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Posts by cupadeecakes

My guess?  The ice cream cones are just ice cream cones, with the columns running through the center.  The ice cream is fondant or modeling chocolate, and again the support column runs through the middle of the ice cream.  Once I got the column support through the cone, I would fill the empty space in the cone with something - fondant, chocolate, etc.
That's what I figured, AZ.
This is why I always get paid in full before I crack the first egg.  If she forgets, that is her problem, not yours.  If you haven't been paid, customers will use the payment as leverage to get you to drive those 20 extra miles so you can get paid for the work you've already done. I get a lot of last-minute calls and for now I turn them all down, and they usually are all cheap, get something quick customers.  I have toyed with the idea of having a couple of simple designs...
I use a carpenter's level and a long serrated knife to level my cakes.
Listen to your "Spidey Senses"!  Tell her you're no longer available and offer her the number of your most hated competitor! ;-)
I have used a pen like this before to paint / write on cakes.  Usually I will fill the pen with vodka and then dip it into my luster / petal dusts, but it might work if you put titanium white food color in there.   http://amzn.com/B0015AOVEK
I never order the flowers either, I leave that up to the customer, although I have no problems communicating with florists to make sure they understand what type / how many flowers are needed for the cake design.   If it's a business relationship that you value, I would call them and tell them about the situation and your concerns.  If they can't give you a satisfactory answer, then you can move on to another vendor with a clear conscience.
I think you have answered your own question, but if not, here's another vote for keeping away from this person.  As far as the referral/design fee, since he will not be "designing" then he's only open to the possibility of a referral fee.  15% is way too much, especially if you don't need the business. 
Great job!
I have tried every method imaginable and I agree with @Chef_Stef- I think you can get a non-crusting buttercream way smoother than a crusting buttercream. Then work with it while it's nice and cold. Http://tinyurl.com/buttercreamtut
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