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 -+-

November 8th, 2023
The Halloween season is now over and I miss it already. The Nominoichi at the Anime North Halloween event went pretty well. Weirdly, every other table in the row where Stillvisions and I were placed ended up being empty. We were the only people that showed up in the row of 4. The organizer let us spread our stuff out a bit, which was nice. Makes me wish I had brought some posters, clothing pieces and costumes to sell, but who would have expected so many no-shows? I sold a few figures, some comic books and a few small plush items among other things, so I'm pretty happy with how it went. I made a little over $550 and that was only $13 less than what I made last year, so it was a great total for a small event. I sold another Tokidoki figure so I continue on my slow path of getting rid of my duplicates. Hopefully eBay will help me clear some more. I did run down once and see the rest of the event. It looked pretty fun and they had a lot of activities going on. I bought a couple of cool 3D printed Pokemon mini jack-o-lanterns. One is Pikachu and the other is Gengar. I used them in my Halloween display at my house and they looked great. I also got an adorable handmade felt bunny trick-or-treater plush from Artist Alley so I found some neat things to buy. It was incredibly crowded, though. We sort of lucked out in that the Nomi room never seemed too terribly busy and because of the no-shows, our side of the room was hardly ever very crowded. I didn't mind not being as busy as the other side of the room, although I suppose it would have been great to sell a little more.

After the AN Halloween event, I ended taking it easy for most of the rest of the weekend as I put things back into storage and started preparing my Halloween decorations. I went to a carving party over at Stillvisions' place on Sunday to carve the nice pumpkins we got from a farm including the cool yellow ones we picked out. It was a fun afternoon. Halloween went pretty well. My friend Pan came over and helped me put up some decorations. We drove around the area for a bit in the late afternoon and checked out a few cool displays and complimented some homeowners on their decorations. She hung out with me in the evening and helped me give out candy. I made 110 bags of candy and we blew through them all. I think we had somewhere between 130-150 teens and kids come through this year so not bad at all. I had quite a bit of leftover candy, though. I brought some of it to work on Friday the 3rd when we had our work Halloween party. I decorated one of our offices, I ordered pizza and we played horror themed games from a game jam some of my co-workers participated in during the month of October. It was a great way to end the spooky season.

I do have some Cosplay news to share. Stillvisions sent me a few photos from the shoots we did on the 22nd of October of my Ashley costume from the RE4 Remake at the Scugog Shores Museum and at Guildwood. The photos are really great. I've added them to the costume page here. I'm not sure I love how yellow my turtleneck looks. I might look into getting a new turtleneck for next year when I wear the costume again. I swapped out my boots and the ones I wore for the shoot were so comfy. They'll be handy for wearing the costume to conventions. That shoot was probably my last one for the year. Next year I would like to get photos of my Card Captor Sakura Clear Card battle costume, photos of Dorothy and hopefully photos of the new Pumpkin Pie Cookie costume I bought once I alter it a bit.

As for events for the rest of the year, I'm kind of hoping to go to the Holiday Market event Pretty Heroes is planning to run on the 25th at the Science Centre. It's not very expensive and tickets give you a discount on admission to the Science Centre. I haven't been to the Science Centre in a few years so it could be fun, plus I love the magical girl genre so the market is sure to have things I would enjoy. I probably won't Cosplay at the event, though. Otherwise, I think the rest of the year will be pretty quiet (besides the usual craziness of the holiday season). If I find any other events to attend, I'll post here, but the next thing on the horizon convention wise, will probably be Toronto ComiCon in March. I haven't been to that since before the pandemic so I might check it out next year.

