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 -+-

December 26th, 2022
It's been a while since my last post and we're right into the thick of the holiday season. I hope everyone that celebrates had a nice Christmas. Mine was a little chaotic as I couldn't see some of my immediate family since they came down with a horrible stomach flu, but we still made the best of things and had a nice holiday and were planning a bigger family gathering for later.

I don't have much going on in terms of Cosplay work. My biggest geeky accomplishment of the year was probably passing Horizon Forbidden West a month ago after logging something like 90 hours playing it since I started the game at the end of the summer. I haven't touched any sewing since I was fixing up older costumes in the summer. It's been nice to take a sewing break.

I just wanted to post here a little review of the year. There was a return for me to some staple Cosplay activities. It feels like a return to normal, but at the same time, it's been a slow crawl to really get comfortable again with things. To be honest, I've been tremendously busy with work these last few months. I've definitely taken on more responsibilities and have been thriving in my role as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager at an indie game studio here in the city, but it does leave me feeling done with anything that feels like work by the end of the day. It's something I'll have to work around mentally to get back into an inspired headspace to sew again. Since sewing takes so much concentration and planning. I'm hoping to find a balance with that in 2023.

I did quite a bit this year even still. I attended YetiCon for the first time back in the early part of summer. It was quite an interesting venue and cool vibe for a con. Definitely felt like a con where you need to make your plans in advance or you'll miss out on things like booking shoots. I got to wear my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume, which was really nice. I'm so glad I finally could wear it in public after making it two years ago. It was annoying that the harsh wind at the resort jostled my hat off my head and made it a challenge to get photos of the costume. I also got to wear my Alice (Alice in Wonderland) costume to the con and I got some fun shots of my Inkling Kid costume by the pool, so I can retire my Splatoon costume. I had a good time and loved the alpine coaster, the zip line, the unique location and the heated swimming pools. I'm undecided if I would go again in 2023 if anyone had hotel room space for me. It was fun, but the con is being stripped down for next year with only a dealer's room, so it's even more so a con where you have to plan your own activities and feels a bit unfocused for making costuming plans. It is a cool location, though, and I do enjoy swimming, so maybe I will try to go again if I'm able.

Anime North finally returned and with extreme fanfare as the con was very busy and well attended. I know that created some chaos. I went to the con on the Friday and Sunday. Friday was going to be a chance to get my badge and see the artist alley, but registration was so backed up and chaotic that I only got my badge just as the Congress Centre was closing. At least Sunday of the con was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. It was in the middle of the summer for the first time ever and was extremely hot, so I skipped Cosplaying. That felt pretty weird. I also skipped entering the lottery to get a Nominoichi table and I really missed that. Would have been great to sell some stuff, but hopefully I can return to the Nomi next year. I definitely want to declutter and refocus my Anime and pop culture figure and toy collection, so I still have plenty of goods to sell (a never-ending struggle).

Next up was Pretty Heroes. It was nice to see the return of a smaller, local con. I do love visiting the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. There were some cute things to buy there and the con gave me a chance to fix up and re-wear my Madoka Magica school uniform costume. That costume had some serious wear and tear due to age, so it took me quite a few hours to fix it up, but I do love that costume so much. It's still my favourite costume I've ever made. This time I changed out the wig and was Homura instead of Madoka. I got some photos care of my friends Pan and Stillvisions and it was a fun day. I didn't participate in many con events, but the con had a fun vibe.

Last up for pop culture events was the surprise Anime North Halloween event, which took place the Friday before Halloween again at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. I was so surprised that they made it free. I was even more surprised that just a couple of weeks before the event, they announced that they would be hosting a Nominoichi event at the party. I applied for a table and thankfully got one. I made a little bit of money and got a chance to clear out a few Anime goods from my basement storage. To be honest, it was just nice to have a basecamp and a reason to chit-chat with people. It's much easier to chat with people when they're looking at things and you have a conversation starter. I wore a Sam Cosplay dress I had purchased from Spirit Halloween and had a fun evening. It definitely felt like a neat Halloween outfit for the occasion. It was great to be back at a Halloween event and Anime North put on a pretty good show.

