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 -+-

May 20th, 2018
I can't believe that Anime North is already less than a week away. Itís crazy how time flies. It's been a bit of a hectic month. Trying to get things sorted out for the Nominoichi is always a big part of my May. I'm in the final stages of getting everything packed up and getting all the supplies ready. Doing the final checks to make sure that I don't forget anything always makes me nervous. I don't stop taking hold requests until Wednesday so getting a final sense of how much I can manage at the table pretty much comes down to the wire.

Planning for the con this year has been difficult. Trying to figure out my travel plans has been a bit frustrating. I think I have Friday and Saturday sorted out. The plan that I thought I had worked out to get a lift with a friend on Sunday fell through. Thankfully it seems another friend can probably give me a lift or I was pretty sure I was going to just give up on going to AN on the Sunday. My exact plans are still a bit up in the air because I don't know about the timing. I have no idea if I need to get up to leave super early or if things can be a bit more casual. As it stands right now I'm borrowing my family's van for Friday and Saturday so at least those two days are a bit more certain.

I'm not planning to Cosplay on Friday of the con. I've done it every year in the past, but it's looking like it's going to be a very hot day and with my lack of a hotel room not giving me a reason to show up early, Cosplaying just seems like a hassle. The Nomi venue can get quite hot at times so I'm a little nervous about how warm it'll be this year. I'm crossing my fingers that we don't all cook. The Nomi has also been extended this year from 3.5 hours as it's now 4 hours, so that extra selling time should make the event interesting.

Saturday will be a test of how manageable commuting is after a late Friday night. I'm wondering how long it'll take for me to get up and get into my costume before travelling out to Anime North. My plan is to re-wear my Sakura Kinomoto Clear Card school uniform costume. I'm excited to wear it again after the little adjustments I made to it. Also, it looks as though the Dream wand that I ordered should arrive in time for Anime North so I'll have to see about potentially bringing it. It should make for an awesome prop. The only worry is what to do with it if I plan to venture into the Congress Centre. Hopefully I can stash it in the car after a few hours.

Sunday is definitely up in the air. I'll see how much of the con I get to explore on Saturday and if I can tackle the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley in full before the end of that day. Whatever I don't get done I can finish up on Sunday. I just have to coordinate with friends. I'll also see how tired I am. Right now I'm thinking of re-wearing my Kagome school uniform on Sunday. It should be nice to wear it again with my new wig. My only worry is the timing because I'm not sure when I can get a lift and I definitely don't want to inconvenience my friend. We'll see if I even have time and energy to Cosplay that day. It might not be so bad to be casual on Sunday especially with all the issues I've had to face making the convention work out.

Amidst all the confusion as well as the chaos of selling stuff on Friday, I am very much looking forward to another Anime North. AN has been my go-to convention for 17 years! That's almost difficult to fathom. It certainly does feel weird going this year without a hotel room, but who knows, change can be good. I'll see how it works out for this year. The last year of my life has been so challenging so I'm excited for something that's been a fixture in my life for so long. I sure hope that it's a fun year for Anime North and yields neat purchases and great memories with friends new and old. I don't have any photoshoots planned this year since I'm not wearing anything new and my schedule is so uncertain, but hopefully I'll get some pictures of Kagome and Sakura if I wear both costumes. I'll be sure to do shoots of both costumes at a later date. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to seeing the food options for the con this year. I was blown away by the new food truck and food vendor options that sprung up last year. If nothing else my stomach will probably enjoy the convention. :D Canít wait for Friday!

-+- Past Updates -+-

May 1st, 2018
Another month has gone by. 2018 just feels like it's melting away. I'm just happy that I finally have my laptop up and running properly again. I had to get a new solid-state drive for it, but that seems to have done the trick to get it working again. Hopefully I'll be able to get another couple of years out of this laptop before I need to replace it.

I can't believe it's almost time for Anime North! The next few weeks are sure to go by fast. It feels a bit surreal to not be working on a costume right now. I still have to decide what I'm going to wear to Anime North. Right now I'm leaning towards re-wearing my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform on Saturday of the con and maybe re-wearing my updated Kagome costume for Sunday. I have a new wig for Kagome now so it would be nice to re-wear the costume. Another idea I'm considering is my Shippuden Sakura Haruno costume or just being casual on Sunday. It looks as though I can find a ride to the convention on Sunday, anyway, so that means I can actually go all 3 days. I'm still leaning towards skipping Cosplaying on Friday though.

In other news, Kris Byers sent me copies of the photos from my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform shoot from Sunday of Toronto Comicon and I love how they turned out. I wasn't feeling great during our shoot so it's amazing what she was able to get from working with me. I adore the street shots and she found a great way to utilize the stained glass walkway in the Skywalk. It was great working with her again. You can find the photos here, in my Sakura Kinomoto costume page.

