Simple Pleasures

Pick up any newspaper or magazine, open the TV, and you’ll be bombarded with suggestions of how to have a successful life. Some of these suggestions are deeply unhelpful to our own projects and priorities – and we should take care.

Alain de Botton

Us RUDE Guys still buy the weekend newspapers.  It is a simple but not so cheap pleasure at $13.  In the quote above Mr de Botton reminds us to take care with what we absorb from reading a newspaper.

We like to think we do and are mindful to read between the lines.  The following article, titled Simple Life Trumps My Bad News Feed in today’s The Age Insight on page 25, has inspired this blog post.  It’s a gem and recommended reading for all those hankering for a simpler life.  A beautiful reminder of the simple pleasures in a rural show, a Punch and Judy  puppet booth, a picnic on a rug and homegrown and/or homemade produce.

RUDE Girl has just finished reading Frugal Hedonism [refer book cover in image below].  Basically the book, like the above article, is reflective in this blog post’s title, Simple Pleasures.


Image:  www

I borrowed it from the local library because I do not buy books.  It was a really easy read and written with some quick witted humour thrown in.  Clive Hamilton’s forward is brilliant.

The book is not a How To instruction manual.  It is more an inspirational and compact reference guide.  I do recommend it.  However most die-hard frugals will already be well versed in its wisdoms. 

For RUDE Girl is refreshing to know that a younger generation is writing about something that I am passionate about. 

“When I look around it’s pretty obvious who are the most freest people in our communities – the ones who have escaped the prison of consumerism and money-hunger.”  Clive Hamilton / Author

Make the money hunger go away by filling up on simple pleasures. Beat The Man!!



RUDE Girl reading The Art of Frugal Hedonism.  She wears Barbara apron made from a vintage dress, refashioned skirt from a dress and thrifted top.  Pillow type cushions made from scarves and shirts.  Moran leather lounge chair from mid 1990s


Guest’s Show & Tell



Image:  www

This week RUDE Girl has succumbed to the dreaded lurgy.  I am confined to bed, do not have much energy, and thought the best way to post, was to get a friend to help out.

Jacqui, who wrote this blog post for RUDE, agreed to help out this week and showcase her Kantha inspired woollen ‘snuggle rug’.  Thanks so much for coming to my rescue.

Jacqui is a member of my Kantha Facebook group here.  And as you will gather, she is very enthusiastic about Kantha.  In the piece showcased below, she even uses pliers to pull the needle and thread through the layers of fabric!

These are images of Jacqui’s, not quite finished, Kantha for a cold climate. It is a rescued old woollen blanket, batting and cotton backing.  She has used embroidery wool, crochet cotton, and a few beads from her stash.  No money was harmed in this winter throw!

RUDE Girl is in awe of Jacqui’s Kantha piece, because it would not be easy to manipulate by hand, due to its size and bulk.

Beat The Man and collaborate with like-minded souls!

Mending Holes and Souls


RUDE Girl’s cashmere canvas recreation inspired by the Japanese patching and stitching technique known as boro.  Styled with a recycled black satin and tulle underskirt.



Boro are a class of Japanese textiles that have been mended or patched together. The term is derived from Japanese boroboro, meaning something tattered or repaired. [Wikipedia]


There is not much I have discovered that is more therapeutic for my well-being than dancing and mending.  Both are my favourite heart and soul activities, and they could not be more different to each other.  Dance is active and stitching is passive for starters.

Beauty really does exist in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to an XL woollen cardigan fulled to a size S, and then rescued from the piles of discarded textiles at the point of landfill [TIP SHOP]

This cardigan really was worn and treated badly.  Lots of holes, shrunken and pulled out of shape.  But when I spotted it’s sadness in the bottom of the textile bin, it begged to be rescued.

What did I see in this cardigan that was beautiful and/or magic? 

The fact that the cardigan was made of cashmere and was soft to the touch was a winner.  That it had lots of holes made it a piece that could be mended by my contemporary boro style technique.  The metal buttons are unique, as are the metal rings that attaches them to the garment.  I loved the shaggy fringing and exposed seams around the cardigan’s edges.

What did I see in this cardigan that other textile scavenges had not?

That it was a blank canvas for a textile artist to work magic upon.  That it was ripe for rescue.  That it could be worn again a la scavenger style.

What was the main thing required to undertake, to save this cardigan?

It had to be placed in the freezer for a couple of days to kill any moth eggs.  Then it was gently soaked and washed.

What is something else special about this cardigan?

It has been made in the USA, and is the most unique design for a cardigan that I have ever seen.  In an era when many garments are made in China and third world countries, I love rescuing garments, regardless of condition, that have been made in Australia, UK, Italy, USA, France and New Zealand.  And if these garments are made of natural fibres, especially wool, I am driven to save and preserve these limited resources.

Click on all photos for an explanation


Beat the Man and recreate from what is already available.

Photos below:  Some close-up photos of cardigan’s details

Renegade Repairers

“It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary”  Richard Whately


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RUDE are volunteer fixers with the Melbourne (Inner West) Repair Cafe supported by Transition Town Maribrynong


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RUDE Girl on her hand cranked Singer 179N sewing machine at the launch of Victoria, Australia’s first Repair Cafe





RUDE Boy demonstrating how to repair pesky garden hoses and leaks.  Photo: Doug Palmer


RUDE [reusers of unloved discarded excess] are mad about repair.  It’s a good skill to have a passion for, when you like to reuse all kinds of secondhand stuff that has been thrown away.

The quote above by Richard Whately resonates with RUDE because we are extremely practical people.  We are owners rarely consumers of stuff.  Being owners we care for and maintain our things.

We want to have a good working relationship with our things.  And any relationship needs to be cared for and maintained.  And for those things, we simply love and that give us joy, we want to care and maintain them too, just like any loving partnership arrangement.

We suspect most people these days, are more consumers than owners of things [refer graphic from PLAN  below].  However, we do believe we are seeing a shift to more consumers, wanting to know how to mend and make do.  Changes to household finances, an increasing awareness of resource depletion, poor quality new products etc are some of the reasons for this shift.



And that’s where RUDE feels it is time to share with interested people, what we have both been doing for a lifetime.  Yes, it’s repairing stuff, but mostly we maintain our things from the outset.  This ensures we have better quality things to repair when they fail.  This of course, is an important message when first learning about the art of repair.

Many of you who follow on our Facebook blog at Rude Record, know that we participated in the launch of the Melbourne (Inner West) Repair Cafe on 21 February.  And this Sunday we are off to the first in-cafe Repair Cafe.

RUDE Boy will be testing and troubleshooting electrical appliances.  I will be carting my 1980s very basic Janome sewing machine along, for any fabric/garment mending that presents.  This sewing machine was rescued from landfill and is a similar model to my first machine that ended up with the metal recycler recently.  Of course I striped it of all parts first!


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RUDE Boy troubleshooting a vintage theatre lamp



RUDE Girl making a festive bunting in the beautiful Yarraville Gardens to demonstrate off-grid sewing with a her hand-cranked sewing machine.  Photo: Dominique Hes


You can check out some photos and read about our launch on the link below.

And this is a video I created, of our wonderful Repair Cafe coordinator Michelle Fisher setting up for the launch.

Beat The Man and own, really own and care for your stuff.