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 -+-

August 5th, 2017
Another month is behind us and honestly July was not as productive as I had hoped it would be. I've been dealing with some family concerns and I haven't really had the interest or will to keep going much with making costumes. Kagome's skirt is about half done. I did actually completely finish it before I realized that I made the waistband an inch short so it was too tight. I had to take the skirt apart and start again. It's sitting right now with set pleats, but I need to make a new waistband and add the zipper. I kind of want to wait on that to make sure I like the thickness of my pleats. They look good, but I feel like they might be a bit large. At this point I might as well wait until the blouse is basically together to see how it looks as a whole.

I did borrow my friend Pan's Sailor Moon school uniform blouse pattern to use for Kagome's blouse since they're similar. Unfortunately our proportions are a little different and the mock she gave me seemed a little too tight in the shoulders and bust area on me so I have to enlarge the pattern a bit. I traced my own enlarged copy, but I need to test it on a mock so I sort of lost steam to work on that. I don't think I'll have time to wear Kagome to Fan Expo because I probably would only be going for two of the days. Chances are if I am going to Cosplay I would rather wear Madoka again because that costume is still my pride and joy. I'm determined to finish Kagome of course, but I might just take my time and make it over the fall to wear to events next year like March Toronto ComiCON and Anime North.

I am actually working on a silly surprise costume with Pan so I'm not technically in a sewing slump right now. We got together last Sunday and worked on the costume project. We probably need a handful more hours to finish them. They're not from an Anime or video game, but something goofy from everyday life. If we do finish them we'll probably wear them to Fan Expo because they are ridiculous and are costumes we can slip into and out of really easily and hopefully won't be difficult to transport. I'll keep it as a surprise but I may post about it just before the con if we're going and we can bring them.

I was dealt a blow to my typical convention plans for 2018. I normally stay at the Doubletree hotel for Anime North (Doubletree being one of the hotel's many former names. It was also the International Plaza hotel). Now it will be the Delta hotel. There was a mix-up with the room block being released early and most of the rooms quietly sold out weeks ago. The last trickle of rooms were available on August 1st and none of my friends were able to book a room. :( Such a bummer. I've been staying at that hotel for over a decade. I'm crossing my fingers that we can book a Radisson room or I might just have to commute next year. It's not such a bad thing for Friday night so I can take home my leftovers from the Nominoichi and my cash box, but it would suck for Saturday night. I'm also super sad that I lost access to the Delta's pool. That was one of my favourite things about the con this year. I was looking forward to swimming again next year. ;_; At this point I just have to hope we get a hotel room period and it sure was a sucky way to start off August.

I also haven't kept up with my promise to do some costume shoots this summer and I missed the Sailor Moon Celebration event. The weeks just fly by and I've been so busy and occupied by other matters that I haven't even looked into shoot options. Hopefully I can slot in something for this month or next month. I would at least like to get photos of Dilandau with Pan's Merle costume. Maybe then a Costume Quest shoot with my Candy Corn costume just before Halloween. I will work on Kagome slowly but surely and hopefully get that costume done in the next couple of months. It's not really a rush thing. If I go to the Anime North Halloween dance maybe I can debut it there. I'll update again before Fan Expo to confirm if I'm going and set my plans. Hoping I make it out to the con this year. I'm starting to get antsy with a desire to Cosplay and Fan Expo was surprisingly fun last year. It would be a nice way to end off the summer.

