Corny, I know – but what can I say, the Japanese craft books got me too. I would have probably stuck to drooling over photos on the net, since the prices of buying these books (+ shipping) kept my addiction under control. But then, one dark night, some frantic searching of the internet led me to an amazing discovery – the Vancouver branch of BOOK.OFF. Their prices are usually lower then anything else online, and you never know what you’re going to find. I was there twice so far, each time bringing home a pile of books full of beautiful photographs, tons of inspiration, and very few words I can actually understand…
Handmade felt (ISBN4-277-43002-3)
This book has some beautiful projects such as bags, hats, scarves, felt flowers, baby boots, small toys and a few other cute things. Almost all of the projects feature neutral color schemes and simple, understated designs which I just love.
I have never tried felting before, and I’m building up the courage to actually try one of the bags in this book. The only “small” problem I had to solve first is the use of wool. You see, I happen to be a vegetarian, and I strongly object to any unnecessary suffering in animals. This was never an issue in the past since I didn’t care much for wool products. Until, that is, I started reading crafty blogs and through them was introduced to modern craft books and especially the Japanese style.
So I started researching the net once again. I didn’t like what I found at all. To cut a long story short, it appears that most of the wool around us these days is derived from Australian sheep, which have to go through the painful process of mulesing. I certainly didn’t want any part of that. Then I tried for to find a local farm which practices some better policies towards the animals, but i was unsuccessful.
And then I found Homestead Wool and Gift farm. Exactly what I was looking for: small, animal friendly, family owned and operated. They don’t let the animals reproduce, which means no animals are slaughtered for meat AND they have an online store. I ordered a nice sampler of wool, and I strongly recommend Homestead farm to anyone who is looking for wool products (they also carry hand spun yarn) and is concerned with animals rights. Even if you don’t spend your days at PETA headquarters – give them a try. Jim and Sandy Ryan are very friendly and helpful, and where else can you find the names and photos of the sheep providing your wool???
Now I just need the time and patience to start learning something completely new. Anybody seen some animal-friendly cruelty-free TIME running around?? oh, I’ll google it later…