Author Archives: alison

Borked in IE6

Yes, it would appear that I just borked the site in Internet Explorer 6 by editing the style switcher script. So if you try and click the style changing icons on the right and get a runtime error, then you can totally blame me. That means if you don’t like this new style – right now you’re stuck.
I am sure I could find a way around this eventually, but it’s going to stay this way for now. Internet Explorer is the bane of my life when it comes to getting stylesheets working, and now it’s decided it wont play with my scripts either.
I spent a good several hours trying to solve some peekaboo bugs, creeping text bugs and shifting/jumping text bugs with a combination of hasLayout tricks. With the styleswitcher I don’t have the choice of using conditional comments unless they can apply to ALL styles. Why didn’t they create a version of conditional comment that can be used in a stylesheet?
Oh, and the search page is missing the top navigation. I’ll fix that 🙂 Tomorrow.

Holiday? What holiday?

After 6 weeks of rain, wind and cloud, the girls are finally back at school. I did expect a sudden outbreak of sunshine, but it’s still holding off.
That’s something we’ve seen so little of this summer – and last – that I am beginning to wonder why on earth I am still living in this country. Winter is wet and sleety (without decent snow) and summer actually forgets to arrive. Where are the upsides?
Two weeks of normal work/school and then we’re again off for a week. This will be our real vacation. We’ll be in Tuscany for a week with my parents. I have put an advanced request in for sun for this week. As we’ll be in Italy rather than England I am far more hopeful!
I have been working a lot more over the holidays than I expected, including working on some potential government work for a pitch with another agency.
I’ve got a lot to get through in the next two weeks, then after our week off I’ll be taking another week off following surgery. So if you’ve got anything coming up do let me know, but I won’t be free to take on new work until the first week of October.

Clocking off

It’s that time again – school summer holidays. My lifestyle choice means that I am now on 6 weeks holiday in the glorious weather with my glorious children. Mildly paraphrased, I have to struggle for 6 weeks to hold onto my sanity while it alternately boils and storms and the weather does something similar.
That’s almost the truth. Add two days childminding a week to let me take care of business, and it’s not a bad season. So I am not taking on any new work, and that which I am doing will be mostly dealt with on Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends, and most nights. I feel justified to add a few little curative glasses of shiraz into the mix though. I hope you don’t mind.
I want to find time during this so called holiday to write, as I am letting that slide despite my best intentions. My protagonist has found herself trapped in a storyline cave and the exit is in focus, but the steps that lead to it are unclear. A few days with 6 expresso’s inside me might help. I considered going to my local deli/cafe with the laptop, but that presented two problems. One, the battery lasts for less time than toothbrush timer, and two, the lady proprietor is too chatty.
So that’s me and August. See you in September.

Alison Harrison = spayce

Spayce is Alison Harrison. This website is designed to give you an idea of the work I do, and what I can offer you and your company. Please have a browse around my portfolio and have a look at the samples of work. If you’d like a quotation, please don’t hesitate to contact me or phone 07801 481 640.


    Specialises in:

  • art direction, logo design, new media design,
  • site planning, html build and style.
  • retouching, artworking & mac work.

the history…

Spayce was established in 2001, just after I found myself both redundant, and pregnant with my first daughter. I wanted the freedom of choosing my own hours and being both a mother and a designer. I also wanted to concentrate on what I do best. Since I started spayce I have worked for such people and companies as the BSY Group, George Clarke, Bernard Matthews, Alexis Cosmetics, BBC Training and Development, Clarion Communications and Game Account.

the skills…

I am not a jack of all trades, and neither will I ever try to be. In this industry there are many talented people, and I am able to call on many of them to bring whatever skills I feel are necessary to a job. I focus on design, and making that design work for your project, whether it’s online, interactive or printed.

If you want technical specs, I work in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop/ImageReady and Macromedia Dreamweaver. I also handcode, and always write my css from scratch. I am familiar with Adobe GoLive and Macromedia Fireworks. I am also familiar with Macromedia Flash, however only on a design level and not a programming level.

I am also very aware of accessibility issues, ensure my work always works in all major browsers on both the PC and Mac systems.


  • Site navigation and structure,
  • Design,
  • CSS, and
  • Flash design.

the options…

I have put together several websites using off the shelf software, which can be an affordable solution for people wanting a dynamic site, but lacking the funds to have a bespoke engine programmed for them. These include Moveable Type (which runs this site), Mambo/Joomla, e107 and vBulletin.

my dark past…

It wasn’t dark at all in fact, as I was born in Sydney in 1970. I grew up in the bright sunshine there, went to MLC school for girls in Burwood, and then University in Newcastle. After time in the Army playing the flute, I started on my career path. After taking long lunches and too many parties in the green room at the Sydney Opera House, I moved to New Zealand and lived and worked in Auckland for 18 months. I then traveled around Japan for a few weeks, then came to London. I caught a tube to Earl’s Court and here I still am today*. Oh… if you’re looking for Alison Baker, then you’ve found me, so do drop me an email!

