Tinkerers & Waste Warriors


MIA collage Morwell

Our Waste Warrior mission is about keeping good items out of landfill by mending, fixing and repairing them at organised repair cafe events.  We also mend, fix and repair at home.

Our story features on the about section of our Facebook page at Mend It, Australia.  Us RUDE Guys [Kaz+Dan]
would like to share it here as well.

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 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.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Mend or End?



Image Source: www



RUDE Boy’s STIHL MS250 (42.5mm) chainsaw

Us RUDE [reusers (and repairers) of unloved discarded excess] Guys take great pride in maintaining our things.  We are not materialistic but we are true materialists.  We cherish, respect and care for the things that serve us well.

The STIHL chainsaw in the above photo was bought new by us about eight or nine years ago.   It has rarely been used and only for domestic use.  RUDE Boy was told and researched that STILH was the best for chainsaws.

Hell, this chainsaw was one of the few things we purchased new and it’s stuffed.  CACTUS!  Reinforces why we are not fans of spending big dollars on things that are manufactured to fail.  Yes, STIHL chainsaws are the best for planned obsolescence!  And yes, we will make sure we share our misfortune in an effort to warn others.

RUDE Boy took the chainsaw in for a service when it stopped working,  He was mortified when he was told the piston and bore had been scored and there was no compression.  He was then told it would cost over $AUD1,000 to repair it with STIHL parts.  Or $AUD670 with after market [generic] parts.

As in this article here [recommended reading], we were faced with the question of mend it or end it.  As we are the  Mend It, Australia team, we feel compelled to try and mend it, and share the experience on our Facebook page.

RUDE Boy has researched and ordered a motor from China for $AUD50.  He is reasonably confident he can replace the old motor with a new motor.  And hopefully, cross fingers and toes, this cheap part will make our hacked STIHL chainsaw serviceable again.

$AUD50 compared to $AUD1000 for repair is a huge difference.  We will try mending before ending.  It’s too early yet to say Beat The Man.  Stay posted.

Oh, and if we have to end it, because it does not work, we have been advised that ALDI sell a good domestic chainsaw for $AUD100.

Anchor Down


Image Source: www


When you buy things that are expensive, like a sofa or something that really feels like an investment, you need to keep it as plain as possible, as simple as possible. Make sure that it’s a clean design that will work with whatever style you want it to.

Nate Berkus


Many of our blog followers will not be surprised to know that we have a leather sofa and two matching lounge chairs , that are over two decades old.

This sofa combo was purchased new, yes back when RUDE Girl spent money on good quality new things.  The good quality investment has paid off and served us well.  However, there has always been one niggling problem.  And this was not picked up at point of sale.

The sofa and the two chairs’ cushions slip slide away from under our buttocks.  It’s very annoying because your back is no longer supported.



No back support means you have to sit sideways


It has taken until now to finally troubleshoot the problem.  Buying a new sofa and chairs was out of the question.  Why?  We do not shop for stuff.  Buying secondhand was an option but nothing had tickled our fancy.  And waiting for a free replacement, whilst always an option, was not happening.

I had to be jolted to remember that we are the RUDE guys, and good at re-purposing and fixing.  So, I said to myself it’s time to solve this issue, with what’s in the home, and for free.  The resource that anchored down the cushions, to stop them slipping, was actually stored in RUDE Boy’s shed.  I just had to go searching for it.  Here’s my fix it story in the video below.

Making Good – My Handmade Slippies

RUDE is on Green Issues by Agy’s Making Good Blog Train and is combining this blog train post with our regular weekly Friday blog post.  Agatha Lee is hosting the journey and has invited RUDE to jump on board today.

Fellow blogger Christine boarded the train yesterday and has shared her intricate weaving and embroidery repair at  http://rhinestic81.blogspot.sg/2015/05/making-good-weaving-embroidery-mending.html

As the Blog Train’s host, Agatha is asking passengers taking the ride with her the following:

What is repair, and why do we even bother to repair the things we have? Some see repair as a way of reconnecting with our possessions as we extend their lives. Others see it as a form of creative potential and an avenue to express their craft. The rewards for mending varies from feeling immense satisfaction to prolonging the life of the product.

