This is it! Done! The sketchbook is in the mail. It should get to the destination this year. I also played around with altering the blogger template. I made the middle column wider. This is something I wanted to do for a while because I had a lot of unused space on the screen and I wanted to embed bigger size photos. I am not sure if it is easier to read though. I'd love to hear which one you like best.
The main reason why I wanted to alter the template was to be able to include the slideshow in the sidebar. The images were truncated. Even like this, I had to choose a different slideshow template to make sure that the images are displayed correctly.
I am still tweaking things around here, it does not feel "home" yet.