I discovered Melanie‘s work by chance on eBay with the auction on Prudence, and I was immediately attracted by the sweetness and freshness of that doll. I made some research, and quickly found out that one part of her uniqueness was her special eyes. Melanie is not only a talented customizer, but also creates one of a kind chips. This make a huge difference to the dolls! And as Blythe always needs new stylish outfits, Mel designs lovely dresses and trendy furry leg warmers for her shop. This means your doll can be melacaciazed from head to toe 😉
Photo: Melacacia. Prudence.
Hi Melanie! Can you tell us about yourself?
Hi! I am Melanie, better known in the doll world as Melacacia. I live on the North Coast of California with my husband and our two children. I graduated from Humboldt State University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and after graduating (until I discovered Blythe, that is) I was a professional photographer who specialized in natural light photography (weddings and portraits). I no longer shoot weddings because I have discovered something I love and enjoy much more… Blythe!!
Photo: Melacacia. Mel and Rory, her cute mini-me.
How and when did you discover Blythe?
I came across Blythe while browsing Etsy.com about 3 ½ years ago. I was instantly intrigued and just had to find out more about her, so that is what I did and went on to buy my first girl shortly after!
How many Blythe dolls do you have in your own collection?
This is actually a trick question, I think! There are so many dolls coming and going in the Melacacia house that it is hard to keep track! I do have 4 girls who are dear to me and that I don’t plan on letting go of anytime soon. They are Rory (custom PD ginger with rerooted mohair), Teagan (custom Love Mission with Pure Neemo body), Emily (Night Flower), and James (Samedi Marche), who arrived very recently. I do hope to add a Kenner to my collection someday, but for now, my family only includes Takaras.
What kind of dolls do you prefer?
I LOVE EBL’s! They are my favorite mold, but there isn’t a Takara Blythe that I don’t like. I definitely bond easier with custom dolls and I think it is because they are more unique, like people, and they just seem more alive when they are customized, to me.
Where and how do you store your own dolls?
I do not have a doll cabinet or one designated space for the dolls. There are couples of shelves in my house where they can be found. I also keep a few in the dollhouse, sitting on the couch or just hanging out!
Photo: Melacacia. The dollhouse.
Why did you start to customize Blythe?
I just couldn’t resist. The very first Blythe that I saw was a custom one. And the artist in me just had to give it a try.
How did you learn how to do it?
I did as much research online about the mechanics of the doll and the different molds, but I really just taught myself. I started kind of slowly to see how comfortable I was at first and then just went for it! I absolutely LOVE it! My Art Education from college gave me the training I needed in painting, sculpting, drawing, graphic design and photography. I feel so lucky to be able to use that experience for something I truly love doing.
What gives you inspiration?
Inspiration, for me, can come from anywhere at any time. I LOVE being inspired. It gives me that “butterflies in the stomach” feeling. Usually I will be inspired by some kind of emotion or personal experience. I have also found inspiration in a something as basic as a specific color or a painting or photograph.
Photos: Melacacia. Angelica.
What’s your work rhythm?
I am a mother of two young children, so my work rhythm is out of synch for sure! I can usually get a few hours in here and there during the day but most of my work is done after they go to sleep in the evenings. Then I can put on some music and focus for a longer span of time.
How do you like to work?
I like to have natural light when I work, but since most of my work is done at night, this is not an option, so I like to use my “natural light” lamp which is called an OttLite. It is so nice for seeing true colors and detail. I like to listen to my Pandora station or to a book on audio tape/CD.
What does your studio look like?
It is not picture perfect; that’s for sure! I don’t have a studio to work from; I do my work in my home, so I have two separate desks/areas for my work. One is my customization area, which is in my dining room, and the other is my sewing area, which is in my bedroom. Someday I hope to have an actual art studio where I can have everything together in one place. Until then, I can only dream!
Photo: Melacacia. Custom Work Space.
Where do you sell your custom dolls?
Photo: Melacacia. Valentina, Mel’s most recent OOAK doll.
A final word?
Well, I just really want to express how much I not only love Blythe Dolls, but I also love the Blythe community! The people I have met through this wonderful doll are people I would never have met any other way and I really love the people I have gotten to know! I truly consider some of my Blythe friends as some of my closest friends and I just am so grateful to this doll for not only giving me joy and a creative outlet, but for giving me such lovely friends as well! What more could a girl ask for!? Blythe is the best!!
Thank you Mel for bringing so much beauty and creativity to the Blythe world. Melacacia girls are really stunning dolls, and your pictures are simply beautiful. I especially like the ones in your dollhouse because the girls look so real living their own day to day life. They always put a smile on my face!