Being a mother and teacher has been my life/work for the past 37 years. I have been so fortunate to be able to be in the presence of “little people” in the most magical and fascinating years of early childhood. I began Blue Sky Kindergarten in Boulder 25 years ago. Before that I had a small home kindergarten in my home for many years. When I first walked into Blue Sky and heard the sound of the water bubbling down under the bridge and heard the birds sing high up in the cottonwoods, I knew I was home. The fact that children had been coming to this school since 1954 was clearly “felt in the air” as one walked through the gate. I am happy to say I have been teaching in my sweet classroom since the first day I walked into the school 22 years ago. I began studying movement, music, and singing at Boston Conservatory of Music as an undergraduate. Then moved on to the New School for Social Research and SUNY to begin early childhood training, and intensive movement theory training with Betty Meredith Jones, a former student of Rudolf Laban. I then began to research Rudolf Steiner’s work, and studied at Rudolf Steiner College, and Bottmer Gymnastic training in Spring Valley New York. I appreciate and admire many Waldorf teachers that I have mentored with in the past especially Beth Sutton, creator of the Enki approach, and Joan Almon who I admire for her work and devotion to children all over the world, and Suzanne Down’s puppet mastery. I am presently on the board at The National Institute for Play, headed by Stuart Brown, author of “Play.” I have been an adjunct faculty member of Naropa University since 1980, where I have been teaching “Kindergarten Magic” a hands on course in the practice and application of early childhood pedagogy, and mentoring new teachers. I have recently written a chapter that has been published by Springer publishing Spirituality In Education, a collection of writings on how spirituality can be integrated in different educational environments. My quest is to nurture and embrace the magic of the early childhood years with love and attention to each individual child.
Heather BiardHi, I’m Heather and I love all things fiber! I’m a spinner, weaver, crocheter, and knitter. I’ve been doing most of these things since I was a child, and I love to share my craft with others. My goal is to get as many folks as I can hooked on all things fiber. I am looking forward to teaching some brand-new knitters as well as hanging out and knitting with folks.
Nancy GruskayNancy is passionate about supporting people in realizing their strengths and navigating life’s challenges. A dedicated Waldorf educator for 30 years, she has developed deep and meaningful relationships with students and their families. Nancy recognizes and values the healing power of community and presence. She became a certified yoga instructor in 2019, and a Mindful Grieving Facilitator through the Grief Support Network in 2020. Nancy facilitates groups for adults, as well as for youth, helping them navigate the journey of adolescence. Through meditation, sharing and yoga, Nancy provides a safe space for all to come home to their bodies, with an invitation to explore and feel empowered in their inner wisdom. Nancy’s compassion, warmth and ability to hold space for others make her a trustworthy guide on this journey of self discovery.
Cathy has been weaving for about 25 years and has more looms than one mortal can possibly use. She also spins, makes felt, embroiders and is an avid natural dyer.
Allison O’NeallAllison O’Neall is a textile artist who finds great joy making art in the natural world. She has over 15 years of felting, eco printing, shibori indigo dye work and sewing. Allison believes that working with natural elements in eco printing renews the spirit and manifests peace and wonderment.
Deb has been wet felting since 2006 and is still fascinated with the tactile magic of the felt-making process as loose fibers become entangled to create wool fabric. Art was always part of Deb’s life. From the little girl who painted and drew and made clay sculptures, to minoring in art in college, then designing interpretive panels for visitor and interpretive centers, Deb has had her hand in a variety of art media. With a love of color and texture, she fulfills her passion by creating one-of-a-kind garments and accessories in her studio in Fort Collins, CO. Deb discovered wet felting when a friend gave her a class as a Christmas gift—and she has just not been able to stop!
She has lasting interest in working with her hands and combining fiber with color inspiration. She has learned various techniques from master felt-makers and taught many others the craft, herself. Deb has taught studio classes, and classes through local yarn shops, at fiber festivals, and in areas as far flung as Patagonia.
In addition to creating wearable art, Deb enjoys making dimensional sculptures. Her work has won numerous recognition ribbons and earned the Best of Show award at New Mexico Arts & Crafts Festival (2017). Deb was organizer of the annual Felters Rendezvous in CO, an event that brought together nationally-known instructors and students from across the country for four fabulous days of felt-making and fiber camaraderie.