A Few Favourite Things

The best things in life are unexpected – because there were no expectations.

Eli Khamarov


A favourite children’s book rescued from landfill. Was originally a library book.

This Friday’s blog post is going to arrive late, and a bit wanting.  It is 7.30 pm in Melbourne, Australia and RUDE has been unexpectedly distracted.  And like the quote above when there are no expectations wonderful things do happen.

Firstly before we share what we have been doing, I want to let you know that in last week’s blog post I was not really crying at the funeral of our old oven.  It was staged for the first owners of the house.  They had built the house, and were very kind to us when we bought it off them.  We send them details of what is happening to their old home once or twice a year.

Anyway back to what unexpectedly distracted us this afternoon.  RUDE went down to our recycling facility’s Tip Shop.  We go about once a week these days.  The place is overrun with market traders and on-line sellers who are ruthless.  We are only interested in things for our personal use.  We prefer to scavenge around when it is quiet, and today it was because it has been very cold in Melbourne.

We had a great score today with six contemporary style dining room chairs in very good condition.  I also managed to pick up a big bag of garments for refashion.  We scored a working toaster, a brand new kettle, a 1976 sewing book by Woman’s Day, a small bedside chest of drawers and some other bits and bobs.

Of course when we got all these things home there was work involved.  Clothes have to be soaked overnight.  The chairs had to be vacuumed and wiped down.  And the bedside table had to be cleaned and positioned for immediate service.

It was then dinner time and my blog post had not been given any thought, other than I must write it.  This week we will share just a few things that we have scored for next to nothing but have used over and over again.  It’s a good example of what people throw away.  And what other people, like us, make very good use of. 


A compressor rescued from landfill. It was working but had a broken air gauge. RUDE boy repaired it and the gauge is working now.


Water pressure unit for all sorts of cleaning jobs around the house. Rescued from landfill. It did not work. RUDE Boy replaced the power lead and it works now, yey!


RUDE’S three favourite knives.

The knives come from various places.  The top knife is amazingly sharp and was made in Portugal.  it’s great for cutting and slicing meat.  It cost $1.00 at a little charity shop in rural Victoria.

The middle knife is serrated and is great for slicing tomatoes.  It cost $0.00 and was found in the rubbish bin at the Tip Shop.

The bottom knife is a gem, and we have never been able to find this brand of knife in the shops or online from memory.  It is made in Italy, and is an all-purpose knife that cuts a treat.  It probably cost 50 cents in a charity shop many years ago.  It has never needed to be sharpened.

There was absolutely every expectation these knives were blunt when they were taken home by us.  All three have exceeded expectation, and have bought such joy to the task of food preparation. 

I will be showing in a future blog post our new chairs but I will share the very dirty toaster we bought it for $1.00.  We only ever pay that much for this type of electrical item as again we expect it not to be working.


Very dirty Ronson brand crumpets and bread toaster. RUDE Boy has it on the sink for testing and cleaning.


Orange handbag bag with chocolate-brown handles. Brand unknown. Not leather but loved the colour and shape.

Beat The Man by not expecting too much.  Anything over and above can turn out to be the best thing!

Smitten Scavengers

B07xIjGCQAEuVx-‘Creative collaboration is awesome’ ~ Alicia Silverstone

Rude was over the moon recently when it was invited to feature on Confessions of a Refashionista’s blog.  Sheri Pavlovic the creator and designer approached RUDE to work in collaboration.  Sheri is the quirky brains behind the following fun and colourful collaborative Youtube video.

RUDE presented some ‘rude’ material and Sheri REcreated it into an artistic video masterpiece here.  She did all of this whilst moving to and decorating her new home.  I [Karen] just had to find out if Sheri is a Virgo.  Why?  Because Virgos are very organised with incredible attention to detail.  Our star signs combined make for a perfect partnership.

I loved working with Sheri as I am a Capricorn.  I am organised too, but in a very practical sense.  Together there was no procrastination.  Our collaborative creative project was a pleasurable task, that just had to be executed.  And execute it we did –  all as agreed and to a deadline.

Below:  Confessions of a Refashionista presents Smitten with Rude Record feature, including  RUDE’S tips for scavenging


Beat the Man and collaborate with Virgos!

SAMSUNGAbove:  RUDE boy Danny made this jewellery hanger for me yesterday.  It’s made from little wooden bowling pins REscued from landfill.  It is attached to a shelf in my studio.  It’s used for scavenger necklaces also sourced from landfill.

Landfill Lovely

Landfill Lovely

REscuing garments from landfill is a labour of love in many ways. You have to love scrounging around in other people’s cast offs and ignore the odours and dirt. You have to love washing. And in the case of this Suzanne Grae wool/acrylic mix jumper you have to love hand washing. And you have to love the idea of possibility for all the scavenged fast fashion you haul home.

