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 -+-

May 15th, 2023
It's almost time for Anime North! I can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by! I had my badge mailed and it was a pretty big shock when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. It felt like AN was still so far off and now it's next week.

I haven't posted here in a while. Life has been challenging lately as a close family member is at the start of a difficult separation from their spouse. There is child custody involved as well questions about the stability of the ex, which has brought untold levels of stress and concern into the life of my family. Hopefully we've reached a turning point, but it's been extremely chaotic lately. On top of that, I did thankfully get a Nominoichi table. I'll be at N219. With an extra family member staying with me, it's brought even more demand for clearing out space and selling some of my pop culture and Anime stuff just so I can accommodate the new person in our house. It's making it extra stressful to prepare for the event, but I am extremely excited to be able to attend the Nomi again and for AN to be back in May. Last year felt so weird as the con was quite chaotic. This year feels like a return to the good old days.

As for Cosplay, I actually decided just a month ago to put together a new costume. With all the chaos here, I really wanted something to look forward to and with the Resident Evil 4 Remake; I thought it would be fun to Cosplay as the new version of Ashley. With everything going on, though, I really didn't want to make the costume from scratch (that and because making a well-constructed blazer in a rust colour really didn't inspire me to want to sew) but I did excitedly look for costumes pieces online. I watched as numerous variations of pre-made versions of Ashley's costume were posted for sale from Chinese sellers. I cherry-picked through the options to get her skort, scarf, blazer and turtleneck, as well as accessories like her brooch and tights. Hardest part seems to be finding a decent wig to style. I'm on the hunt for my 3rd wig for the costume as even buying a "pre-styled" wig for Ashley turned out to just be a bad wig with a really weird colour choice. Hoping I can find a nice natural colour option to style, but that might not happen for AN. Not sure if I'll try to make a wig I already have work temporarily or just delay the costume until I can get a better wig. I did do quite a bit of work so far to upgrade the costume. I had to alter the brooch I got to make it a little more accurate as well as I hand stitched topstitching to the blazer to give it a contrasting stitch element. Her jacket in the game has a contrast stitch or some sort of ribbon detailing over most of the seams that almost none of the pre-made costumes incorporated. I liked the look of the jacket I picked the best so I figured I could add the detail myself. Took a few hours and it's not the most visible detail work, but I think it looks good. Despite being a pre-made costume, it was quite a lot of work to put together in the end.

Still not sure about my overall plans for AN. I most likely won't Cosplay on Friday as the Nomi is always super hot and I'm not sure if I'll go on Saturday or skip the con and rest that day. I'll definitely be back on Sunday so I'm debating between wearing Ashley or finally wearing the Dorothy costume from The Big O that I made last year but never wore. So many choices, but so little time! If I go on Saturday then maybe I'll wear Dorothy then and wear Ashley on Sunday. It's all a bit in flux. I guess I don't have much more time to think about it as before I know it, it'll be Anime North. Looking forward to some rest before the con, but I'm sure it'll just be pure chaos. Anyway, can't wait to be back at Anime North for the 20th time!

-+- Past Updates -+-

March 28th, 2023
It's been a couple of weeks since the Nerd Market event ended. It was my first event of the year. I had a pretty good time. It was nice to be back at the U of T campus again and I loved the architecture of the Great Hall where the event was set in Hart House. It's a beautiful space. I brought way too much so setup and teardown was a challenge, but it was nice seeing some familiar faces and chatting with people. I sold a few things, not a ton. It's always hard to tell what people are going to like at different events to decide what's worth bringing. Stuff that was eye-catching and sold well at the Anime North Halloween event was not what really caught people's interest here. There was really no one thing that I cleared out at this event, but I did sell a few Tokidoki Unicorno figures so that was nice. A couple of people did want to trade Tokidoki figures, but I unfortunately already had the figures they were offering. One Sailor Moon item was stolen from the table, which made me sad. I've never dealt with table thefts before and ever since the pandemic and events restarting, at both events I've been selling at so far, an item has been stolen. Interestingly, they were both Sailor Moon gashapon items. I guess they're from a recognizable series and very small to just secretly hide and walk off with, but it's very frustrating. This time it was a Sailor Moon Star Locket and I was selling it for a very reasonable price. It makes me very disappointed in people especially since it had been an item I had debated about keeping. Anyway, all and all, I had a good time. I would consider going again, but I would really have to bring less and make the table a little more cohesive.

