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 -+-

June 25th, 2020
It feels almost bizarre now that we're halfway through 2020 to reflect on and think about how things are sitting in the world and where things are headed for the rest of the year. I never thought I would be staring at an empty social calendar, but these are unprecedented times. Fan Expo Canada today announced that Fan Expo at the end of August has been officially cancelled for the year, but a more limited Fan Expo convention will be happening in early November and will have an attendance cap of 25,000 people. I did have a Thursday ticket to Fan Expo that was automatically switched to being a Friday ticket for the new November convention. I was hoping that if the con was cancelled my ticket would be transferred to 2021ís convention or maybe to the March Toronto ComiCON, but expecting a 25,000 person convention to happen in November? Let's get serious. That's a pipedream. I mean there is a 99% chance it'll also be cancelled, but I'm sick of having this ticket hanging over me so I gave up on the service fee and just had my ticket refunded. If in some bizarre twist we're free of the virus by November I'll gladly buy a ticket, but that's like a twilight zone dream honestly.

As I had previously written, Anime North did say they wanted to do a Halloween dance event this year and Pretty Heroes had moved their convention to late November, but I'm sure no major (or even small scale) event will happen this year. Heck I doubt Anime North will happen in 2021 if it's still mid year so I'm emptying my planned event list for 2020 and I'll only update it when it seems like it's realistic that an event will be safe to attend.

It's weird that pretty much everything has shifted to being in late October and in November. The big life news I posted about in my last entry was that my brother and his wife are expecting a baby and that baby is also due in November so that month is going to be quite lively if any social event can actually happen too. At least the baby should be a certainty. Even a virus can't stop that, but it will make seeing the baby and socializing in the first few months interesting.

In other news, my wonderful friend Pan was kind enough to look for fabric for me while she was at Fabricland last week and she found most of the fabric and notions that I needed for my next costume. My plan is to make an Alice costume from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. Specifically, I'm interested in making her dress based on the face character design from the Disney Parks. I like the update to the apron with the addition of lace and the brighter colour of the dress. The fabric Pan found is quite pretty. A little dark for the Disney Parks colouring with a sheen to it, but it should work fairly well. It definitely has an Alice blue feeling to it. I have a pattern already that I want to work from so I need to make a test version to check the fit. I also need to pattern my own collar and make an apron pattern, but I'm excited to see how it will come together. After Cosplaying Wendy, I've been feeling very inspired to make a Disney costume so I'm hoping this will scratch that itch. I still need to order a wig, buy some horsehair braid and get a petticoat, but I have the sewing materials and notions so I can probably get most of the costume done without too much trouble.

My family does have plans to renovate our basement so that's kind of my focus right now as we're clearing out part of our basement. When things actually get underway with the construction work I can get back into sewing, but I don't really have a deadline with everything cancelled anyway. I'll work on it slowly and probably finish Alice in the fall. I guess then I'll need to find another project to work on. XD I am still working my way through a pile of video games. So far in quarantine I've finished Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Resident Evil 2 remake and I'm currently working through Horizon Zero Dawn. I also picked up Vampyr and Onechanbara Z2: Chaos so I still have a few games to play while I wait for the Resident Evil 3 remake and The Last of Us II to price drop. I suppose I really do have a lot to keep me busy even if I can't go very far or do very much. I mean, things around Toronto are starting to open up again and I assume in the next few weeks I'll be back in the office at least a little bit for my job, but there definitely are not any events to look forward to aside from a future expanded extended family. Honestly, aside from enjoying the summer weather, I really can't wait for time to pass as hopefully 2021 will be a better year.

-+- Past Updates -+-

May 16th, 2020
I just popped in to make another quick update regarding the state of things. We're just about 2 months into the lockdown and things here in Toronto are slowly starting to open up again. It's good news that cases of COVID-19 here in the city have not exploded and things have been trending downwards, but it is a bit worrisome that it doesn't really feel like we're prepared to get things going again. I do hope as restrictions are lifted we do keep up some safety practices and follow guidelines so we can have some sort of lives for as long as it takes to either get a vaccine or develop some sort of herd immunity. I don't know if anyone really saw the kind of toll this is going to fully take coming. I really don't see this going away for years (if it doesn't become endemic and stick around forever like the seasonal flu). Even if we get a vaccine it'll be a year or two before that can happen. Just mind-blowing stuff.

