My personal achievement
Although they aren't granted by the College of Arms - as is considered by some heraldists to be required in New Zealand, I have assumed arms. You might recognise a simplified version at the top of my homepage.
The burning tower and star is a mark that I used long before my interest in heraldry, so I incorporated it unchanged. Although it's a somewhat... destructive symbol, I'd say it works well for me, and it has had a variety of meanings over time.
Since I like the whole achievement to echo the shield, mine carries over some of its elements - the stars also reflect the infinite wonder of the night sky. The wings mirror German crests composed of wings or banners, and the woman bearing them references my interest in the humanities, among other things. Her claws serve as a visual balance to the design, and reflect my childhood affinity with birds.
A blazon is a written description of the arms that all depictions are based on; anything outside it is the purview of the artist. Mine goes like so:
Argent, issuant from a flame proper, a one-windowed tower proper ported argent, and in chief a mullet vert. For mantling, vert doubled argent. For the crest, a demi-woman proper vested argent, her arms raised and issuant therefrom each a wing argent semy of mullets vert, on the forehead a mullet gules, and issuant from each underarm a claw gules. For a motto: Lucem porta in tenebris (In the darkness, carry the light).
The nature of heraldry means that vastly different results can be derived from the same arms.