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 70 costumes and I've attended over 65 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 2nd, 2016
I found a few photos of my new Splatoon costume so I was able to add the costume page that I had prepared for the costume to this site. The photos are just hallway shots so expect proper shoot photos later! Hopefully at some point during the summer! My Splatoon costume was super comfy so I'm looking forward to wearing it again! I very much want to get some photos with my Inkling Kid friends. :3 I'm hoping that this will be a productive summer for shoots so I'll keep my fingers crossed for that!

-+- Past Updates -+-

May 31st, 2016
Anime North is over for yet another year. It wasn't exactly the most memorable con, but I still had a great time. Things went pretty well during the Nominoichi. I sold a good chunk of what I brought and made almost as much money selling as I did back in 2014. That's nearly $1,500! Can't say that I would repeat that next year as I have sold most of my highest valued items that I could see myself selling off in the next few years, but my Anime collection is ever expanding and I do appreciate conventions like Anime North giving me a chance to offload items in a controlled space. It sure beats an occasional sale on eBay and dealing with the hassle of fees and going to the post office! For the first time, though, the hall for the Nominoichi was unbearably hot so my friend Adrien (who was selling with me) and I were sweating like crazy throughout most of the event. I was sweating, though, mostly because we had lot of foot traffic so that was a good sign. I could definitely see myself selling again next year so we'll see if I get the chance!

I honestly can't remember an Anime North as hot as the con was this year, though! We've had warm moments for sure, but for it to be consistently boiling all 3 days of the con was really unusual. I can remember AN just a few years ago when I had to wear a sweater or coat over my costumes and this year even in my simple short and skirt costumes, I was still way too hot!

My Splatoon costume went over really well though! I spent most of Friday before the Nomi hanging out with Pan and Adrien. Adrien was Cosplaying as a Blue Inkling Kid and he had his awesome tank and Splattershot so we got lots of attention. I'm a bit of a poser when it comes to Splatoon so I was quite surprised by just how often we got stopped for photos! Pan was dressed as Merle from Escaflowne and she looked adorable! She was getting stopped left and right for photos. I was sad that I wasn't dressed as Dilandau. Merle is definitely the standout character from Escaflowne. I was glad that my Inkling Kid costume was comfy. I was on my feet for hours at the Nomi and wearing simple running shoes was great! I don't know if I can find anything better to wear next year given how unbearable the Nomi hall was. It's just too bad that I didn't get a chance to really see my fellow squids! My friends Andy and Michelle were running around as turquoise and purple and looked great! I only saw them for a minute at the Nomi so I missed out on getting photos with them. I didn't stop anywhere for photos of my costume so during the summer I'll have to do a shoot hopefully with more Inklng Kids!

I wasn't exactly feeling 100% on Saturday. I had a really rough time sleeping on Thursday evening and I only slept for a couple of hours. It was a rough way to start the con. I slept rather poorly on Friday as well so I didn't really get out of my hotel room in costume until about noon. I wore my other new costume, Sakura from Naruto Shippuden. I only lasted in the costume for about 3 hours because it was really hot, my leg bandages kept slipping and the boots were super uncomfortable. I was hanging out with Pan and Adrien and we decided to take a break by sitting down for food at Swiss Chalet, but there was a huge line so we got takeout and just ate in the hotel room. I decided to change then out my costume and relax for the rest of the day. The reaction to Sakura was alright. It's tough to standout when Cosplaying from Naruto when you're not part of a group. I definitely felt very complimented whenever someone asked me for a photo. Pan (who was again wearing Merle) and I stopped at conARTISTS' booth in the Dealer's Room before I changed and did a photoshoot there. We didn't have any shoots booked for the weekend so stopping at a photo booth seemed like a good idea. The photos turned out pretty well. Pan and I decided to purchase the shoot so I have photos to add here.