Going into this apocalyptic situation, I definitely wasn't prepared with craft projects and sewing ready to go. I would love to say I've gotten some sewing done, but I really don't have anything major to start. I am kind of hoping we can get to a place where I can at least go fabric shopping this summer to stock up a bit on supplies, but we'll have to see what the atmosphere is like in a month or two. I have made a ton of progress on cleaning up parts of my family's house, though. I've probably done more to declutter in the last 2 months than I've accomplished in the last 2 years so I guess there is a bit of good to come out of this.

It is super weird to think that normally I would be rushing to get things ready for Anime North over this long weekend and yet for the first time in almost 20 years I have no con to prepare for. I really will miss the fun and excitement of the con. I really hope it can happen in 2021, but even that feels like a dream. How can any big con function in our current climate? I just got word that Pretty Heroes is rescheduling to the end of November. A month ago I thought maybe things would calm down enough for a small con like that to happen later in the summer, but even that con, with only a few hundred attendees, seems unrealistic. The hammer hasn't come down on Fan Expo Canada yet, but it's only a matter of time before Fan Expo gets the order from the government to be cancelled as well. I really doubt I'll have one event this year. Anime North staff have posted that they plan to hold another JCCC Halloween event to have some sort of event this year, but who knows if that'll work out. I just got word that a big change will be coming this winter to my extended family so the end of 2020 and into 2021 is going to be all new territory for my life.

I will say that when restrictions on seeing people outside of your household start to ease up, I do hope I can do maybe a couple of private shoots this year. It seems to be the only way to Cosplay at all in 2020. I'll post here if I make some plans or if I feel safe enough to go fabric shopping. I do hope that the numbers will continue to trend downward and things will start to look up in the next few weeks. I would love to get out more and enjoy the city during the beautiful summer months. (;_;)

March 28th, 2020
It was just announced a couple of days ago that Anime North 2020 has been cancelled for the year. When Toronto ComiCON was cancelled I really thought things might be under control in a couple of months, but after just a few days, I really figured that Anime North would definitely be toast too. I'm really sad to hear that since I was already gearing up for the Nominoichi and it'll be the first year I'm not at the con since I started going in 2002... almost 20 years ago. To be fair, it's cancelled so Iím not exactly missing it, but it was such a fun yearly tradition and I even have a new costume ready to go for it. Having said that, I understand how serious of a situation we're in right now. This is all uncharted territory and it's really horrible how many people are now sick and what a strain it is on the health care system. It's really throwing everything into chaos politically, economically and socially. It sucks how distant we have to be towards other people. Working from home sounds fun at first, but I really miss everything I took for granted every day. I miss my work place, my friends and just being able to do something simple like walk around a mall or see a movie. It could be months or over a year before things go back to normal.

Obviously, plans for photoshoots and what not are out the window. The government is mandating people avoid being in groups of more than 5. It's getting pretty strict and scary and I have to protect my father. I still have Pretty Heroes and Fan Expo Canada on my list of events for the year. I'm 99% sure Fan Expo Canada will be cancelled even though the event is 6 months away. It just seems unrealistic to host any high attendance events this year. There is a slight chance Pretty Heroes might happen in July if restrictions are eased a bit since that con has a very small attendance figure. It would be the same for the holiday event Fan Expo likes to run in December. If universities are able to re-open in the fall, then maybe Nerd Market 3 could happen then. Heck, I'm figuring Halloween will be free of trick or treating this year, which would be so sad to me. Only time will tell and sitting here near the beginning of the crisis in Canada is very intimidating. Hopefully I can get some craft and sewing supplies to get working on my next project, but we'll see if I can manage that. I hope everyone stays safe during these challenging times!

March 14th, 2020
Here is just a quick update in response to my last post. Things have become quite serious here in Toronto, Canada and around the whole world. It seems like there is no place that isn't at least somewhat impacted by COVID-19. Toronto ComiCON has been cancelled for the year a mere week before it was set to take place and the Nerd Market 3 event has now been postponed until the fall. I went from having a very busy March to a completely commitment free month. Movie release dates are being cancelled; tv and movie productions are being delayed or put on hold. Travel restrictions are being put in place, events, tourist attractions, schools and universities are being closed... everyday life feels so unreal right now. 2020 will go down as one of the most chaotic and restrictive years of my lifetime. Hopefully the spread of this horrible illness will be halted and more people will recover in the coming weeks. Hopefully things can start getting better in the world soon.

