Welcome to Straywind.com!

Welcome to my Cosplay home on the net. My name is Rebecca (aka Stray Wind online). I've been Cosplaying since late 2001. I love the fellowship, challenges and creativity involved in making costumes. My forte is Cosplaying from survival horror video games as well as characters from Anime and games that I grew up enjoying. Since I began Cosplaying, I have worn over 80 costumes and I've attended over 75 conventions and major events. In 2018, I was lucky enough to work with Henchmen Studios on behalf of Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm and I was the official Cosplay model for Orphea when she was announced at BlizzCon 2018. Cosplaying is an exciting journey and I look forward to future projects and events as my journey in the world of Cosplay continues.

-+- Updates -+-

December 8th, 2018
Today was the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. I've been looking forward to it for weeks, but I actually slept really poorly last night so I wasn't really running at 100% when I was getting ready for it. I debuted a new outfit. I decided to create a sort of casual costume based around the cute Orphea Cosplay dress that I bought at BlizzCon. I paired it with a pair of red contacts, some short boots, a white bob wig and a crown that my friend Adrien made for me. I was pretty excited to Cosplay as Orphea again even in a casual capacity so it was a fun experience. I just wish I had been a bit more on top of things when I was doing my makeup. I wish I had made my eye makeup a little stronger, but it still looked pretty nice albeit subtle. I did a shoot with my friend Elemental, so I'll look forward to getting those photos back in the new year.

Thankfully my friend Pan took a bunch of photos on her phone and mine so I have few pics of Orphea from around the con. A few selfies as well as a pic with Santa! I've been attending the Fan Days Show for the last 3 years and Christmas outfits for various characters have always been popular, but it was super popular this year! I would say 80%-90% of all costumes were Christmas themed or incorporated some Xmas bling. In my little Blizzard dress with no adornment, I felt a little underdressed. XD Maybe next year if I Cosplay I'll actually wear something Christmas themed. XD

The con was pretty casual. I checked out the dealer's room and artist alley. It was a somewhat small area, but there was still a lot to see. I bought some handmade lip balm, some cute Eevee and Pikachu stickers, a fanart pouch of Overwatch characters and I bought a cute little Superman onesie for my nephew who is due to be born in just 3 months! My favourite purchase was a cute little plush jellyfish. It's dessert themed with little strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream on it and is coloured like chocolate. It has yarn tentacles to be a cute hanging decoration. It's already proudly hanging in my room. (^^) I got to see a number of friends in passing including my wonderful friend Ammie who was at the con with her bf Sean. So glad I could catch up with her. I was able to meet Santa with my friends Pan, Adrien and Mackenzie so spending quality time with my friends made the day a big success. The Toronto Fan Days event is super casual (or holiday I guess) and is pretty fun. I'll probably check it out again next year. (^_^)

I created a write-up for my new casual Orphea costume and I added it to my costume gallery with photos that Pan took of me from the con. You can find it here. I'll add the pics that Amanda took when she gets a chance to edit them. They'll probably be ready to post in early 2019. One thing to note about the outfit was that the crown was 3D printed by Adrien. He found the model and sized it to my proportions. He cleaned it up after printing and he used a pretty sparkly clear coat on it so itís super cute! The crown was one of the things that I really loved about my original costume so Iím glad that I have a nice crown that I can now use to reminisce about Orphea.

-+- Past Updates -+-

December 3rd, 2018
Just a quick update after my last post yesterday. Henchmen Studios posted the Behind the Scenes video on YouTube for the Orphea costume that they built and I wore at BlizzCon last month. It's a really neat video that includes shots from the various times that I visited the studio for fittings as well as some shots of the costume on the con floor. The most interesting shots are of the costume in progress. You can see the Henchmen team hard at work on the various aspects of the costume like the dress and the stunning relic. <3 I actually got a little emotional watching the video. There was so much of the process that I didn't get to see, but as a fellow costumer, it's incredible to see what the team was able to create and the process to go from the drawing board to the final outfit. I fondly remember the cute 3D printed model of Orphea. It was one of the first things that greeted me when I signed the NDA. That feels like so long ago! Seeing the Orphea model for the first time didn't prepare me for how amazing a journey it would be for the costume to come to life and it was a wonderful experience to be part of that journey. Hopefully that won't be the last time that I Cosplay Orphea. I have so many feelings about the character now! (^_^)