Other than that, things in my life have been a bit crazy. I've been dealing with some difficult family matters, so it's been a bit hard to relax. The RE4 remake came out, but I've barely played it. It looks great from what I've seen so far. I really want to Cosplay Ashley. I miss RE Cosplay so much. Hopefully things will calm down in my life soon, but it seems like it might be something that drags on for months and gets pretty nasty so I'm not optimistic.

The application period for the Nominoichi lottery for AN start at the end of this week. I can't believe it's already time to start preparing for that! I kind of wish I still had more time before the madness of pre-sales and tabling starts, but I'm really hoping I get a table and I can return to selling. I always do so well at AN and move a lot of my Anime collection that I would like to sell. Even though I'm in for a crazy spring, hopefully I can still make the best of things and have a fairly smooth process preparing for Anime North. I'm very much looking forward to attending a convention again and making Cosplay plans.

February 24th, 2023
The weeks have really been flying by! I can't believe we're already almost two full months into 2023. It's kind of a weird winter for me. Usually I spend a lot of the winter sewing a new costume, but this year I decided not to since I have such a big backlog of costumes that I need photos of. I haven't even worn the costume I made last year. I do feel a bit listless, though, but my job has been keeping me very busy, so all I want to do in the evening is relax and turn my brain off.

Not much to report in terms of Cosplay news, but Nerd Market has finally solidified the details of the upcoming event and I was able to sign up and pay for my table. The event will be held at U of T in Hart House on Sunday, March 12th. I'm not sure how it'll go and if it'll be particularly busy, but it'll be fun to get out of the house, meet people and hopefully sell a few things. I haven't fully figured out exactly what I'll bring, but most certainly some Pokemon Re-Ment figures, some Tokidoki figures, a few gashapon items and maybe a handful of scale or action figures. I'm seeing if I can bring a couple of Resident Evil Hot Toys figures. I'm in the process of selling my Hot Toys figures as they're very large, I really need to downsize my collection and the boxes are hard to store. I had seven Hot Toys figures (including one Sucker Punch figure) and I've sold two figures so far, so I'm making some progress with selling already. Would be nice to at least sell a couple locally because the shipping boxes needed to mail Hot Toys can be quite large, but I definitely don't ship anything without tons of protection in the box. Anyway, looking forward to seeing how the event goes.

Next month is also March Toronto ComiCON. I'm probably not going. I haven't been to a Fan Expo related event since before the pandemic. One of these days I will be return to their events. I really do miss the vibe and the Artist Alley. I have purchased my ticket for Anime North and I'm already hyping myself up for getting a table at the AN Nominoichi. Really hoping I get lucky and actually get a table at the event. That's pretty much my plans for the next few months. I have a few costumes I want to bring out of storage to wear to events and get photos of. Im hoping to get a shoot or two in before the hot days of summer. These days I'm just looking forward to the idea of summer. I can't wait for the warmth and sunny days, but with the way the weeks have been flying by, it'll be May before we know it!

December 26th, 2022
It's been a while since my last post and we're right into the thick of the holiday season. I hope everyone that celebrates had a nice Christmas. Mine was a little chaotic as I couldn't see some of my immediate family since they came down with a horrible stomach flu, but we still made the best of things and had a nice holiday and were planning a bigger family gathering for later.

I don't have much going on in terms of Cosplay work. My biggest geeky accomplishment of the year was probably passing Horizon Forbidden West a month ago after logging something like 90 hours playing it since I started the game at the end of the summer. I haven't touched any sewing since I was fixing up older costumes in the summer. It's been nice to take a sewing break.

I just wanted to post here a little review of the year. There was a return for me to some staple Cosplay activities. It feels like a return to normal, but at the same time, it's been a slow crawl to really get comfortable again with things. To be honest, I've been tremendously busy with work these last few months. I've definitely taken on more responsibilities and have been thriving in my role as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager at an indie game studio here in the city, but it does leave me feeling done with anything that feels like work by the end of the day. It's something I'll have to work around mentally to get back into an inspired headspace to sew again. Since sewing takes so much concentration and planning. I'm hoping to find a balance with that in 2023.

