Walden

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Photo Image:  Walden ~ A Camelot Classic 1886

RECOMMENDED LISTENING!!

What H.D.Thoreau beautifully writes in Walden, Dr. Samuel Alexander poignantly expresses in this Subtle Disruptors PODCAST interview by Adam Murray [refer podcast link below].  Dr Alexander is a modern day Thoreau, inspiring and teaching the wisdoms of slow living, in a contemporary context.

Us RUDE Guys suggest that you download this podcast, as it is over an hour long.  You will then be able to listen to it at your convenience or leisure.

http://subtledisruptors.com/samuelalexander/

RUDE Girl is currently re-reading an 1886 publication of Walden [refer book’s image at top of blog post].  With my interest in textiles, garments and mending, it’s interesting to note that Thoreau devoted five and a half pages, in the first chapter titled Economy,  to clothing.

I had a chuckle that even back in the mid 1800s corporations were viewed by Thoreau to be enriching themselves!

“I cannot belief that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing.  The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly glad, but, unquestionably, that the corporations may be enriched.”  Walden, H.D.Thoreau, Walter Scott Publisher, 1886, pg 25.

A couple of days ago, I travelled by train to visit a friend from my childhood.  I was engrossed in reading Walden, but on looking up I noticed a lot of commuters on their iphones.  I made a note to myself to keep doing different, and take time out from technology.  Us RUDE Guys will continue to go slow through the haste.

If you have not yet listened to RUDE Girl speak with Adam Murray about our frugal lifestyle in the suburbs here is the link to my PODCAST interview with him.  This podcast too, is over an hour in length, so consider downloading it for listening at your convenience or leisure.

Henry Thoreau invites us to see things in Walden.  That according to A.G.Grayling is what an education should be about.  Beat The Man!

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Sashiko Shines Sustainability

Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.

Jamais Cascio

RUDE relates to the above quote by Cascio, and is all about the joy of a frugal lifestyle.  Oftentimes we discuss our ability to survive should the great disruption eventuate.  We know it’s about having resilience, and we endeavour to be mindful, and also not rely on consumerism to meet our needs.  We want a slow and thoughtful life that shuns the trends of busy, and shop till you drop.  We embrace a lifestyle that’s based on an ethos of simplicity and sustainability.

Last weekend RUDE Girl participated in Brimbank City Council’s Sustainable Living Expo.  It was great to be invited to return to such a vibrant community event. The setting for this event is also unique, and adds to the atmosphere.  There is a large old white house as a community centre with a huge community garden adjacent.  It’s a magic place.

And even made better by the enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers.  This community centre thrives because it appears staff are happy, and volunteers are respected.  Brimbank City Council you could bottle this sweet nectar and sell it.

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  RUDE Girl at the front gate to the Westvale Community Centre, St Albans, Melbourne, Australia.

Photo below:  The Westvale Community Centre.

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20150221_095911 Photo above:  RUDE’S REthink REfashion Cafe was a display and demonstration to inspire Expo attendees to REpurpose clothing items and/or textiles.

I have been patching RUDE boy’s red tab Levis using cotton twill patches, and sashiko stitching them to the inside knee areas.  At the Expo I took along these jeans to demonstrate rude sashiko stitching.

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Photos x5 above:  The various stages from start to finish of the right jean leg and the inner seams.

Photo below:  A Chinese woman at the Expo was keen to have a go at sashiko!  Here she is commencing the  left jean leg on the same pair of jeans.

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The left jean leg does not have any holes but the denim is wearing very thin.  The darker blue fabric on the underside, together with the sashiko stitching will ensure the knee area is reinforced.


Beat The Man, be resilient and sustainable, and thrive!

Skimp on Stuff, Yes, Teeth No!

Tooth graphicI told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie. ~ Rodney Dangerfield

RUDE Girl can relate to the above quote.  I too told my dentist my teeth were yellowing.  He told me that the whites of my eyes should near enough match the colour of my teeth – and they do, so it’s okay [I am now wondering if I have jaundice!]. 

Seriously, what I [Karen] appreciates about my dentist, is the fact that he could have made an easy $400 AUD but he didn’t push the bleach treatment.  He also mentioned something about how I would probably not want to look like a celebrity.  He was right there.

Anyways, this post is to clarify to any followers who think we just might be destitute and penniless is that we are not.  We are wealthy westerners who enjoy a privileged lifestyle albeit frugal out of choice.  A privileged lifestyle for us is not about overseas travel, fine dining restaurant experiences, expensive foreign cars, designer brand clothes and accessories et cetera.

For RUDE a privileged lifestyle means living in a democracy in Melbourne, Australia and having choices.  We choose to have private health insurance, which includes dental coverage.  We prefer to have this choice and pay for it, as opposed to spending up big on new stuff and/or experiences aimed at keeping up with The Joneses. 

The stuff we skimp on, is the materialistic and instant gratification stuff, that the mainstream want and have to have.  Many have not had the rude awakening afforded us.  We are grateful that we can go to the dentist and dental hygienist every 6 months.

We wear clothes scavenged from landfill.  This is part of our Beat The Man game where cost saved on buying brand new clothing goes towards funding many practical things, including our dental care.

