Home Truths

This month Home Truths talks with Jeff Sanders, software professional by day and Lego bender by night……


You’ve just sold your home, what are you going to miss most?
That’s a tough question. Sarah Jane and I will miss a lot of things. It was a great house on a great street, and it was the place where our kids really grew up. We left behind the spot where we marked our kids’ height over the last seven years! But in the end it was all about space (and not having enough of it) and it was time to move on. Someone else gets to enjoy it now, which makes us happy.

Lego Fruit Basket

Lego Fruit Basket

What are you most looking forward to in the next home you buy?
Space! (Have I mentioned space?) Our little family has grown a lot over the years, including the addition of Sarah’s parents emigrating from England. Our next house needs to accommodate our family plus grandparents in a way that allows us to maximize our separation while still having shared areas. We love Bob & Jean (my in-laws) and I can’t adequately express how great/amazing/helpful it has been having them with us to help manage our crazy busy family. ‘In-laws’ are notoriously difficult but I have to say that I won the lottery in this regard. It’s not always perfect, but I wouldn’t trade our situation for anything. However, making sure we all have enough space is tops on our priority list. That and a good neighborhood. No small challenge!


Where do you go to escape the heat during the summer months?
This summer has turned me into an HVAC engineer. I’ve organized several window AC units and a system for pulling the cold air down from the second floor to the mail level. It’s not perfect, but I’ve managed to keep our house fairly cool, and our upstairs like a meat locker. It’s amazing! I’m a homebody so having a house that I don’t need to escape from is very important. Having friends with pools is also a big plus. : )

OMSI Exhibition

OMSI Exhibition

Tell us about Brick Bending. What is it and where can we get the finished products?
Brick Bending is what I call my unique form of LEGO art. Being a LEGO artist puts you in a very exclusive niche of nerdom, which I’m very proud of. I have a background in mathematics, I think very visually, and really I’m just a big kid inside, so when you mix all that up with a quarter million pieces of LEGO you get a whole lot of amazing, unorthodox weirdness. I hadn’t touched LEGO in 20 years, but when my kids were old enough I decided to get them some of the toys that I loved as a kid. While we built together I discovered some very weird/exciting bending properties that you get when you string a lot of small pieces together. This allowed me to build smooth circles, elliptic and hyperbolic geometry, and all sorts of crazy geometrical designs. That led to a Kickstarter project, some national and international attention, and a small exhibit at OMSI. Since then I’ve been escalating, trying to build life-sized sculptures, and working on a plan for a full scale exhibit. My works aren’t currently for sale, but I do consider commissions. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. but if folks want sneak peeks of the craziest things I’m working on they can consider supporting me on Patreon for just $1—an amazing website that facilitates crowdfunding artists and creatives.

What is your favorite piece you ever built and designed, and why?
My favorite piece is called ‘Sphere III’. This was one of my early forays into three dimensional curves, and although the design was sound, the engineering side of putting it together was absolutely infuriating! A month of failed attempts (and the resulting explosions of LEGO flying everywhere) finally came together in a methodology for creating a sphere that’s under tremendous tension, but is in complete equilibrium once it’s put together. It still exists to this day although one big drop would blow it to pieces. I treat it very carefully, obviously.



For more information about Jeff’s creations visit or to learn how to bend Lego bricks yourself visit Jeff’s tutorials at

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Home Truths


House Numbers – June Home Sales in Portland


Leave a comment

Posted by on August 3, 2015 in House Numbers



New listing: 1915 NE 55th Ave

1915 NE 55th Ave - Portland - 02

1915 NE 55th Ave, Portland OR 97213

ML# 15286817

Priced at $559,000

3 Bedrooms

3 Bathrooms

Sqft: 2782

Taxes: $3,854.77

Schools: Beverly Cleary, Grant

Spacious Rose City bungalow with stunning woodwork throughout living and dining rooms. Light and bright kitchen with wall of windows surrounding the eating area. Two bedrooms on the main and a large master suite upstairs. Bathrooms on all three levels. A part-finished basement offers family room with bar and storage space in the utility room. Similar to the beautifully landscaped front, the back yard is a private garden paradise. Great entertaining space or simply a wonderful environment to put your feet up and relax.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 30, 2015 in NE Portland Homes


Tags: , ,

New listing: 6536 N Delaware


6536 N Delaware, Portland OR 97217

ML# 15027147

Priced at $379,000

4 Bedrooms

2.1 Bathrooms

Sqft: 2700

Taxes: $4,073.06

Schools: Chief Joseph/Oxley Green, Jefferson/Roosevelt

Spacious Arbor Lodge home awaits your personal touch with fantastic remodel potential. Large living and dining areas. Office tucked away off the kitchen. Three bedrooms and a full bathroom upstairs, and one bedroom and a full bathroom on the main. Basement offers laundry area, small workshop, half bath and a room to finish. Newer electrical panel, high efficiency furnace and water heater. Family room opens out to large covered deck which in turn flows onto a private back yard.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 21, 2015 in N Portland Homes


New listing: 3025 NE 58th Ave


3025 NE 58th Ave, Portland OR 97215

ML# 15635321

Priced at $399,000

3 Bedroom

2 Bathroom

Sqft: 1945

Taxes: $3241.14

Schools: Roseway Heights, Madison

Adorable Rose City Bungalow with a combination of tasteful updates and original charm. 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms makes this home great for entertaining or family living. Walkable to restaurants, parks, public transportation and more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 15, 2015 in NE Portland Homes


Tags: ,


House Numbers – May Home Sales in Portland


Leave a comment

Posted by on June 30, 2015 in House Numbers



Home Truths

This month Home Truths visits with Zoe van Baaren, an interior and exterior designer, who has a passion for making spaces look magnificent.

What’s your nine to five?
In true Portland fashion I wear many hats. The general theme of my work is anything that involves the beautification of home and garden. However, for the record my card reads, Interior decorator, farmer florist, and landscape gardener.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In terms of interior design, what has inspired you recently?
Eclectic layering of color and pattern. Throwing out the rule book and surrounding yourself with everything you love. You can always find a way to marry all the odds and ends.
Knowing your house, this might be tricky narrowing it down to one, but what’s your favorite room and why?
Wow that is a tricky one. I think I will go with the conservatory. I adore the wallpaper, the light, the views. It is like sitting in a glass green house.  You can see the enormous evergreen trees, the wide open sky and, glimpses of the garden with the very English stonewalls within.
What one thing have you done to your home in the last year, that makes you happy every time you walk through the door?
Well, I have made a recent purchase from this wonderful antique shop in town, Bernadette Breu. It is a pair of 4ft-tall flamingo sculptures. They are make of folded banana leaves and wire. They are painted copper and truly are a work of art. I pet them and visit them everyday! Pure joy!
Summer is here. What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
The garden, the garden, the garden. I have 63 rose bushes that are blooming all at once.  The foxgloves and delphiniums are shooting up through them all, it is a site to behold. My cut flower seeds are growing at a fast clip, promising to be a sea of color. The dahlia beds will be a bounty this year. This was the first year I was able to divide the tubers. Now I have twice as many as last year! Some ladies collect shoes but I collect plants and I don’t see myself stopping. Perhaps Myles should start looking for a bigger property for us!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Zoe van Baaren can be reached via


Tags: ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 296 other followers

%d bloggers like this: