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 -+-

August 28th, 2023
I did end up going to Fan Expo Canada on Thursday and Friday. I had a great time at the con! Fan Expo has a soft spot in my heart because the original version of the event (The Canadian National Expo) was the first con that I ever attended over 20 years ago back in 2001. The con has its positives and negatives. I love the venue and location because it's in the heart of the city and is easily transit accessible, but it is frustrating that it is such a corporate and money focused event. I ended up mostly shopping and checking out the booth installations and I genuinely enjoyed it.

I will say the con has some organizational issues when it comes to buying and picking up tickets. I did see a map before going to the con pointing to an area by the highway where they wanted you to go for tickets, but it didn't make sense to me since the attendee entrances for the South building are so far away from that point. Apparently, after being given bad directions twice, that's exactly where they wanted you to go on Thursday. You were meant to line up in a dark parking garage ramp that leads to the show floor in the South building, but it feels very sketchy. I arrived about 20 minutes before the con opened on Thursday and was funneled down in the tunnel as I tried to figure out where you line up if you didn't already pick up a badge (because I was surrounded by people who had their passes already). Thankfully, after about 10 minutes, I was able to reach the box office and get my pre-ordered passes. The con itself was pretty wide open on Thursday. Thursday is the best day to go if you want a chance to check out any of the corporate booths and experiences. I was able to check out the Paramount Lodge booth and get some pins and a fun photo at a Star Trek bridge photo opp and I got a cool photo in the Amazon Prime booth at the Boys Vought Tower photo opp.

I bought lots of art prints including some Disney art and several original art pieces. I also bought a cute pink sweatshirt from an artist table and a ghost stories book that I thought might be fun to read. I took a gamble on the Floor Plan Winchester Mystery House board game and I'm hoping it'll be fun for my board game group. One of my favourite purchases was a cute Kiki's Delivery Service pillow from the Bandai booth. Fan Expo was pretty much a shopping con for me.

I didn't end up Cosplaying on Thursday or Friday. I considered wearing Ashley on Friday, but I was trying to make it to the con early for a panel at 11AM. I sadly missed my bus and was delayed leaving my place, so by the time I arrived, I was 20 minutes late and the panel was full. I couldn't even see the last 25 minutes. I was so disappointed. I brought a Vulpix Pokemon Center cape that I bought a couple of years ago. I thought it might be fun to wear, but I forgot about it for most of the day. I did wear it for a few minutes while at the only panel I went to (the Todd Stashwick panel) as the room was pretty cold. He called me a dragon when he spotted me wearing it after the panel had started. lol I didn't really have the energy to wear a costume and with transit, it's a big trek to get out to the con with lots of walking. I'm not sure if I'll Cosplay at Fan Expo in the future. It's such a crowded event that it's not an easy place to find photo spots. You end up blocking traffic a lot if you get your photo taken. It was cool seeing plenty of unique costumes and unexpected characters, though.

It was a good call going on Thursday and getting my Friday badge. The con was much busier on Friday. I did a lot of shopping and it was nearly impossible to check out some artist alley tables when trying to revisit booths on Friday. It gets so packed. I hung out with my friends Kira and her husband Tyler during both days of the con and we had a great time going to the experiences and shopping. We had dinner on Thursday at Wvrst and lunch at Steam Whistle on Friday and both meals were great. I loved the dips and sauerkraut at Wvrst. I'm looking forward to eating there again. So that was pretty much my whole con experience. I ran into a few familiar faces here and there and had a nice time in the heart of the city. I definitely think it's worth going back for a day or two next year. Now at least I know where they want you to line up on Thursday to get your tickets (unless they move it again next year). I might even go to the Toronto ComiCon for a day next year in March.

Fan Expo was probably my last major con for the year. There are still some Halloween events coming up that I'm excited about including doing a photoshoot somewhere of my Ashley costume from the RE4 Remake. My friend Stillvisions suggested checking out a new haunt called Hexwood out in Pickering. We already bought tickets so I'm pumped for it. Not sure what else might pop up for late September or October, but I'm looking forward to more spooky events.

-+- Past Updates -+-

August 10th, 2023
Elemental sent me the photos from the shoot I did with her at YetiCon back in June of my Dilandau costume. The photos look great! She managed to capture me looking both epic and majestic as well as generally pissed off. lol Really impressed with how the shoot turned out and I'm glad I was able to bring the costume out to the con. Totally worth it given that the costume is now falling apart. I had to cover up a few rips in the gloves in some of the photos, but at least it was nothing too big. I'm definitely going to avoid vinyl costumes in the future. It really sucks to know after a few years a vinyl costume will start falling apart. It was nice while it lasted, anyway! I've added the new photos to the costume gallery here.

