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 7th, 2023
I know I only just finally posted my con report and thoughts on Anime North, but I was offered hotel space and a car ride for YetiCon and Iíve decided to go. Things have been so hectic and chaotic in my life lately that I think it'll be a fun break (as much as packing for a con and preparing and wearing costumes is considered a break that is).

I'm trying to decide what to bring. Currently I'm thinking my Dilandau costume from Escaflowne along with Sakura Haruno from Naruto Shippuden and maybe my new RE4 Remake Ashley costume. I've posted many times before worrying about my Dilandau costume as it's several years old and made of pleather so I feel like it has a shelf life and will probably fall apart soon. I'm pretty desperate to get photos of it as I only wore it once and that was before it was fixed up and the wig was styled. It was a very expensive costume too, so I really want photo evidence of it. I've only worn Sakura once as well. I bought new boots for the costume and a whole new wig and I've never worn it with the upgrades. I realized during the pandemic that the blouse barely fits me now. I had to open the seams to give it a little more give. I'm hoping to wear it to Yeti as well as a last hurrah. The wig is actually too long so I'm going to ask my dad to help me trim it. If I bring Ashley, that's just for fun. Too bad it's not fall. That would be a great location for photos if the leaves were changing colour.

I'm just looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I'll be going on the 15th and staying until the 19th. I can't wait to use the pools and try out the resort amenities. I'm a little miffed at how complicated things are this year with the reduced convention offerings as well as the pay options for Blue Mountain amenity passes, but I'll figure it out. Can't wait to see some friends and enjoy some beautiful summer weather!

I forgot to say in my post yesterday, but I have added a costume page for my new Ashley costume. You can find it here. Not many photos of it currently as I didn't really get a chance to shoot it at AN. I'm looking forward to maybe going to Black Creek Pioneer Village or just getting some photos in the woods when we hit the fall.

-+- Past Updates -+-

June 6th, 2023
Anime North is over for another year. I do have to say that all the ANs have started to blur together for me even though I am happy the con felt like a return to form this year. Iím still taking some COVID precautions so not totally normal, but it was great for it to be back in May.

Even though itís been several years since I last stayed at a hotel for Anime North, it still feels weird to commute daily to the con. It takes away some of the mystique and I do miss staying at the Delta hotel and using the hotel pool. I did only end up going on Friday and Sunday. I heard that parking at the Congress Centre was pretty crazy on Saturday and Iím sure the con floor was quite busy so kind of happy I stayed away.

The Nominoichi went pretty well on Friday. I tabled with my friend Adrien again. I thought we had a great table placement by the doors for buyers, but Congress Centre maintenance put up a big curtain in front of the doors just before the event and it blocked the aisle in front of my table and all the light from the ceiling lights and natural light from the doors. It was very frustrating and I do think it cost me some sales due to a lack of visibility. A couple of people even used the flashlight on their phones to illuminate the table because it was so shadowy. Thanks to pre-selling, I still did really well, but it was a challenge at the event. Would be nice to get a discount next year if I get a table again, but I doubt anything will be offered. Really hoping I donít end up with a table by the doors ever again. Still happy with the amount of stuff I sold and that for the first time since COVID, nothing was stolen from my table! Kind of a low bar, but Iím still pretty hurt to remember the Sailor Moon gashapon items that were taken at the AN Halloween event and at Nerd Market. I sold a few Tokidoki figures, some Pokemon Re-Ment blind boxes, a few Sailor Moon trading figures and gashapons and a handful of figures among other things. I cleared out quite a few of my childhood Anime posters. I used to buy tons of posters from Pacific Mall from series like Gundam Wing, Inuyasha, Sailor Moon and Tsubasa. I had over 25 for sale and I now have less than 10 left. Kind of hoping AN offers garage sale tables at the Halloween event again, so Iíll keep an eye open for that, but itís nice to take a break from selling in-person for a few months. I enjoyed having the table, chatting with people and clearing some things from my place, but it was an exhausting experience. Besides grabbing food at Tim Hortonís, lining up and setup were my entire con experience for Friday, but I definitely canít complain about getting a chance to sell.

