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 -+-

May 17th, 2024
I know it's been months since my last post, but I haven't abandoned this site, I swear! I like to try to update this site before or at least after every event I go to, but it's been so crazy busy these last few months that I haven't had time. I actually have quite a bit that I would like to share in terms of Cosplay photos, but I just haven't had the time to edit them and resize the pictures for photo previews. I have more photos of Ashley (RE4 Remake) from the shoot I did with Stillvisions at a museum right before Halloween last year. I also have some more Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume photos from YetiCon and photos from a private shoot I did with Stillvisions a month ago of the Pumpkin Pie Cookie Run Costume that I bought. I wanted to get photos of that costume a.s.a.p. because I'm concerned about the fit of the costume. To be fair, I think I fit into it pretty much perfectly, but they used a super flimsy zipper in the bodice, so it's really hard to zip it up and I'm afraid it will break. Stillvisions sent me a few photo previews so I hope to edit them and post them here soon.

I need to do a bit of a catch up. Again, I didn't mean to get so behind, but once the events started (or at least event preparation), it's been snowballing for the last couple of months. I posted here in February that I was debating going to Toronto ComiCon for a day in March. I wasn't going to go in the end because my friend and her husband weren't going to go on the day I wanted to go. The morning of the convention, I mentioned to my little brother that I had a coupon for the event and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go alone and he offered to go with me. So I quickly rushed to get ready and we were out the door a couple of hours later. We went to the con on the Friday afternoon and stayed until close. We had about five hours to check it out. It was nice to see the artist alley and vendors. I bought a Disney Princess dress and Belle's castle print from Kay Pop Art Studio and a really cool Halloween print sweatshirt from another vendor. We went to one panel, but the best part was meeting up with a couple of other friends to get dinner at Wvrst at Union Station afterward. It was a great afternoon and evening! My little brother has never gone with me to a con in all my 20+ years of going to events, so it was a special experience getting to see his reaction to things.

In early April it was time for Nerd Market. My friend Adrien shared a table with me and our friend Stillvisions was kind enough to drive us down and help out with setting up. It was my 3rd time attending the event and honestly, it'll probably be my last time going (at least as a seller). The event is really fun and I love the location and other sellers. I had a good time chatting with people as they were setting up and I actually bought quite a bit. There were a couple of tables with really nice Sailor Moon gashapon items I had never seen before as they had been released during the pandemic. I also bought a cute Neo Queen Serenity keychain I had been looking to get for years and some cheap Tokidoki figures. Another table had a Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) bust and I've had the matching Jack for years, so it was nice to get a Sally to go with Jack. So I supported several of the other vendors, but sales at my table were super low. I've never sold that poorly at any event Iíve been to before. I tried to bring a variety of items and I had quite a bit priced fairly or I was willing to bargain, but there wasn't much interest or foot traffic. Shame for it to be so devoid of buyers, but again, I still had fun. Plus the freebie table is amazing. Probably spoils the event for sellers since people were dropping all sorts of cool items for free on the freebie table like figures, posters and wigs. Adrien sold with me and his 3D printed Nintendo cartridge keychains were selling like hotcakes. I guess cool handmade merch is the way to go at this event. I might try to attend the event as a buyer in a future year, but I don't think it's worth the hassle of a trek all the way downtown for selling.

Immediately after Nerd Market, table sign ups were ending for Anime North's Nominoichi, so I didn't really have much of a break. I applied for a table, but as luck would have it, I didn't get picked again through the lottery. Stillvisions applied and did get picked, so he offered table space for me and Adrien after we missed out. I've been organizing things to sell and I've posted a list on the Teahouse forum. It's going way better than Nerd Market, but reservations are down from how things sold for me in previous years. I don't buy like I did in the past, so itís not surprising. I'm really mostly clearing gashapon items and some figures I've had for a few years. I'm ok with things being a bit slow. I'm realizing the Nomi, since the con is so far from me and it's a big process to wait in line for and setup, is a bit beyond me now that I'm getting a bit older. It's a lot of time and energy and my work has been really stressful these last few weeks, so it's been hard to find a good balance. I think I'll at least take a year off from selling at AN if I want to try again for a table in maybe 2026, but I don't think I'll have too much to sell. Between Facebook Marketplace, eBay, MyFigureCollection and Poshmark, I've found some really great online avenues to sell through so that's been helping a lot with clearing some of my clutter these last few months. It's been an extra sort of source of stress lately as the online sales have been another thing keeping me pretty busy these last couple of months.

