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 -+-

September 5th, 2016
Fan Expo is over for another year and this was the first year that I actually attended the con for almost the full weekend since Fan Expo 2011. It was quite the experience returning to the convention again for a full length con. Back when I stepped away from the con it was always very crowded, there were concerns about con goers being locked out of the building due to it being over capacity, and there was a sense that the con brass didn't really care so much about the attendees and it was just about the bottom line. I'm not going to say that Fan Expo is no longer a corporate con because it certainly is. Guest autographs and photo ops are still extremely expensive and there are an ever growing number of extra expense events, but you definitely can feel that con staff are genuinely concerned about ensuring that fans have a good experience. The crowding never felt quite as bad as it has been in the past and new additions like the Cosplay lounge were excellent spots to allow Cosplayers a chance to rest and fix costumes if need be. Fan Expo really feels refreshed.

Having said that, it really felt like there was a decline in the number of Cosplay attendees from the days when I used to attend the con in full force several years ago. The ratio of Cosplayers to regular attendees was way down. I volunteered at the con as a stage ninja for the masquerade and there were only about 40 entries into the masq this year. I do remember watching the masq a decade ago and the masq had more than double that. I will say that being a stage ninja was a really cool experience. It was neat to see the show and help out backstage and it felt great to earn a badge for the con. I definitely would be up for doing it again next year!

I did Cosplay on Friday of the con. I wore my new casual Barbara Gordon costume from DC Super Hero Girls. Sadly it was a bit too obscure so no one recognized it. That also means that I don't have any photos of the outfit from hallway shots. I did do a shoot with my awesome friend Amanda, though, so I will have some photos to share of the costume in a month or two when she gets a chance to edit the photos. We shot photos in the Roundhouse park and by a gate near the aquarium. Looking forward to seeing how those turned out! People may not have understood the costume, but I still enjoyed the experience. I just wish the costume had been more comfortable. The outfit itself was nice. The boots did hurt a little bit because they were a bit wide, but my Jeannie wig was super painful. I kept having to take off the ponytail clip to ease the pressure on my head. Not sure if I'll wear the outfit again due to the pain of the wig, but it was still a really cute outfit to wear. I love Babs so I had a fun time with it!

I also wore my Halloween pumpkin kigurumi costume for a little bit on Sunday of the con. I mostly brought it to keep me warm in the overly air conditioned parts of the con. I was a little chilly during the masq and I thought it would be nice while I watched the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy panel. I wore it for an hour in the south building, but took it off before I got to the north building. I didn't want to disturb the Kevin and Mark panel by putting it on when I got cold so I suffered quietly. XD The panel for Mark and Kevin was nice! It was the only panel I saw besides catching the last few minutes of Kate Mulgrew's panel on Saturday afternoon. Kevin and Mark made my childhood and I'm so happy that they've continued working together in the Batman Arkham games. They are my Batman and Joker. <3 It was nice that Mark kept it an ensemble panel every time a speaker tried to aim it more towards him. Both guys were really great speakers and were really fabulous at handling the controversies that were brought up about their past work *cough*Killing Joke*cough*. Their panel was a great way to end the con on a high note.

I got a chance to see most of the north and south buildings and the majority of the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley. I got some beautiful prints. A really nice Batgirl print, a cute piece of fanart for Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, a beautiful mermaid print and even a Sam from Trick 'r Treat print. I got a gorgeous Pokemon fire type acrylic charm that's already proudly on my purse and a cute purple gemstone wire ring. I got the new Bulma Pop Vinyl figure to go with the Vegeta pop that I bought last year and Pan and I bought sweaters for our Harry Potter costumes. Now that must seem like a blast from the past! Just when I gave up on that. XD We bought them with the thought of wearing them for the next Harry Potter shoot we try to do this year. We've been vaguely looking for grey sweaters for years for this so now we have ones meant specifically for Gryffindor. I can wear it with my Ron costume if we ever get around to doing that shoot. I've had the wig ready to go for that for a year now. I'm also considering getting a wig so I can Cosplay as Hermoine. I've always wanted to Cosplay as her so I guess I have some Harry Potter plans to look forward to eventually!

That about sums up Fan Expo. I saw quite a few people that I knew throughout the con. It was really cool getting to meet all the stage ninjas and being part of that group. I owe a big thank you to my friends Amanda and Rin for hanging out with me for a lot of Friday and an even bigger thank you to Pan for attending the con with me the whole weekend. She put up with me forcing her to get up early each day. I dragged her to the Mark and Kevin panel and she was super supportive of my Babs costume and helped me handle my troublesome wig. Pan is such an awesome friend and her wonderful attitude and humour really kept me going throughout the con! Good friends really can make or break a con experience so it's awesome that I have such wonderful friends. (^_^)

Next up for me should be a photoshoot or two. Pan and I are hoping to work with Amanda this month. Hopefully I can get some shots of Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Mercury. I'm still crossing my fingers for a second shoot to get pictures of Celia and Saki. Maybe Pan and I will try again to organize a trio shoot for Harry Potter next month. Of course, Halloween is coming up so hopefully I'll be able to participate in some Halloween events. Pan and I still want to do a fabric shopping trip downtown before winter. We'll see if we whip something up for Halloween. The con season might be over, but it looks like I'll be keeping quite busy!

