It's taken me a while to post these pictures, partly because I've been recovering from the trauma of recutting the same text a total of six times! But the results have been worth the effort.
A chronological photo of my efforts, oldest on the left...
As you can see from the photo I have been refining my technique, and the materials used. The first effort was using an ordinary craft knife on Tru-grain, which is used in silk-screen printing. The second effort was on the sort of clear polythene I use for wrapping prints. I used an X-acto knife, or its equivalent, but I felt the result was too flimsy and it was very difficult to work, so I recut it all again on Tru-grain using the better knife and I would have been happy..... but! I got to a web page about paper cutting, through a devious route via a Blogspt 'blog of the week', and saw just what can be achieved with a little more patience and better motor control, and I realised that what I'd done so far was clumsy and that I needed to do it again.
This time I cut two versions, both of which I will use. I decided that as I'm entrusting the whole enterprise to the wiles of the Australian postal service I ought to have a second one at home as insurance, and that anyway, a second one would allow me to exhibit it here. Unfortunately I had to cut the two versions separately because it was impossible to cut through two layers of Tru-grain along such narrow lines, but I am pleased with the results. The poem is much more legible, and the weight of the lines and the weight of the materials are appropriate. It took about 10 hours of solid work to cut the two pieces of plastic! And I have bruised fingers and strained elbow and wrist joints in commemoration.