Having said all that, I am still really excited about Anime North even with all the Nomi stress. I should finish most of the prep work over this long weekend and I'm taking Thursday off so I can finish anything that's still left to do then. I've been debating what costume to wear to the event. I won't be Cosplaying on Friday and I'll most likely skip going on Saturday since I assume I'll be pretty tired, but I'll probably Cosplay on Sunday. I think it's between wearing Dorothy (Big O) and my CCS Clear Card Battle costume. I've only worn both costumes to YetiCon and I really need photos of both of them. I'm leaning towards Sakura since it seems like it might be hot that day, but I would love to wear either.

Then after Anime North is YetiCon. I just bought my weekend pass. The con is looking pretty fun this year. They're starting to bring back some programming and events. I'm hoping to attend the tea party and maybe the evening party. I'm still debating on costumes to bring, but I'll decide after the chaos of Anime North.

I'm glad that I could finally update here. I'm looking forward to finding time in June to start adding new photos to the costume galleries and add a summary for my Pumpkin Pie Cookie costume. I'm sure post-AN and YetiCon, I'll have more photos to share. For now I'll return to the chaos of preparing for Anime North!

-+- Past Updates -+-

February 29th, 2024
It's been quite a while since my last post. Didn't mean to be radio silent for so long, but work has been pretty crazy since before the winter holidays and although I did get a break from work over the holiday season, there were so many family things to do that I was always busy during the Christmas break. I think things are finally calming down for a little bit at least (now that tax season and Q1 are over for my work), so I have a bit of breathing room to look back at things like my Cosplay site.

Usually at the end of the year I like to do a bit of a review of Cosplay events that I went to over the year and costumes I made or wore. It's a bit late for that, but I'll give a recap anyway. Last year was a very chaotic year for me with my family. My older brother started the process of getting a much needed, but quite messy, divorce. My whole family had no idea how badly he was treated in his home life and we're glad he's out of that toxic environment and his young son now has some stability when my brother has him. From late March to late November, my older brother was living with me and it was a tough adjustment with everything going on in his life. It made focusing on Cosplay and cons kind of tough especially since my older brother and I donít get along very well. Thankfully, he was able to get enough money in the separation to get a new place, so he's off on his own now, and life is a bit more stable here for me. Helping to take care of a very energetic and emotional 3 year old for half the week every week was quite stressful, even though my nephew is a very sweet little boy. I'm glad things are better for my nephew and my brother now.

I did sell at Nerd Market in March; I was able to get a table to sell at the Nominoichi at Anime North and at the Halloween Anime North event. I did really well at AN and pretty well at the Halloween event. Not so great at Nerd Market, but it was fun to go downtown and sell at U of T for that one. I still have plenty of Anime figures from Nendoroids to Re-Ments and some scales I would like to sell. I'm really trying to pare down my collecting and hone in on precious pieces as I don't really have much room to keep collecting. I don't buy much these days, but it's easy to get drawn in by FOMO (fear of missing out) and continue to buy stuff that has to sit in boxes in my basement. Don't get me started on Tokidokis. I've pretty much given up on collecting new ones, but I still have a few dozen figures to sell and it's so hard to find buyers for duplicate figures. I hope I have more luck with selling those figures this year.

Cosplay wise, I debuted a new Ashley Graham costume from the RE4 Remake at Anime North last year. The costume was made of bought pieces so not much that I actually sewed on it myself. I'm still buying new turtleneck sweaters for that costume as it's hard to find a pre-made sleeveless sweater that's actually orange (and not brown or yellow). I love Cosplaying from Resident Evil. It was a pretty comfy costume to wear too. I wore it for a fall photoshoot at a Halloween event at a small museum in Port Perry and it was such a cool experience.

I finally re-wore my Sakura Haruno Shippuden costume with my new wig and boots and got a few photos at the JCCC during Pretty Heroes. Nothing too amazing with the photos as it was quite hot that day and wearing a mask didn't make for great photos indoors. I got a couple of nice photos, anyway, so I can retire the costume. It was a bit of a struggle to fit into it. A lot of my costumes that are from the pre-pandemic days are a bit of a tight squeeze for me now. Either I can barely fit into them or they're a little small and need alterations. I'm glad I did so many shoots before 2020, so I can retire some of my older costumes, although I will miss some old favourites I canít wear anymore.

