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


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


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


Warm Woollen Wagga

“Talent and individual expression are not qualities that just other people possess. You have it too! All of you have a capacity for creativity in your quilting. Let yours happen and realize there are no boundaries to your unique expression.” Anon

“The real wagga was a woollen patchwork bedcover or woolly sandwich.”   Margaret Rolfe / Quilt Expert

RUDE Girl is inspired by the above anonymous quote.  I am not a traditional ‘rule following’ quilter, and do not want to be known as such.  My scavenger style quilt or wagga making reflects the ‘waste not, want not’ or making do tradition. This is evident  where I use recycled woollen fabric rescued from landfill to make my daughter a lap wagga for the football or the car.

I have no quilting skills other than those I have taught myself intuitively or from books.  And from asking talented traditional quilters some questions, and then once knowing the rules, setting out to break them.  Why?  When you work with new fabric and resources it is essential to follow good practice for the obvious reason that mistakes can be costly.  It is my opinion, that when you work with recycled fabrics, and other resources like RUDE does, the beauty lies in imperfections, and the lack of attention to traditional quilt making rules.  And therefore you do not have to be as focussed on making costly mistakes.

Photo below:  RUDE’S acronym is REuse of Unloved Discarded Excess.  The old blackboard is evidence that RUDE REuses stuff.  Even the chalk is secondhand!


A wagga was a bush rug made from scrap wool.  And this is my next quilt making project for the cooler Melbourne months ahead.  I attended a workshop on wagga making and wool dying October 2014.  I was able to eco dye the wool blanket patches provided at the course.  However, I never did get around to making up the wagga.  In the meantime I was given more woollen patches from a woman who had attended the course but was not keen to sew a wagga [thank you Sue for thinking of me!]

These patches came from numerous charity shops via the wagga and dye workshop.  The workshop’s textile artist Robina,  informed me that each blanket cost between $8-$12.  And that she had been all over the place over several months collecting them.  This labour of love, and with the actual total cost of the blankets, and then hidden costs like petrol and time, it is imperative that I create a tribute to all the people who have touched the parts of the blankets that I now have in my keep.

Photo below: 13″ square patches from woollen blankets that have been eco dyed

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  Preparing 6 1/2″ and  5 1/2″ squares for my wagga

Over the past six months I have also been collecting any woollen blankets that I come across.  I will not pay anymore than $4, and oftentimes hope to get them for $1-$2.  Usually they are in reasonable condition but are torn or stained which is perfect for patchwork, as you just cut around these areas.

Photo below:  A piece from a woollen single bed blanket purchased for $4 from a charity shop in Leongatha.  After felting it shrivelled up in certain parts.

SAMSUNG SAMSUNGPhoto above:  The piece of the blanket that shrivelled has been pressed and squares cut ready for use.

Australian waggas were used throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly in the rural areas.  Very utilitarian in purpose being used for camping, holiday shacks, in general, and where extra bedding was sought for guests.

As described in The Gentle Arts by Jennifer Isaacs 1987,  generally waggas included some kind of sacking material, either corn sacks, wheat sacks or flour sacks.  These were opened, the stitching removed and they were sewn together inside other covers.  Extra wool would be added. often in the form of old clothing stitched together; this was then covered with blankets or some kind of fabric such a cretonne.

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  RUDE’s very own book The Gentle Arts 1987 purchased from the local tip shop for 50 cents .

Being a recycling radical, I do hope to showcase this wagga along the way and when it’s completed, as testimony to simplicity and frugality in times of rampant consumerism.  That RUDE’S future generations may keep and hand down this wagga, as evidence that RUDE was radical for their time.  That RUDE was not of the mainstream will definitely be reflected in this wagga.

Here is an example of a historical wagga with its story.

Beat The Man, be radical and make a wagga wagga!

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.

Scavenger Saint

“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.”  G. K. Chesterton

red barina  This is the type and colour motor car my daughter drives

I [Karen] follow Richmond [Tigers] and Danny follows Collingwood [Magpies] two teams in the Australian Football League [AFL or Aussie Rules].  Aussie Rules is a fast and spectacular football style compared to many other football codes.  Spectacular, in my opinion, due to the speed and aerial leaps by players.  However, RUDE is not an avid supporter of any type of football and can take or leave watching the games.

I do however like to watch the entertainment at the AFL Grand Final.  Lionel Ritchie did a great performance and had me dancing on the ceiling.  But Meatloaf was ever after known, as low-grade minced meat after his performance [not worth posting here but you can watch it on Youtube].  I still do not know why the AFL uses overseas entertainers when there is such great talent in Australia.  This year Tom Jones the Welsh entertainer will be belting out a tune or three for the AFL Grand Final footy crowd.

RUDE’s daughter is a keen Saints’ [St Kilda] team supporter. The St Kilda Football Team is in the AFL. It’s team colours are red, white and black. Therefore I want to make her a Scavenger Saint throw rug in these team colours.  I have sourced woollen garments from landfill in these colours over the past year.  The wool has been fulled and has been cut up into 61/2 inch squares.  I have commenced the process of joining the squares together with a running stitch. The MCC initials on the grey/black patch stand for the Melbourne Cricket Club.  This wool fabric patch came from a bomber jacket in the free bin of a local charity shop. The backing fabric is from a black QS bedsheet made of cotton and sourced from the point of landfill.  It appears as new.  I will bind the two pieces together with strips of this sheeting fabric.

It’s a patchwork craft project in progress with the aim of getting it finished for Christmas.  I gather my daughter may not need to keep her legs warm at football games now, however when she’s much older she may welcome the warm sentiment.  She has a red coloured motor car and may even choose to keep it there as a picnic rug.

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Sabbath Serpentine

I [Karen] was an Australian champion marching girl in my teens and now administer a Facebook group Marching Girls with over 700 members.  Marching has always been a reasonably affordable sport due to the instructors, judges and chaperones volunteering their time, compared for example, to ballet where its teachers charge a fee.  Therefore to my way of thinking it’s a frugal team sport but only to a point.  These days marching has evolved into drilldance which requires more financial commitment in the way of uniforms and costumes.  However, that’s not to say these cannot be REcycled and upcycled to keep costs down.

Yesterday RUDE went to the Wattle Festival in Hurstbridge, Melbourne, Australia.  It’s an annual event that draws a crowd to its town.  We decided to go to support a group of women and their children who march for fun, fitness and competition.  Some of these women are members of my Marching Girl Facebook group.  It is very satisfying for me to meet members of my Facebook groups.  The previous day I had met up with a couple of members from my Melton Bowerbirds Facebook group.

As with everything RUDE does it REvolves around frugality.  A few days prior to this Festival we decided to get into the spirit and wear the green and gold colours of the wattle flower our national floral emblem.  Basically everything we were going to wear was scavenged secondhand for free or a couple of dollars [view 1st video].

Then the day arrived and true to our frugal mission we made our morning tea and lunch to take.  Two thermos flasks of hot water for our cups of tea, home-baked cake and boiled egg rolls.  We set out on our trek and stopped along the way to have our morning tea under a tree on the roadside.

Some of the people we were meeting up with know that we REpair and REcycle for causes and generously gave us two microwaves, a computer and some beautiful prints in frames.  It is great when people embrace what RUDE promotes, and  share the joy of REuse without any financial transaction.

We travelled a two (2) hour round trip to take some video footage and support marching girls.  Danny came along to support me, and say hello to the festival’s steam train drivers whom he knows.  And whilst there I just could not REsist REliving my marching days and joining in the fun of the serpentine march [view 2nd and 3rd videos].

Check out the three (3) videos below for a glimpse of our frugal antics.