In the afternoon I checked out the Dealer's Room for interesting deals. I did some shopping at the Nominoichi the day before and bought a couple of Syaoran trading figures, a set of Ghibli Museum stickers and a cute Shinku Punit Collecton Doll. The Shinku Doll was really unexpected, but my table neighbour was selling it and it was staring me directly in the face throughout the event so I just had to buy it. XD In the Dealer's Room I purchased more cute Kuma Craft necklace. I love how sparkly they are! I also bought a Sailor Moon Crystal purple umbrella that I've had my eye on for months. I wanted to buy it online since it was about $15, but with shipping because it's a large item, it would have been over $30. The booth I found was selling the umbrella for $25. I thought that was pretty reasonable and it's super cute! I just have to work up the courage to use it on a regular basis. I don't want to wreck it! XD

There wasn't much to do in the evening so after grabbing Tim Horton's for dinner, I ended up just watching some of Wolverine 3 on TV. LOL I was pretty tired so I was happy to go to sleep fairly early even despite the bass from the rave carrying all the way over to our hotel room in the International Plaza hotel, which threatened to ruin my sleep.

The final day of Anime North was pretty casual as I didn't Cosplay. Once we got out of the hotel room and checked our luggage, Pan, Adrien and I checked out the Comic Market and Crafters Corner. I picked up more cute necklaces and I bought a few prints including an adorable print of Lesser Dog from Undertale. Lesser Dog is so much like my family's Samoyed Persephone in looks and personality so I couldn't resist getting the print!

That pretty much sums up the con! I saw quite a few friends and I had a great time in my costumes. I didn't exactly get the best sleep before and during the con so I was quite tried all weekend, but I soldiered through! The excessively hot days tried to put a damper on the very outdoor focused reality of Anime North, but the con still had a lot of bright spots. I owe a big thank you to my friend Adrien for helping me get my stuff to the Nomi and for selling with me and to my friend Louise who was nice enough to sell a few doll clothing items for me at Doll North. I do hope for a little bit cooler weather next year! I also hope that I can do Madoka! I have the wig now from Nikki and I'm looking forward to Cosplaying her. If the hot weather repeats, though, there is no way I could Cosplay anything, but a super casual character!

Regarding this site, I have the write up finished for my Sakura Haruno costume so I posted it here along with the gallery of photos from conARTISTS. If I find photos of my Inkling Kid costume I can post those a.s.a.p. because I do have the costume page also ready to go. Hopefully I can actually get some shoots done this year. Still looking forward to getting photos of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Dilandau as well as Shinku and Sailor Mercury. So many things to shoot, so little time! Hopefully I'll find some shoot opportunities for this summer!

May 18th, 2016
Quite a bit has happened since my last entry. Anime North is just around the corner now. The last few months have really flown by! Guess that's just how life goes as you get older. I wanted to make a quick update to discuss how my costumes have been coming along and how things are looking for Anime North and beyond.

Both my Splatoon (Inkling Kid) and Sakura (Naruto) costumes are done now. Sakura took so much longer than I expected. XD It took me 3 months to finish the costume and I only just put the finishing touches on it on Monday. I even used up all of the thread that I bought for it. I've never run out of thread before with a costume. Really didn't expect that. I ran into so many issues with various parts of the costume. Had to resew so many things including the collar on the blouse and the skirt openings. Deciding to use a knit fabric for the skirt and armbands was really problematic. It was not the easiest thing to work with for the skirt. I probably should have interfaced it as the fabric is quite finicky. It's hard to smooth out, the excess in seams can show through the fabric and it was a pain in the butt to sew down for the skirt front and back openings. I re-sewed the openings at least two or three times. In the end I had to abandon machine sewing top stitching on the back seam and I had to do it by hand. I'm not totally happy with the shaping on the back opening for the skirt. I might treat AN as a test run for the costume and if the skirt is frustrating me I may re-do it over the summer. I wasn't totally sold on the colour of my fabric to begin with. In the Anime her skirt and armbands are more of a lilac colour and in the Manga it's more of a white. My fabric is a light pink so it's a bit of a middle ground between both versions. If I'm not happy with the look I could re-do it. I already had to abandon using zippers for the openings because the fabric became bunchy with the lightweight zippers I bought. Nothing went smoothly with putting together the skirt.

I'm pretty happy with the costume otherwise! The blouse fought me over the fitting, but turned out pretty well. I made my own pouch for the back of skirt and I modified a pair of gloves. I also made a new band for the headband after buying a Konoha headband through Aliexpress. Pan helped me cut off the fabric and I glued it to the new band that I made so the fabric would match my blouse. I poured my heart and a lot of time into this costume. I hope in the end that it shows! I feel like most people would have finished this costume in just a couple of weeks. I'm so slow at sewing and I often have to backtrack and re-do parts. In the end I'm usually quite happy with the final results. I hope that I'll be content when Cosplaying Sakura at AN. She's such a kick butt character so I hope that I'll do her justice! I definitely have to thank Pan for helping me tame my wig for the costume. Without her help the wig definitely wouldn't remotely resemble the character.

