She didn't have the nerve to tell you the whole story--and she hoped that by shaming you, you would offer her back some money!
Yep, buyer's remorse and nothing else.
More than likely her mother (who is a Master Decorator Certified by Wally World
) and her DH completely freaked out when she told them $140 for the cake.. She had no backbone to tell them to shut up, so she cobbled together a bunch of lies about color, fondant, moistness, etc. and tried her luck at getting you to cave in.
The cake is adorable. Your interpretation is great and if she wanted an exact replica, she should have found the original decorator. I tell people that I will NEVER make an "exact" copy.
Forget her and move on. When she calls for the free cupcakes, do them at your convenience with NOTHING but a swirl on top--NO decos, nothing. She gets the "take it or leave it" option, only.