Welcome to Corinna Ciera's creative blog. Here you will see posts concerning crafts and general topics of interest. At www.corinnaciera.etsy.com, you will find retro and modern fashion accessories, fabric creations for the home, and other unique items...all handmade by Corinna.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Staying in Style on a Budget

Fashion trends change yet our wardrobe budget is usually not as flexible. That is why it's good to have a few stylish fashion pieces that will work now and later. They need to be able to stand the test of time. What is needed besides that "little black dress"?

Blazer:  A basic non-bulky blazer in a subdued color (black, grey, tan, etc) will coordinate with many items in your wardrobe and be in style year after year.

Cardigan: A soft sweater cardigan that buttons up in the front is a can't miss item. It can be worn with or without a skinny belt.

Tailored Trousers: Everytime I visit the ladies department of a clothing store, I see straight-leg trousers. Again, a subdued color allows the pants to be worn with many bright-colored accessories and tops. Trousers have been around a long time but seem to be especially popular now.

Large Tote Bag: Yes, purses have gotten larger and tote bags are everywhere. A tote can be used for nearly any occasion.
Handmade by Corinna Ciera
Found at www.corinnaciera.etsy.com
Basic Dress: A non-fitted basic dress is not only comfortable, it can be dressed up or dressed down. It can be solid or be a large patterned print that allows you to stand out in the crowd.

Long Necklace: Jewelry is, to me, an essential. A long necklace can be worn full length or doubled and worn with casual clothes.

Infinity Scarf: A scarf makes any older outfit look new. The infinity/circle scarfs are very manageable since they don't have to be tied at the ends to be worn. As with the long necklace, the infinity scarf can be worn long or looped again around the neck again and worn as a cowl. These type scarves should be around a very long time.
Found at www.corinnaciera.etsy.com
Loose Blouse: A loose, flowing blouse that covers the top of the hips is not only slimming but looks great with skirts as well as pants.

Neutral Skirt: A slimming pencil skirt has always stood the test of time.

Footwear: By staying in the middle of fashion trends and not toward the extremes, well-made shoes can last many, many seasons. A basic pair of pumps with a wearable heel are always "in". In addition, a pair of comfortable flats can make those trousers or jeans look both current and timeless.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Monday, March 3, 2014

Who's Dancing?

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned how much I like to dance. I never took formal dance classes, something I regret, but I like music and dance. I like to watch it and I do attempt the actual steps. I like to dance for the joy of it.

My husband and I were invited to a 70's party/dance a couple of months ago. Despite still recuperating from a total knee replacement three months prior, I danced! Now I must admit, my legs and feet didn't move as smoothly as they used to, but I had fun, fun, fun!

I am not in the minority with my love of dance. Many people love to watch dance competition shows such as So You Think You Can Dance (my favorite), Dancing With the Stars, and others. When you actually get off the couch and dance yourself, you can get fit and keep fit both physically and mentally.

Stress Reduction:

In the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that dancing with a partner can help bring about stress relief.

Diminished Depression:

Dancing lifts your spirits. Another study showed that patients who participated in an upbeat group dance showed the fewest depression symptoms and the most vitality. So if you're feeling down, dance. Either grab a friend or stand up in your room solo and move.

Weight Reduction:

A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that an exercise program of aerobic dance training is just as helpful for losing weight as cycling and jogging.

Better Balance:

If you are nervous about falling as you get older, dance lessons might help ease your worries according to the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. Dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Since dancing requires a lot of fast movement and good posture, doing it frequently can help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

Some of the health benefits of dancing have been highlighted above. So now I might ask, "Who's dancing"?

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Handmade Silky Infinity Scarfs and Matching Hair Bow Sets

Well, I haven't been here for a long while. Life got in the way. In fact I had decided not to post anymore, but I couldn't get myself to actually close my blog. I'm glad I didn't make that permanent decision.

In the interim, I have changed my focus and my web presence. You can find Corinna Ciera's exclusive marketplace web presence at www.corinnaciera.etsy.com. I am no longer actively making greeting cards but I do have an abundant supply in my arsenal.

My redirection is focused on retro and modern fashion accessories and other fabric creations. Here are some examples:


As you see, the above creations are scarf and hair bow sets. These pictured are silky polyester, animal print infinity scarfs and matching fabric ruffled bows that can be clipped in the hair or on the bow itself. Come by and check out some of the new items added to my website.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Want to Ride in a Decorated Rickshaw?

