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 -+-

March 20th, 2019
I meant to update here before Toronto ComiCON, but my plans for the event were a bit up in the air. I ended up going to the convention for only one day and my group of friends (I went with my buddies Mackenzie, Pan and Adrien) voted for going on Sunday. The day was actually a big whirlwind for me. We didn't end up arriving until after 12PM and we basically had to rush through Artist Alley, which still took over 2 hours to go through. I barely had time to sit and grab a bubble tea before I met up with my friend Amber and her bf Sean.

Amber messaged me a week before ComiCON to ask if I maybe wanted to re-wear my Ashley Graham costume from Resident Evil 4. She had remade her Ada Wong dress and she had helped Sean put together a Leon costume. I wasn't 100% sure how my Ashley costume was holding together, but of course I was super excited to Cosplay from RE4 again and I've loved Cosplaying with Amber as Ada over the years. <3 The last time I wore Ashley was for a shoot in 2013 and the costume was made back in 2007 into 2008 so it's pretty old. Thankfully the outfit was pretty much ok. I wish I had thought about it weeks ago because I really should replace at least the belt since I just used a regular store bought one and Ashley's belt should really be much thicker.

I did run into troubles with the wig. I thought maybe I could salvage my original wig, which was a moderately priced wig that I bought back in 2008. Unfortunately, the wig was pretty thin and the fibres weren't that nice quality wise. It's really a product of its time. I should have replaced it years ago, but I hadn't given the costume much thought in several years. I attempted to wear the wig, but I had switch it out right before leaving for the con. The wig was puffing up funny and had a lot of static that wouldn't go away no matter what I tried. I ended up grabbing my young Sherry Birkin wig instead. It doesn't have a skin part, is a little darker blonde, the bangs were kind of flat and it's an angled bob which I wasn't keen on, but it's all that I had that was ready to go. I feel a little meh about how I looked because the wig was frustrating me, but the costume got a pretty nice reaction at the con. A decent amount of people recognized Ashley even though the game is well over a decade old now and people were pretty pumped when I met up with Amber and Sean as Leon and Ada. :3

I did do a shoot with a photographer friend of Amber's. I'm honestly not sure if the photos are going to turn out well because I wasn't feeling it with the wig, but it was nice to suit up from Resident Evil again. I honestly really miss survival horror Cosplay. There hasn't been much that's caught my attention in terms of horror video game costume options in the last few years. I do appreciate the remake of RE2 bringing RE back into the spotlight again, though.

That was pretty much my whole con experience. I wanted to do more shopping after the shoot, but we ran out of time. -_-; I bought some cute CCS prints in Artist Alley and I even got an adorable pad of note paper. My favourite ring seller, Catherinette Rings, was at the con again as a vendor so I bought a nice purple gem necklace and 2 more pretty rings. I have a dozen rings from them now. I'm pretty much aiming to get a range of every major colour combo to match with different outfits. I'm well on my way to completing that goal now. XD My other favourite purchases from the con were from the official Tokidoki booth. I had no idea they would have a booth at the con. I ended up grabbing a couple of Mermicorno mini figure blind boxes and a Mermicorno Frenzie keychain charm blind box. The prices were so cheap that I wish I had bought more! I ended up getting Uni-corno (who is super sleek and pretty) and Lei-la as the main figures and Cerulean as the mini Frenzie charm. I think I'm going to be addicted. I'm totally late to this party as Tokidoki Mermicorno, and more prominently Unicorno, figures have been out for several years as a brand, but I've never really noticed those blind box figures for sale at stores I frequent or recognized them at cons before. I think I'm going to be looking for some old figures to collect from the lines and I'll keep an eye on Tokidoki in the future. They're really cute and well made figures. I thankfully never became obsessed with buying Funko POPS and I only own a handful of them, but I could see myself getting a decent collection together of unicorn figures.

We left the con around the time it closed at five and all and all, it was a fun day. I wish I had more time to browse around and we barely ran into anyone we knew, but it was a nice experience wearing Ashley again. It was great reminiscing about RE Cosplay with Amber and I'm so happy that I got to see Amber again as well as spend some time with my con buddies. It's giving me hope that Fan Expo will be a fun con as well.

