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 made over 50 costumes and I've attended over 60 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 -+-

July 31st, 2014
Welcome to the new face of Straywind.com! For the last three weeks I've been working on implementing the new layout. This layout was a gift from my awesome friend Pan. The original website layout that I used from 2008 up until now was never meant to be a long term design. I made it really quickly when I got my domain so I could get my website up and running. I had always wanted to make something new that incorporated more of my costume photos, but my knowledge of HTML is from the late 90s so I'm super out of date and couldn't really come up with a solid design. Thanks to Pan, I now have this lovely layout which incorporates many of my favourite costumes. I can swap out the pictures as well, if I really wanted to change things in the coming years. I love the fact she found a Halloween font to use for the background. I think this design really speaks to me and does a great job representing my personality and my costumes. It's bright and cute, but still has a creepy edge. (^_^)

I've changed quite a few things about the site. I merged some pages such as the Links and Link Me section. I removed the splash page for the domain as well as the individual costume sections for various interests like video games or other media and everything is now listed in a master gallery section. My favourite new addition is the fact that I added a scroll over effect on the costume page icons. For any costume that I have nice Cosplay pictures of, I created a second icon of myself in costume so you can see the character and instantly, my costume interpretation before viewing the costume page. It's in play for about 90% of the pages, but I don't have impressive photos of a lot of my older costumes so I skipped that detail for some of the icons. Combing over my old pages I can really see how far I've come as a Cosplayer. A few costume pages have been taken down and a few costume photos have been removed of some of my costumes if I felt the costume or photos were just too inferior. There are a couple of costumes that I didn't remove that are on the bubble as I feel I didn't quite do the character justice. It's tough to be harsh because in a lot of cases the costumes in question are nearly 10 years old so I need to cut myself some slack. I feel like in this day and age with the quality of costuming, it's hard not to be a critic even when considering the time period and skill level that I had when I made some of my older costumes. I can't say that I'm not proud of how far I've come and I'm definitely looking forward to my future projects. I might not make as many costumes these days, but it's all about quality over quantity and enjoying the journey and it has been quite the journey thus far!

I'm still waiting for a multitude of costume photos from the past year. Some Tennis Princess Peach photos from Anime North, photos of Princess Peach from Otakuthon last year and photos of my Sam (Trick 'r Treat) and Ashley from RE4 costumes that I did shoots of last fall. Also, photos of my Halloween summer dress from Atomic Lollipop and my new Snow White dress from the Cosplay Picnic. You can expect to see lots of new content in the next few months. I will hopefully be planning a photoshoot of at least Tennis Princess Peach before fall with Elemental. I still hope to get some photos of China Sherry from Resident Evil 6 as well. I'm not planning to re-wear the costume to an event again, but before I retire it, I hope I can get a few photos so I can properly post photos to other sites.

I did add a little bit of new content to this site. I read through every costume page and edited some of the text. Thanks for bearing with some of my typos, which were kind of terrible in some of the costume pages. XD I did add a few new photos to my Watanuki costume page. Just some old photos from Youmacon 2008 that I never got around to adding. I also added a new outfit page for my Sailor Lolita outfit. I've been meaning to properly incorporate a Lolita section for a couple of years now as I own a few Lolita outfits. I wasn't quite sure how to add that one and the photos are all from 2010 and 2011. It's one of my favourite Lolita outfits so I'm happy to add it to the site. (^_^) I do own one other Lolita dress at the moment, but the photos I had of it have been lost. Not sure if I'll wear it again or just hold off and sell it at the Nominoichi next Anime North. I would love to own more Lolita outfits, but it's too pricey of a hobby to keep up with as I'm already saddled down with figure collecting. XD

I do have an important Cosplay update. I was able to find a gorgeous wool fabric to use for Madoka's school uniform skirt from Madoka Magica so I will be working on a school uniform costume for her in the next few months. So far I only have the skirt fabric so it'll be slow going with the costume. My intention is to get the costume done this fall and wear it to cons next year. I think that's a reasonable goal. I also have fabric to make a new blouse for the summer version of Usagi's school uniform from Sailor Moon. This fall Ammie will be working on my Dilandau costume so there is quite a bit going on with me Cosplay wise! Too bad my next convention isn't until May 2015, but in the meantime I'll enjoy a bit of a break. I hope you enjoy this new look of Straywind.com!

