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. Cosplaying is an exciting journey and I look forward to future projects and events as my journey in the world of Cosplay continues.

-+- Updates -+-

July 31st, 2018
The last month has been pretty busy. At the beginning of the month I took a trip to Pontiac, Quebec with my father, younger brother and our dog, Persephone, and we rented a cottage by the Ottawa river. I had a very relaxing week by the river. It was quite private as the cottage was the last one on a small private road and the nearby cottages were all vacant. Persephone loved sitting in the water and exploring the shoreline. I had fun sitting by the water, floating on the river with a pool float and I even tried my hand at canoeing. At night it was super clear and you could go stargazing from the porch. It was an amazing view. The only downside was that it was extremely hot most of the days that we were there and the cottage had no AC. It was almost always cooler outside than inside the cottage even with fans in most of the rooms. There were also a ton of mosquitoes. In the evenings you would go outside at your own risk. I got a lot of mosquito bites that week! It was a nice recharge though! My first vacation in years and it really did seem like time stood still for that week. My brain still thinks it's only mid-July! Hard to believe another month is nearly over.

I did start working on my next costume project after my vacation. I found that I still had some leftover white fabric from the skirt that I made for my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform so I could start the new costume with fabric that I had on hand. I'm working on Hitomi's school uniform from the Escaflowne movie. I wanted to work on a simple costume over the summer and school uniforms are becoming an old hat for me at this point. It's pretty straight forward. I'm modifying the blouse pattern that I used for my Sakura Haruno and Madoka costumes. I ordered beads to make her pendant. I had to order a set of 9 of them so it was a little expensive, but I guess at least I can experiment. The only issue is that I was hoping to go downtown to check out the fabric district for blues for the bow and her collar and pleated skirt, but I wasn't able to go when I had planned to so I'm not sure when I'll get a chance. I was kind of thinking of making this for Fan Expo, but I still have to get the fabric, get the gems for the pendant and then make everything, so with just a month to go, that does not seem very likely. I'm also not sure if that costume would get much recognition at a more comic and sci-fi themed con so waiting to get it done for next year is probably a good idea. It's kind of a bummer, though. The costume would have been great for a summer con. I think I can finish it in 2 or 3 weeks once I get the fabric so whenever I get the fabric I'll work on it. If nothing else, I can wear it to Anime North 2019. Escaflowne is still one of my favourite franchises and I think Hitomi's movie outfit is quite a cute uniform (although a bit generic) but it should be a fun costume to put together. I'll just re-wear my old wig even if it is a tad dark for her movie design, I already have shoes and I bought navy socks. Hopefully I won't run into any snags trying to buy fabric for this.

It was my intention to make the costume for Fan Expo, but Fan Expo has become a little muddled for me. I discussed it with my friend Pan (who I've been attending Fan Expo with since 2014) and we've both agreed that despite no longer having masq positions for volunteering, we enjoy aspects of the con enough to get tickets. We both don't want to go for the full weekend, though. I still think the full weekend price is pretty ridiculous, but we both really love the Artist Alley and some of the exhibits. Therefore, we're going to buy Thursday and Friday one-day tickets. That way we can hopefully see the Artist Alley when it's not super crowded on Thursday night and take in more of the general sights on Friday.

I would like to track down the North American Dragon Ball touring exhibit that's supposedly stopping at Fan Expo (the only Canadian stop). Based on what it looked like at SDCC and Anime Expo, it looks like it has super cool backdrops for photos. I'm thinking of bringing back my Battle of the Gods purple dress Bulma costume one last time (probably for Thursday night of Fan Expo) with the hope of being able to check out the exhibit and snag some fun character photos.

My costume for Friday of Fan Expo is a bit up in the air. I did purchase a Miku Hatsune costume a few months ago. It's a costume with fabric that seemed a little out of my league to find or design so I thought buying the costume might be worthwhile. Itís also probably my favourite Miku design. I still need to style the wig a bit, but I'm hoping that Pan can help me do that in August. It doesn't look like I have any other pressing costumes that I made myself that I might wear to the con and I want to give my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform, my Kagome costume and my Madoka school uniform a bit of a break since I've worn all 3 costumes a lot in the last year and a half. If any of my other costumes jump out at me I might change my plans, but this Miku costume would be pretty cute to wear and with only a month to go, it would be tough to start anything else new now.

