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 -+-

January 20th, 2015
It's been a month since my last update and the start of the year is now well behind us. I was hoping to have accomplished quite a bit during the Christmas break, but sadly that just wasn't in the cards. I suffered from a lack of motivation regarding working on Madoka's school uniform. I did actually visit my friend Pan and I sewed together a mock I had made from a commercial pattern for the blouse, but it was just too ill-fitted on me. Pan and I came to the conclusion that I'm too petite around my neck and upper chest for the ratios of commercial patterns. That explains why I had to put so many darts into the top of my Princess Peach dress and why I never could quite get the fit right. It's tricky to adjust that area properly. Anyway, after trying to salvage the pattern, Pan decided to sort through her old costumes and costume patterns and found an old costume blouse that is somewhat similar to Madoka's uniform. Since she'll be Cosplaying Homura and will also be making the uniform, she's going to try to modify the pattern for us. We're both petite so the pattern will definitely fit me. So sadly I've suffered a setback, but with Pan's help later on I'll get back on track. I'm still hoping to wear Madoka to Anime North, but I'm not quite sure when I can fit it into my costume schedule.

Speaking of AN, I only just ordered my pre-reg for the con. I was totally not prepared for the new ordering system and I missed joining up with friends for group reg and also, the cheapest pre-reg rate. Very disappointed in that, but I know to be more on top of reg for next year. I was looking forward to trying out the mailing system for badges, but since I couldn't find enough people for a group, I missed out. Oh well, at least I was still able to get a pass! They have less than 5,000 weekend badges left and it's only January! AN is sure popular!

In the last few weeks I've been looking for inspiration for simple projects to get me excited to sew again and I stumbled upon some artwork for Bulma from the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods movie. I've wanted to Cosplay as Bulma from DBZ since I Cosplayed her from Dragon Ball and I thought her purple dress was super cute. Seems like a fairly simple outfit to make. I just need to make a dress and a scarf. I bought purple fabric for the dress last weekend and I dug up some old green fabric that I had purchased for a Syaoran costume I never made. The fabric is finally going to come in handy! Pan lent me a pattern to use for the dress so I'm hoping to make it quickly. Hopefully I'll have it done by early February so I can get back into working on Madoka after that. It looks like I do have a few costume projects for 2015 already so it should be a productive year!

-+- Past Updates -+-

December 20th, 2014
I just wanted to pop in really quickly to say that I'm not abandoning this website. I know I haven't updated it since the fall, but I have not forgotten my Cosplay hobby. I definitely am in the middle of a break from it though! I haven't been to a con or a costuming event since the summer. I've missed a few small cons and events. I kind of miss the years when I was more active, but I am getting older and busier and it's harder to get going on costume projects and find the energy to go to as many events.

I honestly haven't done much sewing and costume work in these last few months. I focused most of my energy and attention in the fall into my Halloween display at my house in October. I did get a pattern to alter for my Madoka school uniform and I began to make a mock-up with alterations for the blouse. I haven't been able to find the motivation to get out my sewing machine, though, so I've made very little progress. I did get some fabric last weekend with Pan for making my own front bow and hair bows and my wig came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Very underwhelmed by the wig as I expected it to be more pre-styled for Madoka. It's basically a long bob with hair clips. The hair clips are fine, but the bob is super long so it needs a lot of trimming. I also still need to find nice triangular trim for the bottom of the blouse and the cuffs. So I've made a minor bit of progress, but I'm in a bit of a rut.

This was a very light year for me in terms of Cosplay. Possibly the lightest year since I first started Cosplaying in 2001. I only made 1 costume this year (Tennis Princess Peach) although I did wear a couple of other new ones (Snow White Lolita and Usagi's school uniform) and I finally got photos of the China Sherry costume that I made last year. I think I meant to do more, but it's just been tough to find motivation. Maybe it's the fact that I've been Cosplaying for so many years nonstop that's catching up with me. Slowing down a bit isn't necessarily a bad thing either. I think I just find it hard to connect with people and feel connected to cons and the Cosplay scene now. It's a whole new generation of con-goers and there is a very different approach to both costuming and conventions these days. I just need to figure out my place with it or just step back a bit. At the moment I'm sort of stepping back. Not sure if that will continue in 2015. I am still looking forward to Colossalcon and I'm already brainstorming for organizing more things to sell at the Nominoichi at Anime North. Hopefully I'll be able to Cosplay Dilandau from Escaflowne at AN. That certainly would get me excited about costuming again!

