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 -+-

November 26th, 2016
Just a quick update as my wonderful friend Amanda posted the photos from the private shoot that I did with her last month of my Shinku costume. I have posted them in the gallery for that costume. You can view them here. I culled the gallery and removed some of the old photos of my Shinku costume as I was squinting in quite a few of the photos or my wig was a mess. I did leave up some of my favourite older photos including a couple of photos from Youmacon 2011 when I wore my Shinku costume to match Ammie's gorgeous Suigintou costume. The bangs on my wig were super messed up then, but I just had to save some of the photos of Ammie and me. The photos from last month that Amanda took turned out very nicely. We shot around a dining room table with a tea set as well as in a home library. I got a few shots outside with the greenery that was still hanging around then. I even posed with a beautiful Venetian doll. Definitely felt the Rozen Maiden vibe and I'm super happy to have new photos of that costume. Sure is a joy to have a wig that looks nice! Can't believe I went through 4 wigs for that costume!

Next up will be a bit of a lull. I may have a few more photos from the AN Halloween event to post in the coming weeks, but otherwise I won't have much to post about here. I am debating about going to the Holiday fan event Fan Expo is holding early next month. If I do go I'll probably go with Pan and we would re-wear our Harry Potter robes. I am in the process of buying a new wig for Hermione and a skirt for the costume. Hopefully they'll suit the character, but I doubt I would get them in time for the fan event. Over the Christmas break I do hope to get some costume work done so we'll see if I can stick to that goal.

-+- Past Updates -+-

November 6th, 2016
Another Halloween has come and gone and it was a pretty exciting Halloween weekend. Friday the 28th was the Anime North Halloween event. I keep referring to it as a dance, but it's really called a Halloween and Doujinshi Festival. It sure has changed from the last time I went in 2007! Back then it really was a dance and the dance floor was usually at least half full and it was in the largest room of the venue. Now the dance floor is in the entrance hall area, was always a ghost town and there were so many other things to do at the event. They had a dealer's and artist alley room (where the dance floor used to be). They had a screening room, panel room, crafting, video and board game areas. My favourite part was the booth selling desserts! I loved the soda jelly and the pumpkin pie crème brulee. I totally didn't expect to see anything like that. I had a really fun time! Pan and I hung out for most of the evening and made craft items. Well, I mostly watched Pan make bracelets and little pom pom and pipe cleaner spiders. It was tons of fun to Cosplay as Hermione with her as Harry! I borrowed her old Hermione wig and despite finding a skirt, in the end I wore black pants which was a much more comfortable choice! I loved the artist alley! I got a couple of cute hair bows.

I added a costume page for Hermione here. The costume breakdown mostly covers my experience at the dance. The photos are mostly candid shots from the event when Pan and I were goofing around at the craft table. I kind of love that. It was pretty relaxing and the hours really flew by! Hopefully I can attend it again next year if the event happens. I could definitely go for more of the desserts! Hopefully I'll have a few more photos to add to the gallery of me with Pan. I'm already looking forward to updating this costume and wearing it again. I would like to get a wig to do movie Hermione. Maybe a better skirt to Cosplay her first year outfit. I'm definitely happy Pan and I splurged and got sweaters at Fan Expo. It really added to the grandeur of the costume (and the warmth)!

The rest of the weekend was pretty busy and fun. I carved pumpkins with my friends on the 29th. We then watched What We Do in the Shadows which is a hilarious vampire documentary movie. I highly recommend it! We had a little party on Sunday and played VR games on the Vive and the Betrayal at House on the Hill board game. We kept the spooky theme going! Then was Halloween. Took me all day again to set up my decorations, but the kids in the area enjoyed my house. It was popular for parents trying to get Halloween photos of their kids. I go all out with lights, candles and tombstones. It took all day on November 1st to put everything away. I had to use two vacation days to put up and then take everything down. XD It's always fun though! I also found out on Halloween that my older brother got engaged to his girlfriend of a year and a half in late October and they're getting married next spring so 2017 is already shaping up to be a busy year!

Next up for me is a lull between events! Gonna have to start working on plans for next Anime North. I'm already gearing up for another year of selling at the Nominoichi, but the important thing is to figure out my costume plans. Still aiming to get a silly costume done with Pan and to make Madoka's school uniform. Hopefully that'll happen. Then my slate will be clean to pick up more projects in the summer. Let's see if I can stick to my plans or if life will throw more curveballs my way! Either way 2017 is looking to be a busy year.

October 27th, 2016
Halloween is almost here and I'm getting really excited for the holiday. This month has really been a whirlwind. I'm looking forward to carving some pumpkins this weekend and I'm continuing the tradition I started a couple of years ago of taking a holiday from work on Halloween so I can really deck out my house. I need most of the day to get everything set up, but for the couple of hours when kids are out, it's super fun. The five or so hours it takes to put everything away afterward is a bit annoying, but that goes with the territory when it comes to holidays!