-+- Past Updates -+-

October 26th, 2023
It's been a while since I last posted here and we're now well into spooky season. It's been a busy last few weeks for me and we're heading into one of the busiest times of the year in my schedule. This Friday is the Anime North Halloween event at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. I was already looking forward to going in general, but last week they announced they would be running a Nominoichi event again and immediately started taking reservations for tables. I was hoping for more notice, but I was happy to try applying. I tried requesting a table when they first announced it as first come, first served, but was pretty late to submit, so I didn't think I would get a table. Somehow they lost the results and a couple of days later they ended up opening an entry form again as a lottery. I applied again, but as my luck is terrible with lotteries, I didn't get a table or end up on the wait list. I did find out on Sunday morning that my friend Stillvisions did get a table, so I'll be splitting a table to sell with him. It'll be nice to sell a few more things before the end of the year. I am hoping to stop selling at local cons and events in the next few years as it's quite stressful and time consuming to prep and run a table. I have dialed back on buying Anime goods and I'm trying to back away from Tokidoki collectibles, so I shouldn't have quite so many extra trading figures and duplicate toys taking up space in my basement. Hopefully the event goes well and I sell a few things.

In the last few weeks I have attended a few fun events. Back in early September I went to the Great Canadian Halloween Market. It's a one day Halloween vendor event. I've never been before and it was really fun. I found some great craft items including a cool cement pumpkin decoration, a beautiful amethyst coffin sun catcher and a ghost themed hand painted planchette wall plaque. It's not a huge event, but there were so many neat things to check out at the small convention centre ballroom where the event was hosted. Last weekend I went with my friend Stillvisions to a farm where they had a wagon ride, a pumpkin patch and a corn maze. I haven't been to a farm in probably 20 years so that was a really cool experience. The mazes were pretty hard to navigate, but were neat and we picked up some really nice pumpkins. Finally, Stillvisions invited me to check out a Halloween event at the Scugog Shores Museum over in Port Perry. It's a small historic site with a few old timey buildings and this particular event was geared towards children. They decorated the buildings with Halloween props and decorations. It was so much fun and everything was super cute. Stillvisions suggested that I wear my Ashley costume from the RE4 Remake and it was such a neat location for photos. The old buildings did have a great vibe for the village part of the game. We also stopped at Guildwood Park on the way back and got some photos in the forest and around the neat sculptures and gateways there. The park definitely looked like the castle setting of the game. It was pretty cold and windy that day so hopefully some of the photos turned out well. It was a really cool experience and I'm glad that I was able to get some photos of Ashley. When Stillvisions gets a chance to sort through the photos and send them to me, I'll post some here.

I did also recently receive a new costume. I bought a costume from Doki Doki Cosplay. They were selling a costume from Cookie Run: Kingdom. I know nothing about Cookie Run: Kingdom, but the costume was of a character called Pumpkin Pie Cookie and the design is very Halloweeny. I couldn't resist buying it. I got the costume a few days ago and it looks pretty cute. I'm still waiting to receive the wig. The costume is a tight fit so I'm hoping I'll still fit into it next year. I'm also surprised that they sewed gloves into the sleeves so it's impossible to go to the bathroom without taking the blouse off. I might alter the sleeves to make the gloves detachable and I might consider seeing if I can swap the zipper for a more durable one. The current zipper is a very flimsy invisible one so it's hard to get it over the waist area of the dress. It does look really cute, though, and I'm excited to see the full costume with the wig when I finally get the wig. I'll probably wear it to Anime North next year or to some other convention.

That takes us to now. Tomorrow is the Anime North Halloween event. I won't be Cosplaying because it's too exhausting with staffing a table, but I will wear a Halloweeny outfit. I am hoping to sneak away and check out some of the vendors and activities around the event. Then next week is Halloween. I'll be decorating my house and handing out candy like usual. Pretty excited to get the big display going again. Next week Friday will be a Halloween party at my work. I'll be decorating the office for that. After that I can finally rest for a little while until I have to help organize the office Christmas party in probably early or mid-December. Now that the year is almost over, time is really flying by. Before we know it, it'll be 2024 and we'll be gearing up for another con season. At least there are still some fun holidays and events to look forward to before the year is over. I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

August 28th, 2023
I did end up going to Fan Expo Canada on Thursday and Friday. I had a great time at the con! Fan Expo has a soft spot in my heart because the original version of the event (The Canadian National Expo) was the first con that I ever attended over 20 years ago back in 2001. The con has its positives and negatives. I love the venue and location because it's in the heart of the city and is easily transit accessible, but it is frustrating that it is such a corporate and money focused event. I ended up mostly shopping and checking out the booth installations and I genuinely enjoyed it.