Cycle rickshaws are a popular means of transportation in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Why am I writing about them? Not only are they used for transportation, they are now brilliant works of art. They seem to be covered entirely with painted decorations.

When the three-wheeled rickshaws first appeared in the in 1930's and 1940's, they had to compete with tomtoms, horse-drawn wagons that carted passengers and goods. Possible to lure customers to this new transportation, rickshaw owners began decorating their vehicles and making them distinctive. They are now art on wheels. 

In the 1950's, there were only a few rickshaw painters in existence. Today, there are upwards of 300 artisans who produce them. Rickshaws continue to flourish in Dhaka because of the flat terrain and countless alleys and lanes that other forms of transportation cannot navigate. Also, many people consider this "green" mode of travel to be both beneficial and enjoyable.

Today, in most Asian cities, rickshaws have nearly become obsolete. While many people may view them as out-of-date, there is an effort to preserve the rickshaw through improved designs. The pictures of these beautiful cycle rickshaws might entice you to experience the ride first-hand by traveling to Dhaka!

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Monday, January 21, 2013

An Indestructible Bear!


That title is no misprint! This almost indestructible animal that is tougher than a grizzly is a water bear. Thousands of water bears, or tardigrades, can be found in a handful of wet soil. They can be found at the bottom of the ocean, under meters of ice, in hot springs, on the top of high mountains, and in your own backyard. They are called "water bears" because they resemble miniature bears and their gait is much like that of a bear.

A water bear is so tiny that it is barely visible, ranging in size from 0.1 -1.5 millimeters, smaller than the thickness of a quarter. It has a short, four segmented body with eight legs ending in a set of claws. It has eyes, a mouth, stomach, and even nerves. The water bear helps break down plant matter and is essentially harmless to people.

Why are they described as indestructible? It is because they can survive the most extreme temperatures that would kill any other animal. They can take temperatures from -458 degrees Fahrenheit to well over 212 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature that water boils). They can live over 10 years without water and even survive the vacuum of space! They can survive many hundreds of times the levels of X-ray radiation that would kill a human.

The key to their durability is that they can decrease their metabolism to almost non-existence and decrease their water content to 1% of normal. When conditions get hard for survival, they go into a death-like state, stopping any process in their bodies for up to 120 years if necessary! When environmental conditions get better again, they revive within a few minutes to a few hours and go on with their lives.

The water bear is indeed the toughest animal in the world!
See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Does Your Waistline HAVE to Get Larger This Season?


We are entering what is called the "holiday season". Even if you don't participate in a specific holiday, you may still get those family invites to big home cooked dinners and you eat and totally enjoy them. What about those commercials that advertise sumptuous pastries, golden turkeys, rich dressing, mouth-watering casseroles, home baked bread, etc.  And of course, you don't turn anything down.

By January, you start thinking about losing a little weight. I have read some articles about why it may be difficult to lose weight. Dieters tend to blame slow metabolism, the rate at which your body uses energy, for difficulty in weight loss. This is a possibility in some cases, but there are also ways in which we can boost our metabolism.

1. Age is a factor. As we get older our cells metabolize less rapidly. Also older people may have less muscle mass than younger ones. Whereas we can't change our age, we can try to add some aerobic activity and maybe some strengthening exercises to our routine several times a week.

2.  Stress makes your body release cortisol, a hormone that is linked to weight gain. The remedy is to try to calm yourself by reducing controllable stressors in your life. Each one of us should be able to identify our indivudual stressors. Again, regular physical activity is helpful.

3.  Poor sleep habits can alter you body's processes enough to make you susceptible to weight gain. To increase the chances of boosting metabolism, adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. In this fast-paced culture, that may not be realistic for many. The key is to try to get enough sleep so that you feel well-rested in the morning.

4.  Lack of exercise pulls your metabolism down. There is evidence that exercise not only helps you burn calories, it may actually increase your resting metabolic rate. It can't be over-emphasized, exercise is highly important for health, boosted metabolism, and weight control. My physician suggested I exercise by walking at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week. I'm still working on this suggestion.