As it stands, Anime North is still set to go ahead in late May and the organizers of Toronto ComiCON are hoping Fan Expo will still happen in August. I guess we won't know until those events get closer. I sure hope we don't lose Anime North. I was mostly done getting bags and a suitcase ready for selling things at Nerd Market on the 28th and now I have to go back and reset all my boxes and prep for hopefully selling at Anime North's Nominoichi. My Sakura Kinomoto costume is still done and I'll probably try to wear it at Anime North. All my plans are in a state of flux now. This honestly would be a great time to be working on a costume with all the restrictions on going out, but now I have nothing to work on. XD I had been toying with the idea of starting another costume after Anime North, but I don't have fabric or a pattern yet so I canít use this time to do much sewing. I guess I can start playing through some video games in my backlog. I do hope to do an Escaflowne shoot of my Dilandau costume in a month or so when spring really hits and it starts to look green outside. I suppose that can still go ahead if the shoot is at a park or other outdoor venue. When I hear more about the fate of AN or if I can do a shoot or something I'll be sure to update here with hopefully positive news.

March 7th, 2020
We're only two weeks away from Toronto ComiCON and it's been a very busy last few weeks. I can proudly say that I did finish my Sakura Kinomoto magical girl costume. I finished it at the start of this week by completing the skirt and getting magnets for the hat so I could attach it to my wig. The skirt actually turned out to be fairly easy to put together. The hardest part was trying to pull the basting stitches to gather the long panels of the skirt and bring it down to my waist size. I think it has a really cute flair to it thanks to some horsehair braid. It feels almost weird to have a costume done already. I usually don't finish my costumes until later in March or not until April or May. I did have some doubt about my hat after adding the magnets. I'm concerned it's a little big and I made the hat in a bit of an odd way. I think I made it overly complicated, but I suppose I'll see how it works out at the con and if it bugs me I can always re-do it later. I think I just finished my costume so early I now have time to fret about it so I'm inventing things to stress about. XD

Sakura Kinomoto was originally supposed to be my Anime North costume, but Pan and I may Cosplay from Naruto together for Saturday of AN so unless I Cosplay on Sunday of AN as well, I guess I probably won't have time to wear Sakura to AN. (^^);; After all that planning to make it my big AN costume, I might not wear it there after all. XD Since I finished it so early, I'm planning on wearing it to Toronto ComiCON when I attend the con for the Saturday. I've already booked my friend Elemental Photography for a mini shoot so I'm excited to work with her again. Granted, ComiCON comes in the midst of such a chaotic environment around the world right now. I can't believe that COVID-19 was just an emerging threat at the start of the year and now it's literally everywhere and spreading like wildfire. It almost feels dangerous going to any kind of event these days so I do have some concerns. I've been cooped up for the whole winter, though, so getting out, Cosplaying and seeing the sights and sounds of a con has been something I've been looking forward to for weeks. It's sad that this crisis has had such an impact on so many people and so many aspects of the economy and society in general. It feels as though concerns can only ramp up or at least stay present for probably the whole year until a vaccine is found.

March is a pretty busy month for me with not just Toronto ComiCON as I also have a table at the Nerd Market event over at U of T on the 28th. I've been looking forward to that for a while as well. I was hoping it would happen and I'm only just trying to figure out now what stuff I can pack for it. I was hoping to sell a few wigs, some old t-shirts, a few figures and some gashapons and trading items there. I would love to sell or trade a few Unicornos and Mermicornos. I have so many duplicates as I've been hunting for chases. I only just ordered a case of the new Cherry Blossom Unicorno series so I need to make more space. XD What I'm really getting at is that I do have plans to be in crowded events in the city this month, but I will say that if things do become quite serious and the threat for transmission here in Toronto is high, I may have to sit out events. I really don't want to risk bringing anything home where I live with my elderly father and my younger brother. I just can't believe how even events like the Olympics in the summer could potentially be cancelled. This has been one of the most surreal and intense years of my life and I can't believe it's only March. It feels like we've been through most of the year with how heavy and stressful everything has been. We'll see if local events continue on, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the news over the coming weeks to see how things change.

