Whip up super-cool art objects with ImageChef

Thanks to this free and fun service, you don't have to be artistically inclined to generate some mighty nifty images.

Want to soup up your Facebook profile picture? Create some custom artwork to go with, say, a party invitation? How about generating some fun and eye-catching photo art for your blog? For all this and more, head to ImageChef, where you can whip up cool images in a matter of minutes.

The site offers four main categories. In Sketchpad you can assemble a collection of images and symbols from a sizable, searchable library. Simple tools let you add text, upload photos, and change the color and fill pattern of each object. When you're done, you can save or share the finished product.

Poetry Blender overlays text, symbols, and/or photos on your choice of about a dozen animated backgrounds, which you can likewise save, share, or embed. These are great for sprucing up, say, a blog or MySpace page.

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I'm particularly fond of Word Mosaic, which turns your text into a mosaic in the shape of any of ImageChef's aforementioned symbols. Or you can form your mosaic from initials, which would be neat for a party invitation or the like.

Finally, ImageChef offers several dozen kitschy, cute photo frames. Just upload your photo and center/resize it inside, say, a pendant or record-album cover. The same sharing options apply. Fun stuff.

ImageChef is free to use, though you get a bit more functionality by registering (also free).

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