5.  Dieting in an extreme fashion by severely restricting your calories or skipping meals is detrimental and self-defeating. It causes your metabolism to slow down. Eating small meals throughout the day is best. Skipping meals or undereating can make you more likely to overeat at your next meal.

6.  Illnesses caused by some medical conditions can make losing weight more difficult. If you have hypothyroidism or if you are a man with low testosterone levels, your body functions slow down and weight gain results. Make sure your doctor has screened you for these conditions.

The bottom line is, if we don't want our waistline to get larger this season, increase the amount of exercise we do, remove controllable stressors, get enough sleep, and rule out any medical condition. Another helpful tool not mentioned above is to use moderation in our eating habits, no matter how tasty and tempting the items on the table are.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Monday, November 5, 2012

That Can Make Me Sick?

This is the time of the year when colds and flu viruses run rampant. Many winter illnesses are blamed on these bugs. But there are other culprits. Beware of the unsuspecting:

Pillows -  They harbor dust mites, the most common cause of non-seasonal allergies and asthma. They feed on flakes of human skin that can be found deep within your pillows. A safety measure can be to use zippered pillow covers and/or buy new pillows yearly.

The Vacuum Cleaner - Regular vacuuming of the carpet can help reduce allergy or asthma symptoms. However, older model vacuum cleaner models can expose you to airborne allergens, expecially if you smell the particulates as you vacuum. Reduce your exposure to allergens by using a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter. You can also wear a mask when you vacuum.

Cleaning Sponges - Did you know that sponges are actually some of the dirtiest objects in the home? This is because sponges provide an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish. To help prevent this from occurring, instead of using sponges, use clean dishcloths or towels which can be cleansed in the washing machine after use.

Computer Keyboards - Researchers have found that work desktops have 21,000 germs per square inch, compared with 49 germs per square inch on office toilet seats! Also your desk and phone are places where you can pick up germs that make you sick. The remedy is to wash your hands often, avoid touching your mouth and nose, and use an alcohol-based sanitizer to clean your keyboard.

Fingernails - Those busy fingers have nails on them that harbor dirt and germs. You can run the risk of getting ill from the germs under your fingernails or developing a nail infection.  To prevent this, keep your fingernails clean by washing under the nails when you wash your hands, don't bite your nails, don't cut your cuticles, and make sure you use clean manicure tools on your nails.

Shoes - Shoes can pick up and carry germs, pesticides, and other toxins, all of which can make you and your household sick. To cut down on the number of germs and toxins brought into your home, request guests and family members to remove their shoes before entering your house. Or at the minimum, make sure they wipe their shoes on a mat before coming in.

These are just a few potential enemies to our health. The list is obviously longer than this, but let's not be paranoid, just cautious. Good health to you.!

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Friday, April 6, 2012

Can You Eat Your Way to Better Health? - Part 2

This is a continuation of the identification of foods that can enhance our health. Let's go:

Green Tea: Green tea is a rich source of antioxidants and has been shown to help with mental alertness. It may also help regulate cholesterol levels, boost weight loss goals, and prevent sun damage on the skin. There has been research that has given initial evidence that regularly drinking green tea may prevent or slow the growth of certain cancers.

Spinach: Popeye had it right! This leafy green vegetable is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Actually, a cup of spinach contains as much bone-building calcium as a cup of milk. Spinach is also a good souce of magnesium, a mineral that helps our muscular and cardiovascular systems. It contains vitamin A and vitamin E, both of which support the health of our cells.
Courtesy of Melis82 | StockFreeImages.com

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are healthy for us and actually become healthier when they are cooked, since cooking releases key nutrients. Canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and even ketchup are great sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce th
e risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. Tomatoes also provide potassium, some iron, and vitamins A, C, and E.

Courtesy of Jamiewilson | StockFreeImages.com
Dark Chocolate: This sweet treat has antioxidants called flavonoids which support the heart and blood vessels. The darker the chocolate, the higher the level of healthy antioxidants. But don't eat too much since you might get more padding than flavonoids!

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which can lower your "bad" cholesterol and control blood sugar. This reduces the risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast can help with weight control since fiber makes you feel full longer.

Courtesy of Bberry | StockFreeImages.com

Let's all eat heathier for a longer life!

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can You Eat Your Way to Better Health?- Part 1

Eating a variety of healthy foods is the key to a good diet which will improve your overall health. No single food will do this but researchers have found that some foods do have disease-fighting properties that can make you healthier. I will examine a few of these foods.