I'll post here again when I finalize my plans for Fan Expo. I'll continue to gather supplies for Hitomi and I'll hopefully get some work done on it before the end of the summer. The blouse is already close to being halfway done. I'm crossing my fingers that I do get a chance to find fabric for Hitomi even if I can't wear it for a while. It would be nice to go into the 2019 con season with a new costume already ready to go. :3

-+- Past Updates -+-

June 28th, 2018
Greg sent me copies of the photos that turned out from the Sakura Kinomoto shoot that he was kind enough to do with me during Saturday of Pretty Heroes. He took a few photos of me on the veranda outside so the natural lighting and forest backdrop made for some cute photos. He took several shots of me with my Kero plush and with my staff. He did take a couple of shots with my prop Clear card, but unfortunately, none of those pics turned out. Maybe I'll re-wear Sakura again one day to get some photos with it. It's not the worst thing in the world if I never get a chance to get photos with the card. Maybe I'll make another Sakura costume one day. (^^) I've uploaded the photos to the costume gallery which you can find here. It was lots of fun working with Greg. He gave great direction so it was a nice experience.

I'm starting to plan out my next costume. I'm itching to get working on it, but I can't do anything until I get back from a family vacation at the beginning of July. I need to plan a trip to the fabric district so I hope I can arrange that fairly quickly once I'm back. My plans for going to Fan Expo are a bit up in the air because I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to volunteer with the masquerade again. It seems the masquerade has now been discontinued in favour of a cash prize Cosplay competition. It's pretty exciting for Cosplay and the con, but I have no idea if the ninja crew is part of the new show and will be needed. That'll impact if I go to Fan Expo and for how long. If I no longer have a volunteer spot, than I might look into buying a ticket for one day. I'll have to think hard about what day because the cost of Fan Expo is so high now. I miss when tickets back in 2001 (when it was still 3 days) were $40 for the full weekend. Times sure have changed! Hopefully I can still manage to go for a day and I get some clarity about working backstage in the coming weeks.

June 18th, 2018
Pretty Heroes 2018 is now in the past, but it was a pretty fun weekend. My friend Ammie has been singing the praises of that con since it first started up four years ago as Sailor Moon Celebration so I have been eager to see what it was like. The con had some hiccups on Saturday. The scheduling in one panel area was running behind by over an hour and there was no moderator to get things back on track, but I had to admire how chill and understanding everyone was about mishaps. I had a nice time checking out the Echo Three Star Wars group panel. Ammie is one of the founding members of it and it operates out of London, Ontario. They work with the local hospital network to run charity events and hospital visits so I admire the work that they do. I also checked out the worbla panel that Ammie was co-hosting with Dream Cosplay. I've never seen worbla in action before so that was really cool to learn about.

I spent most of the rest of Saturday hanging out in parts of the Science Centre like The Living Earth and Human Edge exhibits. I haven't been in the Science Centre since 2015 so it was nice to see it again. I also stopped at Kuma Crafts to buy another necklace. I have about a dozen Kuma Craft necklaces now and I just love how sparkly and well made they are. (^^)

Another big highlight of Saturday was meeting Greg of Very Frank Pictures. I've known of Greg as a photographer in the Cosplay community for a couple of years mostly through Ammie sharing pictures, but I had never met him. Ammie introduced us and he was kind enough to take some photos of my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. He was very nice to work with and I'm super excited to see how the photos turned out.

My Sakura costume was a blast to wear again. I got lots of compliments on the outfit and that really made my heart happy with how much work it was to put together. There weren't a lot of Card Captor Cosplayers at Pretty Heroes so it was nice to represent that series by wearing that costume. Another con attendee gave me a craft beaded Star Wand key that she said she was going to give to a Card Captor Cosplayer so that was touching. I also was given a "Momiji Loves Your Cosplay" ribbon from an Anime North representative when he took my picture so that was a very nice gesture. :3

I hung out with my friend Adrien on Saturday and thankfully we got to see a lot of my friend Ammie and Dee as well as they both came up from London for the con. It's so rare for me to see Ammie now so it was lovely to stop for a snack and chat over food for a bit and of course, see her amazing collection of costumes! She wore her Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw costume on Saturday and looked awesome. I still adore that game. I was also blown away by her Wicked Lady costume that she wore on Sunday. She looks picture perfect as that character!

I returned on Sunday in my Kagome costume. I did intend to wear something Sailor Moon, but I was pretty tired and testing out my Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume just before the con was driving me batty. Some of the hairclips have started to become sticky as the resin is degrading (I bought the clips several years ago) so they were difficult to set in place. One even fell and broke and I did an ok job gluing it back together, but itís frustrating. Basically the costume was complicated and difficult to wear so I thought being more casual would make the day a little more enjoyable. I did have a good time wearing Kagome. I also received quite a few very nice compliments on the costume. Pan came with me to the con on Sunday and we mostly browsed the indie dealer and artist areas. I bought tons of prints! I barely bought any prints at AN or March Toronto ComiCON this year, but so many of the artists at Pretty Heroes had art styles that really caught my eye so I had lots of fun shopping and complimenting artists. I bought a beautiful Wicked Lady print. I also bought a very eye-catching group print of all the Inner Scouts in their school uniforms lying on the grass as well as a group Chibi print of all the Madoka Magica girls from the same seller. I purchased an Inuyasha and Kagome print from another artist and some really cute stickers from yet another seller. The only official merch that I bought was a cute stationary Sailor Moon magnet of the Crystal Star Locket. Such a cute design.

