Made for the "weekend challenge" at Blenderartists.org
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
This picture is the first time I have set out to do a project "right"; How everyone says you should do it. Fortunately for my 3d modeling, and unfortunately for my pride, it turned out great. In this case, "doing it right" meant starting with a tiny thumbnail sketch in value. I did probably five or six of these before it looked good. Then I did three or four more in color. Once the thumbnail was done, I did a concept sketch. Nothing too complicated, but it had the layout and key features. After that I did the modeling, then the textures and lighting, then refined everything. Overall it took a couple of days, or probably one full day of solid work. After the competition (which it won! Yay!) I continued to refine it with some critique from the guys on the Blender Artists forum. The result, you see below.
Frustrating, because you don't see much progress to begin with. Worth it however, because the end result is way better than winging it in the beginning.
The snake candlestick is available over at Sketchfab.