How do you eliminate your header? In blogger it's not obvious - there might be a better way but this is how I did it.
I did this tutorial this afternoon using a private blog that I have just for testing out template code and things like that...
So here we start with a generic blogger template:
Click on "Template" then on "Customize" then I switched to a simple template
Click over to "Layout"and pick a sidebar
Click on "layout" and then click on the header gadget. Click "remove" to remove the header.
Click back to your template and then click "adjust widths" set the sidebar to the width to 400px
Make sure that you re-size your sidebar header image to 400px as well
I ended up adjusting this to 300px later
Upload your image to your favorite image hosting service and load it as a gadget.
You may need to adjust the title of your blog...
Adjust the title of your blog to 1px & change the color of your title and description to white.
Here is what it looks like with a canvas texture background.
I also tried it with the chevron stripes... which I'm really into right now. (I had to zoom out just a little to get his screen capture)
I think this layout looks really good on a white background - here is a screen capture with white background - but is it too boring?
I didn't mess with the sidebars much since there's lots and lots left to do...
Here's yesterday's layout, in case you missed it.