finished my first ball using one seen at the Cowen's auction site for inspiration (simple design until I better understand this process)...turned out ok, looks like a ball anyway. Should be stuffed a bit more but getting it all closed up was more important for now.
white lusters arrived from Noc Bay so its time to stop playing with this ball project and get back to serious cradle business!!
A post script: sent this ball to Tracy's son Phillip (a handsome young man with a foot in the Kiowa/Caddo and non-Indian worlds) who says he loves it so I feel inspired to make another one soon!