Regarding this website, as of a week ago, I decided to attend the Anime North Halloween dance that's taking place tomorrow night. This is my first time going in almost a decade. I was on the fence about going up until about yesterday when I confirmed that my friends Kevin and Pan are on board with going. I stopped going to the dance when it was either the same weekend or too close to Youmacon and that was back in 2008. I stopped going to Youma after 2012, but I lost touch with AN's Halloween dances until this year when it's falling a few days before AN and I could finally consider going again. It feels a bit weird going to an event again after nearly a decade, but it sure has evolved since the last time I went! Back in 2007 it was just a small dance floor with a couple of panel rooms showing Anime and this year the event has video game and board game rooms and a dealer's room and artist alley area. It's pretty much a mini con! I'm just really excited to attend another Halloween event.

I debated for a few days about what costume to wear. In the end Pan suggested we wear our Harry Potter robes again now that we have sweaters. Pan wants to be Harry this time and I'm going to be Hermione. I did want to Cosplay Hermione and it's a bit of a rush as I only decided to Cosplay her a couple of night ago. I had to rummage around for a skirt. The only thing that I have that works is my old Orihime skirt. I can't believe I could find it! Unfortunately Hermione has a knee length grey skirt and this is a bit short for that, but it's the best I could do on short notice. I'm borrowing socks from Pan and a wig from her as well. If I do decide to Cosplay Hermione again I'll probably get another skirt and buy my own wig. This will be a fun test run and I think Hermione and Harry are great fall costumes. Maybe a little bulky for a dance, but I'm not exactly one for dancing. I'm just looking forward to the Halloween atmosphere. This will be a busy weekend for me and after October 31st things really calm down. Pan and I have some silly costumes we want to work on for AN that should be fairly quick projects and then hopefully I'll get started on my Madoka school uniform. If Pan and I get a chance to get a few photos of our Harry Potter costumes tomorrow night I'll be sure to make a costume page for that and I'll add it to the site in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I hope that everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

October 8th, 2016
Fall is now upon us and I've finally made a bit of headway with my costume photo backlog. My awesome friend Amanda posted the photos from the Barbara Gordon (DC Super Hero Girls) costume shoot that I did with her back at Fan Expo 2016 at the start of the last month. I'm really excited to have some lovely photos to share of that costume. That means I've added the costume page for Barbara to my website. You can view it here. Although the costume was a little obscure, I had a lot of fun shooting with Amanda in the park across the street from Fan Expo and beside the aquarium. The security fence made for a cool backdrop!

I also posted in my last update that it was my hope to do one or two photoshoots in September and into October. Well, things didn't exactly work out. My original hope was to get photos of Super Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Mercury and maybe Celia or Saki. The Sailor Scout costumes would have been one shoot. I finally set a date to do a private shoot with my friend Amanda, but sadly it was on October 1st, when it was both cold and rainy so Sailor Scout costumes were out. Instead I took things in a totally different direction and re-wore my old Shinku costume. It's been on my list of costumes to get photos of but it was a little bit further down on the list. I actually have quite a few photos of Shinku already, but in almost every photo I have some sort of issue with how they turned out. Whether it was because my wig was giving me problems (as I had to purchase 4 wigs for this costume due to the styling not working out) or the fact that I had a tendency to squint in almost every outdoor shot I have of the costume, I've never had much luck with Shinku. That's really disappointing because I wore the costume to several cons including 1 Youmacon when I wore it with Ammie who was Cospaying as Suigintou. I'm quite proud of how the costume turned out so hopefully my 4th wig was not a disappointment and I'll finally feel totally accomplished by a shoot for that costume. I think I can safely retire the costume after seeing the photos from this shoot. Would love to wear it again, but the wig tangles so easily and the fabric for Shinku is super fragile and a couple of seams have a tendency to tear. Anyway, I should be getting those photos back in about a month or two and I can't wait to see how they turned out.

If things work out I may try to do another shoot this year. Now that the colder weather is upon us, it would probably be something like my Harry Potter robes as I finally got a sweater for that costume. I do have a wig for Ron and Pan and I have been planning to get trio shots of Ron, Harry and Hermione with Sakura for years so maybe that'll happen this fall or winter. A girl can dream even if I'm not so excited to Cosplay as Ron. XD Gonna hopefully get working on my next costume over the next couple of months. Still aiming to start working on my Madoka school uniform because I've put that off for ages. We'll see if I stick to the plan this time!

In positive news, since it is October I've actually been to some Halloween attractions. Over the last couple of years I haven't been able to go to many Halloween events, but so far this year I've been to Halloween Haunt at Wonderland and I checked out Legends of Horror at Casa Loma. I haven't been to Halloween Haunt since 2013 so it was great to go again and see the new mazes as well as enjoy the old ones that feel refreshed after not going for the last couple of years. Legends of Horror was a new event. It's a series of scare areas that pass through the castle gardens and through the tunnels under Casa Loma. The production value was pretty high so it was quite impressive. I probably won't go to any other events this year, but hopefully it'll be a fun Halloween and I'll find the rest of the year to be productive.

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!

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