Beyond the Pale

Plum Picks for Autumn’s Trends: Violet Femmes
October 4, 2009, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Autumn, Etsy, Fall, Fripperies, Gin, Recipes, Shoes, Trinkets

Violet, damson, blackberry, plum – the leading colour trends for Autumn even sound delicious. Vogue list violet and its regal, purple companions as one of the hottest looks for the coming season.

Vogue's Violet Trends

Vogue's Violet Trends

Being one of my favourite colour palettes, this is wonderful news to me. I love mixing berry colours with the inevitable greys that always pop up at this time of year, along with teal, peacock green, inky indigo, smokey mauve & steely blue. And black, obviously. It’s best to break up the purple, anyway, unless you secretly desire being mistaken for a Ribena Berry!

Blackberry or dark berry colours are also my go-to choice for lipsticks at this time of year. I cannot, absolutely CANNOT do a “nude lip”. I have purchased every nude lipstick known to man (or, um, woman) but they all make me look as though a priest should be summoned. I don’t know if this is due to my colouring, or more to do with the fact that I have quite large lips, so can take a darker, more defined colour very well. Nevertheless, I will always be drawn to berry-stained looking lip colours. The following are on my Most Wanted list…

Prune Brilliance by Yves Rocher: Now £5.75 (will be £11.50)

Prune Brilliance by Yves Rocher: Now £5.75 (will be £11.50)

Poppy King: Lipstick Queen - Sinner Collection

Poppy King: Lipstick Queen - Sinner Collection

Poppy King Lipsticks Shade: Berry Sinner

Poppy King Lipsticks Shade: Berry Sinner

Chanel Hydrabase Lipstick, Shade 54: Fantastic Plum

Chanel Hydrabase Lipstick, Shade 54: Fantastic Plum

Here are my plum picks from Etsy’s selection of violet hues – it’s a current Etsy Treasury, too…

Violet Femmes

Direct links to items shown:

Paper People

Jibri Online

Macro Satan




Violet Femmes2

Further links:

Lemonstory NYC


Kathleen Meets Morgan


Attila Design

Inner Evolution

I am lusting after ALL the above. Seriously gorgeous designs and in my decadent colours of choice. Fabulous. Obviously you will be clicking on the links to explore the shops further, but meanwhile I must show you some of the intricate details missed in the smaller pictures in my selection…

Paper People Hand Printed Coat

Paper People Hand Printed Coat

“This coat is inspired by a retro 70s trench coat. It is fitted at the waist with a full skirt giving an hourglass silhouette. This is a fall weight coat but can be worn into the colder weather. The shell is made from 100% organic cotton and lined with kasha (fleece backed satin for extra warmth). The coat features a hand screened doily print and vintage buttons. This design has a wide circular cut skirt and 2 pockets.”

Available Colours: purple, chocolate brown, moss green
All colours have black print and black buttons.

Violets in Winter Hand Embroidered Clutch, by MISMA

Violets in Winter Hand Embroidered Clutch, by MISMA

“Hand embroidering!

The clutch comes with a beautiful fabric bag for a better care of the clutch.

Outer Material: Canvas
Lining: Soft synthetic silk.
Frame: Antique Brass

Measures: Width is 8 inches, bottom of clutch 8.5 inches and height 5 inches aprox.”

Violet Dress by Miablaz

Violet Dress by Miablaz

“This dress is made with cotton lycra, the top is lined in lycra silk and I added bones in the front, sides and back. Button and buckle are vintage. The color is darker than the image.” – This dress is available for a complete custom fit – just ask the seller!

All this talk of berries makes my mouth water. I start yearning for warm, hearty dishes and scrumptious home-baked goodies filled with the delicious wages of a day spent blackberry picking…

Try this recipe from BBC Good Food:

Blackberry & Apple Crumble Cake


  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar , plus 1tbsp
  • 4 eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • 150g blackberries
  • 3-4 tbsp clear honey or maple syrup
  • crème fraîche or double cream, to serve.
Blackberry & Apple Crumble Cake

Blackberry & Apple Crumble Cake

For the Crumble Topping:

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g plain flour
  • 50g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 20cm springform tin with baking parchment.
  2. To make the crumble topping, melt the butter, then mix in the soft brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and chopped hazelnuts. Heat 25g of butter in a large frying pan. Add 1 tbsp caster sugar and the apple wedges. Cook for about 10 minutes until the apples are tender and golden. Cool.
  3. Beat together the remaining butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in the eggs. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour and baking powder. Add the crème fraîche and mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon roughly two-thirds of the cake mixture into the tin, spread level and scatter over one-third of the crumble. Top with the remaining cake mixture and level again. Scatter on another third of the crumble and arrange the apple wedges and blackberries on top. Finally top with the remaining crumble.
  5. Bake for about 11/2 hours. Loosely cover the top of the cake with a sheet of baking parchment or foil halfway through the cooking time if it is browning too quickly.
  6. Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a serving plate. Warm the honey or maple syrup in a pan and drizzle over the cake. Serve warm with a bowl of crème fraîche or lightly whipped double cream.

Or how about this recipe from the wonderful Nature’s Secret Larder? – RIGHT up our street!

Plum Gin:

“It’s that time of year when the hedgerows are often glistening with small blue/purple fruits, not the sloe, but the wild plum Prunus domestica. I won’t get into the what type of plum is it, as this is a mine field, for they may all look similar or due to country tradition they will be given different names in different locations. For this recipe I have used the Damson, but you can try it with other types of plum.


  • 1lb of wild plums. Damsons are best, but try whatever you find!
  • 5 ozs of white sugar (if you like it sweet then add a little more, and try once a month and add to taste)
  • Bottle of gin
  • Sterilised Kilner Jar


  • Wash the plums well and discard any bad or bruised fruit. Always check soft fruit for any holes, as this is sometimes a sign they are bad or have a rogue maggot excavating them!
  • Prick fruit with a fork, or bung them in the freezer and let them freeze, this should break the sugars down and split them.
  • Add the sugar and top up with gin covering all of the plums.
  • Shake every day (for about a week) until the sugar is dissolved and then place in a dark cupboard for at least three months, or if you can wait, then a year or so is also good.
  • After several months some people will strain out the fruit and then bottle the gin. This can be good practice as occasionally the fruit will turn and alter the flavor of the gin. Some even eat the fruits as Christmas sweeties!”

Yours fruitfully,

Miss Nightingale



1 Comment so far
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love your blog! thanks for including my dress! and that cake! mmmm…yumm

Comment by miablaz

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