1. depends on how detailed you want it.
You could add a quick cart, by going to eCart -> display manager and choose display type of quick cart.
this gives you number of items in cart, value, and some navigation buttons.
if you only want to show the number of items, paste the following line...
<?php echo $CARTNAME->TotalColumn("Quantity").' items in cart'; ?>
where CARTNAME is the name of your cart
2. can you post your page, it'll help someone debug it.
I haven't used static data in ecart, but i can take a look