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. 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 28th, 2018
Greg sent me copies of the photos that turned out from the Sakura Kinomoto shoot that he was kind enough to do with me during Saturday of Pretty Heroes. He took a few photos of me on the veranda outside so the natural lighting and forest backdrop made for some cute photos. He took several shots of me with my Kero plush and with my staff. He did take a couple of shots with my prop Clear card, but unfortunately, none of those pics turned out. Maybe I'll re-wear Sakura again one day to get some photos with it. It's not the worst thing in the world if I never get a chance to get photos with the card. Maybe I'll make another Sakura costume one day. (^^) I've uploaded the photos to the costume gallery which you can find here. It was lots of fun working with Greg. He gave great direction so it was a nice experience.

I'm starting to plan out my next costume. I'm itching to get working on it, but I can't do anything until I get back from a family vacation at the beginning of July. I need to plan a trip to the fabric district so I hope I can arrange that fairly quickly once I'm back. My plans for going to Fan Expo are a bit up in the air because I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to volunteer with the masquerade again. It seems the masquerade has now been discontinued in favour of a cash prize Cosplay competition. It's pretty exciting for Cosplay and the con, but I have no idea if the ninja crew is part of the new show and will be needed. That'll impact if I go to Fan Expo and for how long. If I no longer have a volunteer spot, than I might look into buying a ticket for one day. I'll have to think hard about what day because the cost of Fan Expo is so high now. I miss when tickets back in 2001 (when it was still 3 days) were $40 for the full weekend. Times sure have changed! Hopefully I can still manage to go for a day and I get some clarity about working backstage in the coming weeks.

-+- Past Updates -+-

June 18th, 2018
Pretty Heroes 2018 is now in the past, but it was a pretty fun weekend. My friend Ammie has been singing the praises of that con since it first started up four years ago as Sailor Moon Celebration so I have been eager to see what it was like. The con had some hiccups on Saturday. The scheduling in one panel area was running behind by over an hour and there was no moderator to get things back on track, but I had to admire how chill and understanding everyone was about mishaps. I had a nice time checking out the Echo Three Star Wars group panel. Ammie is one of the founding members of it and it operates out of London, Ontario. They work with the local hospital network to run charity events and hospital visits so I admire the work that they do. I also checked out the worbla panel that Ammie was co-hosting with Dream Cosplay. I've never seen worbla in action before so that was really cool to learn about.

I spent most of the rest of Saturday hanging out in parts of the Science Centre like The Living Earth and Human Edge exhibits. I haven't been in the Science Centre since 2015 so it was nice to see it again. I also stopped at Kuma Crafts to buy another necklace. I have about a dozen Kuma Craft necklaces now and I just love how sparkly and well made they are. (^^)

Another big highlight of Saturday was meeting Greg of Very Frank Pictures. I've known of Greg as a photographer in the Cosplay community for a couple of years mostly through Ammie sharing pictures, but I had never met him. Ammie introduced us and he was kind enough to take some photos of my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform. He was very nice to work with and I'm super excited to see how the photos turned out.

My Sakura costume was a blast to wear again. I got lots of compliments on the outfit and that really made my heart happy with how much work it was to put together. There weren't a lot of Card Captor Cosplayers at Pretty Heroes so it was nice to represent that series by wearing that costume. Another con attendee gave me a craft beaded Star Wand key that she said she was going to give to a Card Captor Cosplayer so that was touching. I also was given a "Momiji Loves Your Cosplay" ribbon from an Anime North representative when he took my picture so that was a very nice gesture. :3

I hung out with my friend Adrien on Saturday and thankfully we got to see a lot of my friend Ammie and Dee as well as they both came up from London for the con. It's so rare for me to see Ammie now so it was lovely to stop for a snack and chat over food for a bit and of course, see her amazing collection of costumes! She wore her Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw costume on Saturday and looked awesome. I still adore that game. I was also blown away by her Wicked Lady costume that she wore on Sunday. She looks picture perfect as that character!