Last night I also purchased tickets to Fan Expo Canada. I went back and forth for a while over the last couple of weeks trying to decide if I wanted to go and what day(s) I wanted to go. In the end, I decided to get tickets for Thursday night and Friday. I figured I can pick up my tickets and explore more freely on Thursday when it’s not that crowded and then come back on Friday to see anything I missed, maybe Cosplay and casually check out some panels. I'll probably re-wear my Ashley Graham costume from the RE4 Remake if I Cosplay. I haven't been to the con since 2019 so I'm really looking forward to checking it out again. Hopefully it's a fun time! I'll be sure to post here afterwards with my thoughts on the event.

July 25th, 2023
Pretty Heroes was a couple of weekends ago and I did end up going. My father was able to help me trim my wig for my Sakura Haruno costume. I've had that wig sitting around waiting for a trim for over 4 years so it was nice to finally get a chance to wear it. Since the wig was finally altered, I was able to wear the costume to Pretty Heroes. I ended up going on the Saturday. I went for one day only with my friend Stillvisions. I actually didn't stick around for that long. Stillvisions was kind enough to take some photos of me in costume around the JCCC. Given the aesthetic of the series, it was a great location for character photos. We got some photos in the garden as well as indoors in spots like the graffiti wall. It was really fun to explore and look for neat photo spots.

The con itself was nice. I do love the theming of Pretty Heroes so I had a good time checking out the artists and dealers. We didn't really find much to do in terms of con events. It's a pretty small event with a very limited programming track. I'm not much into checking out panels anymore, but I did enjoy the shopping and the fun snacks. I was able to get some pretty fanart pieces of Sailor Moon and Madoka as well as some original designs. I got a super cute dice buddy figurine (which was probably my favourite con purchase). I loved the table selling different Tokidoki items. I picked up a cute hair bow and a really pretty Cinderella themed necklace. I also got some nice Vocaloid sticky notes and Q Posket Little Mermaid Ariel wedding and pink gown trading figures. It was really nice to see so many magical girl/girl power merch options.

After about 3 hours, I was done at the con so I changed out of my costume and we headed over to Oomomo (which was just down the street on Don Mills) to do some more shopping and get bubble tea from the Coco Tea in the same plaza. Seemed like a nice way to cap off the con. I would probably check out Pretty Heroes again next year. I still need photos of my Sakura Kinomoto Battle costume I made a couple of years ago and it's a great event for a costume like that so hopefully I'll be back to check it out again.

Stillvisions got a chance to look over the con photos he took of my Sakura Haruno costume and sent me some highlights, which I have now added to the updated Sakura costume page. You can find the page here. I really appreciate him shooting with me!

Things are going to be fairly quiet for the rest of the summer. It's pretty busy here with my younger brother's fiancée visiting and with my other brother having his son stay with him here every few days. It's never a dull moment. Probably won't even consider getting back into sewing until the fall or winter. I do still have material to make a Wendy costume if I feel like tackling that project for fun and I have my eye on maybe going to Fan Expo for a day next month, but I'm not sure. If I go and if I Cosplay, I would probably wear Ashley. I'll update here if I end up making it to the con. I do miss the artist alley at that event. It was so much fun to check out.

June 29th, 2023
I had a pretty good time at YetiCon this year. It definitely felt like a bit of stretch to consider YetiCon a convention. The programming was pretty limited, but I did find some neat things in the vendor room. I bought a bunch of keychains, an art print, a pin and patch from a table that was almost exclusively selling Resident Evil and Silent Hill fan art. I love the Robbie the Rabbit patch I got from them and I was able to get keychains of RE6 Sherry and of classic Rebecca Chambers so those were cool finds. I bought a couple of necklaces and also some stickers and a print from Mermaid Melody. There were some interesting things to find. I also did some shopping in the Blue Mountain Village. I bought a new hat and some chocolates so I came back with some great souvenirs.

I did purchase an explore pass through the con for the weekend and that gave me access to the gondola and the hiking trails. I went up the mountain a couple of times during the weekend. It's quite a nice view from up there and it's very peaceful. I was staying at the Mosaic hotel with two other people. We got in on Thursday and since we got there mid-afternoon, we were offered the Presidential Suite as our standard suite wasn't ready yet. That was a pretty cool surprise. Really nice to have 3 bathrooms and everyone got their own bed. We had a great view of the pool and we used that a few times during the weekend. I loved the chance to swim. The weather was pretty nice for most of the weekend, but even when it was cold, the pool was heated so it was never uncomfortable to swim. I also did use the hot tub and met a lot of people while soaking there.

A big highlight of the weekend was the glow walk on Friday night that Stillvisions organized. I didn't Cosplay for it, but I brought a light up jack-o-lantern and a candy corn light up necklace and joined in. It was a chance to have a bit of a parade in which everyone wore costumes and/or accessories that lit up. It was a nice walk around the Village area of Blue Mountain.

