So I finally gave in and got myself a Janome Needle Felting Machine, the FM 275 model, and it's such a blast to use! I've done some small stuff with it and have already managed to break one of the 5 needles. At least I noticed and found the sharp point to toss safely instead of ending up with it in my foot or something...
It's really easy to use, and it's rather noisy, so it ends up being hypnotic in a way. You get in a groove and it's fun to do something kind of mildly violent yet controlled. I put on a podcast on my speakers and turn it up really loud to be able to hear it over the machine.
I've been using up the many bins of teeny fabric scraps and these small little pieces of fabric are kind of hard to corral. (or maybe it's just that I'm new to it!) They end up getting pierced up onto the needle. So my solution is to put a piece of tulle net over the top to hold it all down. The tulle doesn't get incorporated into the piece. It gets shredded up eventually. But it definitely helps.
This is the ultimate in "something from nothing" which has always been my focus.