Welcome to the Spoonful Studio! I’d love to take a minute to tell you how this place came to be. It’s a story bigger than any one person and I’d love to invite you in it.
First off, my name is Erica Deuel. I love color, creating, kids, having heart to heart talks, and being outdoors. Some things I am most proud of are that I am 1 of nine kids, I am married to my best friend, Matt Deuel, and we have three beauitful kids together.
Almost 9 years ago, I launched the Spoonful of Imagination. After blogging for a few years about our family online, I started sharing my crafts and that was where the blog began. My desire with the Spoonful of Imagination was to help inspire my readers to add a spoonful of imagination into their world. It is not hard to look all around us and see things already made and done for us. We can buy just about anything we want. Yet, there is something truly beauitful about getting our hands messy, away from devices, connecting with raw supplies, enjoying the process, and creating something we are proud of.
Over the years, I played around with different endeavors with my blog. I sent out craft kits to a tribe of people that were following me and hosted craft events for locals. I enjoyed both parts, but some of the behind the scenes took a toll. Blogs were becoming businesses and I felt the need to fight and keep mine simple. I wasn’t looking for a business. The techy parts of blogging were burning me out. I just wanted to connect with my readers and help them create.
In this journey, our family also became certified foster parents and we were homeschooling our kiddos. Life was busy, full, and fun. We were able to love on some hurting kids in our community, I got to use my Early Education degree with my own kids, and we were creating fun days and things to fill those days.
In 2014, we felt our family called to Warsaw, Indiana. In four short months, we said good bye to a sweet foster son, our extended families, sold our house, and moved away from the state and places we had known all our lives. We lived with some sweet friends for a few weeks till we found our house. We then moved into our place and got recertified in Indiana as foster parents almost immediately. We had an active four-year old come live with us for a few months and life was very full.
I found myself at the beginning of 2016 broken. I was empty. My heart and family had just gone through all kinds of transitions really, really quickly. I was exhausted from being on. Turns out living in a small town, away from family, married to a pastor took more out of me than I had thought. Not to mention we had a hurting four year old in our home for a good bit of the previous year. Matt encouraged me to go to counseling, and it was awesome. I came out of there realizing that I really hadn’t failed at any one thing. I had just experienced a lot. So, I rested and fought the urge to keep going and doing. In there, I sought prayer, counseling, and started doing things that re-fed my soul. I created for me. Not for a blog post…but just for me. I read…which I hadn’t done in years. Cause let’s face it, being a mom…you can’t do all your old hobbies, so you choose the ones you want to do and let the others go. I got up early and spent time in prayer. I journaled, and I said no to a lot of things and people for the first time ever. I had to get healthy or I was good to no one. One book I read was Rebecca Lyons’, Freefall to Fly, and I connected with all of her words.
At the end of her book, I was at a place to process…
- What were the things of my childhood that I really, really loved? What are the memories that stood out?
- What are my natural God given gifts? What are the things that I am good at?
- What breaks my heart? What is the thing that when I look at the world, I wish I could change?
After making these lists, praying and figuring out WHO I was created to be. I was coming out of my dark/mid-life crisis, finding air, hope, joy, and perspective. I was carried through a process, and Jesus was with me. It was here the vision for the Spoonful of Imagination Art Studio was born.
I never dreamed of opening an art studio, but here I can see so many parts of my life paved a way pointing to this. It was when I was ready and broken and at the end of me that God said, “now you are ready” and gave me this vision. This is His story. I’d love to invite you to be apart of it.
I want to create an art studio that fosters creativity and grows relationships. I want it to be a place that people feel welcomed. They feel at home. They can rest and leave encouraged and inspired. I pray chains and lies are broken within the walls and people that come through our doors. I hope it can be a life giving place used in our community. There are lots of ways we want to try to have this play out, but that is probably a whole additional post.
I went through a couple of months of dreaming, writing, researching, seeking advice and testing my vision on my patio with a group of amazing women. I could write a whole book about this process, but I will save some details for another time. Seven months into this process, the perfect place was put before us.
It did not seem perfect at first. I had been looking for a house with character and charm, but none of them planned out. This opportunity was kind of presented to us…but I believe God directed our paths. This place was empty. It had no character, and it needed a ton of work. Yet, it felt perfect and I began to see it as what it could be. So, we signed the lease and we were ready for the NEXT stage in this vision to come to life. Construction.
We had a few contractors come through to place bids on the project, but we didn’t hear back quick enough. We were excited and ready, so we just started with what we were sure of. The carpet and drop ceiling tiles needed to go, so we started taking them out.
The place began to feel open and big without the carpet and drop ceiling tiles. Our kids loved drawing in chalk on the carpet and using scooters on the concrete. Looking back at these pictures is crazy, but there was something truly special about the open-ness and blank canvas of the studio at this point. We were ready to start figuring out how to practically set up the place to implement some of the aspects in my vision.
When we moved to this town, we found friends pretty quick because of Matt’s position at our church. But, how do you meet people in the winter months in Indiana? All the parks are pretty much not an option. It can be hard to find places of welcome to connect with others. Do you see a need for this in our community? We would love to share more practical ways in the coming posts of how we see this vision playing out, but please join us in it! We need you!