-+- Past Updates -+-

July 2nd, 2017
Another month has flown by. I started working on my Kagome costume over this long weekend. I decided to celebrate Canada Day by starting to work on the skirt. It should have only taken me a couple of hours to make, but I keep getting sidetracked while I work on it. I have it cut out and I just finished ironing the pleats so I just need to cut out and attach the waistband and add the side zipper. So far so good so I should finish that in the next few days. I'm a bit stuck for the rest of the costume. My awesome friend Pan has offered to lend me her pattern for her Ami Mizuno school uniform blouse from Sailor Moon. It's very similar to Kagome's so with that pattern I would be set for the blouse, cuffs and sailor collar. I just need to pattern my own dickey undershirt and the scarf and tie. The thing is that I need to set up a time to try hers on and borrow the pattern. I'll probably grab that sometime this month. My goal would be to finish the costume fairly quickly, but it's not really a huge rush. The aim is still Fan Expo, but that's nearly 2 months away. I also did get my bow kit in the mail. I'm going to get together with my friend Adrien to paint and assemble it. Should be fairly straightforward so hopefully it won't take very long. It is nice after the long hours of Madoka to work on something that seems like it should only take a couple of weeks to put together. It's like a breath of fresh air. XD

In other website news, Kris Byers messaged me recently to let me know that my Madoka school uniform photos from Anime North are now done. I was able to resize the photos and add them to my Madoka costume gallery. You can view them here. I'm so happy with them! She did a really nice job capturing a childlike essence as well as my fun props. My favourites are the photos of me sitting on a rock and a reflection shot in the window. Very awesome work on her part! It was my first time working with her and hopefully it won't be my last!

I do have to mention that I had planned to attend the Sailor Moon Celebration event last weekend, but I wasn't able to make it out this year. I've heard it went pretty well so I will make an effort to go next year. We're into summer now and I am hoping to do some shoots in the next 2 or 3 months. Dilandau is still something I want photos of this year when the weather cools off, but I'm crossing my fingers for Inkling Kid Splatoon photos this summer and Super Sailor Chibi Moon. XD We'll see what I manage to get photos of. At least I'll have a productive summer this year with sewing!

I did open an Instagram account that will mostly be Cosplay focused. I will post other random things there, but I'll try to keep the main focus on sewing projects, shoot photos and convention pictures. You can view it here. June 11th, 2017
The last several days have been really busy. Friday was my birthday and Thursday and Friday were a whirlwind of friend and family dinners for my b-day. Last night was another restaurant dinner, but this time in honour of another friend's birthday that falls just a couple of days before mine. It's been a birthday bonanza lately! Regarding Cosplay, I actually did go fabric shopping earlier on Saturday. I actually didn't think I was going to make it to the fabric district until the end of the month or later, but I managed to free up my schedule a bit to hunt downtown with my friend Pan. I helped her pick up Naruto fabric for her Shippuden costume. Her goal is to make that for Anime North next year. I already have my Shippuden Sakura costume, which I made last year, so one of my AN costumes for 2018 is already done. :D I've been itching for a chance to Cosplay with Pan so it's a no-brainer! We also bought fabric for our secret silly costumes. This was supposed to be for AN this year, but we ran into problems with the fabric that we originally bought. It was way too heavy so we bought cheap lining fabric and hopefully we can get the costumes done over just a couple of days this summer. Maybe bring them to Fan Expo? We'll see!

Speaking of Fan Expo, I did get material for my other costume project. I haven't mentioned what it was except that it was a throwback and the throwback is... Kagome! Kagome was my second ever costume (the first being Li Syaoran from Card Captor Sakura). It was mostly made by my mom way back when I was still in high school. I barely sewed back then. I mostly did little prop work and what not. I remember the white blouse was actually a shirt we just put a sailor collar and cuffs on. The green skirt was made from broadcloth. This was also in the days before you could easily buy wigs and it was before I discovered the joys of makeup so I don't have many photos of the costume. The only photos I have on the site were from a few years later when I re-wore the costume after borrowing a wig from Pan. This time things will be different! I can sew on my own now so I would be making everything from scratch. I ordered a Nina Silky wig from Arda earlier in the spring so I just need to flatten it a bit and fix the bangs. Of course, I need to actually make the blouse and skirt. I figure after Madoka sewing Kagome's uniform would be refreshing. It's a costume in a similar vein, but much simpler. I bought the skirt and blouse fabric today and all the notions so once I get a pattern I'll be ready to go. Not sure what to use for the skirt yet. Probably the pattern I had for my Saki skirt. Pan is offering me the pattern she made for her Amy Sailor Moon school uniform blouse so I'll see if that'll work for me. If so I can probably get this costume done in a few weeks. My aim is to finish it for Fan Expo so we'll see if that's a reasonable goal. I'll probably bring it to AN next year as well so that along with Sakura might fill up my Cosplay roster for the event. I might not even make anything over the winter holidays for the con next year. We'll just see how productive I am for the rest of the year. I am excited to get working on Kagome so that's a good sign!

