You can mix your LOS with hot coffee instead of hot water. This brings up some really nice colours. The piece above was done with coffee and LOS. Using Cola instead seems to work as well. Try putting your piece into clear hot water to stop the action instead of cold. Hot water tends to being up more in the red range. If you are patinating earrings bend a wire so it will hold both at once and dip together to get similar colours on each one.
Polishing up the piece afterwards will just leave dark in the recesses but you tend to lose the colors, great effect though. As patination is only a surface treatment it will rub and wear in time. You can use renaissance wax to seal it but you will lose some of those really vibrant 'oil slick' colours.
Using LOS can be so variable so have a play, but don't worry. If you don't like the result refiring your piece briefly will remove the colour and then you can start all over again.
Just remember that it is smelly stuff so ventilate well when using and don't mix up those coffee cups!!! :)