I mentioned finishing my Splatoon costume. I know I said that I did that months ago, but recently new official images of the shirt design that I based my costume shirt on were released and I realized I messed up the design. XD I was missing a chunk from the bottom of the final letter in the front lettering and a small logo on the front of the shirt. I tried to heat 'n bond and sew in a piece to cover the missing part of the letter and Adrien helped me craft a logo that I used iron on transfer paper to add to the design. So I should be good to go now for Anime North!

Speaking of the con, the last few weeks have been going by way too fast. Between finishing sewing and sorting stuff for the Nominoichi, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off most evenings. I've been trying to label things I'm selling, wash any clothing pieces and of course, get things boxed and ready to display on the table. I have been offering pre-sales of the stuff that I'll be selling at table N133 and so far the pre-sales have been tremendous. I didn't realize it, but as long as people actually show up, the reserves that I have are about double from last year. I definitely appreciate the response. The more that I sell this year, the more shelf and basement space that I free up so I can feel a little less cluttered. XD Definitely trying to scale back on buying. I love interacting with people through the Nominoichi so I'm really excited for Friday night even if it is going to be very hectic and stressful.

I know the important thing about AN in terms of this site is Cosplay, so my plans for the con are to wear my Splatoon costume on Friday and Sakura on Saturday. Wearing my Splatoon costume on Friday should make my table very easy to spot. My friend Adrien (who will also be selling at table N133) will be Cosplaying as a blue Inkling Kid as well. My friend Kevin will be running his own table (N132) and will be selling a variety of prize figures, gashapon goods and lottery items from his recent trips to Japan. He'll be Cosplaying as a purple Inkling Kid. Should make for a fun little group. (^^)

Sakura is my Saturday costume. I'm hoping that the weather will be nice for the weekend given that I'll be wearing shorts and short or no sleeved costumes all con. I don't plan to Cosplay on Sunday so I can just be casual on the last day. I'm debating about bringing an old Lolita dress to wear in case I want to change at any point or if the weather is really cold. The other interesting thing is that I'll be purchasing my friend Quantum Destiny's old Madoka Kaname wig. I know I've been posting about it for ages, but I swear I'm going to get that costume done in 2017 and getting her old wig will give my costume a huge boost! I bought a wig for the costume in the fall of 2014, but I really wasn't happy with it. It would have taken a ton of work and it wouldn't look half as nice as Quantum Destiny's wig. Honestly, she makes an amazing Madoka! I really lucked out because she also included the red hair ribbons so that's one other thing to not have to worry about! I really appreciate her giving my costume a huge boost and hopefully the wig will motivate me to make the rest of the costume. (^_^)

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to Anime North. I hope it'll be an exciting year. I know the goal of the Nominoichi is selling things, but I hope that I meet a lot of people during the event. I look forward to wearing my Sakura costume during the con. I'll definitely have to make the most of AN since Atomic Lollipop has been cancelled for the year. If I don't pick up another con or event during the summer, the year is going to be a bit bland. I'll have to think about it after Anime North. Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the free time that I'll have once AN is over, but I'm really looking forward to relaxing! XD Getting ready for this con has really dominated my life for the last couple of months.

I hope everyone that's attending Anime North has an amazing time! Given that this will be my 15th year going, I sure hope that it's a memorable experience! (^_^)

April 30th, 2016
I've been meaning to update this site as I progressed with my Sakura costume and I really neglected it. For a costume I figured I would finish in a month or two, it sure has dragged on. I set a goal of finishing it by the end of April, but I felt like that was more of a worst case scenario and it was more likely that I would have the costume done well before then. Well, we're at the end of April now and it's not quite done. (~_~) It's pretty close to being done. I probably would have finished it sooner, but I keep going back to fix or replace parts. It took me like 10 tries to properly finish and sew down the collar. I had to go back and add more interfacing to it. I made 3 versions of the Haruno circle for the back of the shirt and after finishing the shirt, I went back and had to re-sew 2 of the seams. I've also struggled with finishing the splits on the skirt part of the shorts. I've sewn the back part together three times and it took me a couple of tries to place and sew down the buckle loops. XD This costume has often felt like I'm taking one step forward and then two steps back.

