I saw one decorator on U-Tube place her dam - in from the edge about a half inch - then fill and when they pressed down on the cake to squeeze out any air, the dam fills in the area but doesn't squish out the sides.
I thought that's how we all learn. Confidently say OH SURE, then practice, practice, practice until you feel confident with the design. Just happened to me today. I took a cake order I'm scared stiff about BUT, have already thought of a couple easier ways of accomplishing it. and yes, I plan on practicing like crazy.
There's a non-fade purple and non-fade pink on the market that I really love. I would airbrush it. If you go to any large craft store, their cake decorating department usually has a few cans of airbrush spray, Duff's and Wiltons.
The beauty of gumpaste is that the dryer you keep them, the better they act. Keep them out over night and they should dry off enough for you to dust them. Then place them in a cake box on a cushion of paper towels.
I'm so glad you have friends on cake central to vent to but you need to let go of it or it will grow inside of you like a cancer. Be bigger than her (which won't take much effort - right?), let it go, start building your own portfolio and wait for it, wait for it..............soon, you'll hear that she got what's coming to her and be careful what you say to your customers about her because you never know who your or her friends are............never!
I think I can help you. I seem to be the twig queen. I like your idea of putting a wreath around the base of the whole cake, but you might mar the icing on the bottom tier. What if you put a 2 to 3" tall foam cake dummy on the table, covered it over with a nice fabric or burlap cloth. Then slip the wreath over the top of the dummy and down onto the table then place your cake on a foamcore plate and put it on top of the burlap covered dummy. Then take real but very...
I also have the Silhouette SD but don't know what you mean by the Blade? I love my Silhouette with the Make The Cut software, but wish I had more time to play with it. The information she sends you is awesome.
I agree, I've tried baking alcohol into cakes only to have the flavor disappear. Now I bake a regular cake then pour the brandy over the cake. For best alcohol flavor in icings I would use an extract. There's some on the market like Irish Creme, Champagne, Rum, Etc. They're concentrated and therefore intensified.