Thank you Agatha for inviting RUDE aboard and today it is just RUDE Girl travelling.  RUDE Boy is off driving his own train for VLine.

For RUDE, repair is mostly about respect for the things that we have in our possession.  That respect very much extends to all the people who were involved in the making of our stuff.   We bother to repair almost everything in our household [and in some other people’s households] because that’s the way we were bought up by our parents.  To mend and make do.  Our parents did it to make their hard earning money go further.  We do it for that reason too but also to be environmentally responsible.

And best of all is that we enjoy the process of repair.  It is like a craft activity to make something old and/or worn out, new again.  And of course there is that immense satisfaction for RUDE of beating The Man.   We know that by prolonging the life of a product, we will not be shopping and playing into the hands and minds of powerful multinational companies.

I’m usually in jammies and slippers by 8 P.M.

Kate Dickie

RUDE Girl relates to Kate Dickie’s quote above, especially in winter when I hibernate at home. I prefer not to wear shoes inside the house therefore my slippies can be on most of the day.

I was blessed by my Bowerbirds Journal Facebook group’s member Jaimee with two pairs of her beautiful soft and comfortable, handmade with love, ballet style slippies.

Snapshot 1 (3-05-2015 5-08 PM)Snapshot 2 (3-05-2015 5-11 PM)

Photo above:  My first pair of handmade slippers by Jaimee of Piggy Whiskers

Of course wearing both pairs of slippies, non-stop over the past couple of years, had resulted in them becoming very worn.  Before the slippers deteriorated further, this Blog Train with its Making Good theme, inspired me to think about paying respect to Jaimee, the maker of my slippers.  It became my mission, no matter what, to pay tribute to her, and revamp the two pairs of slippers I had received from her.

But how to do this without a pattern was the question.  I have since received the pattern for the slippers from Jaimee but when I repaired my slippers I had to improvise.

I will present in a little detail, the first pair being repaired in the body of the post.  And at the end of the post I will only post photos of the second pair before and after repair.

Photo below:  Slippers have been deconstructed and these are the worn soles.  The green wool fabric is the inner sole and the pattern fabric was the cotton outer sole.

SAMSUNGSnapshot 1 (3-05-2015 4-45 PM)Photo Above:  The top of the deconstructed slippers was removed from the soles and a new piece of fulled wool cut to shape for the new sides.

I cut templates from the old soles and sides of the slippers.  This time I used a fused double layer of English woollen fabric for the soles [inner and outer].  This fabric came from the sleeves of a duffle coat made in England that I now wear as a long line gillet aka vest [photo below]. 

Duffle Coat Top of
This has proved to be a good decision because the wool repels the dust and dirt.  It is also wearing well as the fabric is stronger than the cotton.  To enable easy replacement of the soles down the track, I have handsewn the soles to the uppers.

Snapshot 4 (3-05-2015 4-56 PM) Snapshot 2 (3-05-2015 4-50 PM)  Snapshot 3 (3-05-2015 4-53 PM)
x3 Photos above:  My ballet style slippies have been made good again!

Photo below:  Inner [wool] and outer [denim] soles of second pair of slippers.


x6 Photos below:  My second pair of ballet style slippies have been made good again.


In the photos above of my second pair of revamped slippers, I have kept the seam from the original outer denim soul.  I like the textured ‘rude’ look.  I have also repaired a hole in the inner back of the left slipper area with some green cotton fabric and sashiko stitch.

Beat The Man and make good again!

Tomorrow I am pleased to announce that the Blog train will be boarded by the very crafty Kareena of


Follow the “Making Good” blog train this month and see what other blog travellers on board have repaired and reconnected with. Have you mended anything today?