Now I know what the pen tool is supposed to do, as well as blending levels and layer masks. Many of the filters (like emboss and difference clouds) that previously seemed useless because they screwed up the colors are now making more sense.
Coincidentally, one of my team teachers asked me to design the cover for the booklet that's being put together as a project in one of my senior classes. Each student is writing a two-page spread, in English, describing some aspect of Japan or Japanese culture. She said I could just copy one of the flower paintings that I've already done in my sketchbook if I wanted to...but all the flowers I've painted so far are extremely tiny, so I didn't think they'd make a good cover graphic.
Instead, I've spent a number of hours playing around with layers and filters and masks and blending and gradients. The "tea" image is an example of one of the logos I came up with (one of the students wrote about the tea ceremony). I'll show my results to my team teacher tomorrow and see what she thinks.
Other than that, I haven't done much since Friday, save the usual shopping/cleaning/reading. I did get my hair cut today, which was the most excitement of the weekend. (It's HARD to keep up a conversation in a foreign language with a hair dryer blowing in your ears, I'll tell you.)