I made it!
With a little help from Maggie's fertile imagination, that is. She proposed the silhouette of a young woman who resembles her in profile, and I added that. Also, I thought her colors were a bit too tame and needed to be more vibrant. Also, the previous Liberty Bell was also too tame. I added one in color, with its brassy shine. Brassy like Maggie! I also, at her request, modernized the bell a bit. She likes blue and brown, so I added a blue border around the banner.
I tried several icons but she didn't like any of them. Finally, realizing that simple themes are best, I added an open notebook with a red quill pen laying on top of it. She liked it, and my plans to commit hari kiri were averted.
Blog banners are very personal and it sometimes takes a while to get into the blogger's head and see what inspires them. Knowing what you want is the hardest part. Sometimes you have to think about it and let your subconscious dredge it up.
As for my own blog banner, this wouldn't work. No one wants to see an angry troll smoking a cigar on his way to taking a nap. So I created the alternate banner for my site you see above.
See Maggie's new banner here.