More distractions to keep you from work You spend lots of time at your desk, studying or working, so why not make it user-friendly and attractive...

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You spend lots of time at your desk, studying or working, so why not make it user-friendly and attractive? RedEnvelope offers a little help with these fun gadgets:

USB beverage chiller, $40. This plugs into a computer USB port and fits a can, bottle or glass. It takes little desktop space and keeps your drink at a cool 45 degrees.

Floating desktop globe, $40. Since this floats in a powerful magnetic stand, you can pass your hands above, below and around the small globe as it continues to levitate. Simply plug it in and guide the globe into the magnetic field, and it floats in space.

Both are available at or 877-733-3683.

Designer Michael Graves adds his touch to fabrics

For more than four decades, architect Michael Graves has designed such homey objects as teapots, corkscrews and faucets, and such eye-catching structures as the Disney resort hotels and the scaffolding that sheathed the Washington Monument during its restoration.

Now the 72-year-old has created a collection of commercial textiles based on his photos and drawings from the 1960s in Italy. These upholstery fabrics include his take on toile as well as depictions of Italian hills and trees, cityscapes and landscapes. Some are light green and blue, but many are drab earth tones.

At $85 a yard, the sturdy polyester can be ordered online from

Roll out the welcome mat … again

Just what the world needs: more HGTV shows.

Three new ones begin in October on the house-and-garden cable channel: “24-Hour Design,” a day-long makeover on a $2,000 budget; “Picking Up the Pieces,” about people who have lost their homes in a disaster; and “Hidden Potential,” in which homebuyers learn through computer imaging what their house could look like after renovations.

• “24-Hour Design” premieres at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

• “Hidden Potential” begins at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

• “Picking up the Pieces” debuts at 10 p.m. Sunday.

For details, go to

Compiled from the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) and Washington Post