Yes, welcome to the brand new look. I did it mostly for getting more real estate on the page. On my older template I was forced to use the hard-coded widths because the borders on the post pages and on the sidebar were images rather than being true borders. So I was able to stretch the containers but I could not make the images look aligned.
So I created a test blog, and practised some modifications (huge thanks to Firebug extension – helped me a lot in CSS nonsense) and finally I got what you see. There may be some kinks, but I think I have cleared most of the issues and it seems to be ready to go.
Some of the stuff that I had put in, was a one-time thing that I did not even remember how to do it! How to do it? I started thinking hard about how to do it – looked for the backup files from my old blogger template and could not find it.
Guess what helped? Google cache! Yea, google cache. Just like I had used it when I moved from classic to new blogger, I had to use google search, open my blog from their cache, view page source and reverse engineer some of my widgets. Phew, after some careful (and unnecessary, if you ask me) manipulations, I *think* I am back up.
Blogger sucks because they did not transfer my widgets as they were. They should not have me jump through such hoops just to move from one template to another. I understand if I have made changes in my template, but not for widgets.
But in any case, this is a new start. Let’s hope I am able to put some more stuff for my readers in the newly acquired real estate.