The best part about widgets is the quick glimpse of information. Having to press F12 to first invoke the widgets takes away some of its effectiveness.
Here is an undocumented way to run your widgets directly on the desktop!
- Launch Terminal (/Applications/Utilities)
- type defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES
- Log out and then log back in
- Start Dashboard (press F12)
- Invoke the Widget Bar (press command =)
- Select the widget you want on your desktop
- While dragging the widget from the Widget bar, press F12 to close Dashboard
- When you release the mouse, the widget will appear on the desktop