I feel for you. I spent 2 days redoing mine a while back. It is not you but the new templates, etc in blogger I think. It does not like some of our favorite add ons, like shabbyblog backgrounds. I found that editing the photo for the header in picnik throug Picassa worked better for me. I gave up on the background for the page (didn't like what was offered on blogger), and just made it wider with larger print. And actually the whole page loads faster now. Keep at it till you find what works for you.
Keep going. One suggestion, set up a "test" blog, no one has to see it if you don't want them too. Just pick a name and go for it. Then set it up and play with it and get it to where you want it then you will be able to do this one with no problem. I do blogger in draft so it is easy with all the choices they have for backgrounds, fonts, colors etc. Wish I could help you.
I love your comments!