As for white teeth this Christmas, Santa says it’s a want not a need.  So just grin and be happy!!

Video below:  Scavenger Style can be worn to your dental appointment
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqRC9G6Tqao

Suspended on a Line

At times the concrete is emphasized, sometimes the water, sometimes the sky or the rag with its more or less lightness and gayety [gaiety], and its color that transforms all other colors ~ From the book Suspended on a Line

SAMSUNGAbove:  Vintage cotton and threadbare blanket from the dog rug basket in a charity shop.  RUDE was inspired by the book Suspended on a Line to REscue this piece of textile, wash, soak and line dry it, on the Hills hoist clothesline outside in the Australian sun.

RUDE was at a landfill out of town a couple of days ago.  This landfill site has a large shed shop where stuff is REclaimed from going to landfill and then on-sold.

I, [Karen] hardly ever find anything at this shop worth blogging about.  But this time around I stumbled upon a coffee table book, just waiting for a textiles’ scavenger, me, to pick it up.  I realised immediately the beauty and inspiration awaiting for me within its pages.

At my regular landfill, I usually only pay 50 cents for a book or a couple of dollars for a bag of books.  For this book I paid $1.50.  I would have paid $5 as it’s glorious.  It’s the type of book I would have requested new as a Christmas gift.

Below:  The book is Suspended on a Line by Walter Battistessa

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Amazon has the book for sale with a mediocre review here.  I do not agree that the book lacks variety in the clothing and settings presented.  As Furio Colombo highlights in the forward, Battistessa beautifully documents textiles in all their variations from across the globe.

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When you move through the pages of this book you get a sense that the clothes and fabric coverings are treated with respect.   It beautifully portrays people maintaining and caring for their clothes and manchester.  There is air, sun, surf and wind that touches the fabrics.  The book breathes humanity, life and hope.

 

SAMSUNGAbove:  A pile of clothes REscued from landfill by RUDE, including ‘as new’ designer brands.  All garments are in good to excellent condition and half are made of natural fibres.  RUDE knows the special feeling she experiences from washing, soaking and suspending fabrics and garments on a line to dry or air out.

Below:  Handmade buntings from REcycled fabrics tied to the Hills hoist clothesline in RUDE’S backyard in Melbourne, Australia.

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Signature Folly

SAMSUNGAbove:  From Jonathan Adler’s 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life – Adopt a signature folly and think of it as branding for the self.  It can be satirical, lifestyle or anything else that sets you apart from the hoi polloi.

DSC04598Above:  Scavenger Style photo comes alive in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ip-No-9ytcc

RUDE’S signature folly is it’s very own creation and we have branded it Scavenger Style.  And no it’s not grunge style and no it’s not punk style .  These two styles may have some of the same elements but Scavenger Style stands out because there is no Scavenger fashion movement, promoted by celeb fashion designers, that RUDE is aware of.

And by that we mean NO trendy designers, physically rescuing and cleaning, wearing [sometimes refashioning] and showcasing mostly fast fashion and textiles saved from a dirt hole in the ground.

Scavenger Style makes not only a fashion design and style statement but also an economical and political statement.  RUDE has created a way to wear worn, comfortable and stylish clothes and also contribute to saving the planet and our pennies.

We have worn Scavenger Style from landfill for the past 6 years 24/7!  Like Anna Wintour’s bob and Alex Perry’s sunglasses it sets us apart from the hoi polloi [mass majority] for sure.

But RUDE finds it ironic that worn wear aka Scavenger Style would normally be associated with the ‘great unwashed’,  In our rude little world this is definitely not the case.  We are wealthy washed westerners and Scavenger Style is simply our signature folly.

Beat the Man and be ridiculous riff raff!

Smitten Scavengers

B07xIjGCQAEuVx-‘Creative collaboration is awesome’ ~ Alicia Silverstone

Rude was over the moon recently when it was invited to feature on Confessions of a Refashionista’s blog.  Sheri Pavlovic the creator and designer approached RUDE to work in collaboration.  Sheri is the quirky brains behind the following fun and colourful collaborative Youtube video.

RUDE presented some ‘rude’ material and Sheri REcreated it into an artistic video masterpiece here.  She did all of this whilst moving to and decorating her new home.  I [Karen] just had to find out if Sheri is a Virgo.  Why?  Because Virgos are very organised with incredible attention to detail.  Our star signs combined make for a perfect partnership.

I loved working with Sheri as I am a Capricorn.  I am organised too, but in a very practical sense.  Together there was no procrastination.  Our collaborative creative project was a pleasurable task, that just had to be executed.  And execute it we did –  all as agreed and to a deadline.


Below:  Confessions of a Refashionista presents Smitten with Rude Record feature, including  RUDE’S tips for scavenging
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http://awesomesauceasshattery.com/2014/10/27/totally-smitten-with-rude-record/

Beat the Man and collaborate with Virgos!

SAMSUNGAbove:  RUDE boy Danny made this jewellery hanger for me yesterday.  It’s made from little wooden bowling pins REscued from landfill.  It is attached to a shelf in my studio.  It’s used for scavenger necklaces also sourced from landfill.

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.