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Shopgirl: Bracelets, concerts and destinations

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WHAT’S TRENDY

Summertime brings memories of camp and crafts for me. One of the coolest trends I’ve seen recently is the embellished friendship bracelet, just like we all made as kids but with a grown-up edge.

Using embellishments including cone studs or rhinestones, those chevron-braided bracelets can go from blah to brilliant in no time flat.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to remember how to braid these bracelets, and the embellishments can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s for almost nothing.

Pinterest is a great resource for finding step-by-step instructions to get started, but go to the craft store with an open mind to make the creation truly your own.

WHAT’S AFFORDABLE

Hopelands Summer Concert Series is back, with free live concerts every Monday evening in the beautiful Hopelands Gardens in Aiken.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. and range from big band swing to the Aiken Civic Ballet.

No alcohol is permitted, but feel free to bring a picnic dinner. Well-behaved pets are also welcome but must remain on a leash.

The concert this Monday will be by Aiken Brass, a local brass quintet. The group has been performing together for more than 15 years, and its members have performed with numerous church choirs and with notable groups such as the Kings Brass.

The concert is held on the Windham Performing Arts Stage, and in bad weather is moved to the H. Odell Weeks Activity Center.

WHAT’S NEW

On The Way is a great new take on MapQuest, Google maps or any other online mapping service. By typing in your start and end cities, you get a lengthy list of interesting stops along the way.

I mapped Augusta to Jacksonville, Fla., and got suggestions from the Savannah College of Art and Design’s art museum to a local burrito joint outside Jacksonville.

Once you tell On The Way where you plan to stop, it programs those detours into your map and e-mails directions to you.

If there’s a particular city you want to stop by on your way, you can plug that in, too. On The Way is a Web app for now but is under development for mobile devices soon. Go to www.onthewayapp.com to get ideas for your next road trip.

SHOPGIRL

Read Staff Writer Gracie Shepherd’s Shopgirl blog on fashion and bargain buys at augustachronicle.com. Reach her at (706) 823-3217 or gracie.shepherd@augustachronicle.com.


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