I spoke a bit more with Ammie and Pan and I explored some of the Science Centre. Pan was kind enough to go outside with me to get some photos of Kagome in the woods. I think they turned out really well and the lighting was super flattering! She even took a photo of me in front of the awesome DeLorean made to be a replica of the one from the Back to the Future movie that was on display in the POPnology exhibit. :D That was super awesome to see.

Overall, I had a great weekend. I think the fact attending the con gave you access to the Science Centre made it very good value and the con did have some quality content. I definitely can't complain since I got to see and spend some time with one of my best friends. (^_^) I'll definitely look into attending again next year. Maybe not for the full weekend if it ends up being 2 days again, but I'll have to see what the con has planned for 2019.

I did add a photo to my Sakura Kinomoto Cosplay page. It was a picture I had Adrien take of me in front of a cool lit wall in the Science Arcade. I've also added the photos that Pan took of me as Kagome in the woods to that costume page. I'm really happy with how those photos turned out.

Next up I would like to work on a new costume over the summer, but I'm a bit busy until a week into July so any plans will have to be put on hold for a while. Hopefully by mid-July I can go fabric shopping because I think I can put something together in time for Fan Expo. I guess we'll see if I have time. If not, I'll probably finish it over the fall and I have a closet full of old (and some unworn) costumes that I can pick through for Fan Expo. (^^);;

June 14th, 2018
It's almost time for Pretty Heroes and I'm really excited for it. I've been fairly busy these last few weeks since Anime North. Taking inventory of things that I had sold and what was left from the Nomi took several days and just a week after AN I had to quickly gather some things to sell at a garage sale my older brother was hosting at his new house. Needless to say, packing and sorting things has been my life for quite a few weeks. Pretty happy to chill out a bit after Pretty Heroes.

Preparing for the con has stalled a bit. I'm having a heck of a time picking a costume to wear. It makes sense to wear a fuku since this is a more Sailor Moon orientated event, but wearing a fuku is so constricting and time consuming. I really would like to wear the Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that Amber made for me, but it might be just too much if I also want to venture around the Science Centre. I will be wearing my Sakura Kinomoto costume on Saturday of the convention. That one I have my heart set on wearing. I'm hoping to get a few photos of the costume in the ravine area of the Science Centre, but that also depends on if I can find anyone to shoot with. Almost everyone that I know is going to Yeticon so itís going to be interesting to see how this convention goes in comparison.

For Sunday of the convention, I'll still consider wearing Super Sailor Chibi Moon, but I'll see if I feel up to it or if I would rather be a bit more casual and I'll probably re-wear my Kagome costume. Both options fit the theme of the con. I have tons of female heroine costumes so actually picking a costume to wear is difficult. I would also love to re-wear my Madoka school uniform. Maybe if I attend the con again next year, then I'll re-wear Madoka then. :3 I had a new purchased costume that I was kind of hoping to wear to the con this weekend, but I didn't get a chance to get the wig trimmed so that's unfortunately on the back burner for a few weeks.

I have a vague idea of a couple of fun costume options that I wouldn't mind working on over the summer. There is one costume that I might look at making over the fall for conventions in 2019 and the other a costume that might be fairly easy to make so I would consider working on it for Fan Expo. I only just thought of this new idea in the last 24 hours so it's still extremely tentative. If I do it, I already have a wig and shoes and the outfit is pretty simple. It's another school uniform (surprise) and this time it's a simple knife pleated skirt and short sleeve zip up blouse. It's from an older Anime now and I've already Cosplayed from the series once before (with another costume from the series waiting to be worn actually). It all really depends on if I can find the right fabrics for it, but it would probably be fairly cheap and quick to make. I would love to work on something simple for the days when it's too hot to really go outside. We'll see if I can arrange a fabric shopping day in the next few weeks to get started on this costume in July.

May 28th, 2018
My 17th Anime North is now behind me and all and all, it was a pretty good year. I was so worried about getting to and from the con and how that would limit my experience, but I usually went home when I was good and tired and it was nice to take time each evening to sort out what I had left from the Nomi as opposed to having to deal with that and unpacking all at once on Sunday.

