A Blogging 3rd Anniversary


These days, you have the option of staying home, blogging in your underwear, and not having your words mangled. I think I like the direction things are headed.
~ Marc Andreessen ~


Three years ago RUDE Girl wrote in our blog’s ‘About’ section. It’s a bit surreal. To think that I have been writing a blog post nearly every week for three years!  And I get to stay at home in my PJs or old comfy clothes, and do it! [refer quote above]

RUDE is personally against ‘mall mentality’ and therefore we avoid shopping malls. However, us RUDE Guys still live in the real world and choose carefully when and what to shop for. And therefore, we sometimes and begrudgingly, have to go to the local mall.

We have a fun time exploring ways of having nice ‘to us’ things without shopping in big box stores. And we are also keen to maintain and develop our resilience and resourcefulness, as opposed to handing over the home economics of our household to middle men.


Below images:  RUDE Girl’s ‘new to me’ summer wedges, rescued from the free bin, at a local charity store.


RUDE Girl’s current project ~ Knitting a bath mat with yarn made from recycled T-shirts


We DO BUY NEW and we consume services +++ however we are frugal when it comes to stuff and food. This is where we make our small difference to our pockets and the planet.

We know our lifestyle is not mainstream but it is certainly not as radical as buying nothing new for 12 months! We prefer to pace ourselves, and balance frugality with the need to spend up, when it’s required. We know we can spend up then because we have saved for a rainy day.

Our blog thus far, has helped us to keep focused on what is important to us. It is also our way of sharing with other like-minded souls.

Embrace Home Economics and Blog.  It builds community resilience. Beat The Man!


Jacqui & Gene’s Healing Haven


RUDE’s friends Jacqui and Gene, just like Jack and Jill went up the hill.  But instead of collecting a pail of water, Jacqui and Gene renovated a house on a hill at Red Hill.  As for falling down, well some walls fell down!

This week’s guest blogger is Jacqui.  She shares with us, her and her husband Gene’s renovation story, that involved a huge commitment to reusing and recycling.

This is their ‘Healing Haven’ story as told by Jacqui

Less than a year ago, shortly after finding my way onto Facebook, I discovered the Rude Record Blog. I had no idea that there were fellow T.I.P. Boutique (tip shop), and Roadside Scavengers out there.

I’d had discovered two fellow travellers…..RUDE Girl and RUDE Boy.  These two had a frugal philosophy which they described as Scavenger Style.  A political statement against textile waste, a throw away society and planned obsolescence.  These two radical Eco Warriors were passionate recyclers, who maintained a very thrifty and modest lifestyle by making do, restoring and mending.

At the time I’d discovered Rude Record, Gene and I had just finish a long journey.  A journey out of the wilderness of serious illness and the resultant poverty.  At the end of our journey we’d found a wealth of good health and self sufficiency.

I’d like to share part of our story because I have found these RUDE Guys so inspirational in the light of our journey.

We needed a house.  We had big dreams and a small budget.  What we found was a dirty neglected slum with “good bones”.  It nestled in a rain forest with the village atmosphere we were looking for.  We rolled up our sleeves and set to work.


Before renovation


Because it was so very, very dirty and neglected, we couldn’t move in at once.  It was a solid cedar cottage with hardwood floors and concrete stumps.  This is what I meant by “good bones”.  I needed to use our small budget to pay tradesmen to sand and re-polish the filthy floors.  I needed a painter to come in and spray paint the entire interior.  Gene was still pretty frail and had very low immunity.  He needed protecting with loving care.

Before the painters and sanders could set to, I had work to do.

I gutted the crumbling kitchen and threw it into a skip strategically placed below the crumbling front porch.  I threw every bit of dextrose within the walls of that disgusting interior.  I looked into the bathroom.  Sadly l decided that we’d have to live with that until I could get to work and clean it.



Kitchen before renovation

My first journey into secondhand and make do, was to find some big doors. A tiny window needed to be a big sliding door to give access to the back garden.  I located a door through a builder for almost nothing.  I thought people would want to grab something so cheap and available.  But no, this sad reject became a big, light filled exit into our large, green, overgrown back garden.


I thought Gene who was still recuperating, could remove the window and cut the remaining wall down to the floor.  He put in a frame to make a nice space for my big door.  I hefted every bit of that wall and the crumbling window into the skip. We slid in the “new” sliding doors.  How delighted my lovely man was to find himself back in the land of “Yes I can!”.  He’d gotten used to being an invalid.  We were healing a house, and ourselves.