That pretty much catches me up to now in terms of events. I did make one costume from scratch this year. I made a Dorothy costume from Big O. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. I would have worn it to Anime North if it had been in the spring. It's a pretty old school Anime costume now. I doubt many people will recognize it, but Big O is one of my all-time fave Anime series, so I feel so nostalgic thinking about it and I am excited to get a chance to wear it next year. I didn't attend any Informa cons this year. They felt a bit too big and crowded, but I might try to go to Fan Expo next year. I do miss how all-encompassing Fan Expo is for pop culture content and the fun downtown location. Regarding costume plans for 2023, aside from finally wearing Dorothy, I want to get photos of the Dilandau costume I've been off and on mentioning here and hopefully Super Sailor Chibi Moon if I can still squeeze into the costume. I also want better photos of my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume. I do have all the materials to make a Wendy costume from Peter Pan. I'm undecided if I want to make it over the winter just because I have so many other costumes I need to find time to wear already. If I don't make it for 2023, I'll definitely make it for 2024 when my Cosplay backlog of older costumes I need photos of will hopefully be cleared. Who knows, maybe I'll join the trend of buying costumes. Sure would save me a heck of a lot of time and energy. Its really hard to find time to get cracking on planning new costumes, but I do still love conventions and Cosplay.

The next upcoming event is Nerd Market 3. It's been delayed so many times, but it seems a date of March 12th has finally been settled on and the event will be at the U of T campus. I believe that since I had a table for the original cancelled event in 2020, they'll offer me a spot by default. I'm hoping to participate and I'm looking forward to it. I think I'll have more than enough stuff that if I sell well at Nerd Market, I'll still be able to fill a table at Anime North. Hopefully by the end of this year I can really reduce my collection enough that I can start skipping selling events.

That pretty much summarizes the year and looks ahead a bit to the start of 2023. It was an interesting year and I started to get back into the swing of things. I'm looking forward to venturing out more next year and perhaps leaving the country or at least the province for a trip. Whatever happens, I can't wait to see what excitement 2023 has in store. Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful New Year!

-+- Past Updates -+-

November 2nd, 2022
Halloween is now behind us and it's been a somewhat eventful last few days. I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I just decorated my house, handed out candy and watched some horror and Halloween-themed movies. I took the day off work so I could have a relaxing afternoon and evening (as relaxing as running around putting up decorations can be). Not the best weather for Halloween this year here in Toronto and it was a Monday, but we still had a great turnout of trick-or-treat and that's always fun to see. I would say over 100 and maybe over 150 kids and teens stopped by. I wish I had bought more candy.

Last Friday was the free Anime North Halloween event at the JCCC. The Halloween event was a bit of a surprise announcement early in the month and an even bigger surprise was announcing they would have a Nominoichi (garage sale) section this year. They literally announced the Nomi event and started taking table requests on Wednesday the 19th. Thank goodness my friend Pan told me about it. It was first come, first served and it took me a couple of hours to apply, so I'm surprised I got a table, but super happy I did. The only annoying thing was that table acceptance emails only went out on the 22nd, so I had to rush preparing goods for my table over just a few days. Thankfully, I was able to make an inventory list and price things with a day to spare, but it was quite a busy week for me on top of doing my job.

My friend Stillvisions was kind enough to run the table with me and he also sold a few things. I wasn't sure what to expect. I usually sell pretty well at the Anime North Nominoichi, but this was a much smaller event. It was hectic to get setup and it was slow at first, but I did pretty well. I sold a few scale figures, some Pokemon trading figures, a couple Amiibos and some Pokemon cards among other items. The only letdown was that I didn't sell more Tokidoki figures. I have so many duplicates and I was hoping to sell quite a few figures from what I brought, but there didn't seem to be that many Tokidoki fans at the event. I hope I have more luck at a future Nomi.

