MHL Project: Tip Basket with Foldable Legs!

The ubiquitous tip jar.

Imagine any street or coffeehouse musician and you’d see a tip jar in your mind’s eye.  I, for one, have always felt uncomfortable with it.  First off, Bronne and I have several instruments to set up, cables to plug, and sounds to check before a performance.  The tip jar is a detail we can do without.  Second, and more importantly, I’ve always felt uneasy putting it out which is strange because I’d never feel contempt for any musician who has one.  It isn’t the ‘playing-music-for-money’ part that I dislike.  I think a tip jar could be seen as another means of measuring how one’s gig went. . .

How did we do today?

Oh, we got $10.  Not bad considering there were only 3 people here.  

. . .  and, head count, applause, and compliments, aside, do I really need another means to make myself feel insecure?

But many times in the past when we didn’t bring a tip jar, people would come up to us asking for it.  Some, with their dollar bill on hand, would awkwardly stand in front of us and  place their tip on my keyboard or at my feet.  Some would actually advise us, “You guys should have a tip jar.”  So to prevent any more discomfort or awkwardness for these people who show us their appreciation, we started putting one out.

We’ve been using a small basket we bought from a thrift store for 50 cents.  One of my concerns during set-up is where to put this darn tip basket.  We can’t put it on the floor.  We can put it on a chair but, because we play an 88-key keyboard, bells, and 2 guitars and use 3 mics with mic stands and 2 music stands, we take up space more than the typical duo.  Putting the tip basket on a chair would just create more clutter.

A few months ago, we went to another thrift store and bought half-a-music stand for 79 cents.  We couldn’t find the lyre.  I had the feeling the legs alone would come in handy some day, so we bought it.  And a couple of weeks ago, I thought of putting one and one together to eliminate this tip jar concern from my mind.

All it took was a needle and sturdy twine, glue gun and sticks, a small square cardboard, clear tape, and a chopstick.

I sewed the basket to the legs by hooking the twine around the clip (where one adjusts the height of the stand).  I used the glue gun to keep the twine in place and to make the basket more stable. Finally, I wrote THANK YOU on a small cardboard and covered it with clear tape to keep it from getting dirty.  I cut a slit at the end of the chopstick and slipped the cardboard in.

I know it’s such an easy little project but it sure made a huge difference for our band mascot, Joyful, who’s in charge of the tips.  He seems to really appreciate the tip basket’s handiness and compactness.

Was it Plato who said, “Necessity is the mother of invention”? It’s true in this case.  Design doesn’t have to be complicated and practicality often brings about elegance.

How to Add an Image to your Facebook Like Badge

I opened Facebook last week and read a cry of help from comic book artist, Josh Latta, who is also making a name for himself for creating custom made avatars, or cartoon representations. I’ve yet to find out why he calls them avatards but you can ask him or find samples of his works here. Josh needed help with, among other things, his Facebook Page and Like Badge, and promised an avatard for your trouble.

I decided to help him. First off, I’ve always wanted a Josh Latta custom-made avatard for my band, He Sang She Sang. Second, Josh, whose FB status updates are funny one-liners aimed to skewer or shock, uncharacteristically sounded serious. The dude needed help and I wanted an avatard. I told him I’d help. His Facebook Badge problems were:

He wanted to have the status on his Facebook Page Badge removed. The badge status doesn’t update. Weeks before, he posted this:

ATTENTION HOT CHICKS: Send me a picture of you with my comics and I will put you on my website for free!

And more strangely, it’s not complete. Josh’s badge just said: “ATTENTION HOT CHICKS: Send me a picture of you…” which made him sound like a perv. Him possibly being one is not the point. Why include the page status if the thought isn’t complete? (Also, I was kidding about Josh possibly being a perv — hahaha!)  He didn’t know how to add his pic on the FB Like Badge. It has that default male/female silhouette. Example: The Powerpuff Girls’ Like badge:

The problem is, I don’t know anything about HTML codes.

So, unbeknownst to Josh, I did a little research and played around with the codes. It was a hit or miss process that involved a lot of hunting for words and copy-pasting. I used my own badge and posted them first on my dead blogs to see if they worked. Painstaking, yes, but a worthwhile endeavor because I succeeded!

First Problem: Removing the FB Page Badge status update didn’t require any HTML manipulations. Just in case you want to know, these are the steps:

  1. Go to Facebook Badges.
  2. Choose Page Badge.
  3. Click on “Edit this Badge”.
  4. Un-check ‘status’.
  5. Save.
  6. Then ‘Choose where to add the badge’ to get the HTML code.
  7. Do the dance of joy.

Second Problem: Replacing the default silhouette on the FB like badge with your own picture.

  1. After you’ve done “selecting a page” you like on FB Like Badge, copy the HTML Code.
  2. Now for tedious but exciting (for fastidious geeks like me) part!
  • Paste the code on notepad or word. (I chose notepad)
  • HTML codes can look daunting but treat this whole process like a game. HUNT for the name of the page you selected to like. In this example, I selected to like the band “He Sang She Sang”.  Now look for “He Sang She Sang”.