Back to our rented house and in with the sanders, polishers, and painters.

The floors, walls, and ceilings gleaming clean, finally we were able to move in.  We “camped” in our new home.  We proceeded to rebuilt our home around us.  Cooking with a microwave and camp stove we built the kitchen and I scrubbed that bathroom. Yuk!

We found an auction house which sold everything from floor coverings to electrical appliances.  We went, we raised our hands to bid, we discover gold. Stuff at knock down prices.  An oven, cook top, range hood, even a toilet and a kitchen sink.  We decided IKEA could provide new kitchen cupboards.

We’d get up each morning and set to work.  I’d haggle and negotiated with plumbers and electricians, to do those things that my very talented man was not allowed to do.

We built.  Hefted things into place.  Painted.  Pulled down small unnecessary walls.  We put in new doorways. We closed off others.  We made a doorway into the small extension.  We closed off the original doorway into this same extension.  We used the door from the old doorway and put it into the new doorway.  We filled the old doorway with a cupboard.  This cupboard then became the pantry in our new kitchen.  Look at the photos.  See if you can pick the new pantry and the new doorway.  I did all the cleaning up, heavy lifting and painting.  And Gene applied his expertise.



Kitchen after renovation

So, we continued along these lines.  We moved on to the bathroom.  We have very little money by now.  But, I wanted a hygienic, light, bright bathroom….hmm.  We pulled down the wall between the toilet and bathroom.  Zero cost.  We pulled up the dirty vinyl, off the hardwood floor.  Gene disconnected the toilet.  I took it all, and threw it into that skip.  Zero cost.  Remember that toilet from the auction rooms?  My lovely, now best friend, plumber, he installed that.


Out with the dirty, rusty hand basin and into the skip.  In with a gifted secondhand vanity unit I’d painted.  Zero cost.  I looked at the old stained bath.  What to do?  I got the professionals in to re-enamel it!  I finished the whole lot off by painting the old wall tiles with a specially developed painting system designed for exactly this purpose. Cost around $50. That’s very expensive paint!  Those tiles were still perfect 7 years later.  My beautiful new bathroom gleaming and on a shoestring budget!


Finally, outside those sliding door in the kitchen.  Remember those?  I won’t give a blow by blow description of the delightful back porch, my now,  fit and healthy man built. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  Take a look at the walls.  They are built from the decking off that crumbling front veranda.  I de-nailed them.  I scrubbed them.  I painted them.  The before and after pictures tell a tale of the lovely back porch that Gene built!


There was a lot more that went into the rebuilding of this delightful home of ours. This is just an outline sketch of two years work.  Remaking, reclaiming, roadside scavenging, and visits to tip shops.  Gifted stuff that other people rejected, and buying secondhand.  A story of a journey where we found a wealth of good health and self sufficiency.


Thank you Jacqui and Gene for sharing all your hard work that made this house your cozy haven at Red Hill.  It is testimony to your resilience, in the face of adversity, that shines through in your story.

Beat the Man and find wealth in good health, self sufficiency and like-minded friendships!



Left to right:  Gene, RUDE Girl, Jacqui & RUDE Boy

The Art and Craft of Reuse and Repair

Good podcasting relies on narrative and idea. Does the plot have tension, drama and surprise?  Does it have universal themes?  Ira Glass

Following on from RUDE previous post, RUDE Girl’s talk with Adam Murray of Subtle Disruptors was posted yesterday afternoon.

You can listen to the podcast here.  And please, feel free to ask RUDE Girl any questions you may have, after listening to my interview with Adam.

images Podcast

Get the popcorn, sit back and enjoy listening


Subtle Disruptor

Simple definition of disrupt

to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)

RUDE Girl believes, that for well over a decade, I have been interrupting the course of consumerism by refusing to shop for stuff in malls.  All my life, I have not been a great shopper.  I prefer to save my money for experiences and services.


RUDE Girl in 2015 volunteering at a community sewing group

There is some anecdotal evidence that a few people [already with like-minded tendencies] are being influenced by my efforts to disrupt normal progress when it comes to consumerism.

This week I talk and share with Adam Murray from Subtle Disruptors about my frugal life on the fringe of Melbourne’s outer suburb Melton and why.

And how with social media, [mostly via Facebook and WordPress] Rude Record is voluntarily sharing tips on reuse and repair of things and why.

Here is the photo of my studio where I was interviewed for Subtle Disruptors.  I hope you will tune in to the podcast this week.

Beat The Suburban Mall!

