For those who'd like the basics of working with a blogger template, I thought I'd make customizations to this blog one slow step at a time and explain what I did here.
Two general tips to start with:
Before working on your blog template, it's a good idea to save a copy of your current template in case you decide to go back. I copy and paste the entire template into a text file and save it for later. Alternatively, you can set up an alternate blogger site (for free) to test things out on. (You can see my rather messy test site here - I'm testing out a new feature I just found on blogger today to add a photo to the page header background using their automatic tools rather than having to change the coding).
Use the "preview" feature whenever you customize your template. You can always go back quickly if you make a disaster of things (and believe me, I've done that!).
My first change on this blog was to choose a new template that's a little easier to work with (particularly if I want a background photo around the edges later on). I chose the "Rounders" template (there are several different color options under the "rounders" template - choose whichever you like - I'm going to be changing a lot of colors anyway). Rounders also gives you a lot of options under "Fonts and Colors" (get to this with the "Template" option at the top of your customization page). There are wide option varieties between different templates.
What I've done so far is gone into the "Fonts and Colors" section and made changes to the following:
Page Header Background Color
Top Sidebar Background Color
Blog Title Font (you can adjust size, use bold or italics and change font styles here).
Customizations in the "Fonts and Colors" section are the easiest way to change your blog, since you don't have to dive into the "edit template" segment.