-+- Past Updates -+-

July 14th, 2014
Atomic Lollipop turned out to be a really fun con. Honestly, it was the most fun that I've had at a con in the last few years. I've always enjoyed spending time at the Science Centre so getting the chance to explore it over the course of 3 days was awesome. I haven't been to the Science Centre in a few years so a lot of areas were new to me. I tried out the exhibits, participated in some of the electricity demonstrations (that were one-on-one because it was after hours), explored the grounds around the Centre and checked out a show at the planetarium.

I saw quite a few great friends at the con and I liked a lot of the programming. I checked out the bouncy arena, the exotic animal meet where I got to pet a kangaroo and a Chinese chicken and I made several crafts. I created a felt crown, made a Calcifer plush from Howl's Moving Castle and a Sailor Moon locket shrinky dink. I haven't made crafts in years so it was fun. One of my favourite things was fanart that Pan and I had done at the night market. On Friday we were drawn as Chibis and I love how it turned out. The artist was really wonderful. I would link her deviantART account, but the art piece is currently with Pan.

In terms of costumes, I did wear my Halloween dress on Friday of the con and I did a photoshoot around the Centre, mostly in the rainforest exhibit, with Elemental. I'm really excited about those photos because it was such a unique location. Not exactly Halloweeny, but interesting. I did wear my Tennis Princess Peach costume on Saturday. I didn't do a planned shoot with Elemental, but I might have a couple of photos to post later. I discussed doing a private shoot of Tennis Peach at a tennis court with Elemental so I'll wait to do in-character photos. I did get together my school uniform so I could Cosplay Amy from Sailor Moon, but I was a little worn out from Cosplaying so I decided just wear casual clothes on the last day of the con and I didn't regret it at all! Sunday was great for getting some crafting done and relaxing. I will one day wear the school uniform as Amy. Maybe I'll hold it off to bring to APOP next year.

I do hope Atomic Lollipop is at the Science Centre again. It sounds like the Centre enjoyed the con attendees so I have a feeling it'll be held there again. Not 100% sure if I would go the full weekend or just for one day, but I would definitely like to go again.

Since I had such a great time at the con, I decided to finally book a hotel room for Colossalcon next year. I've never been before, but after hearing how great it is for the last few years, I decided to take the leap and go. This was actually my first time booking a hotel room, but I'll be rooming with Ammie, Jay and Stillvisions so it should be a wonderful time. Atomic Lollipop marks the end of my con season for the year, but I'm already gearing up for next year. As new photos from past photoshoots are posted I'll update this site.

Pan was nice enough to make a new layout for my Cosplay site. My current layout is as old as the website. The new layout she has been cooking up looks really neat and highlights several of my costumes so I'm super excited about posting it. I should be able to get it up before the end of summer. Once she has a chance to code it, it'll take me a little while to edit all of the individual pages, but an update to the layout of this site has been a long time coming so I'll try to get it up as soon as possible. I'll be migrating this site to straywind.com instead of straywind.com/cosplay as it's the sole focus of my domain.

July 10th, 2014
I attended the Centre Island Cosplay Picnic a couple of weeks ago and I debuted my new Snow White Lolita costume that I had purchased from Ammie at Anime North. I did a private shoot during the picnic with Elemental so some shoot photos will be coming soon. In the meantime, I found a really nice photo from the event of my costume and I created a costume page for it that you can find here. I had a fun time wearing the costume on the island. The weather was really nice and it was great to just relax for a day.