As it stands, the shirt is done, I've modified the gloves I bought, the armbands are done and the skirt/shorts are nearly done. I'm currently fixing up the belt loops. There is a chance I might redo the entire back panel of the skirt because I've been having trouble getting the split in the back to lay evenly and not look crooked. I actually originally made the skirt parts with zippers. I finished the front with a zipper, but the split was curling up. I'm using a knit fabric that's quite flowy, somewhat thin and stretchy so it was not reacting well to a small zipper that's not very heavy weight. I scrapped the zipper idea then, which worked ok for the front. In a lot of merchandise and some of the Naruto video games you can see the zippers in her skirt, but it was not drawn in for the Anime so I'm going to roll without the zippers. XD I'll stick with my skirt as it stands for now, but I might look for some advice to maybe replace the back later. I still need to make sure the leg bandages sit properly. I'm trying to make them stay up on my leg using snaps mostly with part of the bandage being sewn to my shorts. Crossing my fingers that it will hold! My final project for this costume is to make a back pouch. I bought a pouch from eBay for a few dollars that I was looking forward to using, but because of the length and tight fit of my shirt, the pouch is too big and would sit too low on my skirt. (>.<) I'm trying to make up a new pouch on my own now that's about half the size of the one I bought. Hopefully it wil only take me a couple of hours, but it's still another example of how I step forward with this costume and then step back. I know for a fact I wish I had made my shirt about an inch shorter. I can't fix that without changing the zipper so I'll have to see how it goes at AN and consider maybe getting a slightly shorter zipper and replacing it after the con if I really dislike how the costume looks.

Anyway, when all is said and done, I should have the costume as it stands done by early next week. If I decide to replace the skirt panel I might do that later in May. My wig does need to be trimmed. My friend Pan is awesome and has agreed to help me cut it. Maybe she'll help me with my skirt problem if I still find it annoying. I might also replace the ribbon on my Konoha ninja headband. I bought a cheap one from Aliexpress. My red fabric might not be the best for a headband, but I'll see if it really makes the costume look nicer for the reds to be consistent.

My main reason for finally updating here, however, is to just comment about how sad I am that APOP won't be happening this year. It was just announced that the con has outgrown the Science Centre and they have not been able to find a suitable alternate location. They do intend to hold the con again in 2017. It's just too bad that it will never be at the Science Centre again. It was an awesome location for photoshoots and just such a cool place to explore. I know I can just pay to go there anytime, but it was pretty awesome to experience the Science Centre outside of normal business hours and in costume. APOP does still have some interesting draws like the crafting workshops, but it's not really my scene overall so I'm not sure if I'll bother attending it again. I guess I'll have to see what venue the con goes with next year if they are able to secure a location. As it stands, though, I do morn the con as it was. The last two years of APOP were such a blast! APOP being gone does leave a bit of a hole in my year. The only cons I have on the horizon are Anime North and one or two days of Fan Expo. Seems like a very bland year. I feel like I want something else to fill that gap. I might seriously try for Otakuthon this year or maybe actually take a vacation. I definitely want to do something so I'm going to have to start planning to get out of the city.

In the meantime, AN has been on the forefront of my mind for weeks. I did get a table for the Nominoichi. My table is N133 this year. I have plenty of figures, wigs, video games and fun goods for sale from various series like Sailor Moon, DBZ, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Resident Evil and Vocaloid. I posted a list of some of the things I'm selling on the AN forum and already a lot of my stuff is spoken for through holds. I hope everyone shows up to get the stuff they reserved! XD I know the next month is going to fly by so I hope I can get my costumes together and get everything packed up and ready to sell. I definitely have to squeeze a lot of fun out of Anime North knowing that I have fewer cons to look forward to this year. Hopefully it'll turn out to be a great year for this classic event!

March 9th, 2016
It feels a little weird to be writing my first post of 2016 and it's already March! I took a bit of a break from costuming towards the end of last year, but since my last post at the end of December, I have been working on a couple of projects. Firstly, my Splatoon costume is now done! I worked on it back in January and finished it at the end of the month. I didn't have that much to do for the costume. I had to add the pink stripes to the shorts, add lettering to a shirt, make a mask and attach the tentacles to the wig, but everything went smoothly and I was able to get it done fairly quickly once I found the motivation to work on things.

