Some tricks I use to streamline my card-making are to copy layouts, re-use my own designs, stick with a defined color combination and focus on one or just a few stamp sets.
I copied this design from a card I found at Splitcoast. I wanted it to be both quick to make as well as very mailable, so I eliminated embellishments. To give the card dimension, I relied on sponging, a few layers (not raised, though), and paper piercing.
Here's a sympathy card. I like to keep these simple, and in muted colors. Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake and Very Vanilla fit the bill nicely. The layout is another one I found online. This is the second card I've made with this format. As you can see, both the color combination and stamp set are repeated from the card shown above.
The Easel Card is a tried-and-true fold for me, and it is easily dressed up by using the Top Note die. Linen Thread keeps the card upright for display.
Just one panel with a few stamped images and some sponging makes this card super fast to assemble as well as flat for mailing. The Linen Thread embellishment gives the design a bit of pizzazz without making the design over-the-top or too feminine.
I love that I can pull out a few of my tools, a few colors of card stock and ink, and come up with a set of cards like this in a short time. It's a great way to relax, and it makes a useful and heartfelt gift.
Thanks for looking, and I hope you like the cards!