It took a heart attack and a three-way bypass at this time last year to slow Pauline Fillmore down from her frenzy of beautiful handmade crafts, although her daughter's hosted her annual event for her.
Fillmore has invited friends to her home the past 20 years to enjoy her creations to get a jump on their Christmas giving starting with the day after Thanksgiving and going on to the next weekend.
This year's event is a bittersweet visit as Fillmore hosts her final weekend December 1 and 2 from 10 to 5 p.m.
Next year's holiday season won't be the same without this ritualistic beginning of the Christmas giving purchasing.
Black Friday has been anything but black for those who have been lucky enough to forego the busy stores with lines and instead enjoy this wonderful tradition.
Fillmore and her two daughters, Karen Hodges and Donna McAvoy transform her home into wall to wall hand crafted gems from beautifully crocheted scarves and hats, quilts, table linens, aprons, pot holders and wall hangings to an entire room dedicated to gorgeous baby items from aprons to afghans to cloth books and vests.
Entering the kitchen it is the smell of fresh apple and berry pies warm from the oven that draw you in to the wonderful smell of chocolate chip cookies, fudge, breads, Mexican wedding cake cookies, surrounded by beautiful seasonal aprons for the fall and winter months.
Crafting over 50 years, Fillmore used to rent the Marysville Art Center with friends Susan Bihlman, Suzanne Herboldshimer and others. She and her husband Don would travel to event areas such as Apple Hill, Santa Barbara and Claremont with a small travel trailer behind filled with goodies to sell.
Fillmore said when she got older she decided she wanted to just sell from her home to include the baked item.
Pot holders seem to be the big seller, selling over 200 each year.
When asked how many sewing machines she has worn out over the years, Fillmore's answer was three, noting that one was actually smoking from the amount of work she put it through.
While there is one corner dedicated to Halloween and Thanksgiving, the majority of items seem to be for Christmas when you look at the beautiful wreaths on the walls along with tea towels and of course plenty of jewelry and ornaments to purchase for gifts.
The only thing different at this year's four day event was the fact that sadly, there was no sign up sheet for next year's invites.
"I never could have done this without my girls," Fillmore stated.
Fillmore grew up in Richvale after her Dad migrated there with family in 1906 from Nebraska. As one of the founding families, the Fagerstone's were pure Swedish, naturally ending up in Richvale where Swedes gathered to raise their families. Fillmore met her future husband Don on the baseball team in grammar school when there were not enough boys for the team and they recruited girls.
Though this sweet talented lady will still be around and I will be lucky enough to see her at different functions, I will still miss the tradition of going to her home to admire her talent and marvel at her beautiful creations.