I didnít get back from AN on Friday until around midnight and due to a family matter, couldnít go to bed until 2:30AM so needless to say, I wasnít feeling up to going on Saturday. I used the time on Saturday to relax and prepare my costume for Sunday. On Sunday, I got a chance to wear the Ashley costume that I had put together. It was fun to finally wear it. It felt a bit weird to wear a costume from China since I do tend to make my own costumes, but I am happy that I put in a lot of effort to piece the costume together and improve it before wearing it. Only the weekend before AN, Pan was kindly helping me trim the bob wig. It was just a cheap wig from Aliexpress. It was the first wig I bought for this Remake Ashley costume. I bought a second wig that looked a little nicer (as the first wig I bought had some light streaks I didnít like and the hair was a bit thin and tended to shed) but it looked nothing like the promo picture as it was meant to be styled specifically for Ashley. The wig I got was definitely a bait-and-switch. I got a refund for it so now Iím on the hunt for a better wig.

The costume did go over pretty well. A few people recognized it and I did run into one Leon. Hopefully next time I wear Ashley I run into more RE Cosplayers. I found some fun things to buy at the con. During the Nomi, I bought 3 Tokidoki figures I had been hoping to find and at Artists and the Vendors hall, I mostly found fun Halloween and gothic themed goods to buy. I got a cute witch themed sweater, a really cool skeleton mousepad and a beautiful Alice fanart print. It was a really successful con. My friend Lenore was kind enough to sell some doll stuff for me at the Doll Marketplace on Saturday so I cleared a few more things through her. She sold all the large cumbersome things so I was really glad for her help

I finally got a cherry lemonade from my favourite lemonade stand on Sunday afternoon. I waited outside with Adrien in the blazing sun for a poutine from the poutine food truck. It was quite the experience while wearing a wig since it took about 30 minutes to get through the line and there was no shade. The poutine was pretty good in the end! I ended the con by checking out Zee and Stillvisionsí con history/Carmelldansen panel, which was a nice blast from the past about con life in the last 20+ years. All and all, it was a fun con. It felt a bit brief since I was so busy and focused on Friday and I didnít go on Saturday, but from what I did get to do and see, it was another pretty good year. Iím already excited about next AN and my con plans for the rest of the year. :)

May 15th, 2023
It's almost time for Anime North! I can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by! I had my badge mailed and it was a pretty big shock when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. It felt like AN was still so far off and now it's next week.

I haven't posted here in a while. Life has been challenging lately as a close family member is at the start of a difficult separation from their spouse. There is child custody involved as well questions about the stability of the ex, which has brought untold levels of stress and concern into the life of my family. Hopefully we've reached a turning point, but it's been extremely chaotic lately. On top of that, I did thankfully get a Nominoichi table. I'll be at N219. With an extra family member staying with me, it's brought even more demand for clearing out space and selling some of my pop culture and Anime stuff just so I can accommodate the new person in our house. It's making it extra stressful to prepare for the event, but I am extremely excited to be able to attend the Nomi again and for AN to be back in May. Last year felt so weird as the con was quite chaotic. This year feels like a return to the good old days.

As for Cosplay, I actually decided just a month ago to put together a new costume. With all the chaos here, I really wanted something to look forward to and with the Resident Evil 4 Remake; I thought it would be fun to Cosplay as the new version of Ashley. With everything going on, though, I really didn't want to make the costume from scratch (that and because making a well-constructed blazer in a rust colour really didn't inspire me to want to sew) but I did excitedly look for costumes pieces online. I watched as numerous variations of pre-made versions of Ashley's costume were posted for sale from Chinese sellers. I cherry-picked through the options to get her skort, scarf, blazer and turtleneck, as well as accessories like her brooch and tights. Hardest part seems to be finding a decent wig to style. I'm on the hunt for my 3rd wig for the costume as even buying a "pre-styled" wig for Ashley turned out to just be a bad wig with a really weird colour choice. Hoping I can find a nice natural colour option to style, but that might not happen for AN. Not sure if I'll try to make a wig I already have work temporarily or just delay the costume until I can get a better wig. I did do quite a bit of work so far to upgrade the costume. I had to alter the brooch I got to make it a little more accurate as well as I hand stitched topstitching to the blazer to give it a contrasting stitch element. Her jacket in the game has a contrast stitch or some sort of ribbon detailing over most of the seams that almost none of the pre-made costumes incorporated. I liked the look of the jacket I picked the best so I figured I could add the detail myself. Took a few hours and it's not the most visible detail work, but I think it looks good. Despite being a pre-made costume, it was quite a lot of work to put together in the end.

Still not sure about my overall plans for AN. I most likely won't Cosplay on Friday as the Nomi is always super hot and I'm not sure if I'll go on Saturday or skip the con and rest that day. I'll definitely be back on Sunday so I'm debating between wearing Ashley or finally wearing the Dorothy costume from The Big O that I made last year but never wore. So many choices, but so little time! If I go on Saturday then maybe I'll wear Dorothy then and wear Ashley on Sunday. It's all a bit in flux. I guess I don't have much more time to think about it as before I know it, it'll be Anime North. Looking forward to some rest before the con, but I'm sure it'll just be pure chaos. Anyway, can't wait to be back at Anime North for the 20th time!