I'm hoping to have the Dream wand that I ordered in time for AN so when I wear my tweaked Sakura costume again, it'll have some nice upgrades. The wand has yet to ship so we'll see if that turns up. I know the next month is going to be pretty chaotic and Anime North will be here before we know it. I just hope that everything shows up in time!

April 22nd, 2018
It's been a few weeks since my last update and things have been pretty busy for me. Firstly, the hard drive on my laptop failed a week ago and gave its final death cries. It's toast and I need to buy a new hard drive so I can try to salvage my computer. At the moment I'm making due with a laptop that had belonged to my mother, but I don't have any of my standard programs here for editing photos and what not so it's frustrating. It might be another week or two before I can properly replace it.

I was able to apply for a table for the Nominoichi prior to the laptop meltdown and my efforts were successful. This year I'll be at table N122. Sadly, I'm still off in the far reaches of the Nomi, but hopefully the table display Adrien and I come up with will get our table noticed. I've spent the last couple of weeks going through boxes and taking photos of a lot of the items that I'll be selling. I'm currently taking reservation requests over on the Anime North forum so that's keeping me plenty busy and I'm sure organizing for the table will keep me moderately busy all the way until the 25th of May.

I finally bought my ticket for the Pretty Heroes convention in June. I managed to get a weekend pass before the early bird pricing ended early last week. The tickets this year include access to the Science Centre as a whole so I'm pretty excited about hanging out at the Science Centre again. My friend Amber is a Cosplay guest again and our schedules have finally aligned so I can actually see her when she's here for the con. XD I've been meaning to go to Pretty Heroes (when it was still Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration) for 2 or 3 years now so I'm glad that things worked out this time and I can actually make it!

I did take some time to work on costume stuff over the last few days. I had ordered new buttons for my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform and some lace to test out on the skirt. Both arrived in the last couple of weeks so I bit the bullet and finally tried to incorporate them into my costume. I originally skipped out on adding the lace to my Sakura costume because I figured that I would wear a lace underskirt, but a lace underskirt added a lot of bulk and I didn't like how it would stick out at different lengths. I didn't have enough of any lace to test out partially adding a lace layer to the skirt itself. Once the lace I ordered arrived, I trimmed it and sewed it at the point where the red bias tape is so the lace stitching is camouflaged a bit. I was worried that it would still be bulky, but I bought very lightweight lace and I only stuck it out by a couple of centimeters so I think it looks nice. I had to no fray the whole edge though. The threading was a bit loose. Swapping the buttons was pretty easy. I was just super careful about sewing where the old buttons were so I wouldn't mess with the original spacing. The new buttons are much less shiny so I think it looks nicer. I finished up my sewing spree by adding a new snap to my Kagome skirt and attaching my old Konoha headband to my new Sakura Haruno wig. I did all this between Tuesday night and Friday night, but at least now I can relax until AN, that is in terms of sewing! The next few weeks are definitely going to fly by and Anime North is going to be very hectic this year. I just hope that it's lots of fun!

March 30th, 2018
It's been a crazy week for me. I was dealing with a medical crisis related to one of my best friends so needless to say I've been stressed and worried, but things are finally improving for my friend and looking positive so I can start breathing again. I haven't been thinking about Cosplay that much over the last few days. I did order a prop acrylic Clear card to have for the next time I want to do a shoot in my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. I also put in an order for a Dream wand. It was a little more than I expected to pay, but I just think it'll be such a neat prop for a Sakura shoot. Who knows, maybe this will inspire me to make more Sakura costumes in the future. :3 I rounded out my Cosplay purchasing by getting new buttons and some trim for that school uniform. I want to replace my current blouse buttons because they're too reflective and I want to see if I can add new trim to the skirt. I only just ordered those things a week ago so we'll see if I get them in time to update and wear Sakura to AN.

Something surprising just happened. My friend Stillvisions was able to edit and send me photos from a couple of shoots that I did with him back in October 2013. I honestly thought they were lost in the sands of time. It was from a day when my friend Ammie had been visiting Toronto so Kevin offered to do some shoots for us. The first was a Resident Evil 4 shoot and the other shoot was a Trick 'r Treat shoot. The Trick 'r Treat shoot was in honour of Ammie making a Laurie costume from the movie. Ammie and I got some photos together in which I was hidden in the background just as Sam would pop in and out of the different short films within the Trick 'r Treat movie. I added new photos to my Ashley costume page which you can find here and to my Sam costume page here. I'm really digging the nighttime Sam photos. Not as impressive of a shoot as my original Sam shoot with all the hordes of pumpkins, but this one shows off more of the costume and my updated lollipop which I purchased from a prop maker on eBay. It was a fun day and the photos are overall pretty nice so I'm really thrilled that he was able to dig them up for me. :3

I'm still waiting on photos from March Toronto ComiCON but I'm sure I'll have them by the end of April. I'll update here again as I fix up some of my costumes and when I know more about my situation with Anime North. The Nominoichi table reservations open up on the 8th and I'm already super excited to apply to get a table. I have plenty of things to sell and I'm looking forward to getting the chance to clean out part of my basement. XD Hopefully I do end up getting a table.