Savvy Saver Sue


RUDE Girl is relating to the above quote by Hugh MacLeod.  When I went to school the focus was on academic subjects.  I had very little idea there was any form of creativity within me.  I guess I determined this because I was not good at drawing!

It wasn’t until retirement six years ago that I realised it would be wise to get a hobby.  But what sort of hobby?  That’s when I started to ask for my crayons back.  Much like I imagine, my new found friend, Susan Denyer [Sue] from Bacchus Marsh has done.

Sue approached me to be a guest on Rude Record, and RUDE are thrilled to feature her this week.  As the blog title suggests, Sue is one very savvy money saving lady.  She excels at recycling the things others abandon and discard.  RUDE are good at recycling but Sue and her husband Michael are brilliant!

This is Savvy Sue’s Story

I love RUDE’s creativity and passion and their commitment to living a frugal life in harmony with the reduce, reuse, repair and recycle philosophy.  I love reading RUDE Girl’s interesting and entertaining  blog, and feeling part of an on-line community whose interests and recycling philosophy are similar to my own.

RUDE are a great example of what I call “radical recycling”. Buying from op shops is fairly mainsteam these days, whereas buying unloved items from TIP SHOPS is more extreme. I admire them for fixing up the less loved TIP SHOP items, and giving them a new home.

My husband, Michael and I retired two years ago, after a lifetime of living frugally.  We now have more time to devote to our passions of art, music and working for the environment.  We love to recycle.  My husband has renovated our Victorian house using secondhand materials, and our house and garden [photos below] are filled with secondhand finds.









I endeavour to use secondhand materials in my art projects.  I obtain these from op shops, garage sales, fetes, TIP SHOPS and friends. I have even found things lying on the ground which I have been able to use!


I am currently working on creating small mixed media works of art as part of the index card a day (ICAD) on-line art challenge.  Basically, participants create a piece of mixed media art on index cards every day in June and July, and many people video their results.

Rather than using new index cards, I cut out rectangles from old cereal packets and work on these instead. When complete, I glue the “index cards” into my A3 art journals.



Secondhand art materials, on my desk in my studio, ready to create an art journal to showcase my trip to Paris



Every month, I attend an art class at our local  Bunnings store in Melton.  The students wipe their brushes on baby wipes and I save these, dry them and then use them in my art [photos below].



The completed index cards [photos below] with painted baby wipes’ background.  The collaged words and images came from an Allure magazine obtained for free at the Melton TIP SHOP. The lace is an op shop find.

All the index cards have painted baby wipe backgrounds.  The textile background on the art journal page is upholstery fabric, as I was recently given some gorgeous upholstery samples that were destined for landfill.



Index cards with painted baby wipe backgrounds


Index card with painted baby wipe background


 I create art using recycled materials most days. This is mostly done for my own pleasure, but I also love to share my art journals with family and friends.   I have also been involved in community art projects using secondhand materials.  It is fun to see what other people create using natural and recycled materials.



Secondhand photo album, used as an art journal, with recycled table napkin on the cover


Thank you Sue for sharing your story and photos.  We are definitely like-minded souls. RUDE Girl, like Sue and her husband retired in my 50s, and RUDE boy went part-time over five years ago.

When Sue and RUDE Girl get together, we natter enthusiastically about reusing other people’s junk and rubbish.  Time just disappears, and that’s a good indication that in our retirements, we are both doing what we enjoy.

And RUDE are really glad to know, that Sue saves all the baby wipes from her art class at the local Bunnings warehouse, to create beauty not blockage.

Like Savvy Sue and her husband Michael,  Beat The Man by reusing and recycling what you can, to make beautiful art journals and garden vignettes.

Waste Writer


We are material creatures who spend much of our lives on material pursuits (even building a cathedral or writing a novel requires stone and mortar or paper and ink). Virginia Postrel

The digital age has made nearly all of us ‘publishers’ of content, making most of us writer in ways that, a decade or so ago, did not exist.  Tara Moss


RUDE Girl’s most favourite quote

It’s pleasing to know we are in the company of greats like Shakespeare!!  RUDE lives to explore what can be reused, not just from our dustbin but others’ dustbins and skips as well.  RUDE Girl writes about our ways with potential and discarded waste, most days.

RUDE likes the notion of promoting simple reuse of everyday things, compared to fancy upcycling of stuff.  The more grassroots, make do and mend a project is, the more our senses are excited, by the rescuing and revamping of the mundane.