Next weekend is Atomic Lollipop and I'm really excited to check out the convention. I'm still deciding what costumes to wear, but at the moment I'm thinking of wearing my Halloween summer dress on Friday. I have a nice candy corn themed wig to go with it and I'm hoping to do a shoot of the costume. On Saturday I'm planning to re-wear my Princess Peach Tennis costume. Given that it's a short dress, it should be comfortable for the summer weather. My plan for Sunday is to possibly wear my Sailor Moon middle school uniform again, but this time to Cosplay as Amy. Given that APOP is at the Science Centre, that seems like a good location to Cosplay that character. Things have been sorted out regarding the seller of the school uniform. I was able to get a refund for my friend's costume, but I had to force it through a case and the seller never really apologized. It wasn't quite the outcome that I wanted, but I'm satisfied so I'll make the best of it with the costume that I have.

There are quite a few costumes that I think would be awesome to bring to the Science Centre so I might still change my plans, but I guess there is always next year if the event goes well. After this things will quiet down, but I think I'm going to slowly work on costumes for conventions next year. I'll see if I can work in a couple of private photoshoots. There are a number of costumes that I would like to get some photos of so hopefully before the weather gets cold some shoots can happen.

June 13th, 2014
Mike sent me the photos from the shoot that I did with him during Anime North of my Usagi school uniform. The photos overall are really cute. I'm a bit disappointed that the front bow looks a bit lopsided. I should have sewn down the bow as one of the snaps started to let go not long after I had put on the costume. It's nice to have a few really nice photos of the costume as I'm not sure if I'll wear it again. You can check the costume page here for the photos as well as a detailed description of everything that my friend and I went through regarding my experience getting this costume commissioned. I was very disappointed in the way that I was treated by the seller I had commissioned my costume and a Rei school uniform from. My costume was ok despite a few faults, but the condition of my friend's costume was unacceptable. Due to this fact, I won't be providing credit to the store that I purchased the costume from. I don't think the seller deserves more business.

I have yet to start working on the summer uniform version of Usagi's school uniform. I'm still not sure if I'll make that for Atomic Lollipop, but it will happen sometime in the next few months for sure. Now that I have a new sewing machine, I'm starting to consider costume options for next year so I think over the fall and winter I'll try to get back into the swing of things with sewing. I'm definitely not going to make a lot of costumes for every con like I was doing in the good old days, but I would be quite content if I could make 2 or 3 costumes a year and if I can take my time with things.

Quite a few of my Canadian and American friends attended Colossalcon this year and after seeing photos of the con, I'm getting so intrigued and excited about it. I'm highly considering attending the convention next year although I've made no firm plans yet. In the next few months I'll look into hotel room options and see if I can secure a ride and if I can, I'll probably add that con to my schedule for 2015. I still wish I could attend a con or event later on this year, but nothing has caught my fancy so far.

June 7th, 2014
I've been looking through Anime North photos for the last couple of weeks and I haven't really been finding a lot of photos of my costumes. I have found a few highlights. I spent the last few days making a write up for my Tennis Princess Peach costume. Beware that it's really long considering that Tennis Peach was meant to be a simple costume. XD You can find the costume page here. I have a couple of photos up right now, but when SolarTempst posts his shoot photos from AN, I'll definitely add a few more. I wasn't so happy with clipping up my wig so hopefully I'll get some more photos of the costume later this summer. I'm planning to bring it to Atomic Lollipop, but I'm not 100% sure how dedicated I'm going to be to Cosplaying the whole weekend. I'm toying with the idea of wearing my Halloween summer dress since I don't really have nice photos of the outfit and I bought the Arda candy corn wig last fall that I'm dying to wear with the dress. I also bought cute candy corn shoes so I'm sort of debating about bringing it for one of the days. Sailor Moon school uniforms should be happening one of the other days of Atomic Lollipop. Pan is going to help me pattern out the summer uniform blouse so I'm going to make a new blouse for the con. I'm not so keen on wearing the original costume that I bought again. I haven't posted the costume page yet. I haven't really collected many photos of my Usagi school uniform costume and I'm waiting on photos from Mike. I'm not quite sure how they may have turned out. In the next couple of weeks I should be able to add that costume page, anyway, to this site, so stay tuned for that.