After finishing that project, I started brainstorming other ideas for the year. My Madoka costume is still on the back burner due to issues with patterning the blouse. I'm determined to finish it for Anime North 2017 so you can definitely expect that costume for next year! I'm not going to put it off for a 3rd year. In the meantime, I decided that I wanted to do something for AN. I started looking at my list of favourite series and characters and Sakura from Naruto kind of jumped out at me. I think she's underappreciated and she's a character that like Bulma, has a lot of talent and strength. She seems like a fun costume option for the year. I settled on working on her Shippuden outfit because it looks like one of her easier outfit designs. I have an old New Look Juniors pattern that I discovered while doing a pattern inventory. It has the right overall shape for the character and with minor alterations versus standard patterns, the fit is actually really great on me. I wish New Look still offered this pattern line! I have yet to find other patterns that fit anywhere near as well right off the bat!

I've already finished modifying a pair of boots for the costume. I performed Cosplay surgery on my old Maria and Batgirl boots. I haven't worn them in a couple of years and parts of the material was starting to degrade so I thought it would be ok to use them for this costume. I cut off the upper part of the tip of each boot. I crafted a new insole for the boots using felt and a comfy insole liner and I used electrical tape to hide any raw edges. It turned out really well and hopefully it will hold together.

I'm currently almost done a mock of the shirt using the New Look pattern. Just trying to set the separating zipper and draft a new collar. Hopefully it will come together and work on my first try! If it turns out then I can start on the real shirt in the next week or two. After that I need to make armbands, the skirt, the bandages for her leg and modify a pair of gloves. I'm going to reuse the pouches from my old Sasuke costume so those are already done. I already purchased all the fabric, notions and a wig so I have everything already although I am still waiting for contacts, the headband and gloves to arrive from online sales. The wig also needs some trimming work, but I'm pretty happy that I was able to get a wig with a skin part!

I need to draft a pattern for the skirt as well, but I'm hoping since the shapes are simple it won't be a problem! I guess we'll see if I'm right. My hope is to get the costume done by the end of April. I'm also still amping up to tackle another year of the Nominoichi at Anime North. I have plenty of Anime figures, video games, old wigs and other random Anime goods that I'm looking forward to selling. Every year I figure that I'll finish with the Nomi because I won't have much stuff left to sell in a future year, but I'm always surprised by how many old goodies that I dig up that I'm willing to part with. I've been trying to ease back on collecting figures and goods these last few months, but I still buy or pre-order the odd thing. A collector's collection is ever evolving! Anyway, at the moment I'm gathering the items, taking stock of their condition and taking photos for a pre-sale listing so that's been keeping me busy on the side.

It's still a little outside of the convention season. I am a bit excited for getting out and about with conventions again. I haven't Cosplayed or been to any sort of Cosplay event since Fan Expo last year. This year I definitely want to get some photoshoots done. Dilandau is still on the agenda and Sailor Mercury and Super Sailor Chibi Moon too. Dilandau still needs a bit of work. I'm going to be working with my friend Adrien soon on fixing up the belt. I kind of put that on the backburner until now as well.

My next convention is Anime North and I'm getting pretty pumped for it. I'm definitely going to be wearing my Inkling Kid costume probably on Friday of the con and Sakura Haruno would be my Saturday costume. I would consider bringing something else like Dilandau or Super Sailor Chibi Moon, but I'll see how ambitious I feel about costume changes. Friday is going to be super busy with the Nominoichi and Saturday always goes by way too fast! Sunday is my casual day so I try not to Cosplay so I can take in the dealer's room and artist alley quickly before they close for another year. I'm even hoping to make the trek over to Doll North this year. Anime North is definitely a con that you want to have a game plan for!

I am debating about attending more conventions this year. Another one day of Fan Expo is likely and if APOP is at the Science Centre again, I will most likely give it another shot for this year. I would like to go to one other con. I've heard whispers about the potential of a new con called YetiCon so I'm looking into that and with the dollar still being weak, I am highly considering taking another look at Otakuthon. Again, it's all very much up in the air, but I would definitely like to do something exciting this year so we shall see! I do like that I have started working on costume projects so hopefully the enthusiasm and energy will carry forward into the rest of the year!

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