of Melbourne’s inner west, are wonderful, however we had to venture out of our town, to attend repair events.  And we also were keen to create and establish an Aussie back-to-basics, no bulls**t  grassroots ‘in ya backyard kinda’ model.

When the opportunity came up, we cautiously accepted the challenge.  Why?  Melbourne’s western fringe dwellers have very set ideas on how things should look when rolled out.

A steering group was formed by Linking Melton South and it met to discuss possibilities.  It was unanimously decided that our town, would establish its own unique model and use the word mend.  Hence the title Mend It, Melton ~ Fix it, Don’t Flick It.

[Thank you to my Facebook friend and grammar cop Glynis, for the instruction to add the comma between the two words, It and Melton.  It was accepted by the group]

The above flyer by Ben, is advertising the launch in a week’s time.  The logo’s graphic depicts a mechanical cog/wheel and sewing stitches, but these also represent the train and track of the event’s railway location.  The colour green is for nature and keeps environmental issues around waste in the limelight.  Us RUDE Guys requested a single purple stitch be included.  It depicts the radical ‘right to repair’.

Mend It, Melton for us RUDE Guys, has been inspired by those make do and mend generations that went before us, our own personal hands-on trades’ backgrounds, and an unflinching ‘right to repair’ and Beat The Man attitude.  We feel it’s time to share our skills and abilities within our local community.

It is hoped that Mend It, Melton will invite some interest in our local community.  We know it will start slow.  And of course the train station location, whilst ideal for a launch, will have it’s limitations. Why?  There is a small shipping container on site with minimal room for fixers and their stuff.

Time will tell……and if Mend it, Melton does not work out for us, we will still be RUDE Guys, reusing and repairing at home and on-line.  Oh, and there is always that community that awaits our full retirement…..keep watching this blog!

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The Shopping Container at Melton Railway Station.  Image via Linking Melton South

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The Little Library at Melton Train Station.  Image via Linking Melton South

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Mend It, Melton Launch – It’s Official!  Image via Linking Melton South

Grasp things by the root, that’s the grassroots and Beat The Man!!

The inspiration for this blog post came from Reece Harley

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Like Reece Harley, RUDE Girl loves street art.  This was circa 2003 in Port Melbourne.  It was the last time I bought new clothes and shoes.  I only recently discarded the Just Jeans brand jeans.

Scavengers’ Secret Business

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“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. 

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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:

https://rtrfm.com.au/story/understorey-tips-for-tip-shops/

Below images from Aussie Tip Shops, Junkyards and Restorers Barns

 

Trashed Textiles

I remember at the age of five travelling on a trolley car with my mother past a group of women on a picket line at a textile plant, seeing them being viciously beaten by security people. So that kind of thing stayed with me.

Noam Chomsky

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RUDE Girl could not agree more with Dorothy Cosonas .  When I go down to the point of landfill to rescue textiles, destined for the garment graveyard, my eyes are seriously focused on the pile of clothes and fabrics in front of me.

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Textiles in a TIP SHOP at point of landfill

I have like a sixth sense for what it is I am seeking, among the mostly fast fashion synthetics.  I scourer for natural fibre fabric, unusual print, different texture, interesting colours, country of origin, brand, quality stitching and unique design.  I will not overlook tired synthetics totally, and have picked up clothes for around the house and garden. 

I am really pleased that most of the textiles I rescue, are not of interest to other pickers.  If they were, then I would definitely not find them to rescue.  These would have been snatched up by other pickers, right?


Photos above:  Place mouse over each photo and click to get details.

I usually do not know at the time what I will be reusing the rescued garments for.  The inspiration comes during the sorting and washing process at home.  Or at a later time when I am in my studio creating.  It’s reassuring to know I have a stash of rescued garments that I can immediately revisit for reuse.

The challenge I find, is keeping this stash of garments under manageable control.  Because I make just for myself,  I find I can only wear so much that I re-create.  Once or twice a year I have an audit and decide what is to be given to to friends or donated to charity.

Beat The ‘fast fashion’ Man by wearing trashed textiles that have been rescued and revamped.

Rags to Britches and Riches

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RUDE Boy loves these very old Wavezone shorts.  I do imagine any other guy wearing them for two summers, and then using the fabric as rags.  Or more than likely, discarding the shorts into the recycling bin because they were no longer ‘on trend’.

RUDE Girl even made a movie of these shorts this year.  It was sent it to Mr Wu CEO Wavezone in China.  The movie did not attract a response.  Never mind, it was not expected that I would get a reply.  I only hope it received a reaction of incredulous disbelief.

You can watch the first video here which was created for Fashion Revolution Day 2015.

RUDE Boy wears these shorts A LOT!!  Since the first video was made, he has worn more holes through the thinning fabric and previous patches.  For RUDE Girl, it has become like a quest to keep these shorts wearable, and out of the rag-bag.  I work at creating layers for durability and strength.  My inspiration comes from sashiko method of patching and stitching.

Here is the second video in the life of RUDE Boys Wavezone raggedy britches.  It explains how I have mended and patched them for the third time.

RUDE Boy, go Beat The Man [Mr Wu from Wavezone] and keep rockin saggy britches a la scavenger style! 

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RUDE Boy loves his raggedy and rude britches