Elsie uses traditional designs but also incorporates non-traditional motifs. These capture her imagination, due to pattern, color scheme, or form outline, and results in beautiful and vibrant contemporary works. She uses sumac, a desert willow, for weaving, which she and her family collect and process in the spring and late fall. Her works demonstrate exceptionally uniform, tight weavings and a traditional, deep connection to the art and function of Navajo basketry.
Elsie lives on Douglas Mesa, just a few miles north of Monument Valley, made famous to the outside world by the Hollywood western film genre. This region is the epicenter for Navajo basket makers.
Elsie is a private, shy and soft spoken woman, with children of her own, one of whom is now an accomplished weaver in her own right. The traditional Navajo ways are strong in this area, at the Utah-Arizona State Line, and Elsie Holiday is definitely one of the reasons that it remains rich as a place of the Dine` People.