And all the pipe cleaner animals stood erect-- a fierce wall of nylon and wire defiance--
with one voice they exclaimed, "We shall not be silenced!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Customizing Your Facebook Widget

I put my Facebook Fan Box widget on my blog a couple of days ago (see right hand column and scroll down), and I love how it looks! Rather than the text link to my Facebook fan page that I have under the "Important Links" section, I now have an attractive Fan Box that shows my fans on facebook, and hopefully entices others to click and join! Have you gotten yours yet?

Of course, as I did with the Etsy Minis on my blog, the code for the Facebook Fan Box had to be modified a little to make it fit correctly. If you have a blog on blogspot, the Fan Box may be too big initially.

Here is how I got the code for my Fan Box from Facebook, and how I implemented it to fit correctly in my blog:

1) Go to your fan page in facebook.

2) Click on Add Fan Box to your site

3) This will take you to a page where you can set up your widget. I chose to check "Include Fans" only. The streaming version takes up too much room in my opinion, but you can check it if you like.

4) Copy the code generated and add it to your blog layout (this would be a gadget in blogspot).

Now take a close look at the default widget that is produced in Step 3 (sorry for the bad resolution). Do you see how it is wider and has more fans listed than the widget that is in my blog? There are a couple of parameters that you can change in the code to get the same results as mine. Or you can play around with the numbers and see what suits your blog best.

In the code that is generated, the default number of fans listed is 10, and the width of the box is 300 pixels. I changed these two parameters to make my widget fit better:

- To change the number of fans, look for the text in the code that says connections="10" Simply change the number 10 to the number of fans you want to display. In my case, I changed it from 10 to 6.

- To change the width of the widget, find the text in the code that says width="300" (which should be right next to the "connections" text) and change the 300 to a smaller number to make the box narrower, or a larger number to make the box wider. In my case, I changed the number to 200. Depending on your blog layout, this number can vary.

And there you go! I hope this helps you all put a nice Facebook Fan Box on your blog!! Good luck, and convo me if you need help!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Featured Fuzzy - Baby Ostrich

It all started with a lone pink pipe cleaner in my stash. And then a little yellow felt. And an idea that I had for how to make felt beaks for my future birds. When the head was formed, the word "ostrich" floated into my head. One google search for ostrich pictures, and8 pipe cleaners later, viola! Meet my latest intricate Fuzzy, the baby ostrich. Now on Etsy. What should I name her?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July and The Wonderful World of Project Wonderful

Happy 4th of July everyone! I'm going to the San Diego County Fair today to watch fireworks and then watch Smokey Robinson in his post-fireworks show! I love Smokey's songs, but I hope he'll be able to move his mouth to sing, given all the plastic surgery/botox he's had in the past years!

I'll also be checking up on my Fuzzies that are on exhibit at the Home and Hobby competition! Hope they're all still there, and that nobody took any of them. It turned out that they didn't win anything. I guess this year there just weren't any judges with a penchant for pipe cleaner arts. Maybe I should submit them to the miniatures competition next year. Either way, the submissions cost $6 each and you get a free fair ticket for participating! Tickets are normally $14, so it's a nice discount and totally worth it!

Also, a quick note, yesterday was a record day for new Fuzzington followers! I received 50 visitors to this blog, 6 new blog readers, 20 new twitterers, and 8 hearts to my shop! Now I just need to work on getting traffic to my facebook fan page. Thanks so much everyone for all of your support!!

Now on to project wonderful. My latest obsession are free ads on Project Wonderful! In the past, I had heard about it, but I figured you had to pay for ads. But then one day I saw a listing in the Etsy forums for a free project wonderful ad! So I signed up for a PW account, and set up an ad square. By the way, the ad square that I set up looked so simple and cute (see below). I'm thinking of switching my banner to something that looks like that.

Anyhow, I have since been keeping an eye out for those "Your Ad Here $0" messages on PW. I think it's a great way to attract people to your blog. I've found a few blogs that I really like through these searches. My only question is, how effective are these PW ads, and why do people offer free ads? Is it to bring traffic to your site even if you don't make any money on them? Can you make money with free ads? Also, does anyone get a lot of traffic from their paid/free PW ads?

I don't think I really understand this whole PW thing yet, or how it works. All I know is I get lots of emails from them about how I am the highest bidder, and then I've been outbid, and then I'm the highest bidder again. I get these like 4 times a day, and I'm not sure how I even become a high bidder again with $0. There seems to be something almost philosophical about that: How do you become the highest bidder with nothing? What is zero dollars higher than? A negative bid? Or for you math geeks, an imaginary bid, as in $4i?

I've also signed up to be a publisher, but haven't heard back from PW yet. Perhaps if and when I start publishing my own ad spaces, I'll understand why I want to put $0 ads on my site.

Any tips or advice from you wonderful PW users out there?

I'll look forward to your responses. In the meantime, heave fun porking out today! I know I will on funnelcake, hotdogs, and lemonade!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Etsy Mini Custom Code For Your Blog

I've decided to start featuring my favorite shops on my blog using Etsy minis for those shops and posting them on the right side of my blog (scroll down on the right).

The only problem is that I wanted to put a 1x1 Gallery Etsy Mini for each store, but I didn't like how Etsy did theirs. This is what theirs looks like if you take several Etsy-generated 1x1 minis and post them to your blog:

See how it looks if I post multiple shops this way? I see all that text that says "Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade," under every listing, and it just seems seems so repetitive and takes up a lot of room on my blog. So I decided to remove it so that it looks like this:

I love how it looks a lot less cluttered! It may not make a huge difference with only two shops, but with 5 or more, it sure can!

How did I do this? I generated an Etsy mini for my store in Etsy to play with, and edited the flash code that is generated (guess my Engineeering and Computer Science degree finally paid off!). I tried to post the code at the end of this blog entry, but blogger actually uses the code and you can't see the code. I've posted the code in the Etsy forums at this thread:

Now, here's another trick. Rather than asking people to send you their Etsy minis, you can just change any references to the user ID and name of the Etsy shop that you need an Etsy mini for. When you look at the code for your Etsy mini, look for text like that shown below, and the fields that I've highlighted in red:

object data="

So, for example, the code that I posted in this blog entry is for my store. To change it to an Etsy mini for MyDadsHands' Etsy shop, I would replace my user ID, 6289001, with hers, 7220882, and my Etsy account name "Fuzzington" to "mydadshands.' As far as I know, there are only two places in the code that looks like this, so you should be changing the user name and IDs twice each in any Etsy mini code. Make sure you type in the name of the shop exactly as it is shown in the Etsy user name, and make replacements for all id's and usernames in the code. You can use this trick with any code that you get for your Etsy Mini, regardless of the dimensions of your mini.

I think any Etsy seller would be ecstatic if y ou went ahead and made a mini-Etsy for your blog, but as usual, make sure you let them know you did as a courtesy. I'm sure they would love to know!

For those of you who would like to try this for Etsy minis larger than 1x1, the same kinds of modifications that I made to my code apply. If you need some help, feel free to convo me.

Hope this comes in handy for your blogs!!!