I looked into customizing the TwentyEleven theme page and some of the explanations seem more geared toward wordpress.org users. CSS.
I followed this very well done video by Jerry Bates. Looks like there are a lot of them to watch, so that will be fun to go through. He talks about the TwentyTen theme here, but it works just fine for this theme…and I am sure it is pretty standard. He uses a free online pattern generator called BgPatterns where you pick various images, colors, transparencies, size, canvas texture. I was trying to match the sky in the balloon header that I have up right now. After you have the pattern how you like it, save it to your computer. Use the Dashboard to adjust the Appearance and the Background. Upload your background there.
Simple and easy to understand. I think his video series will be quite helpful.
Making webpages, especially from scratch, is a little complicated. And I don’t wish to generalize, but the people who are naturally wired to see things as a series of lists, sometimes expect those of us who don’t to be more up to speed. Since I am hardly linear (well, sometimes…it depends) and it’s not like I’ve never created webpages before, but that was a very long time ago. So much has changed.
“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill
So, some things I have found more useful than others…to me. Everyone learns differently. My first stop was checking the video tutorials over at dontfeartheinternet.com (visually pleasing and well done) where I’ve already gone through five of their videos. I’m still not quite clear on how to combine a CSS style sheet with the HTML index, but I was viewing everything in the w3schools.com Try it Yourself viewer.
That said, I am typing this post in the Visual section, only going to the Text viewer to add a link here and there. I want to understand the structure to this, but my goal is more design and not so much nuts and bolts.