Salmon: Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, lower triglyceride levels, slow the groth of artery-clogging fat deposits, and reduce blood pressure.

Blueberries: Blueberries are another healthy food that can help protect against disease. They, like many other brightly colored berries, area great source of antioxidants, which are natural compounds that are thought to decrease inflammation, and reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of "friendly bacteria", similar to the bacteria that are naturally found in your gut. These bacteria (probiotics) help support the immune system, protects you against diseases, and helps your body digest and absorb foods and other nutrients. Growing evidence suggests that yogurt and can help prevent certain cancers, and treat some health conditions including diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure. They also have loads of vitamin A, whic is important for your vision, bone health, reproduction, and cell growth and maintenance. And due to its natural sweetness, it tastes great on its own...no need for fattening toppings.

This has been Part 1 of "Eating Our Way to Better Health". I'll discuss other healthful foods in my next blog post.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Handmade Designer Purses by Corinna Ciera

This is a quick post to announce what innovative creations have been added to the Corinna Ciera studio. The last post was about the sewing direction Corinna Ciera has taken, specifically fabric coasters.

Another line of sewn originals are designer fabric, hobo purses. These purses are exclusively designed by Corinna Ciera, made from sturdy yet soft upholstery / decorator fabric, and have several interior pockets to help you organize your personal belongings. They are lightweight and perfect for those who do not like a heavy purse or those who have arthritis, in which carrying heavy loads is prohibitive.

These purses and others can be found at www.corinnaciera.etsy.com. This is a new venue for Corinna Ciera, and this is where the new designer hobo purses will be found. More one-of-a-kind purses will be added as soon as each one can be quality handcrafted.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's New for 2012?

Hello everyone. Since I live in north central Texas, there is no snow on the ground (but then snow is lacking in a lot of states). How I long for a day of so of the white stuff! However, since that's not a reality at present, I have focused some time on expanding my craft selection to include fabric coasters. They are practical, since they are made from cotton material and have been treated with fabric protector which creates a barrier that prevents liquids and soils from actually contacting the surfaces of the fibers. As a result, condensation or spills from glasses or cups can be easily blotted away. Here are two sets of fabric coasters. More can be seen at  www.corinnaciera.etsy.com

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Friday, December 2, 2011

What Are The Best Cold Remedies?

Okay, so I have a winter cold. It seems like everyone I know has the sniffles, cough, watery eyes, and a stuffy nose. I haven't had a true cold in years until this year. I need to pull out my remedy bag. I know that viruses that cause the common cold don't respond  to antibiotics, So, what are some remedies?

The very first thing I crave when I have a cold is good, old-fashioned Chicken Soup. I want the chicken, carrots, grean beans or green peas, sometimes corn, noodles, onions, and lots of seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chicken stock). If I want it thicker, I'll add flour, cream of celery soup, or cream of mushroom soup. This is not a recipe blog but I do like to talk about good chicken soup.

A well-known study at the Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup contains a number of substances that actually help combat the common cold. Yes chicken soup works!

Foods that are rich in antioxidants and high in vitamins A, B, C, and other minerals that fortify your immunity are necessary. Here is one list I found that identifies 10 Top Cold Remedy Foods:
  • 100% orange juice
  • avocado
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • garlic
  • grapefruit
  • lean meat
  • yogurt
Building up your immune system with healthy food is close to the best way to fight a cold...the cold remedy.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Friday, October 28, 2011

Back Pain and Exercise: A Good Mix?

Actually, most physicians agree that exercise improves your general health. But what kind of exercise? I asked this question since I have been a low back pain sufferer, finally having to have surgery. Thank goodness I had my back surgery using minimally invasive techniques, so my recovery was faster than that from traditional surgery. Next was physical therapy. After that, I had to think of a different type of lifestyle. So what kind of exercises are best for back pain sufferers and those who have had back surgery?

Aerobic exercising appears to be beneficial for many. This includes swimming, fast walking, cycling, using a ski machine, or an elliptical exerciser. What I have found particularly helpful is cycling on a recumbent stationary bike. These activities must be cleared with your doctor, and they may not be ideal for you if you have other physical limitations.