I did have some fun con experiences this year. Doing the Nominoichi at Anime North was very time consuming and stressful, but I really loved interacting with people and it was fun to find new homes for some of the Anime goods I really enjoyed and took care of. I had fun wearing my Princess Peach ballgown again too! It's still one of my biggest Cosplay achievements. Atomic Lollipop in the summer turned out to be a really reinvigorating experience. I loved the venue! The Science Centre is so much fun and the crafting events were really relaxing and social. I even enjoyed going to Fan Expo for the Sunday. Fan Expo has become a real beast of a con, which sucks in a lot of ways, but it sure is a nexus for con attendees, artists and Cosplayers in Toronto.

I'll post again when I get more work done on Madoka or if I make plans to go to a con or work on something else. I have 2 weeks of vacation from work for Christmas this year that just started, and I'm hoping to actually get some work done on Madoka. I'll cross my fingers that I'll be able to clear some clutter and I can get the mock-up done for the blouse.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! Wishing everyone all the best in 2015! It should be an interesting year!

September 13th, 2014
I stand corrected about the slow down of updates! SolarTempest just posted his galleries from spring/early summer events so I have some lovely shots of my Tennis Princess Peach costume. I still definitely want to do a tennis court shoot, but for the time being I have some great shots of the costume in action. Unfortunately, I didn't get a full body shot with SolarTempest of the outfit so you can't see the shoes that I spent so much time on. I still have a sort of outtake picture care of Mai Sheri that shows the full outfit. Next time I do a shoot of the costume I'll be sure to get some dynamic full body shots. I'm glad the photos turned out, though! I was so worried that my wig would look silly with it being pulled back or that my wig would be falling backwards, which was an issue that I had earlier in the day during Anime North. I'm quite happy with the costume despite the dress being a bit droopy in the front due to the weight of the brooch. It was a nice costume to make and it was fun to wear another of Peach's outfits! I do love all the pink. <3

I actually did start drafting pattern pieces for the blouse of my Madoka school uniform costume. I hope I can start sewing a mock together later on this month. I do hope my attempts at pattern alteration actually work out!

I'm currently only waiting on a couple more shoot photos from two shoots last fall so soon I'll be totally caught up. That's giving me some motivation to plan out future shoots for costumes that still really need highlight photos.

September 9th, 2014
The updates keep rolling in! I did a shoot with Pan last weekend of my RE6 China Sherry costume in a nearby forested area. Getting photos of that Sherry costume was one of my goals for the summer so I'm glad that I managed it before summer ended. I wanted to include a couple of weapon props so options for shooting in public spaces were kind of limited. I know the part of the game in which Sherry wears this outfit is a very urban setting and is in China so a forest doesn't really work very well, but I still had fun with the location. Pan helped me get lots of great shots of the costume that highlight a lot of the costume details. You can view the costume page here.

The last time that I wore China Sherry was when I debuted the costume at Anime North 2013. I couldn't remember that much about wearing the outfit because I only wore it for a few hours and that included the time that I spent as a panelist on the Resident Evil panel so the costume was a bit of a blur. I was quite concerned that the costume wasn't that great, but I did a pretty good job on the outfit and I really tried to capture all the little details. The costume is mostly bought clothing, but I did quite a bit of alteration work on it. Also my pouches, holster and shoulder harness were all gifts from my friend Jay. They look really awesome! Without his help the costume definitely wouldn't have happened. Finding a harness was a sticking point for the costume. I'm too petite to wear commercial ones and I didn't want to make one. Hopefully I'll wear this costume again one day for a group. We had a group at AN 2013, but we weren't able to do a shoot.

This will probably signal the end of the stream of updates that have been going on for the last couple of weeks. Things are calming down now that summer is almost over. There are only a few more photoshoots that I'm waiting for photos from and I don't suppose I'll get those shoot photos back for a little while. I'm still hoping to do a Tennis Princess Peach shoot, but the weather is cooling down now so I may have to wait until next spring for that. Hopefully this fall or winter I can get some shots of Shinku from Rozen Maiden. I really don't have a single photo of that costume that I love mostly because my wigs were always a disaster. I bought a new one and would love to get some costume photos that I can be proud of.

September 5th, 2014
It has only been a few days since my last update, but Stillvisions just posted photos of my Princess Peach costume from a shoot that I did with him during Otakuthon last year. I was a bit pressed for time and my feet were already starting to hurt so we weren't able to explore old Montreal for some photos amongst the old buildings, but we worked the area outside of the convention centre and we even got some nice shots in the colourful glass hallway. I'm happy to have some pretty photos of Princess Peach. I'll probably try to squeeze in at least one more shoot of the costume, but I do intend to wear it at least a couple more times. It was such a time consuming and difficult costume to put together, but I'm really proud of my hard work! You can view the costume page here.