* legally, of course, and not still in Earl’s Court – but you get the general idea!

Send me a message

Alternatively, please fill in this contact form to send me a message. You must give a valid email address or a phone number to enable me to reply to you.

facebook and rambling on

I joined facebook the other day. Finally. Now that it’s old hat, I am still uncool. I am not an early adopter on this one.
Actually, it’s not as bad as I thought. I was under the impression that facebook is another myspace. But when it comes down to it, most of my friends in facebook are people I know in real life. Some of them have their real face as an avatar. Some of them even post up interesting things.
But there is an overload of naff applications – someone turned me into a vampire, and others keep sending me drinks. (If only they were real.) I quite like the “where i’ve been” map, and of course, lolcats is a quality addition, with its exlemplary exlempelary excellent grammar.
I updated my “about me” bit today, and like most things I write, I thought it, I wrote it, and I hit save. I didn’t edit or reread or do any of those things that good writing should be subjected to. It comes out like verbal spew (this is my phrase of the week, and I am GOING to get my money’s worth with it). But actually… I thought it was kinda good. In a fast, summarised sort of way.
And so…
here ’tis.
I was born a long time ago (37 years ago to be not quite that exact). I had a fun packed childhood and grew to adulthood learning a few things along the way.
I first went nightclubbing when I was 17 with carefully doctored ID, and threw up in the toilet after too many kahluas. I am still not quite sure how my pocket money stretched that far.
I was a dag at school. My best friends got a perm and went off with the cool kids, so I joined the chess club. But I never played chess.
The best teacher I ever had was Dr Denise Cole. She died from breast cancer, but she changed a lot of people’s worlds for the better in the time she lived.
I went to university at Newcastle. I am not 100% sure what I learned there, but a lot of it involved popular culture, and some of it included how to drink beer. While I was there I joined the army reserves to piccolo, and spent more time perfecting the art of drinking beer.
After graduating I avoided getting a real job by almost joining the army and playing music full time for a year.
I once got concussion on a bedhead in the navy barracks at randwick. No, I wasn’t doing what you think I was doing.
When the army told me I’d need to join properly, I promptly left and starting working in the design industry. If you can call drawing lawnmower icons with rotring pens for business cards design.
Some time later, I found myself working at the sydney opera house with kylie. We had a fantastic time, and not a lot of work was done. The flock of penguins I saw one night was pretty impressive though. I’d fire me, if I knew what I got up to.
I was offered a job in Auckland, so I turned them down. They promptly offered more money, so I went. This was as good time, since I’d just broken up with a guy for the second time (it’s never a good idea to retread old ground!) and I needed to get far away. It wasn’t very far, but he couldn’t swim very well so it worked.
Later I went to London via Japan. Somehow I ended up staying here. It’s been eleven years now, and I still hate the weather. But I got married, and we bought a house, and we had kids.
Now I spend my days building websites and making posters for the PTA. Today I am makig a paper mache unicorn.
I still dream though.


So today was a fun day. I rolled out of bed at 8am, missing a full one hour of my lie in, poured my cappucino into a handy travelling cup replete with lid, cleared out George*, programmed Kenº and met up with a haggard band of mums at Clock House station. Ready for the Fairways shopping extravaganza.
You’ve heard of Bluewater? Well this is nothing like it. Tucked behind an industrial area, with reject trolleys from a variety of supermarkets is Fairways. It’s a cash and carry for small shops that stock gifts and toys. There is a small metal door to enter between abandoned pallets and the trolley cemetary that leads into a warehouse that is several degrees colder than the rest of Britain.
Towering racks of plastic tat meet you as you enter, and most things are in bulk. Some of them have dust on them that has been carbon dated back to 1937. This is the one place were you can find something to satisfy a budget that requires toy prizes worth 5p.
The purpose of this visit is to stock the bulging sacks for Santa’s grotto, populate the pocket money stall, and pad out the lucky dip. You guessed it – christmas fair time. I might add – the 5p toys were NOT for santa’s grotto!
This place is a gold mine. I’ve come home with 2 large but broken boxes of “ello” for a fiver, a projector and a slushi maker. Christmas stocking gifts are pretty much sorted. I am certain to have nightmares about some of the dolls for some years to come however. Fortunately, most of them no longer cried as their batteries died over a decade ago, but the eyes on one of them were so horrifying that I expected it to chase me down the aisle with a small knife.
Anyway, we successfully found prizes and toys for a range of prices and a variety of stalls, stacked them in George and ended up eating McDonalds for lunch at 3.30pm. What a fun day out!
* George = camper van
º Ken = sat nav (with aussie accent!)