I did quite a bit this year even still. I attended YetiCon for the first time back in the early part of summer. It was quite an interesting venue and cool vibe for a con. Definitely felt like a con where you need to make your plans in advance or you'll miss out on things like booking shoots. I got to wear my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume, which was really nice. I'm so glad I finally could wear it in public after making it two years ago. It was annoying that the harsh wind at the resort jostled my hat off my head and made it a challenge to get photos of the costume. I also got to wear my Alice (Alice in Wonderland) costume to the con and I got some fun shots of my Inkling Kid costume by the pool, so I can retire my Splatoon costume. I had a good time and loved the alpine coaster, the zip line, the unique location and the heated swimming pools. I'm undecided if I would go again in 2023 if anyone had hotel room space for me. It was fun, but the con is being stripped down for next year with only a dealer's room, so it's even more so a con where you have to plan your own activities and feels a bit unfocused for making costuming plans. It is a cool location, though, and I do enjoy swimming, so maybe I will try to go again if I'm able.

Anime North finally returned and with extreme fanfare as the con was very busy and well attended. I know that created some chaos. I went to the con on the Friday and Sunday. Friday was going to be a chance to get my badge and see the artist alley, but registration was so backed up and chaotic that I only got my badge just as the Congress Centre was closing. At least Sunday of the con was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. It was in the middle of the summer for the first time ever and was extremely hot, so I skipped Cosplaying. That felt pretty weird. I also skipped entering the lottery to get a Nominoichi table and I really missed that. Would have been great to sell some stuff, but hopefully I can return to the Nomi next year. I definitely want to declutter and refocus my Anime and pop culture figure and toy collection, so I still have plenty of goods to sell (a never-ending struggle).

Next up was Pretty Heroes. It was nice to see the return of a smaller, local con. I do love visiting the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. There were some cute things to buy there and the con gave me a chance to fix up and re-wear my Madoka Magica school uniform costume. That costume had some serious wear and tear due to age, so it took me quite a few hours to fix it up, but I do love that costume so much. It's still my favourite costume I've ever made. This time I changed out the wig and was Homura instead of Madoka. I got some photos care of my friends Pan and Stillvisions and it was a fun day. I didn't participate in many con events, but the con had a fun vibe.

Last up for pop culture events was the surprise Anime North Halloween event, which took place the Friday before Halloween again at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. I was so surprised that they made it free. I was even more surprised that just a couple of weeks before the event, they announced that they would be hosting a Nominoichi event at the party. I applied for a table and thankfully got one. I made a little bit of money and got a chance to clear out a few Anime goods from my basement storage. To be honest, it was just nice to have a basecamp and a reason to chit-chat with people. It's much easier to chat with people when they're looking at things and you have a conversation starter. I wore a Sam Cosplay dress I had purchased from Spirit Halloween and had a fun evening. It definitely felt like a neat Halloween outfit for the occasion. It was great to be back at a Halloween event and Anime North put on a pretty good show.

That pretty much catches me up to now in terms of events. I did make one costume from scratch this year. I made a Dorothy costume from Big O. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. I would have worn it to Anime North if it had been in the spring. It's a pretty old school Anime costume now. I doubt many people will recognize it, but Big O is one of my all-time fave Anime series, so I feel so nostalgic thinking about it and I am excited to get a chance to wear it next year. I didn't attend any Informa cons this year. They felt a bit too big and crowded, but I might try to go to Fan Expo next year. I do miss how all-encompassing Fan Expo is for pop culture content and the fun downtown location. Regarding costume plans for 2023, aside from finally wearing Dorothy, I want to get photos of the Dilandau costume I've been off and on mentioning here and hopefully Super Sailor Chibi Moon if I can still squeeze into the costume. I also want better photos of my Sakura Kinomoto battle costume. I do have all the materials to make a Wendy costume from Peter Pan. I'm undecided if I want to make it over the winter just because I have so many other costumes I need to find time to wear already. If I don't make it for 2023, I'll definitely make it for 2024 when my Cosplay backlog of older costumes I need photos of will hopefully be cleared. Who knows, maybe I'll join the trend of buying costumes. Sure would save me a heck of a lot of time and energy. Its really hard to find time to get cracking on planning new costumes, but I do still love conventions and Cosplay.