February 21st, 2020
Wow, it's been a while since my last update. I apparently haven't been active on this site for two months. I honestly haven't been using my laptop at home pretty much at all so that's why I've been neglecting this website. I've actually been pretty productive. It was a nice end to 2019 and I had a great start to 2020. I actually managed to finish the PS4 games I was slowly playing throughout November and December to try to catch-up on my video game backlog. I finished Dead Rising 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. I enjoyed both games and it's sad that Dead Rising is now a shelved franchise. DR4 was no masterpiece, but it had some fun elements and I actually enjoyed the goofy holiday theme. Tomb Raider was pretty epic. I have Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well, but I keep hearing it's nowhere near as good as the first two games from this reboot so that's not exactly making me rush to want to play it. I still have DLC games for Dishonored 2 and Uncharted 4 to play too, so I still have lots that I need to eventually sit down and play. XD

Speaking of this website, I did end up starting my Sakura Kinomoto Clear Card arc magical girl costume right after Christmas. By the time I went back to work after the Xmas holidays, I had nearly finished the blouse. I finished that up in January and I've also pretty much finished the hat. I'm just stuck on how to attach the hat. I tried attaching a large hair clip to it, but I'm using a cheap eBay wig and there isn't much hair or netting for it to grip. It's too big to stay up properly. I've been trying to order some magnets since that's pretty discreet and magnets can hold well, but I'm having trouble finding a shop to get decent sized ones from. I ordered some on eBay, but I've been told the seller is having trouble shipping my order. Not sure how that's going to go so that's frustrating.

Besides this snag, the costume has actually been coming together pretty well so far. A lot of the parts that seemed really intimating were kind of fun puzzles to work out. I like how my epaulets turned out. I just used some foam and felt to craft layers with piping and cording in between. The cording wasn't the best, though, and I had to make the hanging cords loops instead of proper loose cords. It's unorthodox I think and a bit weird, but I don't think it looks bad. It's not like anyone is going to recognize the costume to judge me, anyway. XD Adding the yellow lines to the front and back seams actually turned out pretty well too. The hat was extremely slow to make. Probably the most annoying part to do so far as I had to hand stitch down piping to each side of the hat and it was so tricky to turn each side. I even had to reinforce the hat with cardboard and I used stuffing to give the middle of the hat the right volume. I'm currently working on the skirt. Last Monday my friend Pan helped me pattern out the circle skirt. I really appreciate her help with that and now I need to assemble it and hopefully gathering it won't be too much of a pain in the butt.

I've already made the little star brooch and decorative ribbons for the boots so once I get magnets for the hat and I finish the skirt, the costume will be done. Maybe I'll get it done by mid-March. Actually kind of surprised that it's coming together this quickly! It would be great to be done well before AN, though. I think my friend Pan is working on a Shippuden Naruto costume so I might actually re-wear my Shippuden Sakura costume again and finally get some nice photos of it! I did buy new boots and a new wig so it would be nice to wear the costume and finally Cosplay with Pan again! I'm not sure if that might shift my AN plans since Sakura Kinomoto was for AN and I might wear Sakura Haruno instead. I guess we'll see how things go.

Speaking of March, next month is Toronto ComiCon. Like I've been doing the last few years, I will probably attend the con for one day again. Not sure if it'll be Saturday or Sunday. I was thinking of wearing my Madoka Magica school uniform again, but this time with my black wig and Cosplay as Homura. I'm always looking to get more use out of my Madoka school uniform because it's one of the nicest things I've ever made and it's pretty comfy. That's my current costume plan, but we'll see if that changes. There may also be another U of T Nerd Market in March. If it happens and I can manage it, I would like to get a table and see if I can sell some of my small Anime collectibles before looking to AN. As usual, I have tons of stuff that I'm willing to part with to downsize my Anime and pop culture collection. Hopefully I'll get the chance to sell. At least there is still AN's Nomi to look forward to in a few months. I can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by! It's already almost time to start thinking about applying. Since my Sakura Kinomoto costume is about 70% done I'll probably post here in the next few weeks with news of when I've finished my costume and my final plans for Toronto ComiCon. Iíll just cross my fingers that I continue to stay productive!

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