Right, today's final result has been the work of many hours over many months: I finally finished designing my very own coat of arms!
I must have been about 14 years old when I first wanted to do this. A few months ago, the idea resurfaced and I started working on it again. Not long after my star project began, I contemplated the possibility of adding a star (or several) to the design and I played around with it a little. I always wanted the whole design to be as close to the heraldic rules as possible while still being personal. Eventually, I found a way.
For a long time there were only the snakes in the middle still missing (apart from the stars), and the barn owl needed a colour change. So that's what I did today - along with adding the stars. The snakes still need some work and the colouring really isn't very neat yet, but I'm quite happy with the overall look. :)
There are some rather lengthy explanations about all the single parts, but I'm not going to start on about that now - I seriously need to get some sleep. Maybe some other time.