Align to Last Object

What is “Align to Last Object?” Well, for the first 3 years of using this software, I didn’t really think about it. However, after I started helping my rhinestone customers learn the various methods of creating and editing patterns, I discovered that the shortcut keys of “R, L, B, and T” could be very handy for aligning circles either vertically or horizontally. The only problem was that I could never figure out exactly which circle was being used as the reference point, i.e. which circle was the “last object.”

I did figure out that if I performed a marquee-select of a group of objects, that the last object was always the last one in the group either to the left or to the bottom of the selection. But that really didn’t make the function all that useful since the last one in the marquee-select could very well NOT be the one I wanted as the alignment point. So, I posted over on CADLink’s Forum, received a response, and now understand how to preset which object to use as the reference object for alignment. This makes the function a LOT more usable. Have a look at the video:

Align to Last Object

This function will obviously be very handy for those tweaking rhinestone patterns, especially when using the hot keys of: L, R, T, B, or even the C and E. But others who are doing design work in KNK, ACS, or DM will probably also occasionally find the need to align objects specifically to another.

Before I close, there have been a few changes made to this site in the past fews. First off, Chad added a Testimonials section to the lower left hand column. He also added a new Gallery plug-in and I’ve converted over one of the photo albums: 20 Plus Materials Cut on a Klic-N-Kut. See if you like the new format. I’ll gradually get the other albums converted. Finally, the video capturing software used for today’s video is Camtasia Studio 7 and does it ever ROCK! It allows me to add features such as showing which keys I’m pressing on the keyboard, larger cursors, zooming, titling, and more. Thanks to Melinda Stolarek for convincing me I HAD to have it! 😛 I’m still using the one month free trial, but will bite the bullet and order it when the trial period runs out.

Judy’s Key Rings

For the Scottsdale Klic-N-Kut Retreat in February, Judy Keating surprised us all with paper cupcakes containing a small flashlight and a cute clay cactus on a key ring. She also had taken the time to create an excellent tutorial on cutting clay on the Klic-N-Kut. Thank you, Judy, for sharing this wonderful tutorial and allowing me to provide it to the readers here. While it was written for the Klic-N-Kut, owners of other cutters should pick up some useful tips, as well.

Judy has also shared the cactus file, which was originally designed by her friend and host of the Scottsdale Retreat, Lynn Keniston. Thanks to Lynn and Judy for generously sharing your work. And…. Judy shared the cupcake wrapper file, as well, that was made by welding this cute cactus to her template.

PDF Tutorial on Cutting Clay

Cactus Die Cut in KNK Format
Cactus Die Cut in SVG Format

Cactus Cupcake Wrapper in KNK Format
Cactus Cupcake Wrapper in SVG Format

Disproportionately Resizing Fold-up Projects

Thank you to Heather L for today’s subject. Heather sent a fold-up gable box pattern that was sized to ~ 10 x 6.5. She wanted to make it as large as possible for a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock. Now the issue with resizing fold-up patterns is that you have to keep the overall width and height proportional or your pattern will not necessarily still fold up correctly. This was precisely the situation with Heather’s box. After stretching the image to fit a large square shape, the side flaps were too large to fold inwards to form the box.

Not to worry! This is a perfect application for the Ginsu Knife tool. Once I stretched the image, I cut off the two flaps and resized their width to match base of the box. Then I welded them back into place. The key was to just know which dimensions needed to still match so that the box pattern would work. The only thing is that you may need to do a test cut after stretching any given fold-up pattern to see for yourself which parts still work and which parts will need adjusting. If you have a pattern yourself that you cannot figure out, then please send it to me! This is a terrific new subject to explore.

Here’s the video to watch: Heather’s Gable Box Resizing

Creating a Shaped Greeting Card

Thanks to Margaret for today’s idea. She posted to the Klic-N-Kut Yahoo group with a welding issue. She wanted to weld a partial outline of flowers to a flower pot for the purpose of creating a shaped greeting card. The problem is that you cannot weld unclosed objects. In Margaret’s project, by turning on Fill, you can see that the top part is not closed and bottom part is closed:

In general, when you need to do a basic weld on two objects and either or both are not closed, it’s easy to get them closed. If the path you need to close is continuous, then just select the image and go to Arrange>Close Graphics. Or, if the path is not continuous, then you can try Arrange>Connect Path and enter a fairly large value (try 1) and all gaps will close… hopefully… although, you may find that the wrong ends get joined together diagonally across your image!

In today’s video,

Flower Pot Design

I show another way to connect the two ends of a gap. Just select the end nodes and use the middle top icon to connect the ends with a straight line. Then you can proceed with the rest of the weld.

For those interested in designing shaped greeting cards, watch the entire video to see how easy it is to use the Flip and Weld technique to create perfect symmetry and even a dashed fold line, if desired.