I'm glad that I was able to go to Yeticon again. It was a much needed break in the summer. I definitely see the appeal of it. Blue Mountain is such a pretty and interesting location for a variety of Cosplay photos and the hotel and village amenities don't hurt either! I really enjoyed using the pool and trying food from the various restaurants. I did do some Cosplay photoshoots with Stillvisions and Elemental. I didn't really wear my costumes around the con much since the con is so fragmented now. I wore Super Sailor Chibi Moon, Dilandau and Dorothy. I have a few photos of Chibi Moon and quite a few of Dilandau. I'm really glad I got photos of Dilandau as the costume was pleather and was made almost a decade ago. Despite looking ok whenever I checked it in the closet, as soon as I really tried it on and wore it for a few minutes, the pleather in spots like on the belt, the front of the jacket and especially on the gloves, quickly started peeling off. Pleather just doesn't last more than few years before it starts degrading. The photos from Stillvisions and Elemental were pretty awesome so it was definitely worth giving the costume one last wear. Too bad I only ever wore it twice.

I did mostly videos with Stillvisions of my Chibi Moon costume. That was another beautiful fuku made by my friend Amber. It's a little tight now, so I'm hoping to retire the outfit. I haven't seen many photos from our shoot, but I'm hoping there are a few more solid shots so I can sell the fuku to someone else that can fit into it better and appreciate it. It's super well made. Finally, we did some photos of Dorothy around the venue, but I don't think Stillvisions feels like they turned out very well, so I'm still waiting to do a shoot of that costume. I'm hoping to wear it to an event this year.

Anime North was a fun con and so was Pretty Heroes. I only go to AN for two days now. The Nomi takes up all of Friday and then I try to see people and shop on Sunday. I do love seeing all the great craft tables and artists along with interesting vendors at the con. Last year was also my first time returning to Fan Expo since before the pandemic. My friend Kira and her husband offered to hang out with me at the con, so I got tickets for Thursday and Friday. Kind of a weird year since it was during the Hollywood strikes so guests were limiting what they would talk about in panels (if they did a panel at all). I still had fun. I really do love the variety of artists at Fan Expo and it's such a huge venue for vendors. I had a really fun time!

That kind of brings things to this year. The year started off rough. My family's beloved Samoyed dog, Persephone, who was 14 years old, reached the end stages of her life. Due to arthritis in her back legs, she was starting to have trouble getting up and moving around by the end of 2022 and her mobility issues just got worse throughout last year. Just before Christmas, she was no longer able to walk without being assisted, so we knew we had to make a tough decision of when to put her down. Her quality of life was so poor. We got her pain meds and tried a doggie wheelchair, but everything just delayed the inevitable, as it didn't really help that much. In late January, therefore, we put her down and it was really tough. I really miss her, but I'm glad she's not in pain and suffering anymore.

Things since January have slowly been improving. My younger brother is currently in the process of getting married abroad to his non-Canadian bride-to-be. I wish I could be there for the wedding in a few days, but no one else was available from my family to go with me and it was a big trip to make solo as a young woman. Once she moves to Canada, they'll have another ceremony locally that we'll all go to. Shame not to be there for his big day, though.

There are plenty of events to look forward to this year. I feared the worst about Yeticon after they had to cut so many programming tracks last year, but they announced recently that it'll be returning, so I'll definitely go again. It's just such a nice vacation. I can't wait for the warm weather and the pool and to see my friends there.

I just paid for a table for the Nerd Market event that'll be happening in April. Again, it'll be at U of T. If my sales aren't that great and depending on the hassle, I might skip it after this year. I'll see if bringing more video game related products and some old board games will help clear more goods at that event.

As usual, I am looking forward to Anime North as well. I already bought my pass. My plan is the same as the last few years. My hope is to go on the Friday for the Nomi and return again on Sunday to do actual shopping and maybe Cosplay. I do miss when I was more involved in con activities, but I'm not really into Anime much anymore, so the panels and a lot of the other con content doesn't really speak to me. Hopefully I'll get a table for the Nomi. I know it's so competitive every year, but it's my best chance to sell some figures and statues and perhaps even some old costumes.

I will probably attend Pretty Heroes for a day since it's nearby and I have already bought tickets for Fan Expo Canada in the summer for the Thursday and Friday. I had a lot of fun last year going. It's a neat con to attend to end the summer and con season. Of course, if Anime North runs the Halloween event at the JCCC again, I'll totally go again and try to get a table if they run the Nomi event. That'll probably be it for the year in terms of major events. I was hoping to go to Toronto ComiCon in March for a day, but I don't have any friends to go with and the only people I know that are going for sure will go on the Saturday only. I don't think I have the will to attend an Informa con on a Saturday ever again. It's always so overcrowded and busy. Therefore, I'll probably skip the con. I'll post here if I change my mind. I was interested in going on the Friday so I'll still think about it.