I returned on Sunday in my Kagome costume. I did intend to wear something Sailor Moon, but I was pretty tired and testing out my Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume just before the con was driving me batty. Some of the hairclips have started to become sticky as the resin is degrading (I bought the clips several years ago) so they were difficult to set in place. One even fell and broke and I did an ok job gluing it back together, but itís frustrating. Basically the costume was complicated and difficult to wear so I thought being more casual would make the day a little more enjoyable. I did have a good time wearing Kagome. I also received quite a few very nice compliments on the costume. Pan came with me to the con on Sunday and we mostly browsed the indie dealer and artist areas. I bought tons of prints! I barely bought any prints at AN or March Toronto ComiCON this year, but so many of the artists at Pretty Heroes had art styles that really caught my eye so I had lots of fun shopping and complimenting artists. I bought a beautiful Wicked Lady print. I also bought a very eye-catching group print of all the Inner Scouts in their school uniforms lying on the grass as well as a group Chibi print of all the Madoka Magica girls from the same seller. I purchased an Inuyasha and Kagome print from another artist and some really cute stickers from yet another seller. The only official merch that I bought was a cute stationary Sailor Moon magnet of the Crystal Star Locket. Such a cute design.

I spoke a bit more with Ammie and Pan and I explored some of the Science Centre. Pan was kind enough to go outside with me to get some photos of Kagome in the woods. I think they turned out really well and the lighting was super flattering! She even took a photo of me in front of the awesome DeLorean made to be a replica of the one from the Back to the Future movie that was on display in the POPnology exhibit. :D That was super awesome to see.

Overall, I had a great weekend. I think the fact attending the con gave you access to the Science Centre made it very good value and the con did have some quality content. I definitely can't complain since I got to see and spend some time with one of my best friends. (^_^) I'll definitely look into attending again next year. Maybe not for the full weekend if it ends up being 2 days again, but I'll have to see what the con has planned for 2019.

I did add a photo to my Sakura Kinomoto Cosplay page. It was a picture I had Adrien take of me in front of a cool lit wall in the Science Arcade. I've also added the photos that Pan took of me as Kagome in the woods to that costume page. I'm really happy with how those photos turned out.

Next up I would like to work on a new costume over the summer, but I'm a bit busy until a week into July so any plans will have to be put on hold for a while. Hopefully by mid-July I can go fabric shopping because I think I can put something together in time for Fan Expo. I guess we'll see if I have time. If not, I'll probably finish it over the fall and I have a closet full of old (and some unworn) costumes that I can pick through for Fan Expo. (^^);;

June 14th, 2018
It's almost time for Pretty Heroes and I'm really excited for it. I've been fairly busy these last few weeks since Anime North. Taking inventory of things that I had sold and what was left from the Nomi took several days and just a week after AN I had to quickly gather some things to sell at a garage sale my older brother was hosting at his new house. Needless to say, packing and sorting things has been my life for quite a few weeks. Pretty happy to chill out a bit after Pretty Heroes.

Preparing for the con has stalled a bit. I'm having a heck of a time picking a costume to wear. It makes sense to wear a fuku since this is a more Sailor Moon orientated event, but wearing a fuku is so constricting and time consuming. I really would like to wear the Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume that Amber made for me, but it might be just too much if I also want to venture around the Science Centre. I will be wearing my Sakura Kinomoto costume on Saturday of the convention. That one I have my heart set on wearing. I'm hoping to get a few photos of the costume in the ravine area of the Science Centre, but that also depends on if I can find anyone to shoot with. Almost everyone that I know is going to Yeticon so itís going to be interesting to see how this convention goes in comparison.

For Sunday of the convention, I'll still consider wearing Super Sailor Chibi Moon, but I'll see if I feel up to it or if I would rather be a bit more casual and I'll probably re-wear my Kagome costume. Both options fit the theme of the con. I have tons of female heroine costumes so actually picking a costume to wear is difficult. I would also love to re-wear my Madoka school uniform. Maybe if I attend the con again next year, then I'll re-wear Madoka then. :3 I had a new purchased costume that I was kind of hoping to wear to the con this weekend, but I didn't get a chance to get the wig trimmed so that's unfortunately on the back burner for a few weeks.

I have a vague idea of a couple of fun costume options that I wouldn't mind working on over the summer. There is one costume that I might look at making over the fall for conventions in 2019 and the other a costume that might be fairly easy to make so I would consider working on it for Fan Expo. I only just thought of this new idea in the last 24 hours so it's still extremely tentative. If I do it, I already have a wig and shoes and the outfit is pretty simple. It's another school uniform (surprise) and this time it's a simple knife pleated skirt and short sleeve zip up blouse. It's from an older Anime now and I've already Cosplayed from the series once before (with another costume from the series waiting to be worn actually). It all really depends on if I can find the right fabrics for it, but it would probably be fairly cheap and quick to make. I would love to work on something simple for the days when it's too hot to really go outside. We'll see if I can arrange a fabric shopping day in the next few weeks to get started on this costume in July.