It is also important to stretch and strengthen your lower back muscles, abdomen, and even thighs. Again, you need to consult with your physician, physical therapist, or health club trainer as to which specific exercises are good for you individually to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

There are activities that you need to steer clear of when you have low back pain or have had back surgery. These No-No's include lifting heavy weights, squatting (also really bad if you have knee problems), climbing, running, jumping, and step aerobics. Again, it cannot be over-emphasized  that you need to consult with your personal physician before starting a new exercise regimen, especially if you have not worked-out recently.

If you suffer with low back pain or have had back surgery, employing any of the above exercise tips can potentially lessen your pain level.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Inexpensive Hobbies and Entertainment in THIS Economy

In the present economy, finding recreation and entertainment that doesn’t break the budget mandates that you become more resourceful. I have thought of things that many people love to do which are inexpensive and fun. Here they are:

Walking and Hiking - These are excellent hobbies because they are physically great for you and don’t cost you money. Just make sure you don’t walk or hike outside in the intense summer heat, and not in Texas where I live. Outside areas are nice in the early morning or very late evening just before sunset. Many people here in our metroplex walk in the air conditioned malls for exercise. Just don’t be tempted to stop and shop in the stores as you walk by.


Gardening - Many people love to garden. Some have window box herb gardens, or outside container gardens of flowers or produce when space is limited. I have been told it’s a relaxing work that is enjoyable.

Cooking and Baking - To save money, we should think about eating out less and cooking at home more. There are many websites that display excellent recipes and pictures of the finished product. Also, collecting these online recipes and making your own recipe book is a fabulous hobby.

Photography - This can be inexpensive if you already have your own camera. It doesn’t have to have every bell and whistle to be a good camera. Reading articles on picture taking will be well worth your while. Taking pictures of your family’s everyday summer fun, a local scenic drive, even a bird in your backyard or tree can be a good picture. Instead of having your pictures printed, you can display them on one of the many free websites for pictures such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc. which offer free and unlimited photo sharing.

Scrapbooking - Others get their photos printed and have made a hobby of scrapbooking. There are many websites and books to show you how to do it. A word of caution is needed here. You must be disciplined when engaging in this hobby because you can invest a lot of money in it if you are not careful.


Reading - It may seem old-fashioned, but you can still read a book by going to the public library. Reading can be absolutely free or very inexpensive and provides hours of endless enjoyment. You have the added benefit of increasing your knowledge or escaping from the realities of everyday life.

Word games - These are fun and build your vocabulary. Try playing Scrabble or similar word games. They can be played on a board purchased at the store or played free online at websites such as MSN Games, Pogo, HP Games, etc. You can play against the computer or with actual players online.

Writing - This is a great way to pass the time and be beneficial. You can share your thoughts online at free sites such as blogspot.com, wordpress.org and others. They offer free resources and tutorials to get you writing quickly. You don’t have to know any coding to have your own blog.

I personally engage in photography, reading, playing word games, and writing. I also craft for fun and money. Sewing has always been my love and regained specialty. All of this keeps my leisure time busy, which is enjoyable and fulfilling for me.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Does Your Mood Affect Your Immunity?

Researchers have found direct links between emotions and the effect on the immune system. Positive emotions can enhance the immune system while negative emotions can suppress it. It has been proven that it can take up to a year to recover a healthy immune system following the death of a spouse. However, having fun with friends and family can have a good effect on our immune systems.
Stress can over- activate the immune system, resulting in the increased risk of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, hives, and asthma.

Most doctors agree that reducing stress is the best non-invasive way to affect our immunity in a positive manner. Stress reducers include lessening the demands upon us, increasing our ability to cope with stress, delegating work, and deleting less important items from your to-do lists. Also suggested is relaxation through massage, listening to soothing music, spending more time unwinding each day, and learning new and useful skills.

 I would like to expand on the last suggestion, learning a new skill. Crafting can be a new skill for many. Whatever the interest, crochet, knitting, sewing, paper crafting, jewelry making, ceramics, etc. (the list can go on indefinitely), the fact is that these new endeavors bring pleasure to many and are also tension relievers. I personally have to be busy in my crafting projects. I don’t consider them work. They bring me joy, tension relief, pleasure, and a sense of accomplishment. My mood is elevated when I see my completed design in front of me.

Whatever outlet you choose, having an optimistic and positive mood is advantageous for your happiness and your health.

See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at