We're heading into the sprint towards Anime North. I know I originally hoped to wear my Madoka Magica school uniform again as Homura at ComiCON, but once Amber contacted me I thought it would be better to hold off on that. I'm going to get the wig styled for Anime North now instead. I'm actually changing up my plans for AN. I was going to make Homura's magical girl outfit as well, but I'm still working on the patterning and I don't have fabric so I'm planning to put that one a bit aside and maybe get it done for Pretty Heroes or for Fan Expo. Instead, I'm looking at making a cover design outfit for Sakura from the Card Captor Sakura Clear Card Manga series. I'm hoping it'll be a little more engaging and maybe doable for Anime North with the time I have left. I still need fabric for it, and I ordered a ton of costume supplies online so the wait for materials could still sink the costume, but with time really spiralling now, it seems like a more manageable costume. I already have a wig and I can reuse my props like the Kero plush, my Clear Card and my Dream Wand.

Finally, Anime North is changing up the way the Nominoichi is run. This year it'll have a sign-up period and they'll randomly assign tables from the pool of candidates. There is a decent chance that I won't get a table this year so I'm a little sad. I've been considering what I want to sell figure wise for months. I love the convenience of selling at the con especially since it means that I don't have to worry about shipping fees and the hassle of listing things online. I'll cross my fingers that I get a table. I was pretty proud of how much I was thinking of letting go this year and I could really use more space. My family's basement has been having a flooding problem this year. All the stuff I have stored in the basement to sell are totally fine because they're stored in plastic containers or are off the ground, but it would be nice to clear some space down there to not have all the clutter when things need to be repaired. I'm really crossing my fingers that I won't miss out on my favourite event at Anime North.

-+- Past Updates -+-

March 2nd, 2019
2019 is already starting to feel like it's flying by! I can't believe we're already into the 3rd month of the year. I can't say it's been a particularly productive year for me so far. I really intended to get going on working on Homura's magical girl outfit, but I still don't have fabric for it and just playing around with patterning has become kind of tedious and boring for me. I still hope to make that costume for Anime North but I'm getting a bit worried about the timing. Hopefully I can go downtown to hunt for fabric before the end of the month. I think I have enough sorted out that it shouldn't be too difficult to pattern, but time gets away from me so easily so I hope I actually have time to work on it. Once we hit mid-April I have to keep on top of things with the Nominoichi so I have to cross my fingers to have things in a good place for Homura before then.

I did snag a Venus silky wig in black for Homura when Arda Canada was running a weekend sale on some wigs a few weeks ago so I have a wig for Homura now. It still needs to be trimmed a bit so I'm still considering Cosplaying as Homura in her school uniform for Toronto ComiCON this month, but I know that con is creeping up pretty quickly! I'm only going to go to that con for a day and I'm still deciding which day to go. I'll post here after the con with my thoughts on the experience.

I've been hunting around the net over the last few weeks for more Orphea photos from BlizzCon. It's almost certain that I'll never Cosplay her again in the amazing costume that Henchmen made, so I've been hoping to beef up my gallery of Orphea costume pics from galleries I find around the internet. I was able to snag a few pics from Instagram sources, which I added to the Orphea costume page. Sometimes reflecting on BlizzCon makes it feel like a dream. I still can't believe that I got a chance to attend the con and represent such an interesting looking new character. I still keep up with Heroes of the Storm game news hoping for new skins for Orphea. I do need to force myself to focus a bit so I can actually get sewing. I really hope I don't procrastinate on Homura. I'm not a fan of sewing during con crunch times. (~_~)

February 1st, 2019
It's well into 2019 now and I had a fairly busy January. The weather outside sure has been frightful lately with several snowy days and extreme cold temperatures, but it has given me a reason to stay in and try to be productive. I've actually been working on patterning for some costume options for the year. I've set my sights on making Homura's magical girl outfit from Madoka Magica. It's something that wasn't exactly on my radar, but Homura's magical girl outfit was my favourite design of the magical girl outfits from the series. I've collected a couple of figures of Homura in her magical girl outfit and looking at them recently is what gave me the idea to want to make the costume.

