May 3, 2016

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

We thought it would be fun to give you a little tour of our gorgeous neighborhood. For those of you who have visited, you'll probably recognize some of the sites. For those who have never explored this part of New York City, you're in for a treat!

This Wikipedia page has a bit about the history of this charming area...much more than we can add here. But for fun, we're going to show you some of our favorite spots and places you should definitely check out when you're in town:

The Highline

The Highline is a true urban oasis. What used to be an elevated rail line, is now a spectacular public park that's been meticulously restored and landscaped. You'll enjoy the sights and sounds of the city from a whole new perspective!

Whitney Museum

The Whitney Museum recently moved from the Upper East Side to a brand new, uber-modern, 200,000-sf building on the border of the West Village and the Meatpacking District. It's home to an enormous collection of 20th and 21st-century art. A definite "must see" on your trip to the city!

One of the picturesque tree-lined streets

One of the best things about the West Village (and most New York neighborhoods!) is that you can stroll for hours and be entertained for free. We especially love the tree-lined blocks of our neighborhood, with their quaint, century old brownstones, wrought iron gates and narrow, cobblestone streets. The area has recently been referred to as "Hollywood East" due to the influx of celebrity residents from the film, music, television and fashion industries. Be sure to keep a careful eye out for our neighbors including Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Hugh Jackman, Anderson Cooper and Marc Jacobs.

Elephant & Castle

One of our favorite places for brunch, lunch or dinner, Elephant & Castle has been a staple in the neighborhood for over 40 years. Great salads, sandwiches and burgers are served in this cozy spot seven days a week. Stop in and say "hello" to the friendly and charming Tony. Tell him The Ink Pad sent you!

We'll be showcasing more about our home in the West Village in future posts. But if you have any questions, or if you're planning a trip to the city, let us help you choose the best sights to see!

Apr 6, 2016

A Peek Inside a Great Class

When Julie Balzer told us last fall that she was moving out of  New York City, we were sad that she'd no longer be living and creating art in our backyard. Lucky for us, she decided her hometown of Boston is where she was headed; which meant she was only a short Amtrak ride away!

Just a few weeks ago, she returned to the city to teach two great classes for us: "6x6", where students simultaneously created six, 6"x6" collages and "Flips Flaps Pockets and Cutouts"; a class dedicated to altering art journals using clever and creative cuts and additions.

Twenty happy people spent two days getting their hands dirty and their creative spirits uplifted! Take a look at a few photos from the weekend.

A natural teacher...
Busy painting...
Happy faces!
In process...
Julie draws a crowd.

Thanks to Julie for the photos!

Mar 22, 2016

Our New Press Release

The Ink Pad, New York City’s only retail shop specializing in decorative rubber stamps and paper arts, announces their new online shopping portal featuring an exclusive line of New York themed stencils designed by well known artist and writer, Michelle Ward.
The Ink Pad’s brick and mortar shop recently celebrated seventeen years in the West Village and since 1999, has been the ultimate retail destination for stampers, crafters and artists hailing from every corner of the globe. Customers come from the New York/Tri-State region and as far as Australia, Europe, South America and the Middle East. “We’re fortunate to be on the “must see” list of so many visitors to New York”, says owner Anna Chaing. “We are thrilled to partner with Michelle for this project and with our new online presence, we hope to reach crafters and mixed media artists even if they can’t travel New York’, says Chaing. "And because our first collection is New York inspired, they can now incorporate a little bit of the city in their artwork!”

Michelle Ward who’s acclaimed art has been featured in countless books and periodicals over the years was inspired to create this stencil collection while teaching a mixed media class at The Ink Pad last year. “Having studied architecture, New York City has always inspired me and this project was the perfect opportunity to work with Anna and Barbara to create art-making tools that celebrate the city’s uniqueness.”

The Michelle Ward Stencil Collection for The Ink Pad will be rolled out over the course of the next few months and features such iconic imagery as the NY skyline; the Statue of Liberty; the ubiquitous and intricately patterned  manhole covers that dot the city streets and one stencil that is evocative of the famous New York Subway signs.

The Michelle Ward Collection for The Ink Pad is available at


Nov 4, 2015

We {heart} Gentlemen Crafters!

Justin will be teaching his first class at The Ink Pad on Friday, November 6th

We'd like to introduce you to our newest instructor and Gentleman Crafter, Justin Krieger.

Although creative and crafty as a kid "I made replicas of car dashboards out of foam core and greeting cards too", the Queens NY native got seriously into the world of crafting after a 20+ year career in finance and I.T. management. "I'm a techie...but a creative techie!"

"In 2011 I started watching the craft show "Spotted Canary" on PBS. They were showing how to make a really cool waterfall card and that night I went out and bought all the materials to do it myself.  In August of that year, I met my friend Sandy who was a Stampin' Up demo artist. A month later I became an Independent Demonstrator myself and I've been hooked ever since!"

As he got more into stamping and card making, Justin stretched his creative wings and began using products from other stamp companies such as Hero Arts and signed on as a design team member for a number of well known blogs.

This past June, he created his own weekly design challenge blog,

We thought you might like to see a photo of what  Justin's calls his "Creative Galley", otherwise known as a very cool craft room!:

Where Justin works and stores over 1,200 clear and cling stamps!
Justin's favorite products and tools include, his Sizzix Big Shot for die cutting,  as well as his trusty heat gun for embossing. "Embossing is my favorite thing to do!", he says.

When asked why he loves to craft, Justin says "It's therapeutic...I can focus on what I'm doing and forget the stresses of the day for awhile."

To that end, Justin has been dedicated to making at least one card per day for the last 4+ years!  His beautiful work and daily musings can be seen on his blog: JKCardsOnline.

Here are just a few samples of his amazing card making skills!:

You can also find Justin teaching at Scrap-A-Latte in West Babylon, NY.  For sure, you'll be seeing a lot of him here at The Ink Pad, so join us for one of his classes and be inspired by this charming and talented Gentleman Crafter!