I use microsoft picture it - It has been the best program for me and I do tons of graphics and layering. It is a memory hog - but I can wiz thru edits and cutouts and drop shadow, layer and all that quickly. Most people who visit and need photos edited or a graphic designed are just amazed on how great the program is. They don't make picture it anymore - they gone to a different program. But I use microsoft picture it 2000 and I tried a later version - but keep coming back to this one. I also have the adobe stuff and many others - but I just find my using picture it. You can usually find it on ebay for around $20 to $30. I do lots of logo work with it.
Some you can see are www.mannsquarterhorses.com (bridge), www.cowgirlbroker.com (was gal and her horse - designed from a photo), www.banjoranch.com (used a photo of their ranch and added some barbwire and lettering) and www.cornerstoneranch.com is my new site if I ever get time to finish it - but the main page top I created it from picture of our field and cut outs I did on horses and such - all layered and special effects done.
Anyway that is just a few.
Compliments on your graphics, Kim......