I'm thinking that I can modify my trusty blouse pattern that I've used for my Madoka school uniform and for Sakura Haruno's shirt to make Homura's blouse. A pleated skirt is pretty easy, but I know tailoring the blouse and undershirt will be tricky, but if I can achieve a nice fit, it'll be a beautiful outfit. I guess, since I can't find anyone to Cosplay Homura with me, I can just be my own Homura. XD I'm looking to buy a nice wig for the costume and then also use it to re-wear my school uniform from the series, but this time I'll be Homura instead. It helps me justify the cost of a nicer quality wig. My current aim is to hopefully get the magical girl costume done for Anime North and perhaps wear the school uniform version to Toronto ComiCON in March. I haven't ordered the wig yet and Arda USA and Epic Cosplay Wigs are both sold out of the wig options I was deciding between so that's a bit of a wrench in my plans, but I'll keep looking at options. I still have quite a bit of work to do with figuring out the patterning, but I'm hoping that I'm on the right track. I also don't have fabric for the costume yet. I need more of my go-to white fabric and I have to find nice lilac fabrics in two shades for the ribbons, skirt and collar so I really hope I can or the costume will be put on hold. It's too cold to go downtown for fabric shopping so I'll have to hold out that I can go in March or April and just get all the patterning set beforehand so it'll be easier to work on.

My friend Amanda got a chance to edit and send me copies of the shoot photos from when I worked with her at the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show event back in December. This was the casual Orphea outfit shoot. You can view the shoot photos in the costume page here. The photos turned out really nicely and I'm quite happy that I have such cute pics of my little tribute to Orphea. It was nice to portray the character again and this time I kept things pretty light. I totally miss wearing Henchmen's gorgeous costume. I'm sad that I'll probably never see it again and it's too bad we weren't able to squeeze in a shoot so I'm glad I could at least sort of Cosplay the character again. I'll still keep an eye on Heroes of the Storm and see if Orphea is developed any further. Her design is still something that really speaks to me.

The cold winter season has at least had some bright spots. The Resident Evil 2 remake was released last week and for once I'm actually jumping at a game at launch. I have a huge video game backlog for the PS4, but RE2 jumped to the front of the line and I've had a great time playing it so far. Between that and trying to pattern for Homura, my evenings have been pretty busy lately. It does feel nice to have things to do and trying to stay productive during the winter. I just hope that I get a chance to get fabric for Homura before the spring so I don't have to rush things if I plan to finish it for Anime North.

December 27th, 2018
I was anticipating writing a summary post for 2018 and it would be a breeze since last year was such a tough year. I'm actually going through a family tragedy right now so updating here is just a chance to distract myself for a bit. Recalling this year in terms of costumes and conventions, it was quite a change from previous years. It seemed like things were going to be the same as usual and then I was given the amazing opportunity to work with Henchmen Studios and that became a highlight of my year, and of course, my Cosplay life in general.

My only Cosplay project that I worked on myself for the year was my Sakura Kinomoto school uniform costume. I worked on it during the winter between January until March. It was a pretty fun project as I love the final look that I achieved. The skirt didn't work out exactly as I wanted it to, but overall it looked really nice and I got a great photoshoot of the costume at Toronto ComiCON in the spring. I did intend to make one or two other costumes during the year, but with some major events like the Nominoichi at Anime North, the Nerd Market at U of T and then working with Henchmen, they all became big focuses for me. I did debut the Twinkle Snow Miku costume at Fan Expo, which was a costume I purchased from a Taobao seller back in the spring. That was a fun costume to wear since it was very flowy and pretty. I upgraded my Sakura costume in time for Anime North with Sakura's dream wand prop that I bought from another Taobao seller. It was a great addition to the costume and Sakura was really nice to wear at Anime North and Pretty Heroes.

I ended up going to six conventions/events throughout the year. The events were: Toronto ComiCON, Anime North, Pretty Heroes, Fan Expo, BlizzCon and Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. Anime North was interesting since it's always my major con for the year. It was the first year since 2003 that I didn't have hotel space so I got a lift to the con each day. That was kind of handy for the Nominoichi since it made it easier to take my leftover goods home and organize things. I thankfully do have hotel space for 2019, though. I did fairly well at the Nominoichi or at least as well as most years. The event was still extremely hot, but not as terrible as some previous years, but as usual it was an exciting and fun experience.