May 28th, 2014
Anime North has come and gone for yet another year. It's hard to believe that was my 13th time attending the convention. Honestly, the joy that I've felt from attending the convention over the years has definitely dulled. It's not quite as exciting as it was, say 10 years ago, and it's getting harder and harder for me to open the program book and find events that I actually feel inclined to attend, but AN will always have a special place in my heart. I think trying the Nominoichi this year was a really neat experience although quite stressful. I sold a variety of Manga, video games, figures and plush toy items and I did really well. I made about $1,500 during the event and I managed to clear out several bags and a couple of boxes worth of stuff. I probably will do the Nominoichi again in future years, but I can see myself only getting half a table and being a bit more selective with what I bring. I kind of overdid it, but the profits were nice.

The Nominoichi really did take over most of my Friday and it wiped me out for most of the weekend, but I did still have fun Cosplaying. I was quite happy with how my Tennis Princess Peach costume turned out. The shoes weren't that great and I somehow immediately stepped in gum upon getting to the convention on Friday so I had to try to clean them up, but the costume was pretty comfy and fun to wear. I did re-wear my Princess Peach ball gown on Saturday for a few hours and I really loved wearing it. My Peach ball gown is definitely my most ambitious costume and I'm so proud of it. I hope I can find more conventions to wear it to even though the hoop skirt and wig make it a tricky costume to pack. I found a really nice shot of the costume that I added to the Princess Peach costume page.

I did purchase the Snow White Lolita costume from Ammie and I tried it on yesterday. It is quite cute and I'm looking forward to wearing it. I didn't end up wearing it to AN after all because I didn't want to change my wig and makeup after wearing my Peach ball gown. I changed back into Tennis Peach instead since I wasn't able to relax and explore the con in the costume on Friday. I was able to snag a shoot with SolarTempest of Tennis Peach on Saturday night so I'm excited to see how those photos turned out. I'll probably wear the Snow White Lolita costume later on in the summer. It could be fun to bring to Atomic Lollipop or some other summer event.

My final costume for AN was Usagi's school uniform and I did receive the costume in the nick of time (on Wednesday right before the con). I ordered it from a seller on Etsy and honestly, I'm very disappointed with the experience. The costume itself is ok. The bow I was sent was way too small and I thankfully had a red bow from my old Hitomi costume that I repurposed last minute for the uniform. Wearing the uniform I sort of questioned why I bothered ordering it. I really should have made it myself. My friend's Rei school uniform that we ordered at the same time from the same seller, turned out terribly and is super low quality. The quality is so poor that I'm hesitant to promote the commissioner. The whole thing has left a very bad taste in my mouth and I really dislike people that don't credit commissioned work. I'm still grappling with the seller, but I'll come to a decision later about rewearing the costume or just putting it on the backburner. My friend couldn't even wear her costume to the con. I did a shoot with EleventhPhotograph of the costume so photos of it will be coming later.

Anime North had some fun points like soaking in the atmosphere, seeing friends and participating in the Nominoichi. There were some definite lows and I only really checked out a small portion of the con. I only just realized I only saw half of the International Plaza Hotel event space and the only con venue that I went to was the Congress Centre. I definitely would like to expand my horizons next year. My friend Pan already had to book our hotel room at the International Plaza Hotel for 2015 so it's crazy competitive. I do know that next year I should be able to debut the Dilandau costume that I commissioned from Ammie. I think that will definitely make my 14th year attending Anime North quite memorable. (^^) I will be adding pages for my new Usagi school uniform and Tennis Princess Peach costumes to the site as soon as I have photos of the costumes.

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Website layout designed by Pan.

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