The only downside of the night was a mother and daughter who stole a Sailor Chibi Moon Gashapon item from my table. I know exactly who did it and it was so sad and frustrating that it was a child. Otherwise, everything went smoothly and I had a great time. If AN runs the Halloween event again next year, I probably wouldn't mind getting a table again. I suppose it depends on if I sell elsewhere and I have a lot of stuff left. It didn't really feel like a venue for big ticket items, but prize and trading figures did sell pretty well. I didn't see much of the rest of the event, but I like that you can do some crafting or play some board games. It might be a small event, but there was quite a bit to do and it was really kind of Anime North to make it free.

I wore a Sam (Trick r Treat) themed dress that I got from Spirit Halloween. Since it's a small event, it didn't really feel like a place to make a big costume debut and with managing a table, I had to wear something simple. The outfit is adorable and was a fun way to celebrate the holiday. One year I need to get photos of that dress around some Halloween decorations.

That might be the last event of the year for me. I know Nerd Market is supposedly still to come, but I hear that pinning down a venue has been a challenge, so it sounds like it might be pushed back again or cancelled. The latest I've heard is maybe it'll be postponed until January. Such a shame, but that makes me happy I managed to get a table at the Halloween event after all. I did miss just casually hanging out at the Halloween event, but it was sure nice to finally clear out a few things that I had stored in my basement! It was my first chance to sell in person since the 2019 AN Nomi and the opportunity was much appreciated.

I guess I can start looking forward to events in 2023 and, of course, this holiday season. It'll be interesting to see what cons are like next year. I'm still figuring out my comfort level with big events, but it sure was nice to socialize with people at the Halloween event on Friday and see Cosplayers. Definitely great to see community events returning, so I'm excited to see what next year has in store.

October 12th, 2022
Wow, we're already well into spooky season. I haven't updated here since August and that feels like it was just a couple of weeks ago. It was a fairly quiet end to summer. In terms of Cosplay, I've been taking a bit of a break. I was planning to arrange some photoshoots, but I just kind of lost my motivation to rush things. Hopefully next year I'll still be able to fit into Sakura Haruno, Dilandau and Super Sailor Chibi Moon, so I can get some costume photos of those three costumes and maybe actually wear the Dorothy (The Big O) costume I made this year.

My friend Stillvisions sent me the cellphone photos he took of my Homura costume during Pretty Heroes. I was able to export and edit them and I've added them to the costume gallery. Nothing too incredible because it's just phone photos, but I think we got some really nice shots with cool Japanese themed backdrops. You can see the photos here.

I do still have a couple of planned events to attend this year. Not entirely surprising, but fun to see that Anime North has brought back their Halloween event. I went to the last couple that they did, but of course, they haven't run one since the pandemic started. The tickets were free and I managed to get one before the event sold out. I haven't decided what I want to wear yet. I did just mention wanting to wear and get photos of a bunch of costumes. I would probably wear Sakura Haruno, but the wig needs to be trimmed and I have to ask a friend for help with that. I doubt I can get that done before the event. Dorothy is a strong contender, but I did buy a dress costume version of Sam from Trick 'r Treat at Spirit Halloween last year and I haven't worn it yet. It's pretty casual and might be fun to wear instead of putting on a big costume. I'm still debating it, but that'll be happening on the 28th. I think that is it for major Halloween plans for me. I feel a bit lame, but it feels like the big night will be here before I know it. I'll probably decorate my house and give out candy. It won't be as exciting as last year, but I always look forward to Halloween nonetheless.

Nerd Market 3 was supposed to happen at the beginning of October, but was pushed back until late October and then was moved to late November. If it actually happens, I do intend to go and sell some Anime goods, but at this point I'm not sure what's going on. Hopefully there won't be any more delays and the weather will be ok in November for the event.

I actually bought some fabric last month for my next costume. I bought materials to make a new Wendy costume from Peter Pan. My friend Ammie made me a Wendy costume several years ago and I only wore it once to the Holiday Fan Expo event that was held in 2019. I loved how it looked and I only did a quick shoot in the costume. Unfortunately, I outgrew the costume during the pandemic. :( That made me so sad that I decided to remake the costume. I bought fabric and notions already. I don't like the fabric I bought as much as the material Ammie used, but I'm hoping it'll work. I have some leftover blue fabric from my Alice costume that I think I might be able to use for the bows as well. I would make it for next year, but I have so many old costumes I want to prioritize re-wearing and I'm afraid if I make it soon, but don't wear it until 2024, it might not fit. I'll probably start this costume late next year or early in 2024, so I'll most likely take a sewing hiatus for the next year. Kind of feels nice to take a break after stressing about fixing up costumes over the last few months. Hopefully my old costumes will still fit and I won't need to let out seams. That's pretty much my greatest fear right now. Anyway, I'll try to enjoy the fall atmosphere and Halloween vibes over the next few weeks before winter takes hold. Hopefully the Halloween event at the JCCC will be a lot of fun.