My table, N122, at the Nominoichi, went over pretty well. I did about as well as Iíve done during the last couple of years (over $1,200) and I did make a pretty big dent in what I brought. I took with me four full boxes of stuff and a suitcase that was pretty stuffed and in the end the suitcase was half empty and only two boxes are left moderately full. I sold plenty of figures and quite a few little Re-Ment miniatures. I have quite a few gashapons left over, as well as most of the clothing and wigs, but hopefully I'll find more chances to sell some of that stuff during the rest of the year. I've heard a board game group at U of T does a garage sale event and will run one this fall so I'll probably see about getting a table there. I can't thank my friend Adrien enough for driving us down to the con, for creating our setup and for making the amazing sign that we had. It really was easy to spot our table. I had lots of fun talking with people as they browsed and I'm happy that almost all the people that reserved from me showed up. I'll hopefully be back again next year.

The Nominoichi took up the entirety of my Friday and I didn't Cosplay. It was quite hot in the Nomi venue. I was surprised that we got an early taste of summer for the whole Anime North weekend. Originally the prediction was for rain and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday, but besides it getting dark for a bit on Saturday afternoon, it was quite clear. Too bad it was so hot. It definitely wasn't the best weather to wear my costumes. XD

My Sakura Kinomoto costume, which I wore on Saturday, went over really well. I re-wore my school uniform with my new updates including new buttons and lace detailing on the skirt and I'm happy with how it looked. My new Dream wand made for an awesome Cosplay prop. It arrived on the 22nd, just a few days before Anime North, so I'm thrilled that I got it in time. That and my wig especially, got lots of compliments. I'm just really happy with how the costume turned out.

On Sunday I re-wore my Kagome costume. I was nervous about wearing it with the heat, but it wasn't quite as terribly hot on Sunday. The costume looked nice and I loved wearing my new wig that Pan had styled for me. There were quite a few Inuyasha Cosplayers at AN this year. I got a photo with a wonderful Sesshomaru and Inuyasha and the costume earned me quite a few compliments. That costume is something I still hold close to my heart given that I made it last fall when I was really struggling emotionally so every compliment was a treasure to me.

I spent most of the weekend at the Congress Centre in and around the various vendors. Usually I'm at the Delta quite a bit, but with no hotel space there for me, I only went there for a little bit on Sunday. I had to walk by the hotel pool and cry a little. I hope next year I get hotel space again, but I'm a bit torn because staying home was kind of nice.

I actually did most of my shopping for the weekend at the Nominoichi on Friday. I was able to get some Pokemon Center Halloween straps as well as the coveted Easter Eeviee and Easter Pikachu plushies from another seller at the event. I was a bit on the fence about collecting the Easter plushies, but they're super cute and soft and that adds an Eeviee plush to my growing Pokemon Center collection. From past events and online purchases, I have last year's Halloween Pikachu, the Christmas Vulpix and the Valentine's Day male and female Pikachu plush set from this year so now I've pretty much covered all the major holidays in Pokemon plush form. It was a nice surprise to be able to get those Easter plushies at the Nomi since the only other dealer for the con was sure to have sold out of them within a few minutes of the con opening on Friday. I also purchased a large Banpresto sleeping Vulpix prize plush from another Nomi table that's super fluffy! I've become a sucker for Vulpix plushies!

My only other purchases from the weekend were a couple of cute postcards (one of which is another Sakura print from the new CCS Anime) from Artist Alley, some sweet magnets from Crafter's (one magnet is of Lesser Dog from Undertale, which looks like my Samoyed Persephone). Finally, I got a cute Twinkle Snow Miku keychain from the dealer's room and I fed my Kuma Crafts addiction by getting 2 new necklaces - one a stuffed cookie and another a Halloween witch rabbit. So cute! Looking forward to shopping from them again at Pretty Heroes.

It was nice seeing the friends that I ran into during the weekend and checking out some of the cool exhibits like the awesome Pokemon statues in the Gallery Momiji. I'm glad all the food trucks and food vendors were back this year! I loved getting cherry lemonades and places like Swiss Chalet were quite prepared to handle the big crowds by rolling out special menus to keep the wait times down. I had a really nice Anime North. Nothing over the top happened and the Nominoichi went well so I have no big complaints. I'm definitely looking forward to attending again in 2019!

I didn't do any photoshoots during the weekend, but I did get a couple of hallways shots of my Sakura and Kagome costumes, which I added to those costume pages. I'm hoping to do a shoot of my Sakura costume at Pretty Heroes. My plan right now is to wear Sakura to that con on the Saturday and a new costume I have (that I didn't make) on Sunday. It's kind of exhausting and exciting to have another con coming up in just 3 weeks. I'm sure it'll be really fun. I keep hearing good things about Pretty Heroes and I'm excited to see Amber there. At some point I want to start working on a new costume (maybe something for Fan Expo). I have no costume ideas right now, though, so maybe something will come to me in the next month or two. Now I just need to focus on recovering from Anime North!

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