This week over on Facebook @ruderepair, I was inspired to make dishcloths from an old beach towel.  And, I was also inspired by a follower and friend Jacqui, to add sleeves from a garment to a pair of long johns. 

Below are the links to these two videos, if you have not already seen them.



I guess the will to make use of what is already at hand, is very strong for RUDE.  We do not want too much more stuff in our lives, but we certainly want to reuse, care for and maintain what we have.

RUDE had a visit recently from Sue, a follower and friend, who highlighted that she loved reading what RUDE Girl was writing about.  She suggested there may be a book in it! She liked the human element of what RUDE showcased on a daily basis.

Sue was not interested in blogs with statistics and lots of text to wade through.  RUDE Girl studied statistics at university for a year.  I was very good at the subject BUT the last thing I want to be including in my creative writing musing is stats!

By writing stories about, and showcasing examples of, the wealth making possibilities in waste, RUDE hopes to inspire and/or encourage others to Beat The Man!


Check out RUDE Girl’s Boro Group of Facebook



Frugal Facebook Friends


This may sound a little bit idealistic, but when I go to my blog, my Facebook page, my Twitter account, I talk to different people from all over the world, and you see how it’s easy to establish a dialogue.    Paulo Coelho

Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It’s almost a disadvantage if you’re not on it now.    Mark Zuckerberg

Beat The Man by joining hands and minds with like-minded RUDIES!!
  Karen Ellis / RUDE Girl

RUDE Girl [reuser of unloved discarded excess] is a die-hard Facebook fan.  I love Facebook and I love my FFF’s or frugal Facebook ‘friends’.  I rarely use Facebook to keep in touch with family. In fact I prefer not to have family following me.

What is truly awesome for me about Facebook is that RUDE can build an image and identity for ourselves and more importantly by ourselves.  We are not paying a middle man to create this for us.  We have the ability, to be able to create what in a sense, is our brand.  When you are volunteering your time and effort on-line, the no cost of Facebook, is the icing on the cake that helps us to spread the RUDE philosophy.

RUDE strives to promote our ‘brand’ as a priority, and Facebook gives us the opportunity to spread the word about living a frugal life that incorporates reuse and repair. We believe our volunteer on-line and community ‘brand’ is unique, and worth shouting out about.  We do this most days on Facebook @ruderepair, and weekly on this blog.

This week RUDE were humbled that its philosophy was openly recognised by a Facebook friend.  She was introduced to Facebook via a group that I administrate, and from there found out about RUDE.  She has now created her first Facebook group titled Friends who like Rude Record here.

Over the past couple of years she had been inspired by what RUDE promotes, and is incorporating more reuse and repair into her daily life, as a result of following Rude Record on Facebook @ruderepair.  She has definitely been beating The Man, as she builds a new home, and furnishes it totally with pre-loved pieces, and her own handcrafts.  Her husband has been helping her to re-vamp these pieces, and to make them their own.

This is what she wrote as follows:

For all the Friends Who Like Rude Record, I need to stress that Rude Record is not a site with cheeky pictures of naked ladies. RUDE is:

Reuse Unloved Discarded Excess

Rude Record is a blog full of useful and inspirational ideas of how to share a lifestyle of frugal living and the Eco Warrior lifestyle. Friends Who Like Rude Record is for the benefit of the fans of Eco Warriors Karen and Danny Ellis, better known as RUDE Girl Karen and and RUDE Boy Danny from RUDE Record.

RUDE Girl Karen is the administrator of their blog RUDE Record. Karen jumped off the “working for the man” treadmill a few years back. RUDE Boy and Girl combine their shared abilities to immerse themselves in their passion for rescuing and reusing stuff dumped at the point of landfill. At the moment RUDE Boy Danny continues six weeks on and six weeks off “Working for the Man”. However, this will soon change.

These two radical Eco Warriors are passionate recyclers who maintain a very thrifty and modest lifestyle by making do, restoring, mending and more often than not choose not to buy new products. RUDE Girl and Boy have a frugal philosophy which they describe as Scavenger Style. It is a political statement against textile waste, a throw away society and planned obsolescence.

Friends Who Like Rude Record have the opportunity to share their own ideas here, to spread the word about the alternatives for our consumer society. This site is for all the Friends to post ideas, information about secret places where free or dirt cheap stuff is languishing away instead of being usefully recycled. Finally, it is to share your own ideas that highlight and help to share the knowledge of how to live a rich lifestyle without being a thoughtless consumer.

I invite all Friends to join hands and enrich your lives from the knowledge base that is Rude Record.


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