A Mouse at School

House-Mouse Designs has signed The PaperMagic Group, a subsidiary of CSS Industries, to the list of licensees for its collection of charming designs with back-to-school product for the U.S. and Canada launching for the 2010 school year.

The PaperMagic Group joins a list of long-time licensees, such as Stampabilities, a subsidiary of Hobby Lobby, which produces more than 600 rubber stamps; Dimensions-Crafts for cross-stitch kits; Artistic Checks for personal checks, address labels and calling cards; and Medical Arts Press for dental and medical recall cards, post cards, stickers and magnets. The transactional Web site House-Mouse Antics recently launched 12 new calendar images for 2010 and eight new note cards images.

Founded in 1980 by Ellen Jareckie and her business partner, Barry Percy, House-Mouse was initially launched with one black-and-white mouse character and has since evolved into multiple mice in hundreds of designs. The portfolio is based around five characters each depicted with their own distinct personality. Maxwell is the mischievous "class clown" and prankster; Amanda is the "mother hen"; Mudpie likes to doze under a flower, or more likely, in a half-finished box of chocolates; Muzzy is curious; while Monica explores new adventures.

Jareckie and Percy believe the long-lasting appeal of the brand comes from the expressive faces on the mice and the inherent good humor conveyed in the artwork, for which real life models are frequently used.