In terms of Cosplay, I'm hoping to re-wear a few older costumes that I still need better photos of. Specifically, I'm hoping to get photos of my Card Captor Sakura Clear Card arc Battle costume, Dorothy from The Big O and maybe Alice. I have no photos of my Dorothy costume currently, so itís kind of a priority. I also bought a pumpkin themed Cookie Run costume last year and I'm hoping to wear it at some point. I think it need some alternations and a new petticoat, but that should be fun for the fall if I can make it work.

Iím probably not making any new costumes from scratch this year. I did start working on a Wendy costume from Peter Pan as I have the materials and a pattern for it, but I didn't get very far. I just cut out the store bought pattern pieces from the envelope. It's been hard to find motivation to sew and with so many costumes that I still need photos of, I don't want to add another homemade costume to the mix. I'm also still looking to buy new accessories and pieces for my Ashley RE4 Remake costume. I want to get bracelets so I can wear Ashley without the jacket and scarf. I'm also considering purchasing a new wig for the costume and getting a couple of other pre-made costumes. We'll see. My days of making a lot of costumes from scratch are definitely behind me, but I do still like to make the occasional costume if I feel inspired. I will probably eventually make that Wendy costume. Maybe for 2025.

I guess that sums up this year. Looks like there is a lot to look forward to and the first event will be here before I know it. It's kind of crazy that winter is almost over according to the calendar, but it wasn't much of a winter in terms of snow and extreme cold weather. I'm sure it's not quite over yet and I am excited about spring, but it's definitely been a weird year so far.

November 8th, 2023
The Halloween season is now over and I miss it already. The Nominoichi at the Anime North Halloween event went pretty well. Weirdly, every other table in the row where Stillvisions and I were placed ended up being empty. We were the only people that showed up in the row of 4. The organizer let us spread our stuff out a bit, which was nice. Makes me wish I had brought some posters, clothing pieces and costumes to sell, but who would have expected so many no-shows? I sold a few figures, some comic books and a few small plush items among other things, so I'm pretty happy with how it went. I made a little over $550 and that was only $13 less than what I made last year, so it was a great total for a small event. I sold another Tokidoki figure so I continue on my slow path of getting rid of my duplicates. Hopefully eBay will help me clear some more. I did run down once and see the rest of the event. It looked pretty fun and they had a lot of activities going on. I bought a couple of cool 3D printed Pokemon mini jack-o-lanterns. One is Pikachu and the other is Gengar. I used them in my Halloween display at my house and they looked great. I also got an adorable handmade felt bunny trick-or-treater plush from Artist Alley so I found some neat things to buy. It was incredibly crowded, though. We sort of lucked out in that the Nomi room never seemed too terribly busy and because of the no-shows, our side of the room was hardly ever very crowded. I didn't mind not being as busy as the other side of the room, although I suppose it would have been great to sell a little more.

After the AN Halloween event, I ended taking it easy for most of the rest of the weekend as I put things back into storage and started preparing my Halloween decorations. I went to a carving party over at Stillvisions' place on Sunday to carve the nice pumpkins we got from a farm including the cool yellow ones we picked out. It was a fun afternoon. Halloween went pretty well. My friend Pan came over and helped me put up some decorations. We drove around the area for a bit in the late afternoon and checked out a few cool displays and complimented some homeowners on their decorations. She hung out with me in the evening and helped me give out candy. I made 110 bags of candy and we blew through them all. I think we had somewhere between 130-150 teens and kids come through this year so not bad at all. I had quite a bit of leftover candy, though. I brought some of it to work on Friday the 3rd when we had our work Halloween party. I decorated one of our offices, I ordered pizza and we played horror themed games from a game jam some of my co-workers participated in during the month of October. It was a great way to end the spooky season.

I do have some Cosplay news to share. Stillvisions sent me a few photos from the shoots we did on the 22nd of October of my Ashley costume from the RE4 Remake at the Scugog Shores Museum and at Guildwood. The photos are really great. I've added them to the costume page here. I'm not sure I love how yellow my turtleneck looks. I might look into getting a new turtleneck for next year when I wear the costume again. I swapped out my boots and the ones I wore for the shoot were so comfy. They'll be handy for wearing the costume to conventions. That shoot was probably my last one for the year. Next year I would like to get photos of my Card Captor Sakura Clear Card battle costume, photos of Dorothy and hopefully photos of the new Pumpkin Pie Cookie costume I bought once I alter it a bit.

