Sunday, April 9, 2017


I just finished this pair of Southern Plains style tall top moccasins.  They have been a idea I have had rattling around in my brain for some time,  but I never seem to get the opportunity to do much open  work ( as most of my work is spoken for as I make it ).   

These were made using lightly smoked,  brain tanned hide which I had stored about 20 years ago.  I painted them with trade pigments,  and beaded them using 13/0 Czech cut beads and 24K Gold 13/0 cut beads.   The buttons are Czech glass buttons.  

The soles are rawhide,  and I constructed them like classic Southern Plains moccasins are made,  using a welt when I sewed on the sole.  

I had also purchased the glass buttons some time ago, and knew when I first saw them what I wanted to make with them.  

The backs of the moccasins.   I wanted these to feel "Happy" and whimsical.  And I find more and more my work taking a environmental theme,  and these and some other work which I will be making soon will deal with protecting the water.   Dragonfly's to me,  are all about water.  


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

YAKAMA DRESS RESTORATION ( And a few other Plateau dresses )

I finally took a little time to restore one of the old pieces from my collection,  that I never seem to be able to get to.   The saying the carpenter has no house,  or the cobbler is barefoot often rings so true in my life.  Always busy,  but seldom on my own items.  

This dress I bought out of California.  It had belonged to a woman who used it to show Appaloosa horses in the 1950's,  although they thought the dress was "Some California Tribe"  

I knew it was clearly a Yakama dress ( Outside chance of perhaps Nez Perce' )  but certainly a Plateau Dress,  probably made around 1900 to perhaps 1920 at the latest.  

It took years for me to finally find enough basket beads for the fringes,  as they have not been made or reproduced since this dress was made.   A hard to find bead,  especially in the quantities I needed.  

I am very happy how it came out,  and can't wait to wear it,  perhaps this summer.    Glad its back home in its original state and I promise it will be well loved and taken care of.  

Here is another dress,  I made from scratch.   All antique Italian beads,  and all those elk teeth are real.   I had at the time about 300 pair of them.   Wished I still had all those teeth!   I would love a real tooth dress for myself.  

Detail of the dress.  

Another Plateau style dress I made.  I used shells on this one.   And its a bit "Brigher" in the photograph than it appears in real life,  as I had lightly aged it.   

And anther dress I made from scratch,  which I own and wear.   A pony beaded style one,  made from brain tanned Mt. Sheep hides,  and the drops are elk tooth drops.   I think I used 3 or 4 antelope hides just for the fringe,  which I doubled and cut very thin like you see on the old dresses.  

Glad this project is done.  Now onto new works.  


Saturday, November 12, 2016


I just finished this purse this afternoon  that I started working on a while ago but had to set aside for other work.    I felt that now its important for me to finish it.   For me,  beading is like a prayer and I often put a lot of thought into the things I make.  Whats on my mind,  or what issues are at hand.   I prayed a LOT for the Mexican people of my community when I made this.  There are already some ugly winds blowing after the election.  Two different fathers,  here legally,  told me how frightened their children are,  thinking they have to leave home to a country they don't even know.  I made this purse in solidarity with those in my community,  who are good,  decent and hard working people.   I stand beside you.   I stand against racism!  

Beaded using 13/0 Charlotte cut beads,  24k gold beads,  16/0 Antique Italian beads,  Antique silver Milagros,  and mounted on printed calf skin.  

I hope to bead and launch a line of purses this spring,  along with some unique jewelry.  

Stay tuned.   Angela 

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Finally got a little time to start reposting some older photos.  These are some of the buffalo robes I have painted in the past.  All are painted in a traditional manner,  using mainly sticks,  mineral pigments and hide glue as a binder.   All robes are brain tanned buffalo.  

Feather Circle Robe 

Box and Border Robe

Thunderbird Robe 

Feather Circle Robe 

Pictorial "War Record" Robe 

Varient of the "Feather Circle" Robe 

Hoping to paint some more robes this winter.  I currently have some nice hides to paint on.   


Tuesday, October 25, 2016


I just finished this beaded pictorial robe - narrating the Omak Stampede and Suicide Race.  It completes the commission I was hired to do for the Denver Art Museum.  It is on permanent exhibit.   Once I get better photos from them,  I will share them here.  I snapped these early today and tried to get some natural sunlight.   

The overall look on the robe.   Its a brain tanned elk robe,  which I beaded in 13/0 cut beads and painted with trade pigments.  

Saddle Bronc rider,  which was from a photo I took at the Omak Stampede.  All images are from photos I took there.  

