Welcome to the July 1st One Little Word Blog Hop. Huge thanks to  Margie, our fearless leader who spends a considerable amount of time organizing, communicating and publishing in an effort to bring us all together, even when dealing with international travel! If you're going in order, you've just visited Monica B's site  and next on the list is Sam . If you're bouncing around, you can find the entire list at the bottom of this post.

This month Ali encouraged us to get out of our heads and get our hands dirty. I was giddy when I read this prompt; one of my favorite things about scrapbooking (and what I miss most) is turning on the music, pulling out the paints,and getting messy. I packed away all of my supplies a while back. Little by little they're reappearing, usually because the kids want to make something. I found myself thinking that those supplies need to come back out. I'd packed them away because I don't really have the room for a dedicated craft space. It gets cluttered and messy and Lord knows I don't need another thing to clean up.

But here's what's more important: allowing myself to play in paint and paper bits brings me joy. I've missed that part of life–you know, the simple, little pleasures. I get caught up in the 'have to do' list instead of the 'I want to do' list (in my defense I am first born, Type A AND Catholic. Mea culpa). When I packed up those supplies I was telling myself that work and seriousness is more important than paper and paint; truth is, though, they're not. Yes, I have to work more often than I play. But playing is part of becoming, no?

I'm getting that prompt from many places lately. Reminders to be quiet with myself, to stop multi-tasking and start enjoying, to allow myself the time to be creative. And even though it's not work, I do believe it helps me work better. I am more creative, the writing flows easily and the ideas pop; when I am stressed and thinking ONLY about the stress, the ideas dry up. I'm tired and crabby. Work gets done but it's uninspired. Mediocre. Boring.

I went to an event this past month that my lovely and talented friend Michelle presented at. Another speaker made a statement that at first I found bold; but now that it's had time to settle in, it resonates with me. Her statement was "being unhappy blocks wealth". At first I found that absurd; who makes money when they're playing? Now I'm thinking she's on to something. Or, maybe that's my personality trying to justify the desire to play more. Either way, I'm going to try.

Yesterday I took my kids to see my dad and stepmom for the weekend. I'll join them on Monday, but for the next three days it's just me. No one else to cook for, worry about or work my schedule around. I started off by pulling out random paints, spray stains, paper and embellishments. It truly was a blind grab, hoping that I'd find something that came together. The result was my June project; 9 mini canvases that, in one way or another, embody my One Little Word of 2011. I cranked up Chookooloonk's July Mix (*love*) and got my hands all messy. What a great way to start the month!

I wish you a month punctuated with play :)

If you'd like to catch up on all of my One Little Word projects to date, you can see them all here. And, below is the complete list of this month's participants, in original order.

Margie               http://xnomads.typepad.com/blog    
Rebekah         http://istampscrapcraft.blogspot.com/
Kelly                        http://kellyxenos.typepad.com/
Julie Ann            julieannshahin2.blogspot.com
Jill                          http://jillconyers.typepad.com/
Jamie                        http://jmpgirl.blogspot.com/
Cherie                        http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com
Nikki                  http://www.inkyart.com.au/
Amanda            http://scrappnbee.blogspot.com
Melissa S         http://blog.mshanhun.com
Lisa A                        http://backtoallen.com/writers_blog/
Sam                  http://learncreatedo.wordpress.com/
Karen                        womenontractors.blogspot.com
Lynn                  www.crafty-creativity.blogspot.com
Jenn                   www.studiojenn.blogspot.com
Kathryn         http://www.katlodesigns.com
Cindy                  http://seriousplay.typepad.com