I LOVE my Autumn Leaves flourish stamps (the first one on the list below) and would love to add all of the others. I use them OFTEN! They have held up very well and are so flexible (as far as the ways in which you can combine and use them together). Good luck choosing.
I love my close to my heart flourishes, but for the beginning stamper, I have to say Autumn Leaves because they are quite a bit cheaper than the close to my heart. I think Walmart has them the cheapest. Also, the close to my heart ones have to be ordered. (don't know about you, but I'm an "instant gratification" kinda person!)
I love Inque Boutique they are inexpensive ($11.75 for 17 stamps) and if you are just starting you don't want to spend a lot of money until you know if you like it. They also have some great swirls in matching chipboard.
Here are some samples:
As for stamps I have a few brands I stick to. I love Inque Boutique, Queen Kat Design, Autumn Leaves , and Hero Arts. They are all excellent quality stamps. I didn't like Basic Grey or the Studio G stamps. They just don't have as crisp of images and tend to tear on me too often. If you are looking at flourishes, I really like the Autumn Leaves flourish stamps!
I've never used stamps, either, and am also interested in the flourish stamps. (I want to do a LO on my daughter's naturally curly hair. ) I really like the look of Sandylion Swirls. Anyway, what about the acrylic blocks? Where is the best place to get them? How do you know what size(s) to get? Are they expensive?
I have quite a few different brands of stamps (everything from Stampin Up, Close to my Heart, Autumn Leaves , some from HL, some from WM and even some from the Dollar Store)...however, I only have one set of flourishes and they are Autumn Leaves . I think they are beautiful and they are easy to use!