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Jay Stelling

Available now!

Welcome to the world of
Whistle-Stop Thistle!

Whistle-Stop Thistle is an engaging children’s book centred around the tiny town of Whistle-Stop Thistle and the little people who live here.

Handmade Art Dolls

Art Dolls

Customised handmade art dolls. These little sweethearts stand at around 20cm tall and are fully posable. They’d make a beautiful decoration or gift.

View my latest work

View My

Check out my latest tinkerings from the studio! See my current works in progress and recent projects.

Latest from my blog

Whistle-Stop Thistle meets Bethany Handfield Art

  "Relaxing in the garden with Jay Stelling's Whistle-Stop Thistle. My friends and I simply adore it and you will too. Be sure to get a copy right away." http://www.bethanyhandfield.com/about

Whistle-Stop Thistle Campaign Success!

We've done it! We've successfully reached the end of our campaign and raised £2,223 with 86 backers. I am so excited to finish off the book and get it properly

Which Thistle-Folk Are You?


Incredible! We’ve reached 15% of our goal!

Thank you all so much for your support so far, we've made it to 15% of our funding goal! We still have a long way to go until we reach

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 26

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 26 Self care. It’s so important to look after yourself and do what’s right for you. For me, that means taking a walk in the woods when

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 25

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 25 How it’s made. The town of Whistle-Stop Thistle was built from consumer packaging, from cardboard buildings to lollipop stick roof tiles. Recycling helps our environment by

Whistle-Stop Thistle

Whistle-Stop Thistle Press Release

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Whistle-Stop Thistle: An engaging new children’s book that encourages children to get crafty with recycled materials. The UK dumps more household waste into landfill than

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 24

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 24 Customers and feedback. It makes me so happy to read such kind and sweet reviews of my dolls. I love to know that my creatures and

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 23

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 23 Top tip or advice. Just keep making! Keep your hands busy, use every chance you get to create and say yes to opportunities! Do it do

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 22

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 22 Proud of. There’s lots of little achievements to be proud of every day! Sometimes it’s the tiny things like making decisions (I HATE decisions), or sticking

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 21

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 21 Throwback. I’ve just been looking back at custom dolls I’ve been commissioned to make over the years and found this one from two years ago. I

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 20

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 20 Design process. My designs and plans are usually just scribbles or notes in my planner (I wish I was good at keeping sketchbooks). Here are the

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 18

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 18 Mistake or lesson. A mistake I made for a few years was comparing myself to others and treating my peers as ‘the Competition’. I’d be so

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 17

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 17 What I’m working on. Today James and I had a rare day off together so we’ve been working hard on our upcoming Whistle-Stop Thistle book project!

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 16

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 16 Workspace. My workspace is a little studio in our attic room. We have Whistle-Stop Thistle set up on a long desk, which is tidy until the

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 15

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 15 Motivation and goals. The dream I’m working towards with my partner in design @jamespaypay is getting Whistle-Stop Thistle ready for print and taking it out into

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 14

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 14 How I learnt. I have learnt through seeing how other artists do what they do; at uni we were encouraged to reach out and chat with

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 13

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 13 Photos. I really enjoy taking photos and trying to capture a specific tone or atmosphere in a scene. There’s so much to control and consider in

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 12

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 12 Hands at work. After the fiddly work of making the fairies by hand and bringing them to life comes the tricky business of catching them! Fairies

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 11

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 11 Reducing waste. I like to keep any scraps of materials that might be useful one day. I will squirrel away little pieces of cardboard, yogurt pots

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 10

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 10 You. I am Jay, Queen of Jayland, maker of fairies, protector of the Thistle-folk, collector of things and teller of stories. I grew up in one

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 9

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 9 Story behind the name. I’ve been using the name ‘Jay Stelling Design’ for about 7 years! It’s not very inventive, I also worry that it’s boring


#kidlit4climate The Thistle-folk are taking part in the #kidlit4climate campaign. The Thistle-folk stand with the young people striking for urgent climate change! Here is my virtual protest illustration.  

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 8

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 8 Product range. It’s a bit strange for me to call my projects and dolls ‘products’... that sounds way too grown up! Here’s some examples of a

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 7

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 7 the less glam side. Come on, all art making is glamorous! Whether you’re covered in paint or working through the night, you’re still a glorious maker

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 6

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 6 Full or part time. Here’s a photo of me at our final show at Leeds Arts University. Full of hope for fairy futures! The dream would

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 5

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 5 Details. These are some miniature props I made for the tiny land of Whistle-stop Thistle. I love the idea that these small details are hidden inside

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 4

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 4 Materials. I use all sorts of materials to dress my dolls but it’s rare that I’d ever buy fabric new. I have boxes full of fabric

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 3

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 3 Flatlay. Several elf boys ready for hair and faces on my desk at the moment. This is definitely not how my studio usually looks, I’m a

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 2

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 2 How You Started. I started writing stories in primary school with my best friend Nikki. She was the Nick Sharratt to my Jacqueline Wilson. We were

#MarchMeetTheMaker – Day 1

#MarchMeetTheMaker - Day 1 Favourite to Make. I love to make little fairies and elves, that’s what you will usually find on my studio desk. But I also love to

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