I draw a lot on my own family history for information and inspiration so I am always trawling through my mother and grandmothers life looking for details I can draw on to make my work more authentic.  For some reason my grandmother seems to have been the gatekeeper of all of her relations photographs - or perhaps it's more the case that she hung on to absolutely everything and never threw anything away. She was a big recycler - and unfortunately ALL of her beautiful vintage clothes ended up as rags or cushion covers. She also, infuriatingly, used to unpick her hand-knitted sweaters if she saw you weren't wearing them, and re-use the wool. She unpicked the lot one Summer - then got arthritis and couldn't knit again - leaving me with not as much as a tea cosy! Photos couldn't be "recycled" into something more useful so we still have LOADS of them.  I am in the process of scanning and archiving them. My spare time between books, and blogs and babies and newspaper columns you understand.