-+- Past Updates -+-

August 28th, 2016
I can't believe that we're almost at the end of August! Time really flies! I just finished up my casual Barbara Gordon (DC Super Hero Girls) costume last night. My friend Pan helped me trim the wig yesterday and I spent last night sewing wig clips to the inside cap of the wig so it would stay on my head more securely. I forgot how heavy the Arda Jeannie wig can be! I've never used the hair clip before and even though Pan cut off about half of the hair from it, it's still really long and quite heavy. XD

I really appreciate Pan helping me with the wig! Cutting Jeannie wigs is super tricky with how easy it is for the wig to slip and slide due to the weight. I also decided to take in the sides of my yellow tank top yesterday. I tried on the whole costume last night for the first time. Seems like it'll be super fun to wear. Hopefully the wig won't give me problems!

So my plans for Fan Expo are pretty much set. I'm going to be spending the weekend hanging out with my friend Pan. She gave me the contact info for the masq staff for Fan Expo and I've been confirmed as a volunteer so I will be attending Fan Expo for most of the weekend. I'll be going on Friday for the full day and Saturday afternoon to help with the masq. I'm also tentatively planning to go to the con on Sunday afternoon. That kind of depends on how tired I am from working the masq. Really, the only reason I want to go on Sunday is to see the Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy Q & A session. XD We'll see if I can make it out for that. It looks like the only day I'll be Cosplaying will be Friday of the con. That will be the day when I debut my new Barbara Gordon costume. I think it'll be pretty obscure so we'll see if anyone recognizes it as being from DC Super Hero Girls. Saturday is pretty much a write off for Cosplay because of how crowded the con is and the fact that I need to wear plain black clothes as staff for the masq. I'll most likely dress casually for Sunday since I don't really plan to attend the con until later in the afternoon. Hopefully I'll get a chance to stop at a photo booth so I'll have some photos of Barbara to share after the weekend. I'll be nice to add another costume to this site! It's been a while since I've done 3 new costumes in a year and the year isn't over yet!

I'm definitely looking forward to checking out Fan Expo in just a few days. It's been a few years since I've been this excited about the convention and I'm hoping that it'll be a really fun experience. (^_^)

August 11th, 2016
It's been a while since I posted here, but it's actually been a very quiet summer in terms of Cosplay. After all the work that I put into AN making my Splatoon costume and then all the work is took to make Sakura, not to mention, preparing for the Nominoichi, I haven't really worked on any costumes since May. I did take a few days to re-sew the bandages onto the shorts of my Sakura costume. I also added more stuffing to the tentacles on my Splatoon wig so they'll hopefully sit a little nicer next time I wear the costume.

It's been so hot this summer that I haven't really made any set plans to do shoots. I do want to get some shoots done this year. I'm still crossing my fingers to get photos of Sailor Mercury, Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Celia. Maybe even Dilandau or my Inkling Kid, but the months are ticking by. The biggest issue is that it's just too hot to wear a costume and the grass outside in most spots is dead because it has been such a harsh, dry summer. Not the best circumstances for photos. I'm hoping by early September things improve so I can get one or two shoots done then. Hopefully I'll have something to show for the year in terms of photos!

I have been working on a costume, though. It actually came out of the blue. Back in the beginning of July I decided to watch the DC Super Hero Girls web show and I immediately loved the casual outfit Barbara wears throughout the first season. I just bought new glasses in June and one of the pairs looks like the pair she wears so that sort of inspired me to want to Cosplay her. I adore Batgirl and I've been looking for a reason to Cosplay her again. At the end of July I settled on doing the costume thanks to Arda running a wig sale. I decided to get a Jeannie wig since that worked quite well for my braided Bulma wig. I actually have almost all the costume pieces now even though I only just ordered everything like two weeks ago. I'm just waiting on my purple hoodie. I had to buy a yellow tank top, a black off the shoulder top, a pair of jeggings, yellow boots and a purple hoodie. I just finished hemming the pants so next up I need to hem the tank top because it's too long and adjust the black shirt to make it more of a crop top. I kind of love the yellow and black tops and the layered look! Hope it looks good when everything comes together! Hopefully Pan will help me with her keen eye regarding cutting the wig, but I'm really looking forward to wearing this costume! It has cost me quite a bit due to the boots and wig, but I figure that if I decide to make the DC Super Hero Girls version of Batgirl, I now already have the boots to go with the costume. I might try to make that costume next year, but we'll see how this casual outfit turns out!

Next up for me is Fan Expo. I am considering volunteering with the masq so if that turns out I might end up attending the con for two or three of the days. We'll see if that happens. Casual Barbara is the only planned costume that I have so I'll need to decide if I want to bring anything else depending on the day(s) that I go and the weather. Anyway, it's been a while since I've been to Fan Expo in a serious fashion so I am looking forward to it. I know I've been going through a con draught so maybe that's making Fan Expo seem even more enticing, but it does make quite the spectacle every year so it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement.

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!

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!

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