I also added a few progress photos of Orphea to the Orphea costume page of pics that Henchmen Studios posted last week. I like the shots that we did in the Henchmen Studio of the costume a week before BlizzCon when it was pretty much done. The wig and makeup were tweaked afterwards so it's not the final version of the costume, but the lighting was quite pretty to show off the nice details of the costume. (^^)

December 2nd, 2018
Next Saturday is the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show, which will be my last event of the year. I'm still not 100% sure that I'll make it out for the event, but I'm planning for it. I have a mini photoshoot booked with my friend Elemental so I'm looking forward to working with her. I have a fun idea for a somewhat casual costume that I'm itching to put together for the event. The Fan Days Holiday Show (put together by the Fan Expo crew) is a pretty low-key event. It's really just an excuse to do some shopping for geeky stuff before Xmas. It should be a fun change of pace after the intensity of BlizzCon. I'm pretty excited to get photos of the outfit that I plan to wear so I can't wait to put together a gallery for it after the event. (^_^)

November 8th, 2018
I can finally talk about what's been simmering in the background of my life for the last couple of months. Back in August I was asked if I would like to potentially participate in a Cosplay project as a model with the ever talented Henchmen Studios for an event in early November. I didn't know much about the potential project, but I was curious so I said yes. A few weeks later I was told that the project was a go and after signing an NDA, I was told that the project would be for BlizzCon and I was introduced to Orphea who would be a new original hero that was being added to the Heroes of the Storm game that's made by Blizzard. I would be portraying her as an official Cosplay model for the character as part of her promotion at the event. I got to see the studio for Henchmen and I meet a lot of the team. Everyone was so sweet (especially the resident studio dog, the precious and stinky French bulldog, Pepper). :3 Throughout the months of September and October I was back and forth to the studio every week or two and it was a fun process. I got to see the costume come together from muslin mock ups of the clothing to the finished pieces and the gorgeous relic as it was being constructed.

Just a week before BlizzCon I came in for a makeup test and it was the first time I got to see the costume as a whole and try it on. It was an incredible experience. Prior to the con I only knew of Orphea through a few character reference images so trying the whole thing on made the character feel real. Kevin did an outstanding job bringing the character to life through my makeup.

Attending BlizzCon was quite an undertaking. I had a somewhat subdued Halloween so as to not get overwhelmed with decorating as I wanted to clean things up before my trip the next day. That also meant that I was quite busy the night before my trip and that definitely cut into my ability to get some sleep. It was also my first time flying in six years so I was a bit nervous. Thankfully the flight wasn't until after 4PM on Thursday, November 1st, so I had plenty of time to get ready during the day. I got to meet the lovely Tracy (Attyca) and Louisette at the airport along with more of the Henchmen crew. Louisette and Tracy were both going to be models for 2 World of Warcraft costumes that Henchmen had also made for the con. The studio actually made 4 costumes for BlizzCon: Jaina and Princess Talanji from WoW, Orphea from Heroes of the Storm and the new Overwatch hero, Ashe. Henchmen is pretty famous now for their Overwatch debut hero costumes so the hype was pretty intense for Ashe.