I attended Pretty Heroes for the first time in the summer. It was neat to finally see since my friend Ammie has been a Cosplay guest at it for years and she loves the con. It was at the Science Centre and the con ticket included access to the Science Centre exhibits and I always love exploring the Science Centre. I have a great love for a variety of magical girl Anime so I found a lot of the artists and vendors selling at the con were right up my alley and I had a good time. I know next year the con will be at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and I'll try to attend it again for a day since the con has a strong theme and was pretty fun.

Fan Expo was interesting enough. I loved the Dragon Ball Tour booth. It was fun to re-wear my old Bulma costume to get some photos with the Dragon Ball photo backdrops. I was also able to win tickets to next year's event so I'll definitely be going to Fan Expo again.

Post-Fan Expo was a very busy period for me. It was the one year anniversary of my mother's passing, which was quite solemn. At the same time, I was offered the chance to work with Henchmen Studios and that's when I learned about Orphea and I'm so glad that I took that offer. It was like a gift when I was feeling pretty low and it was so exciting working with the team and watching the costume come together in September and October. September was also the Nerd Market at U of T. It was my first time selling at that event and only the second event for the market. It was a neat experience. Not quite as busy as I hoped and I didn't sell that much, but I would consider trying it again maybe, if they run another one in the fall.

The end of October was super busy for me. I had a live interview with the MixerBlueShow through Skype regarding Silent Hill Cosplay and my horror costumes that was both very exciting and super terrifying. In the end it was a really cool experience.

Halloween was a decorating bonanza as usual, but then I had to quickly board a plane to go to Anaheim for BlizzCon on November 1st. I never expected to ever see that con and it was such a cool convention centre with such a cinematic feeling. It was truly an amazing experience to be the debut Cosplayer for a brand new character. I got to meet so many people who had been involved in Orphea's creation and I also met tons of fans of Heroes of the Storm. I'll carry the memories of that exciting weekend with me for a long time. I truly appreciate Henchmen Studios, Blizzard and Heroes of the Storm for picking me to portray the character and attend that exciting convention.

The final weeks of the year felt a bit overwhelming at times as I tried to catch up with my life after how busy I was with fittings and planning for BlizzCon and then dealing with post-con matters. I had fun wearing a sort of Casual Orphea costume as a homage to the character and my experience working with Blizzard and Henchmen Studios at the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. I owe my awesome friend Adrien a huge thank you for creating a crown for me so I could portray the character again.

That brings me to now. I had a fairly quiet and relaxing Christmas with my family, but things have become difficult since Christmas Day. Only time will really heal at such a tragic time. I can reflect on a year, though, that had some big highlights and some difficult lowlights. Like one of my best friends dealing with health issues, but triumphantly getting better after surgery. I've reached the stage in my life where years are pretty much a toss-up between grief and joy and you just have to hope that the joy can outweigh the grief.

Regarding 2019, I expect to attend my regular crop of cons. I'm not sure if I'll make plans to travel to a con. I actually was kind of hoping to look into travelling to a con right before I was offered the chance to go to BlizzCon so that was a nice treat. I definitely want to get a table at the Nominoichi again as I want to be a bit more pro-active with selling a few more figures from my collection to cut it down a bit.

In terms of Cosplay, I've been trying to think of new costume idea for weeks. I usually like to start a costume right around the Christmas holidays, but this year I just never settled on anything. I think I have an idea for something somewhat casual, but I'll need to wait to post about it until I find fabric first. I know that I plan to re-wear my Sakura Haruno costume if Pan finishes a new Naruto costume and I have a Dilandau costume from Escaflowne, a Super Sailor Chibi Moon costume and a Wendy from Peter Pan costume all ready to go that I need to wear at some point. I'm glad I got a chance to shoot my Candy Corn costume before Halloween to add least get that off my photo backlog although I'm still waiting for shoot photos from that. I think I'll settle on some costume projects early in the year and try to make 2 - 3 costumes throughout the year. Hopefully 2019 will be a productive, but chill year. 2018 was a bit all over the place so I could use a calm year after the chaos of 2017 and 2018.