I won't be going to Yeticon next weekend, but if things go well for it then I'll try to go in 2018. I'm also still hoping to go to the Sailor Moon Celebration, but we'll see. June has definitely been keeping me busy so I'm glad that I could fit in a chance to go fabric shopping after all!

June 1st, 2017
Anime North is over for another year. The con always goes by so quickly now. I keep planning to really savour each day, but it's almost like I would blink and it would be time to go to bed. XD Things did go fairly well though. I was able to borrow my family's van and my friend Adrien and I found going to the con with all of our stuff to sell at the Nominoichi to be a fairly painless experience this year. In comparison to previous years in which I would get dropped off by my family at my hotel with my Nomi stuff, which I would later have to bring from my hotel across the street to the Congress Centre. Instead we parked near the dealer's room loading zone so we just had to walk a couple of minutes to the waiting area for the Nomi. Then we had the car already parked nearby to load everything and Adrien brought the leftovers back to my area that evening.

The Nominoichi was a success. I didn't have the greatest table location this year. I was in the furthest column from the buyer entrance so the foot traffic was a bit lower than usual, but the venue was much cooler and I still made quite a few sales. Almost all of the people who reserved from me showed up, which was nice. The only disappointing thing was that it was quite cramped behind the table so I couldn't pull my chair out and I had to stand for the whole event. There were also confusing announcements at the tail end of the event which stated that the building had closed before the Nomi ended so there were very few buyers left at the end of the event. I was looking forward to making some deals to bring less stuff home, but there were no people left to sell to. Oh well. I thought my sales were a little low, however, when I did my final count after the con, I sold about as well as some of the other years so I can't really complain. I'm definitely excited about selling again next year!

As for Cosplay, I re-wore my old Young Bulma costume on Friday. Didn't do any shoots or anything because I already have plenty of photos of the costume. I mostly wore it to be a visual aid for people who had reservations to find my table. I still got quite a few compliments, which I appreciated, especially since my wig was coming undone a bit and I had trouble keeping it from slipping due to all the rushing around I was doing. I spent 90% of my day waiting or participating in the Nomi so I really didn't wander around in costume on Friday. I still had a good time with it, but I probably would consider this costume to be retired at this point due to general wear and tear.

The rest of the con was fairly chill. I would consider AN 2017 to be one of the best Anime North's in my history of going. Granted it was my 16th AN so at this point they all kind of bleed together, but everything went so smoothly. XD My one big complaint was that we had a corner king room in the International Plaza hotel that was connected to another king room by a closed door. The teenagers in the adjoining room had loud parties both nights and were yelling and swearing up until nearly 4AM. It really sucked and even calling the front desk didn't get them to quiet down. It's the worst hotel noise I think I've ever heard at any con ever. I barely slept on Friday night, but thankfully I was so tired on Saturday night that I mostly slept through it.

I re-wore my Madoka Kaname school uniform on Saturday of the con. It was pretty well received which I appreciated. I didn't really run into many other Madoka Magica Cosplayers and I didn't see any other school uniform costumers. One day I would love to be part of a group! I did request a shoot with Kris Byers Photography on Saturday afternoon. It had been raining just before the shoot, but thankfully it stopped just before we met up. I'm super excited to see how those photos turned out. (^^) I spent the rest of the day checking out the dealer's room. I got to try the new crispy chicken special at Swiss Chalet, which was a nice meal. I was also super impressed by all the food truck options at the Congress Centre this year. I remember when we had just a couple of ice cream trucks to pick from. There were so many neat things! I got Tiny Tom donuts on Sunday and they had two lemonade stands which were both great! :D

The last stop of the day on Saturday was to the hotel pool and hot tub. It was pretty quiet there because the con was still in full swing so I was able to relax and swim for a bit. I haven't had a chance to swim in years and I really missed it!