The flight down to the con was fine. It was somewhat turbulent, but I got used to it. I was also able to watch Tomb Raider and the Incredibles 2 on my Air Canada flight thanks to the onboard entertainment system so I couldn't complain about that. We got into LAX by the evening and I was super hungry. We had to wait a bit for a shuttle and it was after 8 before we made it to Anaheim. I was supposed to do another makeup test on Thursday night, but due to some airplane shenanigans, that got postponed. Instead I was able to join the WoW models and Henchmenís seamstress Kiga on a trip to Downtown Disney. Kiga was kind enough to guide us and we had a great dinner at Tortilla Jo's. It was really nice Mexican food. Afterward Tracy, Kiga and I wandered around Downtown Disney. Sadly, everything was closing or had closed. I was able to check out The World of Disney store for a few minutes and I was able to get a couple of Haunted Mansion ornaments that I had heard about and wanted. It was so nice to get the Haunted Mansion Bride ornament without paying scalper prices through eBay. I also got Minnie Mouse ears as a cute Disneyland souvenir. I had hoped to find Haunted Mansion ears, but they were probably long sold out before Halloween. ~_~ Iím a HUGE Disney Parks fan so it was amazing to see Downtown Disney. If I ever make it back to Anaheim I really want to check out Disneyland since Iíve never been before.

At this point it was already like 2AM back in Toronto and I probably didn't get to sleep until more like 3AM EST. Thankfully I had a really nice room at the Courtyard Marriott, which wasn't far from the convention centre. The call time to meet with Henchmen outside of the con was 7AM PST so needless to say, I didn't get a ton of sleep, but of course the excitement about the con gave me plenty of energy. Coming up to the con centre and seeing the iconic BlizzCon banners and sign was a very surreal moment! Everything was really epic to see in person.

It was quite a long morning. It took quite a while for all four of the models to get our makeups done and other costume accessories together. Thankfully Blizzard provided meals for us and the food was really good. It really helped with my energy level. Henchmen Studios had its own room within the con centre to use as a base of operation and a place for the models to take breaks. I had my makeup done first by the very talented Kevin. He played with makeup options for a bit until Stephanie, the Heroes of the Storm rep, came and was able to confirm the look was great for the character. Having my makeup done professionally was quite an experience. I've only ever had my makeup done once before working with Henchmen. I'm not particularly strong at doing my own makeup especially since I'm a tomboy so I don't really wear a lot of makeup in general, but the look Kevin achieved was quite a transformation. I definitely felt like a whole new character!

Gilly, Kiga and Aaron helped me get into costume. It was quite a complicated outfit. I wore a chest harness under the clothing to give the relic something to attach to when I wore it. There was nothing like the moment when everything came together and I was in the full costume. All the models had to be ready to go around 11 and once we were ready we all got to watch the livestream of the opening ceremonies from the Henchmen room. It was awesome to see the reveals for Orphea and Ashe. I cried a little when I saw Orphea's reveal! She's such a beautiful character and her appearance, characteristics and attacks all feel like something I would appreciate in the game. Needless to say, I felt an instant connection! It made the honour of portraying the character for Blizzard feel even greater.

My duties at the con varied. Mostly I was down on the show floor to give people a chance to see the costume, talk about the character and take photos with me or just of me. Gilly and Aaron were my handlers. They helped get me through crowds, got me water if I needed it and helped to take the relic on and off as needed. They were awesome helpers! Often, Stephanie the HoTS rep from Blizzard, also accompanied us and I really appreciated her directions. I definitely will say that I've never had a costume experience quite like Orphea! First of all, the number of people that asked us how we got the costume done so fast was very high. Not that I take for granted being given such an amazing and privileged position to have the blessing of Blizzard and a costume made by an incredible local team. People were so nice about the character, though. The cinematic reveal at the opening ceremonies got people really excited about her. If I was stopped for a photo I usually ended up posing for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. It was constant flashbulbs.

I did get to participate in the traditional outdoor BlizzCon group Cosplay photo. For years I've been seeing photos from that shoot so it was an incredible feeling to be part of it. It also helped that the weather was gorgeous and back in Toronto fall is giving way to frigid winter temperatures. (-_-) The con centre is also such an interesting space. The way BlizzCon organizes itself and lights the areas creates such an immersive and almost cinematic-like experience. I can see why people are really drawn to the con.