March 20th, 2018
Toronto ComiCON is over for another year. I did go to the con on Sunday. The day was pretty hectic though. I was quite disappointed that I wasn't able to go to the con on Saturday especially once I heard it actually wasn't all that crowded or difficult to get tickets at the door. I missed my chance to see my good friend Ammie so that definitely brought down my enthusiasm for the weekend. ~_~

My friend Pan was kind enough to drive a few of us all the way down to the con at around 11:30AM on Sunday and we parked in the north building parking lot. I don't know how crazy it is to get parking during Fan Expo, but it certainly was a fairly painless process to make the trip downtown on Sunday and find parking at the con (although the south lot was totally full). The con itself was nice. Not super crowded, but by the time we got there and got our tickets, we didn't have much time to wander around before Pan and I had a shoot at 1PM with Kris Byers. We both took turns getting photos of our costumes (I debuted my new Sakura Kinomoto school uniform and Pan was dressed in her new Pidge from Voltron costume). I wasn't feeling very well, though, during our shoot time. I felt guilty for being pretty low on energy, but I appreciated Kris working with us and I'm excited to see how the photos turned out.

We finally got a chance to go into the dealer's room after the shoot, but only for a few minutes, really just enough time to grab some food before we headed off late to Marina Sirtis' panel. She played Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Pan mentioned she's quite witty and animated during her panels and boy were we ever in for a treat! She told lots of stories about the behind the scenes experience of working on Star Trek and her favourite topic, her local football team. Really glad I didn't miss the panel. She was amazing to listen to!

After that, we got to spend the last few minutes going through Artist Alley and the Dealer's Room. Honestly, we didn't have much time because the con closed at 5PM. I was able to buy a new ring from my favourite ring seller (I have 10 rings from Catherinette Rings now). XD I also found an artist selling a really cute Syaoran and Sakura fanart piece from the new Clear Card Anime. They were wearing the new school uniforms in it so it was an instant buy. The artist even asked me to get a photo with the fanart piece that I bought. (^^) After that we had to leave pretty quickly so I didn't get a chance to browse.

The con was a whirlwind and I spent half the day not feeling great, but between the fun photoshoot, seeing some friends and Marina Sirtis' panel, it was a nice experience. My Sakura costume went over well enough and I'm looking forward to wearing it again. I'm so happy with the fit I achieved with the blouse and that I finally made the pleated skirt work. Since the con, I did a bit more work on the wig to control the long strands of hair and I fluffed up the hair by the ahoge so it stands up better. I'm debating about buying more props for the costume for the next time I wear it. I'm looking at maybe buying her Dream wand. I can see some prop ones on sale that aren't too expensive and it could be fun for a shoot. I'm also thinking about buying a clear card. Finally, I'm debating about buying some lace to sew to the skirt. I have a slip to wear under the skirt, but I don't want to add another layer under my skirt so I skipped wearing it. You don't always see the lace layer so I think it's fine to skip it, but it might be nice to get lace to see how it would look.

My costume plans for AN are kind of up in the air now given that I don't have hotel space and I'm still debating how many days I want to attend the con. I'm strongly considering only going on Friday and Saturday. Friday will be nothing but the Nominoichi and I'm not sure I'm going to even bother Cosplaying that day. My plans for Saturday of the con are to re-wear my Sakura Haruno costume with my new wig and new boots that I ordered, but it all hinges on my friend Pan finishing her Naruto costume. She's not sure she'll have time to so I may switch to re-wearing my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. I may only wear one costume to AN this year. It's all very uncertain.

Regarding my new Sakura Kinomoto costume, I was able to get some photos on my phone thanks to Pan so I posted the costume page with my detailed construction notes on the costume. You can view the page here. I should get photos back from Kris in the next few weeks so I'll update here again in April with more costume photos. Now that it's finally spring, I'm excited for the weather to start to warm up and for the greenery to grow back in again. I'm hoping to get a few costume shoots done this year. I'll cross my fingers that I can at least cross a couple of costumes off my photo backlog list!

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