"My parents raised me with love. They taught me to be strong and to not give up easily. I am grateful that I can face life's ups and downs with these teachings. <br><br> "I work with natural materials such as water hyacinth, pine leaf, raffia, pineapple fiber and <i>agel</i> grass, transforming them into fashion accessories and home decor. My art also helps people in the villages, as I can give them work and share new designs with them. <br><br> "Working with these materials is like a reminder to always love nature, and keep replanting them so the fibers we use for our handicrafts are always available and sustainable. <br><br> "My life hasn't been easy but, looking back, I feel grateful and know that God has blessed me in many ways. I moved from Java to Bali, and got married. My designs sold well and I was able to open a little shop. It grew to the point that my husband and I could build a home, and everything came from working hard in that little shop. <br><br> "One day, my husband came home with a woman and she told me I'd have to move out because our house would soon be hers. <br><br> "My husband cheated me, and he divorced me to live with the other woman. I received nothing from all the hard work we did together. It was such a painful time for me and I was so depressed. <br><br> "But I didn't want to give up. I believed that God was with me and that he would guide me to find my way, alone without husband. I wanted to prove that I could make it. The bitterness of life is just a way to take us to another level so we can improve ourselves and become better people. <br><br> "So I worked and worked like crazy. Not a single day went by without work and prayer. I worked from the scratch, using anything that I had. It was a really hard time ? so many things to do! <br><br> "I had to plan to be successful, and this helped to recover from my pain. My life still goes on. I left all the memories and disappointment behind. All bad things will have their own karma. I truly believe that, so I just have to find my path and leave the rest behind. <br><br> "I started my new life alone. I just want to work and be successful. The handicrafts that I started from scratch were fruitful. I created new designs and placed them in my shop, adding to them from time to time. As I received new orders, I could start to smile again. <br><br> "After some years, my hard work brought very good results. I was able to build a new house. Although I'm still alone, I help many children. My nephew is like my own child. God is so kind to me, and I am grateful for everything. <br><br> "But there were sad things that happened in parallel with my life. Perhaps it's karma. One day, a man came to my shop when I was busy working. He asked for some coins to buy food because he was hungry and I gave him some. I was shocked when I really looked at his thin face, almost unrecognizable. He was my ex husband. He said he lost the house that he taken from me."