I will say the con has some organizational issues when it comes to buying and picking up tickets. I did see a map before going to the con pointing to an area by the highway where they wanted you to go for tickets, but it didn't make sense to me since the attendee entrances for the South building are so far away from that point. Apparently, after being given bad directions twice, that's exactly where they wanted you to go on Thursday. You were meant to line up in a dark parking garage ramp that leads to the show floor in the South building, but it feels very sketchy. I arrived about 20 minutes before the con opened on Thursday and was funneled down in the tunnel as I tried to figure out where you line up if you didn't already pick up a badge (because I was surrounded by people who had their passes already). Thankfully, after about 10 minutes, I was able to reach the box office and get my pre-ordered passes. The con itself was pretty wide open on Thursday. Thursday is the best day to go if you want a chance to check out any of the corporate booths and experiences. I was able to check out the Paramount Lodge booth and get some pins and a fun photo at a Star Trek bridge photo opp and I got a cool photo in the Amazon Prime booth at the Boys Vought Tower photo opp.

I bought lots of art prints including some Disney art and several original art pieces. I also bought a cute pink sweatshirt from an artist table and a ghost stories book that I thought might be fun to read. I took a gamble on the Floor Plan Winchester Mystery House board game and I'm hoping it'll be fun for my board game group. One of my favourite purchases was a cute Kiki's Delivery Service pillow from the Bandai booth. Fan Expo was pretty much a shopping con for me.

I didn't end up Cosplaying on Thursday or Friday. I considered wearing Ashley on Friday, but I was trying to make it to the con early for a panel at 11AM. I sadly missed my bus and was delayed leaving my place, so by the time I arrived, I was 20 minutes late and the panel was full. I couldn't even see the last 25 minutes. I was so disappointed. I brought a Vulpix Pokemon Center cape that I bought a couple of years ago. I thought it might be fun to wear, but I forgot about it for most of the day. I did wear it for a few minutes while at the only panel I went to (the Todd Stashwick panel) as the room was pretty cold. He called me a dragon when he spotted me wearing it after the panel had started. lol I didn't really have the energy to wear a costume and with transit, it's a big trek to get out to the con with lots of walking. I'm not sure if I'll Cosplay at Fan Expo in the future. It's such a crowded event that it's not an easy place to find photo spots. You end up blocking traffic a lot if you get your photo taken. It was cool seeing plenty of unique costumes and unexpected characters, though.

It was a good call going on Thursday and getting my Friday badge. The con was much busier on Friday. I did a lot of shopping and it was nearly impossible to check out some artist alley tables when trying to revisit booths on Friday. It gets so packed. I hung out with my friends Kira and her husband Tyler during both days of the con and we had a great time going to the experiences and shopping. We had dinner on Thursday at Wvrst and lunch at Steam Whistle on Friday and both meals were great. I loved the dips and sauerkraut at Wvrst. I'm looking forward to eating there again. So that was pretty much my whole con experience. I ran into a few familiar faces here and there and had a nice time in the heart of the city. I definitely think it's worth going back for a day or two next year. Now at least I know where they want you to line up on Thursday to get your tickets (unless they move it again next year). I might even go to the Toronto ComiCon for a day next year in March.

Fan Expo was probably my last major con for the year. There are still some Halloween events coming up that I'm excited about including doing a photoshoot somewhere of my Ashley costume from the RE4 Remake. My friend Stillvisions suggested checking out a new haunt called Hexwood out in Pickering. We already bought tickets so I'm pumped for it. Not sure what else might pop up for late September or October, but I'm looking forward to more spooky events.