I mostly spent my time in the Heroes of the Storm area. I got to meet quite a few members of the development team who helped to create Orphea. I have to say that it was so special to meet the people that were responsible for making a character like Orphea. I was even able to snag a signed Orphea picture from the signing area. I'm hoping to frame that eventually. (^_^) It was fun to see the reaction to Orphea in general. People really seemed to love the character. Of course, it helped that the costume was so show stopping with the way I could wear the relic and lights inside it made it glow beautifully.

I participated in a Orphea segment with the team filming for the virtual ticket stream. Stephanie talked about the character as I was a live model for her. That was pretty cool. I also did a shoot with the photography crew from Henchmen Studios. One of the cool things that I got to do was get a video on the Overwatch Payload Tour stage. Gilly suggested it and it was a ton of fun! Most of the day was spent going back and forth from the show floor to the break room until it was time to call it a day. It was kind of sad to take off Orphea. I was having such a good time and it was so nice to meet con attendees. Everyone was so friendly and made me and, as an extension, Orphea, feel welcome!

The final day of BlizzCon was much of the same. I did a quick photoshoot with a Blizzard photographer. I actually ended up being incorporated on the fly into some filming just before an Orphea feature panel started. That was totally unplanned and organized just 20 minutes before show time. It was very nice of the stage crew to squeeze me in and I hope I did alright. XD

I was also able to hit the Overwatch Payload Tour booth one more time and this time with the three other Henchmen Studios models. I'm sad that I didn't get a group selfie with the other girls. They were all lovely to meet and real troopers with their respective costumes!

Another member of the Henchmen crew, Kyle, was kind enough to wait in the shop line and picked up the key art magnet as well as the Orphea t-shirt and dress (that were revealed as BlizzCon merch after the opening ceremonies) for me. I was quite happy to buy all the Orphea merch! I hope Blizzard knows that I will buy all of the Orphea things from here on out! They've earned a lifelong customer! XD The dress is actually super cute and I'm excited to get a chance to wear it to a con in the future. :3

When it was time for me to say goodbye to my Orphea costume at the end of Saturday, it was a real bummer to take it off. I knew the relic would be taken to the HoTS office to be displayed. I've heard that they want a proper display cabinet made for it and I think that's going to be amazing. Stephanie also kept my costume so hopefully it'll also be displayed. I do hope that one day I can portray Orphea again, though.

Attending BlizzCon was like a dream. The only dark cloud for me was the fact that I couldn't tell my mother about this tremendous opportunity. I still wish I could tell her that her support of me with Cosplaying and teaching me to sew would one day give me this Cosplay modelling contract. I know she would have been so proud of me.

The trip home was not the smoothest. I had to return home solo. I was up and out of my hotel room before 5:30AM and I had 9AM flight to San Francisco where I took a giant Air Canada jet back to Toronto. It was a bit of a roundabout route. The plane was delayed in San Fran and the customs line was dreadful back in Toronto. At least the food at San Francisco airport was great (definitely check out Napa Farms Market in the International departures area of San Fran if you're ever stuck there). I was able to watch A Quiet Place and The Meg as well as some tv shows because the plane was so delayed on the way back. I didn't get home until after 10PM EST so it was a very long day, but I made it home in one piece.

If I was given the chance, I would attend BlizzCon again in a heartbeat. The convention almost had a glow to it. The community is quite vibrant and the con is cinematic. I can see why it's a fan favourite con and why so many people go back each year. I'll forever be thankful to Henchmen Studios for offering the modelling position to me and for Blizzard accepting me as their official Orphea Cosplayer. I think she'll add an exciting new dimension to the HoTS game and I can only see her popularity growing in the future. I'm so thrilled that she'll be headlining the marketing for the game in the future. It's awesome to see a girl character have a position like that. Now I have to return to my everyday life, but I'll definitely look back fondly on the dream come true that was BlizzCon 2018!

I've added a costume page for Orphea to my costume gallery featuring some photos that have been sent to me or that I've found around the net. If you're looking for more detailed information about the costume and my experiences with the Henchmen crew as it was being put together, then be sure to check it out here.

