This is why I’ve been covered in paint smudges (and a bit less active on my blog) for the past week. This “Coat of Arms” is a wedding gift for my brother & my new sister-in-law. I borrowed symbols from the newlyweds’ original family crests and mixed them up with more non-traditional imagery. Each detail has its own significance. I provided an “Official Guide to Heraldic Symbolism” along with the Coat of Arms, with explanations as follows. Some of these meanings are lifted from heraldic dictionaries and some are completely made-up - see if you can sort out which is which. Steelers Helmet: Protection & fortitude. Dog: Loyalty. Woodbine leaves: Love that does not hinder that which it clings to. Grapes: Felicity & peace. Lion: Courage. (from O’Brien crest) Paintbrush: Creation & beauty. Seashells: Journey to faraway lands. (from Ellis crest) Bee: Creativity & skill. Interrobang: Emphatic curiosity. Saltire (cross): Protection. (from Warkentin crest) Crescent: Hope & good luck. Snake: Wisdom & defiance. USB Cable: Connection & communication. Crow: Permanent settlement & quiet life. This was my first venture into the mysterious world of heraldry and I have a feeling it won’t be the last...