As for events for the rest of the year, I'm kind of hoping to go to the Holiday Market event Pretty Heroes is planning to run on the 25th at the Science Centre. It's not very expensive and tickets give you a discount on admission to the Science Centre. I haven't been to the Science Centre in a few years so it could be fun, plus I love the magical girl genre so the market is sure to have things I would enjoy. I probably won't Cosplay at the event, though. Otherwise, I think the rest of the year will be pretty quiet (besides the usual craziness of the holiday season). If I find any other events to attend, I'll post here, but the next thing on the horizon convention wise, will probably be Toronto ComiCon in March. I haven't been to that since before the pandemic so I might check it out next year.

October 26th, 2023
It's been a while since I last posted here and we're now well into spooky season. It's been a busy last few weeks for me and we're heading into one of the busiest times of the year in my schedule. This Friday is the Anime North Halloween event at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. I was already looking forward to going in general, but last week they announced they would be running a Nominoichi event again and immediately started taking reservations for tables. I was hoping for more notice, but I was happy to try applying. I tried requesting a table when they first announced it as first come, first served, but was pretty late to submit, so I didn't think I would get a table. Somehow they lost the results and a couple of days later they ended up opening an entry form again as a lottery. I applied again, but as my luck is terrible with lotteries, I didn't get a table or end up on the wait list. I did find out on Sunday morning that my friend Stillvisions did get a table, so I'll be splitting a table to sell with him. It'll be nice to sell a few more things before the end of the year. I am hoping to stop selling at local cons and events in the next few years as it's quite stressful and time consuming to prep and run a table. I have dialed back on buying Anime goods and I'm trying to back away from Tokidoki collectibles, so I shouldn't have quite so many extra trading figures and duplicate toys taking up space in my basement. Hopefully the event goes well and I sell a few things.

In the last few weeks I have attended a few fun events. Back in early September I went to the Great Canadian Halloween Market. It's a one day Halloween vendor event. I've never been before and it was really fun. I found some great craft items including a cool cement pumpkin decoration, a beautiful amethyst coffin sun catcher and a ghost themed hand painted planchette wall plaque. It's not a huge event, but there were so many neat things to check out at the small convention centre ballroom where the event was hosted. Last weekend I went with my friend Stillvisions to a farm where they had a wagon ride, a pumpkin patch and a corn maze. I haven't been to a farm in probably 20 years so that was a really cool experience. The mazes were pretty hard to navigate, but were neat and we picked up some really nice pumpkins. Finally, Stillvisions invited me to check out a Halloween event at the Scugog Shores Museum over in Port Perry. It's a small historic site with a few old timey buildings and this particular event was geared towards children. They decorated the buildings with Halloween props and decorations. It was so much fun and everything was super cute. Stillvisions suggested that I wear my Ashley costume from the RE4 Remake and it was such a neat location for photos. The old buildings did have a great vibe for the village part of the game. We also stopped at Guildwood Park on the way back and got some photos in the forest and around the neat sculptures and gateways there. The park definitely looked like the castle setting of the game. It was pretty cold and windy that day so hopefully some of the photos turned out well. It was a really cool experience and I'm glad that I was able to get some photos of Ashley. When Stillvisions gets a chance to sort through the photos and send them to me, I'll post some here.

I did also recently receive a new costume. I bought a costume from Doki Doki Cosplay. They were selling a costume from Cookie Run: Kingdom. I know nothing about Cookie Run: Kingdom, but the costume was of a character called Pumpkin Pie Cookie and the design is very Halloweeny. I couldn't resist buying it. I got the costume a few days ago and it looks pretty cute. I'm still waiting to receive the wig. The costume is a tight fit so I'm hoping I'll still fit into it next year. I'm also surprised that they sewed gloves into the sleeves so it's impossible to go to the bathroom without taking the blouse off. I might alter the sleeves to make the gloves detachable and I might consider seeing if I can swap the zipper for a more durable one. The current zipper is a very flimsy invisible one so it's hard to get it over the waist area of the dress. It does look really cute, though, and I'm excited to see the full costume with the wig when I finally get the wig. I'll probably wear it to Anime North next year or to some other convention.

That takes us to now. Tomorrow is the Anime North Halloween event. I won't be Cosplaying because it's too exhausting with staffing a table, but I will wear a Halloweeny outfit. I am hoping to sneak away and check out some of the vendors and activities around the event. Then next week is Halloween. I'll be decorating my house and handing out candy like usual. Pretty excited to get the big display going again. Next week Friday will be a Halloween party at my work. I'll be decorating the office for that. After that I can finally rest for a little while until I have to help organize the office Christmas party in probably early or mid-December. Now that the year is almost over, time is really flying by. Before we know it, it'll be 2024 and we'll be gearing up for another con season. At least there are still some fun holidays and events to look forward to before the year is over. I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

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