Photo of fish wall sculpture. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity

Today I met Trudy. She admired my shoes in a Charlottetown coffee shop. I have always had trouble accepting compliments (even about my shoes) but I did appreciate her admiration of my shiny Keds.

Coffee in hand, I later spied Trudy manning her booth on the sidewalk of Queen St.  Sundays are the day of the Downtown Farmer’s Market with most of the booths showcasing artisans.

Photo of Trudy Gilbertson of Cabin Fever Carving
Trudy Gilbertson of Cabin Fever Carving

I was not surprised to learn that she is an artist …. an incredibly creative one at that. Trudy’s talent is carving which is why her Cabin Fever Carving wares caught my eye.

Photo of Cabin Fever Carving sign courtesy Random Acts of Creativity

My father was a carver for twenty-five years and won many ribbons and prizes for his work. He carved mostly decorative decoys so I grew up in a world of blocks of tupelo, sawdust, wood burning and oil paints.

Unsurprisingly, I have great admiration for carvers as it is an art form that I have never attempted.  I have always figured that my block of wood would just end up looking like a much smaller block of wood.

Trudy said that she began carving decades ago after she tagged along with a friend to a carving class. Her friend’s duck has never been completed but Trudy found a passion that continues to this day.

Initially, she did carve with wood but, while living in Yellowknife, Trudy began working with bone and antler. After 16 years of residence in Manitoba, she has returned to her native PEI where she has set up a permanent Sunday booth and an Etsy shop.

Photo of antler with antler jewelry by Cabin Fever Carvings. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity

Caribou antlers and deer antlers are transformed into beautiful jewelry. These are naturally shed antlers that she has imported from Scandinavia (Caribou) and Ontario (deer).

Photo of Cabin Fever jewelry. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity

She also turns beef bones into wonderfully soft shapes like the fish necklace that I could not resist. I turn beef bones into soup broth; that is why she is the carver.

Photo of fish necklace from Cabin Fever Carving. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity

Her process of bleaching the bones is not the most appetizing but it creates a beautiful carving medium.

Photo of beef bone and antler piece. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity

I am fascinated by people who can find a creative answer to my two favourite questions: What it is? What can we do with it? Trudy’s answer is a truly Random Act of Creativity in my book!

Check out Cabin Fever Carving’s Etsy store here:






Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity - Photo of the Confederation Bridge from BordenCarelton in PEI

JUN 13th | EMBRACE YOUR GEEKINESS DAY – First, my engineering degree provides me automatic entrance in the Geek Club of the World! Second, I own an “I Love Algebra” t-shirt. It is pink and depending on how it sits on my body it sometimes looks like it says “I Love bra”. Either way, it symbolizes my nerdiness. Third, I own a VCR tape of the making of the Confederation Bridge … and I LOVE it! Not surprisingly, there are a million other ways that my dorkiness is evident but I am going to focus on the bridge.

On July 13th | Embrace Your Geekiness Day, it was incredibly fortuitous that my friend Rosalie and I visited the famed Confederation Bridge.  It was every bit as spectacular as I had hoped.

Finding a clear view of the bridge from the Prince Edward Island side was more challenging for us than expected. It’s a 13 km bridge from PEI to New Brunswick … how hard can it be to find a bridge that long?


To begin our journey, we jumped in our tiny rental car in Charlottetown.  We headed with maps unfolded toward Borden-Carleton, the site where the bridge meets the island. We decided that we would do all of our navigating by paper map rather than by using our electronic devices. That proved to be a challenge at times.

Evidently, either Ontarians need to be spoon fed as far as road names go or Islanders always know where they are going.  Streets names in PEI are either hidden, few, or invisible to the non-native eyes.

After several panicky “we need to turn here” screeches from Rosalie, we found the correct route and navigated through beautiful green potato fields and farmland with colourful clapboard houses. Note: there were many “that was where we were supposed to turn” bellows throughout the day followed by hard braking and three point turns. But road confusion aside, I am totally in LOVE with PEI!


Once we reached Borden-Carleton, the signage for the bridge itself was clear but our search came with new issues.  We didn’t want to drive ON the bridge, just take pictures. Vearing off just before the tolls, we ended up circling a small shopping area near the structure but with no view of the bridge whatsoever. Disappointed, we thought we might need to back track and find a side road leading down to ocean.


Fortunately, I spied a road as we were leaving the shopping village. We followed the quiet residential street and came to a nearly empty parking lot at the end with a PERFECT view of the bridge and a lovely lighthouse. Incredibly, this road was not labelled in any way making me think that the Islanders are actually keeping this view of the structure a secret! Or maybe there really was a sign but we couldn’t actually see it. That was to become the theme of the ten hours that we happily spent touring the west side of PEI.


The Confederation Bridge is an engineering marvel with its 62 massive ice-breaker piers and curved cantilever design. I fullly embraced my geekiness on this day, admiring this structural wonder.  I will hopefully cross the bridge one day on a return visit to PEI as I already know that I WILL return to this stunning island.

Photo of Lisa and Rosalie enjoying the Confederation Bridge. Photo courtesy Random Acts of Creativity
The road trip is just beginning … hahaha!