I jumped right into developing a WP website recently (using TwentyTen; http://ceramicjewelry.colored-diamonds.info) and, even though I'm not an experienced programmer whatsoever, starting making all sorts of changes in the style.css, and any number more in the functions.php, page.php and onecolumn-page.php, before I even learned about using a child theme and it's advantages!
All of my changes have served there various formatting purposes and I was pretty proud of myself until I found out that all these changes would be erased the first time I update WP. Unfortunately, it looks like that time has arrived.
I have now learned how to make a child theme, but haven't yet because I have totally forgotten many of the changes I've already made to the various files of my parent theme and I don't want to lose them and have to start over!
I'm afraid that if I just use the standard "@import" option for importing my parent theme, the base of my child theme would be updated as well and lose my changes as soon as I update WP. Would it work to just copy my entire altered parent theme underneath my "information header"?
Or do I really have to find unaltered copies of the TwentyTen css and php files, and find all my previous changes one at a time, save them in notepad and then plug them into my child theme?
Also, what are the consequences of using the "@import" option for my parent style.css file considering that I've already made a ton of changes?
Also, what are my options for retaining the changes I've made in my functions.php, page.php & onecolumn-page.php files since they are already all altered into my parent theme files?
Sorry this is such a long, complex question! I can include the css or php if necessary...