The next upcoming event is Nerd Market 3. It's been delayed so many times, but it seems a date of March 12th has finally been settled on and the event will be at the U of T campus. I believe that since I had a table for the original cancelled event in 2020, they'll offer me a spot by default. I'm hoping to participate and I'm looking forward to it. I think I'll have more than enough stuff that if I sell well at Nerd Market, I'll still be able to fill a table at Anime North. Hopefully by the end of this year I can really reduce my collection enough that I can start skipping selling events.

That pretty much summarizes the year and looks ahead a bit to the start of 2023. It was an interesting year and I started to get back into the swing of things. I'm looking forward to venturing out more next year and perhaps leaving the country or at least the province for a trip. Whatever happens, I can't wait to see what excitement 2023 has in store. Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful New Year!

November 2nd, 2022
Halloween is now behind us and it's been a somewhat eventful last few days. I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I just decorated my house, handed out candy and watched some horror and Halloween-themed movies. I took the day off work so I could have a relaxing afternoon and evening (as relaxing as running around putting up decorations can be). Not the best weather for Halloween this year here in Toronto and it was a Monday, but we still had a great turnout of trick-or-treat and that's always fun to see. I would say over 100 and maybe over 150 kids and teens stopped by. I wish I had bought more candy.

Last Friday was the free Anime North Halloween event at the JCCC. The Halloween event was a bit of a surprise announcement early in the month and an even bigger surprise was announcing they would have a Nominoichi (garage sale) section this year. They literally announced the Nomi event and started taking table requests on Wednesday the 19th. Thank goodness my friend Pan told me about it. It was first come, first served and it took me a couple of hours to apply, so I'm surprised I got a table, but super happy I did. The only annoying thing was that table acceptance emails only went out on the 22nd, so I had to rush preparing goods for my table over just a few days. Thankfully, I was able to make an inventory list and price things with a day to spare, but it was quite a busy week for me on top of doing my job.

My friend Stillvisions was kind enough to run the table with me and he also sold a few things. I wasn't sure what to expect. I usually sell pretty well at the Anime North Nominoichi, but this was a much smaller event. It was hectic to get setup and it was slow at first, but I did pretty well. I sold a few scale figures, some Pokemon trading figures, a couple Amiibos and some Pokemon cards among other items. The only letdown was that I didn't sell more Tokidoki figures. I have so many duplicates and I was hoping to sell quite a few figures from what I brought, but there didn't seem to be that many Tokidoki fans at the event. I hope I have more luck at a future Nomi.

The only downside of the night was a mother and daughter who stole a Sailor Chibi Moon Gashapon item from my table. I know exactly who did it and it was so sad and frustrating that it was a child. Otherwise, everything went smoothly and I had a great time. If AN runs the Halloween event again next year, I probably wouldn't mind getting a table again. I suppose it depends on if I sell elsewhere and I have a lot of stuff left. It didn't really feel like a venue for big ticket items, but prize and trading figures did sell pretty well. I didn't see much of the rest of the event, but I like that you can do some crafting or play some board games. It might be a small event, but there was quite a bit to do and it was really kind of Anime North to make it free.

I wore a Sam (Trick r Treat) themed dress that I got from Spirit Halloween. Since it's a small event, it didn't really feel like a place to make a big costume debut and with managing a table, I had to wear something simple. The outfit is adorable and was a fun way to celebrate the holiday. One year I need to get photos of that dress around some Halloween decorations.

That might be the last event of the year for me. I know Nerd Market is supposedly still to come, but I hear that pinning down a venue has been a challenge, so it sounds like it might be pushed back again or cancelled. The latest I've heard is maybe it'll be postponed until January. Such a shame, but that makes me happy I managed to get a table at the Halloween event after all. I did miss just casually hanging out at the Halloween event, but it was sure nice to finally clear out a few things that I had stored in my basement! It was my first chance to sell in person since the 2019 AN Nomi and the opportunity was much appreciated.

I guess I can start looking forward to events in 2023 and, of course, this holiday season. It'll be interesting to see what cons are like next year. I'm still figuring out my comfort level with big events, but it sure was nice to socialize with people at the Halloween event on Friday and see Cosplayers. Definitely great to see community events returning, so I'm excited to see what next year has in store.

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