August 18th, 2022
It's now post-Pretty Heroes. I went to the convention last weekend just for the Sunday. I only stayed for a few hours. I mostly just wanted to see some friends and check out the vendors. I did wear my Madoka Magica school uniform that I made back in 2017, but this time I Cosplayed as Homura. I was originally going to shoot with Elemental Photography, but she ended up only going to con on Saturday so our paths didn't cross. Instead, my friend Stillvisions took a few photos of me on his camera and with his cellphone. Pan also took a few photos of me on my phone. I was able to put together the costume page for Homura thanks to Pan's photos and you can find the new costume page here. The costume took a lot of work to actually make it wearable again. I had re-sew various parts of the blouse to tighten up loose threads and remove the red bias tape and then sew it back on after I had washed the shirt. The blouse is actually quite tight at the shoulders and in the elbows, so I think my days of being able to wear this costume might be numbered, but I am hopeful that I can wear it again at least one more time in the next couple of years.

I also owe my friend Mackenzie a huge thank you for helping out when I was shooting with Kevin. She held a light reflector and was kind enough to blind me when I was being photographed. XD Hopefully some of the photos turn out nicely in case I can't ever wear Homura again.

The con overall was pretty fun. It's a small event with a cool focus. I do love series like Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura so I enjoyed the ambience. I did pick up some fun things in the vendor hall. I got a Universal Studios Japan Sailor Moon Silver Crystal light up charm that looks stunning. I also purchased an Escaflowne animation cel at the same table. It's of Dilandau, which was crazy to see given how old the series is. Dilandau is still one of my all-time fave characters so that certainly was a cool find. Pan bought me some Halloween themed fanart stickers and I got a nice paper art Alice in Wonderland piece, so I got some really neat things. Not a huge haul, but quality over quantity.

That pretty much covers the con. Mackenzie, Stillvisions and I stopped afterwards at a bubble tea shop for a celebratory drink. It felt well-earned after a day of Cosplay. It's a real chore to get into costume. It took me about 2 and a half hours to get ready. I do miss when getting into costume was just a matter of throwing on a wig and your outfit. Elaborate makeup and contacts have really slowed things down. Hopefully some of the con photos turned out.

My next plans are kind of up in the air. I'm probably getting a table at Nerd Market, which should be about a month and a half away if the current date of October 1st stays in place. I know Fan Expo is next week, but I don't know anyone who wants to go with me, so I'll probably skip it. That probably covers the local cons for the year. Elemental Photography did suggest she could do a shoot with me locally to make up for cancelling my Pretty Heroes shoot and I might take her up on that. I still have Super Sailor Chibi Moon, Sakura Haruno and Dilandau that I would like to shoot this year. Maybe I can do a shoot day with her and at least take care of small shoots for Sakura and Chibiusa. Dilandau will have to wait for cooler weather. Hopefully things don't cool down too quickly! I've been enjoying the sunshine and I will miss it when the weather patterns change and it gets cold next month. I definitely will try not to waste the next few weeks!

August 12th, 2022
Quick update! I should be going to Pretty Heroes on Sunday. I think I've settled on re-wearing my school uniform from the Madoka Magica series except this time I'll be portraying Homura. I had to fix up quite a bit of the costume in order to wash it. Hopefully I can get another couple of wears out of it, but it's getting quite tight around the shoulders and in the arms. I will potentially be shooting with Elemental Photography so I'm looking forward to that. Pretty Heroes has some really fun artist vendors so I'm really excited to check out the sights of the con. Hopefully it'll be a fun day!

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