When I started folding origami for Thingadailies, I saw a really neat phoenix that I wanted to fold. I thought, "What could be so hard about this?"
Well, I found out. This particular bird requires some precise folding, patience, manipulation of thick areas over thin ones, patience, sharp creasing, and patience. I crumpled up several sheets of paper before I decided to start out simple and work my way up to the phoenix. That's why you've seen an owl, a crane, a butterfly, a fish, several cubes, a tetrahedon. I decided last night that the time had come to master - or at least figure out - the damn phoenix.
So I tried again. No dice. I tried with a bigger piece of paper; Bah! Finally I googled "origami phoenix" and found a swell video that showed me where I was going wrong. The next one was better; it actually had a discernible head and the tail was the right way up.
Then I folded while watching the video and fixed a couple more little mistakes.
Finally, I switched to foil paper, because it's thin, creases really well, and seemed right for a phoenix. Also, shiny!
There were still a few messy spots around the head, so I switched to silver and tried again.
Yay! I like the gold one, but I think the silver is even better.