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.

Advertisements

Mend or End?

 

images9

Image Source: www

 

20170922_140648

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.

Rest is Best

quote-Thomas-Tusser-seek-home-for-rest-for-home-is-113188.png

I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest.

Alexandre Dumas / French Writer

RUDE guys are hibernating for the winter.  We rest at home in the warmth and familiarity of our surroundings.  We potter about with our little make do and mend projects.  We feel wealthy and happy, to have the luxury of peace and time, to think and create.

Today, I said to RUDE Boy that I want to go to my studio to do some slow sewing.  He replied, that I need to get off my computer.  Easier said than done I indicated to him,  as I have OUR blog post to write! 

RUDE Boy then firmly tells me I do NOT have to write a blog post.  I reasoned he was right, and that I did not have a boss who was giving me a deadline for goodness sake!   I told myself that I am RUDE Girl and retired.  I can rest and let it be. 

Therefore I decided to rest and write a blog post about how I have decided not to write a blog post.  You all get it, right?

Should you want to know what we have been reusing and repairing please check out our Facebook page @ruderepair.  I created a couple of videos that have been posted direct to the page.  These videos have not yet been uploaded to my You Tube channel.

SAMSUNG

A wedding anniversary perfumed rose for RUDE Girl.  it was freshly picked from the garden by RUDE Boy.  The kitsch orange glass vase was purchased for 50 cents from a TIP SHOP.

RUDE celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on 5 June [photo below].  We had fun hamming it up for the video camera.  It’s a fun and free celebration at home.  You can see our antics on RUDE Girl’s personal timeline here.  We are not shy, and love to share the joy of music and dance. 

Print Snapshot 1 (10-06-2016 2-46 PM)

All clothes in this image have been rescued by RUDE from landfill fate.  We have worn Scavenger Style 24/7, for over 6 years

Beat The Man and take a rest at home! 

Vested Interest

 

I always find it difficult to dress in between seasons, but I quite like putting T-shirts on with a vest over the top and another layer so you can peel them back as the day goes on. Poppy Delevingne

Layering is always a great way to look different and to keep your look younger. Basic tees, vest tops, jackets, leggings, shrugs, etc, can be mixed up to add spunk, variety and colour to your look. A good sense of mix ‘n’ match is required to make this look work. Tena Desae

When I came across this vest [image below] in the pile of textiles at a TIP SHOP [point of landfill] I knew why no other textile scavenger had rescued it.  However, it’s boring black blandness was not going to deter me from saving it from landfill.  I immediately knew that the vested interest I had in the rescue of this vest, was related to keeping my chest warm between the summer and winter months.

Snapshot 1 (31-03-2016 7-44 AM).jpg

After I soaked and washed it, I tried it on, and realised it was uncomfortable to wear.  The metal zip was heavy and scratchy.  The shape of the vest was boxy and flapped around my middle.

For these reasons, this padded vest has hung in my wardrobe for a couple of years.  With my recent de-cluttering, the time had come to either revamp it or donate it to a charity shop.

I did not want to devote too much time to the project. I decided that a quick revamp was in order. I gave it a little bit of thought, and with some inspiration from Pinterest, I had a light bulb moment.  Where did I store that fake fur collar?  I was hoping it had not been donated in my massive clean out!  PANIC.

Here is the video link to the revamp.

https://youtu.be/XXN3ebKI0ec

Below are some styling images of the revamped vest displayed on Jen, my mannequin.

Beat The Man, and as a priority, make sure your vested interests fit you well.

SAMSUNG

Tin Shed

Tin Shed 11 Dec 2014

Suburban houses and tin sheds are often the objects of ridicule.

David Byrne

 

In the RUDE household there is definitely no instant gratification happening.

We have a carport but we do not have the luxury of a garage workshop.

We can prove this, by RUDE Boy’s years of searching for a tin shed at the right price.  He has been scouting Ebay for what seems like a lifetime.  He has been putting watches on all these sheds.  But when the auctions are over, he throws up his arms at the prices secondhand sheds are fetching and/or the locations of them.

We knew something would come our way eventually.  We just had to be patient.  And the universe eventually provided a fire damaged shed at the right price = zilch!!

RUDE Boy had to go and collect the shed immediately,and he moved like lightning to oblige.  The shed is approximately 3m x 2.4 m with a double door at the front.  There is no window.  He had to dismantle it and load it on the trailer.  No big deal, just a couple of hours work.

We are very grateful that the previous owners thought to offer it up, and did not resort to throwing it in the skip with the other fire damaged materials and items.

With a RUDE spit and polish this shed will serve us well as a workshop.  We look forward to posting our ongoing shed story, as it gets a RUDE makeover.

Beat The Man and ‘shed’ any ridicule about rescuing fire damaged and free tin structures from the dumpster.

20151210_100327

Front of shed ~ fire damage can be seen in the right hand corner

 

20151210_100352

Fire damaged side of shed

20151210_150304

Entire shed dismantled and stacked into the trailer

Read about the history of sheds on Wikipedia, and note that Australians, and New Zealanders too, have a love affair with these structures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shed

Rags to Britches and Riches

128801637b4ef72ca299c76d2703baf5
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! 

SAMSUNG

RUDE Boy loves his raggedy and rude britches

Rude and Ragged

For me, clothes are kind of character; I don’t follow fashion or understand trends.  Meryl Streep

Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire.  William Penn

“Cultivate a relationship with your clothing, an investment that directly connects the grower with the maker and the wearer. Repair is an extension of that sentiment, and a deepening of the relationship through wear, and repair, and the honoring of all the embedded stories that led to it.” REWARDROBE Eco Fashion Talk by Sass Brown

Photo below:  RUDE Girl revived this 1980s frock in under an hour for no cost.  It’s what I term a house dress, and I love it to bits because it reflects my mission to always mend and make new.

SAMSUNG

For RUDE Girl there is probably no better feeling that RE-vamping a fast fashion garment.  Why?  Because it is a radical gesture.  Many people would not bother to take the time to fix a rag.  And most fast fashion after it is worn and washed a few times, is only good for the rag-bag.

Yesterday, I revived this 1980s rayon frock in the above photo, which I consider to be fast fashion for its time.  The tag had been removed, and the edges had been over locked stitched.  It was probably a little bit better quality than a current cheap fast fashion dress.  Why?  It is rayon not polyester, and has some bust darts to give the bodice shape.

This maxi frock was discovered in a huge pile of clothes at a community garment swap at a local sustainability festival. It was missing a button and had a split up each side.  Both splits had ripped further up the side seams.  The over locking stitch had come away in parts, and there were three tiny holes in the fabric at the front of the dress.  Most people, I believe, would have considered it a rag.  Even the sorting ladies at the local charity shop would have ditched it!

But the frock spoke to me of opportunities for comfortable days around the house. I liked its A line shift style.  I could wear a vintage petticoat under it and in cooler weather a long-sleeved top.  A perfect old dress that sort of reminded me of a dress style from the 1920s and 1960s.

       
SAMSUNGPhoto above: The front skirt piece had three small holes which I covered with crocheted circles from old doilies.

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  The bodice required reinforced over locking under the bust line. As were the side and centre back seams

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  The hem was shortened from maxi to knee-length and a cotton lace attached to the over locked hem edge.


Beat The Man and revive a ragged frock to good as new, if not better than new fast fashion!