December 8th, 2018
Today was the Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. I've been looking forward to it for weeks, but I actually slept really poorly last night so I wasn't really running at 100% when I was getting ready for it. I debuted a new outfit. I decided to create a sort of casual costume based around the cute Orphea Cosplay dress that I bought at BlizzCon. I paired it with a pair of red contacts, some short boots, a white bob wig and a crown that my friend Adrien made for me. I was pretty excited to Cosplay as Orphea again even in a casual capacity so it was a fun experience. I just wish I had been a bit more on top of things when I was doing my makeup. I wish I had made my eye makeup a little stronger, but it still looked pretty nice albeit subtle. I did a shoot with my friend Elemental, so I'll look forward to getting those photos back in the new year.

Thankfully my friend Pan took a bunch of photos on her phone and mine so I have few pics of Orphea from around the con. A few selfies as well as a pic with Santa! I've been attending the Fan Days Show for the last 3 years and Christmas outfits for various characters have always been popular, but it was super popular this year! I would say 80%-90% of all costumes were Christmas themed or incorporated some Xmas bling. In my little Blizzard dress with no adornment, I felt a little underdressed. XD Maybe next year if I Cosplay I'll actually wear something Christmas themed. XD

The con was pretty casual. I checked out the dealer's room and artist alley. It was a somewhat small area, but there was still a lot to see. I bought some handmade lip balm, some cute Eevee and Pikachu stickers and a fanart pouch of Overwatch characters. My favourite purchase was a cute little plush jellyfish. It's dessert themed with little strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream on it and is coloured like chocolate. It has yarn tentacles to be a cute hanging decoration. It's already proudly hanging in my room. (^^) I got to see a number of friends in passing including my wonderful friend Ammie who was at the con with her bf Sean. So glad I could catch up with her. I was able to meet Santa with my friends Pan, Adrien and Mackenzie so spending quality time with my friends made the day a big success. The Toronto Fan Days event is super casual (or holiday I guess) and is pretty fun. I'll probably check it out again next year. (^_^)

I created a write-up for my new casual Orphea costume and I added it to my costume gallery with photos that Pan took of me from the con. You can find it here. I'll add the pics that Amanda took when she gets a chance to edit them. They'll probably be ready to post in early 2019. One thing to note about the outfit was that the crown was 3D printed by Adrien. He found the model and sized it to my proportions. He cleaned it up after printing and he used a pretty sparkly clear coat on it so it's super cute! The crown was one of the things that I really loved about my original costume so I'm glad that I have a nice crown that I can now use to reminisce about Orphea.

December 3rd, 2018
Just a quick update after my last post yesterday. Henchmen Studios posted the Behind the Scenes video on YouTube for the Orphea costume that they built and I wore at BlizzCon last month. It's a really neat video that includes shots from the various times that I visited the studio for fittings as well as some shots of the costume on the con floor. The most interesting shots are of the costume in progress. You can see the Henchmen team hard at work on the various aspects of the costume like the dress and the stunning relic. <3 I actually got a little emotional watching the video. There was so much of the process that I didn't get to see, but as a fellow costumer, it's incredible to see what the team was able to create and the process to go from the drawing board to the final outfit. I fondly remember the cute 3D printed model of Orphea. It was one of the first things that greeted me when I signed the NDA. That feels like so long ago! Seeing the Orphea model for the first time didn't prepare me for how amazing a journey it would be for the costume to come to life and it was a wonderful experience to be part of that journey. Hopefully that won't be the last time that I Cosplay Orphea. I have so many feelings about the character now! (^_^)

I also added a few progress photos of Orphea to the Orphea costume page of pics that Henchmen Studios posted last week. I like the shots that we did in the Henchmen Studio of the costume a week before BlizzCon when it was pretty much done. The wig and makeup were tweaked afterwards so it's not the final version of the costume, but the lighting was quite pretty to show off the nice details of the costume. (^^)

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