I just finalized plans with Pan to take some photos of China Sherry next Saturday so I should be able to post some photos of that costume in just a few days (provided that the photos turn out). I'm looking forward to suiting up in that costume again as I really don't have any nice photos of the costume right now. The photos from Anime North 2013 really didn't turn out very well because it was so dark and my camera isn't very good. If I have time, I might be able to pick Pan's brain so we can get working on our Madoka school uniform costumes. I cut out the commercial pattern pieces that I plan to use for the blouse, but I still need to modify them. I have definitely been procrastinating when it comes to sewing. XD I'm hoping that all the lovely photos I've received lately will jumpstart my brain so I'll finally get sewing.

September 1st, 2014
August was a quiet month Cosplay wise. I didn't really attend any events for the majority of the month. I did buy fabric to make the blouse for my upcoming Madoka school uniform costume. I have a pattern for the blouse and I'm planning to start making a test version of the blouse sometime soon. I still need a wig for the costume and some trim, but I have the majority of what I need to make the Madoka costume happen. I even convinced my friend Pan to buy fabric to Cosplay as Homura in her school uniform and that is really exciting! I still don't plan to debut it until Anime North next year unless I can do a shoot prior to that. That's really only because Anime North 2015 is my next planned con.

Thanks to my friends Pan and Leslie, I was given the opportunity to go to Fan Expo for a day this year. The last time I was at Fan Expo was for the Sunday of the con in 2012. I didn't attend Fan Expo at all last year. The plan to go to the con was sort of last minute. I actually debated about buying a badge to go to Fan Expo on Friday because there were a few events that I wanted to check out, but I thought about it too late and I didn't have time to take a day off. Instead, I went on Sunday and checked out the show floor.

I did enjoy a lot of the Artist Alley booths. I got a really cute Sam from Trick 'r Treat mini knit plush, some cute geeky jewellery, and a jack-o'-lantern magnet. I mostly shopped, but I did Cosplay with Pan. I re-wore my Batgirl dress and Pan wore Supergirl. We didn't do a shoot or anything, but we had fun wandering around the con and meeting the occasional friend. Sadly, we missed seeing a bunch of friends at the con (including my friend Ammie who I didn't realize was at the con at the same time) but it was still a nice time. The con was kind of busy, but apparently it was a zoo on Saturday. I couldn't imagine going to Fan Expo for the Saturday or the full four days. Kudos to people willing to constantly battle the crowds! I could see myself getting my fill of some of the unique vendors and events by attending the con for a day in future years. Maybe go on Sunday or the Friday. I'll have to consider it for next year, but it all really depends on my other summer plans and my level of interest in the con.

It was nice to be at a con again. I think I wanted to go and Cosplay mostly because I know it'll be a while before I go to an event. Fan Expo was a big tradition for me from 2001 up until 2012 so it was almost nostalgic attending the con again. It's definitely something else seeing that the con is now held in both the north and south buildings. The event is huge and the crowds can be intense. It's both an exciting and kind of terrifying con reality. I would definitely not recommend being at the con on Saturday when the crowds are most intense.

Fan Expo aside, my friend Elemental posted her photos from the Toronto Centre Island Cosplay Picnic and Atomic Lollipop so I added 22 photos to the Snow White Lolita costume page from the Toronto Cosplay Picnic and 12 new Halloween dress photos from Atomic Lollipop. It's really great to have some lovely new photos of both outfits. The Snow White photos are very pretty so I definitely made the right choice by requesting a photoshoot with Elemental!

Next up I'm planning to get together with Pan next weekend and try to do a shoot in her backyard (that borders on a park) of my China Sherry costume from Resident Evil 6. It's not really the most appropriate setting for photos of Sherry since that part of the game is set in a very urban environment, but it'll be nice to get some outdoor photos. I just want a few costume highlight photos so I can retire it. After that I would like to do a shoot with Elemental at a Tennis Court of Tennis Princess Peach. We haven't made a plan for that yet so I might have to hold it off until next year since summer is almost over. I can't believe that it's already September!

I am still waiting on a few photoshoots from the past year so there should be a few more photos coming of Sam from Trick 'r Treat, Princess Peach, Tennis Princess Peach and Ashley from Resident Evil 4. As the photoshoots are posted, I will continue to update this site.

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