DESIGN & SHOPPING: Let your fingers do the shopping

Head in a spin? Bank account empty, and still got presents to buy? Help is at hand with this list of novel gifts ranging from sailing vouchers to pull-along spiders and pashmina cushions - most obtainable by phone. By Gina Rozner
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The Independent Culture
Printed pashmina cushions designed by Kate Mitchell and filled with feather and down. Available in 14 different colour combinations, and in a range of sizes and shapes. Prices start at pounds 108.00 for a 12in x 12in cushion. Available to order direct, telephone 0171-371 0282 or e-mail design@kate mitchell.freeserve.co.uk

Wax cotton umbrellas from Turnbull & Turnbull, made from 100 per cent water-resistant wax cotton. They come in three frame sizes, and you can choose from black, tan, or olive green. The classic chestnut handles come in straight or crook styles. RRP: 25in frame pounds 59.99, 27in frame pounds 64.99, 30in frame pounds 69.99. Order direct on 0171-371 0282 or e-mail ruturnbull@hotmail.com

Sparkly firework tights for Millennium-minded kids. Black tights covered in coloured starbursts, available in four sizes: 1-3 yrs, 3-5 yrs, 6-8 yrs and 8-10 yrs, price pounds 4.95. From Cotton Moon, the children's mail-order clothing company. To order ring 0208 305 0012

Last word in chic dinner party entertainment - the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Quiz Book (Boxtree). All you need is a phone, a mobile and four or five reasonably sober people to act as the audience. A modest outlay of pounds 5.99 will secure you 1,000 exclusive questions. Available from all good bookshops and from amazon.co.uk

Those of us who are still waiting for the launch of the new VW Beetle in this country can have a temporary fix in the shape of a die-cast replica of the real thing, complete with personalised number plates. Other models available include BMW, Audi TT, a Ferrari and a Porsche. Telephone 0870 702 0212 for details

A sailing voucher from Team Sailing will give you a weekend's sailing in the Solent in a new 34ft sailing boat with a recognised sea school and professional skipper. All meals and tuition (optional) are included in the price, which is pounds 135. Telephone/fax 01705 735199

Pull-along Webster the Spider. Webster has eight wobbling legs, two bouncing antennae, a springy bow tie and makes a range of ludicrous noises as he's pulled along. Suitable for babies from 10 months. Price pounds 15. For stockists call 01703 662600

You've heard of digital, and you know that retro's hot, but as radios go you can't beat inflatable. It's cool, it's trendy, and what's more it's wipe-clean. Batteries are not included but it does come with its very own puncture kit. Just don't take it into the bath with you. Available from Argos, 0870 600 3030, pounds 9.99

Stroppy teenagers can vent their anger against the world with Pepe's limited edition T-shirts. Each black T-shirt comes in a gift box, complete with iron-on letters and a gold pen. Pepe have started them off with three words: "embrace", "reject" and "try". Price pounds 15.00. Call the mail-order line on 0171-836 7539

Down on the Farm pottery paint kit contains three ceramic animals, five paints, a brush and sponge cube, PVA varnish and, handily, an apron. For five years and up, from Debenhams and John Lewis (pounds 9.99). Call 0162 683 2172 for details

You can buy the book, watch (over and over again) the videos and marvel at Jennifer Aniston's engagement plans. And now you can play the game too. The Friends Game (the one designed by Ross that caused Monica to gamble, and then lose, her apartment to the boys) is much worse than Monopoly, but will make a child near you very happy. Argos, as above, price pounds 13.29

Anyone who has ever lain in a bath mentally rearranging the layout of their house will appreciate the Architect's Building Set. The boxes come in large and small sizes (mansion or bungalow, presumably) and contain pallets stacked with miniature clay bricks and roof tiles as well as a trough, trowel and a pack of mortar made from potato starch. You can follow the plans or design your own fantasy house, and if all goes pear-shaped, you can simply soak it in the bath and start again. Boxes cost pounds 29.95 and pounds 49.95 respectively. From the Ocean lifestyle mail-order catalogue, 0171-670 9083

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