Mend It, Australia


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.



House of Straw

Image Source: www

Image Source:  www

Us RUDE Guys do not live in an eco-designed house.  It is an early 1970s glorified tent!  It has some features that are sort of ‘green’ like roofing insulation and energy efficient globes in our light fittings.  Some rooms have curtains that are lined, and we have outside awnings on the windows.

We do however strive to reduce our carbon footprint in other ways.  We reduce, reuse and repair.  We rarely travel preferring stay at home mending and making do.  We are wary of expensive products that are labelled/certified ‘green’, refusing to be green washed by The Man.

What we do admire is others who owner-build with sustainability in mind.  And we would not rule out buying an already built eco-house on a small parcel of land in some sleepy seaside town.  Time will tell when RUDE Boy retires later in 2018.

On the topic of sustainable housing, National Sustainable House Day 2017 is fast approaching.  We just had to share with you Peter and Natasha Miles’ straw bale house in Merrimu, Victoria just up the highway from where we live.

A few years back, we spent an informative hour with this lovely couple .  Us RUDE Guys went to their property to collect some items they had generously listed on Freecycle.  They invited us into their home after we expressed a great interest in their building method.  At the time RUDE Girl had just completed a carpentry course and my eyes were wide open to future possibilities.

We would highly recommend that if you are looking to visit a sustainable house on September 17th take a drive to Merrimu and visit the Mills.  We know for a fact that they will make you feel most welcome.  Refer newspaper cutting below.

Oh, and what did they generously offer on Freecycle that we collected from them.  A digital camera that we used until were handed up mobile phones with cameras.  A computer hard drive that is still operating in RUDE Boy”s desk top computer.  And a lovely electric throw rug that was used many a time, and one such time was when RUDE Girl was very ill and suffering from shock.


Straw Bale House Merrimu Aug 2017

Straw Bale House ~ Merrimu.  Image Source:

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society


RUDE Girl mending the purple check flannelette shirt at Mend It, Melton on 8 April, 2017

Us RUDE Guys will head off to Mend It, Melton [MIM] this Saturday 13th May, 2017. We are collaborating with a local organisation to deliver our community’s unique model of mend and make do.

MIM was launched late last year, with a small mending event, at our local railway station in Melton, Victoria, Australia.  The event this weekend is our second for 2017.  MIM has scheduled monthly events up until the end of the year.

You can check out all about MIM and see the photos and videos on Facebook at

The re-blogged article below is recommended reading and validates why Rude Record is involved in the not-so-quiet repair revolution.  Beat The Man!!

Discard Studies

Image 20170413 25878 144f990

By Christine Cole, Nottingham Trent University and Alex Gnanapragasam, Nottingham Trent University

A not-so-quiet repair revolution is taking place in communities across Britain. Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Advances in technology and new applications, combined with faster product obsolescence, means that electrical and electronic equipment make up one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The growing demand for these products is also driving unprecedented levels of resource extraction to keep up with increased rates of manufacturing of everyday goods – something that the planet can hardly support.

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Evan Biddell’s VVbyEB 81lb Challenge


“I think that if you do have a voice, and you see something wrong in the world as an artist, you have to point it out. It’s the only way it’s going to change.”

Evan Biddell ~ fashion designer

Check out the short promo in the link below, as Evan rocks the runway.  [longer versions of this video are at the end of this blog post]

Us RUDE Guys point out the wrongs of rampant fast fashion, by wearing our signature folly which is Scavenger Style.

We walk our talk and dress in the discards of others.  We have grown up wearing hand-me-downs and remade clothes.

For over a decade we have worn Scavenger Style 365 days of the year and 24/7.

95% of textiles can be recycled therefore we say NO WAY to landfill when it comes to our clothes and bed linens.

Stop buying it and beat The Man.  It’s the only way it stops!




Check out the 81 pound collection’s images below.

Kimono Karen


RUDE Girl was an exchange student to Japan for 12 months from 1975 until 1976.  It was a wonderful experience for a teenager, and long before it was trendy to travel to Japan.  And also long before the Japanese cultural invasion of Australia.


Tea Ceremony at the house of my first host family the Handa’s.  We had lessons once a week.  Mary Jane Hendrie [13.9.57 – 31.8.83  RIP] in the red kimono was from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada and Liz in yellow was from the US.  My daughter Rebecca has been gifted my apricot floral kimono.


My year in Japan as a Rotary Exchange Student 1975-1976.  My daughter Rebecca has been gifted the green formal silk kimono, that was gifted to me by the Handa family.  Bottom photo:  With Jenny Jarry [left] August 1975 at a festival in Kumagaiya

Most of what I absorbed in Japan was buried deep inside me on my return home. I went back to school and then on to various careers.  My time in Japan was rarely spoken about, not just by me but my family too, and my year away became but a distant memory. 

There were many times when I was treated like an outcast because I came back changed, into a routine that had remained much the same.   For the Rude Record significant adults, Japan did not mess with my mind, and I coped very well in a foreign country.  The young student that decided to venture out on her own at 17 years of age, has always been independent and confident.

These days, I do have the time to remember, and bring forth some of my experiences and influences, related to my second country.  I guess sharing is easier these days, with  Japanese culture more well known and embraced. And also with many Japanese calling Australia home.

