"I was a little nervous," said Zempel. "I wasn't sure what they would do with me."
However, she was pleasantly surprised to see that the show did not make fun of her or her work in a negative way.
If anything, the segment provided national exposure for her artistry, which often features instruments of war juxtaposed with traditional domestic mediums such as knitting, apholstery, and even cookies.
"I've been getting e-mails from old high school friends," she said. "And several relatives I didn't know I had."
As an arts professor at Fordham University, Zempel spends much of the year in the New York City area, but maintains her studio in Keene Valley.
"I take great inspiration from the Adirondacks and from the craft traditions of the Adirondacks," she said.
Zempel credited several fellow Adirondackers with helping her finish the SUV-cozy project, which she titled "Homeland Security Blanket" in honor of her stop at the border.
A video clip of Zempel's appearance on the Colbert Report can be found on the show's Web site, www.colbertnation.com.