I brought three costumes with me (Dilandau from Escaflowne, Super Sailor Chibi Moon from Sailor Moon SuperS and Dorothy from The Big O) and I did wear all three. I almost brought a fourth costume -- Ashley from the RE4 Remake, but I took it out last minute as the car I was in going to the con was packed. A bit sad to not have Ashley while we stayed in the Presidential Suite. lol I wore Super Sailor Chibi Moon for a couple of hours on Friday evening and got some nice photos in the Village area with Stillvisions. The costume is a bit passed its prime on me as it was a bit small, but I made it work. Considering the costume is a decade old, I'm impressed that I could still squeeze into it! I think I'll retire that costume now and see about selling it. The wig (styled by Ammie) is gorgeous and would definitely be an amazing addition to a Chibi Moon Cosplayers costume. Stillvisions sent me a couple of photos of Chibi Moon post-YetiCon so I was able to finally complete and post a costume page for it. You can find it here.

On Saturday afternoon I finally got a chance to wear my Dilandau costume. It was made for me back in 2015 by my friend Ammie and my friend Adrien modified a wooden sword to look like Dilandau's. I only wore the costume once before at Anime North 2015, but I didn't get photos of the costume then as the costume needed some alterations. It never seemed like a good time to plan a shoot for the costume until I finally realized during the pandemic that the fabric (since it's made of faux leather) would start breaking down eventually. I tried it on before YetiCon and the costume still looked great aside from a bit of cracking in the pants around the zipper, but after wearing it for a few minutes at the con, I could see stress creaks in various parts of the costume. The material especially started breaking down on the gloves, around the waist in the coat and in the pants. It was very bittersweet to finally wear it for some epic photos, but watch it crumble in real-time as I wore it. At least I shot with both Stillvisions and Elemental so I have plenty of photos to come of the costume. Stillvisions sent me a few really nice photos already so I created the costume page, which you can find here. I got some photos near the gondolas and around the Village area. I had hoped to go up into the hiking trails for photos, but I'm not sure if the costume could have handled it. Sadly, I have to consider the costume retired, but at least I finally did get one more wear out of it before it totally fell apart.

My final costume for the weekend was Dorothy from The Big O. I wore the costume for a few hours on Sunday late morning during a final trip to the vendor hall. Stillvisions took some video and photos of me around the convention space and in the hotel room suite. It was nice to finally wear Dorothy after making it last year, but not wearing it at all in 2022. I think for next time I want to get a slip for the costume so the skirt will hang a little nicer. It was very nostalgic to Cosplay from Big O. All of my costumes for the weekend were nostalgic to be honest. Stillvisions had wanted me to wear the costume again in the evening for some late night shots that would be a bit more film noir, but the group went swimming and hot tubing until after 10PM, so by the time I was done with that, it would have been super late to get back into costume. Some other time! I was just glad to have a fun weekend and actually wear all the costumes I brought. At least I can definitely wear Dorothy again (unlike Dilandau and Chibi Moon). Stillvisions hasn't sent me any photos of Dorothy yet, but when I get some pictures I'll upload the costume page.

I had some great food during the weekend. I had poutine twice from the Mile High Poutine restaurant and had a lovely steak dinner on Sunday with some friends at the Northwinds Brewpub. I wasn't much of a party animal, but enjoyed hanging out with friends in the evenings and checking out some movies on TV like Blade and John Wick 3. After a final stroll around the village on Monday morning, we made the journey back to Toronto. It was a great trip and was a much needed break from reality. I don't know if the con will return next year, but if it does, I definitely think I'll go again for some more good times with friends, wonderful spots for photos and nice chances to swim.

Next up is Pretty Heroes. I should be going for a day. I'm not sure which day yet, but I'm hoping to wear my Naruto Shippuden Sakura Haruno costume. I need to find time before then to get the wig trimmed, but otherwise it should be good to go. I'm looking forward to that con being chill, but exciting. I always enjoy the atmosphere at Pretty Heroes so it should be fun.

June 14th, 2023
Just a quick update. I've changed my costume plans for YetiCon. Currently looking at bringing my Dorothy (The Big O) costume along with Dilandau (Vision of Escaflowne) and Super Sailor Chibi Moon (Sailor Moon). I'm swapping out Sakura Haruno and Ashley (unless I can find some space to bring Ashley's boots). I just figure it would be nice to bring a homemade costume (Dorothy) and I've never had a chance to wear it after making it last year in the spring. No one will recognize it, but it would be fun to wear and maybe nice for the weather. Seems we've moved away from summer and it's feeling like early spring these days. Hopefully it's not too cold and rainy this weekend although it sure beats the smoky air. I just wish packing wasn't so intimidating. Dilandau is such a big costume that it takes up a lot of space.

I have no specific plans for when I'm wearing my costumes or shoots booked. Just hoping for a fun and relaxing weekend away from the city. As long as the weather is nice enough for me to be able to use the pool a few times I'll be happy. Crossing my fingers that it will be a great con!

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