It was wonderful to meet Miwako, a Japanese woman a little while back, who lives over my side of town.  And also Taco, my daughter-in-laws’ brother’s partner.  At both these meetings it was incredibly therapeutic to relive some of my time in Kita Urawa shi, Saitama ken.   And also, for the first time ever, I have made contact with a Mr McDonald, a member of Rotary, who is tracking down past exchange students from the year I was in Japan.

Refer video below:  When I spotted this casual summer kimono [yukata] at the TIP SHOP, I was aghast but also elated!  It was my lucky day.  I had found an abandoned, stained, and dirty hand stitched  yukata, and only I realised its value.  I felt a bit smug, but really very privileged to be rescuing it.  The yukata was free, as it was destined for the TIP SHOP’S rubbish bin and landfill.

Beat The Man by Turning Japanese, and daring to be different!

Shower Curtain Scenes

When I said I wanted a curtain for our shower recess, my husband replied, “Like in the movie Psycho?”  Karen Ellis / Blogger

After 15 days, RUDE has conquered!  We did it, re-tiled the shower recess and did some minor and frugal makeovers along the way.  Our journey was shared on Facebook @ruderepair.  We were keen to share what we were doing, to encourage and/or help others, who might be keen to give tiling or re-tiling a shower a go.  It also helped us stay on schedule, when encouraging comments, were posted.  We kept the mood light by pretending, to sort of be, contestants on The Block.

For a tradesperson to do this job, it would have cost $3,000 to $4,000.  We could have paid that amount, but RUDE Girl was really keen for RUDE Boy to give it a go.  He had never tiled before, so it was way out of his comfort zone.  I had all the faith in the world in his ability to do it.  And, I kept saying that if he/we failed, we could pay our son-in-law [another Danny] to come and help out.

I also was keen to have the job undertaken our way.  Tradespeople can be incredibly set in their thinking and way of doing a job.  I wanted us to do it the RUDE way, and not have to coax a tradie into, for example, using recycled materials.  For example, we had bought the grout a year ago in a TIP SHOP already mixed and in tubes!  We wanted to use it.  It cost $7.50 to grout the whole shower recess ~ no mixing up involved!

This project not only involved re-tiling the shower.  RUDE Boy has improved on the waterproofing of the shower cabinet using aquaboard and by applying three coats of a blue waterproof sealer [paint of sorts].

It was a great opportunity to inspect the hardwood frame of the bathroom walls and floors, and make sure there had been no water damage.  The water pipes required some fastening and shock absorption which were attended too, whilst the walls were removed.

We had decided we were going to replace the old gold framed screen with a shower curtain.  However, believe it or not, the rail fixture to attach the curtain to, was going to cost $100 or more.  It was fun to think of a way to make a rail up ourselves using some metal rod and plumbing fittings.  Total cost $17.

We replaced the old tap handles with similar ones from a TIP SHOP.  These just need a good old clean, and were soaked in water with two denture tablets.

Our shower curtain is a Mileno brand that we purchased for $18.  It was originally $29.  We knew it was not going to be long enough.  In the video below, I demonstrate how I made it longer, using a Husky brand jacket.

Our shower project’s total cost was $320.  Beat The Man and DIY, if you can!

Tip Shop Trashion



‘Our signature folly is Scavenger Style’ ~ Rude Record

RUDE Girl just has to share all these images, I have been collecting of on-trend fashion, that is readily available at Aussie TIP SHOPS, that sell recycled textiles.

You will probably not even find most of this ‘trashion’ [or scavenger style, as RUDE calls it] in charity stores, because the volunteers are told to discard worn and/or ripped garments, into the recycled textile bags, for collection and downcycling.  Well, I have never seen ripped jeans in op shops in Australia, unless things have changed.

Anyways, these celebrity looks featured below are easy to get, for next to no cost.  That’s if you dare to venture out to a recycling transfer station, and then go inside the TIP SHOP there [if, of course, it has such a TIP SHOP shed on-site].



M Magazine:  September 11, 2016 pg 4 ~  When Trends Attack


RUDE Girl’s $2 military punk style boots


M Magazine: Denim is Back ~ September 18, 2016 pg 4


December 17, 2013 ~ RUDE Girl was way ahead of this current trend, featured in the above image.  Jeans rescued from landfill fate were to small.  Added in a yellow piece, from another pair of jeans, which were too small and also from a TIP SHOP.


M Magazine October 2, 2016 ~ Underwear As Outerwear


M Magazine:  September 11, 2016 pg 4 ~  When Trends Attack

The designer slip, in the above image, was $1 and will look pretty as a top with jeans or a skirt this summer.


Above image:  M Magazine September 25, 2016 ~ Keeping It On The Level ~ Granny look garments are plentiful at TIP SHOPS.  The secret is knowing how to pull the style together like Reese.


Sunday Style Magazine ~ Just get a cotton shirt from a TIP SHOP,  and rip the collar off it, for this look. EASY, hey!

Beat The Man to the recycled clothes at the TIP SHOP!  Worn and torn really is the look [apparently], and it’s super affordable to achieve!