August 10th, 2023
Elemental sent me the photos from the shoot I did with her at YetiCon back in June of my Dilandau costume. The photos look great! She managed to capture me looking both epic and majestic as well as generally pissed off. lol Really impressed with how the shoot turned out and I'm glad I was able to bring the costume out to the con. Totally worth it given that the costume is now falling apart. I had to cover up a few rips in the gloves in some of the photos, but at least it was nothing too big. I'm definitely going to avoid vinyl costumes in the future. It really sucks to know after a few years a vinyl costume will start falling apart. It was nice while it lasted, anyway! I've added the new photos to the costume gallery here.

Last night I also purchased tickets to Fan Expo Canada. I went back and forth for a while over the last couple of weeks trying to decide if I wanted to go and what day(s) I wanted to go. In the end, I decided to get tickets for Thursday night and Friday. I figured I can pick up my tickets and explore more freely on Thursday when it’s not that crowded and then come back on Friday to see anything I missed, maybe Cosplay and casually check out some panels. I'll probably re-wear my Ashley Graham costume from the RE4 Remake if I Cosplay. I haven't been to the con since 2019 so I'm really looking forward to checking it out again. Hopefully it's a fun time! I'll be sure to post here afterwards with my thoughts on the event.

July 25th, 2023
Pretty Heroes was a couple of weekends ago and I did end up going. My father was able to help me trim my wig for my Sakura Haruno costume. I've had that wig sitting around waiting for a trim for over 4 years so it was nice to finally get a chance to wear it. Since the wig was finally altered, I was able to wear the costume to Pretty Heroes. I ended up going on the Saturday. I went for one day only with my friend Stillvisions. I actually didn't stick around for that long. Stillvisions was kind enough to take some photos of me in costume around the JCCC. Given the aesthetic of the series, it was a great location for character photos. We got some photos in the garden as well as indoors in spots like the graffiti wall. It was really fun to explore and look for neat photo spots.

The con itself was nice. I do love the theming of Pretty Heroes so I had a good time checking out the artists and dealers. We didn't really find much to do in terms of con events. It's a pretty small event with a very limited programming track. I'm not much into checking out panels anymore, but I did enjoy the shopping and the fun snacks. I was able to get some pretty fanart pieces of Sailor Moon and Madoka as well as some original designs. I got a super cute dice buddy figurine (which was probably my favourite con purchase). I loved the table selling different Tokidoki items. I picked up a cute hair bow and a really pretty Cinderella themed necklace. I also got some nice Vocaloid sticky notes and Q Posket Little Mermaid Ariel wedding and pink gown trading figures. It was really nice to see so many magical girl/girl power merch options.

After about 3 hours, I was done at the con so I changed out of my costume and we headed over to Oomomo (which was just down the street on Don Mills) to do some more shopping and get bubble tea from the Coco Tea in the same plaza. Seemed like a nice way to cap off the con. I would probably check out Pretty Heroes again next year. I still need photos of my Sakura Kinomoto Battle costume I made a couple of years ago and it's a great event for a costume like that so hopefully I'll be back to check it out again.

Stillvisions got a chance to look over the con photos he took of my Sakura Haruno costume and sent me some highlights, which I have now added to the updated Sakura costume page. You can find the page here. I really appreciate him shooting with me!

Things are going to be fairly quiet for the rest of the summer. It's pretty busy here with my younger brother's fiancée visiting and with my other brother having his son stay with him here every few days. It's never a dull moment. Probably won't even consider getting back into sewing until the fall or winter. I do still have material to make a Wendy costume if I feel like tackling that project for fun and I have my eye on maybe going to Fan Expo for a day next month, but I'm not sure. If I go and if I Cosplay, I would probably wear Ashley. I'll update here if I end up making it to the con. I do miss the artist alley at that event. It was so much fun to check out.

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