I use a lot of scrapbook paper or wrapping paper with clear contat paper over that. It can be a little tricky lining up the patterns on scrapbook paper, but it works. There's a bunch of examples in my photos...
It's the oils...that always happens. What I do is knead out the oils. First I let the mixture sit for a few minutes, and then I take a small handful and kind of knead it in my hands till it comes together and most of the oil is out. Keep doing that little by little till you do the whole batch. Then wrap it up and let it sit. I find the texture to be smoother and better to work with.
[quote="sweetideas"]I was actually reading about that online recently. And what I found out is that before trying to bend the pvc you fill it with a fine sand and then use the heat gun and bend. The sand keeps the pvc from buckling so you can make a smooth curve. Haven't tried it yet myself though. I managed to get a decent curve just using pvc and 45 degree fittings so I didn't need to.
Good luck! I hate that when nothing goes right! That happened to me last weekend on my elmo cake. I've done like 4 other elmo's but for some reason I had all sorts of issues....hopefully that means the dragon will go smoothly. please please!