One setting to utilize is the macro setting. Don't be scared of it. Yes, you can get some good macro images with a point & shoot camera. (Here we've taken some test images with the Canon G9, and a box of Q-tips).
If you're unfamiliar, the macro setting is usually shown on a cameras mode dial as the flower symbol, or it may be in the menu as well. (For the following shots, we used a mini flashlight to backlight the objects).
While a point & shoot won't get you as sharp of an image as a D-SLR will, it still works for taking close-up pictures in a jiffy. The G9s macro quality is pretty good. Shots like these can be done on most point and shoot cameras with no fancy equipment required. Also, omething to keep in mind, the macro setting worked the best when the camera was put into manual focus.