Welcome to the community YA!
For your first theme or two I would recommend starting out in a different category. I would probably design for a business in mind and look at some of the top selling business templates here at themeforest.
As far as your portfolio theme, here are a few quick things:
1) I would work on your color usage. Check out http://kuler.adobe.com/ for color scheme ideas.
2) Your elements need better contrast and division.
3) Your typography needs some work. Try not to use all caps unless you have a reason.
Anyway, hope those few things help. Check out http://radiiate.com/2008/12/17/top-100-web-designs-2008/ for some really fantastic designs as well as the fantastic designs that ThemeForest has available. You’ll get a better idea of what people are looking for.
I like what you’re going for, here! I especially appreciate the subtle texture and simplicity you’re striving for. I’ll echo much of what xmdsys said. Increase the contrast of the text for readability. Much of the elements float on the page, so I’d use some tactic to delineate.
Thanks a lot, xmdsys and AmandaLinder! I’ll try to follow your advice.
Along with the issues mentioned above, the biggest issue I see is the background. It would be very hard to recreate that in HTML format without having a HUGE background file.
You need to remember that the background will need to be something that can repeat across the page, no matter how wide the screen size is.