thank you both ! ... unfortunately for this one, it was too late and the 'process' had already begun ...
BUT those are both great ideas ... Mona, i did try to find the silk mat, but didn't really see anything ... this may have been the problem -- poor silk-making skills
... but the idea with the toothpick and the polyester batting probably would have worked. i'll file that with the other 'tricks'
this is a GREAT forum ... keep up the great work !