2010 Toronto International Film Festival

For years, I would always miss out on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) because I was away at university during the beginning of September.

Then last year, I was finally in town and I was lucky enough to score some free passes from my employer at the time.  I managed to go to the premiere screenings of Glorious 39 and Harry Brown, both at the Elgin. Both were great movies and I had a lot of fun.

I really got swept up in the magic of watching a movie with those who worked hard to make it. Nothing made me more excited about the essence of a film festival than at the end, when we stood up to applaud their work. I knew I was lucky last year and I walked away thinking that I had to get tickets for this year’s festival.

So this year, I teamed up with a friend and we bought a ticket package and selected a few movies (which wasn’t an easy task – there are still so many others I want to see). Here are the movies we’re scheduled to see this year:

I will let you know what I think of each movie after the festival ends. Are you going to TIFF this year? If so, what are you planning to see?

Taking the first step

“The secret of getting things done is to act.” – Dante Alighieri

Over the past few years, I’ve been slowly accumulating a list of things that I want to do and learn. Some may call it a bucket list of sorts.

The list is starting to become a bit lengthy, but I am well aware that many of the things are easy to do and complete. I just need to make the effort and do it.

So I’ve decided to dive right in and use this blog to document my experiences.

The first one: take sewing lessons.

Deciding to actually go through with it and then deciding where to take lessons were hard decisions to make. My mother is a sewer and so is a friend of mine, but when it came down to asking them to teach me, I knew the main issue would be timing.

It’s a lot easier and convenient to take classes close to where I live – worth the price I’m about to pay.

I’m actually quite excited about it and my first class is in a few weeks. Learning to sew may not be the hippest or most exciting thing, but I think it’s kinda cool. It’s a skill that I’ve always wanted to learn (beyond the basics of fixing a button) and who knows, I may discover a passion I never thought I had.

Plus I’ll finally be able to hem all my clothes now – a vital skill for someone as short as I am.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and I’ll share what I tackle next on my list.

Photos: Bucket List – Katie Harris & Sewing – Rodrigo Campos

Harry Potter

I went to my friend’s cottage a few weekends ago and decided that the most appropriate reading material for me to take along with me were the first four books of the Harry Potter series.

I’m currently making my way through the series (it’s only the second time I’m reading it) and I’m falling in love with it all over again.

I was looking up something about the series and I somehow stumbled upon this fantastic piece of fan art. I absolutely love it and I just had to share:

Artwork by HitoFanart


P.S. Yes, I know that I am quite the nerd and that I have such a weird variety of interests and tastes.

Elephant parade

I’ve always loved elephants. Ever since I completed a project on them in elementary school, I’ve been really keen about finding ways to support and protect them.

So I was excited to find out about Elephant Family this month – a small but ambitious charity that’s working to save the Asian elephant from extinction and abuse.  While it’s based in London and I haven’t yet decided how I’m going to reach out to them to give my support, I immediately fell in love with their Elephant Parade and wish I could have been there to witness it.

The Elephant Parade, which took place in May, had Britain’s leading artists and designers create brightly coloured elephant statues and strategically place them across London. The goal was to raise awareness and funds, and have people sign their petition to save the Asian elephant. Millions of people would have the seen the elephants, and they ended up raising over £4 million – which is fantastic!

They promoted it using this video as a call to action:

Aren’t these elephants lovely? I would have spent a few hours roaming around trying to find all of them. Here are some photos I found on Flickr (click each to go to the photographer’s page):

Learn more about the cause and see more photos of the parade on the Elephant Family website.