Bareback bronc rider 

Barrel Racer 

Bull Rider 

Calf Roper 

And lastly,  Jumping the hill.   One of the most thrilling events you will ever witness.   Beaded rodeo images have been a art style on the Plateau for well over 100 years,  as its a important event here.  I am only working in the continuum of the tradition.  


Updated 12/7/16 -  The robe is now installed and the horse gear is fully displayed.  Yeah!  Glad this project is done and now onto new things.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Such a exciting morning.   The horse gear I have been working on for the last year was installed for permanent display at The Denver Art Museum.  Such a humbling time for me, as I also had work go up in another museum this weekend ( will post on that later ).  To think I now have items on display in 7 museums currently is more than I ever could have imagined.  

I have one more piece to complete for this set which I am working on now.  

More to come - Angela 

Monday, September 5, 2016

What I did on my summer vacation!

I finally took a few weeks off and made myself a few items.   Most of them simply were done to replace items I had made in the past,  and then gave away.   Sometimes you get carried away in the moment :-) 

I put the finishing touches on a pair of Cheyenne style saddle bags,  and made a shell necklace,  earrings,  hat band along with a beaded scarf slide and buckskin bag.  All were done using antique Italian seed beads,  Prosser beads,  Russian Trade beads and smooth shell dentallium shells. 

The hat band replaces a quilled hat band that used to adorn this old bowler hat which was my Grandfathers.  So I assume it was made around ca. 1900.   I wanted to do something very Plateau in concept , and yet original.  so I hope I was effective in my idea.  

Speaking of hats,  one I made a few years ago is now on display at the Tamastslikt Cultural Center in Pendleton, Oregon,  in the exhibit "Legend and Legacy - Jackson Sundown and Happy Canyon a century later"  If you love the Pendleton Roundup and Native culture,  I highly recommend going.  

"Buffalo Gal" hat on display.  

And speaking of hats - Another I did this summer for a exhibit on trade blankets which currently is on exhibit at Maryhill Museum of Art.  Another exhibit I highly recommend attending.  

The hat and a few other items I made on display at Maryhill.  

Now back to finishing the horse gear commission I have one piece left to do,  and then other artworks.   Even on vacation,  there is no rest.  But I am not sure I would feel comfortable resting.  


Saturday, July 30, 2016


I am getting to the final pieces of a set of Plateau Style horse gear I have been commissioned to make by a major art museum.   I wanted the style of the gear to be classic Plateau in aesthetics,  but the images on them and ideas are my own.   The narrative for the most part is about the different environmental changes occurring to people here.   Once all this is finished,  I hope to have final photos from the museum of all the pieces together.   

 The first two items I made for the project,  a quill wrapped horse hair bridle ( have never seen this technique used in this manner before.  Only on war shirt strips and also a blanket strip ).  But I felt it lent itself well to this use.  The bridle also has a fancy ring bit with drops, but I didn't use it for these photos.
A detail shot of the bridle.   All sinew sewn,  natural dyed quills and antique Italian seed beads.  

Detail shot of the horse collar.  It represents the Dalles dam on the Coumbia and the flooding of Celilo Falls.   The fish are sturgeon,  and on the sides migrating sturgeon.   The beads are antique Italian seed beads,  with some antique Czech beads.  

A few more of the pieces of gear recently finished.   The saddle,  saddle blanket and rawhide bags.  The blanket over the middle of the saddle will be replaced with a beaded elk robe.  

Saddling up my front porch :-)  The cinch is painted buffalo rawhide,  and based on a antique one in my collection.   The stirrups are also buffalo rawhide covered,  and the incised bags are also buffalo rawhide.  

A better look at the beaded saddle flaps.   They are beaded out of Antique Italian beads. 

The incised rawhide bags.  The images of are traditional Plateau root diggers.  The root bag and root digging stick are mine in my collection.  

The saddle blanket I wanted to be a representation of the Okanogan Night Sky.   When I am at my ranch on the north side of the Colville Reservation -  their is no light pollution from human development.  So the sky is amazing.  I like to lay on a blanket in the grass and look up at it.  

This is the next to last piece I am making.  This will be the saddle drape.  It talks about the tribes on the Columbia River that were legally cheated out of recognized tribal status.  The Chinook tribe being one of those tribes.   They signed treaties with the US Government,  and three times have had their treaty de-ratified and status taken away.  The last time under the Bush Administration.    The artwork is by Greg Robinson,  Chinook and is used with his permission.   

The first of two panels that will go on the beaded rump drape. - "Ancestors" 

The finished Rump Drape

So,  I hope to have this epic work done soon and photos of the complete set up.   Its scheduled to be installed in late August.   Stay tuned.