October 27th, 2018
My last update was just last week, but it's actually been an extremely busy week for me. The photoshoot that I did for my Candy Corn costume from Costume Quest went really well. At least I think it did. Last Sunday we gathered together five costumers for the occasion. My friend Pan was the Statue of Liberty, Slothcore Jen was the Space Warrior, my friend Rin was an adorable Unicorn and my friend Mackenzie put together the Pumpkin costume in the last couple of days before Sunday's shoot. XD We spent a lot of time outside and took some photos in front of a couple of random houses that were decorated. Our photographer Elemental was kind enough to ask each homeowner if it was ok. We also went to the field behind Upper Canada College and took some fun photos there. I have no idea how well the photos turned out in terms of how I looked. With the cold and the constant movement, my wig was probably a mess and the candy corn hat kept falling off, but we had a blast. It was fun to wear a truly Halloween inspired costume just a couple of weeks before the holiday because regular folks were so nice and understanding and it really gave me a Halloween feeling. I've been so busy since early September with a project that I haven't had that much time to get excited for Halloween so this shoot really hit the spot. We also have to thank Adrien as well as Jen's boyfriend, Brian for helping out with the shoot. It was a great evening! Elemental should be sending out preview shots from the shoot soon and I'll have the full set back in a few weeks. It'll be too late to share the pics for Halloween this year, but I'll have some fun pics to share on social media for Halloween 2019. (^^)

I still can't write about the project that I'm currently involved with, but I'll be able to talk about it soon. Just a few more days until Halloween and then afterward all will be revealed. I'm really happy that it's almost time because keeping things under wraps, especially now that the event is so close, has been driving me up the wall. I'm glad the cat will be out of the bag soon! :3

Finally, my contact from the MixerBlueShow team sent me a copy of my Cosplay interview segment from the Silent Hill MixerBlueShow episode from last week. I uploaded a copy to YouTube and you can find it here. I added it to the Around the Web section of this site as well where I post videos and interviews that I've done over the years. It was such a cool experience so I'm still so thankful that I was contacted to participate.

October 18th, 2018
It's been a busy week for me. My friend Amanda finished editing the shoot photos of my Snow Miku costume from Fan Expo and sent them to me. I resized them and added them to the Twinkle Snow Miku costume page, which you can find here. Overall, I'm really happy with how they turned out. She really transformed some pretty simple con backdrops into pretty settings. The spinning photo that shows the costumeís flow is my favourite. :3

Last night I had the exciting opportunity to participate in a live webcast discussion about Silent Hill for the MixerBlueShow on the Mixer platform. I was asked to be part of the show to discuss my costume work and I even got into the spirit of it by re-wearing my Lisa Garland costume for the interview. I was originally approached because of my Lisa costume and it was a really neat experience. I was super nervous about it, but I got over my nerves just before show time and I think it went pretty well. I rambled quite a bit so I'm not sure if I gave the best answers, but it was a super neat experience. I know photos of my Lisa (Silent Hill), Sam (Trick 'r Treat), Maria (Silent Hill 2) and Heather (Silent Hill 3) costumes were included and it was cool to remember some of my older costumes. It's been quite a while since I made a survival horror game costume and I really do miss it! I'm excited for Resident Evil 2's remake. Maybe that'll give me inspiration to make something new! Thanks to the team at MixerBlueShow for including me in the episode! Everyone was super friendly.

In costume news, Pan and I have organized a small Costume Quest photoshoot for this Sunday with my friends Jen and Rin and Amanda will be the photographer. The costumes are basically silly Halloween costumes made by kids. Iíll be the Candy Corn and my costume was made by my friend Pan. Weíre aiming for an evening shoot so Iím kind of excited to see how thatíll go. Too bad itís going to be fairly cold that day! Hopefully we wonít freeze!

I wish I could say that I'm heading into a period of calm, but Halloween will be here before we know it and right after Halloween (November 1st) I'll be heading out on a business trip. It's going to be pretty exciting and I'm really nervous about it, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how it goes (and talking about it once I'm there). In the meantime, I need to get things sorted out for Halloween and hopefully not get too overwhelmed with decorating. XD

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