How to perfectly line up fondant stripes: use wax paper, grease them up lightly with Crisco so the stripes stick on it and begin laying out the pattern. Cut of excess or use template to cut out a design, then flip the wax paper over onto the cake and peel it off.
Links to at least 100 different types of gum paste figure or clay tutorials. I have used clay tutorials too when I can't find what I need for a cake. Hot dogs, people, animals, all kinds of figures and techniques.