I did quite a bit of shopping at AN this year. I spent about $100 at the Nominoichi alone. XD I was able to get a couple of figures that I had wanted years ago, but pretty much gave up on ever getting because they were hard to find and discontinued. I got a really nice Kotobukiya Kagome statue that was released back in 2010 and for just $15! It has some wear, but it was still a great deal. I also got a Sakura Haruno prize figure that I never expected to find for just $10. I got a Prince Diamond trading figure as well as two Nendoroid Petits of Ultimate Madoka and another school uniform Madoka Kaname to add to my collection. (^^) At the dealer's room I purchased a small Princess Peach figure, a new wig brush and detangler spray from Arda for wig care, and a crescent moon wand necklace from Kuma Crafts. It's a tradition at this point for me to buy at least one necklace from that booth each year. In the Comic Market and Crafters' Corner I got some Madoka Magica prints, a beautiful original design Cinderella piece and a cute vulpix pin. I was quite impressed by all the wonderful art this year! I always look forward to checking out the Comic Market on the Sunday with my friends Pan, Adrien and Louise and it was another good year for it.

So I had a really nice convention and although AN is always such a blur now, I do look back on it fondly each year. As I type this I'm already thinking about things I would like to accomplish for 2018! In the meantime I do still have things to look forward to this year. When I get the photos of Madoka back from Kris I will post them here. The Sailor Moon Celebration is coming up this month. I'm still not 100% sure that I can go, but I would like to. I would like to do one or two shoots this summer and I'm hearing there may be a Cosplay event at the Science Centre later on in the summer. Plus I still have Fan Expo to plan for. I would like to start another costume this month with the aim of completing it for Fan Expo. I need to go fabric shopping for that and who knows if I may pick up more events. My headlining con may be done for the year, but I still have plenty of things to get excited about. (^_^)

May 14th, 2017
Anime North is just a couple of weeks away now. Crazy how time flies! Not a heck of a lot to report, but I believe I have settled on my costume plans. I'm going to be re-wearing my Young Bulma costume on Friday of the con and for the Nominoichi. It's fairly easy to wear for the event. I was anticipating it being another warm year, but maybe it'll actually be kind of chilly. XD I might have to wear a sweater. My Saturday plan is still to re-wear my new Madoka Kaname school uniform. In the evening I hope to actually use the hotel pool so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have the energy for that. Sunday, as tradition, will be casual wear. So not a lot of costumes from me this year, but I'm still pretty proud of my hard work over the winter on my Madoka Magica school uniform so I'm excited to wear it again. I just hope it's a fun year! The Nominoichi keeps me so busy in the days leading up to the con and for Friday. It's been a bit challenging to handle the logistics of it this year, but I think I have everything sorted out for the Nomi now. Hopefully my things sell well because my basement is quite full of stuff for this year's event. XD I always find it to be a lot of fun. Sure making money is definitely a huge part of it, but I find it to be a really social experience. It's quite a hectic and very exciting environment so it's never dull.

The rest of the con should be fairly relaxing. Saturday will be the day to actually check out the con events and dealer's room and as per tradition, Sunday is the opportunity to explore the crafter and artist areas. This will be my 16th Anime North. The con has a lot of heart and charm, which makes me really excited about it every year.

I'll post here after Anime North with an event report and hopefully in June I'll get a chance to go fabric shopping for my next costume project. I think I'll be able to get it done within a month so I'm itching to get sewing. Not working on a costume right now with AN fast approaching is making me feel ansty. I sort of feel like I'm missing something. Not that avoiding the sewing con crunch should be considered something to be missed, but I am feeling a bit unproductive. Granted I'm spending several minutes each day sorting boxes and writing price stickers for the Nomi so it's not like I'm doing nothing. XD

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