May 28th, 2018
My 17th Anime North is now behind me and all and all, it was a pretty good year. I was so worried about getting to and from the con and how that would limit my experience, but I usually went home when I was good and tired and it was nice to take time each evening to sort out what I had left from the Nomi as opposed to having to deal with that and unpacking all at once on Sunday.

My table, N122, at the Nominoichi, went over pretty well. I did about as well as Iíve done during the last couple of years (over $1,200) and I did make a pretty big dent in what I brought. I took with me four full boxes of stuff and a suitcase that was pretty stuffed and in the end the suitcase was half empty and only two boxes are left moderately full. I sold plenty of figures and quite a few little Re-Ment miniatures. I have quite a few gashapons left over, as well as most of the clothing and wigs, but hopefully I'll find more chances to sell some of that stuff during the rest of the year. I've heard a board game group at U of T does a garage sale event and will run one this fall so I'll probably see about getting a table there. I can't thank my friend Adrien enough for driving us down to the con, for creating our setup and for making the amazing sign that we had. It really was easy to spot our table. I had lots of fun talking with people as they browsed and I'm happy that almost all the people that reserved from me showed up. I'll hopefully be back again next year.

The Nominoichi took up the entirety of my Friday and I didn't Cosplay. It was quite hot in the Nomi venue. I was surprised that we got an early taste of summer for the whole Anime North weekend. Originally the prediction was for rain and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday, but besides it getting dark for a bit on Saturday afternoon, it was quite clear. Too bad it was so hot. It definitely wasn't the best weather to wear my costumes. XD

My Sakura Kinomoto costume, which I wore on Saturday, went over really well. I re-wore my school uniform with my new updates including new buttons and lace detailing on the skirt and I'm happy with how it looked. My new Dream wand made for an awesome Cosplay prop. It arrived on the 22nd, just a few days before Anime North, so I'm thrilled that I got it in time. That and my wig especially, got lots of compliments. I'm just really happy with how the costume turned out.

On Sunday I re-wore my Kagome costume. I was nervous about wearing it with the heat, but it wasn't quite as terribly hot on Sunday. The costume looked nice and I loved wearing my new wig that Pan had styled for me. There were quite a few Inuyasha Cosplayers at AN this year. I got a photo with a wonderful Sesshomaru and Inuyasha and the costume earned me quite a few compliments. That costume is something I still hold close to my heart given that I made it last fall when I was really struggling emotionally so every compliment was a treasure to me.

I spent most of the weekend at the Congress Centre in and around the various vendors. Usually I'm at the Delta quite a bit, but with no hotel space there for me, I only went there for a little bit on Sunday. I had to walk by the hotel pool and cry a little. I hope next year I get hotel space again, but I'm a bit torn because staying home was kind of nice.

I actually did most of my shopping for the weekend at the Nominoichi on Friday. I was able to get some Pokemon Center Halloween straps as well as the coveted Easter Eeviee and Easter Pikachu plushies from another seller at the event. I was a bit on the fence about collecting the Easter plushies, but they're super cute and soft and that adds an Eeviee plush to my growing Pokemon Center collection. From past events and online purchases, I have last year's Halloween Pikachu, the Christmas Vulpix and the Valentine's Day male and female Pikachu plush set from this year so now I've pretty much covered all the major holidays in Pokemon plush form. It was a nice surprise to be able to get those Easter plushies at the Nomi since the only other dealer for the con was sure to have sold out of them within a few minutes of the con opening on Friday. I also purchased a large Banpresto sleeping Vulpix prize plush from another Nomi table that's super fluffy! I've become a sucker for Vulpix plushies!

My only other purchases from the weekend were a couple of cute postcards (one of which is another Sakura print from the new CCS Anime) from Artist Alley, some sweet magnets from Crafter's (one magnet is of Lesser Dog from Undertale, which looks like my Samoyed Persephone). Finally, I got a cute Twinkle Snow Miku keychain from the dealer's room and I fed my Kuma Crafts addiction by getting 2 new necklaces - one a stuffed cookie and another a Halloween witch rabbit. So cute! Looking forward to shopping from them again at Pretty Heroes.

