That decision, along with the City of Franklin allowing the change, a very picturesque first of December snowfall and the casual thoughts of a young photographer wanting to shoot a tiny video and snap a couple cell phone pictures to show her mom, led to a puzzle made this year that sold like hotcakes. In fact they sold out in less than a week.
Elizabeth Schmude, a Cranberry photographer who works at Victorian City Art and Frame shop on Liberty Street, hadn't really had a chance to look at the lit Christmas trees at night even though they'd been up for a couple weeks. The snowfall made it a priority for her to finally get a good look after work, but she didn't have her camera gear with her. What a day to not bring her camera, but that didn't phase her.
"it looked like a scene straight out of a Christmas movie.... all I had was my phone." She thought to herself about the age old photographer mantra that 'the best camera is the one you have with you.' So she took out her phone and went to work making art.
"I took a video so I could show my mom how beautiful it was and snapped a few pictures. That was my only intention with any of that, and I just walked through the park and was soaking in all of this beauty."
She was encouraged to post the video by several folks and she obliged.
Franklin events coordinator Ronnie Beith saw the video and asked Schmude to make it public. It exploded with views and has been viewed over 60,000 times.
It sorta died off for awhile until a few weeks ago when she thought about turning it into a puzzle. She had made a puzzles from a photo she made of the Venango County Courthouse and sold a few. She decided to do a limited edition of this Hallmark-style scene. So she put out on social media that she had 50 numbered and signed puzzles for sale.
In a very short week she sold out.A person from South Carolina bought seven. "Never in my right mind did I think I would sell all 50...well, 49 actually, I kept one for myself."
This prompted her to think about a second run, though she doesn't want to devalue the first edition numbered and signed run, so she'll sell these un-numbered and signed.
"i'm not trying to make a lot of money off of this, it's something fun that people are enjoying or going to enjoy as Christmas gifts." she said adding maybe this also lets more people know she is a photographer and look at more of her work.
She credits Ronnie's sharing of the video for getting so much attention for this image in the first place and how it will be featured on a local calendar for next year as well.
Schmude plans to update her Facebook page when she has the next batch ready. You can also see more of her work for sale including the courthouse puzzle (which she believes she has ten left) by visiting her website store by clicking this link.