March 28th, 2023
It's been a couple of weeks since the Nerd Market event ended. It was my first event of the year. I had a pretty good time. It was nice to be back at the U of T campus again and I loved the architecture of the Great Hall where the event was set in Hart House. It's a beautiful space. I brought way too much so setup and teardown was a challenge, but it was nice seeing some familiar faces and chatting with people. I sold a few things, not a ton. It's always hard to tell what people are going to like at different events to decide what's worth bringing. Stuff that was eye-catching and sold well at the Anime North Halloween event was not what really caught people's interest here. There was really no one thing that I cleared out at this event, but I did sell a few Tokidoki Unicorno figures so that was nice. A couple of people did want to trade Tokidoki figures, but I unfortunately already had the figures they were offering. One Sailor Moon item was stolen from the table, which made me sad. I've never dealt with table thefts before and ever since the pandemic and events restarting, at both events I've been selling at so far, an item has been stolen. Interestingly, they were both Sailor Moon gashapon items. I guess they're from a recognizable series and very small to just secretly hide and walk off with, but it's very frustrating. This time it was a Sailor Moon Star Locket and I was selling it for a very reasonable price. It makes me very disappointed in people especially since it had been an item I had debated about keeping. Anyway, all and all, I had a good time. I would consider going again, but I would really have to bring less and make the table a little more cohesive.

Other than that, things in my life have been a bit crazy. I've been dealing with some difficult family matters, so it's been a bit hard to relax. The RE4 remake came out, but I've barely played it. It looks great from what I've seen so far. I really want to Cosplay Ashley. I miss RE Cosplay so much. Hopefully things will calm down in my life soon, but it seems like it might be something that drags on for months and gets pretty nasty so I'm not optimistic.

The application period for the Nominoichi lottery for AN start at the end of this week. I can't believe it's already time to start preparing for that! I kind of wish I still had more time before the madness of pre-sales and tabling starts, but I'm really hoping I get a table and I can return to selling. I always do so well at AN and move a lot of my Anime collection that I would like to sell. Even though I'm in for a crazy spring, hopefully I can still make the best of things and have a fairly smooth process preparing for Anime North. I'm very much looking forward to attending a convention again and making Cosplay plans.

February 24th, 2023
The weeks have really been flying by! I can't believe we're already almost two full months into 2023. It's kind of a weird winter for me. Usually I spend a lot of the winter sewing a new costume, but this year I decided not to since I have such a big backlog of costumes that I need photos of. I haven't even worn the costume I made last year. I do feel a bit listless, though, but my job has been keeping me very busy, so all I want to do in the evening is relax and turn my brain off.

Not much to report in terms of Cosplay news, but Nerd Market has finally solidified the details of the upcoming event and I was able to sign up and pay for my table. The event will be held at U of T in Hart House on Sunday, March 12th. I'm not sure how it'll go and if it'll be particularly busy, but it'll be fun to get out of the house, meet people and hopefully sell a few things. I haven't fully figured out exactly what I'll bring, but most certainly some Pokemon Re-Ment figures, some Tokidoki figures, a few gashapon items and maybe a handful of scale or action figures. I'm seeing if I can bring a couple of Resident Evil Hot Toys figures. I'm in the process of selling my Hot Toys figures as they're very large, I really need to downsize my collection and the boxes are hard to store. I had seven Hot Toys figures (including one Sucker Punch figure) and I've sold two figures so far, so I'm making some progress with selling already. Would be nice to at least sell a couple locally because the shipping boxes needed to mail Hot Toys can be quite large, but I definitely don't ship anything without tons of protection in the box. Anyway, looking forward to seeing how the event goes.

Next month is also March Toronto ComiCON. I'm probably not going. I haven't been to a Fan Expo related event since before the pandemic. One of these days I will be return to their events. I really do miss the vibe and the Artist Alley. I have purchased my ticket for Anime North and I'm already hyping myself up for getting a table at the AN Nominoichi. Really hoping I get lucky and actually get a table at the event. That's pretty much my plans for the next few months. I have a few costumes I want to bring out of storage to wear to events and get photos of. Iím hoping to get a shoot or two in before the hot days of summer. These days I'm just looking forward to the idea of summer. I can't wait for the warmth and sunny days, but with the way the weeks have been flying by, it'll be May before we know it!

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