After being introduced to a magical place where fairies lived, my new passion for creating a magical place for others, was born!
Many, many challenges were placed in front of this new magical path, but after years of field research, a story from my tween child, fairy name ideas from my oldest child, and inspiring books from fairy artisans; I certainly put my creative spin on an old idea, then paired it with a few of my favorite things: coloring, fantasy, science, local history, fun, adventure, and space.
Check out my story below. I hope it inspires you!
I had an opportunity to share my fairy experience with students at West Elementary, introduce a favorite Flower Fairies pop-up book by Cicely Mary Barker, and pass out Fairy Finder pages to draw on. Students were able to imagine all sorts of different fairies, then draw them.
In my capacity as a Technology Teacher, there was a much larger audience (500 students) at Scholar Academy, where these students tested the Oquirrh Mountain Fairies “Mineral Magic” story intro book, with character bios, and another Fairy Finder page. These older students were inspired to draw a variety of fairies with names and a background story.
Literacy Night at Scholar Academy was a huge hit with students as they colored fairy wings so the “clumsy fairies” could fly back to the copper mine. It was also a jolt for my evolving fairy story, especially seeing it acted out by two very lovely and kind fairies.
Summer of 2016 Was a crazy year for me, entering college (again) for a BA in motion graphics, animation, and interactive design – adding to my Graphics/Illustration and Technology degree programs (total of 6 years).
That first year I programmed a fairy app in JAVA; developed, prototyped and had review parties for an Oquirrh Mountain Fairies board game – which were hugely positive in that the kids wanted to play it over and over again!
OCTOBER 2017 – MAY 2018
What made it even more crazy is that by the Spring of 2017 I was also teaching full-time K-5 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), plus middle school Coding, Game Development, and Graphic Design – as part of my teaching scholarship requirement.
That was an amazing experience in and of itself, but what really put me in a blissful state, was my Fairy Club. My STEAM classroom was full of cool stuff, including a hydroponic station to grow our own fairy gardens, an upcycle station to repurpose 2-liter soda bottles into planters, a 3D printer so I could print fairy pics and accessories for those tiny fairy gardens; a fairy forest (all sorts of trees from floor to ceiling) where beautiful hand-made fairy ornaments hung with care; then we experimented with clay and different fairy door designs, to make fairy door magnets. I may start that club up again as a community activity through our city library, we’ll see!
February 2019 I submitted for copyright, then April 2019 I was awarded a copyright for my first book!
5 years of hard work
August 24th, 2019 was the best day ever! This was the day of my book launch at the Storybook Nook in Gardner Village. We had music, roaming fairies, a wing wall, prize drawings, and a fairy cake!
Oquirrh Mountain Fairies “Mineral Magic” made finalist in the Children’s category Best Book Awards with American Book Fest.
Local Holiday Events featuring my new booth arches hand made with clay, glue, and paint on wood.
Happy kids and customers!
Author Kelly Parke, on an author panel for the Club at Tooele Library
Just before Covid-19, a state shutdown, and a 5.0 earthquake, I was contacted by Tim Gillie, Editor of Tooele Transcript, to do a story on my book. Their photographer, Sue Butterfield, scheduled a photo shoot with me on March 18th, day of the quake. It was a beautiful day at the Skateboard Park in Tooele. Transcript reporter, Jessica Pettit interviewed me weeks before all the virus madness. She did a fantastic job! Much thanks to Tim, Sue, and Jessica for everything!!!
Since our city and state was shut down, all the events for 2020 were cancelled, so it was fun to work with the Transcript and this article, until things get back to normal.
It took awhile to find my footing for local sales and marketing. Because I work full-time in corporate America, I needed a fit that would allow me to casually work on this side passion of mine.
Gift show events didn’t have enough interest and a couple large gift events were cancelled because of Covid.
Rented out our local Chamber of Commerce building for my own event, created a teacher pack and taught (in full costume) at local schools, even consigned my books and necklaces to a local retail store.
But when the Tooele Gem & Mineral Society offered me a booth, that was a game changer! Wonderful people and the show itself is fantastic! Perfect fit!
This annual show, together with my books on Amazon, has been the most successful combination – plus I became a member of the local mineral club!
Read more about my adventures with the Tooele Gem & Mineral Club on my blog about “Mineral Hunting”.
There are now 2 books in the series, with 3 & 4 being published before the end of 2023.
Look for a chapter book in 2024!