This jumper is very large but it has such possibility. I can make a skirt, leg warmers and maybe a beanie. It is definitely imagined as a skirt and when it’s refashioned I will share it with you in a video.

I have been inspired by Sew It Again Jane Milburn an upcycle colleague and her acyclic REcreations.


Suzanne Grae is acknowledged as the creator of the original garment. I would like to think the fast fashion brand, if it knew, loved I had saved it from landfill.


Green Issues with Agy Interview

Skip Scavenging

This month, I was thrilled to be interviewed from Singapore by Agatha Lee from Green Issues at Agy [click on link in red above].  She was interested in finding out about Dumpster Diving.  RUDE shared its experiences of Skip Scavenging.  Agatha indicated that as far as she is aware this is an uncommon thing to do in her country.  I gathered it was something that would be frowned upon and probably illegal.

Pyjama Skirt

RUDE laments at the demise of the rummage around atmosphere of the charity shops that we knew and loved as children. These stores have become like traditional high street retail outlets. Merchandising is a big focus, management is paid and prices have hiked up.

To RUDE’s way of thinking charity shops are still a great way to save money and get something unique and oftentimes better quality. For over 45 years we have shopped in opportunity (thrift) shops. And we still do every now and then. These days however we prefer the free bin, outside a favourite charity store of ours.

A big part of RUDE’s frugal lifestyle is to avoid the lure of charity shop consumerism and REscue garments and fabrics from the point of landfill or the local tip shop. These are the clothes that the charity stores reject.

The great thing about RUDE’s Scavenger Style is that it is unique. We are not sourcing garments for this style from a middle man, such as a used textile merchant. We forgo the middle man and go and get our clothes directly from a landfill site. It’s dirty, dusty, messy and sometimes smelly at landfill. But boy, is it rewarding to be REscuing garments from landfill.

It is a humbling experience and makes you think about how wasteful society has become. Our signature Scavenger Style, is all about sourcing, cleaning, mending, REdesigning, REmaking, wearing and promoting, so that we literally walk the talk. Recycling old, worn and/or torn items is gratifying and it cost little or nothing. And finally you save a bucket load of money.

Scavenger Style does not require a lot of money, no money sometimes but what is required is time and a lot of it. Sourcing appropriate garments for our taste, age group and size is hit and miss. Cleaning and mending is labour intensive and then garments usually have to be stored until ready for REfashioning. Remaking clothes requires unique creative vision and skills.

The pyjama pants in this video had great potential and were REscued from landfill. An Australian size 22 is very large so there was lots of fabric to cut up and play with. The garment had ruche legs which was an interesting feature. The colour was appealing. Cost $0 as they were in the rubbish bin at the tip shop ready for dumping into landfill. HORREUR!

Beat the Man and Scavenge.

Scavenger Style

Scavenger StyleReese in shorts M article Jan 2013

I am a very low maintenance gal. I have always been drawn to the different and eccentric but in a frugal fashion (pun intended). I am not really interested in the mainstream notion of ‘acting and dressing my age’ whatever that means. I just like to be me not someone else’s version of who I should be.

I have read some fashion articles about how women in their 50s should dress. These articles recommend that women in this decade of life, like me buy good quality statement pieces that look classical and are well fitted. There is limited advice on how to look great in your 50s with garments that have been scavenged and RE-scued from amongst the garbage at point of landfill. Why? The minority who do it would be too embarrassed to admit it. Not me, it is all part of my game Beat The Man. The game strategy for me is to look and feel good at a price that beats the charity store prices. Why? In my opinion these stores are now part of mainstream consumerism which I am against.

Scavenger Style is a term coined my me to explain how I dress and showcase my scavenged finds. I must clarify that this is a different style to Charity Chic where items have been sorted. And where clean, good quality items are hand-picked for shop display and sale.

Scavenger Style is rude and raw. To get this style you have to scrounge through what the likes of the charity shops have dumped. Or what people have discarded believing items of clothing are not worth taking to the charity shop on the high street. Many of the items are reasonably clean but are thrown in with the smelly, torn, stained and dirty. Many garments are damaged in some way and may require mending. Mending and RE-fashioning skills are required to make the most of Scavenger Style. Also the creative vision to foresee the desired result from the undesirable.

After spotting the above photo of Ms Witherspoon (M Magazine January 12, 2014 pg 6 by Maggie Alderson), and liking the outfit she was wearing, I happened upon a Millers brand shirt at point of landfill. Millers is an inexpensive brand targeted at the mature woman. The garment had sequins over it which were damaged and falling off their threads. It has since been soaked, washed, line dried and the sequins have been removed. The turquoise and brown coloured pattern and floaty smock shirt has been RE-invented.

The khaki cotton shorts were scavenged a few years ago from landfill, are a CKM brand and a comfortable favourite. The shoes were also RE-scued from landfill, as was the gold coloured cuff. The prescription sunglasses were purchased new last year.

Beat The Man and play the Scavenge Trashed Threads game.