Finally, after many hours of trial and error and utter confusion, I’ve managed to create a workable custom template. It bears no resemblance to my first imaginings, and I couldn’t, as I’d hoped, find a header image that would suit shades of mauve, but I think it turned out decently. Hell, for a first attempt by someone who doesn’t even know all the basics of HTML, let alone the inner workings of Blogger, it looks pretty damn good.
Although I have to confess that I cheated a little. I downloaded a free template (from Blogs Gone Wild), made a spare copy, and tinkered around to see which bit of code did what. It hasn’t really been altered beyond the purely cosmetic, but I don’t suppose there’s much more that can be done. The header image is a bit of cheat as well; it’s not my artwork up there, it’s Joshua Reynolds’s.
But I’d rather cheat than settle for Blogger Generic. And I can always produce version 3.0 later. . .