Use these stools until the cows come home. They're designed by artist John Sollinger and are the height of barnyard chic. Sollinger is from Vermont and a friend of black and white cow artist Woody Johnson, for those who know and love Johnson's Farm Art. They make a superb bar stool for the country boy who makes it big in the city.

Cow Stools. Three sizes. $65 for the 12-inch stool; $105 for the 24-inch; $125 for the 29-inch (standard stool height). Smull's Gallerygifts, 2031 Florida Ave. NW at Connecticut. 232-8282. NEAT NOTIONS

Here's attractive protection from naughty needles -- a wooden thimble and a compact needle case. Artist Susan Duffney puts a drop of paint here and there to make these mundane notions look special and delicate. Her bigger pieces are wonderful too: letter boxes, jewelry cases, purse mirrors and country plaques.

Wooden Thimble. $2. Needle Case. $2.60. Add 75 cents shipping and handling for every 1-10 items ordered. Susan Duffney, 20137 Darlington Dr., Gaithersburg, Md. 20879. 301/869-0886. Schifferstadt Gallery, 1110 Rosemont Ave., Frederick, Md. 21701. 301/663-1611. DRY OFF

Swimmers, prove you are not all wet with this nifty, chamoislike towel to whisk away the dampness. It's 17 inches by 13 inches, made of polyvinyl and can be used like a body sponge. Simply wring it out and store it in its own plastic container between swims. In the container, it stays soft and pliable and frees it's owner from soggy, smelly towels in suitcase, car trunk or athletic bag.

"Watershed" Swimmer's Towel by Speedo. $8.99. Natural or light blue. All Irving's Sport Shops. BEAUTIFUL BLUES

Author Williams Warner called them "Beautiful Swimmers" but most of us call the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab "good eatin'." Now you can share this local delicacy with your landlocked relatives in the Midwest or with those lobster snobs in New England. For yourself, think of all the money you save at these prices when you cook your own at home!

Chesapeake Blue Crabs. $49.95 for two dozen crabs, steamed and spiced, next day delivery anywhere in the country. AIR CRAB, 301/268-6245 for phone credit card charges.