It was nice seeing the friends that I ran into during the weekend and checking out some of the cool exhibits like the awesome Pokemon statues in the Gallery Momiji. I'm glad all the food trucks and food vendors were back this year! I loved getting cherry lemonades and places like Swiss Chalet were quite prepared to handle the big crowds by rolling out special menus to keep the wait times down. I had a really nice Anime North. Nothing over the top happened and the Nominoichi went well so I have no big complaints. I'm definitely looking forward to attending again in 2019!

I didn't do any photoshoots during the weekend, but I did get a couple of hallways shots of my Sakura and Kagome costumes, which I added to those costume pages. I'm hoping to do a shoot of my Sakura costume at Pretty Heroes. My plan right now is to wear Sakura to that con on the Saturday and a new costume I have (that I didn't make) on Sunday. It's kind of exhausting and exciting to have another con coming up in just 3 weeks. I'm sure it'll be really fun. I keep hearing good things about Pretty Heroes and I'm excited to see Amber there. At some point I want to start working on a new costume (maybe something for Fan Expo). I have no costume ideas right now, though, so maybe something will come to me in the next month or two. Now I just need to focus on recovering from Anime North!

May 20th, 2018
I can't believe that Anime North is already less than a week away. Itís crazy how time flies. It's been a bit of a hectic month. Trying to get things sorted out for the Nominoichi is always a big part of my May. I'm in the final stages of getting everything packed up and getting all the supplies ready. Doing the final checks to make sure that I don't forget anything always makes me nervous. I don't stop taking hold requests until Wednesday so getting a final sense of how much I can manage at the table pretty much comes down to the wire.

Planning for the con this year has been difficult. Trying to figure out my travel plans has been a bit frustrating. I think I have Friday and Saturday sorted out. The plan that I thought I had worked out to get a lift with a friend on Sunday fell through. Thankfully it seems another friend can probably give me a lift or I was pretty sure I was going to just give up on going to AN on the Sunday. My exact plans are still a bit up in the air because I don't know about the timing. I have no idea if I need to get up to leave super early or if things can be a bit more casual. As it stands right now I'm borrowing my family's van for Friday and Saturday so at least those two days are a bit more certain.

I'm not planning to Cosplay on Friday of the con. I've done it every year in the past, but it's looking like it's going to be a very hot day and with my lack of a hotel room not giving me a reason to show up early, Cosplaying just seems like a hassle. The Nomi venue can get quite hot at times so I'm a little nervous about how warm it'll be this year. I'm crossing my fingers that we don't all cook. The Nomi has also been extended this year from 3.5 hours as it's now 4 hours, so that extra selling time should make the event interesting.

Saturday will be a test of how manageable commuting is after a late Friday night. I'm wondering how long it'll take for me to get up and get into my costume before travelling out to Anime North. My plan is to re-wear my Sakura Kinomoto Clear Card school uniform costume. I'm excited to wear it again after the little adjustments I made to it. Also, it looks as though the Dream wand that I ordered should arrive in time for Anime North so I'll have to see about potentially bringing it. It should make for an awesome prop. The only worry is what to do with it if I plan to venture into the Congress Centre. Hopefully I can stash it in the car after a few hours.

Sunday is definitely up in the air. I'll see how much of the con I get to explore on Saturday and if I can tackle the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley in full before the end of that day. Whatever I don't get done I can finish up on Sunday. I just have to coordinate with friends. I'll also see how tired I am. Right now I'm thinking of re-wearing my Kagome school uniform on Sunday. It should be nice to wear it again with my new wig. My only worry is the timing because I'm not sure when I can get a lift and I definitely don't want to inconvenience my friend. We'll see if I even have time and energy to Cosplay that day. It might not be so bad to be casual on Sunday especially with all the issues I've had to face making the convention work out.

Amidst all the confusion as well as the chaos of selling stuff on Friday, I am very much looking forward to another Anime North. AN has been my go-to convention for 17 years! That's almost difficult to fathom. It certainly does feel weird going this year without a hotel room, but who knows, change can be good. I'll see how it works out for this year. The last year of my life has been so challenging so I'm excited for something that's been a fixture in my life for so long. I sure hope that it's a fun year for Anime North and yields neat purchases and great memories with friends new and old. I don't have any photoshoots planned this year since I'm not wearing anything new and my schedule is so uncertain, but hopefully I'll get some pictures of Kagome and Sakura if I wear both costumes. I'll be sure to do shoots of both costumes at a later date. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to seeing the food options for the con this year. I was blown away by the new food truck and food vendor options that sprung up last year. If nothing else my stomach will probably enjoy the convention. :D Canít wait for Friday!

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